Elektra (2005 Movie)

elektra (Small)Ok, this was just as bad as I remembered. I actually watched this with Mrs B as she had seen years ago and remembered liking it. I think that is why I actually own it, it was in the bargain bin at Walmart for $5 and she wanted it.

Our consensus was that this was the “Poor, Sad Puppy” movie.

Audiences were introduced to Elektra in the movie Daredevil in 2003. She was a romantic interest to DD but apparently died at the end of the movie.

This movie starts out with a lot of BS about an eternal war between the forces of good and evil and that each generation a Chosen One arises and whoever gains control of said Chosen One helps their side get ahead. We then get a 2minute crash course in the good guys and the bad guys and that the good guys can see the future and raise the dead. Cue Elektra being raised by Stick, the blind cranky man who gives Daredevil such a hard time. Elektra trains under the good guys but is too filled with anger, etc so Stick kicks her out. She becomes an assassin of Legend and hunts down the Hand (the bad guys) whenever she is on a job. Why, I have no idea.

Her assassin agent gets her a gig and she has to go to some remote island where she supposed to wait further instructions. There she meets a 13 year old girl who has broken into her house and stolen some items and has a MAJOR attitude. She meets the father and they all have dinner together and “bond”. Then Elektra gets the package outlining her newest target. I wonder who that could be? Probably the butcher on the next island over? Nope! It is the father and daughter, surprise! She refuses and then the Hand try to kill the father and daughter and Elektra defends them and takes them to Stick. Stick, for no apparent reason, tosses them all out on their asses where they become the target of the Super Hand, ie, super lame villains with “powers”.  It is revealed that the brat is the Chosen One and so then Stick gives them all sanctuary. Elektra contacts the head of the Super Hand to have a one on one duel for the fate of the Chosen One, even though she is already safe with Stick.

Elektra heads back to her house where her mother died and starts fighting lot of badguys. The Brat shows up and she and Elektra take down the Super Hand and it turns out it was all planned out by Stick to show Elektra that she really was a good person on the inside with a heart of gold. *cue hugs and “awwwwws”*

The movie ends with Elektra going off to be a “Good Assassin”.

There were a lot of flashbacks to Elektra’s childhood and how she sees her mother die and how the head of the Super Hand was the one to do it. You could tell that the intent of the director was to humanize Elektra and make the audience sympathize with her. Unfortunately, it just made Elektra look like a sad puppy for 3/4 of the movie, a puppy that got beat with a stick. Instead of a kickass assassin who could hold her own against someone like Daredevil, we get a hurt little girl with mommy issues.

There were so many things that didn’t make sense with this movie. At the final fight, how did the Chosen One get from Stick’s compound to Elektra’s abandoned mansion? She’s 13, can’t drive and I highly doubt the city bus runs by the abandoned country mansion.  One of the badguys is called “Stone” and takes a shotgun blast to the chest from 5feet away but when a tree falls on him he collapses into green dust (all the Hand did this, why?).  Why isn’t Daredevil kicking the ass of the Chosen One’s father since he’s putting the moves on Elektra? WHERE is Daredevil period? He should have had at least a cameo.  Elektra is only dressed in her red suit for about 20minutes out of the whole 100+ minutes. She wears boring black for most of it. Garner was a beautiful woman and they should have kept her in her signature red suit. I also think they botoxed her lips as they looked big enough to eat an elephant! One of the villains reveals that she used to be a Chosen One. How did that happen since the Hand talks about losing the last couple of Chosen Ones to the good guys?

This wasn’t a superhero movie, per se. The villains dealt more in the supernatural (stone, poison, tattooes coming to life, etc) but Elektra just struts around killing things with her little sai’s. Except when she’s helplessly weeping and making pouty faces because she remembers how mean her daddy was to her and how upset she is about her mommy’s death.

This was not the Elektra I was introduced to in Daredevil. THAT Elektra was badass.  This movie needed a badass Elektra and didn’t get it.  So sad puppy faces for everyone. Boohooohoooo….

At the end of me writing this Mrs B said “In Elektra’s first life she was badass. In her second life she was a sad puppy.  “Martha!“”    hahahahahahahaa!

Next month I’m taking  a break from most of my regular non-review posts to write some silly stuff that’s been percolating through my head. So no choices for you!

 

bookstooge (Custom)

Antman & The Wasp (Movie)

antmanwaspAntman & the Wasp. Technically I know there is a hyphen between Ant and Man but since this is a movie review and what’s more, it is MY movie review, I don’t particularly care. It is much easier to remember and search for “Antman” than “Ant-Man”. I mean, with my thousands of movie reviews, I need to make things easier to find, right? 😉

 

Before watching this movie, you definitely need to have watched Antman. My history with Antman was a weird one.  When I heard that the MCU was putting out a movie about Antman, as a solo hero, I was right there in the frontlines scoffing as hard as anyone. Some guy in a suit who can shrink or enlarge himself? Come on, how corny was that? Plus, given the quality of writers in Hollywood these days, I figured it would be a very lame story.  However, when I ended up watching it, it became one of my favorite recent MCU movies. A heist movie with a wise-cracking lead. And Evangeline Lilly. I’ve been a huge fan of hers ever since her “Kate” days in Lost. So the original movie surprised me a lot with how much I ended up liking it.

It was a no-brainer for me to watch this sequel once it came out on bluray/digital.

First off, the characters.  Paul Rudd makes Scott Lang. Since I’m not a comic book fan, I’m not comparing anything, which always helps. Lang is a down on his luck, no matter what, kind of convict. I mean, he is under house arrest for years for helping out the Avengers in Captain America: Civil War. So the movie starts out with him living at home, trying to start up a security company for the guys who helped him and to entertain his daughter. He really comes across as the luckless guy who really wants to do good but no matter what he does, it turns out bad for him. He’s not a fighter, not an aggressive in your face, Knight on a Noble Steed kind of guy.  A girl teaches him how to fight, for goodness sake in the first movie and in this one, he doesn’t do the fighting. That leads over to the Wasp.

Evangeline Lilly as Hope van Dyne, aka the Wasp, is the fighter in this movie. Much like her alter-ego name implies, she is the one with the sting.  She is the one who does most of the fighting, whether against the Ghost or against the Hillbilly Boys and half the time she’s the one initiating the fighting. At the same time she’s working with her dad Hank Pym to build a machine to bring her mom back from the quantum zone. That is her goal and she is completely driven.

The other sub-characters didn’t jar anything for me. Michael Douglass, Michelle Pfeiffer, Laurence Fishburne, all big names that brought their skill to the story without overshadowing the main characters. Michael Pena as Luis, gives another excellent performance as the big mouth buddy of Scott Lang who just cannot keep his mouth shut. When the bad guys put him on the truth serum, man, that was one of the best parts for me. I am a fan of him talking while other characters act out the scene as if they were him. Since it wasn’t “new” like in the first movie, it wasn’t quite as funny but I still found myself smiling away.

The badguys were a bit of a letdown I have to admit.  The Hillbilly Gang moved the plot forward but I never felt like they were a serious threat. The Ghost was cool with her abilities but her obsession with killing Hope’s mom to steal her quantum energy bordered on monomania. She did provide a great foil for Hope in the fight scenes though.

The overall plot was the rescue of Hope’s mom and all the problems the heroes faced while doing it. Nothing earth-shattering or world ending. Sometimes I need the little battles to remember that people are people.

So the movie ended and I had enjoyed it tremendously. It was everything I wanted in an Antman movie. I watched the first mid-credits scene and can’t even remember what it was to be honest. Then came the final scene. It ties directly into the Infinity War but even so, I found it horrifying. It was bad enough with 3/4 of the team (Dr Pym, Hope, her mom and Scott Lang) suddenly disappearing into ash but the panning over the city and seeing nobody? It gave me shivers and honestly kind of ruined the mood.  That isn’t the tone of the Antman movies. It did guarantee though that I’ll be watching Infinity War at some point.

 

bookstooge (Custom)

Thor: Ragnarok (Movie)

thorragnorakThe only reason I watched this movie was to see Thor and Hulk either fight against each other or with each other. That is it. I found both previous Thor movies to be unenjoyable borefests.

Part of that is that I never enjoyed Thor as a comic book character, so translating him to the big screen doesn’t make me feel all squirmy and wriggly inside.  The other reason is that I don’t like Natalie Portman, and it really isn’t even her fault. When The Phantom Menace came out in 1999, I had been waiting for a new Star Wars movie since I could remember and I got The Phantom Menace. I wasn’t immediately devastated, but the scarring process had begun and Amidala was the face of the The Phantom Menace as far as I was concerned. It also didn’t help that her character in the previous Thor movies I recollect as the girly girly slap slap variety. So it helped that she wasn’t in this one and the Hulk was. Hulk good, Jane bad!

*********************

Ok, I wrote the previous before watching the movie. I just finished. Holy smokes, I had SO MUCH FUN watching this movie.

I found the humor right down my alley. Physical humor interspersed with lowbrow banter. There were several times that I just laughed out loud. Not a slight chuckle, mind you, but a full laugh that lasted for at least 5seconds.  There was nothing serious about this movie and I’m glad they didn’t try to simply put in spots of humor while making it a grim movie. This was pure comic book and I loved it.

The fighting exceeded my expectations as well. The fight between Thor and Hulk in the arena was great. Wreaking half the arena showed just how powerful both of them were. The big fight scene at the end where Thor goes full on Thunder God was pure awesomesauce. I’m just kind of sad that it took until the end of the 3rd movie to get to that point. But I’m satisfied now that we got there.

I liked the characters as well. Jeff Goldblum was as weird as ever, Hemsworth and Hiddle WERE Thor and Loki and Cate Blanchett as Hela? Yeah, now there’s an evil elf queen for you! Miss Valkyrie lady seemed like the token tough girl but she was head and shoulders above “Jane” in terms of enjoyment. Finally, Hulk. I didn’t like that he talked so much. I know in the comic books he goes through various levels of toughness and braininess, but in this movie, there was no explanation for how he turned into a veritable fount of verbosity. But him fighting things made up for it.

To end, I enjoyed this so much that I’m going to be watching the previous 2 Thor movies again to see if my initial feelings were off or what. This movie didn’t make me a fan of the whole franchise, but it sure made me want to watch any future Thor movies (who knows how many more Thor movies there will be, if any though).

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

 

Doctor Strange (Movie)

doctor-strange-blu-boxWell, this movie didn’t start out the best for me.  It starts out in a dark room with darkly robed figures. I HATE movie sequences where I can’t see what is going on. One of those pet peeves that will ruin the whole thing for me. So I’m not definitely not going to be buying this. I didn’t care how the rest of the movie went, that beginning sank it.

Stephen Strange’s introduction was perfect. Cumberbatch did a fantastic job of showing Strange’s arrogance AND skill. In many ways, his rendering of Sherlock served him well in this movie. I did find his fall rather precipitous, but considering the time space of the movie, to stretch it out any more would have cut into the rest of the movie.

And that is where this movie just kind of “meh’ed” me.  His training time, eh, it was just so mediocre. Mysterious hints of the badguys doing some ritual, his training with weapons magical and mundane, his voracious learning. It was all pretty boring to me.

When the badguys begin attacking the Sanctum’s and Strange defends the New York Branch, gaining the help of the Cloak of Levitation, that was pretty cool. The whole out of body fight experience in the hospital though, it made me wonder just how much time had passed? I mean, my last recollection of Strange is as a whining, poor me, acolyte and suddenly he’s going head to head with The Bad Guy? Where’s the Ancient One? I’d like to know why she’s slacking off and letting Strange get his butt kicked.

The battle in the Mirror Dimension, well, that just struck me as  a total ripoff from Inception. Escher-style buildings and scenery make my stomach go “ughh”.  The climactic battle in Hong Kong really didn’t show me just how much of a threat Dormammu was supposed to be. Strange’s little time battle with Dormammu was clever, but it made Dormammu look like an idiot. How much of a real threat can something so stupid be?

Overall, I did enjoy my time watching this but there was nothing special that made me want to buy it. I’m beginning to wonder if I’m starting to experience Super Hero Movie burnout. Definitely a must-see though if you have plans to watch the upcoming Infinity War duology. Strange plays a big part in that with his Time Infinity Gem. Well, at least he did in the comics.

 

bookstooge