Tag Archives: Marvel

Yesterday – A Movie Review


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No movie is perfect but, for my taste, Yesterday comes very, very close. It is the most fun, most feel good, most fulfilled time I have had at the movies this summer. Without question.

Hamish Patel, delightful and charming, plays frustrated singer/guitarist Jack Malik. After a decade of playing D-List gigs at dumps and to empty rooms, he has all but given up his hope of becoming a professional singer when something strange happens. Hit by a bus during a strange, world-wide event, Jack awakens to discover that he is the only person on Earth who remembers the Beatles and their music. He begins to share their songs as if they were his own and rockets to stardom as a result.

In the process, he leaves behind his old friend and manager Ellie Appleton, played by the ubiquitous and delightful Lily James. Jack and Ellie have been working on his career ever since they were kids and knew each other in school and, as things finally take off for Jack, Ellie – a school teacher – has no choice but to stay behind and watch him from afar. The movie manages, however, to keep them onscreen together quite a lot, and this is a good thing. The two have great chemistry.

One cannot discuss the movie without a brief mention of the scenery chewing turn by Kate McKinnon. She is wonderfully terrible as Jack’s new manager and injects friendly venom in every line reading. And Ed Sheeran should be saluted, too, for his persona mocking work as himself.

Yesterday is a movie that is pure fantasy and knows it. It does not try to explain why people have forgotten the Fab Four (and forgotten other, amusing things, too) or what the global event was. It does not need to do so. It asks the audience to go along for the ride and quite a pleasant ride it is.

Richard Curtis, the writer of Love Actually is behind this movie and there are more than a few pleasant resonances from that film in this one. He has a knack for romantic comedy and a love of high concepts (as evidenced by his criminally underrated About Time). He imbues his characters with a sweetness that never crosses into cloying. He also is a lover of coincidence and that plot element is on display in Yesterday.

Directed with much style and a sure hand by Danny Boyle, the movie is a rollicking romp. It only asks for a suspension of disbelief and a desire to get caught up in a little magic. If you cannot do that, Yesterday is not the film for you. But, if you want some joy, want some romance and want some great music, this is the film for you. Yesterday knows exactly what it is. It also knows exactly what it wants to do: it wants to take its audience down to Strawberry Fields, where nothing is real, but everything is wonderful.

YESTERDAY receives FOUR AND A HALF YELLOW SUBMARINES out of a possible FIVE

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Filed under Avengers: Endgame, Iron Man, Marvel, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Comics, Marvel Films, Marvel Movies, Marvel Studios, Movie Review, Movies, Spider-Man

Spider-Man Far From Home – A SPOILER FREE Movie Review


Related Content from And There Came A Day


Once the full trailer for Spider-Man Far From Home was released and it became clear that the post-Avengers | Endgame setting was critical to the story, my expectations were altered. I went in to Far From Home feeling I was about to see an extension of Endgame that would clear up some ambiguities (like Spider-Man’s entire class was snapped out of existence?) and answer some questions (like how is the world coping with all the returning people?). The movie supplies some of those answers but flips the script and the tone from the Wagnerian epic that was Infinity War and Endgame so readily that I was caught off guard.

I shouldn’t have been. It is clear that these Spider-Man movies are meant to be, first-and-foremost, high school comedies. That the main character has super powers and is involved in a wider narrative is secondary to the story. Settling in to that perspective and watching Far From Home in that mindset changes my reactions to the movie.

In a bit of meta-casting, Jake Gyllenhaal, who was once rumored as the replacement for Tobey Maguire for Spider-Man 2, plays Mysterio, a superhero from a newly discovered alternate dimension. He has come to Spider-Man’s earth to warn of a new cosmic threat and to pitch in in defeating it. Gyllenhaal is game for the role and somehow seem at home in what is – without a doubt – the most silly Marvel costume yet. Dude is wearing a fishbowl on his head and he makes it work. He also shares a very nice chemistry with Tom Holland, who remains absolutely spot-on as Peter Parker/Spider-Man.

In this film, Peter is dealing with the events and the deaths of Avengers | Endgame and not even the quirky and engaging Aunt May (Marisa Tomei is ideal and having a great time in the part) and the suddenly gruffly lovable father figure Happy Hogan (played by Jon Favreau in increasingly and amusingly “I’m too old for this S%^& manner) can help. Peter is questioning his place in the superheroing world, the demands of an oddly out-of-character Nick Fury (always perfectly embodied by Samuel L. Jackson) and Maria Hill (once again realized by Cobie Smulders) notwithstanding. Rather than join Fury for superheroics, Peter dedicates himself to his fun group of classmates (Zendaya as MJ and Jacob Batalon as Ned are standouts) and to their summer trip to Europe. Friendly neighborhood Spider-Man no more!

It’s in Europe that things get complicated – really, really complicated – and Peter realizes, as any audience buying a ticket for a Spider-Man movie knew he must – that with great power comes…

The movie is breezily directed by Jon Watts and he clearly loves the material. Packed full of Easter eggs, Marvel comics references and clever dialogue, this is the most family friendly of the Marvel movies and the most action figure friendly, too. Spider-Man wears no fewer than four different costumes and faces more than a handful of adversaries in the course of the movie. Let’s mold plastic!

The drawback of the film might be a problem that challenges all Marvel movies going forward. Spider-Man Far From Home is the mind-boggling twenty-third film in the series and the baggage it carries is significant. With each passing installment, the pressure to amaze and thrill the audience while staying true to a broader tapestry is building and it makes this movie too clever by half. Many of the things that seem odd or out of place or shoehorned into the narrative only make any kind of sense when the after the credits sequences rolls (and I do mean AFTER the credits – stick around!). Don’t get me wrong. I love these movies and I love the interlocked nature of them. I am so impressed by the scope. It is simply that, for the first time in a long time, I felt the overall story of the main character was compromised by the needs of the franchise.

That does not mean I won’t be seeing Spider-Man Far From Home again, however!

SPIDER-MAN FAR FROM HOME receives THREE AND A HALF TINGLES out of a possible FIVE

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Filed under Avengers: Endgame, Iron Man, Marvel, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Comics, Marvel Films, Marvel Movies, Marvel Studios, Movie Review, Movies, Spider-Man

Countdown to ENDGAME | Captain Marvel


Related Content from And There Came A Day


Captain America: The First Avenger | Iron Man | The Incredible Hulk| Iron Man II Thor | The Avengers | Iron Man 3 | Thor: The Dark World | Captain America: The Winter Soldier | Guardians of the Galaxy | Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 | Avengers: Age of Ultron | Ant-Man | Captain America: Civil War | Doctor Strange | Spider-Man: Homecoming | Thor: Ragnarok | Black Panther | Avengers: Infinity War | Ant-Man and the Wasp | Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel

Screen Shot 2019-04-25 at 1.26.57 PM

One thing that absolutely must be said about Marvel Studios is that those who run it are very, very clever. With the massive cliffhanger ending that was Infinity War, the gave us Ant-Man and the Wasp which took place 3 days before the events of that movie and Captain Marvel which took place 20 years before that film.

Smart.

Captain Marvel is a great movie that, in its own way, is as revolutionary as Black Panther. Something of a celebration of women’s empowerment, the movie moves through the conventions of the super hero origin story quickly and deftly and manages to turn audience expectations a bit upside as it does. This is, in my opinion, to the good. I had no problem with the change in canon that Captain Marvel creates. It works.

Captain Marvel herself emerges as, perhaps, the most powerful superhero of them all. She is so powerful, in fact, that she will likely turn the tide against Thanos in Endgame.

I gave Captain Marvel FOUR FLERKINS out of a possible FIVE when I reviewed it last month. 


KEY INTRODUCTIONS:

  • Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel
  • Nick Fury
  • Phil Coulson
  • Yon Rogg
  • The Supreme Intelligence

CONNECTION(S) TO ENDGAME:

  • Carol Danvers’ affection for and loyalty to Nick Fury was established in the film and in the mid-credit sequence which is, likely, actually a scene from Endgame.
  • Captain Marvel’s power is something the Avengers will likely need if they are to defeat Thanos and his plans in Endgame.

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Filed under Ant-Man, Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Infinity War, Marvel, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Comics, Marvel Films, Marvel Movies, Marvel Studios

Countdown to ENDGAME | Ant-Man and the Wasp


Related Content from And There Came A Day


Captain America: The First Avenger | Iron Man | The Incredible Hulk| Iron Man II Thor | The Avengers | Iron Man 3 | Thor: The Dark World | Captain America: The Winter Soldier | Guardians of the Galaxy | Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 | Avengers: Age of Ultron | Ant-Man | Captain America: Civil War | Doctor Strange | Spider-Man: Homecoming | Thor: Ragnarok | Black Panther | Avengers: Infinity War | Ant-Man and the Wasp | Captain Marvel

Ant-Man and the Wasp

Screen Shot 2019-04-25 at 10.25.11 AM

 

Ant-Man and the Wasp was a perfect palate cleanser following the oversized and universe shattering (literally) Avengers | Infinity War. Marvel movies in general and superhero movies overall tend to have stakes that are nothing less than the salvation of the world. Ant-Man and the Wasp feels personal and, dare I say it, small by comparison.

That is a good thing.

A charming romp that is a delightful action comedy, the movie further explores the story of Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne, the titular characters, and finds time for a fairly extended and highly entertaining supporting cast to shine as well. It also brings the quantum realm fully to the forefront and that, for sure, will have major ramifications for Endgame.

By-the-way, speaking of Endgame and the supporting cast here, I would LOVE for the movie to start with a half hour of Michael Pena’s Luis explaining all the Marvel movies that predate this concluding chapter. That would be amazing!

I gave Ant-Man and the Wasp FOUR GIANT SALT SHAKERS out of a possible FIVE when I reviewed it earlier this year. 


KEY INTRODUCTIONS:

  • Janet Van Dyne (the original Wasp)
  • Bill Foster (Goliath)
  • Ghost

CONNECTION(S) TO ENDGAME:

  • Again, Marvel got this right by weaving very few connections between this movie and Endgame, however…
  • The mid-credit sequence that features the “dusting” of Hank Pym, Janet Pym and Hope Van Dyne and the marooning of Scott Lang in the quantum realm must be a critical moment, right?

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Filed under Ant-Man, Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Infinity War, Marvel, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Comics, Marvel Films, Marvel Movies, Marvel Studios

Countdown to ENDGAME | Avengers | Infinity War


Related Content from And There Came A Day


Captain America: The First Avenger | Iron Man | The Incredible Hulk| Iron Man II Thor | The Avengers | Iron Man 3 | Thor: The Dark World | Captain America: The Winter Soldier | Guardians of the Galaxy | Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 | Avengers: Age of Ultron | Ant-Man | Captain America: Civil War | Doctor Strange | Spider-Man: Homecoming | Thor: Ragnarok | Black Panther | Avengers: Infinity War | Ant-Man and the Wasp | Captain Marvel

Avengers | Infinity War

Infinity War

Epic. Unexpected. Shattering. Avengers | Infinity War is a movie that manages to balance a gigantic cast of existing characters while, somehow, introducing a compelling handful of new ones. And it manages to give each of them a specific moment to play. That, in-and-of-itself, is a great accomplishment.

Bringing Thanos finally to the fore, Infinity War is unlike other Marvel movies for one very important reason (and you wouldn’t be reading these posts if you had to be worried about spoilers): the Avengers lose.

Big time.

As heroes (and half of the rest of life in the universe) turn to dust, thoughts of the audience turn to the next installment of the series and wonder how the heroes will turn this around.

That they will is doubtless. How they will will be revealed this week.

It received SIX Infinity Stones out of a possible FIVE when I reviewed it earlier this year. 


KEY INTRODUCTIONS:

  • Thanos (this is the first time we’ve really seen him)
  • Does anything else matter?

CONNECTION(S) TO ENDGAME:

  • Every piece of this movie leads to Endgame.
  • We will know a lot more about what pieces of this movie are going to be most developed in Endgame. Certainly, there are plot elements and keys to the inevitable victory of the Avengers laced throughout this film.

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Filed under Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Infinity War, Marvel, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Comics, Marvel Films, Marvel Movies, Marvel Studios

Countdown to ENDGAME | Black Panther


Related Content from And There Came A Day


Captain America: The First Avenger | Iron Man | The Incredible Hulk| Iron Man II Thor | The Avengers | Iron Man 3 | Thor: The Dark World | Captain America: The Winter Soldier | Guardians of the Galaxy | Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 | Avengers: Age of Ultron | Ant-Man | Captain America: Civil War | Doctor Strange | Spider-Man: Homecoming | Thor: Ragnarok | Black Panther | Avengers: Infinity War | Ant-Man and the Wasp | Captain Marvel

Black Panther

panther

Marvel might be running out of “WOW! We didn’t see that coming” moments. We did not see the success of Guardians of the Galaxy or Ant-Man or Doctor Strange coming. Those were surprises. After Black Panther, where can Marvel possibly go?

Black Panther is, as I write this blog, the third highest grossing movie of all time. Nobody saw that coming.

It is also a simply wonderful film. It is powerful. It is humorous. It is exciting. It is engaging. Black Panther ought to be nominated as a Best Picture possibility next spring, that is how good this movie is. And, somehow, it does not hinge on all that has come before it. Somehow it manages to be almost entirely its own thing while existing within the framework of the larger Marvel universe. It is clearly a Marvel movie, to be sure, but it is also something else.

Something important.

I loved this movie and I cannot wait for more from the character. I will be thrilled to see him in Avengers: Infinity War and will look forward to Black Panther 2.

Black Panther may well be the best of all the Marvel movies. It has made more money than all the rest and it is already iconic. It received FIVE ARMORED RHINOS out of a possible FIVE when I reviewed it earlier this year. It deserves more…


KEY INTRODUCTIONS:

  • Nakia
  • Okoye
  • Erik Killmonger
  • Shuri
  • Romanda
  • M’Baku
  • N’Jobu
  • Zuri

CONNECTION(S) TO ENDGAME:

  • Black Panther paints the kingdom of Wakanda as a fully realized world and we saw much of Avengers: Infinity War there.
  • It is clear that Shuri, T’Challa’s sister, has successfully deprogrammed Bucky Barnes, the Winter Soldier. Perhaps he has recovered himself just in time to replace Steve Rogers as Captain America? Perhaps very soon in Endgame?

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Filed under Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Infinity War, Black Panther, Marvel, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Comics, Marvel Films, Marvel Movies, Marvel Studios

Countdown to ENDGAME | Thor | Ragnarok


Related Content from And There Came A Day


Captain America: The First Avenger | Iron Man | The Incredible Hulk| Iron Man II Thor | The Avengers | Iron Man 3 | Thor: The Dark World | Captain America: The Winter Soldier | Guardians of the Galaxy | Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 | Avengers: Age of Ultron | Ant-Man | Captain America: Civil War | Doctor Strange | Spider-Man: Homecoming | Thor: Ragnarok | Black Panther | Avengers: Infinity War | Ant-Man and the Wasp | Captain Marvel

Thor | Ragnarok

Thor Rag

It is said of Thor | Ragnarok that director Taika Waititi allowed his cast to improvise wildly on set. Re-watching the movie, it is obvious this is true. The film is almost as fun as the Guardians of the Galaxy installments of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and has a villain in Cate Blanchett’s Hela that is far superior to any adversary the Guardians faced. Add to the mix a truly wonderful character in Valkyrie and you have all the ingredients of a superior superhero film if…

… you ignore the fact that the deus ex machina at end of the movie and the salvation of the Asgardian people is, essentially, the exact same one utilized at the conclusion of Avengers: Age of Ultron.

This movie is a significant set up for Infinity War, far more a lead in than Black Panther, which immediately precedes it. It also is significant fun in its own right. Far superior to Thor: The Dark WorldRagnarok is more confident and knows what it wants to accomplish. It closes a number of plot lines while advancing others. Great movie. Great performances. Great fun.

(But it does have THE WORST soundtrack – bracketing Immigrant Song – of all the Marvel movies – it is really bad)

Thor | Ragnarok is a terrifically fun movie and, when it opened last fall, I gave it FOUR and a HALF AIR CRAZY CAMEOS out of a possible FIVE. 


KEY INTRODUCTIONS:

  • Scourge
  • Hela, Goddess of Death, sister of Thor and Loki
  • Valkyrie
  • The Grandmaster
  • Korg
  • Thor’s new “Thunder” power

CONNECTION(S) TO ENDGAME:

  • Thor starts the film by informing the audience what he has been doing since we last saw him: he has been searching for the Infinity Stones and he has not found any.
  • Thor has an extended (albeit utterly unnecessary) conversation with Doctor Strange.
  • “Fake” Infinity Gauntlet – apparently the gauntlet that Odin has (along with some other trinkets in his trophy room) are fake. When Hela gives Scourge a tour, they also pass the Tesseract – the Space Stone – one of the Infinity Stones Thanos will pursue in Infinity War. Did Loki steal it before the destruction of Asgard, by-the-way?
  • Oh, so this is where the Hulk has been!
  • We know from Infinity War that things for the Asgardian refugees did not go well.

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Filed under Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Infinity War, Comic Book Movies, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Comics, Marvel Films, Marvel Movies, Marvel Studios, Movies, Thor