Rob Watches Movies

Reviews of every film I watch. The Good, The Bad and The Mothman Prophecies.

Tag: Marvel (page 1 of 2)

Captain America: Civil War – 7/10

With the Avengers franchise hitting 13 films with Captain America: Civil War, there are understandably questions as to why we keep watching. The fact is that in terms of commercial success, critical acclaim and durability, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the most successful movie franchise ever.

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Book Review: The Girl With All The Gifts

‘You can’t save people from the world. There’s nowhere else to take them…’

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X-Men: Apocalypse – 6.5/10

‘You can fire your arrows from the Tower of Babel, but you can never strike god…’

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Ant-Man – 7/10

Marvel literally give no shits any more…


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Ten More Great TV Shows of 2015

Despite my undying love for films, we have now reached a stage where the quality found on TV is actually far superior to 90% of offerings churned out on the silver screen. Since running through my top ten favourite shows of 2015 in November, I have discovered a plethora of other top notch shows. Here are ten of them:

10. Master of None


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Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens – 9/10

The world can relax. Phantom Menace this ain’t…


BB8 – The droid you are looking for?

People have become so wary and tired of the constant streams of reboots, remakes and sequels. I am a fan of the Marvel universe but it is so ubiquitous that no Marvel release feels like an event any more. Harry Potter has come and gone. The Lord of the Rings franchise was let down by the sub standard Hobbit entries. Sometimes it is tempting to think that none of that film magic remains. There is a strong argument that The Phantom Menace is partly responsible for all of the above.

Phantom Menace was as successful commercially as it was reviled by it’s fan base. This set a dangerous precedent of Hollywood looking for anything with a pre existing audience and just feeding them dog shit because Phantom Menace showed this was possible and profitable. After walking out of the midnight showing of The Force Awakens at 2:41am I am fucking delighted to confirm that some of that old movie magic still exists.


Oscar Isaac as Poe Cameron

All the things that made Star Wars fans wince from the prequels are pretty much gone. JJ Abrams has made a film as if the first three episodes barely existed. Gone is the dodgy CGI and the convoluted, incomprehensible plot. Gone is the shoddy acting and rushed dialogue. In it’s place are thrilling new characters for a whole different generation to fall in love with.

In Oscar Isaac, John Boyega and Domhnall Gleeson, Abrams has assembled the most exciting up and coming cast he possibly could have and all three are a revelation. Boyega is funny and warm and believable. Isaac is probably the most sought after actor in the world at the moment and you can see why on this showing and Gleeson is unrecognisable as the slimy General Hux. Newcomer Daisy Ridley more than holds her own and Adam Driver does an excellent job as Kylo Ren.


Kylo Motherfucking Ren!

I wont say much about the old guard as I don’t want to spoil too much but I am happy to confirm the characters from the original trilogy are utilized and realized brilliantly. Never did I think anything was out of character for them. Never did I think they were over or underused.

The Force Awakens is not without it’s flaws but then neither is A New Hope or even The Empire Strikes Back for that matter. The sometimes clunky and cheesy dialogue and the derivative plot are not burdens. The cute new droid clearly designed to sell shit loads of toys is not off putting. These are franchise trademarks as much as the crawling intro and the theme music.

I guess what I am trying to say is that The Force Awakens feels like a fucking Star Wars movie and that is all we ever wanted from the prequels. JJ Abrams and his astounding cast, with a little help from some old, no good nerf herder’s, have given us back everything that the disappointing sequels took away – the magic and excitement of the most beloved movies ever made.

Let your cynicism be washed away as mine was. The Force Awakens is about as good as it possibly could be.

Star Wars is back.

Avengers: Age of Ultron – 8.5/10

Avengers vs Skynet…


The problem that director Joss Whedon faced when following up the inaugural Avengers movie is how to keep things fresh in the face of the series overall approaching double figures. To do this Whedon brings previously unexplored characters to the fore with Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye and Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow enjoying much more screen time and a fleshed out back story.

Also helping to bring a different feel to Age of Ultron are new faces Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen as Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch respectively. I have been banging the Olsen drum for ages and whilst I would like to see her take on something more challenging she again impresses here.


Elizabeth Olsen continues her hot streak.

Perhaps the biggest ace in the pack for the Avengers sequel however is villain Ultron. Masterfully voiced by James Spader, Ultron is part Pinocchio, part Frankenstein’s monster and part Terminator to create a memorable and powerful antagonist for the Avengers to tackle.

In terms of the returning cast Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth improve in every instalment as Captain America and Thor as they have been allowed to grow into their roles gradually. While series favourites Robert Downey Jr and Mark Ruffalo take a bit more of a back seat in Age of Ultron, with Downey Jr seemingly coming to the end of his involvement in the Marvel universe.

It is very discouraging that Joss Whedon has decided to step down from the directing the third and final Avengers film Avengers: Infinity War as his talent in combining so many disparate characters into one finished article is unparalleled and with Ant-Man, Wasp, Doctor Strange, Scarlet Witch, Spider-Man, Falcon, Captain Marvel and maybe ever the Guardians of the Galaxy rumoured to appear it is difficult to see how Avengers: Age of Ultron will not be the last great Avengers movie.

The Signal – 7/10

The Twilight Zone meets X-Men


The Signal starts off as a relatively straight forward hacker road trip but then quickly takes a turn for the bizarre and never stops turning. A young cast featuring the decent Brenton Thwaites, the slightly better Olivia Cooke and the brilliant Beau Knapp is held together by veteran actor Laurence Fishburne who is suitably sinister as a mysterious scientist.

A common criticism of films of this ilk is that they can’t decide what they want to be. The Signal director William Eubank doesn’t seem to care much for choosing a genre as The Signal flits between Sci-Fi, Action, Romantic Drama and Found Footage horror. This seems to have been a deliberate choice on Eubank’s part to disorientate the viewer however, rather than a lack of ideas.

Eubank mixes some grandiose ideas and Terrence Malick-esque arty direction with over the top plot twists to create a baffling but compelling viewing experience. The Signal is not a film you will forget in a hurry but the pay off of the final twist at the end is offset by the fact that rest of the film is so weird which reduces any shock value.

I don’t know what genre The Signal is supposed to be, I don’t know what the message of The Signal is supposed to be, hell I don’t even know if it is any good or not. I do know that it left me wanting more though and that is always a good thing.

Guardians of the Galaxy – 8/10

Marvel takes a gigantic risk… and still remains triumphant.

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The Wolverine – 7/10

Wolverine… but in Japan!


It is easy to get lost in the current X-men time line what with all the sequels, prequels, half reboots and origin stories so to get something straight The Wolverine is intended as a straight sequel to X-Men 3 so there is lots of a ghostly Jean Gray rearing her large forehead at inopportune times. Despite this obviously still being fresh in his mind ‘loner’ Wolverine still immediately finds himself embroiled with another damsel in distress in the form of newcomer Tao Okamoto’s Mariko. Before any of this however we see Logan at Nagasaki while the A bomb drops which makes for a pretty impressive visual spectacle.

The visuals are admirable throughout actually what with most of the movie taking place in vibrant and colourful Japan and the acting and basic premise are also solid. Hugh Jackman has now completely nailed playing Wolverine and gives possibly his best performance to date in the never ending franchise. The story is an interesting one and there is more to it than ‘What would happen if Wolverine fought Samurai!?’ but this being Marvel and and an action film it still falls into familiar tropes (good guys turn out to be bad guys and also a fight on top of a train? Really?).


One thing that sets The Wolverine apart from nearly every film that takes place in this world is the relative lack of actual mutants. Wolverine and antagonist Viper aside it is slim pickings with Logan mostly battling mere mortals plus his own inner demons which is an interesting direction to go in.

I love all of the X men films (apart from X-men 3) including X-Men Origins: Wolverine so it was going to be hard for experienced director James Mangold (Girl, Interrupted, Walk The Line) to miss as far as I am concerned but for Marvel sceptics this will do nothing to change anyone’s mind and for Marvel fans I know I am not the only one who would have much preferred a Deadpool or Gambit movie.

A solid if possibly unnecessary entry in an already bloated series.

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