Just Watched: Avengers – Age of Ultron

I interrupt my regular poetic programming to squee over the latest installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It may include logic flow issues, typos, and swearing in a positive light. Reader discretion is advised.

“Avengers: Age of Ultron” came out in the Philippines last week, and it was a thing of freaking beauty.

ReadinginBetween_AgeofUltron
Photo from HDWallpapers.In

Sure, reactions were somewhat mixed—in my (thankfully spoiler-free) Facebook timeline, I saw people thanking Joss Whedon for the movie while others noted that the film would have been much better if a good 90 minutes had been removed from it. You guys know who you are. Before I got to watch it with the significant other that Saturday, this worried me.

Of course, it didn’t worry me enough to NOT want to see it on IMAX.

Because come on, people; it’s THE AVENGERS. We’ve been seeing them for more than half a decade, and they’re almost like family to us by now.

And I have to say: I’m happy to report that it was NOT as disappointing as I thought it would be, given the initial apparently underwhelming response. In fact, I’ll be counting myself among the folks who thank Whedon for this. It was beautiful. It was glorious. It made me happy to be alive and totally capable of dropping about 400 Pinoy bucks to watch a movie focused on a semi-ragtag team of superhumans (plus one regular-ish human) fighting a self-aware robot.

Maybe it’s because I’m not a hardcore Marvel comics fan. Maybe it’s because I regard the MCU as an entity of its own. Maybe it’s because I’m just a big fan of solid storycraft.

Or maybe it’s because I feel like this movie is about legacies, and I totally dig that.

Spoilers ahead!

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Just Watched: Rurouni Kenshin – Kyoto Inferno

This is going to be one of my shorter reviews, mainly because it will be limited to what did and did not work for me – I will not be comparing this film to the anime/manga I knew and loved on account of not having watched/read the “original” sources in years. Why bother comparing it to something that I can’t properly compare it to?

If you want to see a comparison between Kenshin then and now, though, you can check out this article co-written by Ronin Bautista and Mikael Angelo Francisco. WARNING: It’s spoilery!

(Image taken from lintas.me)

If you’re okay with me doing a review of the film itself, then YAY THANK YOU! Just click the number “2” at the bottom of this page.

 

Just Watched: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

I’m pretty sure that I will say nothing here that other people haven’t already said – after all, by the time the significant other and I decided to watch it a couple of weeks ago the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie already had a Rotten Tomatoes ranking of around 20% (we watched anyway because we were curious and found the beatboxing preview somewhat entertaining). But I suppose some points are worth reiterating for the benefit of future generations.

Oh, I’m sure that children enjoyed this movie. And I admit that there are things that actually did make me smile a little bit. But all in all, this movie is unremarkable at best (if you’re an adult and you’ve never been a TMNT fan) and insulting at worst (if you’re an adult and your childhood had turtles all the way down).

I wore this shirt to watch it, so you can guess which camp I'm inclined to be part of.
I wore this shirt to watch it, so you can guess which camp I’m inclined to be part of.

If you haven’t watched the movie, I suggest that you don’t. Geek extraordinaire Kyle Francisco actually wrote a countdown of reasons why TMNT 2014 is painful to watch. I understand that linking to his review may render my review redundant, but I don’t care because he said it so well. Besides, I’m sure that my pain is ever so slightly different from his.

Slightly.

With that in mind, come jump into the spoilery sewers with me!

Just Watched: Guardians of the Galaxy

Okay, let me start off by saying that most of the feelings I have for this movie have already been expressed by Chuck Wendig. Go read it. I can wait.

Done? Okay. That should give you an idea of how incoherent most of this is going to seem.

Let me preface this “review” (quotation marks because this is far from academic) by saying that the sci-fi/superhero movies this year have so far made me so very VERY happy to be a geek. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” was so good that I couldn’t get over it for at least a week – my father and sister confessed to wandering the mall aimlessly after watching that movie because they didn’t know what to do with themselves. “Amazing Spider-Man 2” may not have been appealing to everyone, but damn if it didn’t do an excellent character portrait of Spider-Man. “X-Men: Days of Future Past” was so solidly comic book-y without being confusing that it kicked off a conversation about time travel/time lines with the significant other (which included a slightly nostalgic trip down “Back to the Future” lane). Hell, even “Edge of Tomorrow” was pretty good despite it featuring the increasingly-creepy Tom Cruise; although I admit that his repeated death may have enhanced my enjoyment of that movie.

And now “Guardians of the Galaxy” has taken the fun adventure romps of old and made them awesome again. And it didn’t do it by taking the “I’m so cool and shit” approach. It did it by being unapologetically sentimental.

If you’ve watched this, then you know what I mean. If you haven’t, then let me just say that most of the story details of this movie would have come off as ridiculously cheesy – except that this all happened in outer space, to a bunch of fairly complex cast of misfits. It very bravely wears its heart on its sleeve, and it pays off (don’t believe the naysayers). It’s downright inspiring, I tell you.

I love this movie so much that I’m going to try and see it a couple of more times (I was going to watch it twice anyway because I want to see it with my boyfriend even though I already saw it with my dad and sister; and I want to watch this by myself again, if I can afford it). Yes, I’m actually throwing money at it. I haven’t had this much fun since Pacific Rim.

So what else can I say about this movie? Before we get to that, I strongly suggest that you visit Nina Sandejas’ blog and start playing her GotG playlist (I’m playing it as I write this review). If you don’t have Spotify, then go with this instead:

Ready? I hope you don’t mind spoilery bits.

Then come on get your love, come on get your love, come on get your love, now…

Just Watched: The Wolverine

Thank god for movies. Real life would have driven me absolutely crazy without them. Escapism is important, folks – and that’s why I watched “The Wolverine” yesterday.

Did it distract me from my apparently pointless woes? Why yes, yes it did.

Did I enjoy it? I actually did, in a really subdued way.

Was it better than “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”?

I didn’t know such a movie existed. Let us never speak of it again.

The movie wasn’t “OMG WHAT WAS THAT IT WAS SO AWESOME”, it also wasn’t a horribad catastrophe of epic proportions. In fact, I’d consider it a solid movie despite some of its problems with narrative flow due to the sheer number of details that you need to keep track of over the course of the film. And if you’re not a really big fan of Wolverine/Logan – which I’m not, before you ask – then you may struggle with some of the stuff that’s happening. Still, I appreciate the fact that this particular character stays consistent throughout the story, no matter how many curveballs the plot throws at him.

That said, I think that I would classify this movie as one of those films that are “necessary” in the context of the movie universe it moves in. In other words, it’s an alright movie – but I’m not sure I can confidently say that you won’t regret paying to see it.

If you don’t mind SPOILERS!!! then allow me to explain.

The Wolverine Poster
This won’t hurt, bub. (from Wikipedia)