The Marvels – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2023 film The Marvels.

Story

The structure was very similar to other Marvel films, but managed to make it feel fresh. There was an almost origin story feel to it. I liked how it managed to include some heavy topics like colonialism, racism, and death, while still including the light humorous moments.

There were a few things that felt rushed or out of place. The second bangle’s fate was glossed over and a few other things that I think could have been clearer. It leaves the audience with a feeling like they missed something, even if they’ve watched all the tv shows and movies.

Score: 0.5

Characters

I think Miss Marvel is my favourite MCU character and she’s amazing in this. It was great to see the contrast between the stoic soldier of Captain Marvel and the fangirling Miss Marvel.

The only thing that really bothered me was how Miss Marvel couldn’t follow the technobabble. She’s genre savvy enough that she should have gotten it and if felt like a cheap gag and reason to explain it to the audience.

Score: 1

Dialogue

I’d love to know how much of Miss Marvel’s fan-babble was scripted and how much was just the actress. Either way, the dialogue was clear, punchy, and handled emotion well.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The special effects and space backgrounds were beautiful and the costumes were great. The real star was the choreography, which was spectacular.

The music was strong and entangled the three characters well.

Score: 1

Fun

I’ve been looking forward to this movie since they announced it and was sad I missed it in theatres (Colds and RSV stopped us). I was not disappointed; it had everything I wanted in a movie and a little extra.

The three characters are great and I look forward to seeing more of them. The rest of the family loved it too.

Score: 1

Overall

This is what a Marvel movie should be and with a lot of their recent releases, it felt like they had forgotten how to have fun. Humour, emotion, and heavy topics are handled perfectly and transitioned naturally, making for a satisfying film. If that’s not enough, the fight choreography is utterly breathtaking.

Final Score: 4.5 Stars out of 5

Is Marvel Mid?

Hello movie and superhero lovers,

A friend posted this meme:

Two panels one on top of the other. First panel says, “You thinking the MCU is dead after Endgame and hating everything.” with a ninja turtle drinking a soda and looking sad. Second panel says, “Me knowing the MCU has always been mid and still enjoying it.” with the same ninja turtle looking smug.

It got me thinking, and I realized I class Marvel movies (all superhero movies really) into 5 categories: Excellent, Okay, Forgettable, Didn’t Age Well, and Bad. I’m adding Didn’t See Yet as a category too.

So here is my non-definitive ranking of Marvel MCU movies. Note that within the categories, they’re by release date not preference.

Excellent

These are the movies that balance fun, character growth, and a good story.

Fun

These movies aren’t great but they certainly are a lot of fun to watch.

Forgettable

These are the movies that didn’t do anything terrible, but didn’t do anything memorable either.

Didn’t Age Well

Both of these were in my top tier for a long time, but rewatching them made me very uncomfortable. They have some great moments, but the jokes and treatment of women and minorities is not great.

Bad

Some of these movies are good except for something that really brings down their quality, and others are hot messes all the way through.

Didn’t See Yet

Not much explanation needed. I’m not a big fan of the Guardians and haven’t seen the third. Everything I’ve heard leads me to think it’s a little too heavy and dark for my taste. The Marvels just came out, but I’m hoping to see it soon.

Obviously, tastes are subjective.

What do you think?

Éric

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2023 film Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.

Story

There were elements that worked and it was interesting to see Ant-Man as a lead in something epic, but it wasn’t the right story for him.

That being said, it felt like the main story was ripped straight from early science fiction and specifically from the old Flash Gordon serials.

Score: 0

Characters

There were two sets of characters and it felt like they were in very different movies. Janet and Hope were in an epic fantasy, while the rest were in a YA portal fantasy comedy. The character development was all over the place and felt disjointed.

I did like the story arc with Darren/M.O.D.O.K., and the secondary characters were fascinating.

Points for avoiding useless romantic drama, but they lose points for having no idea what to do with Hope, again.

Bill Murray’s character was an unsympathetic clone of Lando.

Kang was BORING. The infodumping speeches and mediocre threats were the worst part of the movie.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

Like the rest of the movie, it felt disconnected. The epic fantasy prose of Janet, Kang, and most of the rest of the cast were uncomfortable juxtaposed with Scott, Cassie, Darren, and Hank’s quippy superhero dialogue.

There are times it worked, like with the goo man who wanted holes, but overall it wasn’t great.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The movie’s visuals were absolutely engrossing. I loved all the details, races, and weird shit everywhere. It was a wonder to watch and so much fun.

The music was well done and didn’t take itself too seriously, but fell into the same problem of feeling like Ant-Man music in an Epic Fantasy movie.

Score: 1

Fun

This movie was surprisingly chill for all its over the top drama. It was a lot of fun to watch and I can see myself rewatching just for the visuals. The kids were glued to their seats and most of the adults liked it.

Score: 1

Overall

The weakest of the three Ant-Man movies, mostly because it wasn’t an Ant-Man movie but a vapid copy of Flash Gordon with Ant-Man and company. The story is messy and disjointed with elements that shouldn’t go together being forced to interact. The villain is one of the blandest most boring villains in MCU history.

The visuals however, were ABSOLUTELY fabulous and Paul Rudd is hilarious, both of those make the movie way better than it has any right to be.

Final Score: 3 Stars out of 5

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2022 film Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

Story

An epic playing on emotion, colonialism, family, and politics. There were a few flashback style sections that I didn’t like, why are you showing me what happened 30 minutes ago? But that’s not enough to cast a shadow on the impressive story.

Score: 1

Characters

There are a lot of characters and unfortunately without watching the first one again, I forgot who a few of them are. That being said, the arcs are satisfying and I didn’t feel cheated in anyone’s story and that’s impressive.

Score: 1

Dialogue

The movie was sadder without T’Challa’s quips. He had a charisma in his delivery that was amazing. That being said, the movie was a wonderful mixture of high drama, epic, and action dialogue.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The movie was beautiful, great special effects, choreography, and cinematography, when I could see it. We have a 4k OLED TV with excellent contrast and brightness, but a good 10-25% of the movie was so dark we could barely see.

The music is epic and amazing. I liked that the sirens sang something that sounded vaguely like a sea shanty.

Score: 0.5

Fun

The kids were bored in the emotional parts, and that made it harder to get into the emotion.

For the adults, we all agreed that it was both entertaining and thought provoking. I’d watch this again for that balance and to catch all the details I missed.

Score: 1

Overall

An emotional and sweeping story that takes the time to grieve Chadwick Boseman without losing itself in loss. There are some wonderful themes and ideas. This is a proper epic superhero movie.

Final Score: 4.5 Stars out of 5

Thor: Love and Thunder – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2022 film Thor: Love and Thunder.

Story

The actual story was fairly simple and straightforward. There was a lot of humour and a lot of emotion. Sometimes it felt like the flow between scenes was missing something and there were more than a few parts that could have been extended. It felt like they had 6 hours of story and only 2 hours made it to the final cut.

Score: 0

Characters

Somewhere along the way in the MCU, Thor went from slightly oblivious jock / rich kid to a dim-witted fool. Every movie, it feels like he has to relearn how to be worthy and honestly, it’s getting old.

The addition of the Mighty Thor made things more interesting, but I have to say the whole romance was a little meh for me.

I liked the relationship between Jane and Valkyrie and loved the cameos by Sif and Heimdall.

The villain stole the show, however. He was both relatable and if it wouldn’t have killed Thor, I would have been okay with his plan. His redemption at the end through the power of love felt earned and not like a cheap plot trick.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

The quips and dialogue were excellent, but the imbalance in tone made some scenes comical or just weird.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

Visually this movie was a feast for the eyes. Absolutely gorgeous in every way.

The music was clever and well placed.

Score: 1

Fun

Once I got used to the fact that the movie would be all over the place in tone, I started to enjoy each piece like short films. The last scene with the kids was just so empowering. I loved it.

Score: 1

Overall

The tone is all over the place, the story feels disjointed, the love story was meh, but damn this movie was still a lot of fun. The dialogue and action are spectacular and Christian Bale makes a relatable and fantastic villain.

Final Score: 3 Stars out of 5

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2022 film Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

Story

The story relies on the trope that women are irrational and incapable of seeing reason when it comes to their children. It heavily implies that women are weak-minded and easily corrupted.

Beyond that, it’s a paper-thin plot that barely holds together the action scenes.

Score: 0

Characters

With the emotional depth of an 8 year old, the main characters do everything that makes you want to scream at the screen… which I did several times.

I liked Wong, and when she was allowed to do anything, America was pretty cool.

The only reason this movie had any charisma is because of the calibre of the actors.

Score: 0

Dialogue

Trite, repetitive, and borderline nonsensical. The film’s dialogue lacks depth or purpose.

Score: 0

Visuals and Music

Wow, this movie was pretty. The fights scenes are expertly done, if a little gruesome, the scenery fantastic, and the effects brilliant.

The absolute best part of the movie is the music. Danny Elfman shows that he’s still one of the best composers in film.

Score: 1

Fun

I was ambivalent to Scarlet Witch until WandaVision and that show really did a great job at developing her character. Unfortunately, none of that depth or heart was in this movie. She was a cartoon Karen turned monster.

There were some amazing action scenes and some of the secondary characters were fun. I look forward to seeing America Chavez written by someone else.

Score: 0.5

Overall

The superhero genre has matured a lot in since the early aughts, I can’t say the same of Sam Raimi’s portrayal of them. The movie lacks any understanding of human emotions to the point of being condescending. The music and action scenes redeem it a little, but it’s one of the worst MCU films.

Final score: 1.5 Stars out of 5