Tag Archives: avengers

TV Review – Hawkeye (2021)

So many arrows, so little time, 3.5 readers.

BQB here with a review of Disney Plus’ Hawkeye.

It’s about time The Avengers’ arrow blasting badass got his own movie…except I guess they didn’t want to give him one so this TV show will have to do. That’s ok, Hawky. The Hulk could never carry a movie by himself either, even with those big green mitts. Hulk smash everything…except box office records.

Here, Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) is on a holiday vacay to NYC with his kids, the hawklets, in tow. After taking in an Avengers style broadway show (watch the entire thing after the end credits of the last episode), he has a run in with Kate Bishop (Hailey Steinfeld), an archery champ who was inspired to become a champion arrow slinger in her own right after witnessing Hawkeye take out some alien villains during Loki’s attack on New York back in the 2012 film when she was just a child. My, how time flies.

Kate has had her own run in with the aptly named Track Suit Mafia over a misunderstanding when she accidentally dons the Ronin costume, the same garb that Hawkeye wore during the blip phase of the last Avengers’ film, a time when he missed his deleted family and took vengeance out on the evildoers of the world with no remorse.

Assuming Kate is Ronin and wanting revenge, it’s a mad cat arrow infused romp as Clint and Kate shoot their way out of this mess, one flying pointy stick at a time.

At first, I felt there was a bit of a bait and switch here. Vile patriarchist that I am, I’m not a fan of this trend to replace longstanding male characters with females. In some cases, like when a character is more of an idea than a person and anyone can step in and be them, it works. In other cases, where the studio is just like, “OK this dude has a vag now” it makes little sense. It’s like the studios are saying that women can never be fully complete unless they grow ding dongs and become dudes, as if they were born deficient when they were born vaginized.

Moving on, my main complaint was that it looked like we were going to get very little Hawkeye and a lot of Kate Bishop, which seemed deceptive for a show called Hawkeye, but ultimately, we got a lot of the Hawkster. It’s basically like a mismatched buddy cop show about an old veteran arrow slinger taking a fresh, naive, lots to learn rookie arrow slinger under his wing.

I have to give this show kudos because it does show the dangerous side of super-heroing, particularly when the hero is just like, a person with no supernatural and/or scientifically assisted abilities. (Sidenote – isn’t it a gaping plot hole that Tony Stark never just outfitted the entire team with his Iron Man armor?)

Clint is deaf, having had a front row seat to plenty of gunfire and explosions in his day. Movies never tell the viewer this, but explosions and guns are loud. In the movies, people just stand around explosions like nothing’s wrong but in reality, if you’re lucky enough to not be vaporized in the blast radius, you’d still most likely be knocked on your butt and/or left with long-lasting, perhaps life-long hearing loss.

Kate and Clint get knocked around throughout the show and to the show’s credit, the pain shows. They’re constantly hurt, and they are never without band-aids and stitches on their face, so A plus to Disney for giving us a look at how hard it is to be a super-hero when you’re not a God, or haven’t been gifted with amazing strength and/or health regeneration, be it through magic or science. When you’re just Joe or Jane Average, getting your ass kicked hurts, a lot, and afterwards, you’re going to be limping and covered with bandages and you’re probably going to need a drink and a nap. Also, a dog. Bonus points to the show for adding a dog.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy, but SPOILER ALERT. Looks like Kate will take over the Hawkeye role, so where does that leave Clint? Where does that leave Jeremy Renner? Is he exiting the franchise? Will he come back as Ronin? Probably not since he burned the costume, then again, a new costume is only a call to the tailor shop away.

Meanwhile, Lady Thor is on the way and I guess, I don’t know, they’ll probably chop off the Hulk’s ding-a-ling eventually just to be fair to out of control green lady rage monsters.

Double bonus points because Vera Farmiga is in it. I have had a crush on her since she appeared scantily clad in The Departed.

Triple bonus points because the show is Christmas themed.

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What is your favorite Avengers movie?

For me, it’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

The plot is pretty intricate, like a comic book spy thriller with lots of twists and turns. The part where SPOILER Nick Fury gets pinned down by bad guys while his car AI is rebooting is particularly intense.

My second favorite would have to be Captain America: Civil War. I guess I’m partial to Captain America movies.

What say you, 3.5 readers?

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Avengers Homecoming Dance Video

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.  Just wanted to share this video that’s been making the rounds.  A bunch of kids at an Arizona high school did an Avengers themed dance routine and I have to say, it’s pretty on point.  Everything is so detailed that they had to have spent a ton of time on this.  The songs are keyed into the characters, they do battles, there weren’t any screw ups as far as I can tell, I mean, these kids could go pro.

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Movie Review – Spiderman: Far from Home (2019)

Spiderman’s taking his show on the road, 3.5 readers.

BQB here with a review.

I think the overall success of the new Spiderman franchise is that they dove us into the action without bogging us down with another origin story.  By now, these superhero movies have been done to death so we know who they are and where they come from.  We don’t need to see baby Superman crash on the farm again.  We don’t need to see Batman’s parents get shot.  We don’t need to see Spidey’s uncle get shot.  We know.

By trusting the viewers know, the movies can delve into further action and that is what’s done here.  Peter Parker is going on a summer class trip to Europe, hoping to get a break from saving the world and all the woe that comes with it.  Alas, Nick Fury tracks him down and wants him to carve out some time from his sightseeing schedule to help Mysterio fight elementals – giant monsters made out of earth, wind, fire and other 1970s bands.  Or were the 1960s?  I think 70s.  I don’t know.

The movie integrates itself into the post Avengers: Endgame well, but my fear is that (SPOILER ALERT) Endgame offed a lot of key characters, so where the whole franchise goes from here without them is uncertain.

If I go deeper, I’ll give the movie away but suffice to say, I think this incarnation of the web slinger is a model for others to follow.  We don’t need the origin story anymore.  Just dive in.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy

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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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