Tag Archives: avengers

Movie Review – Avengers: Endgame (2019)

I think I might be the only one who thinks it stinks.

BQB here with a review of what will apparently be the last Avengers movie.

It’s good.  It’s flashy.  It’s got all the usual razzle dazzle.

By the way, they did a good job of keeping the plot under wraps.  There are some major changes that happen to the universe in this movie so if you haven’t seen it yet, you probably should not read on.

SPOILERS ABOUND.

So, it’s over three hours and there’s a lot of very confusing time travel.  Basically, Ant Man informs us of quantum technology which is used by the Avengers to go back in time and grab the infinity stones before Thanos can.

The result is sort of a quasi-highlight reel of the past films in the franchise.  The scenes aren’t all taken verbatim but the characters from the future are doing things while the characters from the past.  In some ways it’s cool and leads to a lot of poignant wrapping up of a number of character arcs.  In others, it feels like one of those final episodes of a TV show where the writers didn’t know what to do so they turned in a clip show.

I had a hard time following it and sad to say, it’s the first Avenger movie where I couldn’t wait for it to be over.

The ending is sad and sets up for new films with other characters taking the lead.

I’m not sure what they could have done differently and there are fun parts.  It’s still worth the price of admission and wraps up the series well.

I just…I don’t know.  Meh.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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Movie Review – Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

I can’t believe it took me a week to see this flick.  Maybe my reputation as the Internet’s greatest nerd is ill-deserved.

BQB here with a review of “Avengers: Infinity War.”

Where did the past 10 years go, 3.5 readers?  I remember watching “Iron Man” in 2008, thinking Marvel was really onto something here and, well, if only I could time travel back 10 years, take the seat next to me and give myself some advice on how to negotiate the next decade.

Oh well.  No use crying over spilt milk.

Speaking of not crying, we have a seasoned cast of superheroes now, and damn, there are a lot of them.  You’ve got the Avengers…the various hangers-on who help the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, the assorted interlopers who mingle in these worlds…you’ve got a lot of characters.  Is it too many?  Maybe not.

After all, this film is our reward for sticking with the franchise for so long.  Once you watch the individual films, as well as the group get-together films, you spend a lot of time with these characters, getting to know what makes them tick, and thus films like this are possible, i.e. where the individuals come and go, make their entrances and exits and you understand their motivations by now.

There was a brief moment in the beginning where I wondered if this whole spectacle hadn’t jumped the shark.  Maybe it’s just because I’m getting older but when you really think about it, I mean, seriously…you’ve got a man in an iron suit, a Norse God, a green monster, a patriot, a computer man, a witch, wizards, a spiderman, a cat man, a flying guy, another guy in an iron suit, a lady assassin, a band of space pirates and their talking raccoon…WTF?  How do these all fit together?

At one point, I was like, “Wow.  There are way too many Avengers.  Like seriously, I can’t keep up with all these Avengers.  There is a ridiculous amount of superheroes on screen right now.”

Somehow, Disney/Marvel makes it all work.  In past movies, we’ve been teased with an impending Thanos (Josh Brolin) attack and it pays off big time here, as he’s the villain to end all villains, the big bad that the Avengers et. al. will have to throw everything at, including the kitchen sink, the toilet, the toilet paper, the plunger and so on.

It’s an intergalactic battle royale featuring different planets, different locations on Earth, different bands of heroes duking it out with different bands of Thanos’ cronies, all in the name of gathering the infinity stones, which the infamous ne’er-do-well hopes to use to engage in acts of evil-doery across the cosmos.

There are touching moments, hilarious moments, humor, laughter, suspense and I don’t want to give it away but Disney/Marvel does go in quite an unexpected direction, one that defies the typical ending of these films and perhaps when all 3.5 of you have had a chance to see it, we can discuss it further.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.  Kudos to Disney/Marvel for keeping this franchise alive, still going strong, still being as magical as ever.  Thank you to all the actors who didn’t let fame go to their heads and bail on their recurring characters.  It’s been quite a ride and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

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Movie Trailer – Thor: Ragnarok

Hey 3.5 readers.

The trailer for Thor: Ragnarok is out and it’s pretty fantastic.  The use of Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song (“I come from the land of the ice and snow…”) is pretty effective.

What say you, 3.5?

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What Was Your Favorite Summer 2016 Movie?

Happy Sunday 3.5 readers.

BQB here.  The summer is winding down.

Sigh. I hate it when that happens.

Though we’re only in mid-August, that’s pretty much all she wrote for the summer blockbuster season.

Hollywood has officially spent its load, so to speak.

So which summer movie was your favorite?

For me, I’d have to go with a tie between Captain America: Civil War and Suicide Squad.

As for unexpected surprises, the one movie that got me though I didn’t expect much from it was the Nice Guys. That was very funny.  Bits and pieces of it still leave me scratching my head but overall, good movie.

What say you, 3.5?

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Movie Review – Ant-Man (2015)

While other heroes might be larger than life, this one’s going small.

Bookshelf Q. Battler here with a review of Marvel’s latest summer smash hit, Ant-Man.

Be forewarned – the SPOILERS ahead aren’t tiny.

Ant-Man – Marvel – Movieclips Trailers

Try this one on for size (pun intended.)

In a comic book world where one superhero is big, bolder and badder than the next, this guy’s power comes from becoming super miniscule.  Not only that, but he controls a legion of ants who become his buddies.

Sounds epically stupid, right?

And yet, somehow Marvel pulls it off with great gusto in one of its best offerings this year.

Michael Douglas plays Dr. Hank Pym, whose Pym particle allows miniaturization.  The wearer of a suit infused with Pym’s creation allows the wearer:

  • To become tiny
  • And therefore able to infiltrate places held by the enemy undetected
  • To still pack a human sized punch despite being small
  • To become big and small at will, thus further ability to fake out the enemy
  • To control a legion of ant lackeys willing to do your bidding

Years ago, Pym put the kibosh on his creation, refusing to share it with the government out of fear it could fall into the wrong hands and be used for nefarious purposes.

Flash forward to today, where Pym’s protege, Darren Cross (Corey Stoll of House of Cards fame) has managed to recreate Pym’s research to create “Yellowjacket,” a suit that allows the wearer to become small, fly around and shoot lasers.

Cross has evil plans for his creation and that’s where ex-con Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) comes in.

Pym’s too old to don the suit himself, refuses to put his daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly) at risk by allowing her to wear it, and thus Scott is recruited to become…dun dun dun…ANT-MAN!

This is a heist movie, more or less Marvel’s version of Ocean’s 11, as Scott must infiltrate Cross’ security and make off with the Yellowjacket tech before Cross’ evil plans are unleashed on the world.

I love Avengers, but here’s the thing.  Iron Man has super intellect.  The Hulk has super strength.  Thor has muscles out the wazoo.  Capt. America is the world’s ultimate soldier.

Try as much as you like, but you’ll never get to be like one of these guys.

That’s why Ant-Man is such a relatable character.  When Scott dons the Ant-Man suit, he doesn’t react with great poise and precision.  He gets slapped all over creation, avoiding people trying to step on him and a hungry rat who thinks he looks delicious.

He needs Pym to train him and he needs a lot of work as he makes a lot of mistakes along the way (as most average people would when gaining a special ability for the first time).

There’s cross-over into the Avengers world, though I won’t spoil it with details.  Fans won’t be disappointed.

Paul Rudd, known for his comedic roles, was the perfect choice for the part.  Meanwhile, it was great to see Michael Douglass, whose suffered health problems in recent years, back on the big screen in a major role.  Thanks to some fancy effects, there is a flashback part where he’s youth-i-fied to the point where he looks like he could fight Glenn Close for boiling his bunny (aw come on, you’ve had plenty of time to watch Fatal Attraction.)

It’s been awhile since Hollywood’s attempted a good big person becomes small movie.  Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, is the last one I can remember.

The key to this movie is it takes itself seriously when necessary, but there’s also balance where the goofy premise is poked fun at.  Epic fight scenes are shown on a small scale, where Ant-Man squares off against Yellowjacket in a daring, death defying struggle, but then panned out on a regular human sized scale their fight on a child’s train set looks like a few toys being tossed about.

Scott’s ex-con buddies who back him up also provide much comic relief.

Hollywood’s been at this one for awhile.  Ant-Man was in play for at least a decade before reaching the big screen.  The public had to develop a thirst for super heroes and a great team had to be put together, one that was self-aware that the concept is goofy and could portray that one the screen while also providing the high stakes, do or die situations that comic book fans love.

STATUS:  Shelf-worthy

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In Defense of Joss Whedon

cropped-cropped-img_1543.jpgBriefly, I was sad to see Joss Whedon being accused of being anti-feminism.  I mean, the guy is the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  If you were a young person in the late 90’s/early 00’s you were glued to that show.  Evil hideous vampires running in terror at the mere mention of “The Slayer.”  Willow and Tara – one of the first open lesbian relationships I remember seeing on television.  Faith the Vampire Slayer who went rogue.  Willow goes from lowly nerd to witch of unstoppable power.

Meanwhile, if you saw the latest Avengers and thought that Black Widow came across as weak then I don’t know.  I don’t think we saw the same movie.

You might have noticed that I’m a nerd.  SPOILER –  Due to said nerdyness, I cheered for the scene where Black Widow, referring to Bruce Banner, says “He’s kind of dorky.  Chicks dig it.”

In my head, there was a voice that said, “No, no they really don’t but thank you for saying that, Black Widow.  It made my day.”

If there had been some kind of effort in the film to portray Black Widow as some kind of brainless bimbo, wouldn’t she have gone for Thor’s muscles or Tony Stark’s money?  No, she went for the nerdiest member of the team.  The guy with the brain.

In reality, the nerd never gets the girl.  Capt. America, Thor, and Iron Man can walk out the front door and score a dozen women before they hit the front porch, but in his human form, Bruce Banner is a super geek.  It was nice to see a geek get the girl.

What’s the argument that Black Widow came across as weak?  Strong women can’t fall in love?  They can’t be comforting?  Hulks need love too you know.

SPOILER – The main complaint centers around a scene where Banner tells Black Widow he can’t be with her because he’s a “monster” and he can’t have children.  (I’m not actually sure why he can’t have children.  Is there a scientific reason as in the gamma radiation fried his junk or just the general safety concern that if he had a kid the kid might misbehave, piss Bruce off and he’ll Hulk out?  But I digress)

Black Widow shares that she can’t have children either because of a forced sterilization procedure she underwent during assassin training (no kids=no ties that can be exploited).  She then says something like “you’re not the only monster on the team.”

Thus the fracas is over the idea that a woman who can’t give birth is somehow a “monster” but I don’t think that was what Whedon was trying to say at all.

I mean, from a writing perspective, maybe that point could have been clarified, but in general I think she was referencing her overall past as a ruthless killer and not necessarily the sterilization.

Or, maybe she was referring to it.  Maybe she does feel down on herself because of it.  Sometimes it is possible for a character to be too harsh on him or herself.  Perhaps Black Widow needs to realize all she has to offer the world as a hero who’s now fighting on the side of good.

SPOILER – Times she came across as strong in the film:

  • That whole driving the motorcycle through the city chase scene
  • Various scenes where she fights with the men and holds her own
  • Towards the end, where, when faced with “going down with the ship” i.e. refusing to leave the “air island” while there were still people in danger on it, she nonchalantly says, “There’s worse ways to go.”  That’s a sign of leadership right there.

On top of that, you have the new character, Scarlett Witch, who forms a team with her brother, Quicksilver and is arguably the stronger/more powerful of the duo.

I don’t know.  I know it’s only a movie and I know feminism and women’s rights are important but I’m not sure I can think of anyone who’s done more to promote female characters in comic book style movies and TV than Joss Whedon.

What say you, 3.5 readers?

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Comic Book Girl 19’s Vids=Awesome

If you’re a nerd (and chances are if you’re here then you are) then you’ll totally enjoy ComicBookGirl19’s youtube channel.

She’s funny, she’s witty, her videos are well produced.  For Game of Thrones fans she has a bunch of videos where she gives you the scoop on the historical background of the various houses.  I know I felt a little lost watching the show until I found her videos and was able to learn the who’s who and what’s what of Westeros.

She also has fun characters that appear on her show like “Robot” and “Space Brain.”  I dunno.  Seems a little nerdy to me.  Dudes who claim to know aliens and yetis would be into that sort of thing I suppose.

Anyway, we’re all “indies” in one way or another just trying to get a foothold in this big wide world of Internet commentary, but I’d argue her videos provide a good standard for e-nerds to aspire to.

Here’s her movie review of Avengers: Age of Ultron

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Movie Review – Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Iron Man!  Thor!  Hulk!  Captain America!  Black Widow!  Hawkeye!  Various and sundry other Avengers!

ASSEMBLE!

It’s time for Bookshelf Q. Battler’s review of Avengers: Age of Ultron!

Dun…dun dun da dun…dun dun…dunnnnn….dun dun da dun dun dun!

Sorry, that was me trying to sing the Avengers’ theme song.  Doesn’t translate well through the written word.

The summer movie season is has arrived and Hollywood is coming out swinging with this superhero extravaganza.

If you SPOILERS make you angrier than Bruce Banner with a stubbed toe, you might not want to click below:

Continue reading

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Avengers this Friday

Yeah.  I’ve got nothing today.  Too busy planning out “The Summer of Bookshelf.”

But to comply with the one post a day challenge rules, here’s Iron Man on my shelf again:

Tony Stark you lazy bastard.

Tony Stark you lazy bastard.

I hate to cast Jon Snow and Ned Stark aside, but I think I’ll just leave Iron Man as the blog header at least for this week.

Who’s ready for the Avengers 2?

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