Doctor Strange (2016)

Love Marvel films, love Benedict Cumberbatch, however, spiritual magic and American Benedict Cumberbatch? I’m not so sure. Perhaps it just wasn’t a film for me. It felt a bit far-fetched, one thing after another, everything had a solution so why get worried, when time can be controlled? Oh, and throw in that he can fly… Yeah, I wasn’t quite there.

Benedict Cumberbatch, in my opinion, is one of the best British actors, amazing in ‘Sherlock’, couldn’t see anyone else playing that role. Yet, they chose this great British actor to play an American part. I get that he can do impressions well, I’ve seen those videos circling Facebook, and he doesn’t do the American accent too bad, but come on, couldn’t they have just kept him British? Anyway, of course he plays the character well, he was (despite the accent) a good choice for the role. We all know he can play the arrogant, cocky type well anyway, but instead of a detective (as like ‘Sherlock’), a neurosurgeon instead.

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The plot goes: we are shown the neurosurgeon is a brilliant one, yet of course he knows it. His job is his life, helpful with his photographic memory. His personality is arrogant to say the least, thinks he is the best out there, never wanting to mess up his “perfect record”. We are introduced to a past-girlfriend, a fellow surgeon herself, Christine, played by Rachel McAdams, of course she is brilliant, she executes some comedic moments well too. Anyway, tragedy strikes and Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is unable to be a surgeon with the injuries to his hands. This is where Benedict Cumberbatch grows a lot of hair… When all of his hope in science is disappearing, as his money, he turns to a place in Kathmandu searching for the Ancient One (played by Tilda Swinton – recognisable for me as the White Witch in ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’).

Away from the hospital now and we’re in a completely different light, away from science and to spiritual soul magic. This is where I turned a bit sceptical. Maybe the difference was too wide for me. I am a fan of magic films, but this one just seemed like there weren’t any limits, a film without limits feels too vague, anything can happen, nothing bad will happen. However, saying this, of course there was a build-up to the breaking point, something broken in some humour, “I’ve come to bargain”.

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There are moments of humour, for example Wong’s (Benedict Wong) bluntless to Stephen Strange’s attempts to humour is funny, and Christine’s confusion to Strange’s new life. There are moments of tension for the audience as there is a bad guy, even long moments of understanding the insight of the bad guy, which is clever, I do have to admit. Plus, something that has to be mentioned, is the amazing graphics. They are brilliant, really impressive, and make the film feel really real even if it’s not anything recognisable to everyday life.

 Ok, so the film wasn’t too bad. But I wouldn’t say it’s the best Marvel film out there, no way near. It’s very different to other Marvel films to say the least, but perhaps one in a different light to open up to a new audience. The graphics stand out for themselves, they truly are impression. I just wasn’t the biggest fan of the plot, so I didn’t get into it as much as others may have. But watch it for yourself, because you might have a completely different opinion to mine.

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Captain America. The government intervenes. The Avengers have a choice. The choice is split. Captain America vs Iron Man. Civil War. Someone pulling the strings in the background?

Ok, so another new Marvel film and I’m definitely a fan of the Marvel films, even if I’m a bit slow on the ball with this one. I love the fast-paced action, the colourful scenes, oh and the brilliant actors and actresses playing the best superheroes. This film is not any different. Especially that some of the Avengers (other than Captain America) make an appearance. What is not to love? Well, there was a few issues for me sadly… But this didn’t much affect the film, it’s still a good Marvel film, I just wouldn’t say it’s the best.

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So the plot was a bit confusing. I don’t know if you have to know the Captain America story inside out and this is where I fell down, but the beginning was a tad confusing for me. I would definitely recommend the other Captain America’s before you watched this one. However, still some parts were confusing at who was who… Or where the film was heading. Although after this started to kick in and things started to make more sense the film picked up incredibly. There was a lot fast-pace action so familiar to Marvel fans, where a lot was going on at the same time, although this is the fun and action of the film, and it definitely wasn’t let down by this. The graphics were great, everything just looked real in a world of superheroes. All your favourite superheroes kicking ass. Ok not all your favourites, personally Thor is mine and he wasn’t in this one, nor was the Hulk; however, it is predominantly a Captain America film. But joining Captain America is Natasha Romanoff, ie. Black Widow, Tony Stark, ie. Iron Man and Clint Barton, ie. Hawkeye. All of them familiar from the amazing Avengers films, and of course played by the brilliant same people, or that would cause an outrage. Imagine someone else being the snarky Iron Man other than Robert Downey Jr?! It just wouldn’t be right.

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This film is quite long as well, but once past the first part this doesn’t make much of an effect on the audience. ‘Captain America: Civil War’ does require constant attention to, it’s an easy watch, but you just need to watch it all. Something that I did notice, is that it does seem to be a film of all around the world, jumping to so many places. However, this is easy to know where they are, with the massive words of the place popping up on the screen; although this may be seen as drawing your attention to the fact that it is a film because the words were so big on the screen, but then again maybe you need them to understand the film, it could be more confusing without.

Something I actually loved about this film was the two new additions! These were Spider-Man and Ant-Man. They both were brilliant additions, they were hilarious in their own way. Paul Rudd has always been a favourite actor of mine, and now this film has just made me want to see Ant-Man even more, sadly haven’t seen it already! And the new Spider-Man, can’t wait until that comes out! Tom Holland was excellent, he is definitely pronounced as the young one of the new team, especially as the actor himself is about 20 now, surprisingly, he definitely looks younger! Maybe it’s the contrast to all the others… But his chatting away was brilliant during the fights and comical for the audience. I’m so happy with these two new additions, even if only for one fight scene, but I feel they made such a difference to the film.

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I would recommend this film, especially if you’ve seen all the other Captain America’s. The film is full of fast-paced action, colourful fun scenes, amazing actors and actresses, busy fight scenes, and some funny moments. If you’re a fan of Marvel this has to be on the list (but I guarantee you’ve probably already seen it). ‘Captain America: Civil War’ is a good watch, but not the best Marvel film. But hey, what sides wins?

Suicide Squad (2016)

Why I was hearing so many criticisms about this film is unexplainable to me. In my eyes I thought this film was great, there was plenty of action, a bit of romance and utter crazy hilarity. Because to say the least, there are some crazy bitches in this film. Yeah the plot was predictable and obvious, but personally that didn’t make much of a difference to me, I still enjoyed the film. And I didn’t go to watch it because I thought I was going to be shocked by the plot or be left puzzled by what’s going to happen next; it’s just not that sort of film. There aren’t plot twists and it isn’t a mystery. It’s just a good old fashioned action packed superhero film. Superheroes? Well bad guys helping the world instead.

I really loved all the characters, especially the introductions to them all. I love that David Ayer chose to introduce the characters in colourful explosions. Each bad guy was introduced by Viola Davis’ character, Amanda Waller, through a background story of how they were captured but also what their talents were. The characters were freeze framed as a portrait to the audience, as a list of their talents portrayed themselves and information that was key for the audience to know was displayed. I love how different this was to other films. It focused on that they were bad guys, rather than showing how they’re saving the world as superheroes, but frozen as they were caught or like on a wanted poster; there was a definite focus that they weren’t the good guys. The film definitely had more of an exaggeration on Deadshot (Will Smith) and Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), they significantly had more screen time than the other characters. But they were the best characters, so I’m ok with this.

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All the actors were brilliant. Will Smith understandably was outstanding, it’s Will Smith, of course he is! And I have to agree with the massive craze over Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, she played her so crazy, yet also crazy in love, that she was brilliant and also hilarious. Jared Leto’s version of the Joker was completely different to Heath Ledger’s, who in my opinion will always be the best Joker. However, the Joker in ‘Suicide Squad’ was creative in his smile having tattoos instead of scarring, and the differences were needed because Ledger’s was such a massive success. Leto’s Joker was crazed by his love for Harley Quinn, creating a desperate and fierce Joker who would go to any limits to save her. The other bad guys, Diablo (Jay Hernandez), “the fire bloke”, Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), “the crocodile”, Boomerang (Jai Courtney), thief; were all great in their own way as well. Cara Delevingne’s character, the Enchantress, however, was one that I didn’t expect, I didn’t realise from the trailers that was where the film was going (without giving too much away). Her character didn’t stand out as one of the best, but she played it well. Joel Kinnaman as the soldier Rick Flag is also worth a mention.

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This anti-hero film or as one of the trailers states the “worst heroes ever”, are in my opinion ones to remember. The way in which ‘Suicide Squad’ was directed, made them seem not as much as anti-heroes, even if they were the bad guys, but like Batman was a bad guy because he caught some of them and put them in jail. I don’t know if this was just something that I felt from the film, but because each of the characters has a strong significant powerful emotion it made them more human to the audience and to see from their side. The protagonists were made more real, even if they were psychopaths. Deadshot’s love and need to be seen in a good light by his daughter, like any father. Harley Quinn’s undeniable uncontrollable love for the Joker. Diablo’s want to not be who he is because of his past. Even the Killer Croc in the way he hides away who he is under a hoody. It took such a different take to the usual Marvel and DC superheroes that I really liked.

Now for one of my favourite aspects of the film. The soundtrack. It was brilliant. It kept the film alive, especially with the action. In a way, it was like some character’s had their own soundtrack to explain their personality. The songs were a bunch of new and old classics. From the great ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ by Queen, to twenty one pilots ‘Heathens’.

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I enjoyed the film and would recommend it. I thought it was a different take on a superhero film that didn’t follow the stereotypical superheroes of Iron Man, Superman or Thor, nothing like ‘Avengers Assemble’ for example. Don’t get me wrong I love those a lot too, but ‘Suicide Squad’ was a twisted bad guy version which should get equal praise in my opinion. Something as small as Will Smith’s character mentioning “Suicide Squad” in the film, when referencing their new group, I loved. Additionally, the film ended suggesting there could be another film, and I really hope there will be.

Avengers Assemble (2012)

One of my favourite Marvel films has got to be ‘Avengers Assembles’. It brings in all the Avengers from previous Marvel films and puts all the action into one film.

One of the great aspects is that each Avenger has their own quirky personality, different from the others. So I’m sure there must be one character, for each person, to like. If it be the nervous Dr Banner (Mark Ruffalo) scared of becoming the uncontrollable Hulk, or the undeniably self-absorbed genius Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr), or the “world’s first superhero” Captain America (Chris Evans) confused in the new life, or even the out of this world God Thor (Chris Hemsworth), or maybe a secretive skilled Russian spy Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), or lastly a taken over Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) captured by the evil Loki. Avengers Assembles

This film is very action-based; as there is action from the beginning, so you have no boring start waiting for the story to get interesting, the action begins immediately after the flicker of the ‘Marvel’ logo and even before the films own title. If you like a film that won’t leave you bored, this is one to choose, as something is always happening. Although, if you like films that are completely relatable, keep in mind this is a superhero film, special abilities and all, so relatable is not what you’re looking for in this film. Even though, this film is most predominantly action, there are elements of comedy to make the film lighter and not so serious all the time. All characters have small comments what will make you laugh; Robert Downey Jr’s (Iron Man) character does this very well, with his witty, opinionated comments. However, it’s definitely not a comedy film, where you’ll be in stitches from laughing too much at the end of the film, so if you’re looking for a good cheer up and laugh, not this film, even if there is the occasional chuckle.

There isn’t much secretive twists in this plot, not one that’s confusing to follow, so an easy watch. You are told the insights of the goodies and baddies. So ‘Avengers Assemble’ could be appropriate for younger audiences in this sense only, as you’ll always be kept in mind who should be trusted; for example when Hawkeye is under control by Loki, there’s a focus into his non-human bright eyes, to show that he shouldn’t be trusted even if he is in previous films. However, violence and many deaths occur, so may not be appropriate for younger ages, although deaths aren’t graphic or gruesome, more chaotic.

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The way in which the camera is positioned in this film adds to the excitement and action of the film. There’s a variety of camera usage, for example zooms and canting, also a mix of long and medium shots. This variation coincides with the action of the movie, throwing the audience around to make the film more gripping. Other technological aspects are also cleverly done and made as realistic as possible, so you don’t get a feeling of the movie being fake, even though the aliens are not real. The mise en scène is also something that should be commented on. It’s important for each Avenger to have their own costumes to make them distinctive and outstanding, the costumes are great and everything else in play just adds to the film. The cinematography is definitely great in this film and should be appreciated as it is so key to making a superhero excellent and interesting. Additionally, helps that all the actors and actresses are excellent and portray the protagonists to expectations.

There are some aspects to the film that link to previous Marvel films, for example each Avenger’s own film. So if you haven’t watched them all, some small comments might not make as much sense as they would if you had seen them; although it doesn’t make a massive difference and doesn’t consequence to the film overall. This film has a simple plot, a small comic side and is action-packed. If that’s a film you’d enjoy, then the superhero film you should watch should be this one, ‘Avengers Assemble’.