10. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
The tenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe takes us into the vast space and introduces us to a pretty much unknown lineup from the comics, the Guardians of the Galaxy. Comprising of Peter Quill aka Star Lord (Chris Pratt), Gomorra (Zoe Saldana), Rocket Racoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper), Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) and Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), this ragtag bunch of misfits must join forces to stop Ronan (Lee Pace) and protect the galaxy from complete destruction.
The Movie is Great
What works well for the movie is its humor and performances. Every time an insulting or witty joke is spoken, it stems from the character’s motivations, feeling genuine and not forced. The best performances would be from the CG characters Rocket and Groot. The dialogues, on screen persona and buddy love between the two were just splendid. Another unique touch to the film was the use of music. It was well written into the story where Quill’s mother gives him a mix tape of rock, pop and soul songs from the 1970’s. The songs that play continually throughout the movie establish a quirky yet human tone to this space adventure.
And Also look Great
For a movie that is completely immersed with CGI it looks visually fantastic. The colors and textures, cool spaceships, the various worlds revealed, as well as an appearance from the mad titan Thanos, were a delight to watch. The make-up has to be applauded as well, making a completely green Gomorra look stunning and a totally blue Ronan feel menacing.
A lot of credit has to go to director James Gunn for execution of Marvel’s in house style of epic scale and implementing his own method of humor and character development for the film. He handles the humorous tone with ease and balances them well with a tragic back story to maintain a steady momentum of the plot. The script, casting, costumes, make-up, set design, editing and sound were all effective in making Guardians of the Galaxy a genuinely fun sci-fi film.
9. Thor (2011)
Thor is the fourth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and is directed by Kenneth Branagh, who seems to have a keen eye for amazing visuals. In this film, Thor is cast out of Asgard to live with the humans because he is arrogant and must learn how to be a worthy god but he soon becomes earth’s mightiest defender. There isn’t much plot to Thor other than the basics, but Marvel never made overly complicated plots, Marvel however makes great superhero films and there’s no reason why to change something that works.
Branagh’s direction in Thor take on a Shakespearean feel and it works because Thor is the type of movie that is an epic. Branagh has crafted a very beautiful looking film that almost looks like a fairy tale, this isn’t a bad thing as it actually works in the movie’s favor.
The action in the film is exactly what you’d expect from a Marvel Studios film, stunning and jaw dropping. Chris Hemsworth delivers a terrific performance as the title character and makes you believe that he is a god, though he does a few things that could be considered dumb for who is supposed to be a god. Tom Hiddleston, as Thor’s brother Loki, gives a great performance that is slightly even better than that of Hemsworth’s, though they both are great actors in this film. Hiddleston owns this role and was born to play Loki, he’s never over the top and unbelievable but still he manages to have a lot of fun with what otherwise could’ve been a one dimensional role. Natalie Portman plays Thor’s love interest in this and is underdeveloped as a character and she’s only really there to help Thor and be some of love interest for him. Portman does the best she could do with the role, but her character could’ve used a bit more work.
The action sequences are well filmed and never are they over the top or a bit much, they hit the right balance and are some of the best action sequences in any Marvel Studio’s film. Branagh shows confidence with the action but he never takes it too far, he walks a fine between fun and over the top.
Thor is a great film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and should be on everyone’s must watch comic book movie list.
8. Blade (1998)
An origin story about a vampire killer is something we rarely get from a horror film such as this but the gory non-stop action picture, “Blade” jumps high from the comic books to which it is based on.
It’s about a vampire hunter named, Blade (Wesley Snipes), whose mother was bitten by a vampire while she was pregnant with him. As a result she dies and he lives only to inherit some differences like being able to walk in the sunlight. While living on the streets, Blade is taken in and adopted by his mentor and weapon smith, Whistler (Kris Kristofferson) where he sharpens his lethal skills under Whistler’s tutelage. While destroying a vampire nightclub, Blade rescues a hematologist, Dr. Karen Jenson (N’Bushe Wright) after she is bitten, in an attempt to find a cure and save her. Meanwhile a young vampire, Decon Forst (Stephen Dorff) has declared a war on the human race when he tries to awaken a blood god – La Magra that puts Blade at the top of the hunting game. Only problem is, Decon needs Blade’s blood, the blood of the daywalker.
Blade’s origin story is so well written and fascinating that we must give it up to David S. Goyer for not only writing the movie but for writing this sequence as well. Blade is a composite of a characters study because there is so much detail and background for him that the movie is not long enough to tell it all but Wesley Snipes takes the role and really dives head first into the character.
The Actions are well made
Essentially this is an action movie with some brilliant special effects. It’s meant to be taken in a superhero light but since Wesley is an accomplished martial artist it looks even better. He punches, kicks and slices throw vampires and it’s quite entertaining to see. Virtually one fight scene is also a blood bath as body parts burn and fly throw the air while others are shot, stabbed and ripped apart. The opening sequence in the vampire nightclub is not only a bloody battleground but it’s got an old school Hong Kong action style feel to it.
Snipes hits an emotional range with the character. He is a commanding presence and makes those afraid of him go running into the night, well most of them. You can believe that the character is physically good at the action and spearheading a war on vampires in his sole purpose. The Climax sets Blade inside a temple where the vampires figure out his weakness and trap him in a casket-like machine to acquire his blood. Before we see the final outcome, we see a character who is vulnerable as well. We see the character is not the superhero he is supposed to be but a man dying to escape from himself and become human.
7. The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
Spider-Man has always been the symbolic superhero of extraordinary talent. Why this franchise is being rebooted is a big question since the original series began in 2002. However, Marc Webb does a decent job at breathing new life into the franchise. The screenplay follows the same previous outing yet it still works.
Andrew Garfield plays teenage Peter Parker whose parents disappear in the film’s opening leaving him with a trusty aunt and uncle. The uncle will be accidentally shot by an escaping mugger. Parker searches for answers regarding his parents and seeks answers from his father’s science partner. When he is bitten by a spider at the lab he develops the ability to spin webs and conflict crime. Emma Stone plays Gwen Stacy, classmate of Parker’s who also works in the lab where he came in contact with the spider. Rhys Ifans plays Dr. Curt Connors who was partnered with Parker’s father. He has one arm and aims to recreate another. His efforts lead to his transformation into the Lizard, a monstrous villain aiming to transforms all society into lizard people.
Martin Sheen and Sally Field play Parker’s supportive aunt and uncle who shelter him from facts regarding his father. The principal actors are spot on with their performances but supporting roles, including the aunt, uncle and Gwen’s police captain father are all somewhat conventional. We know the drill and wonder why so soon, but the special effects are enticing allowing this reboot to amazing in its visual showcase.