Tag Archives: superhero movies

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) Review



The cinematic road for Spider-Man has been a bit of a rocky one, beginning first with the original Spider-Man trilogy, featuring actor Toby Maguire playing the title character as well as Kristen Dunst as Mary Jane and actor James Franco as Harry Osborne. The first cinematic iteration (released on 2002) of the so-called “Dawn of the superhero genre” we all know of today), received positive reviews and was highly successful at the box office (making $820 million globally), which green-lit the studio to churn out two more follow-up sequels with 2004’s Spider-Man 2 and 2007’s Spider-Man 3. After that, Sony / Columbia Pictures (the man studio behind this trilogy) went silent with the character of Spider-Man, observing (and watching) as the now popular juggernaut MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) began to grow and dominate the box office; amassing comic books rights for their films and gaining a steady incline of movie fandom. After sometime, Sony Pictures returned to the superhero genre by “rebooting” their Spider-Man franchise from scratch and released The Amazing Spider-Man in 2012, with actor Andrew Garfield playing the role of Peter Parker / Spider-Man and actress Emma Stone playing his love interest of Gwen Stacey. The film did make splash with critics and fans alike and did gain a profitable return (over $750 million at the global box office), which prompted the studio make a sequel with 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2. After that, however, Sony Pictures had several ideas planned for Spider-Man (i.e. another sequel, spin-offs, and even a possible reboot franchise), but nothing ever materialized as Marvel’s MCU, which was under the control of parent company Disney, continued to flourish and expand. Eventually, many rumors and speculation, Sony / Columbia Pictures and Disney finally came to an agreement with the rights of Spider-Man, allowing the character to appear in the MCU franchise and did so in superhero ensembles films 2016’s Captain America: Civil War and 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War as well 2017’s feature film Spider-Man: Homecoming, with actor Tom Holland playing the role of Spider-Man / Peter Parker in all three movies. The inclusion of Spider-Man in the MCU has brought a joyous celebration, with many praising Holland’s performance as the new younger Spider-Man as well as the character finally appearing alongside the likes of Iron Man, Captain America, and other popular MCU superheroes. Now, Sony / Columbia Pictures (as well as Sony Pictures Animation) and directors Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman present the latest cinematic iteration of Spider-Man with the animated feature Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Does this cartoon feature film bring its own heart and web-slinging fun to the proceedings or is it just a disappointing spin-off / off-shoot from Sony Pictures who’s desperately trying to find a seat at the superhero film genre? Read more

Venom (2018) Review



The marvel comic book character Spider-Man has faced off against villainous bad guys, some of which became his classic archenemies supervillains including The Lizard, Dr. Octopus, Green Goblin, Rhino, and Mysterio. However, one of the most infamous foes that Spider-Man has come across is the vileness being known as Venom, an alien Symbiote with an amorphous, liquid-like form that requires a host (usually a human to bone with for its survival). While he has appeared in several other comics books (within the Marvel comics franchise), Venom is commonly associated with Spider-Man, with Peter Parker being the first to merge with the alien parasite (for a brief time) before merging human Eddie Brock, its second and most infamous host in the Spider-Man lore. Of course, with the rise of superhero cinematic adventures that began in the early 2000s, Sony / Columbia Pictures began to producing theatrical feature films of Spider-Man, beginning back with 2002’s Spider-Man that featured the acting talents of Toby Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, and James Franco. By 2007, the third installment titled Spider-Man 3 was released, which boasted the cinematic reveal of character Eddie Brock and the Symbiote “Venom” pairing. Unfortunately, while the movie went on to become the highest grossing film of the trilogy (grossing over $890 million at the worldwide box office), the movie faced mixed / average reviews from both critics and moviegoers, especially given how the character of Eddie Brock (played by actor Topher Grace) and how Venom was a bit underwhelming against the film’s other two villains. These mixed reviews of the movie prompted Sony to cancel a fourth Spider-Man installment and instead “reboot” the franchise altogether with The Amazing Spider-Man in 2012 (with a new cast) then cancel that “reboot” franchise until Disney and Sony made a licensing deal that would allow the character of Spider-Man to be a part of the Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, with actor Tom Holland currently playing the role of Peter Parker. However, the character of Eddie Brock / Venom has remained in the dark (cinematically) since his 2007 debut. Now, Sony / Columbia Pictures and director Ruben Fleischer finally present a spin-off Spider-Man to feature Eddie Brock and his “bonding” with the Symbiote in the movie titled Venom. Does this side-story movie of focusing on one of Spider-Man’s arch-nemesis do the comic book character justice or is it simply a “turd in the wind”? Read more

Deadpool 2 (2018) Review




In 2016, audience moviegoers were introduced to raunchy, darkly humor of the Marvel’s “merc with a mouth” comic book character in the movie Deadpool. Directed by Tim Miller, the movie, which starred Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller, and Ed Skrein, follows the story of Wade Wilson, a mercenary, who develops cancer and undergoes a risky procedure that renders him deformed but granted with healing abilities; succumbing to the idea of getting even with the individual who made him this way. Despite the R-rating the movie received (a bit uncommon for a superhero movie of late), Deadpool was deemed a success, with many praising the violent and dark humor from its comic book source material as well as Reynolds portrayal of Wade Wilson. Given the success of the film, which raked in roughly $780 million at the worldwide box office (against its measly $58 million production budget), the movie was big hit and it was an almost forgone conclusion that a Deadpool sequel would be green-lit sometime after. Now, two years later, a follow-up sequel has finally materialized as 20th Century Fox and director David Leitch present the film Deadpool 2. Does this second installment keep in tone and presentation of how the first movie was or does its high expectations falter to what many are expecting in this sequel? Read more

Teen Titans GO! To the Movies (2018) Review




Back in 2003, the animated cartoon show Teen Titans premiered on Cartoon Network, showcasing the younger generation of DC Superheroes. The TV show which was primarily based off of the 1980s New Teen Titans comic book series, followed the adventures of the Titans team, consisting of superhero characters like Robin, Beast Boy, Cyborg, Starfire, and Raven and how the battle numerous villains and encounter several ally companions along the way. Teen Titans was met with overwhelming success, becoming one of Cartoon Network’s most beloved and critically acclaimed shows; being praised for its character development of its main cast and the overall serious tone of the series. Teen Titans, which was also nominated for three Annie Awards and one Motion Picture Sound Editor Award, ran for five seasons (a total of 65 episodes) before the show ended in 2006, with the TV movie Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo acting as the series finale. However, while fans cried out for the show to revived for a sixth season, the Teen Titans brand did return (several years later), but in a slightly different form. In 2013, a Teen Titan spin-off show emerged dubbed Teen Titans GO! on Cartoon Network. Much like before, the show followed the familiar roster of Titan team members (i.e. Robin, Beast Boy, Cyborg, Starfire, and Raven), but was a more comical-based series (more of loose misadventure series rather than its serious episodic narrative of the previous series). In a nutshell, the show explores what the Titans do when there hanging around the tower, more or less. The overall tonal change was a change of pace, especially for Teen Titans fans, but it was a welcomed one, with Teen Titans GO! still currently running (as of this review) in its fifth season (a total so far of 213 episodes). Now, expanding on the popular success Teen Titans GO!, Warner Bros. Pictures (Warner Bros. Animation) and directors Peter Rida Michail and Aaron Horvath present their first movie titled Teen Titans GO! To the Movies. Does this big-screen feature film endeavor do the Teen Titans GO! franchise justices or is it just a bloated madcap adventure or its fanbase (and nothing more)? Read more

Incredibles 2 (2018) Review



In 2004, Pixar released The Incredibles, their sixth animated feature film. Directed by Brad Bird, the film, who had the voice talents of Craig T. Nelson, Helen Hunt, Jason Lee, and Samuel L. Jackson, followed the family of superheroes who are forced to hide their powers from society and live a quiet life in suburbia. However, Mr. Incredible (the family’s patriarch) who longs for reliving the glory days of being a superhero draws the entire family into battle with a former fan who now plots to wipe out all superheroes with his supercharged killer robot. The film went on to become a smash hit with viewers and critics alike, finding The Incredibles to be a big success at the box office with a $633 million return on investment against its $92 million production budget. The movie even went on to winning several awards, including two Academy Awards for Best Sound Editing and Best Animated feature (beating out Dreamwork’s Shrek 2 and Shark Tale). Given the success of the film, many believed that Pixar would release a follow-up sequel to The Incredibles sometime in the near future. However, Pixar decided to move on from doing a sequel, choosing instead to create other films, with Cars, Ratatouille, and Wall-E being their next sequential theatrical releases. Pixar even return several of their past film to created other sequel (i.e. Monster University, Finding Dory, Cars 2 and 3, and Toy Story 2 and 3), but still no sequel for the Parr superhero family. Now, after fourteen years since The Incredibles were released, Walt Disney Studios, Pixar Studios, and director Brad Bird finally return to the superhero world of the Parr family with the movie Incredibles 2. Does Pixar’s twentieth animated feature find its place amongst its studio’s illustrious history or does this belated sequel fall short of many fan’s expectations? Read more

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