Episode 12 Avengers vs Justice League

Random Angst Podcast Episode 12 is up for your listening enjoyment!! Check out the new episode and let us know what you think!
Join us for Episode 12 as we talk about Salt Lake Comic Con vs San Diego Comic Con and who owns the words Comic Con? We also talk about the upcoming Marvel movie, Avengers Infinity War and who has the last Infinity Stone? We also rehash Justice League and how WB dropped the ball on this movie. Marc and I talk Star Wars Episode 8 The Last Jedi and what our predictions for this movie are, a few days before we actually see the movie. #StarWars #JusticeLeague#SaltLakeComicCon #Avengers

Check out Episode 12 on iTunes, Soundcloud, or on this website!

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Random Angst Podcast Episode 11 – Justice League, The Punisher, and Oathbringer

Our latest podcast, Episode 11, is now live! Check it out on your way to work or while you work – and let us know what you think! We talk about the new Justice League movie and what we thought of it – our likes and dislikes (Spoilers are present).
We talk about Brandon Sanderson’s latest novel – Oathbringer! We are still reading, so it’s a spoiler free review as we discuss our initial thoughts on the story so far.
We also discuss the newest Marvel Netflix series, The Punisher, and how that is capturing our interest despite the negative reviews.
We also go way back to 1984 and talk The Terminator and how with the rumblings of a new Terminator movie, how the franchise is doing and do we really need a new movie?
So give us a listen and let Random Angst know what you think! 

Check out Episode 11 on iTunes, Soundcloud, or on this website!

 

Thor: Ragnarok Review

I have been a Thor movie fan since the first Thor film, I wasn’t one who bashed Thor and how it was a weak entry in the MCU as many others did. I enjoyed the first movie and thought it had the right mix of action, love story, humor, and comic book elements to make it an enjoyable movie. Thor tied in well with the existing MCU at the time and helped with the expansion of the SHIELD storyline which was important in the beginning of the MCU.

I also enjoyed Thor: The Dark World and again, it actually has some implications that moved the whole overarching MCU storyline forward with the introduction of the aether as another Infinity Stone. The cast from the first movie was back together with some new additions and it had a good mix or humor, love, and action.

So bring on Thor 3 – Thor: Ragnarok! Right?!

THOR: RAGNAROK SPOILERS BELOW:

Well, despite the early 98% Rotten Tomatoes score (currently sitting at a 93% critic review and 90% audience reviews) and gushing reviews of “the best comedy movie from Marvel“, “Might leave you ‘Thor’ from laughter“, “The best, silly superhero yet – it is thunderful!“, “Thor is basically a blast!“, blah, blah, blah; I didn’t find Ragnarok as enjoyable as the first two Thor movies. Overall, I enjoyed Ragnarok and felt it had some great moments and introduced some great new characters – Kurg (voiced by the director, Taika Waititi) and Valkyrie, as well as the inclusion of Doctor Strange (however, that was more eye candy than anything), the addition of these great new characters was refreshing to the overall Thor storyline. The new director, Taika Waititi, also brought a new vision to the MCU that is appreciated by Random Angst.

I wasn’t very impressed with the action in Ragnarok, as outside of the Thor/Hulk gladiator sequence, all other action sequences were unimaginative and unmemorable. While the introduction of the long lost sister Hela is a great idea, I felt that she was underused and in the end she has gone the way of most other MCU villians (dead after one movie and therefore, not very powerful – or interesting). The most used and interesting MCU villian (at least up until this movie), Loki, also made an appearance in Ragnarok. However, at what point do we stop calling Loki a villian? Loki is always defeated, Thor (and the audience) knows his tricks well enough to the point that he isn’t a threat, and Thor won’t kill him (even though Loki has threatened and destroyed just as many beings as Malekith the Dark Elf, and Hela, who have both been killed off), and he has become less intimidating with each movie he has appeared in.

It’s interesting that with as many villians as Ragnarok has, I never felt that Thor was in jeopardy. Throughout the film, we are introduced to Surtur, Hela, Grandmaster, Hulk, and Loki all of whom tried to thwart, kill, or destroy Thor during the story. With this many characters trying to take out Thor, one would think that there would be large amounts of tension and conflict. For me, I didn’t get that because of the comedic beats and jokes that were prevalent throughout the movie and I think that this is a big part of the problem that I believe this film has. Again, as with the rest of the MCU, the fate of the world, universe, and our heroes lives are at stake but you wouldn’t know it as everyone is too busy cracking jokes and therefore alleviating any angst or sense of danger that would arise with our heroes being put into these dangerous situations. With a title of Ragnarok, which is the Asgardian apocalypse, I never felt a sense of urgency or that the fate of the world was at stake due to an impending doom. Which is ironic, because as we see at the end of the film Asgard as a world, nation, and people is what’s at stake and in danger of being destroyed. However, the being that allows Asgard to eventually be destroyed isn’t one of these villians – it’s Thor, the protector of Asgard, himself.

While there were a lot of average things about Thor: Ragnarok, something I enjoyed a lot was how this movie has expanded the Thor part of the MCU. I feel that in expanding the character lineup and spending time on other world’s besides Earth or Asgard, that the Thor movies and the MCU as a whole are better off.  Outside of that though, there were a lot of average things about Ragnarok that dragged down the film as a whole. The most common element from the critic reviews was that it was hilarious, lots of laughs, and the funniest MCU movie yet. For me, this movie was average at best – average action, average humor, and an average storyline. I give it a C, a 7 out of 10, or a 3.5 out of 5 – take your pick.

*One thing this movie needed more of? Natalie Portman. It’s interesting how this is the least interesting Thor movie, and it’s the only movie without Jane Foster.

Early Reviews for Thor: Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok seems to have fallen into the typical, all too familiar, and now predictable, Marvel trope of telling non-stop jokes to sell movie tickets. Apparently just like every other Earth-ending, Universe-ending, event that we’ve seen in Marvel movies – the Apocalypse (Ragnarok) is just as hilarious! 
Here’s an excerpt from EW.com review by Chris Nashawaty, where he gives this movie a B, while simultaneously shredding it.
“There’s a lot more to the bloated story, but honestly, none of it is very interesting. In fact, it’s endless. You don’t care what’s happening or what’s going to happen next. We’re just led from place to place for a hash of foggy reasons that no one will ever remember 10 minutes after leaving the theater. But that’s not really the point of this movie. Ragnarok is basically a Joke Delivery System — and on that score, it works.”
“Back in the day, audiences had to wait a few weeks for Mad magazine to skewer the latest self-important Hollywood blockbuster. These days, Marvel sequels arrive as parodies of the earnest, self-respecting entries that launched each character (cf. “Iron Man 2’s” undoing of all that “Iron Man” established). If only that were an indication of the genre’s own impending Ragnarok — a sign that the entire phenomenon is about to implode, only to be reborn as something more worthy of the audience’s time and intelligence.”
   Ouch!
Rotten Tomatoes has it at a score of 98% from the hand chosen critics who’ve seen the movie up to this point in time.
Random Angst will post our review soon after seeing the movie when it is released.

Dr. Strange

“Arrogance and fear still keep you from learning the simplest and most significant lesson of all.” – The Ancient One

“Which is?” – Dr. Strange

“It’s not about you.” – The Ancient One

dr-strange

 

Dr. Strange takes us in a different direction for the Marvel Cinematic Universe than we have been in before, but yet still has the same origin story formula that has been used in prior movies. The difference is that with previous Avenger characters, such as Iron Man, Ant-Man, Hawkeye, Black Widow etc., these mortals become superheroes based on their human abilities, as well as with their technology that they are able to create. Even to some degree, Spider-Man, Captain American, and Hulk, are the result of bio-technology that has been created by other men.

Dr. Strange takes a different route, one that doesn’t involve mortal technology, and is closer to Thor than any of the other Avengers. While using what could be considered magic, Dr. Stephen Strange is able to harness energy and power from other dimensions. The movie does an acceptable job of explaining what this power is and where it comes from. This explanation lends itself to a more pragmatic practice, than a magical practice.

Cinematically, it takes a different route as well, visually I would best describe it as Inception combined with The Matrix. The chase and fight scenes that take place throughout the film are amazing and fun to watch!

As Strange studies and learns more from the magical tomes of The Ancient One, he is able to gain the knowledge needed to use the magic to access other dimensions as well as the astral (spiritual) plane. This area is one that the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) hasn’t covered before. Opening this door allows for a whole new branch of stories. I think that this possiblity of alternate dimensions combined with the storylines of Thor and Guardians of the Galaxy will keep the MCU fresh and provide many opportunities for different types of antagonists for the heroes to battle with.

SPECIFIC SPOILERS FROM HERE ON OUT

As a movie, Dr. Strange hits all the marks that you would expect from a Marvel Universe movie. It was funny, emotional, engaging, action packed, and furthered the overall storyline of the MCU. (Dr. Strange is considered Chapter 2 of Phase 3) I believe the most important reveal in this movie is the revelation of and the inclusion of the last Infinity Stone – the Time Stone, that is embedded in the Eye of Agamoto. This Stone allows for Dr. Strange to manipulate time throughout the film as he faces off against the villains.

So far we have five of the six Infinity Stones that have been revealed: the Space Stone (the Tesseract from Captain America: The First Avenger), the Reality Stone (the Aether from Thor: The Dark World), the Power Stone (the Orb from Guardians of the Galaxy) and the Mind Stone (Loki’s scepter/Vision’s power source from The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron). The one remaining Infinity Stone that is yet to be revealed is the Soul Stone.

These stones are what eventually Thanos uses to attempt a takeover of the Universe, a conflict that is slowly arriving and will be shown in The Avengers: Infinity War. Before then, we’ll see Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 in May 2017, then Spider-Man: Homecoming in July 2017, then Thor: Ragnorak in November 2017. While the Soul Stone will most likely be revealed in one of these movies (probably in Thor: Ragnarok), I’m curious to see how these three movies will play into the overall story.

Dr. Strange adds more great characters to the MCU, and with the mid-credit scene, we see that at the very least, Strange and Thor will be teaming up in the near future. Rumors are out that Strange, Thor, and The Hulk will be featured heavily in Thor: Ragnarok (Thor 3). It’s a small step from there until Strange is featured in the next The Avengers movie.

This Dr. Strange movie is a step in the MCU and while it is great as a standalone movie, this movie is definitely a set up for future Marvel stories. With Strange learning how to use his power and mastering his arrogance, he was then able to defeat Dormammu and become the next Sorcerer Supreme.This story sets him up for future MCU movies as described previously, as well as a sequel, with Mordo being the next villain. In the comics, Mordo, aka Baron Mordo, is a major villain for Dr. Strange. In this film Mordo becomes disenfranchised from the path he was on with Dr. Strange and with the action he took against Pangborn, in the end credits scene, Mordo will definitely be a thorn in Strange’s side for any future stories.

I enjoyed Dr. Strange and felt that it was well directed and was a great origin story for a character not too well known in the general public’s eye. Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Mads Mikkelson, and Chiwetel Ejiofor were great in this movie. Now, Tilda Swinton. She did a great job as The Ancient One, and her performance was well done. It was just weird seeing her as a bald woman. I was constantly distracted by her bald head. Now this is coming from a bald person, so I can relate to the baldness. But some people (man or woman) just have strangely shaped bald heads, and she came across as one of those persons (as far as I know she isn’t bald in real life and it was a makeup job), so maybe my criticism should be against the make up person. I don’t think that it matters if The Ancient One was Asian or not, I applaud the decision to make The Ancient One a female, and like I said, Ms. Swinson was great in the role.

I recommend watching this movie and buying it when it comes out on blu-ray. I hope you enjoy watching it and piecing it in to the overall Marvel Cinematic Universe storyline as much as I did.