Tag: Clark Gregg

Captain Marvel

Here we are, the first “marvel” film of 2019, and maybe the last of them to be reviewed. Whoops.

Now technically, Spider-Man: Far From Home is a Sony movie. And maybe this will come out before Avengers: Endgame. It depends on if it finally breaks that damn record. I’m trying to hold out.

But let it be known, that damn it, I saw Captain Marvel opening weekend! I just didn’t write a lot in the spring and I am catching up. It’s not out of hate, or sexism, or anything like that. It is just I don’t want Disney to profit off of my reviews if I don’t get invited to see them early anymore.

Brie
Yes, this website is why Disney makes so much money. 
Kree good. Skrulls bad. That’s what Vers (Brie Larson) was taught. She is a warrior in the Kree kingdom, following the Supreme Intelligence (Annette Bening), trying to protect the galaxy and the universe. Yon-Rogg (Jude Law) is her mentor, and commander of their group of super soldiers. He looks out for her, but she is having problems unlocking her potential.

Either way, they know they need to stop the Skrulls. They can change shape and pretend to be other people! Anyone might be a Skrull, and it is important to have secret phrases to deal with the threat. Threats like Talos (Ben Mendelsohn), leader of the group of Skrulls and a threat to the Kree way of life, and other planets! They go to a planet, pretend to be the citizens, slowly take over, and boom, their planet.

This battle takes them all to planet Earth. It is important to note this is 12-13 years before the events of Iron Man, before Y2K wrecked house. And Vers, when she gets to Earth, is going to have even more memory problems than before, and has to work with local human security, like Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) pre-eye patch, in order to stop the Skrull threat and unlock her true potential.

Also starring Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Clark Gregg, Gemma Chan, Lashana Lynch, Algenis Perez Soto, and Rune Temte.

Skrulls
I don’t know why they’d want to shapeshift. They don’t like green? Elphaba-syndrome much? 
Captain Marvel is fun and entertaining while also introducing a lot of backstory into the MCU. I bet you never knew you wanted to know how Nick Fury lost his eye, but once that question is answered, you’ll never be the same.

Danvers is a great and strong as fuck character. It has been awhile since we got a character that seemed like they could destroy the world if they wanted to. She has powers comparable and potentially surpassing Thor, Hulk, and Dr. Strange, who I’d put as the biggest three in the MCU. Scarlet Witch should be higher, but they have more downplayed her actual abilities while talking them up, and odd choice. But Captain Marvel has the power and the talk. She will fuck up all the shit.

Like a lot of other recent solo movies, this one failed to feel like it did a lot different than the other previous 20 movies to warrant a higher grade. 3s are great, and better than the occasional 2 these MCU movies can make.

Again, more importantly, this adds the Skrulls to the MCU, which are going to allow some bigger huge storylines in the future, especially if they want to kill more superheroes and it be okay.

3 out of 4.

Labor Day

Yesssss, a Jason Reitman movie!

Who is Jason Reitman? Well, he did Up In The Air, Young Adult, Juno, and Thank You For Smoking.

That should be enough for you. I guess, he also directed Labor Day. He has pretty interesting movies, so I expect good things from this super drama looking movie. Like. Seriously. The trailer shows like no comedy at all.

Pie Love
This is the strangest sex scene I have ever seen, and it involves a minor!

Labor Day takes place in the late 1980s, and you know, was a book and shit. Henry (Gattlin Griffith) is living with his mom, Adele (Kate Winslet), after his dad (Clark Gregg) has left her for his secretary. The dad has a big second family now, but he wants to live with his mom, who never really recovered from the divorce/cheating, as if the entire concept of love had left her.

She doesn’t leave the house much, maybe just once a month to get supplies, but that is all. Well, unfortunately, on her monthly shopping trip, Henry is approached by Frank (Josh Brolin), and he is hurt. He needs a ride, so Henry takes him to ask his mom. Turns out the ride he needs is to their place, and he seems threatening.

Ah, he is an escaped convict, sent to the paddywagon for murder. Pretty extreme. Although he seems “nicer” at the house, he still has to put up appearances of taking them hostage so that they won’t get in trouble if he is found out. Some light bondage, if you will. But while he is there, he fixes things around the house, cooks food, you name it. He wants to hop on a train that goes by their house, but a dang holiday weekend (guess which one!) kind of ruins it all.

But even more remarkable, is that eventually, there is love.

This film also has James Van Der Beek as a random cop (small role), J.K. Simmons as a random neighbor, and it is narrated from the son’s point of view, but also by Tobey Maguire, not Gattlin. Only felt a little weird there.

Hostages
Apparently, hostage holding has gotten a lot more seductive.

Well, shit. I guess Jason can make a movie I don’t like or higher.

I was kind of disappointed with this movie, like, super disappointed. Like, bored. It was very slow moving, and extremely simple.

What is giving it the higher rating is mostly Kate Winslet. She acted the hell out of that role, really incredibly. She said so much with her eyes and hands. Acting for the win yo. Brolin was good too, and an interesting character.

I just didn’t find any bit of the situation believable. The ride to their home, him staying over, just…it all felt awkward and fake. Having Tobey Maguire narrate it felt weird, because it clearly wasn’t the kids voice. Thankfully he was in the movie at the very end, reflecting on the 4-5 days, but still, it was super dang awkward.

The ending was a bit awkward too in that regard. It did catch me off guard, and you know, suddenly tears, but the story I still kind of hate. Just, Kate Winslet’s acting yo. If you watch it, watch it for her. I don’t know if this movie is a 2013 movie delayed, or an actual 2014 movie. So, who knows about its award potential.

2 out of 4.

The To-Do List

In the end, The To-Do List will just be known for Aubrey Plaza‘s first lead role in a film, and nothing more.

Huh, that sentence would have made more sense at the end of the review, but I think it is too late now. Now the bias is set. Now you know where I am going with it. Oh well.

Suck?
But I guess you already knew the movie might suck.

Brandy Klark (Aubrey Plaza) is your typical Boise, Idaho native. Her parents are pretty strict (Clark Gregg, Connie Britton), because her dad is a judge, so she was raised correctly. It is 1993, no internet to corrupt her, so she became Valedictorian of her graduating class. But she never really learned anything about sex or the human body. Only what she was told by her “slutty” friends (Alia Shawkat, Sarah Steele).

But after being forced into a college party, she sees someone. Rusty Waters (Scott Porter), an older guy, playing guitar. Oh em gee, so dreamy!

In fact, he almost has sex with her on accident. Oh snap! But he still doesn’t. She thinks it is because she isn’t an expert at sex, despite being an expert at everything else she does. So she makes a list of things to do over the summer, to elevate herself to sexual maturity, so that one day she can have sex with Rusty Waters. No matter who gets in the way.

Like her friend Cameron (Johnny Simmons) who clearly likes her. Also in the movie is Bill Hader as the pool owner, Rachel Bilson as the older more experienced sister, Donald Glover as a token black guy, and Andy Samberg as some local band guy.

Play? Kid?
See, there he is. At a House Party. Looking like Kid.

Really, just really, I got the feeling that no one really tried in this movie. Let me take a step back.

Aubrey Plaza does not act the same way she does in Parks and Rec, and other live interviews. That is presumably how she is. No, this character isn’t brooding, or sarcastic. It is just a overachieving girl, who wants a boy. So there is definitely acting in this movie.

It was definitely going for comedy, because it had a few amusing moments and a lot of shenanigans ended up happening. But nothing really struck a chord with me. IMDB tells me everyone is over 25 playing teens as part of the joke, but it isn’t a good joke. Why? Because that happens all the time. If they wanted to make that real joke, they should have gone even older. Make it super awkward.

Some situations were “Sex-awkward” which I guess is the main selling point. Virgins doing stuff! A nice girl being “slutty!” Oh the humanity. I will admit they were the most amusing part of the film, but even they fell short to me. But hey, Clark Gregg is in this movie. As a Conservative Judge! That sure is nifty.

In the end, The To-Do List will just be known for Aubrey Plaza’s first lead role in a film, and nothing more.

1 out of 4.

Much Ado About Nothing

Joss Whedon is a sly bastard.

While working on post production for The Avengers in 2012, he had to take a vacation via his contract. What did he do on his vacation? He fucking filmed this movie, Much Ado About Nothing, in twelve days. TWELVE! A WHOLE MOVIE! In secret!

Who makes a film in secret? That guy does.

For those of you who don’t know, Much Ado About Nothing was also a film in 1993, but it had stars like Denzel Washington, Keanu Reeves, and Robert Sean Leonard (when he was known as that guy from Dead Poet’s Society, not Wilson FROM House M.D.).

That version wasn’t bad in any real way. It was super Shakespeare. It was done well, and everyone did good. Yes, even that guy.

Past
Basically the best actors the world had to offer us in 1993.

Ah love. Love is grand. And sometimes leads to marriage. That is the goal of one Don Pedro (Reed Diamond)! He has fallen madly in love with Hero (Jillian Morgese) and has vowed to win her hand in marriage, but he needs some help from his friends.

Oh wait. That goes on as planned pretty easily (minus some second act shenanigans and mix ups). That is because they are not the main characters of the play/movie! No! It is Benedick (Alexis Denisof), friend of Don Pedro, and Beatrice (Amy Acker), friend of Hero! Both are known for their wit and their disdain for love and fairy tale endings. Nonsense all of it! Well, weddings take some time to plan, so Don Pedro, his friend Claudio (Fran Kranz) and the others get a bit bored with the wait and decide to play a game. They will make Beatrice and Benedick fall in love with each other!

Ha ha, emotions! Hilarious!

Well, yes, other things happen in the progress. But who cares. We got people being tricked into love! Who cares about the rest? Sean Maher plays the mean spirited Don John, Clark Gregg plays Leonato, Hero’s dad, and Nathan Fillion plays Dogberry, the constable.

Black and white
Oh yeah, it is filmed differently too.

So, why did Joss Whedon choose to make this secret movie? I have a theory. I think he just really likes this story, and damn it, he wanted to do a modern Shakespeare movie. Simple as that. This is one of the clearest definitions of a pet project I have ever seen. He made his first black and white movie, a movie with a script he didn’t write (technically. He wrote a screen play…but you know. Not really), it has a lot of his actor friends, and it was done in secret. I seriously still can’t believe that.

Now, the question I ask is…did this movie need to get remade already? There are a lot of Shakespeare plays, and many that don’t have plays. We are about to get our fiftieth film adaption of Romeo and Juliet (roughly). The answer is no, it didn’t have to get made, but no movie has to get made.

For me to really enjoy this, I would hope that this film offered something new. Well, new wise, it is filmed in black and white, and in a modern setting. There is also one subtle big difference, alluding to the past of Beatrice and Benedick, that I am pretty sure has never been done before. But honestly, it doesn’t feel like enough. Modernizing this really didn’t mean much when it is just a big house party, really. Unlike Coriolanus, which was definitely changed for a modern way, and Romeo + Juliet, which was beyond weird.

The acting was decent. It was a bit weird seeing all these people we know from other things doing Shakespeare, but that is to be expected.

I just don’t think this was different enough or unique enough to be considered really great.

2 out of 4.

The Avengers

If you haven’t heard of The Avengers, then fuck you.

In 2008 a great thing happened. Comic book movies kicked ass. The Dark Knight, Hellboy II, and Iron Man came out, in reverse order between May and July.

After the success of Iron Man, they quickly announced their three (turned into four) year plan. After Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk. Then another Iron Man movie. Then Thor. Then Captain America.

Then? The fucking Avengers. Each hero getting at least one movie before hand, bringing them together for an epic never before seen in film. It’d be like if the Lord of the Rings had a movie back story for Legolas, and the other people I don’t remember.

How many more nerd hits can I get before the actual review? Not sure. But needless to say, this movie has been something I have been waiting four years for, and it delivered in every way possible. May the Fourth be with us indeed.

Someavengers
Didn’t even tell Steve about casual Fridays.

The movie begins with the Tesseract (introduced at the end of Thor and in Captain America) going crazy. S.H.I.E.L.D. is going crazy, red alerts. Agent Coulson is trying to catch up Nick Fury on the cube, but unfortunately is is confusing. We also get to meet Agent Maria Hill (Robin from HIMYM). Because we need more than 1 woman character in this movie.

Either way, turns out it opens a portal from another part of the universe, and out pops Loki! He fucks shit up, takes the cube, and also takes Professor Selvig (From Thor) prisoner, along with some other members. And well, he is thinking about using that unlimited energy source to open up a permanent portal, bring up an army of space aliens, and you know take over/destroy Earth. He is mad at Thor and Asgard for kicking him out, so he wants vengeance on the world Thor loves so much.

Fighting demigods means you need to bring in the big guns. S.H.I.E.L.D. attempts to do just that. Getting in touch with Thor is hard, but not Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, or Hawkeye. They also need Bruce Banner (Hulk), but only to use his brains for finding the cube, definitely not for Hulking. (cough).

So what is the movie about? Stopping Loki before he takes over the world. Trying to not resort to nuclear bombs. Trying to see if a team made entirely of egos (and Captain America) can actually work together and not fight it out. Trying to control the Hulk. And so much destruction of Manhattan.

Hey, Pepper Potts is also in this movie.

Fight fight
Again, they first have to work out their own differences and motives.

OH MY GOODNESS THE AVENGERS.

GUYS THE AVENGERS. PLEASE READ THIS AS ME YELLING.

After Disney bought Marvel I didn’t even think this would be possible, but this is the first of the Marvel films to have the full Disney backing and they didn’t disappoint. The movie has everything. You will laugh and cry, be excited and maybe scared. You will laugh and be excited a lot though more than the others, and it feels like nonstop action too. A good feeling for a movie that clocks in over two hours.

The amount of extra nerd detail put into it, small moments watching the Avengers team up and use specific movies? It is amazing.

In case anyone is curious, next year we are supposed to get Iron Man 3 and Thor 2, and then 2014 a sequel to Captain America, probably taking place in WW2 still, before the frozen events.

A sequel to Avengers isn’t likely until 2016 or so, which is good them to not be rushed. They gave a middle of credits hint to the sequel too, and it looks great. Probably a Dr. Strange movie is in the works for 2014/15, and maybe even Ant-Man. With a Joss Whedon movie, I was surprised there was no Nathan Fillion cameo as Hank Pym.

I have a good feeling I will be seeing this movie in theaters again, and many times in the future on Blu-Ray. Just think, we also get The Dark Knight Rises, Prometheus, and Amazing Spider-Man this summer.

4 out of 4.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

Mr. Popper’s Penguins, another old story/book turned movie. I can’t say I remember anything about the book, but I am sure I have read it once in my life. It was probably a ridiculous concept book, that was turned into a ridiculous concept movie. I can tell you that the comedy present in the film is not the caliber Ace Ventura stuff you used to expect from a Jim Carrey movie, because once you go “talking out of your ass”, it is hard to top that. But there are enough decent scenes involving PENGUINS for you to at least enjoy yourself.

Jim Carrey Gay gay
You can top “ass talk” if you go gay, however. What?

Obviously Popper is Jim, and he plays some sort of real estate buyer. I guess he works for a company that buys properties that owe money, and then sells them for higher if they are fixed, or gets rid of the buildings for new and exciting things! When he was a kid, his dad used to go on adventured, and never had time for him. He did communicate with him over some weird crazy “radio” thing. Silly technology.

But now he is divorced with two kids! He is feeling like a distant father himself, no good. His kids don’t seem to care, the older being played by Madeline Carroll, who was also in Cafe and Flipped. While he is trying to spend time from kids, he gets a package from his dad (from his will) and inside is a penguin? What?? Shenanigans! This isn’t good. He eventually gets five more boxes, and thats where all the zany adventures start.

Angela Lansbury plays the old lady who owns the last plot of land his company needs. Clark Gregg is the zookeeper originally called to take away the penguins, but later becomes the villain. Ophelia Lovibond is Popper’s assistant, Pippi, and I only mention her because she talks with a lot of P words, very properly, and looks way too much like Lexi Belle for a kids movie.

Jim dance
It’d be inappropriate to show pictures of Lexi Belle here, jerks. Instead, dancing penguins!

As I said, the humor is okay. Most of it is just “awww” based, dealing with penguins in public. I would rather the penguins not be named after adjectives, and wish they didn’t do a penguin that just happens to fart all the time. Come on movie, rise above that. Also, less Sidney Crosby jerseys would have been preferable. Only one scene really bugged me, in the art gallery. In which it showed a whole lot people seemingly being fine with standing in water that suddenly appeared at their feet, and all “what the fuck!” only when penguins were coming down as well. No one likes wet shoes, people.

But yeah, the plots ridiculous, but any penguin lover will like it. It also preaches good family values overall, and doing the right thing. Well, eventually doing the right then. First there might be some bribery.

2 out of 4.