REVIEW: House of Cards – Season Four (2016)

House of Cards - Reviewed

The following is a review of the entire fourth season of House of Cards. Expect spoilers from seasons 1-3, but spoilers for the fourth season will be kept at a minimum.

House of Cards is one of my favorite shows ever, I would’ve said that prior to the release of the fourth season, and I’ll still say that now. Why do I bring this up? Just to inform you that this review comes from a fan of the show who happens to be a member of the target audience for the show: I am interested in American politics, I am a TV-nerd, and an admirer of Shakespeare-esque storytelling. I enjoyed the third season of House of Cards, which I know was somewhat polarizing. I liked it, but with the fourth season of House of Cards I’ll go as far as to say that I absolutely loved every second of it. I thought it was a spellbinding season.
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REVIEW: The Martian (2015)

20th Century Fox – Theatrical Release Poster – The Martian

The following is a review of The Martian, a Ridley Scott film.

In 2011, Andy Weir self-published his first ever novel, The Martian. The Martian was envisioned as a very realistic science fiction novel, and it eventually became quite a hit. Then, in 2013, 20th Century Fox optioned the film rights, with Drew Goddard announced as the scriptwriter, and, later, Ridley Scott was announced as the director. One now hoped that Goddard’s talent and Scott’s experience could make The Martian a solid film. Thankfully, it is much more than that – The Martian is one of the best films of 2015. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Martian (2015)”

REVIEW: Fantastic Four (2015)

20th Century Fox poster

The following is a review of 20th Century Fox’s Fantastic Four (2015)

Fantastic Four is the updated Marvel Comics origin story about its First Family – the Storm-siblings, the incredibly intelligent Reed Richards, and the strong-willed Ben Grimm. Together they team up to defend Earth and its citizens. But before becoming a team, they changed in more ways than one. Does the newest 20th Century Fox superhero film live up to its title? Sadly, no.

However, it did start quite well. This film is loosely based on the 2004 Marvel Comics reboot, Ultimate Fantastic Four, and you definitely see its roots if you’re familiar with the ‘source material.’ Reed Richards is a child prodigy, who is ultimately invited to study and work in the Baxter Building, and he is aided by his good friend, Ben Grimm, who, in spite of his involvement in Reed’s school project, has no real attachment to the Baxter Building.

In fact, I loved this part. There was a certain Batman Begins-feel to the film, and everything worked for quite a while. There can be no doubt, the best character in this film is Reed Richards – as he should be. Also, while I was afraid of what tone Fox was going with, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the film was less grim than the trailer made it out to be.

It is not that the film was perfect for the first hour, or so, but it ran rather smoothly. Sure, the dialogue was a bit wonky and cheesy at times – but it didn’t really hurt the film in its first half. But then things started to fall apart. I can tell you that there is a handful of comic book movie sins in this film – but no sin is bigger than the one they commit at its halfway point. Reed Richards’ reasoning for using the Quantum Gate is extremely dodgy and out of character.

After having reached the point of no return, you start to notice the film’s clear errors. The look of the ‘other dimension’ is not done well, Kate Mara is wearing what looks to be a wig for half of her scenes, and the pacing is awful. When I started to think about the villain, then the film started to be upsetting.

Victor Von Doom (Not ‘Domashev’; apparently, they chose to keep the original name after fan backlash) is obviously the villain. And I’m not just saying that because I know of the comic books. The film hits you over the head with the obvious fact that Toby Kebbell’s character is the villain. He is referred to as ‘Dr. Doom’ sarcastically – as well as ‘Adolf’ (no, I’m not kidding). Sadly, Doom is a forgettable character and his look is awful. Doom should not look like a silver-and-green mannequin.

Josh Trank, Simon Kinberg, and Jeremy Slater had a great plan for this film, but while they handled Mr. Fantastic and the first half of the film amazingly, they ultimately fall short. In the end, the pacing of the final act is what kills this film. The big battle is rushed, the villain is wasted, and Marvel’s First Family doesn’t really live up to its name. An awful reboot for the Fantastic Four.

Final Score: 4.9 out of 10Though promising at first, Fantastic Four completely falls apart in the poorly paced final act.

 I’m Jeffrey Rex

Marvelous Monday #29 – Dos and Don’ts for Fox’s Fantastic Four

I'm Jeffrey Rex' Marvelous Monday - 29

This week’s Marvelous Monday focuses on the potential of the newest Marvel Comics-based superhero flick coming this summer. Fantastic Four is the last superhero film of 2015. But this isn’t a Marvel Studios film. No, this is one of Fox’s attempts at a stronger superhero universe. The film has had a lot of problems in the press: rumors and comments about the script, Dr. Doom, and the director have stopped the hype-train somewhat. So, today we need to make up our minds: What are the dos and don’ts for the returning Mister Fantastic-led franchise? Continue reading “Marvelous Monday #29 – Dos and Don’ts for Fox’s Fantastic Four”

The Fantastic Four (2015) Trailer Review

Here we go, the trailer for Josh Trank and Fox’ Fantastic Four is finally out. Today I’m trying something new, trying to give my thoughts about the trailer – saying what it shows, but also giving my opinion. Remember how I liked the Ant-Man trailer? I’m going to give similar pros/cons for this one. So without further ado….

Now this is a teaser trailer, so keep that in mind. But the first thing that comes to mind when watching it, is how similar the feel of the trailer – the sound – the look – is to Interstellar. Now, trailers tend to copy off of something – and they’ve definitely gone for a Nolan-feel. But a property like the Fantastic Four should be able to stand on its own with a trailer – without going full-Nolan.

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Can ‘The Fantastic Four’ Work?

Soon we’ll see the first trailer for The Fantastic Four by Josh Trank. The movie premieres this August, yet we’ve seen nothing from it – except for a few supposed leaked photographs. Now, I’m all for people trying to hide plotpoints from the trailer – I’m all for people keeping their film secret, like J.J. Abrams and Christopher Nolan have done in the past. But something’s up with The Fantastic Four.

Throughout this post I’ll voice my concerns, but before doing that – let’s get something clear. The Fantastic Four team has not had a fun ride in Comic Book Movies. They had a film made that was never officially released, two films that were negatively reviewed by most, and they cannot participate in the critically acclaimed Marvel Cinematic Universe.

While I really disliked the second Tim Story Fantastic Four-film, I actually thought the first one was okay. In my opinion, Chris Evans was the best part about those two films. Now, I would never ask for a third one with the same director and cast – but I am really worried about what they are doing to the characters that kept Stan Lee in the comic book business.

Continue reading “Can ‘The Fantastic Four’ Work?”