“God made food; the devil the cooks.”
– James Joyce, Ulysses
“God made food; the devil the cooks.”
– James Joyce, Ulysses
Directors: Anthony & Joe Russo Starring: The Avengers Running Time: 181 minutes
What follows below is a quick-and-clean, spoiler-free review of Avengers: Endgame. If and after you’ve seen the film and want something with more depth and detail to continue the discussion, we’ll be back next week with a second look, which you can read at your own risk.
Directors: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman Starring: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, Brian Tyree Henry, Lily Tomlin, Luna Lauren Velez, John Mulaney, Nicolas Cage, Liev Schreiber Running Time: 117 minutes
The suggestion that we have hit a saturation point with superhero movies has become an increasingly pointless gesture in film criticism. One might as well say that Hollywood has hit a saturation point with making money, and the idea has always carried a degree of ignorance, or arrogance; a dismissive view of a form of storytelling whose domination of the comic book medium is closer to reaching a century than a saturation. The people are here for superhero movies, and the future for the genre isn’t to die out but to make sure they speak to all the people; growing and changing and embracing the vast potential of the medium to show superheroes, their powers and their capacity for good in exciting new ways. Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse does all this and more, with a confidence, enthusiasm and joy, all of which put it firmly in the conversation for best superhero movie of the year.
Directors: Anthony and Joe Russo Starring: Everybody. Running Time: 149 minutes
Ten years ago now, there was an idea. To bring together a group of remarkable characters and see if they could become something more. There was a time, unbelievable as it is now, that having a ‘shared universe’ of various franchises seemed like a massive risk rather than the movie studio holy grail. A time when people wondered how the first Avengers film was possibly going to manage a story with six superheroes. Infinity War has twenty. Plus sidekicks and supporting cast members, absentee Avengers, love interests, a few surprise appearances, the army of an entire country, and a new mass of villains. And Stan Lee. The Universe has grown and grown, developing an enormous, enamoured audience along with it. Marvel know they have most every blockbuster-loving film fan in the palm of their hands at this point, so to keep them captivated, what’s the best thing they can do at this point? Make a fist. Or snap their fingers.
Once a year, Dublin’s Cineworld showcases its centrepiece: its IMAX theater, with the ‘IMAX Film Festival‘. The selection of blockbusters, well suited to the biggest of big screens, is coming back this March, offering films fans the chance to see some popular blockbusters of the past year once again.
Director: Ryan Coogler Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker Running Time: 134 minutes
Get ready to fall in love with Wakanda – the fictional African nation of the Marvel Universe, a hidden technological utopia that serves as the backdrop for much of Black Panther. While not technically alive, it is perhaps the films single biggest star. Wakanda, as presented on screen, is a fully realized and lived-in world, with a sense of awe and wonder waiting around every corner. It is a place whose cultural significance is undeniable – expertly crafted and wonderfully depicted through every costume, character, and setting; a place that helps Black Panther look and feel completely fresh.
Director: Taika Waititi Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Tessa Thomson, Jeff Goldblum, Mark Ruffalo, Idris Elba, Anthony Hopkins, Karl Urban Running Time: 130 minutes
Thor: Ragnarok is fine. This might seem like a needlessly dismissive hot take on a movie that has been popular with critics and a hit at the Irish box office (the film was responsible for over 46% of the Irish 3-day weekend box office), but given the considerable talent involved in the film, both on screen and in the director’s chair, is it spoiled to come out of Marvel’s latest blockbuster? Let’s not be too much of a curmudgeon about this; Ragnarok is a frequently very funny film, one that meets the expectations of its audience, set firmly from that “he’s a friend from work!” trailer, more or less exactly. It is another Marvel movie, and much like pizza, even when they’re not amazing they’re still pretty good. It is what it is. It just could have been more than that.
Director: Jon Watts Starring: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Marisa Tomei, Robert Downey Jr Running Time: 133 minutes
In recent years, the behind the scenes efforts of non-Marvel studios attempts to make films with Marvel characters could make compelling movie material all on its own. Specifically, comedy-of-errors movies. The chaos reportedly caused during the awful 2015 reboot of Fantastic Four by director Josh Trank (and his little dogs too) is one example. The leaked e-mail fiasco showing out-of-touch exec’s attempts to make an EDM-loving, humble-bragging hero that’s down with the kids for the ill-fated, ever spin-off proposing Amazing Spider-Man series is another. The lack of financial success made by the Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone-starring Spidey movies led to an “if you can’t beat them, join them” rethink and Sony drafted in Marvel Studios to help produce a reboot, with Sony retaining film distribution rights and Marvel masters Disney controlling merchandising rights. After a popular cameo in last year’s Captain America Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming sees Marvel’s most beloved comics character take centre-stage once again. From the orchestral arrangement of the classic 60’s Spider-Man cartoon theme that opens this film onwards, the effort to bring the character (or more cynically, the IP) back to its roots is clear. This is a younger, more innocent Spider-Man, and the film is refreshing for that, even while the creative constraints of being part of the MCU never go away.
Marvel have unveiled the teaser trailer for their latest movie. Or rather, their latest movie once Spider-Man Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok are cleared from their packed release schedule. The teaser, released during Game 4 of the NBA Finals last night, gives plenty of exciting glances at the film and reasons to believe that Creed director Ryan Coogler has successfully put his own stamp of action and excitement into the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first film with a black superhero as the lead.
Director: James Gunn Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, and Kurt Russell Running Time: 136 mins
Living up to the first Guardians Of The Galaxy was always going to be a daunting task. Based on a largely unknown bunch of characters from the pages of Marvel comics, the first film was an insanely successful surprise hit that caught audiences off guard in the best possible way with its unique brand of humour, adventure, sci-fi thrills, and breakout characters. Sure the trailers looked good, but nobody knew quite what to make of it until they sat down in the theatre and had their proverbial minds blown.
Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol.2, arriving on a wave of expectation and hype, has the unenviable task of trying to recapture that magic. And honestly, although it can’t quite match the surprise impact and originality of its predecessor, it still gives it one hell of a good shot. This film is absolutely tons of fun – expanding on the scale, humour, and unique quirks of the first film, while aiming to dig a bit deeper into the characters and their own separate corner of the Marvel universe.Read more…