Movie Review: Iron Man 2

Details: More information can be found at https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1228705/ and https://www.disneyplus.com/home

Score: 7/10

A successful sequel should simply do everything that the first movie did, but more. Iron Man 2 does that. It adds more backstory, more character development, more characters and more action and special effects.

Iron Man 2 picks up where the last movie left off. Tony Stark’s mechanized suit and it’s limitless power source is the new most powerful weapon on the planet. Because of its existence, all countries have backed down due to Tony working with the U.S. government and the United States now possessing unrivaled military supremacy because of it. When a new enemy appears who seemingly has developed a suit and power source similar to Tony’s, Tony Stark must now advance his technology even further to defeat this new enemy and maintain the peace established by him and his Iron Man suit.

The same light hearted tone from the first movie is maintained in this one and this film is all the better for it. It’s what most people loved about the last film and Robert Downey Jr.’s performance. There is also plenty of action and there are higher quality special effects and more of them.

The biggest addition to this film is the introduction of Natasha Romanov, or the Black Widow. This is Scarlett Johansson’s first appearance in the Marvel movie universe and the beginning of a long career making these Marvel movies. She’s great and I always wondered why it took so long for her to get her own superhero movie since she’s undoubtedly an A-list actor. I later learned from Bob Iger’s memoir that it was because Ike Perlmutter –a powerful figure in Marvel and then Disney– was a sexist and felt that a woman would not be successful as the lead in a superhero movie (Perlmutter was also a racist and was the reason why a Black Panther movie was not made earlier because he felt that black people –like women generally– could not carry a movie). Thank goodness, Perlmutter has since been put out to pasture.

Overall, this was a fun movie that adds more of everything fans liked in the first movie. It’s not too serious and it should not be. It’s just a fun summer movie with lots of laughs and explosions.

Movie Review: Thor

Details: More information can be found at https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0800369/ and https://www.disneyplus.com/

Score: 6/10

I recently got my grubby little mitts on a Disney Plus account and it’s been a great opportunity to revisit old Marvel movies that I barely remember. Disney has conveniently laid these movies out in chronological order so that’s the order I’ve been watching them in. First was Iron Man, then Iron Man 2, now we’ve reached Thor. While Iron Man was fun and a breath of fresh air, Thor was trite and not that good.

The story focuses on Thor, the Norse god of thunder. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Asgardians are a god-like race of aliens that frequently visited Earth. Thor is the prince of Asgard, son of Odin, who is king. Through Thor’s own folly, he is banished to Earth and his powers taken away. Little do any know that a great conspiracy is under way to usurp the Asgardian throne and bring doom to all. Thor must now grow out of his immaturity and into a hero worthy of Asgard.

The story of this movie is not great. It’s all over the place. You could tell that they were attempting many things at once and ended up doing a lackluster job for most. It felt rushed and incomplete. There’s not enough time setting up all the ideas and the conflicts and their resolution felt rushed and unfulfilling.

You need to keep in mind that this movie existed solely to create a movie version of Thor to put into the first Avengers movie. At the time, this kind of big, cinematic series that culminated in a big team-up movie where the main characters in all the superhero movies would show up and do one big movie together had never been done before. They were flying by the seat of their pants and the result was mediocre bunch of movies meant to introduce characters for future movies where they can then team up for other characters. For that reason, it’s easy to see why the plot in this movie was so bad. No one cared that much about Thor in comparison to how much they cared about that first Avengers movie. Further, as was said before, this was the first time anyone tried a combined, cinematic fictional universe. There was a lack of experience here that would not be rectified until years later when the Russo brothers would come along and Kevin Feige would consolidate power and the authority to make creative decisions independently.

My biggest regret with this film is how they tried to go the dramatic route for this first film. They simply didn’t realize that Hemsworth’s talents lie in the comedic and that Thor is so strange a character that it’s hard to tell a serious story about him with a straight face. Once Thor: Ragnarok came around and we got to see just how funny Hemsworth could be, there was no turning back and the Thor franchise will now forever remain a series defined by it’s funny moments and it’s all the better for it.

Overall, this was a passable movie that exists simply to lay some ground work for Thor’s appearance in the first Avengers movie. The plot isn’t great, but isn’t horrific. The special effects are nice. It’s just an overall boring movie with little payoff for all it’s plot points. The only thing that they did right in this film was the casting. It’s no surprise that years later, Hemsworth and Hiddleston continue to make Marvel movies because of how much fans loved them.

Video Game Review: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D

Details: Played on the 3DS. The main game takes about 25 hours to beat, and completing everything takes about 37 hours according to howlongtobeat.com. More information can be found at https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/the-legend-of-zelda-ocarina-of-time-3d-3ds/

Score: 5.5/10

Unlike many video gamer players, I did not play this game growing up. I played this game recently and I did so without the bias of nostalgia. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is a game that is simply too old. Playing this game was a chore and was not fun enough for me to continue playing it.

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Movie Review: Jurassic Park

Details: More information can be found at https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107290/

Score: 7/10

I remember watching Jurassic Park when it first came out. It was ground breaking. There was literally nothing like it that came before. It did for special effects and animatronics what The Matrix did with special effects and bullet time. Decades later, I decided to give it another watch and while it still holds up (which is a miracle considering how old it is), it’s not as great as I remember it. In many ways, it’s just a stereotypical horror movie where all the problems are caused by the characters doing obviously stupid things. It’s exactly the kind of horror movie I hate the most.

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Movie Review: Jurassic Park III

Details: More information can be found at https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0163025/

Score: 5/10

Jurassic Park III has one of the stupidest movie premises I’ve ever seen. It exists solely to milk more money from a franchise where the every movie following the first Jurassic Park movie has been mediocre to completely trash.

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