Greetings from the Odinson,
The Odinson’s 2015 Year in Review Part 3 of 3: The Movies
There were a few movies that got by me this year that I plan to see at some point. Unfortunately, I did not get to see SPECTRE, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay: Part 2, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, The Peanuts Movie, Tomorrowland, or Creed, so I am unable to review them. Plus, Fantastic Four, Goosebumps, and Jem and the Holograms will not be seen by the Odinson anytime soon. No offense, but none of those three look very good or that they did the source material justice.
As for the movies I did see…
The Odinson’s Popcorn Guilty Pleasures
Kingsman: The Secret Service – I had not read the Mark Millar comic yet so I had no expectations going into this film. I have to say, it is the best James Bond film I have seen in decades. All kidding aside, Kingsman is truly a thrilling ride. With an insanely good cast that includes Colin Firth (Pride and Prejudice), Michael Caine (Batman Begins), and Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction) and an over-the-top plot that would do any super hero movie proud, Kingsman is two hours of a good time. Here’s an anecdote, as my son and I were driving to see this film, we were discussing who we would like to see play Dick Grayson in a Nightwing movie. After seeing Kingsman, there is only one actor the Odinson wants to see portray the former Boy Wonder and that’s Taron Egerton, who with his acrobatic and whimsical portrayal of Kingsman’s Eggsy shot right to the top of my list. Odinson Rating: 4 out of 5 Hammers
Furious 7 – The absurdity of this movie is on a whole new level, and it is glorious! Whether it’s two muscle cars crashing head on, Letty taking on and defeating three trained bodyguards one of which is real life MMA fighter Ronda Rousey, or a street fight with sledgehammers between our hero, Dom, and the villain of the piece, Deckard Shaw, as portrayed by Jason Statham, nothing tops the mind-blowing scene of a Lykan HyperSport super car jumping from building to building one-hundred floors above the street below. Throw in the always entertaining Rock and the always magnificent Kurt Russell for good measure and we have a popcorn movie well worth the price of admission. Plus, Paul Walker, who plays Brian O’Conner, passed away before the film’s release and is given a nice heartfelt send off by his Fast and Furious family. Odinson Rating: 4 out of 5 Hammers
Terminator: Genisys – I know a lot of people pan this sequel, but the Odinson is here to say, Genisys is not nearly as bad as some might think. There is plenty of Arnold humor and over-the-top action and sci-fi elements to keep the Odinson glued to the screen. Here’s a Hot Sports Opinion, Genisys is the third best Terminator film in the franchise, a franchise that has not released a bad flick yet. In a world so convoluted with time travel, I just chalk up the changes to the initial story as a divergent timeline running parallel to the original mythology. My biggest complaint about the film is that the OMG twist of the story was spoiled months before in the movie’s trailer. If they could have held onto that nugget until the film’s release, it would have been one of those glorious movie moments like when Haley Joel Osment said he sees dead people or when Vader told Luke that he was his father. Odinson Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 Hammers
The Odinson’s Must See
Avengers: Age of Ultron – For my full review on the capper to Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe check out The Odinson Reviews Avengers: Age of Ultron. There are a few moments, especially in the opening sequence, where the CGI is a little wonky, and I do think the first Avengers movie was better, however, this does not prevent me from enjoying Earth’s Mightiest Heroes punching evil in the face. Still, absolutely my favorite moment is when Thor, Iron Man, and the Vision are all throwing their power at Ultron at the same time. That is the definition of a comic book panel coming to life. It’s the Justice League vs. Starbreaker, it’s the X-Men vs. the Adversary, it’s the DCU vs. the Anti-Monitor, it’s our heroes throwing everything they have at the bad guy and never giving up no matter what. Odinson Rating: 5 out of 5 Hammers
Mad Max: Fury Road – Mad Max started it all, Road Warrior is a true classic and still holds up to this day, and Beyond Thunderdome gave us Thunderdome. Fury Road stands shoulder-to-shoulder with all the films in this franchise and in many ways surpasses them. Even with a plot as simple as they come, the world created by director George Miller is visceral and dangerous and exciting. And, it showed that there is still a place in modern cinema for practical effects and good ole fashion stunt work. As a fan of the originals, I went in hoping for good things, and came out of the theatre thinking I may have just seen the best Mad Max yet. Odinson Rating: 4 out of 5 Hammers
Jurassic World – This film is true popcorn entertainment in all its glory and at its very best. This film is not about a well-crafted, intricate plot, and it’s not about Oscar caliber acting and career-defining acting performances. No, it’s about big, scary dinosaurs running amuck in a Disney World-like setting and eye-popping Special FX that wow the senses and captivate an audience. Chris Pratt is quickly becoming THE guy and the Odinson would be shocked if he is not cast as the new Indiana Jones in future installments for that franchise. Jurassic World is easily the best installment in this franchise since Jurassic Park and this film has one of the best and crowd-pleasing third acts in all the films that came out this year. Odinson Rating: 4 out of 5 Hammers
Ant-Man – I will go on record and say that I have never been a huge fan of Ant-Man. I’ve always liked Hank Pym, easily one of the most interesting characters in comics’ lore, but Ant-Man was always by far his weakest alter-ego for me. I was not overly excited about the prospects of an Ant-Man movie. I am here to say, I was wrong. This movie is absolutely fantastic! The humor, the action, the characters, everything about this film is great. I rank this film shoulder-to-shoulder with Marvel’s best – Iron Man and Captain America: Winter Soldier. Ant-Man is darn near a perfect film. Odinson Rating: 5 out of 5 Hammers
Star Wars: The Force Awakens – When the lights go down, that familiar scroll starts up the screen, and John William’s bombastic theme explodes out of the speakers, the Odinson is a child once more. This is the Star Wars movie we have been waiting thirty years for. The similarities to A New Hope do not bother me one bit because there is so much more going on that those become seasoning on a juicy steak that is cooked to perfection. It is almost scary how much I genuinely like the new generation of Star Wars characters. And, they mix with the original heroes of my youth seamlessly and perfectly. Seeing Han and Chewy on the Millennium Falcon once again is the kind of good nostalgia that does not come around often enough. And, as spoiler-free as I can, the last scene in the film was so powerful for the Odinson that a single tear of joy ran down my face which was fixed with an ear-to-ear rictus grin. Odinson Rating: 5 out of 5 Hammers and a Thunderstrike
As great as 2015 was for films, with a lineup that includes Deadpool, Batman v. Superman, X-Men: Apocalypse, Captain America: Civil War, Yoga Hosers, Ghostbusters, Jungle Book, Star Trek: Beyond, WarCraft, The Magnificent Seven, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, Kung Fu Panda 3, The Angry Birds Movie, Suicide Squad, Doctor Strange, and Star Wars: Rogue One, 2016, believe it or not, has the potential to be even better!
There you have it folks, the Odinson bids adieu to 2015, a roller coaster-like pop culture ride with lows (Batman and Superman comics) and highs (Marvel’s Daredevil on Netflix), and extreme highs (Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the announcement of the return of ROM Spaceknight). Alright, 2016, the bar has been set pretty high. Let’s see what you got.
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell