Wonder Woman

This Ticket Stub Love review was originally posted on the site Chasing Dreams as part of their Film Friday segment.

If I’m going to be truthful, I have to admit: I am a bit tired of superhero movies. Not to say I don’t enjoy all of them, sometimes watching a superhero movie brings everyone together for a fun time. My problem is that there is simply too much nowadays. More and more heroes are being picked from the comics to have their own films and franchises with multiple contract deals and crossovers. After a while it is hard to keep track of and follow. The stories tend to feel too similar and follow the same formula. None of these films have stuck with me, until now. Not until the story of Diana Prince finally graced the silver screen. Wonder Woman is the superhero movie we needed.

Directed by Patty Jenkins, Wonder Woman tells the story of Diana (played by Gal Gadot), princess of the Amazons, who has been trained since childhood to be a great warrior. Her sheltered life on the island of Themyscira abruptly ends when a pilot (played by Chris Pine) crashes on the shore and tells of a “war to end all wars” going on in the outside world. Diana must leave her home and discover her true powers in order to end the war and save all people.

Right from the start it is clear that this is not your average superhero movie. Right down to even the posters, which show Wonder Woman in strong, dominant poses, the film portrays the character as nothing else but a fighter, a hero. It’s not about the fact that she is a woman, though it is both important and sad that this is the first female-led superhero film, the first to be directed by a woman at that. The film focuses instead on Diana’s journey to becoming the famed Wonder Woman. In the end, it is Diana discovering her true powers and destiny that help her become who she is and help her overcome the struggles she faces while fighting both her small and big enemies. How inspiring it is, to see such a strong woman single handedly run through no mans land from the trenches of war, fired at constantly with bullets as she deflects them all and fights back. The result is one of the most breathtaking sequences in modern-day action film.

What sets Wonder Woman apart from the other DC comic films, that have not exactly been met with the same universal praise and success? First I believe having a female director makes a world of a difference, someone who can successfully guide a film to focus on a woman’s strength and ability. Patty Jenkins direction is fantastic. Second comes down to basic storytelling. Wonder Woman’s story execution is flawless. The film explores Diana’s past, with rich characters that shape her character, while also introducing new ones to transition her into the next phases of her battle. The steady but quick pacing allows for just the right amount of exposition and action to create a balance between the two that other DC and superhero films have previously lacked. Nonetheless the story still manages to provide humor, heart, and surprises all while incorporating stunning action sequences. Seriously the action sequences are amazing.

Gal Gadot is Wonder Woman. There is no one else more perfect for the role. She is able to seamlessly blend both her lovable innocence and naivety as someone new to the human world with her warrior strength and intelligence. She views the world with a childlike curiosity and a heart that believes in the inner goodness of people. Gal’s Diana is a symbol of love, truth, and justice and it is a pleasure to watch it all unfold on-screen. Chris Pine is great in the film too, as the American pilot who acts as Diana’s link to the outside world as well as her love interest. Pine acted as the perfect supporting character to Diana with strong chemistry between the two. They played off each other perfectly.

I loved seeing Diana’s childhood and training on the island with the Amazons as well as her action packed war scenes, but perhaps what I appreciated most was Diana’s battle within herself. Her quest for justice was only made stronger when she realized the true power she held inside. Wonder Woman is the perfect superhero movie. The story, performances, direction, and action all made for an enjoyable and inspiring film that can be appreciated by all audiences. Wonder Woman is the superhero we have been waiting for and I cannot wait to see what is in store for her. I recommend everyone to go see the film!

ALL IN ALL: Wonder Woman packs a punch with fantastic action, humor, and heart.

Wonder Woman 5 out of 5 ticket stubs

Director: Patty Jenkins

Cast: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, David Thewlis, Elena Anaya, Connie Nielsen, Danny Huston

Run Time: 2 hrs 21 min, PG-13

Year: 2017

image from: http://www.joblo.com/movie-posters/2017/wonder-woman#image-34095

 

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

It’s summertime so of course it is the season for action-packed fun in the sun movies! Now the most recent installment in the Guardians of the Galaxy series came out last month in May but I feel it is the perfect kind of movie on a summer day. It’s funny and fresh and a whole lot of fun, which is why I am giving it my Ticket Stub Love stamp of approval.

Directed by James Gunn, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has the Guardians back as they continue to struggle to work together as a family while traveling throughout the cosmos. The mystery of Peter Quill (Chris Pratt)’s true parentage comes into play and sets things in motion for new alliances, betrayals, and of course mix tapes.

I think one of the great things about Guardians is that it’s not like other Marvel movies. It’s funnier and more clever, with stories that keep you entertained and casts you grow to love more than the overdone Avengers. That’s what made the first Guardians so great: the fact that it was different. Yes it has a superhero team, but the vibe is completely different. It’s light and colorful with retro tones and humor that can’t be matched. Did I think the second installment lived up to the first? Maybe not. Maybe the story felt a bit like it had been done before and the soundtrack not quite as memorable but it’s still a great film.

The Guardians ensemble is such a strong element of the films. Christ Pratt as Peter Quill, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Vin Diesel as Groot. Two words: baby groot! Definitely the highlight of the film for me personally. He’s adorable! The film had a solid story but perhaps what I appreciated most was the bigger role for the character Yondu, in a fantastic performance by Michael Rooker. Playing a new character, Kurt Russel brought great charisma and flow. Pom Klementieff was excellent as Mantis and I am excited to see what else is in store for her character in future installments.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is such a fun movie and the laughs never stop. It proves the series once again to be a sure audience pleaser with stunning visuals, lovable characters, and a story that manages to be full of action, humor, and heart all at once. While maybe not as strong as its predecessor, Vol. 2 is one that people of all ages can enjoy and one that I fully recommend.

ALL IN ALL: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is funny, fresh, and fun with its endearing and hilarious ensemble back again with plenty of action and even more heart.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 4.5 /5 Ticket Stubs 

Director: James Gunn

Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Baustista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Michael Rooker, Kurt Russel, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff

Run Time: 2 hrs 16 min, rated PG-13

Year: 2017

Ant-Man

Nowadays I feel like there are so many superhero movies coming out that I honestly cannot keep track of them all. They tend to sort of mesh together in my head in categories like Marvel or DC. You see movie studios are smart though. They know people will go to see big superhero blockbusters so that’s why they put more and more into production. I did go to see Ant-Man, and though I was not particularly psyched to see it or anything, I actually really enjoyed it.

In Ant-Man, con-man Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), armed with a super-suit with the ability to shrink in size but increase in strength, must embrace his inner hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglass), plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.

Ant-Man was a quintessential superhero movie, with action, drama, and comedy all in one. Paul Rudd was great in the film, bringing some needed lightheartedness while still playing the role of a father/hero out to save the world perfectly. Sure Ant-Man might not be the best movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it was fun and enjoyable.

I will say though, the best part of the movie hands-down was Michael Peña as Luis, Scott Lang’s ex-con buddy. He was hilarious and brought the most laughs to the movie! The scenes with his crazy long, off-topic stories were definitely among the most funny and memorable parts of the film. That’s one of the things I really liked about Ant-Man, it was funny and light a lot of the time. The action scenes and visual effects were well done too, especially since you have a guy shrinking down to insect size most of the time. Ant-Man has the ability to draw in a wide audience and please them too.

ALL IN ALL: Ant-Man is probably one of the more humorous Marvel movies and is able to also blend in great action and story into one entertaining film.

pic: http://ia.media-imdb.com/images/M/MV5BMjM2NTQ5Mzc2M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTcxMDI2NTE@._V1_SX640_SY720_.jpg

 

 

Man of Steel

First of all:

ummm

     ENOUGH SAID.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Just Kidding!!!!!!!!!  

SOME SPOILERS AHEAD  

Man I was so psyched for this movie. The one superhero movie that I actually greeted with open arms for a reboot. I thought that critics would praise the film; however, much to my dismay, the film received mixed reviews! So out to prove them wrong, I went out and watched the movie and have come back with a different conclusion. Though I agree with some of the criticism, Man of Steel was a good movie in my opinion!!!

Man of Steel tells the origins of the famous man behind the obvious glasses: Superman (Henry Cavill) as he is forced to confront his secret extraterrestrial heritage when Earth is invaded by members of his race. Also in the movie are Amy Adams as Lois Lane: journalist and love interest, Michael Shannon as General Zod: villain trying to rebuild planet Krypton, Diane Lane as Martha Kent: Clark’s (a.k.a Superman’s) adoptive mother, Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent: Clark’s adoptive father, and Russel Crowe as Jor-El: Clark’s father.

Let me just get what I didn’t like about the film out-of-the-way. First of all, the fight scenes. Though the special effects were amazing, the fight scenes were dizzying, confusing, and never-ending. Way too many times did I think the movie was over, only to be countered with some other object falling from the sky or some bad guy coming back for more. I think one is enough, thank you. Speaking of fights though, New York City gets destroyed! Aren’t hundreds of people being killed in these skyscraper crashes? I feel bad because it’s like in every movie, NYC is smashed to pieces. Moving on, though I loved Amy Adams as Lois Lane, her character was dictionary definition of “damsel-in-distress”. Yeah, yeah they tried to make her all headstrong and independent as a journalist, but Superman saved her butt like ten times in the movie. When do you learn, girl?  The movie was a bit confusing at times too, but after a while can be deciphered easily. I also thought the film could have included humor and the attempts were futile, but I respect it being a darker version of the tale.

Now onto the good stuff! First of all, Henry Cavill. As you could have seen from my little tribute above, my interest in him has definitely sparked from watching this movie, probably because I spent the whole time looking at his beautiful face! Distracting? Yes, but I’m not complaining and I’m sure no one else is either. I personally think he’s the best one yet, besides for Christopher Reeve of course. Cavill was great and showed true emotion as his character goes through major reinvention. My favorite parts of the film are surprisingly the scenes of him growing up in Kansas. I loved hearing about his origin and background, and the scenes with and him and his mother (perfectly played by Diane Lane) were the only heartwarming aspects of the film.  Great story overall.

One last point I wanted to bring up that I will praise the movie for endlessly is the fact that Lois Lane knows about Clark Kent being Superman. Thank god, finally a realistic plot! Lane is supposed to be an intelligent journalist, right? So of course she would find out about his true identity! Never understood why past movies and comics kept her in the dark. So, Man of Steel misses some and hits some of the required points to become a great superhero movie. However, I do recommend it for the younger crowd and those action-thirsty fans. You will be satisfied!

ALL IN ALL: Man of Steel has potential to be a great superhero movie with its story and cast, but the never-ending fight scenes and dizzying visual effects put a damper on things.

sources:

superhero movies overload: a rant

Okay so this week there has been a lot of superhero movie talk. Sony announced The Amazing Spiderman 2 and 3 release dates, in addition to Shailene Woodley being cut out of the 2nd movie as Mary Jane. I guess it makes sense to wait to introduce her until the 3rd movie, but come on, she already shot the scenes and everything! Plus I was really looking forward to seeing her. However, I’m not really looking forward to the sequels that much. First of all, I did not see the need for the 1st movie because the last Spiderman film (Spiderman 3)  was just out 5 years ago. Really? A reboot that soon? Sure the movie was good, but I’m not sure if a whole trilogy is actually wanted by a lot of people.

Now another Marvel mega hit was announced today for two more sequels. Yup The Avengers. Was I the only one who wasn’t obsessed with this movie? Probably with me being more of a DC Comics girl (still need to see Man of Steel), I was not really that impressed. Now there’s going to be 2 more? Oy vey. Not to mention the separate sequels for all the other members of The Avengers. Captain America: The Winter Soldier  (2014) and Thor: The Dark World (2013). Is there going to be an Iron Man 4and 5? I know there were rumors. Oh and there’s going to be a Fantastic Four reboot (2015), when again the last one came out 5 years ago, and the new X-Men: Days of the Future movie (2014)….. whoa. Marvel, slow down!!!!! Can we give DC some time to catch up here?

Also did anyone see Man of Steel? Critics were iffy on it, but I know a lot of people who absolutely loved it. comments please!

The Dark Knight Rises

Hey guys. I’m so sorry I haven’t posted in such a long time, but I’m back so let’s get into the swing of things. If you asked me who my favorite superhero is, I wouldn’t hesitate in answering “batman, duhhhh”. I love batman and even more: the Chris Nolan Dark Knight trilogy. His fresh take on the Batman was praised by fans and critics alike, so when I saw The Dark Knight Rises this past summer, I knew I was in for a treat.

The Dark Knight Rises is the last installment in the Dark Knight trilogy directed by Christopher Nolan. We come back to Gotham City, 8 years after the events in The Dark Knight occurred, where an older Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) is forced to come out of retirement and become Batman once again after new threats by a mercenary called Bane (Tom Hardy) face the city. With a recurring cast consisting of Wayne’s faithful butler Alfred Pennyworth (Michael Caine), Inspector James Gordon ( Gary Oldman), and president of Wayne Enterprises and Bruce Wayne’s armorer Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman). The film also introduces newcomers including a sly cat burglar named Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway), business tycoon Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard), and Inspector Gordan’s new sidekick John Blake (Joseph Gordon Levitt).

I had mixed feelings about TDKR. For one thing, it was long with a running time of 2 hours and 45 minutes, the longest film in the trilogy. I think they could have cut some parts out and still maintained the same effect. The film turned out to be my least favorite out of all three. My list goes in chronological order: Batman Begins (which everyone seems to overlook!), The Dark Knight, and finally The Dark Knight Rises. The film was very dark and depressing. Bruce Wayne’s downfall was so sad that I started to not like the film in the very middle of it. Fortunately the film does get better and leads up to a fantastic climax. The ending of TDKR was AMAZING! A perfect conclusion to a somewhat murky and confusing film. Those last five minutes were probably the best five minutes of this year in film.

                      

above: Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle, a.k.a Catwoman, and Tom Hardy as Bane

The cast performances were great, well most of them. Christian Bale, my love, is by far the best Batman ever. No one can compare. Tom Hardy was exceptional as Bane. He used his body to create fear, and it worked. Though I could hardly understand what he was saying half the time, Hardy was still as impressive, but will never be as amazing as Heath ledger’s Joker. Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine were great as always, and some of the moments between Alfred and Bruce were the best of the film.  I wasn’t too impressed with Marion Cottilard’s performance though, and her last scene in the movie was pitiful. Also contrary to most opinions, I disliked Anne Hathaway as “Catwoman” (she’s never really referred to as Catwoman in the movie though). Please don’t think I did not like her performance just because I don’t like her! I saw the movie before those feelings came, in fact, this film made me not like her. She wasn’t Catwoman for me, just some girl in a tight black suit. The only thing that made her resemble a cat the tiniest bit was the ears on her goggle things. Other than that, she was simply Selina Kyle. I wish she could have said “meow” or something like once! Michelle Pfeiffer  in Batman Returns, now that’s Catwoman! I know Nolan probably didn’t want her to be all cat, but just a little character would really help.

The film was confusing, long, depressing, dark, but I still liked it!  The ending made up for it all and so did the special effects. The film is a visual masterpiece! Nolan’s Batman trilogy was epic and monumental, all superhero films will be forced to meet it’s high set standards but will never reach it. Even though it wasn’t the best, I recommend all to see it. But watch the first two movies first because there are many references to them in TDKR.

ALL IN ALL: The Dark Knight Rises is the most depressing film of the trilogy, but still retains hope as an epic conclusion with its cast and ending.

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