Justice League (2017)

I went in expecting it to really suck, but it wasn’t that bad.

Don’t get me wrong, it is nothing compared to Wonder Woman, or any of the Marvel things that are happening, but I do have to say it managed to be better than Batman v Superman.

Now, remember that I also kind of liked (but kind of didn’t) Suicide Squad so my taste is not the normal movie critic.

I liked the new characters, Flash and Cyborg seemed interesting, and both had a good feel. I loved the new take on the Flash, and his immediately volunteering to join sort of underscored his whole character. Meanwhile Cyborg was brooding in the beginning but became fairly mellow by the end

The movie itself felt the same dark dark dark grim dark of BvS in places, then in other places it felt less serious about itself and was able to be watched easier. I think this is where you seek Zack Snyder at first, and Joss Whedon in the others.

What this movie did show me was that Zack Snyder shouldn’t be directing any of these. I am definitely for a dark comic book universe, but Patty Jenkins proved DC doesn’t have to be dark with Wonder Woman, and Joss lightened up Justice League enough that it shows Zack’s view isn’t beneficial for the universe.

Now, there are huge holes in the movie you could drive a semi-truck through, but overall it was worth it and I would see any subsequent movies as well.

The good: The chemistry with the characters is there, even Superman. The less serious tone really benefitted the movie as well.

The bad: So many plot holes, acting issues and most importantly showing that Zack Snyder should not be directing these movies.

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

The best Thor movie yet.

Thor has always been a difficult franchise for me. I like Marvel, I do think Chris Hemsworth is a decent actor, but the character didn’t work for me. Not in the Avengers movies and definitely not in the Thor standalone movies. Too dour, too serious, the character isn’t a lot of fun except for a few one lines. That is until this movie. He was fantastic. The humor bordered on too much, but never crossed that line of being too silly.

The rest of the movie was pretty good as well. I liked having Hulk/Banner in the movie. I believe Marvel is underutilizing Mark Ruffalo and it was great to see him involved. I also enjoyed Scrapper 142 as a person who surprises Thor with her origins (won’t say more for spoilers) and of course The Grand Master was awesome. How can people not love Jeff Goldblum. He is one of those people I could watch an hour of him just talking. I absolutely loved the storyline on his planet, the gladiators and the revolution.

Sadly the part I didn’t like was about Hela and the whole Asgard part. This part felt less fun, less interesting and seemed mostly a way to move around the pieces in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She wasn’t interesting and I absolutely hated her outfit. That being said, it is fortunate they seem to spend more time dealing with Hulk/142/Thor on the scrap planet with The Grandmaster. It was pretty awesome.

The one other thing though that this underlined was the way Marvel ignores women. So many little cameos in the movie, and the one little tiny thing involving Black Widow just reminded me that we haven’t seen  a Black Widow movie, she gets less screen time then any of the others (even the Scarlett Witch, but she doesn’t even get her own movie). I am not sure what the problem is with Marvel, they have the Black Panther coming up (and I am going to be there first in line to see it) but still no women led movies.

The fact that D.C. has them beat on this just confuses me even more.

That being said, the movie was great. Definitely in the top 5 Marvel movies for me and the best Thor movie period.

The good: Action packed with a lot of fun moments. It was great to see Hulk/Banner as well, but Thor definitely made it his movie.

The bad: The part in Asgard was not in sync for me with the rest of the movie, and the whole movie underscored Marvel’s issues with female lead roles.

Of course I will see the next one, and I like his short hair better.

Wonder Woman (2017)

This is one of the best movies this year so far, and the best DC movie ever.

I knew Wonder Woman was going to be good. There was just too much good press, too many great reviews and too many of my friends that were gushing. I was ready to be disappointed because almost anything couldn’t live up to that hype, but it did.

Gal Gadot is a wonderful actress. She really came across as someone who was engaged in a childhood quest and learned the realities of life that make those quests never what they were supposed to be. She did action very well, just more proof that women and action movies should be together. She carried great humor, and just overall sold that role.

I have a love-hate-hate relationship with DC. I did like all the Batman’s, I liked the original superman (RIP Christopher Reeves), and I think Ben Affleck did really well as Batman in the most recent Batman V Superman. However lately the DC movies have just sucked, and sucked hard. I did have a bit of a fun time with Suicide Squad, but I did not enjoy Batman V Superman at all. In fact I was worried before the movie came out that Ms. Godot would have sucked. However, this movie has shown that Zack Snyder did her a disservice (and the fans as well) when he didn’t focus on her more in that movie. She might have saved that movie.

Oh, and I didn’t mention Man of Steel, that is because both the movie and the actor are in the  worst list of DC movies (which rank lower than other super hero movies, so it makes it pretty low).

One more point, Patty Jenkins was an awesome director. I suspect most if not all of the reason this movie was great

The good: Everything about this movie is good, the action, the acting, the director, all of it.

The bad: The feeling I am going to have when I go back to the next DC movie that isn’t Patty Jenkins or Gal Godot.

Logan (Spoiler Free Review)(2017)

Absolutely, without a doubt, the single best superhero movie I have ever seen. Not only that, it is on the very top of my list of favorite “real movies” as well. I can’t really come up with a better movie at this moment.

We went to see Logan in the RPX so we could choose our seat. However, it was a Tuesday and the RPX is double the price of the discounted Tuesday prices for other showings that there wasn’t a packed theater. This meant no distractions and we could focus on the movie.

I can’t go into too much detail here, I don’t want this to have spoilers, but I can say I will post again and break it down. The movie had a huge personal impact.

What I can say is this is not your Avenger’s big tent action movie. The focus is on an aging Logan, Professor X and a young Laura (c’mon its not a spoiler if its in the trailer). Laura is being hunted by a group of powerful mercenaries and Logan and Professor X are trying to protect her.

The R rating does allow people to see the brutality of what it would be like to fight Wolverine, limbs and heads amputated, faces clawed open and the absolute monster that Wolverine could be in a fight. That however was not what the rating really made better. The storytelling was much better. It could handle much more adult subjects such as aging, consequences of a life of conflict, and family. This movie is not for someone who is a child or who is only interested in a mutant battle. If that is the limit of a movie you are interested, go see the new Thor, Spider Man or Guardians of the Galaxy movies coming out this summer.

I won’t say anything else about the plot of the movie except to say it mirrors Deadpool in a way. Instead of redefining a superhero movie into a darker comedy, Logan transforms this movie into a gritty western as much as a superhero movie. It has a very broad, if very adult, scope for an audience. Some have talked about Oscars. I think it would be justified to receive best actor/supporting actor nominations if not the actual Oscars themselves.

The emotional impact of this movie hit both me and the hubby that night. It was near the anniversary of my father’s death (one year) and there were a lot of similarities, the movie was like a gut punch. Those I will talk about in my next post about Logan where I can break out spoilers.

The biggest takeaway I saw another critic say is that the R rating is an excellent injection into the superhero niche. Not for violence, but for the way it can open a story up and allow superhero movies to grow up and become full stories, not just comics.

It has been reported that this is Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart’s last movie each for their characters. 20 years of Wolverine and Professor X wrapped up on the best superhero movie made. I am sad they are turning in their characters, but I have to say it was absolutely the best movie they could have chosen to do so.

The good: Absolutely the best acting in any superhero movie, and in the top for conventional movies. The story is tight, not distracted with explosions or too many special effects. It satisfies both the action need and the story need that no other superhero movie can.

The bad: It is the last movie with Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman playing their characters.