Browse Category: Superhero

Avengers: Endgame

Avengers: Endgame (2019): Anthony & Joe Russo

One year after the incredible, world-breaking, superhero-killing Infinity War, The Russo brothers return with the climactic Avengers: Endgame.

All these heroes have real names and hero names, and I’m going to switch between them often with little rhyme or reason. You’ve been warned.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: The living superheroes figure out how to move on from Thanos’s devastating, life-halving Snap, then they figure out how to undo it so they don’t have to move on.

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Avengers: Infinity War

2018

Anthony & Joe Russo

Avengers: Infinity War and its follow up Endgame represented the largest undertaking in Hollywood history. How to wrap up stories and character arcs from a decade’s worth of movies?

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Marvel’s heroes band together to stop Thanos, a gigantic purple being determined to gather six Infinity Stones and use them to wipe out half of life with a snap of his fingers.

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RECAP: Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel (2019): Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck

It took 11 years, but Marvel finally released a female-led stand-alone entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The character alluded to but not mentioned in Avengers: Infinity War needed an introduction before her presumed-essential role in Avengers: Endgame, released later in the year.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: An human-turned-Kree becomes more powerful when she returns to Earth to learn her identity and battle some aliens bent on destroying the home planet she doesn’t remember.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Darkman

Darkman (1990): Sam Raimi

Scientists experimenting on themselves should know that such experiments often end poorly. And yet they continue, pursuing their ideas to the limits of their feasibility.

Darkman is one such movie. It also has a guy’s face melt off a few times, and someone explode in a helicopter. Rad.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: After a lab explosion that nearly kills him, a scientist uses his skills to infiltrate a local mob crew and avenge his attack. Continue Reading

RECAP: The Dark Knight Rises

The Dark Knight Rises (2012): Christopher Nolan

How do you follow up one of the most successful movies ever made? If you’re Christopher Nolan, you don’t worry about it. You make Batman go away for awhile, maybe retire. Make him vulnerable. You ignore the transcendent greatness of the previous villain. Oh, and you throw in a nuke.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: A masked villain terrorizes Gotham with a nuclear bomb while an injured Batman tries to stop him.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Iron Man 3

Iron Man 3 (2013): Shane Black

Imagine a time in which Marvel let pass an entire year without releasing a movie. It happened, and as recently as 2013, when Iron Man 3 became the first Marvel movie after the enormous hit that was The Avengers. The events in New York weigh greatly on Tony Stark, and will trouble him for most of the film.

Shane Black rvteams with Robert Downey Jr., a pair that made a cult hit in 2006’s Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. That movie’s modern noir elements creep into this Disney blockbuster. The film opens with a Stark narration. “We create our own demons,” he says, as several Iron Man suits explode. A classic noir trope (the narration, not the exploding flying suits). He wants to tell the story from the beginning, and that means revisiting a famous party night in Bern, Switzerland.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Iron Man gets a blast from the past and present, tries to find proper superhero/life balance, and uncovers a dangerous conspiracy all while trying to overcome PTSD.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Ant-Man and the Wasp

Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018): Peyton Reed

Marvel’s unlikeliest hit was Ant-Man, a superhero movie starring Paul Rudd in a shrinking suit. It was hard to imagine such a hero fitting into the Marvel Cinematic Universe of world-shifting heroes and villains, but Ant-Man found a way to entertain.

The sequel, Ant-Man and the Wasp, returns to check in on Scott Lang after the events of Avengers: Infinity War, the biggest movie yet in the 20-film-deep MCU. That made the movie must-see viewing.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: With mere days to go until the end of his house arrest, Ant-Man and the Wasp try to find Wasp’s mother, long thought lost in the Quantum Zone. Continue Reading

RECAP: The Dark Knight

The Dark Knight (2008): Christopher Nolan

Batman Begins, the 2005 restart for Warner Brothers, was a modest success at the box office, where it grossed about $200 million, good enough for eighth place that year. The critics liked it, and so did fans. Rotten Tomatoes scored it at 85%. Fans voted it at 110 on IMDb’s Top 250 list. A good movie, possibly a very good movie, and iconic at least for giving the world “Batman voice.”

Did Warner Brothers know? Did Nolan know? Did Bale know? The sequel to BeginsThe Dark Knight, was an absolute sensation: 94% on RT, #4 on IMDb, #5 on the all-time domestic box office chart (67% more gross than that year’s #2 grosser: Iron Man), eight Oscar nominations and two wins. Knight swooped in like Batman and nearly choked us like we were The Joker to make us take notice: Nolan and company screamed that their Batman was not a Michael Schumacher Batman. The movie succeeded so well that many commenters credit it with fostering the expansion of the Best Picture category at the Academy Awards.

I saw The Dark Knight four times in theaters, and I can still remember three of those events, including my first date with my future wife. Awww.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Bruce Wayne is in full-fledged Batman mode while battling his most dangerous foe, The Yoker, I mean, The Joker. Continue Reading

RECAP: Spider-Man

Spider-Man (2002): Sam Raimi

Oh boy did the fan boys rub their hands together for this one. Spider-Man spent the latter third of the 20th century as America’s third or fourth most popular comic superhero character, behind Superman and Batman (and possibly Wonder Woman).

Spider-Man was the first Marvel character to get his own movie, and people wanted to see what a Marvel movie wold look like. Unlike those DC characters, Spider-Man was a kid, and he saved many a day in an actual American city.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: A high school nerd becomes a high school science experiment/savior of New York and his lovely next door neighbor.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Black Panther

Black Panther (2018): Ryan Coogler

If it’s a month ending in -ary or -ember, or it’s a short-named month, it must be a month for a Marvel release. Don’t forget August, either.

Point is, no month is safe from a Marvel release. Black Panther was the first to come out in February, and I don’t think it was a coincidence that February is also Black History Month.

An undeniable sensation, Ryan Coogler’s third (!) movie outearned the following movies, based on ticket price inflation: Back to the Future, The Lord of the Rings, Aladdin, Toy Story 3, and even Avengers: Age of Ultron.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Less than a week after the death of his father the king, T’Challa returns to his home of Wakanda to assume his place on the throne, until challengers throw him off it. Continue Reading