Tag Archives: Chris Hemsworth

Men in Black: International (2019) Movie Review By The Moviie Couple

Men in Black: International Review

Director: F. Gary Gray
Writers: Matt Holloway, Art Marcum
Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Kumail Nanjiani,Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson, Rafe Spall

Moviie Couple here!   We went to see ‪Men In Black‬: International this weekend!  Remember we are just a married couple that loves movies!  We’re here to tell you if we liked it.  Film experts we are not!  Just a quick reminder of our rating system.   Mrs. Moviie Couple and I, rate films on whether they are worth the cash spent on a night out.  we use a 1-6 Dollar Bill system.  1-2 Bills equal a waste of both our time and money!  3-4 Bills equal Meh to Pretty Good, money well spent!  5-6 Bills equal Wow!  Well worth the price of dinner, movie and sitter!  Please take our money again!

‪Men In Black: International continues and builds on the world started in 1997 with the original Men In Black starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones.  MIB:I introduces us into a new recruit to the MIB ranks (The mysterious covert government organisation that protects Earth from any and all threats without the public’s knowledge)  and expands our story to the London Branch of the MIB.  The film stars Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson as the new Agents in the spotlight.  They are joined by Liam Nesson and Emma Thompson as the Agents in Charge.

Rebecca Ferguson (of recent Mission Impossible fame) and Kumail Nanjiani round the cast out as alien enemies and allies met along the way.  MIB:I begins with the story of Molly and how she becomes a member of the MIB (We never spoil here at Moviie Couple) and the facing of an alien threat known only as the Hive.  As Tommy Lee Jones legendary MIB agent once told us all, there ALWAYS is a threat to Earth’s existence going on at any given time.  Our director is F. Gary Gray of Straight Outta Compton and Fate of the Furious success! New characters, Big Stars, action sequences, alien threats and alien comic relief, a space McGuffin!  I believe that covers our mission briefing.  Will Molly earn her shades? Does Chris Hemsworth save the day?  Does he manage to keep his shirt on?  Will Earth survive the newest threat to all life on our planet?  Grab your sunglasses, fire up your neuralyzers, straighten your ties and lets get right into the reviews!‬

So here we go!

Mr. Moviie Couple:  I love Hemsworth from his work in the MCU as Thor and absolutely am a huge fan of Thompson from her portrayal of Bianca in both Creed films.  So I had some high hopes coming in.  Both worked together in Thor Ragnarok, which I didn’t like tone wise overall, but I felt they worked well together in that film.  I also, for the most part, liked the MIB series.  So we have two actors I enjoy very much, a series I enjoy mostly, what could go wrong?  A LOT apparently.  This film fails us on so many levels.  Let me start by saying the first 15 minutes or so, our introduction to Molly (Tessa Thompson) and her entering the world of the MIB was very well done.  It explained a lot left out in the trailer and I was on board early, but everything after her introduction fell off a cinematic cliff.  Also this movie doesn’t just foreshadow, it foreshadows with huge NEON glowing signs everywhere!

Early scenes nearly leap at the viewer or point imaginary arrows at certain things (we never spoil) nearly screaming at the audience “THIS WILL BE IMPORTANT LATER!”  It’s embarrassing.  Every “surprise” or “shock” this film hoped to spring on you can be seen coming as early as the first 10-15 minutes in.  This movie seemed to have a road map to its conclusion almost as soon as the opening sequence was finished.  Hemsworth was his charming, bumbling, self.  Part Bond/Part Maxwell Smart and all Hemsworth.  Tessa was the best part of this film, as she made me believe she was Molly and that she was thoroughly enjoying finally being in the world she searched her whole life to find.  But the funny chemistry that led this franchise to its great success, that of Smith and Jones, is absent from this film.  Molly and H never reach that comradery or team work that even the rookie Smith did with Jones.

Even likeable Molly doesn’t quite earn her heroic moments.   Two major moments for her come, not from her skill or brains, but rather from luck or alien pals. Nanjiani is funny as the alien sidekick Pawny, but not as funny as the script thinks he is.   And in there lies the fault of MIB:I, the script or directing let this film down.  The talent is there (although wasted on the great Ms. Ferguson) , the effort is there, but the execution is lacking.  The sum does not equal the parts.  Such a let down for a once great franchise despite great talent.  I give Men In Black: International a solid 2 Bills! Ughh. What a waste of my money.  I should have caught it on TBS in a few months.

Mrs. Moviie Couple:  She summed her feelings up with one word, Predictable.  Utterly predictable!  She found Chris Hemsorth (usually a favourite of hers from the Super hero films she doesn’t care for) typical and even boring and lifeless.  She even mentioned being somewhat insulted, as a female fan, that the film makers felt a few shirtless shots of Mr.Hemsworth would make her ignore a wooden performance.  She thought Tessa Thompson’s performance was the only highlight, but still felt there was a lack of chemistry between the two leads.  She was confused throughout the film as to whether the point was to build a romance between them or not.  Neither performance leaned in either direction.  Liam Neeson did nothing spectacular for her either and she felt he simply collected an easy paycheck.

She found the “Cute” Pawny (Nanjiani) not cute, funny or likeable.  Even the aliens were generic and typical and added no fun as they did in the previous editions of the franchise.  She stated “The best thing about this movie was the free MIB sunglasses they gave us.”  The Mrs. felt this movie never should have been made.  Her final comment was how she wished ‪Will Smith‬ would show up and Neutralise her so she could forget ever seeing this movie.  “You never saw this movie, it never existed.  Go see Aladdin again”  She would beg for that memory instead.   She would have walked out if she were alone.  There must be some better things on HBO right now!  Mrs. Moviie Couple gives ‪Men In Black‬: International 1 Bill!!! Yikes, she said if our system allowed it she would have went lower!!

On the way home, We bemoaned the experience.  I continued to talk of the world of MIB, how this film didn’t even follow the established rules of preventing public knowledge of aliens and how this film could have been better. She just kept saying it was her most painful movie experience so far.  At least we got a pair of cool MIB sunglasses!  I give it 2 Bills, just a badly executed sequel.  The Mrs. gives it 1 Bill!  She wanted to walk out!  Even Hemsworth and Thompson could save this film, she wished the aliens won!  So we’ll go with an average of 1.5 Wow!  Run from this film, nothing to see here and if you do see something, get Neutralise quickly!

Till next time, Ties tight, glasses on and we’ll see you at the movies!  Be sure to check our facebook page for a clue to our next movie up for review!  Mr. & Mrs. Moviie Couple out!

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Avengers: Infinity War (2018) Blu-Ray Movie Review By D.M. Anderson

Avengers Infinity War

Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Writers: Christopher Markus (screenplay by), Stephen McFeely (screenplay by) 
Stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Benedict Cumberatch, Don Cheadle, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Bradley Cooper, Josh Brolin, Pom Klementieff, Benedict Wong

The dust has settled, the hype has died down, the fanboys have scrutinised every frame and Avengers: Infinity War has already raked in $2 billion worldwide. Now it’s time to take a deep breath, look beyond the spectacle and obligatory fan-service to assess what is still essentially half a movie (though it’s still a lot better than Age of Ultron). 

I’ve always been pretty dubious over the practice of dividing a single story into two or more separate films. I understood Quentin Tarantino’s motives behind Kill Bill Volumes 1 & 2 because they were stylistically different. But two Breaking Dawns, two Mockingjays and three freaking Hobbits were just greedy, cynical cash-grabs calculated to prey on fans whose commitment to their beloved franchises gave them no choice but to open their wallets one more time than necessary.

But after seeing Infinity War twice now (once in theatres with everyone else, the second time for this Blu-ray review), I have to grudgingly concede that the decision to make it two movies might be justified (I’ll reserve a final verdict until next year). As it stands, this film has an unenviable task: Include nearly every major MCU character, work them into the film without regulating anyone to a gratuitous cameo while still moving the new story forward (“new” is relative, though…longtime fans have been aware of this coming war for years). 

For the most part, the film is successful, mainly because Marvel has done a pretty masterful job of laying the groundwork during the past decade of MCU movies. So when Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) engages in verbal chest-thumping with Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the story doesn’t need to spend time establishing their personalities the way a stand-alone film must. Speaking of which, the film’s best moments are when these iconic characters are meeting each other for the first time. Those involving one-or-more of the Guardians of the Galaxy are predictably the funniest, and sometimes surprisingly moving.

The downside, of course, is that anyone not fully up-to-speed with the doings in the MCU will be completely lost. Sure, they could (mostly) follow the story, maybe even a few of the subplots, but will have absolutely no emotional stake in any of these characters. And there’s no other film in the MCU that depends more on the audience’s investment in its characters than Infinity War (especially during the final act).

Even without the burden of character exposition, bringing them all together convincingly takes a considerable amount of time (which Infinity War does by presenting three concurrent subplots). Could the rising action leading to its epic climax have been trimmed-up a bit? Absolutely. Infinity War is occasionally meandering and apocalyptic battles are so standard in this franchise that simply making them longer doesn’t necessarily make them grander. However, the story doesn’t feel gratuitously padded just to squeeze-out two movies. Casual viewers may be impatiently checking their watches after ninety minutes, but it goes without saying that anyone who loves these characters won’t want it to end. 

But end it does, with whopper of a cliffhanger that’s more Empire Strikes Back than An Unexpected Journey. In other words, the story may be incomplete, but not the experience. And if all 18 of the previous entries in the MCU can be considered converging roads leading up to this moment, then perhaps two movies is justified. I guess we’ll all know for sure next year.

Until then, because of its size, scope, references to past events and plethora of Easter eggs, Infinity War makes better repeated viewing at home than the usual superhero film. Nobody but the most dedicated fanboys would be capable of catching everything the first time. On a related note, I’m sort-of surprised at how light this Blu-ray is on supplemental material. The featurettes are entertaining, but mostly promotional and pretty short compared to those included on many other Disney/Marvel releases. 

Thor: Ragnarok (2017) Movie Review By John Walsh

THOR RAGNAROK.png

Director: Taika Waititi
Writers: Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle
Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett

In the midst of the Infinity War hysteria and it’s insane run at the box office, a film I’ve now seen three times incidentally, I thought I’d go back and watch the film that interconnects seamlessly into the latter’s tone setting introduction. I am of course talking about last years Thor: Ragnarok. Taiki Waititi starred in one of the worst superhero movies to ever exist in the Green Lantern, but thankfully, there’s no lasting traces of that abomination here. 

I’ve had something of a love hate relationship with the Thor ‘trilogy’, I’ve put that in inverted commas because I’m not entirely sure that it is actually a trilogy. The first was an excellent introduction, whilst The Dark World was a particular low point for the Asgardian God of Thunder. I knew weeks in advance of Ragnorak’s release that it was a return to form however. First of all, Waititi’s humour is well renown. Hell, I’ve enjoyed it first hand previously with his other films. Secondly, the rave reviews from early screenings confirming he’d gone and blended said humour into an MCU film all but sold it. 

That’s my biggest takeaway from this film. The humour is genuinely laugh out loud funny, the comedic timing is on point and it’s absolutely relentless in its execution throughout. 

A funny comic book film without a badass antagonist or intriguing story would only be half a film though, but Mr. Waititi has that covered too. Hela (Cate Blanchett) is a believable, enjoyable and extremely powerful villain. Being the half-sister of both Thor and Loki, and the Goddess of Death puts you pretty damn high up in the badass, MCU villain list. The fact she dispatches of the Warrior Three and casually grabs Mjolnir early on the proceedings and crushes it likes a child’s toy, only serves to further highlight it. Before Odin (Anthony Hopkins) passes on, he reveals her existence to his sons, explaining that his death will release her from imprisonment and sadly for our two favourites he wasn’t lying. 

The general gist of the plot is Hela returning, banishing Thor in the process, who ends up on Sakaar, where he’s imprisoned and must find a way to escape in order to defeat his sister and prevent the Ragnarök. 

During his little break on Sakaar, Thor is captured by Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), a slave trader working for the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum), who was once a warrior of the Valkyrior. She’s going under an alias and it’s established immediately, despite her early bout of drunkenness, that she’s not to be trifled with. He then meets an old friend in Hulk, though perhaps not in the manner he’d have liked and the pair have a bit of an epic showdown in the gladiatorial setting of the hedonistic Grandmaster’s ‘Contest of Champions’. Thor manages to summon lightning giving him the upper hand, but the fight is rigged and he remains imprisoned in a room with Hulk of all people.

Loki does a Loki. He was sent packing by Hela too, but once again betrays his brother and manages to get on the favourable side of the Grandmaster. This isn’t even the last time he’ll betray Thor in movie, but by god, do I love the guy regardless. 

One thing I absolutely loved about this film was the pacing. There’s never a wasted moment and it’s frenetic. From the battle at the start with Surtur all the way through to the finale. If there’s a point when the action looks like it’s stalling on Sakaar then the perspective flips back to Hela on Asgard with her new pet executioner Skurge (Karl Urban). I’ll show some love to the continuing development of Hulk and Bruce Banner’s story too. I recall it being mentioned that his back story would be fleshed out over three non-Hulk centric films and you can definitely see it in Ragnarok. It’s a mostly Hulk affair although Banner pops does up, but it just adds another layer onto the MCU take of the iconic character. 

Incidentally; Banner, Thor and Valkyrie end up leaving Sakaar after a combination of moral awakening, the usual gamesmanship and a minor gladiator revolution occur and that sets up the showdown with Hela on Asgard. Loki tries to betray his brother again during this and as a result has to seek alternative transportation with Korg (Taiki Waititi) and the other gladiators, but needless to say the finale is fantastic. There’s various different perspectives and battles taking place synchronously, as Marvel fans have long came to expect now. In the end, Ragnarok, the one thing Thor battled to prevent is exactly what is required to finally prevail against Hela. 

Asgard is completely destroyed with presumably Hela too and there’s a short lived happily ever after ending between the two brothers. The end credits scene puts pay to that pretty sharpish.

Until Infinity War, this was by far the best performance I’d seen from Chris Hemsworth as Thor. It had a bit of everything; humour, anguish, arrogance and emotion. It’s been overtaken now, following Infinity War, but I thoroughly enjoyed him in this film. Cate Blanchett was perfectly cast in the role of Hela. She was an incredible and fitting villain. This woman is nearly 50 years old, but certainly doesn’t look it. She was one of my favourite villains to date in the MCU. I loved Mark Ruffalo too. There’s been many a Hulk but he’s my favourite. Hulk had a fair chunk of this film and Mark delivered a brilliant performance as ever.

The other standouts were Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban, Jeff Goldblum and Taiki Waititi. Thompson was actually my second favourite performance behind Hemsworth. Those two had great chemistry and I’m looking forward to potentially seeing the two together in future films. Urban didn’t have a huge amount of screen time, but managed to convey the conflict within Skurge perfectly. Goldblum was a real surprise as the Grandmaster and Waititi was by far the funniest character in the film for me. His line at the end had me in stitches. 

I usually discuss visuals and the score but you know what you’re getting in a MCU film. The visuals are insanely gorgeous and the score does its job. I’ll not elaborate any further on either. 

We Marvel fans have been spoiled rotten over the last ten years with a real litany of consistently brilliant films being released year in, year out. My main question going into seeing this film for the first time last year was whether Taika Waititi could take his unique blend of humour and make it work in this universe and I was delighted to see for myself that he did. It’s the most I’ve laughed in a MCU sense since the first Guardians of the Galaxy came out. It was a real return to form for Thor and had everything I could have wanted. The antogonist was fantastic, the story was enjoyable and it had lots of action. What more could you want?

A highly recommended watch for me. 

Rating: 5/5