comic book

Review: Avengers: Endgame (Carson’s View)

If you are reading this review because you cannot decide if you should watch Avengers: Endgame or not, I can confidently say that you shouldn’t.  Endgame is just that, the end of an era and the culmination of 11 years and 22 movies of Marvel’s grand experiment.  A journey that started in 2008 with Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man has brought us to this thrilling conclusion staring over 30 A-list actors. There is only one way to truly appreciate the magnitude of Endgame and that comes with 48 hours of homework.  If you have done your homework, then you were going to see this one no matter what.  If you haven’t, you shouldn’t.  Plain and simple.

I believe you could get away with watching Avengers: Infinity War without having seen any of the preceding movies. Sure, you might not grasp every joke or call back, but you could follow and enjoy the movie as a stand alone. That is not the case for Endgame.  Endgame is best described as a tribute to everything we have seen over the past 11 years in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  All of the previous 21 movies are referenced in one way or another. Which may sound cheesy, but it is constructed in such a masterful way that it works on all levels.

Avengers: Endgame is a movie for the fans.  Comic book and movie fans alike.  It is jam packed full of Easter Eggs for the super fan, but also fully invests the casual movie fan.  It is a movie for all ages that only gets better with multiple viewings.  It should come at no one’s surprise that Endgame will be the highest grossing movie of all time. Deservingly so.  It is an event unlike anything that has ever graced the big screen.  It is a wonderful finale that everyone can enjoy… after they do their homework.

Episode 90: Avengers: Endgame

Garrett and Carson are in the Endgame. ‘Nuff Said!

Episode 88: Hellboy (2019)

Garrett and Carson raise hell while reviewing the 2019 version of Hellboy.

Review: Shazam! (Carson’s View)

Billy Batson is a young boy who has been given the ability to turn into a superhero by saying the magic word, “Shazam!” Shazam! is a fun, light-hearted, humorous, but ultimately forgettable installment into the DC Cinematic Universe.  It is a superhero movie made for kids.   Those that will enjoy Shazam! will add that additional disclaimer; It is good… “for a kids movie.” Unlike last year’s animated movie Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse which is just a great movie and needs no caveat.

All of the young actors did a wonderful job in Shazam! Most notably Jack Dylan Grazer and Asher Angel. These two have bright futures ahead of them and I am looking forward to their next performances.  Zachary Levi was a good choice to play the title hero.  He has the look and personality to pull off a grown man-child. The villain always makes or breaks the movie. Mark Strong is a good choice when looking for a sinister adversary, however, the script and tone of the movie does not let him become anything more than your stereotypical underwhelming super-villain.

With the sheer volume of comic book movies that have been released recently, Shazam! will fall into the abyss as one of the least memorable movies in the past decade.  There are no cool takeaways or scenes to look forward to on a second viewing.  But if you are bored on a Sunday afternoon, it is an entertaining watch… for a kids movie.

Episode 86: Shazam!

Garrett and Carson kid around while talking DC’s Shazam!

Review: Captain Marvel (Carson’s View)

Captain Marvel has finally joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe!  Brie Larson headlines as Carol Danvers in this historical debut.  Brie is a great fit to play Captain Marvel, but she is only scratching the surface of the character in this film.  Largely in part to the relatively inexperienced directors who somehow convinced Marvel Studios they were ready for a movie of this magnitude.  They weren’t, and it shows.

As a fan of comic books and Captain Marvel, I had been looking forward to this movie for a long time (even before the pager).  I knew there was a need to do some adjusting from the source material going into the movie.  Carol Danvers has such a complex and convoluted backstory that there is no way to do it justice in under 10 hours. The simplification of the origin story was necessary, but not some of the changes to fit the social narrative of this movie.  Mainly everything to do with Annette Bening needs to be omitted and changed back to their original script.  I am sure Annette is a very nice lady, but she does not belong in this movie in any capacity.

Captain Marvel needed to show why Carol Danvers is a complete bad-ass.  It needed to let Brie Larson be that bad-ass.  The action scenes were too confined, few and far between, and hard to tell what was going on.  Captain Marvel has such a grand power-set that having her fight in a tiny room truly limits how awesome she can be.  The emotional core of this movie also misfires as attention on young Carol should have been front and center to give more weight and motivation. These two directors shoulder the blame on what should have been an epic introduction.  An incredible actress like Brie in the hands of the Russos has limitless potential.  Avengers: End Game will be her true introduction into the MCU.

Review: Captain Marvel (Garrett’s View)

A solid entry, somewhat cookie cutter entry into the Marvel cinematic universe with strong performances that make it a cut above most other Marvel origin stories.

Episode 83: Captain Marvel

Garrett and Carson are flerken excited to talk about Captain Marvel.

Review: Glass (Carson’s View)

Glass.  The conclusion of M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable Trilogy left the audience wanting more.  Not from a “can’t wait to see the next movie” sense, but more of a “really, that’s it?” sense.  Shyamalan is known for his brilliantly laid-out, thought provoking, one-of-a-kind works of art. He is as equally known for his confusing, dull, wastes-of-time.  Glass falls somewhere in the middle. 

The world built in the Unbreakable Trilogy is an interesting one.  It is a world on the cusp of being introduced to super heroes and villains.  These are a very different type of comic book movies than the Marvel and DC films we are getting today. These are grounded in reality. Character driven. Dark and gritty.  Slow moving with few action sequences.  This technique worked really well in Unbreakable, it was good in Split, and it was just boring in Glass. With this cast, these characters, these backstories, and this director, the stage was set for Glass to be something legendary. 

The most disappointing thing about Glass is the expectation that Shyamalan had a grand design for this trilogy from the start.  That he had some ingenious way of bringing these worlds together into this epic unexpected conclusion.  Perhaps it is unfair to continue to hold Shyamalan to his previous greatness.  He established a reputation early that he has not been able to live up to since.  I believe he is truly a victim of his own success.  Very few directors are held to such a high standard. The ending of Split teased us that he might still have something left in the tank.  That he could still pull one over on the audience just like the good old days.  Unfortunately, Glass did not deliver on those expectations and Shyamalan remains a shadow of his former self. Glass is not a bad movie, just wasted potential. 

Episode 77: Glass

Garrett and Carson break through Glass, M. Night Shyamalan’s last film in the Unbreakable trilogy.