Guardians of the Galaxy was easily the most obscure property that Marvel studios have set their sights on adapting, and the only really surprising announcement since they made since the MCU’s inception. It was a risk that paid off though, with the film being arguably Marvel Studios’ most unique entry, both content and quality-wise. It certainly tends to lie near the top of any fan’s ranking (I’ve got it at 3 myself). With the addition of this sequel though, confidently the strongest ‘part 2’ of any MCU series yet, they might well prove to be the Studios’ biggest stars. Continue reading
Happy New Year! That’s 2016 over and done with, and I want to try and think positively about what we’ve got coming up this year in the field of something that disappointed me immensely last year; big studio franchise films.
Glancing at a list of the top grossing movies of the year, you’ll yet again see that franchise films – sequels, remakes, reboots, prequels, spin-offs etc. – are dominating it. They’re still among the most consistent earners in the business, which doesn’t look likely to change anytime soon, but I think that 2016 was an especially weak year for these films in terms of quality, and most people will probably agree with me there to some level. When at the end of a long summer (which in movie season terms appears to run from March to October now), you can look back and say that the solid-if-unspectacular Star Trek Beyond was easily the best blockbuster, it can’t have been that impressive of a year. For me it was disappointments week after week, and yes I am including Captain America: Civil War in this, a film whose wide acclaim continues to mystify me (I genuinely liked X-Men: Apocalypse more). Continue reading
Marvel’s first big release of 2016; Captain America: Civil War, was a film that saw the studio operating at the forefront of modern cinematic serialisation. A film that makes few provisions for potential new franchise viewers, all but assuming everyone watching is already completely familiar with its characters and what they’ve got up to previously (which is, let’s be honest, fair enough at this point). It’s an interesting surprise to see then that for their second major film of the year, Doctor Strange, they’ve gone in the opposite direction with a film that, bar a brief couple of name-drops easily stands alone. Continue reading
Not counting this February’s unfathomably successful spin-off Deadpool, when we last left the increasingly messy (and probably nonsensical) timeline of the X-Men universe in Days of Future Past, it had just wiped the events of more than one of its movies out of existence, giving us a happy ending for the old cast, and resurrecting more than one dead character. Opting not to continue with the rewritten future timeline, X-Men: Apocalypse focuses instead entirely on the younger cast, being more of a sequel to First Class, the reboot that turned out not to be a reboot, than whatever the hell DoFP was.
Last year I wrote a piece ranking every movie so far in the MCU. I didn’t plan to write another one or anything as only 2 more movies have been released since then, but following the release of Captain America: Civil War I posted a quick list on my Facebook page reflecting it’s position and a couple of re-evaluations I’ve had since re-watching a few of them too. This was the new list: Continue reading
Marvel Studios’ thirteenth film, and the one that kicks off their third official “phase”, finds them embracing their original concept of a shared cinematic universe like never before. Their success has been so great that they now appear to be operating on the same assumption the Harry Potter series did from its third entry onward; that audiences are all now totally familiar with the characters and this world, and know the previous stories. There’s no entry point for new viewers now. Marvel are using this film to draw from previous events, and explore new ones that affect multiple characters throughout their universe, and introduce a couple of new names to boot. Continue reading
It’s an odd fate that appears to have fallen on 2009’s much derided X-Men: Origins – Wolverine. Though financially successful, the almost universally negative reaction to the film could have signalled the end of the franchise as it was, and indeed led the studio to go for a semi-reboot approach following it up with prequel X-Men: First Class. And yet, years later we’ve had a second Wolverine movie that was given the chance to essentially deliver the kind of solo story people wanted first time around, and even more strangely, two of the other comic-book characters introduced in the film are getting their own spin-off features. Continue reading