Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Titanium Alloy Man!

Hello people of the Interwebs!

Today's review is of the 2008 movie: Iron Man!

Image credit to IMDb

This movie follows Tony Stark's transformation from complete douche to less of a douche. Watch him get captured by terrorists, build a suit, break out, "convert" to peace, and many other things. He gets betrayed by his father figure, builds a better suit, and, ultimately, becomes Iron Man.

Let's begin with the story. For a first movie in a Marvel franchise, it's decent. The character arc makes perfect sense, purely because of what he has been forced to go through. The plot... it's good. The story is consistent, the characters believable and likable, and the villains interesting.

The acting is quite excellent. Robert Downey Jr. is, in my opinion, an amazing actor. (Granted I've never seen him in anything else.) His portrayal of Tony Stark is perfect, and he grasps the character so well; he makes it seem like he's actually Tony Stark. About the other cast: You really can never go wrong with Gwyneth Paltrow. Jeff Bridges is a fantastic Obadiah Stane. And the supporting cast is excellent as well.

The action was great. You really can't go wrong with Iron Man's action. It's well paced, fun, and exciting. And the Mark II is a glorious device that I just love to feast my eyes upon.

Iron Man is good. Not great. (Definitely not the best Marvel story.) I'd still recommend it, but mainly just for the back story for Iron Man 2.

Teenage Critic, signing off!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The First Avenger

Hello people of the inter-webs!

Sorry that this took so long to come out. I promise to start posting regularly on Wednesdays. (My editor just didn't get back to me in time!)

Today's review is of the Marvel movie, Captain America: The First Avenger!

Image credit to IMDb

WARNING: Spoilers ahead!

This film centers around a down-to-earth everyman from Brooklyn named Steve Rodgers. He wants to join the army because his parents served, but died serving. However, he isn't allowed to join because he's unfit. Like, really unfit. They had to CG the actor's body to look shrimpy. It's really weird looking. He gets accepted into the army because of a nice doctor, and after some training, he's selected by the doctor to be a part of a secret experiment to make him a super soldier! (Which, by the way, works.)

The rest of the film is, surprisingly well done! We see his transformation from a mascot for America in the war, (and not actually fighting), to being a leader of an elite group trying to take out Hydra, Hitler's secret scientific branch. This transformation is actually done quite well, as we see him go from nervous in front of an audience to perfectly comfortable. There are comics made about him, movies, TV shorts, lunch boxes, and other collectibles. 

On that note, the movie seems to be trying to tie the movie reality and actual reality together. If I'm not mistaken, Captain America was originally created as a mascot for America, and was used as propaganda against the Nazis and the Axis forces. This just helps pull people into the reality that the film has proposed, with the idea that the Captain America comics were based on a real thing.

When Captain America goes to talk to actual American soldiers in France, they mock and dis him. He then considers going in to save the recently captured troops. He's supported by the attractive British officer, Peggy Carter, working with the Americans, (did I mention that before? No? Oh, well, she's, gasp, the love interest.), as well as Howard Stark, (Tony Stark's Father). Captain America goes to save the soldiers, gains some weapons and friends, and creates an elite, Nazi, sorry, Hydra, fighting team.

The acting is probably some of the best from any Marvel movie I've seen so far. There's not a single character that I didn't love/hate in the appropriate way. Chris Evans as Steve Rodgers, Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter, Hugo Weaving as Red Skull, (which is a performance on par with, well, most other things he's done), and so many more.

The story is, just like the acting, one of the best I've seen from a Marvel film. And here's why. Captain America doesn't have Hulking abilities, or a super gadget-y suit, or god-like powers. He's a normal guy from Brooklyn. His story and character arc are very compelling, and you root for him every step of the way.

Actually, I have to stop and admit something. I used to HATE Captain America with a burning passion. I saw him as propaganda for a nation, (which is something I'm very against, no matter which nation), and I thought his powers were kinda weak. "Wow, he can lift heavy-ish things and throw a shield," I used to say. But now, I have a lot of respect for this hero. His transformation, not physically, but emotionally and mentally, is a very touching one. 

As for the action, well, I can't really say much more without repeating myself. It's well paced, well timed, and the special effects are incredible.

So, strap on your shiny, perfectly circular shield and fire up Netflix (if the movie's still on there), and watch this amazing film about the First Avenger!

Teenage Critic, signing off!

Please leave any comments that you may have!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The god of Thunder!

Hello people of the Internet!

Today's review is of the Marvel movie: Thor!

Image Credit to IMDb

WARNING: Spoilers ahead!

This movie, of course, tells the classic story of the Norse god of Thunder, Thor. Okay, not really. However, the story is pretty okay anyway. It, of course, centers around the Marvel superhero Thor. 

Thor is shown as a young, extremely arrogant, upstart prince, about to be crowned as king of Asgard, which is an alien planet. His brother, Loki, seems to be slightly jealous, but more on that later. 

The central villains are Frost Giants, the ancient foe of the Asgardians, whom Odin had defeated previously. A peace treaty was then made, peace was upheld, etc, etc, etc. 

Our other main characters are Jane, Darcy, and Erik Selvig. Along with those, we have Lady Sif and a whole slew of Asgardian warriors.

The story is simple enough. Thor's an upstart, starts a war with the Frost Giants, and is banished by his father, to the realm of Midgard, or Earth. Odin then sends Thor's hammer, Mjolnir, immediately after, with a message that "whomever may be worthy will wield the power of Thor". Thor then falls in love with a human and kicks some butt, but only after becoming a better person. He then gets un-banished, and defeats Loki, who was the villain the whole time! (Boy what a surprise! Actually it is, but I'll delve into that later.)

The acting in this movie is excellent in most cases. Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Anthony Hopkins as Odin, Tom Hiddleston as Loki. (Basically, all the Asgardians are awesome.) The actors playing humans were, well, at best, they were good. Natalie Portman*, Kat Dennings, and Stellan Skarsgard were decent choices, but the acting could be better. (Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson is always good, though. Coulson is one of my favorite characters in the current Marvel franchise, and Clark Gregg just has his performance down perfectly.) 

The story, well, it's the cliche "Super tough boy needs to learn a lesson, falls for girl, learns lesson" theme. Okay, maybe it's not extremely overused, but still. 

The sub-plot with Loki and Odin, which I won't go into with much detail, is much more interesting. (Here's where I get into the Loki thing, so hold onto your seats!) Loki is portrayed as this kind, innocent, albeit slightly jealous character. He's just a normal... Asgardian. He fights with his brother and their friends, he even stands up for Thor at some point. Which makes his sudden betrayal all the more surprising. I've been saying to my friends, (that's right I do have friends. Yeesh, harsh much?), that if I hadn't watched the Avengers before seeing Thor, I would not have guessed that Loki was the villain. All of which makes for a very interesting character and story arc.

The action is, of course, amazing. The CGI and special effects are pretty awesome, and very visually appealing. The storms, lightning, all of it is excellent. And Asgard itself is a beautiful thing to feast your eyes upon.

All in all the movie is... quite good. Not my favorite of the Marvel movies, but still a good one. If you ignore the cheesy romance story of Jane and Thor, it's sure to be a fun watch! (Unless you like cheesy romance. Which I do, but not like that.)

Teenage Critic, signing off!

If you have any comments, be sure to leave them, so I know how I'm doing!

*Upon further consideration, I've realized that Natalie Portman is a great actor, just this is one of her weaker roles. Any woman who can play against the actor of Anakin Skywalker and not break is one hell of an actor.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Amazing Spiderman (and a new review concept)

Hello internet!

Boy, it sure has been a while... yeah, sorry about that.

I was thinking a lot, though. I needed to make my reviews detailed, but not to the point where I'm just reciting the plot. So, I'll start my new type of reviews with a movie about my child self's favorite Super Hero: The Amazing Spiderman.

Image Credit to IMDb


This movie is slow. And awkward. Extremely so. Andrew Garfield adds a whole new level of lanky, awkward nerd to the role of Peter Parker. There are scenes of just Peter stuttering to Gwen Stacey. Just the stuttering.

However, the new back story about what happened to his parents is quite intriguing. Peter's dad, a top secret scientist? Awesome!

And the action is fun and well paced. So, I'll give it that.

The story, while interesting, moves very slowly. You would think that it would provide a good contrast to the action, but the action isn't fast paced. Just well paced. Well paced action, tied with slow paced story. Not a very good combo.

The ending does wrap the story up nicely, but leaves room for the new movie coming out later this year. I won't spoil the ending, but it's worth the time before it.

So, in conclusion, The Amazing Spiderman is slow paced, story wise; well paced and fun, action wise, but all in all, a fun romp with your favorite web slinging hero! I'd say that the story about Peter's father is what will have me watching the sequel! (Along with the awesome looking villains they're throwing at us)

Teenage Critic, signing out!

(P.S. Three more things: 1. You'll be getting a whole wave of Super Hero movie reviews. I recently binge watched a ton of them. 2. The video review that I mentioned? Yeah, it may take a while, or it may never be up. 3. Perhaps a review of a book or play is long overdue...)