‘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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The Joys of Spider-Man’s Long Lasting Legacy with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse: A Review

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I’ve never been the biggest Spider-Man fan growing up, even to the point I find Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy quite overrated minus Spider-Man 2. Yet watching Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse I never found myself watching Spider-Man in the same way that I’ve always done so for way too long. As a matter of fact, this is also the first time in which I’d actually felt I was watching a take on Spider-Man that I’ve been waiting on for way too long, one that feels like the sort of superhero film I’d wanted to see all my life. It’s a superhero film that embraces everything that made the subgenre resonate so perfectly in our minds, because of how much it embraces its comic book roots. And for being the perfect throwback in that sense, not only does Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse make for an incredibly satisfying viewing experience, but it also feels like a film that reaches out to best carry the spirit of what makes its comic book roots so distinctive – and one that even utilizes its own medium to become something far more in the end. It’s only fitting enough to admit that this is the most excited I’ve been for a sequel to a superhero film in a while, if they were ever going to make one at that.

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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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Spider-Man: Homecoming – Review

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I was never a fan of Spider-Man growing up, the comics never grabbed me and I was never a fan of either film franchise whether it be Sam Raimi’s original trilogy (minus Spider-Man 2, which I do really like) and Marc Webb’s Amazing Spider-Man films. The idea of a Spider-Man film being made now as another entry for the Marvel Cinematic Universe sounded even less appealing to me, with the lack of a real impact of Tom Holland’s own presence in Captain America: Civil War (which was already difficult enough to sit through) and the especially dreadful marketing. Now that an entire movie was set to be centered around him during the prime of his own life at high school, within the homecoming period – maybe it would be about time something more would strike me that would have me attached to Spider-Man’s arc like Spider-Man 2but I’ve expected a tad too much afterwards was what I thought. It was purely Spider-Man the way I’ve always seen him, just angsty and uninteresting.

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Doctor Strange – Review

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With every new character introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe I would only be willing to approach the concept with caution given my general feelings towards their output primarily because I feel it’s difficult enough trying to tell the stories apart from one another besides the fact that another iconic character is in the leading role. The case with Doctor Strange could easily have been something different now that we have Scott Derrickson behind the camera but once again the case becomes clear: a director’s talent being wasted behind a product that will garner attention from those who have followed along with the MCU over the years. I’ve found myself fatigued at their lack of willingness to stand apart from one another, but I still watch them anyway only to see if a different experiment comes into play and I’ve always walked out empty.

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