Wonder Woman. Watched on a flight, which is the perfect environment for quietly sobbing at moments of goodness. The origin story can be so tired, but I just loved the moral heart of this one. The No Man’s Land scene is perfect (and well-named…). Dr. Poison is such a great villain. I loved the make-up and sly creepiness and the hoarse voice. Wish she had more to do. The line “It’s not about deserve… It’s about what you believe.” – such a great scene – got me thinking about William Munny. “Deserve’s got nothin’ to do with it.”
Black Panther. Solid entry. Great villain, but our hero is kinda bland. I’m not over the moon with it. Lots of humor falling flat. I selfishly liked seeing the High Museum as a featured setting. Seemed like there’s some Star Wars influence here. Also, love to see MMA becoming a part of the action movie vocabulary. Not just punches and kicks, but the grappling, throws, chokes, holds, etc.. These people should be complete martial artists. The star of the soundtrack was the talking drums. 👌
Spider-Man 2. I took a break from superhero films for a while but couldn’t have found a better way to return. I was just so impressed with this movie. Even more so because I never liked Spider-Man comics. The pace, the stakes, some great slapstick and sight gags. Just firing on all cylinders.
Avengers: Infinity War. It was mildly distracting to see the movie’s first major battle taking place in my downtown Atlanta neighborhood, just blocks away. Is this how New Yorkers feel all the time? Thanos is a great villain. Maybe knowing they’d have him around later let them invest more and give him some motivation beyond destruction? I like the several scenes where loved ones are torn between hard choices – Vision and Scarlet Witch, Thanos and Gamorra, Starlord and Gamorra, etc.. My main frustration with the movie was the big Wakanda scenes. We are convinced this is the most technologically advanced civilization on the planet, and they are fighting a crucial battle… with infantry, hand-to-hand? It’s a shame. They could have done something more interesting. The giant roto-tiller machines were cool, though.
Logan. I had sworn off superhero films for a while, needed a break. This was a solid re-entry. And a relief to see a superhero film that’s not a direct sequel, and also not an origin story. Hard to see a hero so thoroughly vulnerable. Really fun limo chase.
Batman Returns. It had been a long time since I’d seen it. This Christmas tale also begins with a birth, but it’s so much more desperate and twisted than the traditional one. Too bad Catwoman is the only villain that stresses me out. Penguin is just kinda lame and pitiful. :( I like the staging and framing for many of the scenes. Like during Penguin PR speech, back at the mansion Alfred is decorating the Christmas tree while Bruce watches TV. (Speaking of, kinda funny how Batman learning about about rising threats through television seems so dated now.) And there’s some silly-exhilarating stuff, like when Kyle falls through layers of awnings. That scene at the masquerade (Superfreak!) is a masterpiece. Lovely to look at, and charmingly mental, but the story progression is too herky-jerky for my tastes, and not as fun as the 1989 for me.
Different heroes have different values, different roles, and they tell different stories. For much of the audience, Superman is the virtuous hero, and a story that doesn’t explore this is not a Superman story. And really, the makers of Man of Steel did not seem overly interested in telling a Superman story.
Thor. Funny to compare this to my experience watching The Dark Knight Rises. While just as gee-whiz/fun/bad, this one was much less ambitious and much less exasperating. A lesson in expectations. I expect Captain America to remain my favorite of the Marvel series, followed by the first Iron Man, then Thor, then Iron Man II. I guess that leaves The Incredible Hulk and The Avengers on my to-watch list.