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Rating History

Ant-Man
Ant-Man (2015)
7 days ago via Flixster
½

3.5/5 Stars. A decent addition to the Marvel film series. They substituted a random criminal for Hank Pym and made Wasp Pym's daughter, but it works fairly well. The now-guaranteed forced attempts at humor are back, though they're thankfully brief. The addition of an ant army to Ant-Man's arsenal improves the character significantly in terms of being a superhero, and the casting choices were excellent (my boy Michael Douglas even got a lead role). The choice of Yellowjacket for antagonist was solid as well, and the suit was very nice. Overall, worth a watch.

Avengers: Age of Ultron
7 days ago via Flixster

3/5 Stars. A disappointment. It would obviously be difficult to equal the first Avengers film, but they didn't even come close. The story is a topic way too rushed right after Winter Soldier (it's literally the same shit), character development is weak, and there are serious plot holes (the most notable of which is that the big world-ending cataclysm would be impossible with something that small).

Ultron is far too much like a human in his mannerisms to come across as scary and only vaguely intimidates. His sympathy for the twins makes no sense as well. I assume they were trying to make it seem like it was some element of Stark's personality embedded in him, but again, logically this makes no sense. Ultron in past iterations has been a ruthless, brutal machine obsessed with annihilating humanity and reigning over the ruins. They got some semblance of this in the Age of Ultron version, but it's buried beneath how human and trivial he seems, a perception which is reinforced by the nonsensical plot to destroy Earth.

Aside from that, Stark's new AI has a grating Scottish female voice that makes me want to fast-forward, and Vision is ok, if a bit generic. There also seems to have been a mandatory boob-shot quota: Widow behind the bar with Banner as they get up, and the random woman with her son in the Eastern European country who has a very revealing top on during the fighting (they showed her twice, even, once after the fight).

Some good things: I thought their depiction of Hawkeye here was fantastic for making him seem like a real character and a hero, while the scene all the feminists went apeshit over (where Widow reveals she's sterile) made sense and deepened her character, given her relationship with Banner and her clear happiness being around kids. The effects were decent as well, though the slow-mo scene around the drill where they fight the robots is stereotypical Hollywood over-dramatization.

Overall, a mediocre entry in the pantheon. Give it one watch and then forget.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
8 days ago via Flixster
½

4.5/5 Stars. One of the best Marvel films in recent memory. Starts off simple, evolves into something much more. Even if you know who the Winter Soldier is from the comics, it will impress you with how well the story unfolds. The big twist is not something one would expect. The action is pretty great; I actually feel like these less-super superhero films make for better fight sequences, as they can't rely on thunder blasts and such. Cap being my favorite also helps. The stuff with Falcon was solid as well, aside from the ass-kicking he got. Overall, up there with Guardians. Must-watch.

Iron Man 3
Iron Man 3 (2013)
11 days ago via Flixster

4/5 Stars. A good deal better than Iron Man 2. Probably the best of the 3 films. I liked the twists and Guy Pearce was a strong villain. Robert Downey Jr. and That Guy From Hotel Rwanda team up to beat bad guys, basically. I particularly liked how they did The Mandarin and the almost fourth-wall trolling. There were some typical Hollywood moments that were obviously going to go one way, but the movie was more satisfying than I was expecting. The treatment of PTSD as well was ok, but stereotypical and brief. Overall, a strong addition to the series.

Thor: The Dark World
11 days ago via Flixster
½

3.5/5 Stars. Another standard decent Marvel film. Story is the usual "once upon a time, there were bad dudes. Now they're back." Forced romance hampers things, though it's an expected feature at this point. Typical Hollywood humor, feel-good moments, etc. Effects are great, as always. I liked the Dark Elf ships' sensible design, and the Warhammer reference was nice. Not sure if there were subtitles in the non-bootleg, but the Dark Elf scenes where they speak their own language still made a basic kind of sense. The elves being able to speak English/Asgardian/whatever eventually is never explained, but meh. The Loki thing I saw coming, but the interweaving was well-done. Overall, a solid addition to the Marvel library.