REVIEW: Marvel crank it up in Avengers: Infinity War

For 10 years, Disney and Marvel have dominated the cinematic universe and now, after the backstories, the sequels, the assembling movies, a Civil War and an incredible amount of money making, it has come down to this.

One concern going into Avengers: Infinity War is just how the directing Russo brothers, who had also helmed the previous two Captain America movies, would manage so many protagonists culminating together to tackle the ultimate enemy. Well, 160 minutes of exhilarating superhero nerdiness, it’s safe to say they have passed that particular test with flying colours.

In fact, not every Marvel champion features despite the number of heroes involved estimating around the 30 mark. So again, it seems the Russo brothers will have a similar challenge on their hands going into the 4th and final Avengers movie.

Back to Infinity War however, and with all our favourite heroes scattered across various areas of the universe, they must assemble once more to take on a foe who has threatened to make a dramatic entrance since the first Avenger movie, Thanos (Josh Brolin).

As any Marvel nerd will know, Thanos is seeking a collection of jewels known as Infinity Stones, each one giving him more power and bringing him closer to universal domination. Standing in his way? The remnants of the Avenger initiative, a hammerless Asgardian God, a wizard, a king and the Guardians of the Galaxy – overall a group squabbling, egotistical individuals who must come together to deny Thanos.

Something that works in the Russo brothers’ favour is that there’s no desperate need to engage us with so many characters. Thanks to the many individual movies before it, we already have this emotional attachment to them all and thanks the charisma fuelled cast, there’s a character to care about in every scene.

In addition, much of the movie is surrounded by sacrifice and tragedy as many expected, while as with any Avenger movie, we are treated to a barrel of laughs and lighter moments. The Russo brothers must be credited for managing to find a perfect balance of hilarious, heartbreaking and exhilarating.

Brolin as Thanos is genuinely terrifying as an old school villian – twice the size of your average human with giant arms, constantly voicing his intentions of wiping out half of the universe. Another potential concern was the overuse of CGI for this particular character, as we’ve seen so much of in superhero movies of late, but Brolin isn’t masked too much and remains visually genuine.

Skipping from one world to another and cutting from one group of superheroes to another, Infinity War flies by and by the end, it doesn’t feel like you have been sat in the cinema for two and a half hours. In fact, the end of the movie is potentially the weakest and most underdeveloped, but it certainly sets the fourth and final instalment of the Avengers franchise up nicely.


Chris Evans to leave role of Captain America

Chris Evans looks set to be hanging up his shield after claiming that he wants to leave the Captain America role before being axed from it.

The actor recently told the New York Times that he plans to leave the Marvel Universe after ‘Avengers 4’, which is set to be released next year.

In a profile piece for the newspaper, Evans said: “You want to get off the train before they push you off.”

Marvel co-star, Robert Downey Jr, had previously suggested that he will feel lost when Evans left the project.


He said: “I feel like my instinct would be to bust his jaw.

“All I know is that there’s something about being on camera with Evans. I hate to say it, but I don’t know what I’m gonna do when he’s not Cap anymore.

“I look at him and think this is the truest, most down moral psychology I’ve ever seen and then they go, ‘Cut!’ and Chris is like, ‘Hey buddy, I gotta get out of here’.”

Evans filmed Avengers 3 & 4 back to back last year and he admitted that this autumn’s reshoots will be his last outing in the red, white and blue suit.

So long, Cap.

Christopher Nolan predicts surprise Best Picture nomination at next year’s Oscars

Sunday’s Oscar ceremony produced a number of positive talking points on an otherwise successful night celebrating the best of everything film.

One movie that was mentioned on the regular throughout the night and indeed for the last few months, is Black Panther.

The latest Marvel release received incredible critic reviews and fan reaction as well as offering a voice for diversity in film.

Furthermore, legendary director Christopher Nolan offered his thoughts on the movie on Deadline’s Oscar round-up, claiming that he believes “Black Panther will among the Best Picture nominees in 2019”.


Although a superhero movie has never been nominated for an Oscar outside of the technical awards before, Logan broke that duck this year when it was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Additionally, there was plenty of suggestion that Wonder Woman would be nominated for a big prize, though that never surfaced.

Deadline claimed that a Disney executive had spoken about how hard they were pushing for Black Panther to be nominated, while another Disney contender comes in the shape of Mary Poppins Returns, starring Emily Blunt.

REVIEW: Black Panther isn’t perfect, but it’s the film the world needed

Aside from being one of the more important blockbusters of modern times, which it has rightfully been commended for, Black Panther also does a brilliant job of standing on its own two feet away from the Marvel universe, in more ways than one.

In fact, the only reference to the Avenger world is at the start of the movie where we see T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) inheriting the throne of Wakanda from his father who we saw die in Captain America: Civil War. Director Ryan Coogler clearly avoided any temptation to hinge it on the success of the Avengers franchise and make the most of what brilliant material was available to him.

Concealed from the rest of the world, the futuristic Wakanda is home to an out of this world material that is in danger of being taken advantage of by the modern day South African pirate, Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis), and then contender to the Wakandan throne, Erik Killmonger (Michael B Jordan), the cousin T’Challa never knew he had.

One of the most striking features of the movie is its score, composed by Ludwig Göransson and Kendrick Lamar, who combine tribal beats with the more familiar orchestral sounds, capturing the tone of the movie with pinpoint accuracy.

Not only is the sound impressive, but the film is visually fulfilling, particularly when scanning the imagined Wakanda – an advanced city concealed by great African plaines. That said, one of the best scenes of the film is far from home, consisting of a car chase brilliantly choreographed in Korea.

It’s no secret that the movie stands out for its positive representation for the black community, but it was also a pleasure to see women so positively appreciated in Black Panther. T’Challa’s tech savvy sister, Shuri (Letitia Wright) and Okeye (Danai Gurira) are arguably the unsung heroes of the movie. Lupita Nyong’o is also one of the many brilliant actresses to play a key role in the movie.

The film hits a slight pothole by falling for the classic Marvel third-act trap, climaxing with a CGI filled battle sequence, consisting of attack rhinos which flatter to deceive. Thankfully, the rest of the film is joyous enough not to have it ruined by the typical superhero endings we’re now so used to and tired of.

As a fan of the Marvel universe, I wouldn’t go as far to saying that this is the best of the Marvel films in the franchise. But it certainly is the most remarkable of the bunch and one of the more important blockbusters you will see in modern times bearing in mind the impact it has had around the world.

ALL superhero films coming out this year

We’re in February of a new year and a superhero film hasn’t been released…shocking I know. But don’t fret, Marvel’s Black Panther hits cinemas in the UK this week and to celebrate, here’s a look at all the superhero based movies released this year:

Black Panther – 13th February

Marvel’s first entry of the year hits cinemas just in time for Valentines Day. Early reviews suggest this could be one of the best and most significant of the Avengers movies with Chadwick Boseman donning the slashy title character’s suit.

Avengers: Infinity War – 27th April

Black Panther will make another appearance in this the third of the Avengers outings in which our favourite heroes square up to Josh Brolin’s Thanos. Joe and Anthony Russo (Captain America: Civil War) will be directing the latest chapter as well the climaxing sequel, with pretty much every MCU character featuring.

Deadpool 2 – 16th May

Our favourite foul-mouthed hero makes the much anticipated return and if the latest trailer that we were treated to last week is anything to go by, we’re in for plenty more blood and laughs. David Leitch takes over directing duties with Josh Brolin (yes, him again) playing Cable, Deadpool’s (Ryan Reynolds) latest enemy.

Incredibles 2 – 13th July

Sticking with Disney, although moving away Marvel, the long-awaited return of The Incredibles will end this summer. All the original characters return for Pixar’s latest offering although little has been given away premise wise.

Ant-Man and the Wasp – 3rd August

Back to Marvel and yet another sequel, with Paul Rudd joined by new sidekick Evangeline Lilly who dons the wasp suit seen at the end of the first movie. I think I speak for everyone when I say I’m most excited about Michael Pena reprising his role as Luis who stole the show in the original film.

X-Men: Dark Phoenix – 2nd November

Marvel’s final entry of the year is the latest X-Men offering where Sophie Turner is set to steal the show as Jean Grey AKA Phoenix. All the regulars return along with Jessica Chastain for the latest bout, with Simon Kinberg helming the project.


Aquaman – 21st December

DC had a bang average 2017. Where Wonder Woman soared, Justice League flew it straight back down to earth. Incredibly, Aquaman (Jason Mamoa) wasn’t the most annoying aspect of the movie so there are high expectations for his stand-alone movie which is DC’s only entry this year.


So there they are – which of these are you looking forward to the most?

Please note, all release dates are UK based.

LOOK: First official photo of Tom Hardy in Venom

Sony has released the first official photo of Tom Hardy in Venom, which hits cinemas this year.

Unfortunately for fans, the image is of Hardy in journalist mode as Eddie Brock before his Venom transformation, which will be primarily digitally created.

Hardy will be joined by four-time Oscar nominated Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed and Jenny Slate, while Woody Harrelson has also been rumoured to join the impressive cast.

Zombieland and Gangster Squad director, Ruben Fleischer, will helm the project.

So here is the first official photo (don’t get too excited) released via IGN of Tom Hardy in Venom – expect a trailer soon.



James Franco announces superhero project

James Franco has confirmed he will produce and star in a superhero movie, but did not reveal the identity of the character it would be based on.

There have been reports that Fox has been working on a Marvel Comics movie based on Multiple Man.

“I do have a superhero that I am developing,” Franco told the Hollywood Reporter. “I don’t know how much I can say. But I will say I am producing and performing in it.

“It’s early stages. I think probably what I can say is, like anything, there’s a need to develop more.”

Franco mentioned that he was working on a number of different projects through Ramona Films, the company that he created with his brother, Dave.

“Our bottom line MO is, how can we push this into new ground? A little bit, but still make it entertaining? What I love about what Simon Kinberg and Fox and the X-Men people have done with Deadpool and Logan — it took a while to get there, maybe 10 years — but they are going to go hard R.

“And we’re going to take this superhero thing and really just push it into a new genre. So we’re working with Simon Kinberg on an X-Men property.”

Franco is currently receiving plaudits for his portrayal as Tommy Wiseau in The Room, which hits UK cinemas this Friday.

Marvel revolution in new Black Panther trailer

Marvel has released the first full trailer for their latest superhero Black Panther which stars Chadwick Boseman who we caught a glimpse of in Captain America: Civil War.

Black Panther explores the history of Boseman’s character T’Challa, the warrior king of Marvel’s fictional country Wakanda.

Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station, Creed) is directing with Lupita Nyong’o, Martin Freeman, Michael B. Jordan and Forest Whitaker starring in what is reportedly a 90% black cast.

Andy Serkis, who played a role in the second Avengers movie, also features.

Black Panther hits UK cinemas on February 12 2018.

12 Actors Who Have Featured In DC And Marvel Movies

Marvel and DC are titans and main rivals when it comes to the comic book superhero universe. That rivalry is really beginning to heat up with so many future releases from both parties set to drop in the next couple of years. Naturally there is going to be some form of crossover between both worlds so here’s a list of just some of the actors and actresses who have featured in both Marvel and DC movies:

Ben Affleck – Affleck is currently portraying Batman role for DC as seen in the Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice and briefly in Suicide Squad, but he also donned the rather forgettable Daredevil outfit for Marvel – both were fairly terrible movies. He returns as the Dark Knight later this year in Justice League.


Ryan Reynolds – Everyone now knows Reynolds as the foul-mouthed Deadpool, a distant member of the X-Men family for Marvel. He actually first played the anti-hero in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and also played Hannibal King in Blade: Trinity all the way back in 2004. His appearance for DC was definitely a low point in his career, playing the lead character in Green Lantern.


Halle Berry – Obviously best known for her portrayal of Storm in the X-Men series, Berry took a quick trip to the DC universe in 2004 in the painfully awful Catwoman and returned to Marvel without ever looking back.


Tommy Lee-Jones – Remember all those terrible Batman movies throughout the 90s? Lee-Jones featured in one of them, playing Harvey Dent/Two Face in Batman Forever – a role that he has since claimed he hated (as did we). Fast-forward 16 years and he appeared for Marvel, playing Colonel Chester Phillips in Captain America: The First Avenger, a slightly more commendable role.


Laurence Fishburne – The Matrix cool guy cameoed in Man of Steel and Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, playing Daily Planet editor Perry White. In 2007 he voiced the Silver Surfer in Marvel’s Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.


Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje – Spare a thought for Adewale who must have spent hours in makeup for both DC and Marvel roles. He featured in last year’s Suicide Squad as Killer Croc, so you can be forgiven for not recognising him in that. He also featured in Thor: The Dark World, playing Algrim/Kurse – again, caked in makeup and costume.


Josh Brolin & Michael Fassbender – DC’s Jonah Hex was one of Hollywood’s glorious failures, financially and critically despite an impressive cast. Many of whom have gone on to much better things and these two in particular. Fassbender of course has had a couple of outings in the X-Men series as a younger Magneto in First Class and Days of Future Past. We may have only seen Brolin portraying Thanos briefly in Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers: Age of Ultron but expect a larger role as the large headed villain in next year’s Avengers: Infinity War.


James Marsden – One of Hollywood’s underrated sons, probably best known for playing Cyclops in the X-Men series before being killed off in The Last Stand. Like Berry, he jumped over to the DC world, featuring in 2006’s Superman Returns, reteaming with X-Men director Bryan Singer who made a similar leap.


J.K Simmons – One of Simmons’ most loved characters is J. Jonah Jameson, the quippy news editor of the Daily Bugel in Marvel’s Spiderman of the noughties. Since then he has starred in the likes of Whiplash and Patriots Day, the latter of which portraying a glorious moustache. He will star as Commissioner Gordon in Justice League later this year probably thanks to his fantastic facial hair.


Willem Dafoe – Dafoe featured alongside Simmons in Spiderman, playing the terrifying Green Goblin. He’ll be seen playing Nuidis Vulko in this year’s Justice League as well as the stand-alone Aquaman production in 2018.


Michael Keaton – Despite doubts over the casting, Keaton did a good job of playing Bruce Wayne and his caped alter ego in Tim Burton’s Batman in 1989. He re-entered the superhero world in the alternative Oscar-winning Birdman a couple of years ago, but later this year he will be starring in Marvel’s Spider-Man: Homecoming fittingly playing the villainous Vulture.


Ant-Man – Review


The production of AntMan was less than straight-forward following the loss of British director Edgar Wright. The man behind Shaun of the Dead abandoned the project in May 2014 due to “creative differences” with Marvel, and that left the movie in a difficult position.

Leading man Paul Rudd and Anchorman director Adam McKay took on the rewrite, while Peyton Reed (Yes Man) stepped into the director’s seat. As a result, there is a general feeling of what might have been throughout the finished product.

Rudd stars as ex-con Scott Lang, fresh out of prison for anti-corporate crimes and as a result, struggling to find work as well as a way to reconnect with his daughter who he rarely is allowed to see.

After breaking into the home of former tech-head Dr Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), Scott steals a hidden suit that he discovers can shrink him down to the size of an ant (believe it or not).

Upon his discovery, Lang is approached by Dr Pym and offered the role of Ant-Man in order to stop villainous Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) from stealing the doctor’s formula and weaponising it.

Casting is all-important in these films and Rudd’s comedic comforts tie in well with the superhero role. We saw the same with Chris Pratt in Guardians of the Galaxy in a film that didn’t take itself too seriously and flourished as a result. Ant-Man follows a similar trend but not quite to the same extent, which is a slight disappointment.

There is plenty of typical Marvel laughs and the action and CGI is very impressive – but again, it’s up for debate whether the final product would have been different under the direction of Wright.