The Badger On: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 (Movie)

If you have read my list of favourite Marvel movies found in my Pop Goes The Badger Blog you would know that  Guardians of the Galaxy came in at number 2, after the Avengers, as the Marvel movie that I most enjoyed. Despite 3 more movies coming out since then, including this review, I will stand by that. Even though Captain America: Civil War is probably their best made movie on a enjoyment level I still prefer the Avengers and Guardians more. Actually I will say that Winter Solider is still probably my favourite Cap movie, on my enjoyable scale, as the last time I watched Civil War (and second viewing) I fell asleep. I might have to revise that list to include the three additional movies but might wait until after Spider-Man: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok are released.

I will try not to be too heavy with the spoilers considering that this movie has not been released in all regions.

First off, it is an enjoyable movie, actually my bf likes this one better than the first though he still thinks that there is not much of a storyline in either movie. I still, however, think the first one has a charm that this one kind of lacks. There is a little growth in the characters and the humour is much more present in my opinion and Baby Groot is adorable and should bring a smile to your face every time he is on screen.

While the original movie was an introduction and formation of the team, Vol 2 is a movie about family and fatherhood. At the end of the first movie Peter Quill/Star Lord (Chris Pratt) finds out that he is only half human with his father being something that even the Nova Corps were unaware of. In Vol 2 we meet his father a Celestial (a kind of god) named Ego (Kurt Russell). Peter is a little resentful of his father to begin with but eventually get swayed by the charm of Ego and actually finding his father. Gamora (Zoe Salanda) is suspicious of Ego and also resentful to an extant as she feels that Ego is taking Peter away from the family that is being formed within the Guardians.

It is not just Peter and his budding relationship with his father that is being explored. The relationship between the Gamora and her sister Nebula (Karen Gillan) and the treatment the endured by their adoptive father Thanos along with the relationship of Peter and his kidnapper Yondu (Michael Rooker), who we find out was hired by Ego to bring Peter to him after his mother died but didn’t. Yondu also builds a bit of a relationship with Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) as they are very much alike in some ways.

Like in the first one the music is good though admittedly not as good or used as well as the first one, in my opinion. Stand out tracks being Fleetwood Mac’s The Chain and Cat Stevens Father and Son. The last one in  particular might bring tears to your eyes, as it did me. I think it just one of those songs that you just instinctively know the words too as I was mouthing the words to it as it was playing and my bf was singing aloud to it.

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The Badger On: Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them (Movie)

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Well duh, it was only logical that I was going to see this movie. It is:

  1. Set in the Harry Potter Universe
  2. Written by J.K Rowling herself
  3. The main character is a Hufflepuff and we badgers support each other.

A couple of things before I start to Squee. I did see this while it was in cinema but it was not our usual cinema and not a very good or comfortable one. The other thing is my anxiety was very high during this movie not only because of the movie itself but also because I had an assignment due and I have no idea if I am going to complete the last task because frankly it was making me feel uncomfortable.

I saw this with my bf naturally, my eldest niece also naturally and surprise, surprise some others. The others being my bf’s brother and sister-in-law, my second younges niece who is 9 years old and my sister. My sister, who introduced me to the Harry Potter world, is the only one who didn’t like the movie, she thought it was boring and spent most of the movie playing on her phone.

Just so you know our sorting my BF is a Ravenclaw and my sister and older niece are both Slytherins, the younger one is too young but I have my fingers crossed that she will be a Hufflepuff like me and nature and some early online results (not Pottermore) are pointing that way though admittedly it is a tie between the badger and the snake. No idea what they in-laws are.

Well back to the movie. I, of course, loved it. I have also bought the screenplay book which I have only just finished (a week in Melbourne with nothing to do and nowhere to go and no transport to get anywhere and no Wi-Fi can do that) and I have also re-watched the movie as I bought the digital copy when released and will also by a physical copy soon.

A little blurb I guess: Newt Scamander arrives in New York with a case of Magical Creatures some escape and Newt along with a No-Maj (muggle) named Jacob and two American Witches Tina and Queenie Goldstein assist in trying to capture them. There are also mysterious magical goings-on in New York that could expose the magical community to the No-Maj world.

Ms Rowling did a good job with the writing of the screenplay for a first attempt as the story told was enjoyable and I laughed, cried and clapped my way through the movie. At the screening that I saw it in it was given a round of applause at the end which I naturally participated in. The special effects to bring the magical creatures to life were wonderful and you could see the obvious care and love that Newt has to the creatures in his case. The highlights being the mischievous niffler, the beautiful Thunderbird Frank and the mating dance in Central Park with the Erumpent. Also Picket the Bowtruckle was cute.

Acting wise Eddie Redmayne (who is a Hufflepuff in RL) was wonderful as Newt Scamander as was Dan Fogler as Jacob Kowalski. Katherine Waterson and Alison Sudol as the sisters Tina and Queenie Goldstein were also great and I particular loved the relationship that developed between Jacob and Queenie. Also great were Ezra Miller as Credence Barebone, the ‘squib’ and Colin Farrell as Percival Graves the shady and menacing MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America) Auror. The twist at the end was very interesting though I am not sure how I feel about the casting. I will not go into detail about it though I suspect that if you have seen the movie already you know what I am talking about.

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The Badger On: Logan (Movie)

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I know it has been a while. I have been to the movies a couple of times prior to this review. The first I did start to write something up but I wanted to see the movie again and didn’t get a chance to so I might wait for the Digital/DVD release of it, which should be soon. The second I actually fell asleep during due it being really hot, a heavy meal prior and popcorn during and I was tired to begin with. Unfortunately this did not impress my BF who was rather annoyed that I feel asleep.

 

So that leads to my review of Logan. Now we all know that I am more of a DC fan than a Marvel and though technically this is made by Fox and not Marvel/Disney Wolverine is a Marvel character and I do have a fondness for the character. Actually X-Man/Wolverine is probably the only Marvel creation that I do have a fondness for though Guardians of the Galaxy and Deadpool might creep in there.

 

I am going to admit right off the bat that I did cry by the end. This has probably been the best X-Men movie that has been made in a while and this isn’t really an X-Men movie it just has elements of it. Hugh Jackman in his final (?) outing as Wolverine/Logan’s age has caught up to him and the adamantium that has been bonded to his skeleton now poisoning him and his healing ability slowing down.  He is  wonderful in his curmudgeon best, though in his own way it is an act as he does truly care for both Caliban (Stephen Merchant) and Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and he did end up caring and even seeing Laura/X23 (Dafne Keen) as his daughter by the end of the film.

 

Dafne Keen was definitely the highlight of this movie with her not speaking until the last third of the film and only responding to action sequences with grunts and screams. The way she reacted to what was going on around her was wonderful. Professor Xavier’s and Wolverine’s last moments in this movie were beautiful and horrible at the same time as Wolverine’s in particular is what brought me to tears with Laura referring to him as ‘Daddy’ for the first time.

 

Wonderfully directed and co-written by James Mangold this is a road movie where you can feel the tension of the chase by the bad guys in the form of Transigen/Reavers  who are responsible for the creation of Laura from DNA taken from Logan and the other young mutants who are trying to cross the border into Canada where they will be protected.  Like Deadpool before it this is a MA15+ movie with its violence and language but the violence to an extent was very artistic.

 

If you are a fan of Wolverine please go and see this movie as it finally gives you the Wolverine that should have always been.

 

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The Badger On: Batman: The Killing Joke (Graphic Novel and Movie)

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If you read my other blog you would know that I am on a bit of a DC binge with all my entertainment pursuits being DC related with the exception of The Magicians (only one episode left!!) and strangely enough episodes of the first season of Pokemon (blame GO for that). Hell, I watched Dawn of Justice twice last week alone and the extended edition to boot. My assessment on re-watch is that I know what they were trying to achieve with the movie, especially when it comes to Lex, I just don’t think they pulled it off with the exception being WONDER WOMAN!!! The SDCC for her movie is PHENOMENAL BTW so is Justice League one.

Enough of me hyping movies that won’t be released until next year. Today’s review/opinion piece is on the well-known and critically acclaimed book and the animated version of it, Batman: The Killing Joke.

The graphic novel is written by Alan Moore with the art by Brian Bollard and was released in 1988. Admittedly I had only read the book for the first time about a month ago. Actually that is wrong I bought the book in March of this year in preparation of when the movie will be released. I started to read it but the content and story is a little full on so I stopped reading only to pick it up about a month ago to finish reading it.

The story is considered a possible origin story for the Joker and even he states in the book that he prefers his past to be multiple choice. During the story we see flashbacks to what Moore and Bollard see as his origin. A former chemical engineer who quits to be a comedian and fails. With a pregnant wife, who he cannot support, he agrees to lead some crooks though the chemical plant he worked for so they can rob the factory next door. On the day of the job he is told that his wife and unborn child have died in a freak accident but is forced to do the job anyway. Wearing the Red Hood mask he leads them through only to be found by security and Batman. Scared and unable to see properly he trips and falls in a vat of chemicals and gets washed into the overflow bleaching his skin, turning his hair green and insane.

In the ‘present day’ Joker shoots Barbara Gordon and as his goons kidnap Commissioner Gordon. The Joker takes provocative photos of her as she is injured and bleeding (this is what made me stop reading the book). They take the Commissioner to an abandoned amusement park, strip him naked and subject him to torture, including the photos that Joker had taken of his daughter. Joker is doing this to prove a point. That even the best of people, the Police Commissioner of Gotham City perhaps, can be driven completely insane after having one bad day.

Batman, naturally shows up and rescues the Commissioner, who is not insane and orders him to do it by the book. After a fight in which Joker does his bad-guy monolouge in which he informs Batman what the purpose of it all was and correctly guesses that Batman does what he does because he too had a bad day. Batman, of course wins and lets Joker know that the Commissioner is not insane and that it is only him that went insane after all. He then offers Joker help as he fears that their rivalry will lead to one killing the other, in which of course Joker refuses. The story ends with the Joker telling a joke and both of them laughing.

Now the movie sticks very faithfully to this story with the exception of the first third to half of the movie, it is not a long story after all. The first part revolves around Barbara Gordon/Batgirl and I understand why they did it to. For those that are going to watch the movie who have never read the book or know much about Barbara Gordon, for something like what happened to her matter to the audience you have to care and you have to see why Batman cares. A friend of mine who was lucky enough to see the movie in theatre called the Batgirl part a backstory and in some ways it was but it was more of what leads Batgirl to quit.

I am, however, a little uncertain of it all maybe on re-watch and on a bigger screen (I watched in on a iPad Mini) I might appreciate/like it more. Barbara comes off cocky and arrogant which of course leads Batman to pull her reigns in a bit which of course makes her down right bratty. That didn’t really make me like her all that much and then the Batman/Batgirl fight leading to sex didn’t make it much better. I wasn’t surprised by the Bat sex per say as that part of their relationship had been hinted at in other DC related media that I had read or watched and I realise that it is not unnatural for something like that to happen but I just not sure if it was appropriate.

That being said it the movie was very well made and the voice acting was naturally wonderful. In Batman circles when you have Kevin Conroy as Batman and Mark Hamill as the Joker you can’t get any better. Tara Strong also did a  great job with Barbara Gordon as did Ray Wise as Commissioner Gordon.

 

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I just couldn’t resist!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Badger Compares/Reviews: Captain America: Civil War and X-Men: Apocalypse

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I am not a Marvel girl at all and though I have seen all the movies and have watched some of the Marvel television I still prefer DC. I feel more emotionally invested in DC characters than I do with Marvel and never really got excited for Civil War or X-Men the way I got excited for Dawn of Justice or the upcoming Suicide Squad or anything TV related within the DCU.

The one property of Marvel that I do have an affection for is the X-Men. My older brother read the comics when he was a teenager and we both were fans of the cartoon. I have seen all the X-Men movies at the cinema and do have an affection for Bryan Singer as a director as he directed one of my favourite movies of all time in the Usual Suspects. He was also an Executive Producer on one of favourite TV shows in House MD which he also directed a couple of episodes in the first season.

Despite this affection I can’t honestly say that X-Men: Apocalypse was a great movie in this franchise. On the other hand Captain America: Civil War could be considered such a movie and it is definitely the best of the Marvel movies under the Disney banner that have been released.

That’s not to say that I don’t have some quibbles with it. I don’t particularly like how they treated Wanda/Scarlett Witch  (Elizabeth Olsen) but then Marvel has never been great in treating their female characters right. I thought it was a little long and I didn’t care too much about how they flashed up the locations up on the screen. I have to say Captain America (Chris Evans) and his Avengers for and against sure did travel this time around and you could say that Iron Man (Robert Downey Jnr) could be up for kidnapping considering he took a minor in Spiderman out of the US without a passport or Auntie May’s (Marisa Tomei) permission.

Speaking of the Peter Parker I thought that Tom Holland did a wonderful job considering that I have absolutely no love for the character what-so-ever, actually I have only ever seen half a Spider-Man movie and that was the second half of the Amazing Spider-Man (2012). Also the introduction of Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) was delightful. That whole airport scene was spectacular. T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) was wonderful and another great addition to the line-up and I am looking forward to his stand-alone.

Apocalypse on the hand was also a little long and the they never once referred to Oscar Isaac’s character by any name what-so-over, actually I think he dodges the question when asked. Also his mutant powers were not really defined except that they seemed to be sand related, that he could forcibly inherit powers and give other power that could make them stronger.  A little too much time was given over to Raven/Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) and that was probably because it is Jennifer Lawrence.

The new/old mutants in Jean Grey/Phoenix (Sophie Turner), Scott Summers/Cyclops (Tye Sheridan) and Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler (Kodi Smith-McPhee), Ororo Munroe/Storm (Alexandra Shipp) did well with what they had as did Psylocke (Olivia Munn). My niece particularly loved Peter Maximoff/Quicksilver (Evan Peters) and I have to agree that his slow motion scenes were as good as the ones from Days of Futures Past.  

Eric Lensherr/Magneto (Michael Fassbender) was wonderful and his scenes with his family where wonderful and their deaths were incredible heartbreaking. Though there acting was not bad I really can’t say much about Professor Xavier (James McEvoy), Moira McTaggert (Rose Byrne) and Hank McCoy/Beast (Nicholas Hoult). Hugh Jackman’s cameo as Wolverine was a good follow up from his part in Days of Futures Past.

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The Badger On: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

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If you read any of my other blog then you know that I have been looking forward to this movie so much so that I had to strike a deal with my BF to actually see the movie. He refused to see it on the grounds of Ben Affleck, whom he doesn’t like. I, on the other hand, had never seen Avatar and had no plans of ever seeing it due to my dislike of James Cameron and I my resentment that  The Last Airbender movie could not have Avatar somewhere in the title, though I should probably should let that one go since the movie was terrible and actually did injustice to the fabulousness that is the Nickelodeon cartoon.

I watched Avatar and so my BF saw the movie with and my niece, who has put in her request for what she wants to see next.

Now on to the actual movie….

I liked, it though admittedly I do have some issues with it.

The editing and maybe direction was not the best and at times it did not make much sense.

  • It was a little too long
  • I had issues with Batman’s use of guns
  • Lex was a little too crazy for my liking, he seemed kind of Jokerish to me.

 

WONDER WOMAN !!!!

 

What can I say. Every about her part in this movie was….well wonderful though a little more of her would have been nice. She was strong, beautiful and charismatic and had the best theme music. Looking forward to Gal Gadot in her movie next year.

Ben Affleck played his part well, but then I never had any problem with his casting, I am probably one of the few that could see it and thought it was a good choice. My BF thought he did a reasonable job which is saying a lot for him though he thought he was a little too big in size but I had no problem with that.

I am not a big fan of Superman so I am probably not going to say a lot about him. My niece on the other hand loves him and was sad when he ‘died’. I liked Lois however and thought Amy Adams did a good job there.

Not sure how I feel about two out of the three cameos/intros to the rest of the Justice League. I am meh on Aquaman though I do like the choice of Jason Momoa. Flash I will have to wait and see but that is only because I love the Flash TV show and have a hard time seeing the Flash as any but Grant Gustin. Now Cyborg on the other hand I am looking forward to as I am huge fan of his from the Justice League cartoon movie and his cameo along with the dream sequence and maybe Lex’s ramblings at the end gives us an idea of what is to come.

Well that is all

 

    

 

The Badger On: Deadpool (Movie)

I have to start out by saying that I usually don’t see this many new movies and considering what is coming up I think there might me more reviews than I thought. I really have to mix it up though and add some books (which I am working on) and some TV (which I scratched but might take up again if I can actually get through watching full episodes without being distracted).

Any who, Deadpool, Deadpool, Deadpool. What can I say about Deadpool.

First off it is a very different superhero movie, if you can call Deadpool a superhero at all which he himself wouldn’t.

Second of all it has a lot of violence, bad and suggestively bad language nudity but not as much as I thought that here would be considering the character in question.

Thirdly it is very funny and I don’t just mean the movie itself but the opening and closing credits are funny and so is the after credits scene. Yes, there is an after credits scene.

It is also told in a non-linear way which for a superhero movie and an origin story is very different but suits this character well. Deadpool breaks the fourth wall often which I am told he does in his comic books as well and like the non-linear way it is told suits him.

Ryan Reynolds is wonderful but then the character I believe is very much him. Actually all the cast plays their parts well. I don’t think that I am really going to go into the plot and not because it is complicated or anything, actually it is an easy enough movie to follow, but I think it is a movie that you to see yourself and I don’t really want to spoil it.

 

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Trailer