REVIEW: AVENGERS: ENDGAME

 

Starring

Robert Downey Jr. (Sherlock Holmes)
Chris Evans (Scott Pilgrim vs The World)
Mark Ruffalo (Just Like Heaven)
Chris Hemsworth (Rush)
Scarlett Johansson (Lucy)
Jeremy Renner (The Bourne Legacy)
Don Cheadle (Talk To Me)
Paul Rudd (Anchorman)
Brie Larson (Kong: Skull Island)
Karen Gillan (Jumanji: welcome To The Jungle)
Benedict Wong (The Wrong Mans)
Jon Favreau (Couples Retreat)
Bradley Cooper (The Hangover)
Gwyneth Paltrow (Shallow Hal)
Josh Brolin (Deadpool 2)
Benedict Cumberbatch (The Grinch)
Chadwick Boseman (Gods of Egypt)
Tom Holland (How I Live Now)
Zoe Saldana (Avatar)
Elizabeth Olsen (Godzilla)
Anthony Mackie (The Night Before)
Sebastian Stan (I, Tonya)_
Tom Hiddleston (Crimson Peak)
Pom Klementieff (Delicacy)
Dave Bautista (Blade Runner 2049)
William Hurt (A.I.)
Danai Gurira (The Walking Dead)
Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother)
Letitia Wright (Ready Player One)
Winston Duke (Us)
Tom Vaughan-Lawlor (The Cured)
Jacob Batalon (Every Day)
Vin Diesel (XXX)
Chris Pratt (Jurassic World)
Samuel L. Jackson (Shaft)
Ross Marquand (The Walking Dead)
Michael James Shaw (Limitless TV)
Terry Notary (War For TPOTA)
Monique Ganderton (Smallville)
Evangeline Lilly (Lost)
Tessa Thompson (Westworld)
Rene Russo (Get Shorty)
John Slattery (Mad men)
Tilda Swinton (Constantine)
Hayley Atwell (Cinderella)
Marisa Tomei (The Fighter)
Angela Bassett (Green Lantern)
Michael Douglas (Wall Street)
Michelle Pfeiffer (Batman Returns)
Linda Cardellini (Dead To Me)
Maximiliano Hernández (Stargirl)
Frank Grillo (Beyond Skyline)
Robert Redford (A River Runs Through it)
Callan Mulvey (Batman V Superman)
Ty Simpkins (Jurassic World)
Sean Gunn (Super)
Natalie Portman (No Strings Attached)
Hiroyuki Sanada (Westworld)
James D’Arcy (Agent Carter)
Emma Fuhrmann (Blended)
Stan Lee (Trial of The Incredible Hulk)
Ken Jeong (The Hangover)
Yvette Nicole Brown (Yellowbird)
Robert Pralgo (The Vampire Diaries)

Gwyneth Paltrow, Zoe Saldana, Evangeline Lilly, Danai Gurira, Tessa Thompson, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, and Letitia Wright in Avengers: Endgame (2019)Twenty-three days after Thanos used the Infinity Gauntlet to disintegrate half of all life in the universe, Carol Danvers rescues Tony Stark and Nebula from deep space and returns them to Earth, where they reunite with the remaining Avengers—Bruce Banner, Steve Rogers, Thor, Natasha Romanoff, and James Rhodes—and Rocket. Locating Thanos on an otherwise uninhabited planet, they plan to retake and use the Infinity Stones to reverse “the Snap”, but Thanos reveals he destroyed the Stones to prevent their further use. Enraged, Thor decapitates Thanos.Robert Downey Jr. in Avengers: Endgame (2019)Five years later, Scott Lang escapes from the quantum realm. At the Avengers compound, he explains to Romanoff and Rogers that he experienced only five hours while trapped. Theorizing the quantum realm could allow time travel, the three ask Stark to help them retrieve the Stones from the past to reverse Thanos’ actions in the present. Stark refuses, thinking of his wife, Pepper Potts, and daughter, Morgan, but relents after looking at a picture of himself and the late Peter Parker. Stark and Banner, who has since merged his intelligence with the Hulk’s strength, build a time machine. Banner notes changing the past does not affect their present; any changes instead create branched alternate realities. He and Rocket visit the Asgardian refugees’ new home in Norway—New Asgard—to recruit Thor, now overweight and drinking heavily, despondent over his failure to stop Thanos. In Tokyo, Romanoff recruits Clint Barton, now a vigilante subsequent to the disintegration of his family.Don Cheadle, Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Vin Diesel, Taika Waititi, Bradley Cooper, Chris Evans, Elizabeth Olsen, Chris Pratt, Paul Rudd, Mark Ruffalo, Benedict Wong, Anthony Mackie, Chris Hemsworth, Dave Bautista, Benedict Cumberbatch, Evangeline Lilly, Chadwick Boseman, Sebastian Stan, Tessa Thompson, Pom Klementieff, Letitia Wright, Tom Holland, and Winston Duke in Avengers: Endgame (2019)Banner, Lang, Rogers, and Stark travel to New York City in 2012. Banner visits the Sanctum Sanctorum and convinces the Ancient One to give him the Time Stone. At Stark Tower, Rogers retrieves the Mind Stone, but Stark and Lang’s attempt to steal the Space Stone fails, allowing 2012 Loki to escape with it. Rogers and Stark travel to S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters in 1970, where Stark obtains an earlier version of the Space Stone and encounters his father, Howard, while Rogers steals Pym Particles from Hank Pym to return to the present. Meanwhile, Rocket and Thor travel to Asgard in 2013, extracting the Reality Stone from Jane Foster[N 4] and retrieving Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir. Nebula and Rhodes travel to Morag in 2014 and steal the Power Stone before Peter Quill can. Rhodes returns to the present with the Power Stone, but Nebula becomes incapacitated when her cybernetic implants link with those of her past self. Through this connection, 2014 Thanos learns of his future success and the Avengers’ attempts to undo it. He captures Nebula and sends 2014 Nebula to the present in the former’s place. Barton and Romanoff travel to Vormir in 2014, where the Soul Stone’s keeper, the Red Skull, reveals it can only be acquired by sacrificing someone they love. Romanoff sacrifices herself, allowing Barton to obtain the Soul Stone.Josh Brolin in Avengers: Endgame (2019)Reuniting in the present, the Avengers place the Stones into a Stark-created gauntlet, which Banner, the most resistant to the Stones’ gamma radiation, uses to reverse the disintegrations. Meanwhile, 2014 Nebula uses the time machine to transport 2014 Thanos and his warship to the present, where he attacks the Avengers’ compound, planning to destroy and rebuild the universe with the Stones. Nebula convinces 2014 Gamora to betray Thanos, but fails to convince 2014 Nebula and is forced to kill her. Stark, Thor, and a Mjolnir-wielding Rogers fight Thanos but are outmatched. Thanos summons his army from his warship to devastate Earth, but a restored Stephen Strange arrives with other sorcerers, the restored Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy, the Ravagers, and the armies of Wakanda and Asgard to fight Thanos and his army, alongside Danvers who destroys Thanos’ warship as she arrives. After overpowering the heroes, Thanos seizes the gauntlet, but Stark steals the Stones back and uses them to disintegrate Thanos and his army, at the cost of his life.Gwyneth Paltrow, Brie Larson, Elizabeth Olsen, Tessa Thompson, Pom Klementieff, and Letitia Wright in Avengers: Endgame (2019)Following Stark’s funeral, Thor appoints Valkyrie as the new ruler of New Asgard and joins the Guardians of the Galaxy. Rogers returns the Infinity Stones and Mjolnir to their original timelines and remains in the past to live with Peggy Carter. In the present, an elderly Rogers passes his shield and mantle on to Sam Wilson.Robert Downey Jr. in Avengers: Endgame (2019)This movie is absolute perfection. The ending of this movie is what we and the characters deserved. It gives a perfect balance for all these past 10 years. Epic and perfect ending, I was not disappointed at all. This movie was completely emotional and visually stunning. Now I get it why the Russo Brothers told us to do a Marvel Movie marathon before watching Endgame because this movie had everything to accomplish what left behind before all of this.

 

REVIEW: THOR: RAGNAROK

CAST

Chris Hemsworth (The Huntsman)
Tom Hiddleston (Kong: Skull Island)
Cate Blanchett (Lord of The Rings)
Idris Elba (Prometheus)
Jeff Goldblum (The Fly)
Tessa Thompson (Westworld)
Karl Urban (Star Trek)
Mark Ruffalo (Just Like Heaven)
Anthony Hopkins (Hannibal)
Tadanobu Asano (47 Ronin)
Ray Stevenson (Punisher: Warzone)
Zachary Levi (Chuck)
Benedict Cumberbatch (12 Years a Slave)
Rachel House (Eagle vs Shark)
Stan Lee (Avengers Asssemble)
Luke Hemsworth (Westworld)
Matt Damon (The Martian)
Taika Waititi (Green Lantern)
Clancy Brown (Highlander)
Sam Neill (Jurassic Park)

Cate Blanchett in Thor: Ragnarok (2017)Two years after the battle of Sokovia, Thor has been unsuccessfully searching for the Infinity Stones, and is now imprisoned by the fire demon Surtur in Muspelheim. Surtur reveals that Thor’s father Odin is no longer on Asgard, and that the realm will soon be destroyed in the prophesied Ragnarök, once Surtur unites his crown with the Eternal Flame that burns in Odin’s vault. Thor defeats Surtur and claims his crown, believing he has prevented Ragnarök.Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Hemsworth, and Tessa Thompson in Thor: Ragnarok (2017)Thor returns to Asgard to find his brother Loki posing as Odin. Thor forces Loki to help him find their father, and with directions from Stephen Strange on Earth, they locate Odin in Norway. Odin explains that he is dying, and that his passing will allow his firstborn child, Hela, to escape from a prison she was sealed in long ago. Hela had been the leader of Asgard’s armies, and had conquered the Nine Realms with Odin, but she had been imprisoned and written out of history after Odin feared that she had become too ambitious. Odin subsequently dies, and Hela, released from her imprisonment, appears. She destroys Thor’s hammer Mjolnir, and when Thor and Loki attempt to flee through the Bifröst Bridge, she pursues them and forces them out into space to die. Hela arrives in Asgard, destroying its army and killing the Warriors Three; resurrects the ancient dead who once fought with her, including her giant wolf Fenris; and appoints the Asgardian Skurge as her executioner. She plans to use the Bifröst to expand Asgard’s empire, but Heimdall covertly steals the sword that controls the Bridge, and hides away with the rest of Asgard’s citizens.Thor crash-lands on Sakaar, a garbage planet surrounded by wormholes. He is captured by a slave trader named Scrapper 142, and sold to serve as a gladiator for the planet’s ruler, the Grandmaster, with whom Loki has already become ingratiated. Thor recognizes 142 as one of the Valkyrior, a legendary force of female warriors who were killed defending Asgard from Hela long ago. Thor is forced to compete in the Grandmaster’s Contest of Champions, facing his old friend Hulk. Summoning lightning, Thor gets the upper hand on Hulk, but the Grandmaster sabotages the fight to ensure Hulk’s victory. Still enslaved, Thor attempts to convince Hulk and 142 to help him save Asgard, but neither is willing. He soon manages to escape the palace and finds the Quinjet that brought Hulk to Sakaar. Hulk follows Thor to the Quinjet, where a recording of Natasha Romanoff makes him transform back into Bruce Banner for the first time since Sokovia.Chris Hemsworth in Thor: Ragnarok (2017)The Grandmaster orders 142 and Loki to find Thor and Hulk, but the pair come to blows and Loki forces her to relive the deaths of her fellow Valkyrie at the hands of Hela. Deciding to help Thor, she takes Loki captive to prove her goodwill. Unwilling to be left behind, Loki provides the group with the means to steal one of the Grandmaster’s ships. They then liberate the other gladiators who, led by Korg and Miek, stage a revolution. Loki attempts to betray his brother to gain a reward from the Grandmaster, but Thor anticipates this and leaves him behind, where Korg and the gladiators soon find him. Thor, Banner, and 142 escape through a wormhole to Asgard, where Hela’s forces are attacking Heimdall and Asgard’s citizens for the sword that controls Bifröst. Banner becomes Hulk again, fighting Fenris, while Thor and 142 battle Skurge and the resurrected warriors. Loki and the gladiators arrive to help, and the citizens board their large ship; a repentant Skurge sacrifices himself to allow their escape. Thor, facing Hela, loses his right eye and then has a vision of Odin that helps him realize only Ragnarök can stop Hela. While Hela is distracted, Loki locates Surtur’s crown and places it in the Eternal Flame. Surtur is reborn and destroys Asgard, seemingly killing Hela.Chris Hemsworth in Thor: Ragnarok (2017)Thor and the others escape with Asgard’s remaining citizens aboard the Grandmaster’s vessel. Thor, crowned king, decides to take his people to Earth. In a mid-credits scene, they are intercepted by a large spacecraft. In a post-credits scene, the Grandmaster encounters a group of his former subjects, who are still rebelling.Chris Hemsworth in Thor: Ragnarok (2017)Thor: Ragnarok finally gives Thor the solo film he deserves as one of the original Avengers, full of laughs and plenty of heart, the road to Avengers: Infinity War is nearly complete. I, for one, cannot wait.

REVIEW: PLANET HULK

CAST (VOICES)

Rick D. Wasserman (The Avengers: EMH)
Lisa Ann Beley (Dragon Ball Z)
Mark Hildreth (V)
Liam O’Brien (Ultimate SPider-Man)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Sam Vincent (Martin Mystery)
Michael Kopsa (Dark Angel)
Lee Tockar (Bast Wars)

With Planet Hulk, an adaptation of the like-titled comic book series, the studio delivers an above-average hit — a movie that doesn’t shy away from the fact that it’s basically Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, with Bruce Banner’s gamma-irradiated alter ego stepping in for Maximus.For comics fans seeking a pleasant distraction or looking for something to tide them over until the next live-action Hulk movie arrives, one could do worse than watching this gory, action-packed Marvel story.When Iron Man and Reed Richards deem Hulk too dangerous to remain on Earth, he is exiled into space and set on a course for an uninhabited planet. But our heroes never cleared that destination with the green guy, so he goes all smashy in mid-flight and ends up crash landing on the planet Sakaar. Here, Hulk is taken as a slave and forced to pla in the evil Red King’s gladiator arena. At first, all Hulk wants to do is pummel, brood and repeat, but then he joins forces with his fellow slaves in an attempt to take back the planet from Red King’s tyranny.Despite an obvious need for a bigger budget to fully realize the scale of the battles, Hulk manages to streamline the source material into a fast-moving 80 minutes that taps the necessary action beats to satisfy the Hall H attendee in all of us. Those looking for serious pathos will be disappointed, but that’s not to say that Greg Johnson’s screenplay is void of any character drama. Two of Hulk’s fellow slaves are provided decent flashbacks that add some depth to their otherwise 2D characters, but the script’s “telling tales around the campfire” approach to these flashbacks grows a bit redundant. Still, these character touches make us care more about Hulk’s fight to save a world, and maybe find peace, once the dust settles.

Fans of the comic will be glad to see that most of the original storyline and brawls are intact. One of the biggest changes from the comic has to be (spoilers) swapping out Silver Surfer for Beta Ray Bill as an opponent during a key fight. The swap, dictated mostly by the fact that 20th Century Fox has rights to the character, works well onscreen, and Hulk seems better matched to fight Bill than he did Galactus’ herald.For the most part, the core of the original story remains intact, which leads to a third act that feels separate from the main arc, but nonetheless entertaining. It’s Hulk vs. an invasion by the Spikes, which turn everyone into zombie porcupines. The climax provides us with the movie’s darkest beat, where a character carries a smoldering child who turns to ash, following the aftermath of a nuclear attack. The movie retains this darker edge leading to the final showdown between Hulk and the Red King, which feels a bit rushed.Planet Hulk (2010)Planet Hulk is a great movie that provides several graphic “Hulk Smash!” moments without forgetting to link them to some semblance of characters that we care about. It’s not a perfect movie to be sure, but it certainly qualifies as one of Marvel’s better efforts in the direct-to-DVD realm.

REVIEW: THE SUPER HERO SQUAD SHOW – SEASON 1-2

CAST (VOICES)

Charlie Adler (Wall-e)
Alimi Ballard (Sabrina: TTW)
Steven Blum (Wolverine and the X-Men)
Dave Boat (Ultimate Spider-Man)
Jim Cummings (Darkwing Duck)
Grey DeLisle (The Fairly Oddparents)
Mikey Kelley (Gravity Falls)
Tom Kenny (The Batman)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)
Tara Strong (Batman: The Killing Joke)
Travis Willingham (Dragon Ball Z)

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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Shawn Ashmore (X-Men)
Dee Bradley Baker (American Dad)
John Barrowman (Arrow)
A.J. Buckley (Disturbing Behavior)
Ty Burrell (Muppets Most Wanted)
LeVar Burton (Star Trek: TNG)
Taye Diggs (Private Practice)
Michael Dorn (Ted 2)
Suisan Eisenberg (Justice League)
Carl Lumbly (Alias)
Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street)
Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: TNG)
Greg Grunberg (Heroes)
Nika Futterman (Futurama)
Mark Hamill (Star Wars)
Lena Headey (Game of Thrones)
Tricia Helfer (Powers)
Cheryl Hines (The Ugly Truth)
Josh Keaton (Justice League: Gods and Monsters)
Wayne Knight (3rd rock from The Sun)
Maurice LaMarche (Futurama)
Phil LaMar (Free Enterprise)
Jane Lynch (Glee)
Jason Marsden (Full House)
James Marsters (Smallville)
Jennifer Morrison (Urban Legends 2)
Scott Menville (Teen Titans)
Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)
Adrian Pasdar (Heroes)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica)
Kevin Sorbo (Hercules: TLJ)
Ray Stevenson (Divergent)
Fred Stoller (Little Man)
George Takei (Star Trek)
Cree Summer (Batman Beyond)
Michelle Trachtenberg (17 again)
Hynden Walch (The Batman)
Jim Ward (Danny Phantom)
Adam West (Batman 60s)
Nina Dobrev (The Vampire Diaries)

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When I saw a preview of The Super Hero Squad Show back in February of 2009, I thought it looked pretty interesting, but certainly aimed at the kiddies, and as it aired on Cartoon Network, I never saw an episode. In fact, I forgot all about it, and when I got my hands on this disc, I thought it was an animated take on the old Fisher-Price Marvel kiddie figures. So I had no expectations coming in. Well, my only expectation being that it would be bad. So it was with a good deal of shock that I found it to be a pretty entertaining action-comedy series, if you don’t mind the cheese-level of many of the jokes.MV5BMTY4MzMzMzM2OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTE2OTc3MjE@._V1_The Super Hero Squad (sort of a loose version of the Avengers) is made up of an assortment of Marvel heroes, including Iron Man (as the leader), Captain America (who provides aid on a regular basis), Wolverine (adding the X-Men’s popularity,) The Hulk, Thor, a spacey surfer-dude version of the Silver Surfer, and Falcon (obviously added to bring some diversity.) Joining them is the mostly unknown Reptil (a dinosaur-powered bit player from the Avengers comics) who is both a young guy and Hispanic, helping fill out the P.C. scorecard a bit more and give younger viewers a stand-in.  They go up against Doctor Doom and his legion of bad guys (and ineffective henchmen), as he searches for the Infinity fractals, shards of the Infinity Sword (which seems connected to the Infinity Gems of the Infinity Gauntlet. Infinity.)MV5BMTUwMzc1OTEzNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjU3MDg3MjE@._V1_Though the storylines are pretty solid and offer big action-packed battles, the bulk of the show is comedy, with the character’s out-sized personalities carrying the jokes, be it Thor’s overwhelming concern about his appearance or Captain America being stuck in the ’40s. Maybe I don’t give kids a lot of credit, but I can see a large portion of these gags flying over their heads, which will make the show far more enjoyable for adults than one would have expected. There was more than one joke that got a genuine laugh out of me, though many of them rely on bodily functions or pratfalls for the punchline. The wordplay and character-generated jokes are much more entertaining and fun, especially Thor’s Asgardian versions of modern language, the Silver Surfer’s alien view of Earth life, and anything involving the always-ridiculous floating head known as M.O.D.O.K. (voiced hilariously by Tom Kenny.) One joke about the Hulk swallowing a yo-yo is technically genius. The only thing about the show that doesn’t really work is Reptil, who feels like the Poochie of the show, coming off as a bone tossed to kids, with his dino-focused power, youthful role and extreme behavior.MV5BNzQ1MjI0NzUzOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNzk1OTc3MjE@._V1_This version of the Marvel Universe smartly keeps the same look for its characters, giving long-time Marvel fans an in for the series, but presents them in a super-deformed style (squat bodies, large heads and feet, four fingers) that’s kid-cartoon friendly and which easily separates it from any other version of the Universe you’ve ever seen. That way, there are no issues with continuity or previous incarnations, and the show can be enjoyed on its own merits (allowing them to do something like make Dr. Strange a complete lunatic.) That’s a good thing, because the show is loaded to the gills with fan-service goodies, like the episode titles (which reference famous comic titles) and title cards which replicate memorable cover art. The show also pulls characters from the depths of the Marvel roster, like Screaming Mimi and the Melter, and having silly cartoon fun with them. Taken simply as a silly, almost What The–?! treatment of the characters, it’s well worth a look for comic-book fans out of grade school.MV5BMjM1ODQ2NDUxNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjk1OTc3MjE@._V1_On a non-story note, the theme song, provided by Parry Gripp of Nerf Herder, is an energetic blast, while the voice cast for this series has to be one of the best for a non-prime time animated series, with tons of veterans of the cartoon industry, like Kenny, Tara Strong, Jess Harnell, Grey DeLisle, Cree Summer and Charlie Adler, along with plenty of genre stars, including Robert Englund, Tricia Helfer, Jennifer Morrison and Adrian Pasdar. It’s rare to see a show like this pull this kind of voice cast.MV5BNzQ1MjI0NzUzOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNzk1OTc3MjE@._V1_The overall plot of the cycle will feature the villain Thanos seeking the six stones of the Infinity Gauntlet, a powerful cosmic weapon. Opposing him will be the titular Super Hero Squad, which is made up of goofball takes on Iron Man, Thor, Falcon, Wolverine, Hulk, Ms. Marvel, original character Reptil, Scarlet Witch, and sometimes Captain America. While the first two shows focus specifically on the Thanos plot, other episodes detour into one-off excursions. For instance, “World War Witch!” takes the heroes back in time to when Cap was fighting the Red Skull alongside the Invaders in WWII, while “Support Your Local Sky-Father!” pits Olympus vs. Asgard, and it features the Marvel Universe rendition of Hercules.