Wonder Woman – A (mostly) spoiler-free review

People will tell you that Wonder Woman is the best DCEU movie so far, and that’s true. People will tell you that Wonder Woman is the best female-led superhero movie of all time, and that’s also true. But Wonder Woman doesn’t need any of those qualifiers — Wonder Woman is a genuinely good movie in a way that’s refreshing. Similar to Logan but also totally different — it told a classic superhero action story in a movie that was not a typical superhero action movie, and yet the superhero action came through in spades.

Wonder Woman banner

 

This is my favorite movie of the year so far (sorry, Guardians vol 2, you were good, but not this good), and top 3 of the past few years. If this is what we have to look forward to with the DCEU going forward, then we shouldn’t have anything to worry about. I give this movie 9/10, and you should pretty much drop what you’re doing to go see it.

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 review

After just under a decade of consistently producing some of the best blockbuster entertainment each year, you can be pretty sure that you’re in for a good time if you go to see a movie with the Marvel Studios title card in front of it, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – the fifteenth(!) film in the ever expanding franchise experiment that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe – offers no exception to that. Fans of the first film are going to find a lot to enjoy here, and while this review may come across as very critical at times, it’s important to take that alongside the knowledge that despite being noticeably more flawed than its predecessor, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is still an entertaining, engaging film in its own right, and one that I personally enjoyed very much.

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Ghost in the Shell – A (mostly) Spoiler-Free Review

Ghost in the Shell is widely considered one of the most important franchises in the history of anime/manga. The 1995 feature-length movie, in particular, was wildly successful, and influenced a number of filmmakers in the science fiction genre. When Dreamworks Pictures decided to bring a live-action adaptation to the big screen, they had some big shoes to fill. Unfortunately, while the movie gets a lot of things right, the live-action film doesn’t live up to it’s predecessor’s reputation as a groundbreaking, instant-classic movie.

Unlike most of the films I review on this blog, Ghost in the Shell is a bit outside my wheelhouse. I am, at best, a casual anime/manga fan — I’ve seen the 1995 film and I’ve read a couple of the manga, but I’m by no means an expert on the franchise. As such, I didn’t walk into this movie as a super-fan, hoping to see well-known characters and plots brought to life. Rather, I went in with somewhat fresh eyes, wanting a movie that captured the tone and feel of the original while telling a compelling story. And while the movie did an excellent job at reproducing the atmosphere of a Japanese anime, the story itself didn’t quite click for me. Too much of the movie felt dated and derivative (which is unfortunate, as we’ll see later), and that just detracted too much from the movie for my liking.

Overall, I enjoyed the movie for what it was. It wasn’t bad, or boring, or confusing, or any of the things that make me hate a movie. I’m glad I got to see it, and I don’t feel like I wasted my time or money (though, don’t bother with 3-D). If the movie hadn’t been called Ghost in the Shell, I think it would have fared much better without the reputation to live up to. I’d rate it a middle-of-the-road 6/10, worth seeing if you’re a fan of the genre, or just want to watch a sci-fi movie that’s a bit different from the typical blockbuster fare. If you want to know more, keep reading…

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Power Rangers’ Mighty Morph to the Big Screen

Saban’s Power Rangers recently opened on the big screen, and I caught a matinee showing. I grew up on the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, during the golden age of Saturday morning cartoons and TV. I’m talking “get up early because the new episode is on” original, and saw the original 1995 movie in theaters (I think).

This movie came out at a time where I’m fairly hyped for original MMPR. I recently completed my set of ab-crunch addicted MMPR Legacy figures.

I also own the Green and White Rangers, but they’re too busy checking themselves out

I also have a growing collection of Fisher-Price Imaginext figures that I share with my four-year-old son. He and I have recently started watching the original episodes on Netflix, which has put me in a fresh mindset to evaluate some of the differences and similarities between the new movie and the classic show.

Now, to be completely transparent here, I had very low expectations for this film going in. As an avid toy collector, I often find a strong correlation between the quality of a movie’s tie-in merchandise and the movie itself. The movie toys are awful, look as if they’re made of cheap plastic you’d find in a kid’s sand pail, and are priced too high. Between the merchandise, the Zord designs, and some lackluster trailers, I set my bar low and considered waiting for the rental instead of paying for a movie ticket.

I’m glad I didn’t wait.

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