The Punisher – Season 2 Review (Spoiler-Free)

I was lucky enough to gain access to screeners for the upcoming season of The Punisher. As someone who loved the first season I couldn’t wait to start watching. And after watching all 13 episodes, I found myself content with the season overall. I liked it…I just didn’t love it like the previous season. I would actually say there’s a clear gap in quality between the two seasons. Because while I enjoyed this season for the most part. There were also aspects that I didn’t like at all which really hurt the season as a whole. It’ll be interesting to see how other people react to this season. But for now you’re going to be stuck with me as I give up my thoughts on the upcoming season.

THIS IS A SPOILER-FREE REVIEW

A fresh start

At the end of the first season Frank Castle was given a clean slate. And season 2 starts off with Frank trying to make the best of his new situation. The season actually begins with Frank outside of New York. Now, this aspect might not sound the most appealing but I actually enjoyed the parts outside of New York. You get to see a different side of Frank. Someone who isn’t constantly looking over his shoulder. He’s more open with others. I’m not going to spoil it but he even comes across a potential love interest while in his new environment. However, make no mistakes about it, Frank still has that side to him. It’s not long before he finds himself straight up kicking-ass and killing assassins in a bathroom. Keep in mind this all takes place within the first episode. The season begins with a strong first episode in my opinion. But of course it’s not long before he has to eventually go back to New York, which is where the rest of the season takes place. But most importantly he doesn’t turn up to New York by himself.

Second chances

I believe the key theme for this season is people getting second chances in life. Here it applies to the two main characters of the season; Frank Castle and Jigsaw.

Frank’s arc

If you watched the first season or are familiar with the character’s background in the comics. You would know Frank witnessed his whole family getting murdered right in front of him. And up until now Frank blames himself for all of their deaths. This plays into this season because Frank finds himself in a situation where this time, he can try help prevent a child’s death. This isn’t a spoiler, but Frank runs into this girl who is being hunted down. This results in him protecting her for the majority of the season.

You get to see their ups and downs together during the season which I found interesting. But I can see some people getting bored of it when they watch it. Especially, at the start of the season when it feels like Frank is just babysitting her. I mean at times he literally is. Even found myself getting frustrated with their relationship because you could see where it was going, but it felt like they were spending too much time on it. I get it, seeing Frank protect this girl is nice and all. But I want to see Frank be the Punisher! It takes it’s time, but eventually, we get the Punisher we all know and love. And of course, that’s where Jon Bernthal really shines in the role.

Jigsaw

On the theme of ‘second chances’ this also applies to the main villain of the season, Jigsaw. I have to get this out of the way first. What you saw it in the promotional images when it comes to Jigsaw is what you get. He got his face dragged through a broken mirror at the end of the first season and now he just has a couple of scars to show for it. Honestly, I know it looks ridiculous, but after a couple of his scenes it didn’t bother me as much. Overall, I liked the addition of Jigsaw as the main villain in this season. Just like with Frank, Jigsaw finds himself attached to another character for the majority of the season. This would be his therapist. She offers him a second chance because what Frank did to him at the end of the first season mentally destroyed him. His arc is about whether if he can rebuild from that traumatic experience and go back to how he was before it. 

So, we spend a lot of time with Jigsaw and his therapist in sessions and it’s interesting to see where their relationship goes. But no matter what happens, he’s ultimately drawn back to Frank Castle. Having spent the previous season with them two going back and forth, I thought it would be too much for another season. I was wrong. The character of Jigsaw really adds a fresh dynamic to their feud. Without going into detail, there’s this one episode where Jigsaw actually gets one over on Frank. He kind of turns the tables on him. Personally, I think it’s the strongest episode of the season. Jigsaw was also central to another one of my favourite episodes. It involves him and his crew robbing a bank. Again, without spoiling it, I just love how the episode ends. Plus I’d like to add that we actually get to see scenes with Russo and Frank before they were in the marines. I liked these scenes too, it added more backstory.

As for Ben Barnes’ performance, I think he done a good job. I must say there were times when I felt like he was just doing too much. But then again, because of the complete difference in character between Billy Russo and Jigsaw I can understand it. The more I think about it I actually liked the aspect of the character more than the performance that came with it.

One villain too many

Here comes my biggest issue with the season…John Pilgrim. I would say he serves as the co-main villain of the season. I’m just going to say it. I didn’t like him at all. First of all his character is something that I felt has been done too many times before. He’s this religious figure in the public, but of course, behind the scenes he’s the total opposite. He even talks in Bible verses if you know what I mean. To put it simply, Pilgrim is this former mob person/current assassin who spends most of the season tracking down Frank Castle and the girl he’s with. I never believe he’s a threat to Frank or anyone to be honest. Like with Billy Russo’s character in the first season. I believed he was this former marine and now someone who was in charge of his own organisation which was a genuine threat to Frank and the state. With John Pilgrim? No, it just didn’t work for me.

They even try to give him some backstory and show this other side of him with his family but it never clicked with me. I would have preferred if they’d just focused on Jigsaw as the main villain of the season. Mainly, because there’s history between Billy Russo and Frank. Even though Jigsaw is almost an entirely different character, there’s still a piece of Russo in there. And I really like how that links in with Frank by the end of the season. Pilgrim’s character at one point says something along the lines of “Why am I still hunting Frank? He’s done nothing to me”. And I found myself completing agreeing with him. They needed to do something different with this character. Personally, I would have just cut him out. I’ve got to admit though, there was one thing I really liked about John Pilgrim…his action scenes. Like with all the action scenes in this series, they didn’t hold back with his. Some of his fight scene are so brutal! Especially, his showdown with Frank. There’s one scene with him that is still stuck in my head. During one fight he rams the top of his head into someone’s mouth to knock them out and in the next scene he’s pulling out the guy’s teeth from the top of his head.

What’s next for The Punisher?

As I was watching the season finale I could help but feel disappointed by the end of it. Not with the season because I enjoyed the majority of it. But knowing this is most likely going to be the last season. How could I not feel disappointed? I think even the show runners knew it. The season doesn’t end with this major cliff-hanger like the last season of Daredevil. What hurts is that even after two seasons there’s still so much potential left with this character/series. I just want to see Frank Castle’s story play out. I even want to see more of the supporting characters who were also great in this season too.

Closing thoughts

Overall, while I didn’t enjoy this season as much as I did with the first one. There’s still a lot that I liked about this season. I enjoyed Frank’s arc throughout the season along with his chance of redemption. The action scenes are amazing as expected. Jigsaw as the main villain ended up being better than what I expected. I just wish he was the only villain of the season. However, the season isn’t perfect by any means. There are some real slow parts that drag. Especially, after the first two episodes which makes it worse because it starts off so well. It does slow down by the middle, but from episode 8 onwards the season makes up for its inconsistent pacing.

Make sure you check out the season for yourself next week!

My Favourite Comic Book Movies of 2018

What a year it has been for the comic book movie genre! There’s no shortage of comic book movies today. But it’s all about trying to keep the genre fresh and at the end of the day, producing great movies. And this is the purpose of this article. Of all the comic book movies that were released this year I wanted to give you guys my own personal ranking. Just a heads up, I haven’t included every comic book movie that was released this year. This is just a list consisting of my four favourite comic book movies of 2018.

4. Black Panther

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Black Panther is another solid entry into the MCU. When I think about this movie the first thing that comes to mind is the cast. The cast of Black Panther was easily the highlight of the movie for me. Especially when it comes to the supporting cast. In particular, I really enjoyed Michael B. Jordan’s role in this movie. Killmonger is just behind Thanos when it comes to my ranking of the MCU villains. I also liked how Wakanda as a place was handled from the look and feel of it. You really got to understand why this place is important within the universe. However, I must say that at the time of the movie’s release I think I bought into the hype. While I enjoyed the movie, it’s not as great as I first remembered. It’s just solid. And that’s not a bad thing. At first, Black Panther was in my top 5 MCU movies. But now looking back, it just falls out of my top 5 MCU ranking. However, for this year it was still a strong comic book movie. It’s just that the bar has been set so high. I’m still looking forward to seeing what Ryan Coogler does with the sequel.

3. Aquaman

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The more I think about this movie, the more I love it. Now, don’t get me wrong this movie is far from perfect. For example, some of the musical choices. Yes, I’m talking about that Pitbull song. Also some of the romance didn’t work for me along with the humour. However, when this movie got something right, I couldn’t help but fall in love with it. James Wan really went above and beyond with Aquaman. Just the scale of the movie is something that should be admired. The characters are strong. The action scenes are refreshing for once. The costume design is amazing. It has strong villains. And the third act is one of the best I’ve seen in years when it comes to comic book movies. Although, I hated the Pitbull song. I have to admit I was wrong about the soundtrack as a whole. It’s definitely a lot better than when I first heard it. Aquaman is on pace to make a billion dollars at the box office and it deserves every penny. Warner Bros. should already be laying down the blueprints for the sequel. With James Wan at the helm of course.

Feel free to check out my review for Aquaman here!

2. Avengers: Infinity War

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What else can I say about this movie that hasn’t been said already? It delivered in every aspect to me. It was a dream come true for me to see all these characters interacting with each other on the screen for the first time. And to see them lose? Oh, I loved it! It only makes me more excited to see what happens in Avengers 4. With each viewing this movie gets better. I talked about Aquaman’s third act, Infinity War also has a really strong third act. Sometimes when I don’t feel like sitting through the whole movie I just skip to the fight scene on Titan and let it play out from there. Of course, I have to mention Thanos before I finish this. Hands down my favourite villain of the MCU. In-fact one of my favourite villains ever. Josh Brolin delivered a great performance which was helped by the VFX team who did an amazing job with the character’s look. I can’t wait to see how the remaining Avengers deal with the ramifications of the snap in Avengers 4.

For as much as I loved Avengers: Infinity War, it didn’t take the number one spot for me…

1. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

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Look, I knew Spider-Verse was going to be a great movie. I just didn’t know it was going to be this good! I can’t speak highly enough of this animated movie. As a huge Spider-Man fan, I have to say this is easily the best Spider-Man movie we’ve had to date. And it stars Miles Morales! Which makes it even better. The fact that the up and coming generations get to see a different Spider-Man on the screen is awesome. While Miles is the star the movie I loved the other characters just as much. I could spend so much time just going into detail about how much I enjoyed each character. But to keep it short I’ll just say Spider-Noir was by far my favourite character. The voice acting in this movie is top tier. Not to mention the animation style! The visuals in this movie are breathe-taking at certain parts. Miles’ relationship with his uncle was also a standout for me because of how it played into the overall story. As you can see I loved this film. I’m still struggling to find something I didn’t like about it. And weeks later… I still can’t find anything I dislike about it. So, I’m just going to let the film be great. Please, go see Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse if you haven’t already.

There’s my list! As you can see regardless of my ranking I spoke highly of each film. It just goes to show how great this year was when it came to comic book movies. Hopefully, next year is even better. It certainly has the potential to do it.

Let me know what your personal list is down below.

Aquaman: Review (non-spoiler)

Yesterday, I was lucky enough to be invited by Warner Bros. to attend an early screening for Aquaman. So, before I start this review I just wanted to thank the good people at Warner Bros. UK for allowing me to watch one of my most anticipated movies of the year a little earlier than everyone else. I’ve been waiting so long to see James Wan’s take on The King of the Seven Seas. From the moment he was attached to the project I had extremely high expectations. And yesterday, those expectations were not only met, but beyond exceeded. Aquaman showed us that Wan could take the comic book movie genre to another level. The film rises to the occasion and will leave you wanting more as there is still so much that is yet to be explored in this universe.

A very ambitious film!

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The first thing that comes to mind when I think about this movie is the term, ‘scale’. It’s huge in every form. Look, I knew the ocean was huge, but even I was taken back when watching how they interpreted it on the big screen. I lost count on the amount of kingdoms/underwater cities were introduced. Every single one of them were distinct from each other. None of them looked the same at all. This is what I admire the most about the movie, its ambition. They could’ve easily played it safe. For example, have the whole movie take place in Atlantis or another city. But they really went all out, by going full comic book! You’re probably going to see this a hundred times while reading other reviews. Yes, Aquaman feels like a comic book brought to life on the big screen. And I believe this is why comic book lovers and the general audience will enjoy this movie.

On the subject of scale I think it would also be a great time to mention the visuals in this film. Visually, alone this movie is a huge achievement. I mean 80% of it takes place underwater and of course there’s going to be an extensive amount of VFX used, and for the most part it looked great. Every time they were underwater it actually looked natural (helped by the great sound design). In general, I really enjoyed the cinematography. There are some shots in this film that are just epic. The final act/fight between Arthur and Orm played out amazingly! Seeing the two fighting with the lights hitting their costumes provides for an incredible viewing. Once again, it helps this whole comic book aesthetic the film is going for.

Well balanced tone

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Aquaman

Another thing I really liked about Aquaman is how the tone was handled. At the end of the day Aquaman can be a fun movie. It can also be a more serious movie if you want to look at it in that way. It strikes a good balance in between the two. I found this even more enjoyable because not only is the film juggling tones at the same time. Its also doing that with genres too. To me these two elements go hand-in-hand. Honestly, you can find genres ranging from Sci-fi, action, adventure, horror and comedy when watching Aquaman. Like I said, because all these elements are balanced well. It really gives Aquaman this lane of its own when it comes to the comic book movie genre. Having said that, I would have personally, toned down on some of the comedy aspects. A lot of the jokes just didn’t quite work for me. But, I understand why they were there. The audience were laughing quite a lot during the screening.

Strong characters

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I think it’s time I talk about the characters in the movie. Just by looking at the of names attached to this project the acting in this movie was easily, the least of my worries. At this point I feel like I’m giving this movie too much praise. But I cannot lie I loved the characters for the most part in this film. Jason Momoa is clearly having the time of his life as Arthur Curry, and it translates on the screen. I wouldn’t be surprised if we find out a bunch of his lines were improvised on the spot. He just seems to be enjoying the role that much. Arthur’s journey back home and to the throne is one that was entertaining and has me in interested in seeing where the character goes after this.

Orm

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Orm is up there with one of my favourite comic book villains in the past couple of years. This is mainly because of Patrick Wilson’s performance. Much like Jason, you can tell he really enjoys this role too. All you have to do is look at some of his recent tweets. The guy is still in character. Orm’s motivations are both easy to understand and relatable. I think a lot of DC fans will find similarities between Orm and General Zod from Man of Steel. What I liked the most about Orm is how he isn’t just an evil version of Arthur. He can stand on his own. You genuinely believe that he’s a major threat to both Arthur and the surface world. Overall, Orm’s a really great villain in this movie. Not to mention he looks amazing too when he’s fighting in his full costume.

The women in this movie are badass!

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Now, onto the women in this movie. They are straight up badass! Starting with Mera. If you thought she would end up being this damsel-in-distress. Or just there to serve this romance angle. You’re totally wrong. Mera almost steals the show for me. In-fact she carries the movie in certain parts. She can very much hold her own and doesn’t need to rely on Arthur to get her out of difficult situations whenever she finds herself in one. Arthur’s mother too, Queen Atlanna, another strong female character. I can’t really go into detail about her character for spoiler reasons. But trust me, Arthur inherited a lot of his fighting style from his mother.

Black Manta! (major highlight)

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I had to save the best for last…Black Manta! Hands downs my favourite thing about this movie. Black Manta has always been one of the coolest DC characters too me. And seeing him in that outfit moving around on the screen was a joy to watch. I love his backstory too. Again, I can’t really go into detail but, I liked how he tied in with Arthur and a few other characters. If I had to pick out one issue I had with the character it’s that I wanted more of him! Don’t get me wrong I thought he was used well. But, looking back on it now I think they could have split up Orm and Black Manta as main villains in separate movies. I guess that’s still kind of a compliment at the same time by suggesting both characters/actors are good enough to carry a movie as the main villain by themselves.

The Score…was disappointing

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If you know anything about me you would know that I love my scores in superhero movies. I couldn’t wait to see what Rupert Gregson-Williams had come up with for this type of movie. I have to admit I was kind of disappointed. Apart from Orm who has a great theme, nothing really caught my attention. I can’t really tell you what Arthur’s theme is like, because it didn’t jump out to me. Again, a lot was going on during this movie and maybe I was just too caught up in the moment to notice the score. I can only speak for myself. I was going in expecting this Man of Steel/Dawn of Justice level type of score and I didn’t get that. I will still be checking out the soundtrack when it releases. Hopefully, my opinion on the score will change.

Closing thoughts

Overall, Aquaman is about as blockbuster as they come. I had a great time and would recommend this movie to anyone, not just comic book fans. I think anyone will find something they would love in this movie. From the stunning visuals, great characters and the breath-taking action. Or it could be that amazing third act/final fight which is one of the strongest I’ve seen in years when it comes to comic book movies. As for what this means for the DCEU? Is it “saved” once again? I can’t tell you how bored I am of that conversation. To me the DCEU has always been alive to me. Yeah, it’s had a few bumps in the road. But, films such as Man of Steel, BvS and Wonder Woman will continued to be talked about for the coming years. Aquaman, joins those other movies and proves that the DCEU isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon.

Aquaman 9/10

The Avengers 4: Endgame Trailer: Less is Better

Finally! After spending months in the dark after the events of Avengers: Infinity War we get something tangible from the upcoming Avengers 4 film. Not only did we get the title (Endgame), which I love. We also, got a teaser trailer to go along with it. It was a long wait but man did they deliver.

In general I really like this trailer. What I liked the most about it, was how it was handled. A lot of times in the past we’ve seen trailers show too much. However, with this trailer they took the opposite approach. They showed as little as possible, but it still got people like me hooked. There’s so many questions people have after this short trailer. I’m just going to give my thoughts on what the main characters are going through.

Tony

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The trailer starts off with Tony at his lowest point after losing the battle against Thanos on Titan. I loved this whole opening with Tony. It brought this sense of hopelessness to the film. Just a quick reminder to us that yes, the Avengers lost. Tony for one of the smartest people in the universe looks like he has no answers left as he records this goodbye message to Pepper Potts. What I liked the most about the dialogue here was how it felt like Tony was also talking to us, the audience. Especially when he was saying things like every journey has an end. With Tony on the verge of dying, flying in the middle of no where. It feels like a certain captain might run into him. I also have to point out that he’s not alone on the ship. Nebula is also present with him as she is shown in a later shot on the same ship.

Thanos

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After winning Thanos is doing exactly what he wants… living his life. He’s in the same place where we last saw him in Avengers: Infinity War. It appears the gauntlet is still busted from the snap. Thanos looks to be on him farm, growing crops and just minding his own business. For how long though? I think the rest of the Avengers will find their way to him.

Rest of the Avengers

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After spending the opening moments with Tony. The rest of the trailer is centred around the Avengers who survived the snap. It’s mainly up to Captain America and Black Widow, to somehow bounce back after their greatest defeat. I just love how the impact of Infinity War is felt here. With half the population gone the world seems so small now.  Seeing Steve cry was tough. Thor too. He didn’t even have to say a word. You can see what’s going on in his mind. After all, he didn’t go for the head. He must be blaming himself for all of this. Hawkeye is back! I mean Ronin! He looks to be in Japan just kicking ass. My guess is he’s gone full Ronin since his family were taken away from him by the snap. The trailer ended with Ant-Man showing up to the Avengers HQ. The last time we saw him, he was stuck in the Quantum Realm. Well, it looks like he can get in and get out of the Quantum Realm. This means he’ll be crucial in the movie. Because I guarantee the Quantum Realm will be used in this movie to help get the rest of the Avengers back.

As for the Avengers who fell victim to the snap? Well, we have no idea what they’re doing. And good! I don’t want to know until I sit down in the theatre next April. This trailer was overall a great appetiser for what’s to come. I hope they keep this vague approach with the rest of the promotional material for the movie.

Let me know your thoughts on the trailer

 

Daredevil Gets Cancelled… and it F*****g Sucks!

Back in 2015, I was depressed as hell at University. To make a long story short I spent most of my hours outside of lectures, locked up in my room. Netflix helped me get through a number of tough days. In particular, I fell in love with this one show… Daredevil. I can’t remember why I started watching it or who told me to check it out. But thankfully, I did. Because prior to the show all I knew about Daredevil was the film starring Ben Affleck. Yeah… the less said about that, the better. As I finished the first season back then I was blown away. Daredevil, had not only became one of my favourite series, but I had also fell in love with the character. Now, having finished watching season 3 just last month, it’s safe to say Daredevil is one of the favourite shows ever. It’s definitely my favourite superhero tv show ever without a doubt. So, news of series getting cancelled yesterday left me confused and angry. To me, the series was only getting better. And with how the last season ended, it felt like they were far from finished with Matt Murdock’s story.

Why I love Daredevil

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I could be here for hours explaining why I love this series. For the sake of time I’ll keep it short. I mean where do I start? The writing, the choreography, the cinematography, the performances! Everything about this show just screamed “high quality” to me. Like it deserved to be on the big screen. It’s just levels above the other superhero tv series that are available today. Including the ones that are under the same Netflix/Marvel umbrella (Luke Cage and Iron Fist).

Was the writing on the wall?

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While I was surprised that Daredevil was cancelled I also wasn’t at the same time. If that makes sense. First Luke Cage then Iron Fist and now Daredevil. To be honest, when the likes of Luke Cage and Iron Fist were first cancelled I didn’t look to much into it. I mean, these were shows that were poorly received (especially Iron Fist) and it would make sense for them to cut ties so they could focus more on the likes of Daredevil. Unlike the two I just mentioned Daredevil was always well received by critics and fans. Plus it has a cult-like fan base. Now with Daredevil cancelled what’s left of the Marvel/Netflix universe? It’s only a matter of time before The Punisher and Jessica Jones suffer the same fate.

Something is going on behind the scenes at Netflix. I mean the writers of Daredevil were having meetings about the upcoming season last night, only to find out their show was cancelled. I also don’t feel like Netflix have been promoting their Netflix shows as much as they used to before. The trailer for Daredevil season 3 was only released a month before it was made available for streaming.

It’s tough to guess what’s really going on behind the scenes. I’ve seen people blame both Disney and Netflix. Personally, I think it might be a mix of both. If Netflix had just cancelled one show clearly, it would be on their end right? But to cancel three? Something bigger is going on behind the scenes. Keep in mind, in this year we’ve got seasons for Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Daredevil and Jessica Jones. All in one calendar year! Any other company would space out these seasons over a couple of years. Not one year.

What’s next for Matt Murdock?

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While the series has been cancelled the character Daredevil is set to live on in some type of media. Before I go any further it would be a crime for me not to also mention the future of the supporting cast that came with this series. I love Charlie Cox as Daredevil, but the supporting cast around him are equally as great. Vincent D’Onofrio, as the Kingpin in particular, is one of my favourite comic book villains ever. I would put him up there with Thanos, to be honest.

Deadline claimed Marvel still had plans for the character to feature in future projects. Today, Disney released a statement claiming:

“We look forward to more adventures with the Man without Fear in the future,”

Now what does this mean? I have no idea. I personally, don’t want to see him just show up in other character’s series. I just can’t see them bringing him to the big screen along with the rest of the Avengers. I’ve seen a lot of people hoping the series would get revived on Disney’s upcoming streaming service. I for one am less confident of that. They already have series for the likes of Loki, Scarlet Witch and The Mandalorian in the works. I don’t see Daredevil being high on their list of priorities.

There are my thoughts on the entire situation.

Let me know your thoughts down below.

Early Social Media Reactions To Aquaman

DC’s biggest movie of the year is only a couple of weeks away from its release. We’ve gone a whole year without a live-action DC movie (minus Teen Titans Go!). It doesn’t feel like that for some reason. It feels like Justice League was only released a couple of months ago. Speaking of Justice League, some would say James Wan’s Aquaman, is an opportunity to take Warner Bros. back into the right direction. There’s a lot of pressure James Wan’s shoulders with this film. Just the scale of the film alone is something that very few people in the industry can pull off. And today, we’ll get to see what the media thought of the film and whether James Wan’s Aquaman lives up to the hype.

As with all major releases the film was screened early to the press. A couple of weeks ago members of the press were shown the film and here are their thoughts:

Paul Shirey (Joblo)

Umberto Gonzalez (The Wrap)

Sean O’Connell (CinemaBlend)

Digital Spy 

Andrew Dyce (ScreenRant) 

Brandon Davis 

Jim Vejvoda (IGN)

Sean Gerber (SuperheroNewsCB)

Mike Cecchini (DenOfGeeksUS) 

Jenna Busch

Carly Lane (SYFYFANGRRLS/SYFYWIRE) 

Ben Mekler

There you have it. These are most the early reactions to Aquaman. You can clearly see it’s mostly positive for Aquaman. As always I will judge the movie for myself. Roll on December!

 

Release Dates For Spider-Man Spin-off movies revealed (Venom 2 & Morbius?)

After a number of attempts it may finally look like Sony’s Spider-Man universe is going to be taking off after all. Or, should I say Spider-Man-less universe as the web-slinger is yet to make an appearance. With Tom Holland’s Spider-Man flourishing in the MCU it was left up to Tom Hardy’s controversial Venom movie to take the reins. Now, regardless of what you think about Venom, the movie is a hit. The film has only been out for more than a month and it has already made up to $800m at the box office. Did the studio just strike lucky with Venom? Well, it looks like we’re going to find out in the next couple of years as Sony have revealed two release dates in 2020 for further spin-off movies.

The first of these dates is July 10, 2020. And going by what we know about the films in development so far. My best guess would be that Jared Leto’s Morbius movie is going to be released on this date. Of all the Sony movies in development this is actually the closest to going in production. It has been reported that the studio are looking to shoot the project early next year. Also, a couple of weeks ago Morbius himself (Jared Leto) posted a video on his Twitter teasing the potential look of the character.

The second date that has been added to the slate is October 2, 2020. This would have to be the Venom sequel. It’s a no brainer. The film was highly successful and the studio already laid the groundwork for the sequel with the post credit scene in Venom.

Let me know your thoughts on this news down below.

Are you looking forward to Sony’s spin-off universe?

Feel free to check out my review for Venom! 

 

 

Venom Review: An Entertaining Mess

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Venom is Sony’s first instalment into their Spider-Man spin-off universe. But after watching Venom, I’m not sure how successful this universe will be. Before I start this review, I just want to preference it with this. I’m a huge comic book fan. Spider-Man is my second favourite superhero after Superman. I have to say a Venom movie without Spider-Man doesn’t bother me too much. Ever since the film was announced a lot of comic book fans have been against it because of the lack of connection to Spider-Man in this movie. And I totally understand their complaints. But speaking for myself, I was actually really looking forward to this movie (mainly because of Tom Hardy). Would I love to see Venom go up-against Spider-Man? Of course, but you can’t always get what you want. So, I went into the movie last night open-minded and hoping for the best…

What they got right

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This film has a lot of issues but hands down the best thing about it is Venom himself. Venom is brutal, scary and surprisingly very funny. Not to mention he looks great too. The VFX team did a great job with the character’s design. Watching Venom and Eddie Brock go back and forth was really the highlight of the movie for me. I’ve seen this movie be described as a buddy cop movie. And honestly, I could just watch them two walk the streets of San Fransisco for two hours. One of the main reasons why Venom as a character works so well in this film is because of Tom Hardy’s performance. Granted he wont be getting nominated for any Oscars with this performance. But I think his take on Eddie Brock is a lot better than I expected. And of course, if you didn’t know he also voices Venom too. That’s probably one of my favourite aspects of the character, I just love his voice. The voice is so out there and crazy it bounces off Eddie Brock perfectly. Also, I can hear everything he’s saying this time. The relationship between Venom and Eddie Brock is so good, I just wish we got to that point a lot quicker than we did. Because to be honest, the film is pretty boring at the start until Venom is introduced.

The bad…writing

The biggest issue I had this with movie is the writing. Going into this movie I wasn’t expecting a masterpiece in storytelling and character development. However, I expected a lot more than what I got. I just don’t know where to start and how best to describe it to you. I’m so confused at the some of the decisions that were made. As I just stated the relationship between Venom and Eddie Brock was the best thing in the movie. It feels like that’s where all the attention went in the writers room. Because everything surrounding it was just bad. From the dialogue, story and character motivations, a lot of it felt so rushed and underdeveloped.

The biggest causality of the writing in this movie is easily the TONE of it. To put it simply, it’s all over the place. It doesn’t know what it wants to be. At certain parts the film is a straight up comedy. And in the next scene they’re trying to be super serious. I’m fine with a film having a dark/light tone but Venom, didn’t strike a good balance at all to me. For the most part I really enjoyed the comedic parts of the film. Like I said Venom was really funny in this movie. But I couldn’t help think during certain parts of the film “was I meant to laugh at that?”. It was hard to tell when they were being funny on purpose of if it was done unintentionally. This is where I have to also lay a lot of the blame at the feet of the studio here. I don’t think they knew what they wanted with this film. Is it going to be PG-13 or R-Rated? Eventually they’ve opted for the PG-13 route in order to make more money and create a universe that would be Spider-Man friendly. Personally, I feel the studio should’ve gone the Deadpool route. Make it R-rated, go all the way with it. Think about how you want to incorporate Spider-Man later.

Riot

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Comic book movies today for the most part are defined by their main villain and Venom is no different. The main villain of the movie Riot, (played by Riz Ahmed) who I think is an amazing actor suffers from once again, bad writing. From the moment we’re introduced to his character you just know he won’t be that compelling. The final fight between the two only lasts for what felt like five minutes. It was also hard to tell what was going on during their fight. What doesn’t help is how Venom and Riot look similar when it comes to colour and size. And when you have them fighting in a poorly lit environment it just became hard to follow the action. Granted, I haven’t seen many people bring up this issue, it might’ve just been me. The action in the rest of the movie was great and it flowed really well. It also helped show why this character is loved by many because of how differently he conducts himself from Spider-Man.

Is it really that bad?

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Now I know it may sound like I’ve just been beating this movie to death. But I can’t lie, despite all of its flaws I have a fun time with Venom. Look, If you go in expecting an incredible film you’ll be setting yourself up for failure. I have a love/hate relationship with this movie which I haven’t experienced in a long time. If you go in looking for flaws you’ll definitely find them. If you just want to have a fun time for two hours I believe you would be satisfied for the most part here. The aspects that work (mainly Tom Hardy) are really entertaining. Take Tom Hardy out of this film I don’t think it would work at all. Yes, the movie is riddled with issues but it never got to the point where I wanted the movie to end. I’ve seen this movie get compared to the likes of Catwoman and Batman & Robin. I 100% disagree with these views. The film is getting a lot of undeserved hate. However, let me clarify this, I totally understand why some may not like this film. But in the era of superhero movies Venom is no way near one of the worst comic book movies ever. It’s kind of in the middle for me. I don’t hate it, but I also don’t love it. Will I be picking it up on Blu-ray? I’m not sure yet. If the studio decides to release an R-Rated cut along with some extra footage, then they will definitely be getting my money.

Venom: 6.5/10

Let me know your thoughts on the film

 

Chris Evans Bids Farewell To Captain America Role?

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Reshoots for next year’s Avengers 4 movie have been going on for a number of weeks now. A couple of weeks ago, on social media Chris Hemsworth, told fans that he had completed his scenes for the reshoots. Now, it was time for Chris Evans, Captain America, himself to complete his final scenes for the upcoming movie. Judging by what he posted on his Twitter a couple of hours ago, he might’ve just shot his final scenes as Captain America!

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As you can see from the tweet above Chris Evans, heavily implies this could be the last time we’ll see him in this role. I have to say this was a strange tweet to put out before the movie is released. We don’t even know the title of the movie yet. Or it’s possible that he does feel emotional after playing this role for nearly a decade. Personally, I think we will see the end of Captain America in Avengers 4. Whether the character dies or retires, I’m not sure about that. In the comics the likes of Falcon and Bucky have gone on to replace him. The main issue here is how great Chris Evans has been in the role. He’s set a really high bar for anyone else to pick up the shield after him.

Or is this all a trick to build more hype for the upcoming movie? I wouldn’t put it past the Russo Brothers at this point.

Let me know your thoughts on his tweet

Is Avengers 4 going to be the last time we will see Chris Evans, as Captain America?

 

First Look At Joaquin Phoenix As The Joker

In case you didn’t know already. There is a solo Joker movie starring Joaquin Phoenix  (directed by Todd Phillips) currently in production. Filming only just started last week and thanks to Just Jared, we have gotten our first look at Phoenix’s Joker in action. Also director Todd Phillips, I’m guessing has responding to these leaked by giving us our first official look at Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker.

See below for the set photos and Todd Phillip’s post:

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Just a couple of minutes after these set photos leaked. Director Todd Phillips took to Instagram and gave us our first official look at Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker (Arthur).

View this post on Instagram

Arthur.

A post shared by Todd Phillips (@toddphillips1) on

This Joker movie is going to be an origin movie which is set in the 80s. It will not feature Batman. But, it will feature his father, Thomas Wayne. The movie is not going to be connected to the DCEU at all. And it will stand alone in its own universe.

The Joker movie is set to be released on 4, October 2019