Rarely it happens that I am this excited to watch a movie. But the hype was spilling over the brim and the wait had become way too much longer. I watched the movie on Tuesday after it had already earned billions of dollars at the BO. And then when you hear, the once dreaded and termed forgettable, Avengers Theme Music… BOOM!
I have in fact watched only 16 of 22 movies (73%) of all the MCU movies. But I have followed them with much more excitement since last 2-3 years. That is also due to the utter disappointment caused by DCEU even if Wonder Woman and Shazam were good. But MCU movies have made a place of their own in terms of sheer entertainment value they have provided. The cameos by Stan the man Lee to top them all.
There have been several very popular videos on how Avengers (or MCU movies) are not much memorable, their video doesn’t have any definite color grading which makes them like a TV movie, or not much emotional connect, or not having much depth and so on. But nobody would have anticipated as to what 22 MCU movies over a period of 12 years would culminate to. Amazing!
This sort of fest-like-hype has not really happened for any movie I know of. When probably the only ‘Universe’ kind of movie franchise, Star Wars had its Episode 1 getting released in the late 90s, the Internet hadn’t flourished that much. So the younger generation (worldwide) had not experienced the hype which generates nowadays due to the bombardment of information from all directions.
I am not going to review the movie because my excitement will overrule my judgement. But I liked it very much. It has everything one could ask for, and more. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of Endgame. I might watch it again in IMAX.
Generally, I absolutely love the movies where Villains beats the hell out of the Hero. Villains which question the Hero to think a lot about hero’s own existence. Villains who are so good that they make Hero look like a lucky chump. In a nutshell, I personally like movies where the Villain is a character on which writers have paid a good amount of attention, almost as much as they have paid on the Hero.
So I recently watched: Black Panther. And I liked it!
It was surely worth the hype. As it has been said several times, the best part about all Marvel Heroes is their own imperfections. T’Challa, the king of Wakanda, the Superhero Black Panther is ideal in his own right but might not be the best fit in the evil world. How he deals with his fate and the world around him is the crux of the story.
Without going into any spoiler-y detail, I will list the parts I liked the movie:
Super Strong Villain
I had loved the scenes where Bane breaks Batman’s back. I had loved the scenes where Joker makes Batman feel helpless, several times, in several movies. You get it right? Michael B. Jordan as Killmonger here is a villain with a purpose, which you almost relate to pretty well. Although, the means he uses to achieve the purpose makes him the villain. But his performance and all his screen time made me want to see more of him.
Super Strong Female Characters
A movie where the Superhero, the Avenger is saved on multiple occasions by genuinely amazing female warriors is a feat in itself. Not only saved but also supported technologically by female scientists. Not only supported but encouraged from time to time by females. This made me wonder, why Black Panther is not a woman in first place. (We shall wait for Captain Marvel for this)
One important point about this movie is the politics in it. This politics about the treatment of Blacks at the hands of the Imperialistic powers has not only been relevant when the comics originated but even now, will make this movie even more memorable. One of the funniest scenes involves a comic treatment to one side-character-white-guy (good old Martin Freeman) had me in splits. Time and again, the words, the era, and the politics of hatred/superiority is mentioned which never seems over the top but very much relatable. This also makes the Villain Killmonger a grey area bad-guy instead of a genuinely evil person. Wakanda is something which could have been of any country which wouldn’t have been conquered and looted for centuries.
Music & Costumes & Backdrop
Africa’s best was showcased with proper detailing. I don’t have much to say about it apart from it being very impressive.
Some parts which could have been much better:
Forgettable Action Scenes
Technically, we all go to Superhero movies for seeing action. This had lots of action but none of the scenes stood out.
Less Screen Time for Killmonger
I seriously felt that there could have been more of Killmonger beating Black Panther for more number of instances.
To summarize, Black Panther movie was a movie which left me wanting for more. I might not be the biggest fan of the character himself, but I liked the movie and the background behind Wakanda as a whole. I hope we get to more of this in coming movies.
When I watched Daredevil last year, it felt more like a realistic crime drama than a Comic Book TV Adaptation. When its Season 2 came, that belief got reinforced. Same thing happened with Jessica Jones Season 1. Even Luke Cage was going pretty fine till the last few episodes where it went sideways and changed the main villain just like that. When I watched Iron Fist, I couldn’t be sure whether the show was intentionally trying to be comedy or it was an accidental comedy. No problem with the acting, but the main thing the show could have given, superb fighting sequences, got disappeared after 1st episode and it became a more of business drama. Anyways, I wasn’t that disappointed because I was waiting wholeheartedly for all 4 of the Marvel’s TV Street Level Superheroes to culminate into The Defenders.
The trailer with a brilliant Niravana song had only increased the expectations. So on August 18th, all 8 (just 8) episodes got released on Netflix. I watched them all in 4-5 days.
The build up was good, they showed all the superheroes in their own lives trying to deal with their own issues. Then some events bring them together. And then they become Defenders, but nobody says that they are defenders per se.
So first, the good parts:
I mean she kills all the scenes when she makes some remark about, as Stick puts it ‘A Thundering Dumbass’ or ‘The most stupid Iron Fist ever’, the Immortal Iron Fist. Luke Cage also adds his bit when he realizes that their problems are half-criminal, half-mystical and remaining indigestible. The chemistry between the 4 is really funny. Nobody wants to believe that they can work as a team, except Danny Rand. Daredevil, who knows the threat of Hand is real, is unsure whether he should jump in or not. He has kind of given up after Season 2. His non-masked character, Matt Murdock, also stays true to his original show to an extent before falling prey to ‘Love’. The other best part is when Jessica keeps making fun of his costume as he is the only one donning it. The overall storyline is satisfactory and they will probably going to go for Season 2 as well. But that won’t happen till 2019.
Now the bad parts:
Some weird things happened in the end and they tried to make it like a cliff hanger. Fair enough, but constant fighting bad guys in half-darkness with no -idea who is beating whom was a bit annoying. They hugely improved Iron Fist’s part by making them butt of other heroes’ jokes but I still wasn’t able to find one instance of fight sequence which would be as memorable as DD’s hallway and staircase scene. The villains here, are not as threatening as they should have been. And again, like Iron Fist, they sort of ruin the climax before doing away with one main person.
Overall, the Defenders were mostly okayish because if you cram 4 superheroes in just 8 episodes, many things are left unattended. You can watch the show though, just to enjoy, the camaraderie between the team and Jessica Jones’ one-liners.
In case you have watched Captain America : Civil War, the audience cheered most when Spiderman appeared on the screen. Such has been the love for the character on big screen, thanks to the relatable Sam Reimi + Tobey Maguire take on Spiderman back in 2000s. I even watched the Amazing Spiderman when Andrew Garfield was there. And if I remember correctly, I didn’t hate it.
Now I recently watched Spiderman : Homecoming, the third reboot or Boo-t-hree, if you will. I found myself enjoying throughout the movie. Mostly because, the movie’s core is how eager a teenager is to become an adult and it doesn’t take itself too seriously. I generally liked it.
The only problem is, just after a couple of weeks, I am not able to remember what all happened in the movie. Only if I really press hard, I realize that Michael Keaton was there too. Then there was that scene of boat splitting into 2. That’s all! That’s the case with most Marvel movies. But, I am not complaining more. Because just the week after, I went to watch (I mean hear Dunkirk).
So, I recently watched Dunkirk and this post is mostly about Dunkirk only!
You have heard it correct, Dunkirk is mostly about Visuals and Sounds. Story is plain simple that Allied forces are forced to evacuate Dunkirk because ‘Enemy’ has surrounded the area from all sides. Nolan tries to be Nolan-y by making it more intense by showing same thing from 3 perspectives: Land, Water and Air and, 3 timelines 1 Week, 1 Day and, 1 Hour. But overall, it stays a spectacle, one should see only in IMAX. And thankfully, there is no 3D, otherwise half the time is spent in adjusting 3D Glasses over actual spectacles.
It was mostly about the horrors of the war and the soldier’s struggles once they are caught in between and they have nowhere to go. There are tales of the bravery of soldiers during war-time, but realistically, when you know that you can die any instant and you have no help, that only makes you a mute silent spectator, like the movie’s characters. You never get to know the names, their background but just their struggles to somehow reach home.
The sound design by Hans Zimmer is the real hero. They have used this Shepard Effect with full effect throughout the movie.
That makes it sound really haunting. And it really works. Some sounds are so intense that you actually feel as if your seats are shaking.
I thoroughly enjoyed it and I feel I can watch it again in IMAX. But I won’t because tickets are costly. Sigh.
When I said that I’m going to read Comics again, since this is 2016, I meant that I would also watch the new form comics have taken, that is Television Shows. And by Television shows, since this is 2016, I mean things on Netflix and stuff. I just finished watching Netflix and Marvel’s Daredevil and I am glad that I watched it.
For the uninitiated like I was before delving into this, Daredevil is Marvel’s and co-creator Stan Lee’s yet another Superhero which is one of the most popular ones, right after their Avengers which everyone knows by now. And this series fits right into their MCU or Marvel Cinematic Universe where all their shows and movies intermingle into each other in one way or the other. They keep bringing characters or locations or put easter eggs through some manner to give enough hints to the fans that the universe in which everything happens, is somewhat related. Even if the effects on one might not be directly visible to the other but, as you progress in the series, you will get the feel eventually.
I hadn’t watched any of the shows Marvel had made earlier, which comprises of Agents of Shield or Agent Carter, etc. Also, my knowledge of Marvel was mostly based on their movies as I didn’t get much chance to read their comics. Though I had liked the Sam Reimi-Toby McGuire’s Spiderman in early 2000s and was thrilled to see Stan Lee’s cameos in them, I lost the interest and zeal to continue with their other movies. I watched Iron Man 1 and 2 and Avengers but not Captain America, neither Thor, nor The Incredible Hulk or X-Men if you include that. I watched and then I forgot their plots. Lately, I caught up with Captain America Winter Soldier, X-Men Days of future past and more recently Avenger’s Age of Ultron. I thought their movies are entertaining but not memorable, as compared to DC’s. And by DC’s I actually mean Nolan’s take on Batman and then Man of Steel. I even went on to state, that for me DC movies were much better than Marvel’s. But after watching Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice and Captain America Civil War, I guess I have to rethink of my opinion. While I didn’t hate BvS, but everyone agrees that it could have been a lot better. Civil War on the other hand doesn’t take itself so seriously as BvS and turns out so much cooler, hilarious and super serious when it needs to be. To summarize, Marvel has up the ante a long time ago and they are continuing to be good at what they are doing. Hoping to see Suicide Squad and further Justice League movies to see what DC comes up with eventually, after almost losing race to Marvel, if you may say so. Anyways, last few movies I watched, it has surely made me eager to watch more of Marvel’s stuff.
Anyways, talking about Daredevil and not digressing, I liked a lot of things about the show. Most importantly that it is as realistic as the Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy ought to be. While I have no intention to give any plot points here as a lot of time has already passed when this show was released, I am just writing about the things I liked the most. And that is the brilliant, hand to hand combat without any CGI or anything. Just plain, fist fights and round kicks. Ah, and that Hallway scene in the S01E02! That got me hooked to it. And it keeps getting better with each episode. Season 2 was equally good as they brought in more characters and made it more complex and delight for the viewers who love comics and pure action. The Punisher was straight out of Sunny Deol’s Ghayal and Narsimha, if you know what I mean. Even if you haven’t read any comicbook, this show fits into all the categories of Crime Thriller genre, making it a dark, gritty and nicely crafted and choreographed violence show which comicbook lovers or anyone who’s an adult now, would love. If anyone is reading this, heh, I would recommend this right away.
Next up, Jessica Jones, which would also be special as Breaking Bad’s Jane plays the titular role. This was released in November 2015 but it is okay. A least I hope it would have some story. As compared to that nonsense Game of Thrones where Winter is yet to come even after 6 seasons. Yawn.