REVIEW: BLACK PANTHER

CAST

Chadwick Boseman (Gods of Egypt)
Michael B. Jordan (Fantastic Four)
Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years A Slave)
Danai Gurira (The Visitor)
Martin Freeman (The Hobbit)
Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out)
Letitia Wright (The Commuter)
Winston Duke (The Messengers)
Sterling K. Brown (This Is Us)
Angela Bassett (Green Lantrn)
Forest Whitaker (Rogue One)
Andy Serkis (Kong Kong)
Sydelle Noel (Arrow)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)
Sebastian Stan (I, Tonya)
John Kani (Endgame)
Florence Kasumba (Wonder Woman)

Florence Kasumba, Chadwick Boseman, Danai Gurira, and Lupita Nyong'o in Black Panther (2018)Five African tribes war over a meteorite containing vibranium. One warrior ingests a “heart-shaped herb” affected by the metal and gains superhuman abilities, becoming the first “Black Panther”. He unites all but the Jabari Tribe to form the nation of Wakanda. Over centuries, the Wakandans use the vibranium to develop advanced technology and isolate themselves from the world by posing as a Third World country.Chadwick Boseman in Black Panther (2018)In 1992, King T’Chaka visits his brother N’Jobu, who is working undercover in Oakland, California. T’Chaka accuses N’Jobu of assisting black-market arms dealer Ulysses Klaue with stealing vibranium from Wakanda. N’Jobu’s partner reveals he is Zuri, another undercover Wakandan, and confirms T’Chaka’s suspicions.Angela Bassett, Connie Chiume, Michael B. Jordan, Chadwick Boseman, and Danai Gurira in Black Panther (2018)In the present day, following T’Chaka’s death, his son T’Challa returns to Wakanda to assume the throne. He and Okoye, the leader of the Dora Milaje regiment, extract T’Challa’s ex-lover Nakia from an undercover assignment so she can attend his coronation ceremony with his mother Ramonda and younger sister Shuri. At the ceremony, the Jabari Tribe’s leader M’Baku challenges T’Challa for the crown in ritual combat. T’Challa defeats M’Baku and persuades him to yield rather than die.Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Connie Chiume, Michael B. Jordan, Chadwick Boseman, Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong'o, and Daniel Kaluuya in Black Panther (2018)When Klaue and Erik Stevens steal a Wakandan artifact from a London museum T’Challa’s friend and Okoye’s lover W’Kabi urges him to bring Klaue back alive. T’Challa, Okoye, and Nakia travel to Busan, South Korea, where Klaue plans to sell the artifact to CIA agent Everett K. Ross. A firefight erupts and Klaue attempts to flee but is caught by T’Challa, who reluctantly releases him to Ross’ custody. Klaue tells Ross that Wakanda’s international image is a front for a technologically advanced civilization. Erik attacks and extracts Klaue as Ross is gravely injured protecting Nakia. Rather than pursue Klaue, T’Challa takes Ross to Wakanda where their technology can save him.Chadwick Boseman in Black Panther (2018)While Shuri heals Ross, T’Challa confronts Zuri about N’Jobu. Zuri explains that N’Jobu planned to share Wakanda’s technology with people of African descent around the world to help them conquer their oppressors. As T’Chaka arrested N’Jobu, the latter attacked Zuri and forced T’Chaka to kill him. T’Chaka ordered Zuri to lie that N’Jobu had disappeared and left behind N’Jobu’s American son in order to maintain the lie. This boy grew up to be Stevens, a U.S. black ops soldier who adopted the name “Killmonger”. Meanwhile, Killmonger kills Klaue and takes his body to Wakanda. He is brought before the tribal elders, revealing his identity and claim to the throne. Killmonger challenges T’Challa to ritual combat, where he kills Zuri, defeats T’Challa, and hurls him over a waterfall to his presumed death. Killmonger ingests the heart-shaped herb and orders the rest incinerated, but Nakia extracts one first. Killmonger, supported by W’Kabi and his army, prepares to distribute shipments of Wakandan weapons to operatives around the world.Nakia, Shuri, Ramonda, and Ross flee to the Jabari Tribe for aid. They find a comatose T’Challa, rescued by the Jabari in repayment for sparing M’Baku’s life. Healed by Nakia’s herb, T’Challa returns to fight Killmonger, who dons his own Black Panther suit and commands W’Kabi and his army to attack. Shuri, Nakia, and the Dora Milaje join T’Challa, while Ross remotely pilots a jet and shoots down the planes carrying the vibranium weapons. M’Baku and the Jabari arrive to reinforce T’Challa. Confronted by Okoye, W’Kabi and his army stand down. Fighting in Wakanda’s vibranium mine, T’Challa disrupts Killmonger’s suit and stabs him. Killmonger refuses to be healed, choosing to die a free man rather than be incarcerated.Chadwick Boseman in Black Panther (2018)T’Challa establishes an outreach center at the building where N’Jobu died, to be run by Nakia and Shuri. In a mid-credits scene, T’Challa appears before the United Nations to reveal Wakanda’s true nature to the world. In a post-credits scene, Shuri helps Bucky Barnes with his recuperation.Chadwick Boseman in Black Panther (2018)Like many others, i have waited for months for Black Panther to come out. Although i was incredibly excited, a little part of was worried that the movie wouldn’t live up to the expectations placed upon it. But boy, did it blow my mind. It ended up surpassing my expectation by miles (and i was expecting a lot). It was truly an exquisite film. Chad Boswick acting as the Black Panther was perfection…not one thing was forced, everything he did, he did with grace and ease. Danai Gurira as Okoye was beyond words; she was fierce, elegant and a total badass. Lupita Nypngo, Letita Wright, Micheal B Jordan, Martin Freeman etc..were incredibly as well. The heartfelt acting shined through every actor and actress. The visuals were glorious, the portrayal of African culture in all its beautiful halo was something of a sight to behold.  This is a film that is educational, honest, visually stunning, humbling and historical. It does not bullshit or gloss up. Do yourself a favor and go watch it.

 

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REVIEW: LEGO MARVEL SUPER HEROES: BLACK PANTHER – TROUBLE IN WAKANDA

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes: Black Panther - Trouble in Wakanda (2018)

CAST

Laura Bailey (Avengers Assemble)
Yvette Nicole Brown (Mom)
Trevor Devall (Stargate: Atlantis)
Keston John (The Good Place)
James Mathis III (Avengers: EMH)
Liam O’Brien (Ultimate Spider-Man)
Isaac C. Singleton Jr. (Deadpool)
Roger Craig Smith (Ben 10)
Fred Tatasciore (Hulk Vs)
Travis Willingham (Super Hero Squad)
Mick Wingert (Arrow)

maxresdefaultI recently saw this airing online was impressed. While the scene with Thanos as the opening villain and the newswoman making a report with the Black Panther in the beginning felt a little rushed with an off-putting pace, I found myself indulging in the scenes with Black Panther confronting Killmonger, with most of the story taking place in Wakanda. The humour was a bit wholesome, although I found the wholesomeness to be apart of its charm.bp-600x279I was entertained and laughing all the way through. Although, my main criticism with this special is that the scenes with the Avengers in them felt kind-of too wholesome, and I didn’t find the parts of the special that took place in the city to be remarkable, just cheesy. Some of the scenes, typically ones with the Avengers in them, felt way too wholesome for my tastes. 33Overall, I think that this is a great example of a solid LEGO Marvel cartoon, with astonishing animation, quick and snappy editing, a pleasant tone, and a compelling narrative. I wouldn’t call this one of their best, however, I do appreciate the step that LEGO is taking with their animations.

REVIEW: MARVEL KNIGHTS – BLACK PANTHER

CAST (VOICES)

Djimon Hounsou (Stargate)
Carl Lumbly (Alias)
Stephen Stanton (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)
Kerry Washington (Django Unchained)
Alfrie Woodard (Star Trek: First Contact)
Jill Scott (Girlfriends)
Phil Morris (Smallville)
Rick D. Wasserman (Planet Hulk)
JB Blanc (War Dogs)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Jonathan Adams (Bones)
Taye Diggs (Equilibrium)
Phil LaMarr (Free Enterprise)
Adrian Pasdar (Heroes)
Stan Lee (Chuck)

The concept of the motion comic is controversial to say the least. Many comic purists would argue they are pointless endeavors, while others, like myself find them an interesting supplement and even more a way to get those uninterested in comics to seek them out, provided they enjoy the program.

The newest release in the series may be their biggest yet, produced not just for DVD but as six-episode animated series. With “Black Panther,” Marvel adapts Hudlin’s own take on the character from 2005 and the end result will induce much headshaking and confusion.

Unlike the previous two installments in the Marvel Knights Animation line, I had not read the original source material, however, it’s safe to say, with the author being directly involved in the adaptation, it likely follows the comics quite closely. The most apparent change viewers familiar with the motion comic concept will notice is the consistency in runtime. Each episode runs around 18 minutes long and is paced like an episode of a TV-series. There are no more abrupt endings as before and this is a truly welcome change. Also worth noting is the star power in the voice cast. Hudlin has secured veteran voice actors Kevin Michael Richardson and Nolan North, as well as Hollywood stars Alfre Woodard, Kerry Washington, and in the title role Djimon Hounsou. It’s all downhill from this point, with Hounsou’s involvement being the only positive memorable aspect of a disaster of a series.


“Black Panther” is a muddled mess, attempting to weave an origin story amidst a half-baked plot against our hero’s life by a band of largely second (or even third) rate villains. The tone of the entire series is wildly inconsistent; one minute our villains will be bickering with each other in classic Saturday morning cartoon fashion, giving the impression the series is lighthearted, but all this comes following an intro that is decidedly more mature, featuring tribal warriors getting impaled on sinister traps and severed Nazi heads on pikes. Add to that a very mean spirited tone, resulting from most characters not related to Black Panther being either stupid, bigoted, or both and the 132 minute runtime feels achingly brutal.

Comic book fans may immediately take issue with the series’ sad attempt to establish dominance of the Black Panther by having him swiftly defeat Captain America in hand-to-hand combat. The character doesn’t need such a wildly unbelievable fight to appeal to audiences, nor does he need the sympathy formed from broad stereotypes attempting to hold him down because he’s the leader of a small African nation. What should be a fun fantasy tale is instead drenched in an underhanded political theme that is downright tiresome and boring; if more time was given to developing supporting characters, a little bit of preaching would have been tolerable. To Hudlin’s credit, his take on Black Panther or T’Challa (Hounsou) is a fascinating, three-dimensional creation, and his home country of Wakanda is given admirable life and scope. Hounsou brings strong balance of kindness and fierceness to the role, and a scene midway through the series where he removes his mask to speak to a boy who worships him as a god, is one of the more heroic and humble moments I’ve seen in a superhero adaptation.
On the flipside, Kerry Washington, delivers a strangely overacted vocal performance as T’Challa’s sister, while Stephen Stanton is in full on, evil for evil’s sake mode, as Klaw, the main villain, an assassin responsible for murdering T’Challa’s father decades earlier, who returns to finish killing the royal family. The less said of Klaw’s inept cadre of support, the better, but the Vatican Black Knight is worth mentioning of only for the fact his character adds another layer into the theme of the evil Western world; not only does a rival nation want Wakanda overthrown, but so does the US (led by a cartoonish and ignorant General voiced by Stan Lee), and yes, the Pope. As a final insult to comic fans, Hudlin shoehorns in the story of T’Challa’s romance with Ororo Munroe, or Storm as she’s more commonly known. The addition is nothing more than a way to artificially extend the overly long runtime of the series and find an excuse for a few worthless X-Men cameos.

“Black Panther” is heavily dissappointing, and it’s a damn shame, as there is great potential with the character. The writing has a bad pace to it; dialogue driven scenes are sometimes choppy, flashbacks are overused (even as an origin story), and the action sequences often have great buildup but result in a sad whimper in terms of execution; a half-assed inclusion of zombies in the final episode tempts me to a giant stamp of “fail” on the series, but there are more than a few Panther centric moments to elevate it from the lowest possible rating. Animation wise, John Romita Jr’s art style translates horribly to the motion comic format, and some sequences are animated in a amateurish fashion at best; the fact I waited this long to mention it, is a strong indicator of how forgettable it is. There are strong talks that the Black Panther will see life on the big screen and I’ll reiterate again, Hounsou deserves a shot at the role, however, I hope this series is used as an example of what not to do.

REVIEW: NEXT AVENGERS: HEROES OF TOMORROW

CAST (VOICES)

Noah Crawford (My Name Is Earl)
Brenna O’Brien (X-men: The Last Stand)
Aidan Drummond (The Collector)
Dempsey Pappion (La La Land)
Adrian Petriw (Iron Man: Armored Adventures)
Tom Kane (Star wars: The Clone Wars)
Fred Tatasciore (9)
Shawn Macdonald (Grave Encounters)
Michael Adamthwaite (Stargate SG.1)
Nicole Olvier (Sausage Party)
Ken Kramer (Little Man)

A battle with Ultron leaves the Avengers defeated, as most of the heroes were killed during the fight, and the world at the mercy of Ultron’s machine army. Captain America tells Iron Man to take the Avengers’ children to a fortified refuge hidden above the Arctic Circle so they’ll be safe from Ultron. The children are James Rogers, the son of Black Widow and Captain America; Henry Pym Jr., the son of Giant-Man and Wasp; Azari, the son of Black Panther and Storm; and Torunn, the daughter of the absent Thor and Sif. Stark secretly raises and trains the children for over twelve years. One day, The Vision arrives at the refuge after hiding for over a decade from Ultron. He has come to inform Stark that Clint Barton’s son is alive. while the curious children are eavesdropping on Stark and the Vision, James accidentally activates a series of Iron Man-style robots, called the Iron Avengers, that mimic the looks and abilities of Captain America, Hawkeye, Black Panther, Thor, Black Widow and Giant Man. Because they are programmed to defeat Ultron upon activation, they take off to do so, whereupon they are detected by Ultron’s worldwide sensors, revealing the location of the refuge. Ultron then reprograms the Iron Avenger robots to follow his commands, proceeds to the refuge and invades it. Stark, now suited up as Iron Man, stalls Ultron long enough for the children to escape on the Quinjet, but he is eventually subdued and captured. The Vision has them set on a course to the Savage Land, but while the robot is recharging, Pym changes their course to go to Ultra City to rescue Stark, the four young Avengers fight off the city’s security robots and the Iron Avengers. Francis Barton, son of Hawkeye and Mockingbird, helps the kids escape from the Iron Avengers. They decide to team up with the new Hawkeye, and his group of resistance fighters, called the Scavengers, to rescue their guardian. The four infiltrate Ultron’s citadel to save Stark and discover Ultron’s “trophy room”, showcasing his defeat of the original Avengers and countless heroes. The young Avengers locate Stark, but discover that is actually one of Ultron’s traps. After battling the Iron Avengers, the young Avengers and Stark manage to escape. They, along with an older Betty Ross, head to find Bruce Banner. In an effort to submerge the Hulk, Banner has decided to hide out in the desert and keep away from other people for their own safety. After Banner refuses to help them, James comes up a plan to lure Ultron there so he can cause the Hulk to appear and destroy the robot. Torrun recovers her sword after calling for her father for strength. The Iron Avengers arrive and target their younger counterparts. Francis disarms Iron Hawkeye, but the robot simply makes another bow. Iron Giant Man makes Tony fall down a cliff, and James catches him. Pym battles Iron Giant Man while Azari battles the Iron Black Panther. James Rogers’ energy shield device gets destroyed during the battle, so he takes the star shield from Iron Captain America. When Pym knocks down Iron Giant Man, the robot releases Iron Wasps to attack him. James tells to try to awaken the Hulk by somehow making Banner angry. Pym escapes the Iron Wasps and apologetically starts attacking Banner, finally turns into the Hulk and defeats Iron Giant Man and the Iron Wasps. While the young Avengers finish off the Iron Avengers, Ultron attacks the Hulk and defeats him. Ultron attacks the young Avengers, nearly killing them. However, Pym revives the Hulk by making him even angrier against Ultron. The Hulk destroys Ultron, ripping him in two. Then, in a fit of rage, the Hulk begins to turn on Pym, but is subdued by Betty. Finally, to stop Ultron from rebuilding himself, Torrun takes the two halves into space and throws away. She nearly suffocates and freezes in the process, but she is rescued when her father, Thor arrives and explains why he left her on Earth. Thor invites Torunn to join him in Asgard, but Torunn chooses instead to return to her family on Earth. As a parting gift, Thor sends her back to Earth in full Asgardian armor.  With Ultron finally defeated, the five young Avengers prepare to return to Ultra City, to deal with Ultron’s remaining forces and rescue the populace.Next Avengers was an enjoyable movie with themes that are easy to relate to and can be watched by anyone. One of the best Marvel animated films.

 

 

 

 

 

REVIEW: ULTIMATE AVENGERS 2: RISE OF THE BLACK PANTHER

CAST (VOICES)

Justin Gross (Texhnolyz)
Jeffrey D. Sams (Veronica Mars)
Grey Griffin (DC Super Hero Girls)
Michael Masse (The Crow)
Marc Worden (Stargate SG.1)
Olivia d’Abo (Conan The Destroyer)
Nan McNamara (Time Changer)
Nolan North (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Andre Ware (Cradle 2 The Grave)
David Boat (The Emoji Movie)
Fred Tatasciore (Hulk Vs)
Jim Ward (Batman: Return of The Caped Crusaders)
Dwight Schultz (The A-Team)
Mark Hamill (Star Wars)
Dave Fennoy (Archer)
Dee Bradley Baker (American Dad)
Steven Blum (Wolverine and The X-Men)
Kerrigan Mahan (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers)
James Arnold taylor (Batman: TBATB)
Chi McBride (Human Target)
Susan Dalian (The Kid)

Ultimate Avengers II (2006)In the fortified African nation of Wakanda, the inhabitants of the small city-nation welcome home T’Challa, the son of king T’Chaka. Members of the extraterrestrial Chitauri race attract the attention of T’Chaka’s alter-ego, the Black Panther. T’Chaka is murdered by Herr Kleiser, their commander who continues to adapt the form of a Nazi commandant. T’Challa inherits the throne and Black Panther technology, swearing vengeance agiainst Kleiser. Ultimate Avengers II (2006)In the United States, Captain America has become reckless in his missions due to the trauma of his 60-year deep freeze. Bruce Banner remains locked up in his cell after his Hulk incident, tormented and frequently drugged by a disgruntled ex-employee of his who acts as his interrogator. Betty Ross discovers that the wreckage of Chitauri ships has become mysteriously brittle. Hank Pym begins developing sickness for his overuse of his Giant-Man formula, leading to tension in his relationship with the Wasp. Thor sees a possible future where the Avengers are dead and seeks to consult Odin. Finding out that a Chitauri mothership is speeding towards Earth, Thor refuses to return to Asgard. When T’Challa meets Nick Fury and Captain America and reveals that Cap’s wartime nemesis kleiser still lives, he finds that Captain America tried to kill him numerous times and failed. T’Challa turns down an offer of alliance and Fury assembles the Avengers once again. Ultimate Avengers II (2006)The Avengers illegally enter Wakanda. Black Panther allows only Captain America into the city, where he reveals that the Chitauri are searching for the “Heart of Wakanda”. The Avengers and Wakandan warriors find themselves fighting each other, with the Wakandans emerging victorious. The Avengers are commanded to return to their ship and T’Challa is stripped of his kinghood for allowing foreigners into the country. Captain America drags an injured Chitauri onto the Avengers’ jet, followed by Herr Kleiser taking T’Challa’s form. He steals Captain America’s shield and destroys the ship. Iron Man’s battered suit protects the Avengers in a force field and Thor teleports the team back to the Triskellion. Ultimate Avengers II (2006)The Wasp is left in a coma from her injuries and is kept in the Triskellion. A mothership hovers above Wakanda and etraps the entire planet in a sickly-green bubble. Extraterrestrial invaders attack every major city on Earth and begin a massacre of the human population. Iron Man suits up in the War Machine armour and joins the Avengers as they teleport to Wakanda to battle the invaders. It is revealed they are seeking a gigantic meteorite of vibranium deep under Wakanda, from which the Wakandans develop their advanced technology. Bruce Banner works out that the gamma radiated from the Hulk is what caused the vibranium in the Chitauri ships to become brittle, and lets Betty use a gamma generator to attack the aliens close range. The Chitauri gas Banner’s cell and he promptly dies. Betty and the revived Wasp take a jet to Wakanda and give Iron Man the gamma generator to attack the inside of the mothership. Giant-Man, despite his condition getting worse from his use of his powers, shrinks down to aid Iron Man. Bruce Banner’s lifeless body becomes the Hulk and wakes up to fight the aliens invaders. Ultimate Avengers II (2006)Captain America and Black panther find themselves in a bloody fight with Kleiser, who appears to be immortal due to his rapid healing factor. The two trick Kleiser into falling into a pool of liquid vibranium and leave him trapped as it solidifies. Iron man and Giant-Man enter the mothership and destroy its core with the gamma generator. However, Giant-Man’s injuries lead him to pass out and he has to be carried back to the ground. Giant-Man makes up with the Wasp before dying. Iron Man travels alone to divert the crashing mothership away from the city, draining his life support. Thor returns and summons the power of the heavens to give life back to Tony Stark, proving his claims to be the God of Thunder to be genuine. Black_Panther_TChaka_UA2With the Chitauri attack ended, the Avengers mourn Giant-Man’s death and T’Challa’s kinghood is restored. The Hulk sees Betty one last time before leaping away. Captain America and Black Widow begin a romantic relationship and the world celebrates victory over the Chitauri. The film ends with Thor and Nick Fury setting aside their differences and becoming friends.81bb7b31d8ff72524e8501402f4a515fThe animation is superb! This movie is a sequel to the first Ultimate Avengers movie and maybe even a better one! They paid more attention to developing characters,but it could have been much more.Because that is what makes these superheroes special! There were nice little surprises in this movie and I don’t know if this is based on actual story lines in the marvel comics. It is nice to see a mature approach of things,just like in the comics. For me “UM2” is an example of what can be achieved if they take the myths created by Marvel Comics seriously!. I can’t get enough of this! Bring it on,make more of these kind of movies! Although Bruce Banner also starred in this movie,the Hulk didn’t appear very long. Too bad,because it is always nice to see Hulk smash things.

REVIEW: ULTIMATE AVENGERS

 

CAST (VOICES)

Justin Gross (Texhnolyz)
Grey Griffin (DC Super Hero Girls)
Michael Masse (The Crow)
Marc Worden (Stargate SG.1)
Olivia d’Abo (Conan The Destroyer)
Nan McNamara (Time Changer)
Nolan North (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Andre Ware (Cradle 2 The Grave)
David Boat (The Emoji Movie)
Fred Tatasciore (Hulk Vs)
Jim Ward (Batman: Return of The Caped Crusaders)
Dee Bradley Baker (American Dad)
Steven Blum (Wolverine and The X-Men)
Kerrigan Mahan (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers)
James Arnold Taylor (Batman: TBATB)

Ultimate Avengers (2006)In the last days of World War II in the European Theatre, Steve Rogers, a U.S. soldier, known as Captain America due to being enhanced with the “Super-Soldier Serum”, prevents a missile launch by Nazis, which are soon revealed to be shape-shifting extraterrestrials led by one taking the form of SS officer Herr Kleiser. The missile explosion, however, knocks Rogers out and he falls into the icy waters of the North Atlantic, presumed dead. Ultimate Avengers (2006)70 years later, Captain America is found and revived by a S.H.I.E.L.D. team led by General Nick Fury. Bruce Banner and his ex-girlfriend Betty Ross lead a team of government scientists working to recreate the Super-Soldier Serum in order to try and stop the real power that backed the Nazis – the alien Chitauri. Banner thinks the Super-Soldier Serum is the key to him controlling the Hulk, and he secretly uses his blood to try to create a cure, instead of using candidates that had been selected for the rebirth procedure.Ultimate Avengers (2006)A Chitauri attack on a S.H.I.E.L.D. satellite designed to track the alien ships forces Fury’s superiors to order the implementation of “Project Avenger”, creating a team of superhumans. Fury tries to recruit – with mixed success – Ant-Man (a scientist who had been redacted from S.H.I.E.L.D), Wasp (Ant-Man’s wife), Iron Man/Tony Stark (an industrialist playboy), Thor (whose claims to be the genuine Norse deity are not widely accepted) and Black Widow, a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. After several setbacks, including a botched mission that led to almost the entire team quitting, the heroes unite to fight the Chitauri. Although successful, the team must then fight an out of control Hulk, after Banner tried his new serum, releasing his alter ego for the battle against the Chitauri. The team managed to eventually distract the Hulk long enough for Betty to calm him, and Banner is then incarcerated. Later they celebrate the Avengers’ success.The action is spectacular and the storyline keeps you riveted from start to finish. This movie grabs with its cinematic lead in and flashback to World War Two. (Complete with throwback radio broadcast) From there, it’s one big roller coaster ride to the pulse pounding finish. The battle sequences are some of the best ever animated. I think the PG-13 rating really helps. Soldiers die and heroes bleed, that completely draws the viewer in to the feature. I think movie fans of all ages will be stunned at how many levels this movie delivers upon. This is a smart and surprisingly interesting film that really delivers. Calling this movie a cartoon doesn’t really seem right or do it justice.

REVIEW: LEGION – SEASON 2

Legion (2017)

MAIN CAST

Dan Stevens (The Guest)
Rachel Keller (Fargo TV)
Aubrey Plaza (Life After Beth)
Bill Irwin (Sleepy Hollow)
Jeremie Harris (Bushwick)
Amber Midthunder (Longmire)
Jean Smart (Smantha Who?)
Navid Negahban (Homeland)
Hamish Linklater (The Crazy Ones)
Jemaine Clement (Men In Black 3)

Dan Stevens in Legion (2017)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Katie Aselton (Our Idiot Brother)
Jon Hamm (Mad Men)
Marc Oka (Onryo)
Lily Rabe (All Good Things)
Molly Hagan (Izombie)
Jaclyn Hales (Extinct)

Legion (2017)Noah Hawley’s superhero show has been getting a bad rap. Though Legion‘s first season was a critically acclaimed centerpiece in conversations about great television, Season 2 has barely made a ripple. The critical love is still there, but this season’s viewership has been dwindling and the series has been accused of being too narratively confusing. I for one am sick of all this negativity. This past year Legion has accomplished some of the most complicated and inspired storytelling in the history of television, and it’s time this show gets the love it so deserves. It’s true this last season of Legion has been confusing. No one can deny that. But for me this show has never been a show you watch for its clear story structure. When it comes to Legion, the narrative doesn’t rest in plot points. It rests in its characters’ emotions.Dan Stevens in Legion (2017)If you watch Legion as a by-the-numbers superhero drama like Marvel’s Jessica Jones or even DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, you’re going to be frustrated. Though the series has a clear superhero at its center (Dan Stevens‘ David Haller), a well-organized superhero team (Summerland), a nefarious villain (Navid Negahban’s Farouk), and a seemingly clear goal (to stop Farouk from destroying the world), it’s almost impenetrably weird. There are just too many layers preventing the average viewer from logically following Season 2’s story. Multiple episodes take place in mental traps designed to imprison the members of Summerland. Characters often prefer to monologue about morality instead of coming up with anything that resembles an actionable plan. And whether David is helping or trying to hurt his foe Farouk fluctuates so often you need a graph to track their relationship. Add in the fact that every detail we see in Legion is supposed to be filtered through David’s unhinged mind and that David has no problem lying — to his enemies, his allies, the love of his life, the audience, himself —and the point-by-point summary of what happens in Legion can feel exhaustingly dense.Navid Negahban in Legion (2017)But unlike other superhero fare, Legion was never meant to be watched for its set pieces or its straightforward battles. Instead it’s a show as emotional and internal as its protagonist. Once you start following Legion Season 2 through its emotional arcs rather than its otherworldly action sequences, this season starts to make a lot more sense. And the story it’s telling is an achingly bleak one. Even during its elaborate Bollywood dance number, Legion‘s first season was always a sweet love story between two superheroes who met in an asylum, David and Syd (Rachel Keller). Each episode painted a new way the two loved each other, another sacrifice they would make. It was a season that loved its central relationship as much as these characters loved each other.
Dan Stevens, Amber Midthunder, and Rachel Keller in Legion (2017)Season 2 isn’t that. This season started with David re-emerging into existence after being trapped in his own psyche for a year. However, he doesn’t rejoin the team he was forced to abandon apologetically. He swaggers back into Syd and his team’s life, completely confident that he knows what’s best and hyper aware of his own near omnipotence. His timid uncertainty has evaporated, but that doesn’t mean what’s left is better. While David makes his return, Syd stands behind him, talking a big game about the importance of standing by “her man.” Though her sincerity is there, time and time again her words feel false. There are cracks in this relationship, and they’re starting to become clear to both Syd and the audience.Dan Stevens in Legion (2017)It doesn’t exactly matter why things happen in Legion. Why the mutant with dual personalities Cary (Bill Irwin) and Kerry (Amber Midthunder) split isn’t relevant. Exactly how David’s magnetic druggie best friend Lenny (Aubrey Plaza) exists in the nefarious Farouk’s consciousness isn’t important. Clear explanations for Syd’s future self and why Legion spent an episode focusing on the many different paths in life David could have taken never appear. And none of these explanations matter. What matters instead is the emotional weight behind these moments. How will two people who have been cohabiting their whole lives exist when they’re apart? How long can someone, even a character as independent as Lenny, exist in isolation? How far will David blindly follow Syd? If you strip him of his newfound allies and romance, who is David? Time after time, this season has constructed elaborate questions and used the nebulous rules of science fiction to force its characters to find answers. In this way, each new episode of Legion is a new character study that’s more nuanced, painful, and heartfelt than the last.Dan Stevens in Legion (2017)And yet threaded through this mysteries-and-answers format there’s another emotional arc unwinding, one that questions David’s sanity alongside his ego. If you could bend the laws of the universe and consciousness to your will, Legion asks, how would that change you? And how would that change the people you loved? The series doesn’t have a clear answer to those questions, but it’s smart enough to ask the questions. So often we think about superhero stories having roughly the same stakes as the normal world. The enemies may be more punchable than sickness or climate change, but our heroes typically want the same things we want — to save their loved ones and the world. But power doesn’t just change people’s decisions. It changes the scope of what they consider to be important, sometimes irreparably so. It’s these breaks between “normalcy” and the potential of superheroes that Legion portrays hauntingly well as it dances through moral theory, mental illness, emotional limits, psychic powers, and stunning visuals.Rachel Keller in Legion (2017)David was never meant to be the hero. He may have the right look and say the right things, but he’s always been a bit too ready to lie and a bit too self-involved to be what we consider heroic. However, that’s never made him a bad character. David’s biggest strength has never been his nearly limitless powers but his ability to be so authentically fragile, he can almost effortlessly bend both his allies and the audience to his will. David Haller is a hero only because that’s what we’ve desperately wanted him to be for two years. The fact that Legion has tricked us so well for so long long is a mark of how brilliant this show is at every level. And the fact it can keep up this ruse while also delivering some of the most visually haunting scenes of 2018 and incorporating drops from The Who and The Kinks is just icing on the cake.