Author: movieman365

Captain America: The First Avenger

Well, the summer will soon be nearing its end, although the temperatures outside don’t seem to agree. With the changing of the seasons also comes the inevitable conclusion to the summer of superheroes (that’s what I dubbed it a few weeks back). And now, with the release of “Captain America: The First Avenger” this year’s heroic reign over the box office for beloved comic book icons will soon be coming to a close. “Captain America: The First Avenger” is the story of Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), a young man who wanted nothing more than to fight alongside the brave soldiers in World War II against the Nazi onslaught. After being rejected repeatedly due to his frail physique, Steve volunteered for an experimental treatment that would transform him into a living, breathing super-soldier. Meanwhile, a Nazi scientist named Johann Schmidt (Hugo Weaving) is attempting to harness power beyond anything this world has ever seen, and Captain America may be the only one strong enough to stop him. After so many entertaining entries this summer ranging from Marvel’s “Thor” and “X-Men: First Class” to DC Comics’ “Green Lantern”, did the heroic summer end with a triumphant victory or a disappointing defeat? The answer, as evidenced by the movie’s opening weekend box office victory over “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2”, combined with mostly positive reactions from critics, is that...

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Transformers: Dark of the Moon

In 2007, executive producer Steven Spielberg and director Michael Bay delivered to audiences walking, talking, robots in disguise with “Transformers”. The summer blockbuster took the box office by storm and raised the bar for visual effects extravaganzas at the movies. Two years later, Spielberg and Bay did it again with the outstanding follow-up (although many would contest my usage of the word “outstanding” in regards to that film) “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”. Once more this franchise blew away box office expectations and elevated the aforementioned bar even higher. Now, here we are in 2011, and like clockwork a third Transformers film has arrived in theaters under the guidance of the previously mentioned executive producer and director. So, does “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” have what it takes to surpass its predecessors or do these robots in disguise need to go back to Cybertron? “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” begins a few years after the last film as Sam (Shia LaBeouf) has graduated college, has a new girlfriend (Rosie Huntington-Whitely), and is looking for a job. Meanwhile, the Autobots are still working alongside the U.S. government to protect the planet from future Decepticon attacks. However, the tide of war is about to change as the Decepticons are working to reassemble a recently discovered Cybertronian technology that could resurrect the long-dead planet of Cybertron and destroy the Earth in the...

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Green Lantern

Finally, after years of sitting on the bench as Marvel Studios churned out adaptation after adaptation for their iconic comic book characters, DC Comics is making an effort to step up to the plate. Sure, DC has had massive success with Batman and to a lesser extent Superman, but their other popular characters have been relatively absent from the silver screen. That is until now. “Green Lantern” follows a test pilot named Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) as he inadvertently finds himself chosen to become a member of the elite, intergalactic police force known as the Green Lantern Corps. As Hal learns the ropes and begins to understand the scope of his new responsibilities, a mysterious and powerful enemy known as Parallax has set its sights upon Earth. Now, with the aid of his one-time love Carol Ferris (Blake Lively), Hal must find the courage to overcome his fears and insecurities and unleash the power of will before Parallax and his accomplice, Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard), tear our world apart. “In brightest day, in blackest night; no evil shall escape my sight. Let those who worship evil’s might, beware my power, Green Lantern’s light!” Those words form the pledge by which every single member of the Green Lantern Corps live their lives. It’s not a pledge the characters in this film take lightly, by any means. So, does the film...

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X-Men: First Class

Eleven years ago 20th Century Fox and director Bryan Singer introduced the world at large to the idea of mutants living among us with the box office smash “X-Men”. Following that success a couple of years later with “X2: X-Men United”, which was an even bigger blockbuster and an even better movie. However, when Bryan Singer left the franchise to direct “Superman Returns”, some would argue the franchise lost its way with the likes of the critically maligned “X-Men: The Last Stand” and “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”. Personally, I enjoyed both of those films (as did many audiences based on their box office receipts), although I do recognize their flaws. To those critics and even some fans that were displeased with the aforementioned last two installment into the franchise, a new entry has come along to right those proverbial wrongs. That film is the critically acclaimed “X-Men: First Class” from director Matthew Vaughn (“Layer Cake”), with Bryan Singer serving as a producer this time around. “X-Men: First Class” explores the friendship between Professor Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender). Set in the early 1960’s, the two one-time friends and veritable leaders of the mutant race, join forces with the CIA to discover and train new mutants in the use of their powers. However, when a dangerous mutant named Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon) sets into motion events that...

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Thor

The summer of 2011 could easily be known as “The Summer of Heroes” (especially superheroes) with the likes of “Captain America: The First Avenger” and “X-Men: First Class” gracing the silver screen. But before any of those heroes made their triumphant arrival in theaters, the summer was kicked off to the thunderous release of the box office hit, “Thor”. After an impulsive act of violence jeopardizes the sanctity of Asgard, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is stripped of his power and banished, by his father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins), to Earth. There he encounters the lovely Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), and realizes that there is more to life than glorious battles alongside his fellow Asgardians. With Thor out of the way, his step-brother Loki puts into motion a plan that threatens to destroy all Thor holds dear in Asgard and on Earth. With time running out Thor must prove to be worthy of the power he wielded and once more command the fury of the storm. Of all the comic book characters that Marvel has either already adapted for feature films or have announced plans to do so, Thor seemed the most audacious as he is hardly one of their most recognizable comic staples to the general public. Not to mention, the choice of Kenneth Branagh, an actor and director known for his Shakespearean background, didn’t seem an ideal fit for bringing...

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