Movie Review: Avengers Infinity Wars


Producer: Kevin Feige
Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Writers: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Cast: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Don Cheadle, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Danai Gurira,
Letitia Wright, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Josh Brolin, Chris Pratt

So my son and I went to see Infinity Wars. I will admit that I wasn’t really sure about going to this movie. I have been burned out with superhero movies for some time now. And I wasn’t sure if this was the one that was going to be the straw that broke the camel’s back or if I could get just one more in and not burn out completely.

So I survived and now on with the review.

So Thanos, played by Josh Brolin, is a power mad Titan who has a malthusian view of how the universe should be run. Because there is a finite amount of resources in the universe and because the amount of “people”, “sapient beings”, “intelligent life” or what have you exceeds the resources in order to achieve balance half of all the people in a random pattern must be eliminated.

So Thanos has been traveling from galaxy to galaxy wiping out half of the inhabitants as he does all the while searching for the infinity stones. For once he has all the infinity stones he will be able to snap his fingers and immediately cause that what he calls balance will happen and every inhabited world will have half of their population gone. To this end Thanos has created a gauntlet and as he obtains an infinity stone he places it into his gauntlet and gains the power of that stone.

So of course it is very obvious that some of the infinity stones are on Earth while others are on other planets and or places. Because of that the film basically has three sections. One section involves Thor and half of the Guardians of the Galaxy. The other section involves Iron Man, Dr. Strange, Spiderman and the other half of the Guardians of the Galaxy. The last section involves the rest of the Avengers sans Hawkeye, Bucky aka the Winter Soldier, and the Black Panther along with the nation of Wakanda’s fighters.

Because of the way that this movie is made there are two obvious things. One to really know what is happening you have had to watch all the MCU films until this point.

Two because frankly no other studio has attempted something like a ten year interlocking film franchise this movie has some obvious flaws but the flaws can be overlooked when you consider this is part of the ultimate goal of the MCU films.

So is this a great movie? No, but it is enjoyable and you will be surprised at some of the things that happen.

I am giving this movie three out of five stars.

Advertisements

Balcony Closed


Kinda burned out on movies so shutting the door for now. Trying to get more reading in so look for book reviews.

Movie Review: Atomic Blonde


Producer:Charlize Theron, Beth Kono, A. J. Dix, Kelly McCormick, Eric Gitter, Peter Schwerin
Director: David Leitch
Writer: Kurt Johnstad
Based on The Coldest City by Antony Johnston and Sam Hart
Cast: Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman, Til Schweiger, Eddie Marsan, Sofia Boutella, Toby Jones, James Faulkner, Bill Skarsgård, Sam Hargrave, Roland Møller, Jóhannes Jóhannesson, Daniel Bernhardt, and Barbara Sukowa

It’s rare when I don’t find something good about a movie and this one heads that list. Google gave me a rent a movie, any movie, for ninety nine cents and I went and rented this movie. I want my money back.

This movie violates one of the major rules regarding action flicks don’t be boring. And when Charlize Theron was fighting oh yeah it was interesting but the maybe five minutes total of that couldn’t compete with the incredibly boring rest of the movie.

So don’t bother, if someone gives it to you free use it for target practice.

I am giving this a negative five stars

Movie Review: Mr. Deeds Goes To Town


Producer: Frank Capra
Director: Frank Capra
Writer: Robert Riskin based on Opera Hat by Clarence Budington Kelland
Cast: Gary Cooper, Jean Arthur, George Bancroft, Lionel Stander, Douglass Dumbrille, Raymond Walburn, H.B. Warner, Ruth Donnelly, Walter Catlett, John Wray, Margaret Seddon, Margaret McWade, Gustav von Seyffertitz, Emma Dunn, Charles Lane, Jameson Thomas, Mayo Methot, Gladden James, Paul Hurst, Warren Hymer

Plot: During the depression Martin Semple the uncle of Longfellow Deeds (Gary Cooper) dies in a car crash and leaves his 20 million dollar fortune to him. Longfellow Deeds a tuba playing greeting card poet lives in the quaint town of Mandrake Falls Vermont. Semple’s crooked attorney John Cedar, (Douglas Dumbrille) seeing a way to hide his own misdeeds drags Deeds back to New York City where he hired ex newspaper man Cornelius Cobb (Lionel Stander) to watch over him and make sure that he doesn’t talk to the press. However, Deeds not the bumpkin everyone thinks he is slips his keepers and goes out on the town. There he meets Louise “Babe” Bennett (Jean Arthur) a reporter who is trying to get a story on Deeds and plays to his sympathy by pretending to faint in front of him. Deeds a romantic, sees her as a “damsel in distress” and tries to help. Babe calls herself Mary Dawson and tells him she’s been walking all day trying to find work. With this she works upon his good nature all the while writing articles about Deeds calling him the Cinderella Man.

Deeds falls for Mary and wants to marry her. At the same time he is fending off not only the lawyer Cedar but the rest of the high society leaches that had been living off his uncle’s largesse. Cobb brings evidence to Deeds that “Mary” is actually the reporter Babe Bennett. Deeds is disgusted and decides to return to Mandrake Falls. It is at this time a farmer, (John Wray) having lost his means of providing for his family points a gun at Deeds and vilifying him for not helping his fellow man and the desperate poor needing relief. After the man has come to his senses Deeds sees a way to get rid of his troublesome wealth and help the poor. In desperation the lawyer Cedar has Deeds arrested for insanity.

Commentary:

This is one of Capra’s best movies and the one that made Gary Cooper into the every man hero that he became famous for in the movies. Jean Arthur, who also starred in Mr. Smith goes to Washington is perfect as the cynical female reporter who has seen everything to see when it comes to men until she meets Longfellow Deeds. Suddenly she realizes that there are men that aren’t always looking out for themselves, and have such thing as scruples and honor which destroys her cynical world view.

Gary Cooper plays Longfellow Deeds. Deeds is an unsophisticated man and that is his charm as is his practicality. He knows that the money has to be used for something useful and not to be frittered away on tawdry things and Cooper exemplifies this perfectly.

Capra once again demonstrates his love for the “regular guy” in this film and how we too can be better by being like someone who is practical, honorable, and decent. He shows exactly what is meant when the Bible says that the love of money is the root of all evils. {1 Tim. 6:10}

Mr. Deeds goes to town gets five stars.

Movie Review: Dunkirk


Producers: Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan
Director: Christopher Nolan
Writer: Christopher Nolan
Cast: Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden, Harry Styles, Aneurin Barnard, James D’Arcy, Barry Keoghan, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy

Plot: As the Allied troops are stuck at Dunkirk France the people of Britain gather together the boats and ships they have and sail to France to rescue the soldiers stranded on the coast of France.

I am going to say something that is probably going to get me castigated but I am going to say it anyway. Dunkirk could have been better. When I compare this movie to others of a similar genre there is something missing in this movie. And I want to say that it’s the comradeship. Watching this movie I see an attitude of wanting to be out of the war expressed by the soldiers. The sense of purpose, of why they are fighting against the Nazi forces, doesn’t appear in the soldiers rather it is in the older men, the civilians those who came to save the soldiers they know why they must stop the Nazi forces.

That is not to that there isn’t some good scenes in the movie, some of the best takes place on the small boat with the father, his son, and the son’s school friend.

But overall I didn’t enjoy this movie. I am going to give it three stars.

Balcony closed


I am going to be watching a few movies on the weekend and write a review but for now the balcony is closed.

Movie Review:  Meet John Doe


Priducer:  Frank Capra
Director:  Frank Capra
Writer:  Robert Presnell, Sr.
Cast: Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward Arnold, Walter Brennan, Spring Byington, James Gleason, Gene Lockhart, Rod La Rocque, Irving Bacon, Regis Toomey, J. Farrell MacDonald, Harry Holman, Warren Hymer, Pierre Watkin, Sterling Holloway, and Harry Davenport

I find that there is “nothing new under the sun” case in point Frank Capra’s marvelous movie is about fake news.   

Ann Mitchell (Barbara Stanwyck) furious that she is loosing her job after the newspaper she works for has been purchased and informed that she still must write one last column for the paper writes a fictional account of an unemployed “John Doe” who disgusted by society’s ills threatens to commit suicide on Christmas Eve in protest.  

This letter causes an uproar amongst the city’s elites who demand that something be done about this horrendous affair.  The rival newspaper claims that it is all a fraud and demands proof.  When Ann Mitchell is brought before the owner and the editor she admits that she made it all up.  

Pointing out that this would be a great way to sell more papers by having a column “written” by John Doe exposing the ills of society the owner agrees seeking to use the column for his own means.  But they need a patsy.  And in walks a perfect one Long John Willoughby (Gary Cooper) a former baseball player and tramp looking to earn some money to fix his arm so he can go back to playing baseball.  

Ann Mitchell starts writing the columns and even gets John to read a speech on the radio.  But being convicted by his friend “The Colonel” (Walter Brennan) he runs away and rides the rails with “The Colonel” until they come to a small town where he, John, is recognized as John Doe.  There he learns that regular people inspired by his speech are going out and helping their neighbors and have set up “John Doe club”.  

These clubs spread across the country and the owner of the Newspaper that started all of this plans to use them as a means to run the country and get his own political agenda into the government.  When John finds out about this and threatens to expose them he responds that he is prepared for that contingency and will ruin it all.  John’s reply needs to be seen to be appreciated.

This is a great family movie and one that can bring up good conversations regarding what newspapers, indeed any news organization, owes to the people who rely on them for what is the news and what is happening in the world.  

I give this movie five stars.  

Movie Review: The Red Pill


Producers:  Evan Davies, Cassie Jaye, Nena Jaye, Anna Laclergue
Director: Cassie Jaye

The Red Pill, based on that famous quote from The Matrix:

You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.

was Cassie Jaye’s film on the Men’s Rights Movement (MRM). Jaye who was an ardent feminist and a director of feminist documentaries believed that she was investigating a hate group.

  However, after actually meeting both men and women who are involved in the MRM she comes to realize that what the movement is more about is looking at issues facing men and boys such as male suicide rates, workplace fatalities and high-risk jobs, military conscription, lack of services for male victims of domestic violence and rape, higher rates of violent victimization, issues concerning divorce and child custody, disparity in criminal sentencing, disproportionate funding and research on men’s health issues, educational inequality, societal tolerance of misandry, circumcision and men’s lack of reproductive rights.

As she investigates the group and it’s issues she begins to rethink her views about feminism and what it represents and who exactly is the patriarchy.  

My main problem with this film isn’t the subject rather it seems to meander a bit and at times I wasn’t sure what was going on.  But the film does bring up important issues and shows the way the MRM is protested against.  

This is not a family friendly film.  There is profanity, you see a circumcision done to a baby.  So be aware. You can find this film on some streaming services with the exception of Netflix.  I give this film three and a half stars.  

Movie Review: Thor Ragnarok.


Producer: Kevin Feige
Director: Taika Waititi
Writers:Eric Pearson,Craig Kyle,Christopher Yost
Cast: Chris Hemsworth,Tom Hiddleston,Cate Blanchett,Idris Elba,Jeff Goldblum,Tessa Thompson,Karl Urban,Mark Ruffalo,Anthony Hopkins

Plot:  Thor has been scouring the nine realms trying to locate infinity stones having no luck.  He has been captured by the fire demon Surtur who reveals to Thor the prophecy of Ragnarok where Surtur will destroy Asgard by placing his crown into Odin’s eternal flame.  Surtur also reveals that Odin is no longer in Asgard.  Thor escapes taking Surtur’s crown with him in an effort to prevent the Ragnarok prophecy from coming true.

When Thor returns to Asgard he finds Loki, who everyone thought had died, pretending to be Odin.  Thor forces Loki to take him to Odin.  When they arrive on Earth, because why would Loki hide him any where else, Dr. Strange snatches both of the Asgardians and after he questions Thor about why they are on Earth he sends both Loki and Thor to where Odin is.  Once they arrive Odin reveals that he is dying and that his daughter, Hela, whom he has kept imprisoned will be released and that she will destroy the nine realms.  

And as Odin dies Hela is released she destroys Thor’s hammer, and chases Thor and Loki as they run back to Asgard she throws both off Bifröst Bridge to die in space.  Once she arrives at Asgard she kills the warriors three and enslaves the population by ressurecting the dead warriors that once followed her along with Fenris the giant wolf she rode into battle.

Thor has not perished in space but has tumbled through a wormhole to land in a junkyard planet where he is captured by a drunken scrapper who takes him to become a gladiator in the Grandmaster’s games.  There he finds that the champion of the games is none other than the Hulk and that Loki has been there weeks before he arrived.  

And go see the movie if you want to know how it ends.  

This was a very enjoyable movie much better than the second movie, there was quite a bit of humor and slapstick mostly with Thor and Loki.  The only complaint that I heard from a person who also watched it was that it lacked emotional depth.  After all Thor had just lost both his father and the source of his power and there didn’t seem to be hardly anything in the movie that examined this aspect.  And I think that is a valid point.  

Yet despite that most would say that this is an enjoyable movie and I would agree with that evaluation.  I don’t know that I would see it twice but I definitely would spend a matinee price to see it.

Lots of violence, so keep that in mind, and Hulk naked, rear view which really didn’t need to be there.  I am giving this three stars out of five.