Greetings from the Odinson,
The Odinson’s 2016 Year in Review Part 2 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 Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Zootopia, The Jungle Book, The Angry Birds Movie, X-Men: Apocalypse, Independence Day: Resurgence, Ghostbusters, Star Trek Beyond, or Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them so I am unable to review them. And, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theatres this weekend so, I’ll have to review that much anticipated chapter in the Star Wars Saga at another time.
As for the movies I did see…
Deadpool – Let me go on record by saying that the Odinson has never been what someone would call a Deadpool fan. To be honest, I’ve never understood the rock star popularity this strange little character has enjoyed for the better part of two decades. However, I do love comics, I am a fan of Ryan Reynolds (even after Green Lantern), and I can appreciate it when Hollywood actually gets an adaptation right. For all the action and laughs this film had, hands down, my favorite parts were any scene featuring the mighty Colossus. Plus, the Ferris Bueller’s Day Off homage after the credits was pure gold. Odinson Rating: 4 out of 5 Hammers
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice – I believe I made my opinions about this film very clear (see The Odinson Reviews Batman v. Superman). If anything, my views on the film have soured even more in the months since I’ve seen it. It is a visually stunning film and that’s pretty much where my praise ends. It’s a shabby story full of characters with questionable motivations and uncharacteristic behaviors. Warner gets two more shots to hook me with the upcoming Wonder Woman and Justice League movies. If they don’t live up to my expectations, the Odinson is closing the door on his viewing of the current DC Cinematic Universe. Odinson Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5 Hammers
Captain America: Civil War – I just watched this film again recently and it is unapologetically amazing! My original assessment of the film has not changed since I first saw it (see The Odinson Reviews Captain America: Civil War). This film and BvS: Dawn of Justice have essentially the same plot. The world’s two greatest heroes are forced into conflict against each other through the diabolical machinations of a master criminal. Civil War just does a better job of execution. As the culmination of Phase I and II of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain America: Civil War sets a standard that will be a hard act to follow. Easily, the best Marvel movie so far. Odinson Rating: 5 out of 5 Hammers and a Thunderstrike
WarCraft – From World of WarCraft to StarCraft to Diablo, Blizzard Entertainment is THE standard bearer when it comes to video game entertainment. This film was bold and ambitious and highly underrated by the American movie goers. Not a flop by any stretch, but most of its money was made in the overseas market. It would have been easy (and probably more profitable) to jump right to meaty narratives like The Burning Crusade or Wrath of the Lich King, but as a fan of the games this film was based on, the Odinson applauds the creators for actually being brave enough to tell this epic story from the very beginning. Now, if Blizzard really wants to blow my hair back and blow the minds of your average movie goer, they need to get that StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty adaptation up and rolling. Odinson Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 Hammers
Suicide Squad – This was another film I felt was highly underrated and not deserving of the jeers it received. Was it the Citizen Kane of comic book movies? No, but it was definitely an entertaining, popcorn film. From the vignettes that introduced the villains to the super hero cameos, to be honest, the structure used in this movie was the closest thing to a live action comic book we have seen on the Big Screen yet. Could it have been better? Yes, but for a film that starred B and C-List characters, it sure was fun. Shoot, the film gets the Odinson endorsement just for the fact that I got to see Deadshot in a live action movie. Odinson Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 Hammers
Batman: The Killing Joke – The Good: The last 30-40 minutes of this animated feature, the part that actually adapts the graphic novel, was great. Mark Hamill’s voice acting, especially the transformation of the sad sack comedian into the maniacal Joker, was amazing, and hearing Kevin Conroy as Batman demand SWEAR TO ME was bone-chilling. The Bad: What in the world was up with that 28 minute intro where Batman and Batgirl become very intimate and then she’s salty because he doesn’t call the next day? Plus, there’s some gangster that wants her too? It was just weird for a Batman story. The Ugly: There’s a weird subplot involving the Joker’s habits and hookers. When it comes to Batman and Batgirl, there’s a definite ick factor and the cliché college student hooking up with her teacher aspect. Writer Brian Azzarello can try to explain it all he wants, but I don’t think I’ll ever watch it again. It’s a little too adult for my Batman. Especially for an animated movie featuring the voices from the animated series. It earns its R rating. Odinson Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5 Hammers
Yoga Hosers – This delightful horror comedy is a throw back to the video store heyday of the 1980s when movies like Gremlins, Ghoulies, Critters, and Puppet Master were perennial rentals. Is it the best offering writer/director Kevin Smith has ever provided his fans? Not even close, but the viewer can tell that the cast and crew had a blast making the film and fans will have fun watching it. It’s a horror movie for the family. Odinson Rating: 3 out of 5 Hammers
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows – This was a good time at the movies. Funny, action packed, and fun, this installment in the franchise is the best offering since 2007’s animated TMNT and 1990’s original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie. It even made me forget for a moment that Raphael is like seven feet tall for some reason. Odinson Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 Hammers
The Legend of Tarzan – This was a pretty straight forward action piece. Again, I applaud the filmmakers for not bogging down with an origin story that has been told to death for over a century. Tarzan and Jane’s past is told in nice short flashbacks that don’t derail the current tale. For all the fun though, there just seemed to be something missing. It just seemed like the film didn’t have that one over the top moment that would move it from good to great, and that’s saying something about a film where a heard of jungle animals almost stampedes a small town into the dirt. Even the people making the film seem to realize this as the villain of the movie upon hearing Tarzan’s iconic yell quips, “I expected more.” Odinson Rating: 3 out of 5 Hammers
Doctor Strange – The magic Marvel brings to the Big Screen cannot be overstated. They have taken C-List characters like Scott Lang’s Ant-Man and the Guardians of the Galaxy and made them into utterly fantastic movies. Though I have always found the Sorcerer Supreme to be a visually stunning character, I have never been the biggest fan of his. That’s not to say that I don’t like the character because I do, it’s just he’s never been at the top of my reading stack. This film has so many eye-popping visuals in it that look as if they were pulled right out of the comic books they are based on. This movie is amazing! The way it unfolds, the humor, the action, the magic of it all, it reminded of when I was a kid and my parents would take me to see Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. It just has that kind of fun about it. Odinson Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5 Hammers
As great as 2016 was for films, with a lineup that includes John Wick: Chapter 2, The LEGO Batman Movie, Logan, T2: Trainspotting, Kong: Skull Island, Beauty and the Beast, Power Rangers, Ghost in the Shell, Smurfs: The Lost Village, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Alien: Covenant, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Wonder Woman, Transformers: The Last Knight, Spider-Man: Homecoming, War for the Planet of the Apes, It, The LEGO Ninjago Movie, Blade Runner 2049, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, My Little Pony: The Movie, Thor: Ragnarok, Justice League, The Six Billion Dollar Man, and Star Wars: Episode VIII, 2017, believe it or not, has the potential to be even better!
Tune in next week when the Odinson finishes up his 2016 year in review with a look at the TV shows that kept him tuning in.
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell