Last month I put out a tweet asking if I should watch The Gifted. What I find hard is catching up with with all the current comic book TV shows. It feels like a new show or season is starting every week. Surprisingly the tweet received a lot of positive feedback mainly in favour for me to start watching the show. I was told by many that if I loved the X-Men then I would enjoy The Gifted. So I gave the first episode a chance which is what I do with most TV shows that I’m trying to get into. It’s all about whether the first episode can keep my interest enough to invest my time in a series as a whole. Well before I knew it after watching the first episode of The Gifted I had caught up with the series in the space of a couple of days.
What I loved most about this series is how it gave me such an old school X-Men vibe from the animated series that I watched as a kid. Without going into major spoilers the main story of the series is that the X-Men are no longer around but what they left behind is an underground organisation to act as a refuge for mutants who are being hunted down by the sentinels. One family comes to find out that the children themselves are mutants and find themselves on the run from authorities eventually joining the mutant underground. This provides for a lot of conflict and companionship that is dealt with well throughout this series with how the outsiders are now looking at the mutants to be accepted. Once at the mutant underground this is where the show is at its strength because we are introduced to characters such as Polaris and Marcus who quickly became my favourites. As a whole it’s interesting to see how the mutant underground operates and helps other mutants. At the same time the mutants have to make sure that they are one step ahead of the sentinels who are tracking them down in a continuous cat and mouse game.
One reason why I have always liked the the X-Men in both comics and movies is because they mirror social issues that go on today such as racism and immigration. The Gifted also touches on these subjects and does a good job at creating a world where mutants just want to be accepted for who they are. The writers do a good job at allowing you to see both sides of the argument because although you may not agree with the other side it’s interesting to see their thought process and where their issues with the mutants lie. One aspect I would also like to address is the CGI in this TV show. CGI is crucial to this TV show as it’s needed to showcase the mutants powers and with a TV budget in my opinion the CGI is great. With some shows you can tell that they are working on a small budget but that’s not the case here.
The best thing about this series is you don’t really have to be a X-Men at all to enjoy it, you can come into the series with no prior knowledge at all. Granted there are a lot of callbacks and easter eggs to the original X-Men characters. One of my favourite easter eggs is one of the characters ringtone being the theme song from the X-Men animated series.
With the first season being wrapped up just a couple of days ago I cannot wait to see where they go next with this series in future seasons. If I still haven’t convinced you to watch The Gifted just give the first episode a try, what’s the worst that could happen?
Let me know what you think of the series if you have watched it
Let me just start off by making two points before giving my thoughts on Thor: Ragnarok. The first is that I wasn’t a fan at all of the previous two Thor movies. In fact I’m not really a big fan of Thor as a character in general prior to this film, I didn’t feel like his presence was missed in Captain America: Civil War. The second point is there’s been some controversy since it was revealed that Thor: Ragnarok received 98% on Rotten Tomatoes. There are claims of reviewers being biased towards Marvel and criticism of the film itself for following a safe Marvel formula as it has been described as a ‘fun’ film. Personally I have no bias, I love both DC and Marvel and try not to get caught up in the whole light vs dark debates when it comes to the tone of the films. Whether a director wants their film to be more light and funny or more dark and serious is no issue with me. Just do it right, and in this case director Taika Waiti does a great job with a mix of both with Thor: Ragnarok which I feel isn’t only just an enjoyable film but the best Thor film to date.
Chris Hemsworth is back as Thor ‘The God of Thunder, Tom Hiddleston returns as his brother Loki and Mark Ruffalo plays both the Hulk/Bruce Banner. This is why the majority of the humour and fun of Thor: Ragnarok works for me because of this great cast. Chris Hemsworth to me puts in his best performance to date as Thor. If you were to replace him with another actor I’m not sure you will get the same results as I feel there aren’t too many actors that could pull off some of these lines. As for Tom Hiddlestone… well he’s just awesome as Loki. Hiddleston does a great job at showing the inner conflicts of Loki, someone who loves to put himself first but at the same time is faced with a dilemma as his brother and home are in grave danger. Loki’s role in this film provides for a lot of twists and turns that you may not see coming. Hulk is a great addition to the movie as it doesn’t feel like he wasn’t just shoved into the film last minute for marketing reasons. It makes sense why he’s involved and the fight scenes between him and Thor provide for a very entertaining spectacle. New additions to the cast such as Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie), Jeff Goldblum (The Grandmaster), Cate Blanchett (Hela) and Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange provide for a much welcome surprise to the film without going into the details of their roles.
The story of Thor: Ragnarok was engaging enough to keep my interests throughout the 210 minutes of the film. If you didn’t know Ragnarok means the end of Asgard (not a spoiler) and the majority of the film is spent on how Thor with the help of others can try save Asgard and its people. Thor spends much of his time trying to build his own team trying to get the likes of the Hulk and Loki to fight alongside him. In case you didn’t know Loki has a track record of betraying Thor and being being a hard person to work with. So it was interesting to see the constant conflict between the two. Would Thor eventually get his brother to fight alongside him or will it be the same old double crossing Loki? I won’t spoil that for you. So I guess you could say that the stakes are pretty high in this film also with a very credible main villain of Hela whose main aim is to take over as the Queen of Asgard. By the end of the film it may not end as you expected which was a surprise to me and lets just say there are things that occurred during this film that will change not only the character of Thor but also Asgard forever.
The score of the film is nothing to shout about sadly, if you enjoyed what you heard from the trailers its really more of the same. This more electronic rock type of score fits the theme of the film as well as the look of the film. But other than that I can’t really see myself listening to the soundtrack of Thor Ragnarok in my spare time.
Overall Thor: Ragnarok provides for a great experience and easily the best instalment of the Thor franchise so far. Maybe on a second viewing I could argue that it’s actually Marvel’s best release so far this year as I definitely found it more entertaining than Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2. I would need to watch Spider-Man: Homcoming again but there isn’t much that splits the two films in quality. Is it one of the best comic book film ever? Of course it isn’t but the director and the cast deserve a lot of praise for giving a new lease of life to a franchise that previously lacked direction and didn’t really get it’s feet off the ground. I didn’t think I’d be saying this but I can’t wait to see what’s next for this franchise. I guess it really was third time’s the charm for me when it comes to Thor.
P.S. Stay for both the after credit scenes especially the first one 😉
As expected the final Justice League just dropped at New York Comic Con today. Now usually when writing reviews I like to give these in-depth introductions but honestly I can’t wait any longer. This past week has felt like the lead up to Christmas day for me in a way. So with that being said lets get straight into the trailer and my thoughts as promised earlier this week. Continue reading Review: Justice League Trailer
Without question the Dark Knight trilogy will go down as one of the best film trilogies ever. It’s Certainly one of the most successful we have seen grossing up to $2.5 billion worldwide across the three movies. This trilogy had wiped out the pain and nightmares of the Batman & Robin and Batman Forever films. So this trilogy not only revolutionised the character of Batman but the comic book film genre as a whole. However just like with everything in the world nothing is perfect and having recently re-watched the whole trilogy over the summer I’d like to give my personal view on how I would rank the individual movies.
3. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
After the heights of the Dark Knight this film had a really tough act to follow. With that being said I can’t hide the fact that this film is still probably one of Nolan’s worst films to me. Now don’t get me wrong if this film was made by another director it would most likely be their best film ever, it’s just that I have such high standards for Nolan. With this film I felt that Christopher Nolan was lazy here especially when it came to the minor details of the story writing.
He left a lot of plot holes throughout the film when in previous project he would fill in with great detail. In Dark Knight Rises you start to have plot holes exist such as how did Bruce Wayne make it back to Gotham from the prison when Gotham was cut off from the rest of the country? How did Batman survive the bomb explosion with seconds to go on the timer? These issues transferred to main characters such a Bane who was a huge problem for me throughout this movie. This is nothing to do with Tom Hardy but I didn’t like the way Bane was used in this film. From being like a minion to his sister Talia al Ghul to the way he talked. I’m sorry but I found it hard trying not to laugh every time Bane opened his mouth. Not to mention the fact he created a bomb that would blow up in six months. Which I understand he wanted to see Gotham in ruins by turning it upside down, it just lacked the right execution.
As I was watching this films climax I thought it was great that Batman would make the ultimate sacrifice saving Gotham. My feelings suddenly changed when it felt like Nolan had tricked me with Batman surviving. I hated this ending because it didn’t make sense with the universe Nolan had built. This was a universe where batman was just an idea, anyone could be the Batman such as John Blake’s character which was heavily teased. So with Bruce Wayne’s Batman dying it would have been the perfect ending for the trilogy. I do feel like this decision may have been influenced by the studio executives that didn’t want their audience to see Batman die.
2. Batman Begins (2005)
Batman Begins is a film that I have come to appreciate a lot more as I’ve gotten older. Mind you I was around the age of 10 when I first saw this film. Now having a better understanding of Batman from various comics and previous films this is the best portrayal of the origins of Batman. This was the first serious take on Batman in a while, given the last time we saw Batman on the big screen it was in Joel Schumacher’s Batman & Robin (1997). With this film and it’s focus on the origins of the character it was almost like a re-introduction of a new Batman to a different generation that didn’t grow up on the likes of Michael Keaton and Adam West.
We see the journey Bruce Wayne takes as a person who at first sets out for revenge for the death of his parents to someone who develops a moral compass whose main aim is to help clean up corruption in Gotham. The scene where Bruce Wayne is training with Ra’s al Ghul showed how in a split moment why he became the Batman as he refused to punish the criminal. This showed that Batman was not a punisher type of character and instead of killing people that did wrong he brought them to justice.
What I love about what Nolan does with Batman’s origin is showing us the link between bats and Bruce Wayne. From an early age Bruce had a fear of bats from watching that play in the theatres to having nightmares about them. The choice of Scarecrow as the main villain was great too as he linked with the main theme of the movie which is fear. Instead of embracing fear what made the Scarecrow such a threat to Batman was that he would use people’s fear against them. So Batman overcoming Scarecrow shows the full development of his character in how he embraced his main fear to the point where Scarecrow’s main ability was useless against him. So in 20 years’ time when someone asks me what to recommend to them if they want to get into batman I would tell them to start with this film. (mind you by the way hollywood works we might have 5 more Batman origin films by then)
1. The Dark Knight (2008)
Is anyone surprised that the Dark Knight is number one? This is a film that should be in everyone’s top ten films ever list regardless of what genres. Honestly I could write about this movie for hours (I’ll leave that to a future date). The Dark Knight in my opinion is Nolan’s best work ever even after watching his other critically acclaimed projects such as Memento and Inception. The story telling here is second to none from the character and their motivations, to the building of Gotham as a universe that felt so real. It really enforced how Batman was an idea and anyone could be a hero as shown with performances by John Blake to the convicts on the boat in the final act who choose not to detonate the bomb. There are so many great scenes that come to mind when I think of this film such as The Joker and Batman highway chase scene. I still remember my Jaw dropping and being on the edge of my seat when Rachel Dawes died, I couldn’t believe they took that kind of step in a comic book film.
Now people say that with Batman his villains can be more interesting than the caped crusader himself. That’s hard to disagree with when you have the likes of The Joker and Two-Face in this film. Two-Face who gets overshadowed by The Joker (for obvious reasons) is a great villain by himself in this movie. To see him transition from this hero like persona of Harvey Dent to this conflicted, angry and broken character is incredible. Not to mention the look of the character himself is amazing, much credit is deserved to the make-up artists and costumers in this film.
Although I have heaped a lot of praise on Nolan for this amazing film I think it’s time we talk about the real star of Dark Knight which is The Joker. Heath Ledger in my eyes will go down as being the best Joker ever in my opinion. His performance alone makes this the best film of the trilogy hands down. Everything about him fully embracing the character by coming up with The Joker’s appearance and mannerisms is something to stand in awe of. Every time he was on screen from that opening bank scene you couldn’t take your eyes off him. Given the character’s motivations of trying to create chaos and seeing Gotham burn he was so unpredictable you didn’t know what he would do next. The only sad note about the Joker in this film is that Heath never lived to see his creation play out on the big screen.
Thank you for reading this, I really appreciate it leave me some feedback if possible
Most importantly tell me how you would rank these films?
It’s safe to say that as comic book fans we have been spoilt this year. The likes of Spider-Man: Homecoming and Wonder Woman were released to high praise from fans and critics worldwide. One film that I feel deserves a lot more credit and attention is Logan, which was released February earlier this year. Given its early release it’s easy to see why it may not be on everyone’s mind right now. But fear not as I am here to remind why Logan is not only the strongest comic book movie that was released this year. But one of the best films this year, overall.