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.
The Avengers. The basic plot mechanics are a bit tired, but I am not ashamed to admit how satisfying it is to see the whole gang together after seeing others in the Marvel series. A couple neat camera moments (Cap in the rearview and a POV shot that flips along with the car it’s inside of). Nothing quite like the joy/terror of Hulk being Hulk. I really wish Renner had more to work with.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier. I had so much fun. Good action movies make you want to do the things you see on screen. Iron Man is fun to watch, but I don’t feel like I want to fly around and shoot beams out of my hands. But this? Yeah, I want to hold up a shield and run through locked doors. The First Avenger is still my favorite of the Marvel movies, but this is a nice elaboration and keeps the good drama/humor balance. Such a great character, becoming more suspicious, more wary of what he’s asked to do.
Iron Man 3. I liked it more than Iron Man 2, maybe not as much as the original Iron Man, though I don’t remember it well at this point. This was definitely funnier than the first sequel, with some Kiss Kiss Bang Bang-ish genre awareness and biting humor. The villains, though, were a letdown, and the silly action spectaculars were kind of a mess. And yeah, it is kind of a feature-length damnation of wearable computing.
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.
Iron Man 2. It’s really pretty when things are blowing up. Admittedly, it’s been a while since I’ve seen a movie with a lot of ‘splosions, so I’m behind on the state of the art. Lots of eye candy, though. The main villain face-offs felt really low-stakes and awkwardly paced. Really erratic writing. I felt like the first one was funnier? Captain America is still my favorite of the few Avengers movies I’ve seen.