Movie Quote of the Week – 4/24/15

Answer to MWL 4/22/15: Volstagg (Ray Stevenson) – Thor

Loki: You leave this to me. Good Heimdall…
Heimdall: You’re not dressed warmly enough.
Loki: I’m sorry?
Heimdall: Do you think that you can deceive me?
Loki: You must be mistaken…
Thor: Enough! Heimdall, may we pass?
Heimdall: Never has an enemy slipped my watch until this day. I wish to know how that happened.
Thor: Then tell no one where we have gone until we’ve returned. Understand?
[Thor and the others begin walking towards the Bifrost]
Volstagg: What happened? Silver tongue turned to lead?

Thanks for everyone’s submissions and congratulations to the following people for answering correctly:

That Other Critic (That Other Critic)
criddlegakes

Lightning Review: Punisher: War Zone

This review was originally posted by Natasha from Life of This City Girl for her Marvelous Mondays feature.

Punisher: War Zone movie posterSynopsis
Six years ago, Frank Castle (Ray Stevenson) and his family were enjoying a family picnic when they witnessed a mob hit, resulting in the death of his wife and two kids. Now he is the Punisher, slowly eliminating the crime families of New York City. When he kills the head of the Cesare family, he is succeeded by Billy ‘The Beaut’ Russoti (Dominic West). When Castle catches up to Russoti, he traps Russoti in a glass cutting machine, leaving him disfigured. Russoti takes the name “Jigsaw” and sets on out on a quest of revenge against the Punisher.

Review
I really enjoy 2004’s The Punisher starring Thomas Jane, but I felt its PG-13 rating held it back. The Punisher is a violent character who needs the freedom to be as brutal that the R rating allows. Punisher: War Zone takes full advantage of the upped rating. Every kill is gruesome (and almost artistic), very fitting for the character and world he inhabits. The violence feels almost over the top, acknowledging that its source material as a comic book, but never becoming too ridiculous. It is a good mix that few movies can pull off. Although, it can be difficult to be serious when your main villain’s primary motivations for revenge against the main character is because he ruined the villains face (there was a thing about the Punisher killing his crime family but hey, his looks were important to him).

Ray Stevenson does well as the Punisher. His presence is intimidating and he easily pulls off the toughness of the character. Thomas Jane showed more of Punisher’s calculating and strategist side, whereas Ray Stevenson’s Punisher shows the Punisher’s military training and violent combat side.   The story moved pretty quick and part of that was because it skipped Frank Castle’s transformation into the Punisher. Instead, he was already established as the Punisher for five years. His history was told through exposition, very similar to The Incredible Hulk. I like that it took that route because his origin is fairly simple and didn’t need to be retreaded again, especially only a few years after the previous Punisher movie. Punisher: War Zone embraces the violence of its comic book origins and shows a more graphic and ferocious Punisher than previous films that makes for a pretty entertaining afternoon popcorn flick.

Rating
3/5

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Lexi Alexander – Director
Nick Santora – Writer
Art Marcum – Writer
Matt holloway – Writer
Michael Wandmacher – Composer

Ray Stevenson – Frank Castle
Dominic West – Billy / Jigsaw
Doug Hutchison – Loony Bin Jim
Colin Salmon – Paul Budiansky
Wayne Knight – Micro
Dash Mihok – Martin Soap
Julie Benz – Angela
Stephanie Janusauskas – Grace
Mark Camacho – Pittsy
Romano Orzari – Nicky
Karem Malicki-Sanchez – Ink
Larry Day – Agent Miller
Ron Lea – Captain Ross
Tony Calaabretta – Saffiotti
Carlos Gonzalez-Vio – Carlos
TJ Storm – Maginty

Thor: The Dark World Review

Thor: The Dark World movie posterSynopsis
In the aftermath of Loki’s (Tom Hiddleston) treachery, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) returns to Asgard after bringing peace across the Nine Realms. However, Malakith (Christopher Eccleston) and the Dark Elves return after a 5,000 year slumber. They plan to use The Aether, a force older than the Universe itself, to destroy the cosmos and return everything to darkness. Thor must face an enemy that even his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins) can’t withstand, in order to save everything, and everyone, he loves.

Review

Marvel Studios told some great stories in their Phase One slate of movies, culminating in the grand and marvelous The Avengers. But they are really hitting their stride in their Phase Two movies. Thor: The Dark World took cues from The Avengers and is funny yet serious, without becoming comical (in the bad way).

Probably what I like best about Thor 2 is that it develops so many of the characters, particularly Loki. Despite finding out his true heritage as a Frost Giant in Thor, and attacking Earth in The Avengers, we learn there are still people he cares about. Loki has become one of (if not the) best villains in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He is a multifaceted character that is hard to trust but easy to love.

Anything that comes out of Kat Dennings mouth in this movie is comedy gold. I don’t think she said anything that I didn’t at least chuckle at, let alone laugh out loud. Stellan Skarsgård plays a crazy Erik Selvig perfectly. I think I missed the explanation of why he went coo-coo (It was from his manipulation at the hands of Loki in The Avengers, fyi), but it was an interesting turn for the character that Skarsgård pulled off. Easily, though, the best performance of the film belongs to Tom Hiddleston. It is hard to image anyone else in the role nowadays. Hiddleston has come to embody the character so well.

The action this time is bigger than it was in Thor. The scale of it is somewhere between Thor and The Avengers. Instead of just Asgard, now all of the Nine Realms are in trouble, culminating in a showdown between Thor and Malakith in London. The final showdown looks fantastic. The special effects are well done, especially considering the fight bounces between Earth and the different Realms.

Like all Marvel Studio movies, this film as a scene to set up a future film. So don’t forget to watch all the way to the end of the credits, because there is both a mid-credits and post-credits scene (Now Marvel is just getting obnoxious). The mid-credits scene can be compared to the post-credits scene in Iron Man. In Iron Man, it showed the course the movies would take in Phase One. Here, it shows the story arch the movies could take potentially up to Avengers 3.

Thor: The Dark World continues to build off previous Marvel films, while also standing alone. Tom Hiddleston has completely become the character of Loki, who gets some great character development. Great comedic timing by several actors and bigger action, really giving gravity to the threat, keeps Marvel’s Phase Two moving along strong.

Rating
4/5

Also check out my reviews for the other films in Marvel’s Phase 2: Iron Man 3, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Ant-Man.