‘Dark Phoenix’ Review: A Sour Final Note for the X-Men Series

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Following Hugh Jackman’s final tenure as the Wolverine in Logan, the X-Men series finally comes to its own end by directly adapting the Dark Phoenix Saga – if the title wouldn’t already give that away. But even as a story of this sort would have had so much potential given what the X-Men have always stood for in their long run on the big screen, Dark Phoenix doesn’t even feel engaged with its own story to feel like there’s any sense of closure coming about. It doesn’t even feel like it was made to be a proper ending to this series with Disney having acquired Fox as a means of getting the rights to include the X-Men into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For his directorial debut, it doesn’t even seem Simon Kinberg was even prepared to give this an ending and thus he tried to make Dark Phoenix too many things all at once but there was never a point in time when it ever felt like it were on its way to adding up properly. It doesn’t have anything to answer now that it’s all come to a finish, but it’s not quite the disaster it could have been with all the constant reshoots pushing the film back over and over again.

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“Avengers: Endgame” Review: Achieving a Sense of Finality Within the Marvel Cinematic Universe

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**SPOILER WARNING: This review does not spoil Endgame, but spoilers for Infinity War, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and Captain Marvel are also brought up. If you have not seen the aforementioned films, read this review at your own risk.**

Although I’ve never loved any of the films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe I’ve always admired the impact that they left behind on modern culture and with the latest Avengers film there’s already a sense of finality to the first phase as these films continue coming out over the years. But the biggest challenge that Infinity War had already faced was how it could still manage to mix the stories of nearly twenty films to come together for one big face-off, and with two more films having followed since, Endgame already has us awaiting something even grander now that the second Ant-Man film and Captain Marvel have already gotten out of the way. At a running time of a little bit over three hours, Marvel already promises something of such a grand scale and to say the least, they’ve accomplished a task that almost seemed near impossible. For Endgame isn’t only the best of the four Avengers films but it’s also a film that utilizes the legacy that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has accomplished in a little over ten years in order to give viewers who have followed suit for the longest time more than what would already make a memorable closer. It’s a film that was made out of love for everything that made the Marvel Cinematic Universe so grand, and the results may not be perfect but also provide a satisfying climax.

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Avengers: Infinity War – Review

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There are many stories being told within Avengers: Infinity War and I think that happens to be the best way for something of this sort to be shown to the screens because it gives every character what’s needed in order to create an emotional resonance with its viewers. In the past ten years, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been telling individual story after another but have always been dependent on one another in order to form something of a larger scope and as all stories come together to form one singular Avengers story. The ambition is clear enough from how all of these characters established by their own entries are coming together once and for all, so the question to be asked is how does the film live up to the scope it promises? It’s a step up from both the last Avengers film and the Russo brothers’ last Marvel film, but I feel hesitant to go beyond saying it pays off completely after the Marvel Cinematic Universe has only recently released their two most interesting films since the first Guardians of the Galaxy.

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Black Panther – Review

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The king of Wakanda himself finally takes the screen as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe after having appeared briefly in Captain America: Civil War. Directed by Ryan Coogler and starring Chadwick Boseman as the titular king, the most pleasing thing to report about Black Panther is that they had indeed given royalty the proper cinematic welcome for audiences of all sorts. It feels relieving to see a Marvel Cinematic Universe that I can comfortably say that I liked, without any “buts” to get in the way – for after this and Taika Waititi’s entry with Thor: Ragnarok, it would be easier to hope for more superhero films that give their own directors enough room to express themselves properly without much interference getting in the way.

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Thor: Ragnarok – Review

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Taika Waititi makes his first step into Hollywood with directing a film as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But at the same time, it isn’t without him playing around with the familiar mythology to the point that he even shows a sense of self-awareness regarding the state of these films from the film’s opening sequence. It was something that I wished to see from more of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in general, just this sense of self-awareness and creative freedom that felt lacking in many of their films. It’s nice enough to see that Taika Waititi is willing enough to play with what we can recognize to turn out what is easily the best film from the Marvel Cinematic Universe in quite some time, because it was a film that clearly had fun from the roots in which it was stemming from almost like Waititi would have brought to us for vampire mythology with What We Do in the Shadows.

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Captain America: Civil War – Review

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For the record, I don’t dislike superhero movies in general, but I’m not a particularly big fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (so far, the only ones that really stood out to me that I really liked are Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and rarely would I call any of their offerings “bad” by any means. However, most of the time I find myself within a nonplussed state. As for more recent note, Captain America: Civil War leaves me with the same reaction which I carry towards the regular offering of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with that said, it’s a film recognizing its target audience and for those who like these films, I can’t fault one, but I really wish I could feel the love that I know many are picking out from these films because I feel like I’m being left out. Continue reading →