Browse Category: Superhero

RECAP: X-Men: Apocalypse

X-Men: Apocalypse (2016): Bryan Singer

The ageless first class of X-Men actors advance to the 1980s in X-Men: Apocalypse. Mutants have many powers, but did you know they can age not a day in 20 years?

Consider that Sophie Turner, who plays Jean Grey, is 20. The events of First Class took place 20 years before Apocalypse shows up. So she was a wee baby when Xavier lost his walking ability and Magneto first donned his helmet.

These folks haven’t aged in the 20 years of this series. I can suspend the disbelief, because I like what the producers have striven for in setting the mutants in older times. Still, the idea seems to wane in public consciousness. This third film of the prequel series’ theatrical earnings will fall much behind Days of Future Past when it closes its theatrical run.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: The first, and most powerful, mutant tries to destroy the world right after he forms an awesome band of backup mutants.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Captain America: Civil War

Captain America: Civil War (2016): Anthony and Joe Russo

The 2014 sequel titled Captain America: The Winter Soldier was a taut political thriller that dealt with espionage and double agents. Were it not for a guy in a blue spandex suit, we might have forgotten we were watching a Marvel movie.

For Cap’s third solo turn, Marvel decided to cast Robert Downey, Jr. on the same level. The studio used a major plot line from the comics and maxed out the emotional stakes for the world’s greatest team of heroes (Justice League be damned).

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Captain America refuses to sign away his do-gooding powers and suffers the consequences.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Ant-Man

Ant-Man (2015): Peyton Reed

Before sneaking into theaters between and Avengers flick and a Civil War flick, Marvel’s Ant-Man was troubled. Its first director backed out. Then another, but he left his work on the script. Finally, the movie endured a phase shift, when Marvel moved it from Phase Three to Phase Two, which has got to be the most 21st century thing anyone has written about a movie.

Ant-Man was always going to be Marvel’s weak link in the phases. Turns out that the movie made a less-than-ant-sized box office, banking $180 million in the US. That puts it near the bottom of the list for Marvel, ahead of the debut of Captain America and practically tied with Thor’s. Those guys are mainline Avengers.

Ant-Man draws on Marvel’s expanded universe you’ve heard much about by now, leaning on other characters seen and unseen far more than any other character introduction movie yet seen.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: A reformed thief returns to crime for one last gig, and his most important, in a shrinking suit.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Captain America: The First Avenger

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011): Joe Johnston

No one had ever avenged before Steve Rogers stepped into a Vita Ray chamber and became Captain America. Perhaps I should say that no had ever Avenged, capital A, before.

Long after the world learned who Iron Man was, Marvel introduced us to Captain America, and man red, white, and blue enough to make Norman Rockwell swoon, a guy as wholesome as General Mills adult cereals, not a do-gooder, but a do-bester.

What better opponents to do-besters than the Nazis? When you want a heroic character, make them stand against National Socialism and the hero comes up aces every time.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: A scrawny, scrappy kid from Brooklyn transforms into Captain America, the only man strong enough to defeat Hydra, a sinister Nazi science organization, and its leader, Red Skull. Continue Reading

RECAP: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Batman v Superman (2016): Zack Snyder

America’s, and perhaps the world’s, most famous superheroes have never been in a feature film together. They’ve fought their own fights, battled demons internal and external. But these two guys realized that the time came to unite against their greatest foe yet: Marvel. Oops. Doomsday and Lex Luthor. That’s it.

Did they succeed? Yeesh. They beat Doomsday, but did they overcome their actual greatest foe: sequel promotion? DC Comics, seeing what Marvel had done with second-tier characters, thought, wisely, “We can do that.” They tasked Zach Snyder to helm the project, to be the Joss Whedon of the Warner Brothers/DC partnership.

And for every bit whimsy and fun Whedon brought to The Avengers movies, Snyder stuffed (and probably will stuff) his movies with grim specter. The enterprise really makes you think of that line from Macbeth about a tale told by an idiot.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: BATMAN FIGHTS SUPERMAN; SUPERMAN VERSUS BATMAN; YAAAAAHHH! Continue Reading

RECAP: Man of Steel

Man of Steel (2013): Zack Snyder

Comic book whisperer Zack Snyder takes the reigns of another beloved comic book for Superman’s biggest everything yet!

The previous Superman adventure, 2006’s Superman Returns, was a failure. If you can name the star, well, you probably paid more attention than the general audience.

While $200 million might, at the time, have seemed like a good chunk of change, after that movie came three Iron Men flicks, The Dark Knight, and The Avengers. So Warner Brothers knew it had to try again.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Krypton might be dead, but its conflicts endure on Earth, between Superman, General Zod, and helpless humans.  Continue Reading

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015): Joss Whedon

In 2015, the Avengers come back bigger, angrier, and avengier. But this sequel has a problem. In a Hollywood where everything has to be bigger and better and more of more, how can this sequel top the third highest-grossing movie in history, a film that Marvel built to for four years with five films? Whedon and crew give it the old college try.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: The Avengers assemble a second time to defeat an alien, and kinky, intelligence. Continue Reading

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