Sick Sense Reviews

Sick Sense Reviews -The Marvel Cinematic Universe So Far

MinfinitySo it’s very nearly here, Avengers Infinity War or ‘How To Kill Heroes and Upset People’ as it’s otherwise known opens on 27 April (or 26 April if you’re in the UK – haha).

As I’ve seen all the MCU movies in the cinema (except Ant-Man, sorry tiny dude) I thought I’d provide a run-through before the big purple guy massacres his way through Marvel’s finest next month. Although I will try and highlight any vomit scenes it has been a while since I’ve seen some of the films so apologies in advance if I miss a few.

I will also rank them best to worst in accordance with MY OWN GOD-DAMN OPINION. Ahem. So there you go. No moaning. Let’s just agree to disagree shall we? With some spoilers…..

Starting with the worst.

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The Incredible Hulk (2008)

Otherwise known as one of those movies where Ed Norton phones it in for contractual reasons (apparently he does still care about films, no evidence for this of late though), this was just another in the long list of Hulk misfires. Tim Roth as the bad guy was a nice choice but ultimately a forgettable film. So in fact I’ve forgotten if there’s any vomiting in it but, as someone gets a toxic dose of gamma radiation at some point, it’s highly likely.

Bad Guy Rating: Tim Roth – yay! CGI – boo!

OCD Rating: Minimal

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Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Sorry Cap, I love you but I didn’t love this film. A great bad guy in go-to movie villain Hugo Weaving’s Red Skull, the film nonetheless dragged for quite a large amount of the second half. Also if you’re going to make Bucky Barnes a big part of the MCU it might have been a good idea to give him more of a decent part in this film. So that, say, when he returns as the Winter Soldier you don’t need to do a massive section where you remind the audience who he is and why we should give a shit. NO VOMITING THAT I RECALL. Also Chris Evans is gorgeous regardless of how stupidly you dress him. That is all.

Bad Guy Rating: Perfect!

OCD Rating: Safe!

Iron2

Iron Man 2 (2010)

Ooh this one was disappointing wasn’t it? After the excitement of the first Iron Man movie which kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe in style, this one fell a bit short of expectations. The bad guy isn’t particularly scary (Mickey Rourke with electric whips?) Rhodey is now Don Cheadle rather than Terrence Howard who successfully negotiated his way out of the Marvel Universe (doh) and Black Widow is introduced in horrendously sexist fashion. Even the comedy genius of Sam Rockwell as Stark’s incompetent nemesis Justin Hammer couldn’t quite make this film feel right. More of an Avengers intro than a movie, which might have been the problem.

Vomit-wise Tony does go through a brief alcoholic period and this quite often leads to vomiting scenes. You have been warned.

Bad Guy Rating: Whips are not the stuff of nightmares. Must try harder. 

OCD Rating: Alcohol is involved – be aware!

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Thor: The Dark World (2013)

Sigh. I love Thor, I really do. He’s my favourite Avenger by a long way but this movie was not an impressive outing for the walking, talking L’Oreal advert. Lacking the steady directorial hand of Kenneth Branagh from the first film, this feels a little disjointed. Partly because they reshot to add more Loki (I know, how could that possibly be a bad thing? *drools*) and partly because the plot was just, well, shite. The bad guy (Christopher Eccleston as evil dark elf Malekith) has the most ridiculous Macguffin and Eccleston also seems to be in competition with Anthony Hopkins and Natalie Portman over who hates being in the movie the most. It’s close, but Portman wins.

Bad Guy Rating: Awful, sorry Chris. 

OCD Rating: Safe!

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Ant-Man (2015)

Sorry little guy but I was unimpressed with the adverts for this film so I waited for the DVD. Despite the presence of some quality actors this film just doesn’t grab me like the others. OK, so he can go tiny and wreak havoc, so what? It’s not until the much better Captain America Civil War that we find out what else he can do (which makes him much more entertaining and raises my hopes for Ant-Man and The Wasp). The amusing Thomas the Tank Engine bit remains the highlight of an otherwise uninspiring Marvel outing.

Bad Guy Rating: Great actor (Corey Stoll), not bad.

OCD Rating: Have only seen this once so cannot guarantee safe! Changing sizes may make one nauseous!

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Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

So you thought Iron Man 2 was disappointing? Well you ain’t seen nothing yet! Joss Whedon’s much hyped follow up to the original Avengers movie only drags itself up a few places in my countdown due to some excellently creepy voice-acting by James Spader as Ultron, THAT Hulkbuster scene and the introduction of Paul Bettany’s Vision. The rest of it was just a bit messy and don’t get me started on Hawkeye retiring to be a farmer with his (never-before mentioned) lame ass family. Really? You have an Oscar nominated actor in Jeremy Renner and this is what you do with him? I’m almost hoping that Thanos’ first act of destruction in Avengers Infinity War is to obliterate Hawkeye’s farm and his entire extended family. Gah.

Bad Guy Rating: Excellent. James Spader is all the evil.

OCD Rating: Seen this a few times including at the cinema and I believe there is one vomit incidence during the final Sokovia scenes – it involves a scared person in a car. But that might be Jurassic Park, I’m so confused by Age of Ultron’s plot.

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Iron Man 3 (2013)

Shane Black of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang fame is co-writing and directing Iron Man 3 that’s awesome, we all said. And we were mostly right. The third outing for Iron Man is a great improvement on the second and whether you think this deserves to be higher or lower on my list probably depends on your opinion on the ‘Mandarin twist’. When I first saw this in the cinema I wasn’t too impressed but after several post-cinema viewings I’ve come to love the movie like a little bastard step-child. It’s not amazing, but it’s a more realistic film than some and Tony Stark’s frequent panic attacks certainly resonated with me. The dialogue is snappy and there are multiple laugh out loud moments, which are always appreciated. Superhero movies should be fun (DC, take note). Also Guy Pearce makes an excellent villain, with or without glowy fire-breathing skills.

Bad Guy Rating: Fire-breating awesomeness from Guy Pearce aka that bloke off Neighbours what done good.

OCD Rating: Safe!

GOTG2

Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2 (2017)

The second outing for the weird and wonderful Guardians of the Galaxy comes in lower than I would have wanted and I’m not sure why. There was just something missing from this film that made the first so gloriously bonkers. The same elements are all there, the cast is as superb as ever and the relationship between Peter and his adoptive dad Yondu adds a surprising emotional wallop towards the end. For some reason (probably money) Baby Groot is massively over-used, and several sequences with the tiny tree drag on wayyyy too long. I also remain unconvinced by Ego and his stupid over-complicated evil plan. Yet another Marvel movie which ends with a giant CGI bad guy. Yawn.

Bad Guy Rating: Argh. Giant CGI Baddies are no fun!

OCD Rating: Baby Groot eating M&Ms – you have been warned.

Drs

Doctor Strange (2016)

I’m sure it wasn’t just me who got a tad overexcited when they finally cast Benedict Cumberbatch as the Sorcerer Supreme. Then for some reason they made him do a truly awful American accent (I’m guessing he would have been too Sherlock-y with a British one). The visuals in this movie are stunning and, despite yet another iffy bad guy (sorry Mads, love you as Hannibal though) this was a brave and entertaining introduction to the magic part of the Marvel universe. Oh, and Tilda Swinton is epic. In everything.

Bad Guy Rating: Nice eye makeup, silly motivation. Also devolves into large CGI baddie. 

OCD Warning: Safe! Even if you feel a little nauseous as the scenery twists and turns, the characters all seem fine.

thor

Thor (2011)

I have to admit it, I have never been a fan of Kenneth Branagh (due mainly to his horrendous butchering of various Shakespeare plays) so when I heard he was directing the first Thor movie I was more than a little sceptical. Little did I know that having Branagh at the helm would not only attract Anthony Hopkins to the role of Odin (Thor’s grumpy dad) but he would also introduce us to a little known actor named Tom Hiddleston (a generation of women salute you Mr Branagh). Chris Hemsworth as Thor is genius casting, as is Hiddleston’s as Loki, the two play off each other perfectly and this, along with the fish out of water comedy as Thor gets banished to earth, made this a nearly perfect Marvel movie.

Bad Guy Rating: Apart from Loki (drool) we have The Destroyer. Large – check. CGI – check. Scary -….actually hell yeah. Bring it on.

OCD Rating: Safe! 

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Captain America: Civil War (2016)

I think, and I know lots will disagree with me, that this movie was a little disappointing. It’s still a great watch, hence it featuring quite high up in my list, but it feels more of an Avengers 3 than a Captain America 3 and we all know Cap deserves better than that (yes, I’m Team Cap, ok?).

The action sequences are impressively handled and *spoiler* giant Ant-Man is great fun when he appears. Frank Grillo’s Crossbones is dealt a bit of a crap hand though, as is Hawkeye (again) but we do get to see Spider-Man back in the MCU (yay!) and the first appearance for Black Panther (double yay!). So overall better than Cap’s first outing but not as good as his second (see below) and one of the films I will be rewatching before Infinity War.

Bad Guy Rating: Love Daniel Bruhl but the character needs a bit of work to be more menacing. Kudos for not being CGI though.

OCD Rating: Despite the presence of a size-changing Ant-Man I do not recall any vomiting in this movie. Safe!

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Black Panther (2018)

So the most recent and massively successful Marvel movie makes it’s entrance. And what an entrance. Proving once and for all that movies with majority non-white casts can blow the box office away and be enjoyed over and over again by people of all colours all over the world, Black Panther started 2018 with a roar (sorry). The whole cast is exceptional and along with some killer action and a strong message they managed to take superhero movies to a whole other level. Also, in terms of kick-ass women this film was easily the best in Marvel history. I cannot wait for the Blu-Ray.

Bad Guy Rating: Sublime and realistic. One of my favourites. Bravo.

OCD Rating: I believe there to be some sand-vomiting at one point, but I may be mistaken. Be aware.

IM

Iron Man (2008)

Now I’ll admit that I thought that this was the first MCU film. Apparently I was wrong. What it is though, is the first one to get it right. Robert Downey Jr couldn’t be better as Tony Stark, Jeff Bridges menaces convincingly as his nefarious father-figure and even Gwyneth Paltrow manages not to irritate the hell out of me for once as Stark’s love interest – Pepper Potts. The plot is simple but effective – genius billionaire playboy weapons dealer gets blown up by his own weapons, escapes by making a flying suit which can shoot fire then refines said suit then abandons weapons dealing in favour of saving people (mainly from his own weapons but there you go). It’s all so relatable. Love it.

Bad Guy Rating: Jeff Bridges playing someone named Obadiah Stane. Need I say more. Ok there’s a bit of giant CGI shite going on, but we’ll forgive you.

OCD Rating: Safe!

SPM

Spider-Man Homecoming (2017)

Spider-Man’s return to the MCU was much anticipated by fans and this second appearance (after his impressive Civil War début) firmly cemented the web-slinging teen’s place in the Marvel Universe if not in the Avengers (yet). Tom Holland makes for an adorable Peter Parker and I defy anyone not to root for him as he Ferris Buellers his way round New York trying to catch The Vulture (an excellent Michael Keaton continuing his career-long theme of playing flying creatures).

This movie also delivered one of the few cinema-wide jaw drops I’ve witnessed in many many years of film viewing. So MJ might be a tad (a lot) annoying and Robert Downey Jr might have shoehorned his way in a little too much but apart from that this was a fun Spidey movie and thoroughly deserves its high ranking.

Bad Guy Rating: Spot on! The Vulture isn’t a giant CGI monster and he doesn’t want to destroy the city/world/universe, he just wants to steal enough shit to put his kid through college. Who hasn’t been there?

OCD Rating: Safe!

gg1

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 1

If you were going to bet on a group of Marvel characters to create a massive hit movie it probably wouldn’t have been this lot of misfit weirdos, but a hit is what this film became, thanks to a banging soundtrack, some great casting and a confident visionary director.

As the group are thrown together in an attempt to stop blue-meanie bad guy Ronan getting his hands on an infinity stone (ooh, one of them) the laughs come thick and fast, as do the groovy eighties tunes. As a child of the eighties (nearly) I heartily approve.

I can’t really find fault with this first outing for the Guardians, it even has Glenn Close calling someone a prick near the start. How many movies can say that?

Bad Guy Rating: Nasty blue bastard. Liked him alot. 

OCD Rating: No vomiting that I recall. Huzzah!

Thor3

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Marvel does comedy! Well when it hired kooky genius director Taika Waititi to direct Thor’s third outing we suspected this might be the case, but would the gamble pay off? Of course it did, providing us with the best Thor movie by far, loads of belly-laughs, Hulk speaking and the director himself scene-stealing fit to bust as Thor’s new mate Korg. There are so many great moments in this film it seems churlish of me to focus on the one negative, but if you cast an actress with the ability of Cate Blanchett and then give her panto villain lines then I’m going to have to say something. Sorry.

Badly written baddie aside, this was an exceptionally funny and enjoyable film and it’s probably about as close to a solo Hulk movie as this MCU is ever going to get. Thor and Loki get some great scenes together and Jeff Goldblum is, well, I’ve never quite worked out whether he’s genius or just batshit mental. Either way it’s another necessary rewatch before Infinity War kills Loki off once and for all (I’m assuming). Sob. Also bonus points accrued for not having Natalie Portman in this movie and also letting Anthony Hopkins tit around and have some fun for once.

Bad Guy Rating: Bit of a pantomime performance this time, sorry Cate.

OCD Rating: Safe!

Cap2

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

So the first Cap film was next to bottom in my list and the second one is next to top. What changed? Well they gave it a great plot – HYDRA has infiltrated and taken over SHIELD, brought back Bucky (who?) as The Winter Soldier – a brainwashed assassin and drafted in Robert Redford as a bad guy. Add to that some cracking action sequences (the attack on Fury’s car being my personal favourite) and some real stakes for Cap (he loves Bucky, Bucky his friend who died in the first one, remember him) and this very nearly grabbed the top spot in my countdown. Also Black Widow and Cap make a surprisingly effective team – who knew?

Bad Guy Rating: Who’s Bucky again? Just kidding, superb, could do with a touch less eye-liner though.

OCD Rating: Safe!

 

And finishing with the best –

AA

Avengers Assemble (2012)

You need someone to write and direct a movie which brings together Captain America, Black Widow, Thor, Hawkeye, Iron Man and introduces the Hulk. Who you gonna call? Joss Whedon, obviously. I loved this film when I saw it in the cinema with my husband, I loved it when I went to see it again in the cinema with my Mother, she loved it, my son loves it. OK, you get the message, this is a popular movie in my household.

He might have fallen foul of late (Tom Hiddleston JUST a British character actor my arse) but Whedon’s one liners in Avengers are so plentiful its hard to pick out just one. But if I had to ‘he’s adopted’ probably got the biggest laugh. Also bonus points to Whedon for managing to sneak some filthy old-english smut past the censors. Well played sir.

With a city destroying finale (yes, I’m sorry it’s one of those again) and some brilliant Loki action, there was no way this was appearing anywhere but the top of my Marvel count down. Avengers Assemble!

Bad Guy Rating: It’s Loki (plus a load of CGI aliens/worm things) – WE LOVE LOKI! We love him so much we’ll forgive him doing the whole clichéd wanting to take over the world bollocks. 

OCD Rating: Safe!

 

 

Overal MCU OCD Rating: Safe! Thank you Marvel for your surprising lack of vomit-centric scenes over the past 10 years!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sick Sense Reviews

Sick Sense Reviews – Jessica Jones Season 2 (with Spoilers)

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Where: Netflix

Starring: Krysten Ritter, Rachael Taylor, Eka Darville, JR Ramirez, Carrie-Anne Moss, Janet McTeer, Callum Keith Rennie, Rebecca De Mornay (yes, that one), John Ventimiglia, Terry Chen and Hal Ozsan

Vomit Incidence: Episodes 5 & 6, people, avoid episodes 5 & 6!!!

The super-powered anti-social alcoholic private investigator returns in this second season of Jessica Jones delivered in 13 binge-worthy episodes, but it is any good? Does the (spoiler alert) demise of her nemesis Kilgrave (David Tennant) at the end of season one mean that Marvel’s sulkiest superhero has lost her mojo? I’ve watched all thirteen episodes over the course of two weeks and I’m sadly going to have to go with – yeah, kinda.

I enjoyed the first season, I really did. I even (this causes me actual physical pain) loved David Tennant as Jessica’s nemesis – the mind-controlling Kilgrave. The noir style was well done, the characters were engaging and Krysten Ritter was spot-on as Jessica, in short, everything worked really well together. Season two however is the complete opposite. The first six episodes are painfully average and the content could have been covered in one maybe two episodes max. The remaining seven episodes are redeemed only by the relationship between Jessica and Alisa (the superb Janet McTeer) and Krysten Ritter’s performance.

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It’s almost as if they took a look at what made the first season so good then went ‘fuck it, let’s do the complete opposite!’. We don’t need an antagonist for the hero to beat (yeah you do), we can ditch the noir night shoots for most of the episodes (wtf?), we don’t need to have Jessica investigate any actual cases (still do), also everyone wants to see stuck up self-absorbed Trish relapse into drug addiction then get super-powers like she does in the comics (no, we don’t). Gah.

Even the addition of Janet McTeer as Jessica’s re-animated she-hulk mother didn’t provide the much needed spark. Despite a promising start as Alisa jumps about murdering people to protect the creepy-ass doctor who created her (think the Frankenstein plot but not as clever) she’s relegated to the odd comedy aside and a clunky redemption (really, they happened across a replica of the car crash that nearly killed them both, did they? How convenient). There were some really nice moments between mother and daughter, especially towards the end, but it should have been a side plot, alongside some sort of bad guy to defeat.

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Speaking of bad guys, much was made of Kilgrave’s return in this season. In fact he’s only in one episode, and he’s not alive,  just a David Tennant-shaped vision taunting Jessica when she’s under pressure. And it’s not even creepy little shit Kilgrave, which we know Tennant can do well, we get comedy ‘end seasons of Doctor Who’ Kilgrave instead. Some subtlety would have been nice.

I’m aware this has been a bit of a negative rant, but that’s only because Jessica Jones was one of my favourite new Marvel characters when season one came out. She’s like my spirit animal (apart from the drinking – doesn’t go well with vomit-phobia, drinking) and I feel a bit let down after watching these latest 13 episodes. Ritter is still fantastic but she really isn’t given anything exciting to do. If they get a third season (not sure about that myself) here’s hoping they either dredge up a decent bad guy for her to fight or (never thought I’d hear myself say this) bring back David Tennant. The show needs him.

 

Show rating: 4/10 – disppointing lack of coherence and bad guys

NB OCD: 5/10 Trish’s drug habit giving rise to several unpleasant interludes in episodes 5 and 6 and one even commits the heinous act of cutting straight to vomiting WITH NO WARNINGS. Dammit, people. That is NOT ON.

 

 

Sick Sense Reviews

Sick Sense Reviews – Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2

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Director: James Gunn
Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Michael Rooker, Bradley Cooper, Kurt Russell, Karen Gillan and (sort of) Vin Diesel
Vomit incidence: Minor but unnecessary

The Guardians, on the run after Rocket nicks a few batteries from an uppity gold-painted race of narcissists, are thrown a curveball with the appearance of Quill’s father, who just happens to be a living planet. Because of course he is.

Not quite as universally adored as the first Guardians movie, this outing still proved highly entertaining with a surprising emotional punch. Newcomers to the franchise, Pom Klementieff (Mantis), Elizabeth Debicki (Ayesha) and Kurt Russell (Ego, who else?) more than hold their own against the returning cast but for me the stand out performance comes from the ever-fabulous Michael Rooker as Yondu, Quill’s de facto dad. He also gets the best action sequence – that fin/arrow combo is nifty!

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Grumpy blue asshat vs grumpy furry asshat

One of the elements not quite hitting the mark was the soundtrack, a big part of the first film’s success, the awesome mix on volume 2 falls a bit flat. With the exception of ELO’s fabulous Mr Blue Sky over the film’s opening sequence, the other songs didn’t really stand out. I’m a big 80s music fan and I think the selection here let the movie down a little.

Much was made in the lead up to the release (and in the merchandising) of Baby Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel). He is cute as a little wooden button, but a tad overused. One of his scenes in particular seems to go on forever. OK guys, we get it, he’s cute with a temper and some sort of mental impairment. Move on.

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Yes, he’s adorable, we get it.

It also happens to be the aforementioned tree toddler who provides the movie’s main vomit moment. Apparently warping too much makes him airsick. Great. An honourable mention should also go to the long running (and arguably unnecessary/vaguely sexist) Drax joke about how ugly Mantis is. He doesn’t puke but he does gag a lot.

I might sound a bit negative in this review but I really did enjoy the movie, even more so second time around. The casting was impeccable, the emotional element worked well but the first film was so refreshing and fun that the sequel really needed to up the ante a bit more and take a few risks. Kurt Russell turning up in a giant egg just wasn’t enough.

I’m Mary Poppins, y’all!

 

Film Score: 7/10

NB OCD: 3/10 – even Baby Groot’s vomit is almost cute