samuel l. jackson

On the surface, Captain Marvel, the 21st entry in the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), the first female-led superhero film, and the first MCU film to be directed or co-directed by a woman, seemed to have it all: A newly burnished Oscar winner, Brie Larson, in the title role, a literal tale of superpowered empowerment, a co-lead role for Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, the onetime, future director of S.H.I.EL.D., well-respected co-writing, co-directing indie auteurs, Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck ((Mississippi Grind, Sugar, Half-Nelson), and a hyped connection – and a key, maybe universe-changing role –for the title character to the MCU redefining, Phase 3-ending Avengers: Endgame in just two short months.Showbox app But unfortunately what Captain Marvel doesn’t have is a central character worthy of the title “Marvel,” the obvious fault of a screenplay-by-committee and the heavy hand of uber-producer/Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige.

Captain Marvel’s (Larson) journey – because every superhero origin story gets a personal, character-revealing one – begins with the title character, currently known as “Vers,” awakening on the Kree homeworld, Hala, after a confusing jumble of images, a sign or rather signs of things to come for Carol Danvers, a onetime Air Force pilot mysteriously turned Kree warrior, fighting the supposedly good fight, protecting the Kree homeworld and Kree’s militaristic, authoritarian civilization, from the presumably evil Skrulls, green-skinned, pointy-eared, and scrotal-chinned shapeshifters who’ve waged a millennia-long war against the Kree (and vice versa). Part of the ultra-elite Starforce led by Danvers’ mentor/paternal figure, Yon-Rogg (Jude Law), Vers and her team descend on a desolate, fog-shrouded planet to recover an undercover Kree agent. Almost immediately, the rescue mission goes sideways, leaving a captive Vers in the clutches of the Skrulls and their leader, Talos (Ben Mendelsohn).

Through a combination of logic-defying circumstances, Danvers’ frees herself from the Skrulls before promptly crash-landing on Earth in a Blockbuster Video store, the first sign of roughly 357 that Boden and Fleck will exploit Captain Marvel’s mid-‘90s setting for all of the cringe-inducing nostalgia they can cram into a two-hour prequel to Avengers: Endgame, including the grunge, pagers, and flannel, along with over-familiar ‘90s needle drops to underscore practically every action and non-action scene. Just as quickly, Danvers crosses paths with Fury (a de-aged Jackson, sporting a full head of hair and a complement of two, undamaged eyeballs) and all too briefly, Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg, also de-aged, though far too smooth-faced to hold up under regular scrutiny). After Coulson gets literally left behind, Danvers, still believing herself a Kree warrior, allies herself with Fury to stop the Talos and his Skrulls from doing whatever evil Skrulls will do (i.e., steal tech, conquer the world and/or galaxy).

Sharing screenplay credit with Geneva Robertson-Dworet, Boden and Fleck (several other writers also receive story credit) settled on Danvers’ amnesia as plot device and story engine. The Vers we meet early on isn’t Captain Marvel’s true, authentic self, but an artificial, manufactured persona (manufactured by whom and for what reason spills into spoiler territory), the likely product of six years of gaslighting. Finding her true, best self involves more than training or fighting; it involves recovering her memories and reconnecting with her past, especially Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch), her long-lost best friend and fellow Air Force pilot. The brief, table-setting scenes (literally in one instance) between Danvers and Rambeau give Captain Marvel much-needed emotional heft and depth, but they come in the second hour (i.e., far too late), as does a not unwelcome plot turn that connects the Skrulls and their fates – not to mention their depiction – in a different, more positive light, a light with contemporary political, social, and cultural relevance. The amnesia gimmick, a trite cliché by any definition, leaves Danvers – and by extension a game, but underserved Larson – with the equivalent of wheel spinning before yawn-inducing, ultra-predictable, third-act revelations eventually confirm what we’ve known for the better part of two hours.

While Boden and Fleck fail to dig beneath the surface of Danvers’ personality or psychology – she’s the sum total of what she did and does (pilot, warrior), a montage of men (always men) literally and figuratively knocking her down (a welcome feminist message it should be added), and her ability to emit energy blasts from her fists – they also fail in another, entirely predictable way: They make Captain Marvel far too powerful for the enemies she encounters in her self-titled film. By the time, she alters the colors of her suit from green, black, and silver, to red, blue, and gold, the revelation of a power-set meant to rouse moviegoers from their chairs instead feels perfunctory, an obligatory gesture needed to align Captain Marvel with her predecessors in the MCU. But it feels more like a set-up for Avengers: Endgame and a meeting between Captain Marvel and Thanos that will prove she’s his equal, if not his better. Until then, moviegoers will just have to reconcile themselves with a $150-million placeholder for Avengers: Endgame.

Marvel Studios released the first trailer for Captain Marvel. Fans are hopeful for the movie, in general. Marvel’s first female-led superhero movie will undoubtedly be compared to WB/DC’s Wonder Woman which was a hit with fans. Captain Marvel has a lot to live up to. If the trailer is any indication, Captain Marvel is set to exceed expectations. Aliens, super-suits, and Guardians of the Galaxy references all have fans hyped. But adults nerds are on the lookout for all those sweet, sweet 90s references. Between the promotional photos and the trailer, did you spot all the 90s references?

(more…)

Disney and Pixar‘s Incredibles 2 has exceeded all expectations by not only being the #1 movie upon release but by scoring an estimated $180.2 million on its opening weekend.  Finding Dory previously held the largest opening weekend for an animated film with $135 million.

It also passed Disney’s live action remake of Beauty and the Beast to have the biggest opening of a non PG-13 rated film (it pulled in $174 million).  It is the 47th film to earn an A+ CinemaScore.

The original The Incredibles earned $70.5 million its opening weekend (the original film also has an A+ from Cinema Score).

(more…)

Disney/Pixar

After Disney/Pixar released the original Incredibles in 2004 and pulled in over $633 million at the worldwide box office fans were all anxiously waiting for a sequel. It’s been a long 14 years, but at last, we are getting closer to seeing it… and not much has changed. No real passage of time, just a different role for Mr. Incredible, whose now playing Mr. Mom to a freshly powered baby Jack-Jack while Elastigirl gets to be a worldwide hero thanks to an image-conscious new character (voiced by Bob Odenkirk) who wants to “bring supers back into the sunlight”.

(more…)

After what can charitably be described as “a carreer lull” (and can uncharitably be described as “The Crappening”), M. Night Shyamalan is enjoying an impressive resurgence, with many seeing his recent work, particularly, this year’s Split, as a remarkable return to form. Fans are excited then that his next project, Glass, will combine the universes of two of his most beloved films: Unbreakable and Split. According to reports, the much-anticipated project could start shooting as early as next month. (more…)

It was almost a year ago when Marvel Studios first announced that Academy Award-winning actress Brie Larson would portray the titular Air Force officer turned superheroine in Captain Marvel. The hire represented the final piece of major casting for Marvel’s third phase, so perhaps it’s fitting that when Captain Marvel hits theatres everywhere, Carol Danvers will be joined on screen by a character that’s been around since the very beginning of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Making the rounds at the Hollywood rumour mill this week: Samuel L. Jackson will be joining Larson in her Marvel solo debut.  (more…)

It’s been 17 years since M. Night Shyamalan‘s Unbreakable quietly began building a cult following. The under the radar superhero movie is a classic look at the origins of both the hero and the villain with Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson delivering stellar performances as David Dunn and Elijah Price/Mr. Glass. Shyamalan did it again with James McAvoy in Split which connects with Unbreakable… opps… spoiler warning. You can check out Shyamalan’s twitter announcement below. (more…)

Holy Hellicarrier! It looks like Captain America and Nick Fury will face off over Super Bowl LI. Super-Falcons-Fan Samuel L. Jackson popped champagne last night when the Falcons won the NFC Championship game in a decisive 44 to 21 victory over Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. That means Fury vs Psylocke (Olivia Munn) leads us to Captain America (Chris Evans) vs Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) in Super Bowl LI. Check out the tweets below. (more…)

neiipmopeh5lll_2_b

The second trailer for Kong: Skull Island has hit the Internet and it’s action packed and delivers a big wallop as John Goodman proves that monsters do exist. The cast is slammed packed with fan favorites including Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson, and John C Riley in a role that he seems born to play. If you thought you were done with childhood giant monster movies, you were mistaken. (more…)

enhanced-24650-1447274112-7

Samuel L. Jackson is having none of your Mace Windu is Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ Supreme Leader Snoke fan theories. Jackson has his own theory that Windu wasn’t killed by Palpatine and survived that long fall (and losing his hand) because Anakin had the same things happen to him as well as other Jedi and they lived. Jackson makes a good case and fans would go crazy to see Windu return to the big screen, or to the animated side on Star Wars Rebels. Lucasfilm and Disney should make that happen. Until then, check out Jackson’s Mace Windu thoughts in the video below. (more…)