Tag Archives: MCU

Rinzy Reviews ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ (2019)

Release Date: July 5

Starring: Tom Holland, Zendaya, Jon Favreau, Jake Gyllenhaal, Marrisa Tomei, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, et al.


Spider-Man: Far From Home‘ rides high off everything we know and love about the MCU. There are a few missed, but, as expected, the glitz and glamor of an MCU-entry makes Mysterio’s illusion and Iron Man’s farewell more believable.

I read somewhere online after the release of Avengers: Endgame that if that movie’s the end of the Infinity Saga era then this one’s its epilogue, and I agree. Spider-Man: Far From Home is like the love song to Tony’s sacrifice to defeat Thanos in the biggest movie of all time, and for the most part it works. Even though I for another Spider-Man movie not to overly reference or feature Tony Stark/Iron Man, I’ve come to a place where I can coexist with this iteration. Here’s the MCU, where Spidey’s Tony’s prodigy, and even in death, his shadow still looks over the lad.

Tom Holland does a great job as Spidey as usual, it’s as though he was born for the role. Happy Hogan gets a more prominent role in this sequel, and I like it. Zendaya, too, gets more to do, mostly because Holland’s Peter Parker is finally making his move to secure his own MJ just like all the ones before him.

Jake Gyllenhaal shines bright as Quentin Beck aka Mysterio, master of illusions. Jake’s the new kid in the block, but excels at not feeling out of place; this is mostly due to his terrific range as an actor. Though marketed otherwise, Mysterio’s from the comics and animated series is well-known to be a villain, so that’s not the big twist Kevin Feige and his team have planned for this movie. To know what it is, you’d have to go see the movie at the cinema, or wait for its release in digital.

So you know, the twists are mind-blowing. Make sure to stick around for the mid and post credit scenes, in my opinion they’re the juiciest part of the movie.


Directed by: John Watts

Rinzy’s Rating: 4/5

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Rinzy Reviews ‘Point Blank’ (2019)

Release Date: July 12

Starring: Anthony Mackie, Frank Grillo, Adam G. Simon, et al.

***

Two of the MCU’s finest headline this casual Netflix movie. They’re the best thing about it; but that doesn’t mean Point Blank‘s great.

If you were expecting a game-changing thriller from Point Blank, you’d be disappointed. But if what you craved going into this Netflix chill time was good, old, cliche pass time, then you made the right choice. Point Blank doesn’t offer anything new; its jokes don’t really stick and its plot twists can be seen coming a mile away. To be put it plainly, it’s just another addition to the popular buddy-cop formula, one where Frank Grillo’s Abe is the guy with the fist and temper, and Anthonio Mackie’s Paul provides the heart to see the movie through.

Imagine showing up to work one day only to be caught in the crossfire of conspiracies and having the rest of your life potentially fucked up? That’s what Paul contends with at few minutes into this action flick, but just before the end credits start to roll the movie jumps one year into the future and everything’s as bright and beautiful as they were ab initio.

The search for a drive with enough exposé to clean up the American justice system is the main conflict of Point Blank. We see this infamous drive pique the interest of an ostensibly deadly crime boss, and also drive Paul into engaging in one of life’s oldest rules – kill or be killed. But for Abe and his brother Mateo, it’s another episode inside life contending against bad cops and deadly gangsters like Big D.

If you’re into buddy cop movies Point Blank might get you excited, but expect to forget all about it as soon as you’re done watching.

Directed by: Joe Lynch

Rinzy’s Rating: 2.5/5

Rinzy Reviews ‘Jessica Jones’ Season 3 (2019)

Release Date: June 14

Network: Netflix

Starring: Krysten Ritter, Rachael Taylor, Eka Darville, Carrie-Ann Moss, Jeremy Bobb, Benjamin Walker, et al.

***

The popular saying, with great power comes great responsibility is often used in comic book movies to describe a hero’s moral compass, and their trajectory towards the dark, whilst trying to find their way back to the light.

The third and final season of Jessica Jones bares its soul, holding almost nothing back. And though it drags at first, in the show’s usual form takes the titular character on another adventure of twists, turns, and shocking heartbreaks.

Unsurprisingly, and long overdue, this season really shines light on Trish Walker, taking her to really dark places as she further embraces her comic book persona, eventually picking up the alter-ego of Hellcat…

Of course Karl’s near-fatal experiment worked, Jess!

There’d always been darkness in Trish; she’d always loathed being the ordinary sister, missing out of the main action and having to hide behind Jessica’s shadow. And like she endlessly reiterated throughout the season, she wanted this, unlike Jessica. That impulsive need to mostly prove herself Jess coupled with grief drives her over the edge. She’s able to recognize this fact at the point of her incarceration when she blurts I’m the bad guy. Hopefully, this signals some sort of redemption in her future. We’ll never know now, would we?

Although Trish closes the show, the season starts with some other villain, one not up to par with Jessica in terms of physical strength, but full of charisma. Gregory Salinger (the Foolkiller) and his brutal fetish for peeking into his victims’ truth steer the season in a direction that’s both climaxing as it’s thrilling.

The Foolkiller isn’t the first serial killer to be on the show. Kilgrave and Jessica’s mom weren’t big fans of life either, but there was something different in the way Gregory Salinger determined who deserved to live and die. He’s merely human -highly intelligent- yet, still boringly human. But he presented a threat Jessica just couldn’t punch her way through. Through him, we see a side to Jessica that takes a more rational and procedural approach to solving her problems. Seems like there’s hope for New York’s unlikeliest hero after all!

Ruefully, this entry suffers from the same malformation as most of its predecessors in the Netflix corner of the MCU – over-bloated, unnecessarily dragged, and sometimes exhausting to follow. A shortened episode would’ve told a tighter, better paced story, but I guess we should be done regurgitating on this contractual obligations of the show. Multiple episodes reiterate issues already tackled from a new PoV, and even though they shed more light on plot issues, they sometimes become painstaking to follow.

Supporting characters like Malcom, Jeri, and newly introduced characters like Erik, Jess’s new assistant get arcs of their own, and get ample time to shine. Malcom, veers into dark places of his own, but manages to find his way back to the light fast enough to attain redemption. Jeri is still Jeri, scheming, manipulating, and would probably die alone as her lover prophesied.

I’ve been a hardcore fan of Jessica Jones’ series, more than I was for any of the other Defender shows. It’s hard to say goodbye, but I couldn’t be more prouder of how things ended. We’ve watched Jessica grow much over the years into the more mature she’s in now, and can rest easy knowing NYC is in great hands.

PS: Did you catch that surprise cameo from Harlem?

Rinzy’s Rating: 3.5/5

Rinzy Reviews ‘Captain Marvel’ (2019)

Release Date: March 8

Starring: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Jude Law, Ben Mendelsohn, Lashana Lynch, et al.

***

Captain Marvel is one helluva badass lady!

Make no mistake, she’s no damsel in distress, for she’ll whoop your ass effortlessly if need be. Following the lead of Wonder Woman, her DCEU counterpart, Captain Marvel toes the line of recent movies aimed at women encouragement and empowerment, in and out of the cinema. It’s not groundbreaking, but it’s a welcome addition to the club. Whether it’s Carol Danvers kicking ass or Maria Rambeau, her best friend, riding a space jet like it’s a bike, there’s no shortage of high octane moments for women in this movie.

When the announcement of Brie Larson’s casting was made public, a swash of backlash quickly followed. Most termed her acting uninspiring, and unworthy of headlining an MCU movie. Honestly, I think they were wrong; I enjoyed everything about Larson’s portrayal of Ms. Danvers. Her chemistry with Samuel L. Jackson is believable, and the buddy cop, road trip angle of the movie is quite beautiful. I really enjoyed every scene they both shared.

Captain Marvel’s cinematography in deep space shares some semblance with the Guardian of the Galaxy franchise; the aura’s so similar, most times through those early scenes it seemed as though I was watching another one of James Gunn’s creation.

I liked the story twist… The Skrulls not being the villain as portrayed early into the movie. I’m a sucker for characters with shape-shifting powers, and really looking forward to seeing more of these guys in the MCU.

Unfortunately, it’s not all fun and roses with this movie. The major downside I’ve got with this movie is its villain. I have this popular saying, that a hero is only as powerful as his/her villain, and considering just how powerful Carol Danvers is, her nemesis, Yon-Rogg (Jude Law), doesn’t measure up. The villain problem is one that’s plagued Marvel for a long time, but every now and then there comes a movie like Avengers: Infinity War and Spiderman: Homecoming that proves this formula wrong. Even though I hope Marvel finally fixes the problem once and for all, I understand the need to sacrifice a great villain for a good story for the greater good of the cinematic universe, and I’m good with it.

Favorite Scenes:

– When Jude Law’s character challenges Carol to a one on one bawl, only for her to ignore and blast him off.

– When Fury was listing the many ways he’ll always go by the name Fury.

Favorite Appearance

– Phil Coulson.

Standout Characters

– Ben Mendelsohn’s as Skrull boss, Talos.

– Goose the cat.

Favorite Retcon

– Finding out Fury lost an eye to an alien cat.

Directed by: Ryan Fleck

Rinzy’s Rating: 3.5/5

Rinzy Reviews ‘Avengers: Endgame’ (2019)

Release Date: April 26

Starring: Robert Down Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johannson, Paul Rudd, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffallo, Josh Brolin, et al.


Last year, when I first saw Avengers: Infinity War at the cinema, I was in awe at how one movie could be so awesome. How so many characters could be fitted into a run-time of about 150 minutes, and, yet, justice was done to most of the characters. Now, take almost everything I felt about Infinity War and magnify it by three or more… that’s how Avengers: Endgame made me feel, especially in its final act.

Endgame movie leaps five years in time since Infinity War, and Earth’s mightiest heroes have taken the time to handle their grieves in various ways, some better than others (hello, Hawkeye, can you read me?)

In a way, it’s understandable considering all they lost at the hands of the Mad Titan, but the movie fails to address the fallout from their various actions during that time, and instead proceed to erase and ignore that timeline in its entirety with the introduction of time travel. Thanks to the quantum realm and Tony’s groundbreaking technology, The Avengers can now go back in time to various key events that shaped the MCU into the juggernaut it now is.

I liked seeing new parts of scenes previously closed out to viewers, like Alexander Pierce’s appearance after the Battle of New York, which gave an insight into how Loki’s Sceptre got into the hands of Hydra kicking off the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron, and so many more tidbits.

By the final act of Avengers: Endgame, Thanos proved once again why he’s the perfect big bad for the MCU. “I am inevitable,” he says, and I almost concurred, that is until that snap didn’t work. Thanks to Tony’s sacrifice, Earth’s mightiest heroes (what’s left of them) can live to fight another day, and for that were grateful.
Thank you Marvel for 11 years of awesomeness. This was a terrific swansong ; I love you 3,000 ♥️.


Rinzy’s Rating: 4/5

Directed by: Anthony and Joe Russo

Rinzy Reviews ‘The Punisher’ Season Two (2019)

Release Date: January 18

Network: Netflix/ 13 episodes

Starring: Jon Bernthal, Ben Barnes, Georgia Whigham, Amber Rose Revah, Josh Stewart, Annette O’Toole, Corbin Bernsen, et al.

***

The major theme of The Punisher season two is family. On different fronts, the show tries to explore what that word really means. Frank, Curtis and Russo’s history in the army easily comes to mind; but there’s also the fact of Russo (now Jigsaw, in a manner of speaking) banding together another set of war veteran misfits looking to fight another war into his Frank-Castle-Killing-Club. Billy Russo, even with his PTSD and memory loss, is worse than ever, and easily motivates these persons into fighting his personal war with the Punisher. Talk about a charismatic leader.

There’s also Amy, the girl without a family, and how some wrong life choices land her in Frank Castle’s laps long enough for him to begin to see her as his daughter. Lastly, there’s the person of religious assassin John Pilgrim, and how every murder he’s committed in the name of the Schultz has been in service of his two sons and (eventually) late wife.

This central theme of family spins two entirely separately stories connected only by the antihero – Frank Castle aka The Punisher. Even though he doesn’t really do much punishing anymore as at when the season begins, it doesn’t take long for one (or two) nasty persons to do something to get him angry enough to willing murder gratuitously. In this case, it’s a group of crazy people who shoot at his newfound bartender girlfriend (or more accurately, sex mate he was beginning to catch feelings for). This is enough motivation for Frank Castle to be drawn into the many crazies of Amy’s world, which all turned out to be the Schultz parents sending assassins (including John Pilgrim) after her simply because she’s using photos of their son kissing another man to blackmail them.

The second plot is what really retcons both seasons of the show. It deals with the consequences of the fallout between Frank Castle and Billy Russo in the season one finale. After Frank successfully enacted his revenge on Billy by brutally disfiguring him, the doctors manage to salvage his face, but with severe memory loss and PTSD from the events of that night ay the park, Russo is still a bitter, angry man desperate to fill in the blanks. Some things never change. But luckily for him, he has a psychologist with a sad past enough to get her triggered as she helps him heal. Together, they go further down the drain – committing unspeakable crimes in their bid to stay together as destined true loves.

Agent Dinah proves to still be an interesting addition to the show. I enjoyed every moment with her dealing with her fallout from Russo last season. PTSD is a big deal and, just like Russo, she too has her fair share of it.

Frank Castle’s war veteran friend Curtis features more prominently this season, and manages not to be much of a bore.

For the better part of it, The Punisher‘s second doesn’t really improve upon its first season, I thought it was a tad weaker. But it’s a wonderful watch, with enough emotion to go with the grit allowing you care about Mr. Castle and Russo and all the death and destructions they cause in their wake.

Rinzy’s Rating: 3.5/5

Rinzy Reviews ‘Daredevil’ Season 3 (2018)

Release Date: Oct. 19, 2018

Network: Netflix/ 13 episodes/ 50 minutes

Starring: Charlie Cox, Vincent D’onoforio, Deborah Ann Wool, Wilson Bethel, et al.

***

Without a doubt, Daredevil is the best Marvel show in the Netflix corner. Its first season was wonderful, easily undoing all the wrongs of the 2004 movie starring Ben Affleck as the titular character; its second season gave us the gift that keeps on giving in the person of The Punisher, and with that singular gesture has cemented itself into a special corner of our hearts.

At the end of the events of The Defenders, the miniseries that saw characters from all four Marvel-Netflix shows team up, we were left guessing what would become of Daredevil post Midland circle collapse; the kind of line the character would toe now that there wasn’t any Elektra or shady Hand organization to worry over. 

The Matt Murdock we meet this season is unlike any we’ve known since we first met the character five years ago. He’s troubled, heavily tormented by the tolls of his double life as the devil of Hell’s Kitchen. More than ever, the agenda on the top of his plate is stopping Fisk, albeit this time he hopes to do so more permanently.
Every villain needs a hero, and Wilson Fisk is one helluva villain! Goddamit. The guy’s a real master planner. For every step you take he’s already taken three and is far ahead of you. 

I was skeptical when I first heard Vincent D’onoforio was returning in a series regular capacity as Wilson Fisk for this season; this was because my brain, limited at that time, couldn’t fathom the reason for his return, something about him not being the only villain in Marvel’s roaster worthy of Daredevil’s attention. My joy was increased, nonetheless, when I found out Bullseye would be featuring – a part of me wanted to see everything wrong with Collin Farrel’s 2004 iteration corrected. And I got my wish.

Back to Fisk. The guy does know how to put on a show, a fact echoed by a trivial character in the gang round table gathering of episode 9. Slowly, whilst pretending to be a changed man, Fisk took his time and regained the empire he once had unchallenged dominion over. He took the game further and, through systematic planning, boxed up every key player of the FBI with a boner against him (oh, poor Special agent Nadeem. RIP!) and trapped them into doing his biddings. If for any reason you’ve had the urge to be a villain, Wilson Fisk is the man you want to be like, trust me.

One of the things Fisk is good at, as pointed out by Matt Murdock in episode 5, is exploiting people’s weaknesses. This is one talent he exploits early in the season, when he identifies Dex as a man of many talents and one with special needs. Proving once again he’s the man who has what you need when you need it, he slowly but eventually creeps his way into a special place in Dex’s heart and gets the bull at a place where he’s very comfortable to do all his biddings. 

When we first meet Special Agent Dex in episode 2, he starts out as the convential American TV hero – good looking FBI agent with very sharp shooting skills and a tongue fully laced with snarky remarks. In him, we got to meet the man behind the facade, the man who needs to stick to a regimented lifestyle in order not to lose his shit; something Fisk successfully capitalizes on in episode 5 when he got him to attack the Bulletin Newspaper dressed as the devil of Hell’s Kitchen.

Dex is so broken that he needs a purpose to function at all times; albeit broken, it still passes as functioning. This disability is the real reason Fisk is able to easily penetrate his psych because, in all fairness, Dex is really just a puppy in search of a master and in desperate need of approval. 

Dex is extremely talented, no doubt. I liked how even the smallest, seemingly harmless thing becomes a weapon in his hand. I liked the backstory the show gave to him; I like the fact that entries into the MCU continue to stand apart from. Their comic book source materials. So, even though he never gets to be called Bullseye for once (look how long it took then to call Fisk Kingpin) or that he spends the bulk of his time impersonating Daredevil, I don’t mind. I’m happy with the character, his arc, development and resolution.

Talking about characters arc with strong boners, let’s open the playbook of Karen Page. 

Ms. Page is one annoying character beautifully brought to life by the talented Deborah Ann Wool. One thing I don’t like about Karen is her compulsive need to always dive head-first, without thinking, into danger. It’s a constant thing about her character since we first met her in the first season, and it’s as though she’s learnt nothing, not even after her very, very dangerous encounters with  Frank Castle  a.k.a. The Punisher.

Karen knows how dangerous Wilson Fisk is but refuses to tread cautiously. Probably is the aftereffect of spending too much time with Matt, who himself never thinks things through. That scene where she goes to visit Fisk at his five-star prison and confesses to killing Wesley still irks me out. It was thoughtless, senseless, and, even though it’s true to character, it does more disservice to her as it paints her as a person who never learns, hence is marked for a certain gruesome someday.

Karen’s arc hurts me even more whenever I think about Foggy’s. Now, Mr. Nelson has been involved in Matt’s shit longer than Karen’s, if we’re considering their backstory, so, technically, has had more time to learn to adjust to all things Matt. That’s points for Karen. But I’d like to point out that Foggy wasn’t in any known danger then. The real drama, conflict and pains started when the series began. This season, we meet a Foggy that has learnt his lessons; a Foggy who is more cautious about throwing himself in danger; a Foggy that’s made his peace with death and life (as can be seen in his reaction after the Bulletin killings by December dressed as Daredevil). In other words, this season we met a better and improved Foggy, and I hope something like that happens to Karen, she deserves it.

I did like episode 10 that gave us a bit of her backstory. It gave us a look into the kind of relationship she has with her father and a better understanding of the principles guiding her relationship with others. 

The fight scenes on Daredevil are impeccably choreographed, we know that already. It’s one of the things that made us fall in love with the show in the first place. The passage fight scenes have been a staple of the show from the very beginning and this season is no different (checkout the prison scene of episode 4). The thing I’m more excited for has more to do with the inclusion of a character more than that of a technicality in production. The inclusion of Matt Murdock’s mom, Sister Maggie. For non-comic-book lovers, she added some much needed air of mystery in the earlier episodes; easily raising the question of why a would nun show so much interest in a self-proferred devil? 

The season does a shaky good job of tying up Daredevil’s vendetta against the Kingpin. We get to see Matt bask in all the rage and hatred he’s accumulated over the years against his nemesis and in one moment of decision and fleeting emotions decides to send him back to jail as oppose his initial decision to kill him. With this, we might still see Fisk again in the future in a prominent role; history has shown that some people, like him, are bigger than the law, the only way to silence them is death.

Daredevil killing Fisk will become a defining moment for the character and take the show in a whole new creative direction.

Stray observations:

1. We never get a backstory of how Dex got his Bullseye talent.

2. It’s interesting to see Vanessa is actually an evil person.

3. We don’t get to see Matt on his red uniform, not even once.

4. Wilson Fisk’s monologous responses when asked a question is dope.

5. Dex and Matt’s fight scenes are a delight to watch.

6. It’s funny how Matt’s seen through Vanessa’s deceitfully calm facade; just like her, husband, Fisk, he knows she too is evil.

7. The final shot of the season tells us Bullseye’s still lives. Wicked. 😋
Rinzy’s Rating: 4/5