Paul McGuire Grimes, creator of Paul’s Trip to the Movies reviews Captain Marvel, now out in theaters. Plus, if your plans are to stay home this weekend he has two suggestions for home releases.
CAPTAIN MARVEL (theatrical release)
In Marvel’s latest film, Captain Marvel, Brie Larson suits up as Vers, a fighter living on the planet Hala who’s harnessing her powers for the Kree community. She’s part of the StarForce unit and crash lands on Planet C53 (Earth) in hopes of finding the Skrulls. They’re shapeshifters bent on finding Dr. Lawson whose secret project involves light speed. Vers’ special powers catch the attention of S.H.I.E.L.D agents Colson and Nick Fury who want to protect her as they see great potential within her. Vers’ time on Earth awakens memories of a life she once had as a fighter pilot named Carol Danvers and the people she’s lost along the way.
-Starring: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Annette Bening, Ben Mendelsohn, Jude Law, Clark Gregg, Gemma Chan
-This is the 21st Marvel movie and the first of three this year, yet this acts like a prequel with its 1990s timeline. You begin to put the pieces together of how Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers leads into the events we know from the first Marvel/Avengers movies in Phase One.
-The ’90s aesthetic allows for that throwback vibe with its use of Blockbuster Video, Radio Shack, and a soundtrack that includes: Nirvana, Hole, Gwen Stefani, TLC, and more
-First Marvel movie with a female lead and the first to be written and directed by women
-Part of the movie suffers from the standard origin story traps of trying to introduce new characters and settings into a world we already know. It’s a bit harder to fully immerse yourself and enjoy it while putting all the pieces together. It has a Top Gun meets Guardians of the Galaxy vibe to it.
-As Captain Marvel, Brie Larson is a great addition to the Marvel family. The character is staunchly independent. There’s grit, spunk, and a little humor to her and no love interest in sight. She pairs well with Samuel L. Jackson’s character as their chemistry carries a lot of the movie.
-With its focus is on building the Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel character, it loses a bit of the grand, epic nature we’ve seen from recent Marvel movies like Black Panther, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Avengers: Infinity War.
-Twists and turns throughout as certain characters are not who they appear to be.
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? Brie Larson packs a punch as one of Marvel’s great new heroes.
RATING: 3.5 out of 5 TICKET STUBS
INSTANT FAMILY (home release)
Pete and Ellie have a great life with a successful business flipping houses. The only thing they feel is missing is having children. They debate if they are too old, but decide that adoption will be the best choice for them after seeing the heartbreaking videos on an adoption website. They meet with a local adoption agency and after meeting with a few foster kids, they decide to adopt fifteen-year-old Lizzie and her younger brother and sister. The first few days seem easy for them approaching parenting with a cheerful and easy attitude. After the honeymoon phase wears off, they realize how hard parenting is and what it can be like to foster kids who come in with their own backgrounds and issues.
-Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne, Octavia Spencer, Tig Notaro, Julie Hagerty, Margo Martindale
-Written/directed by Sean Anders who based it on his own experiences with adoption, which makes the film a little more personal and accurate than other comedies like this. He met with a variety of social workers and foster kids to ensure they got this story right
-Pete and Ellie struggle with wanting a child but figuring out what is right choice for where they’re at in life.
-Accurately depicts the awkward and painful conversations they have with family and friends about adoption. Sean Anders isn’t afraid to showcase the negative attitudes adoptive parents can experience when going through the process.
-Instant Family garners some big laughs as the comedy comes from the different parenting styles and mishaps Pete and Ellie find themselves in. They experience the ups and downs of raising kids that anyone can relate to as well as that feeling of hopelessness that you’re always losing.
-There’s more heart to the movie than screwball comedy hijinks. Anders wants us to try to find humor to get through the hard times.
-I appreciate when Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne appear in comedies as it reminds us of how funny both of them can be in movies. Both are parents in real life, which adds to the personal touch the film has.
– Wholesome movie good for the whole family
INTERVIEWS with the Cast, Writers, Director on my YouTube channel!
CREED II (home release)
It’s been thirty years since Russian athlete Ivan Drago killed Apollo Creed in the ring. In this age of reboots and reunions, Creed II takes a similar approach to Rocky IV by reuniting Creed and Drago in the ring, but this time it’s their next generation of boxers. Boxing promoter Buddy Marcelle sees an opportunity to pit Apollo’s son, Adonis, up against Ivan’s son, Viktor. Despite being the heavyweight champion, Adonis feels the need to prove himself and avenge his father’s death. His wife, mother, and mentor Rocky Balboa are all against his decision. Creed II is a story of fathers and sons, carrying on a family legacy while paving a new and stable path for Adonis and his family.
-Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad, Dolph Lundgren, Florian Munteanu
-Picking up 30 years after Rocky IV, but you don’t really need to see that as there’s enough backstory written into this script. Unlike that movie which is more of a revenge story for Rocky to fight against Ivan, Creed II opens up this story to everyone involved.
-Story of fathers in sons, passing down a family legacy Adonis/Apollo, Viktor/Ivan, and Rocky battling with the notion of reuniting with his son
-The family unit is front and center for Adonis and Bianca to the point of it being about the journey to a new life outside the ring if that’s what’s better for their family unit as we see Bianca’s music career take off
-I love the paternal/mentor relationship between Rocky and Adonis that continues to play out in these movies. We see the ups and downs as they don’t always see eye to eye regarding the match. Rocky’s slowing down and can’t always be there to pick Adonis back up again
-Michael B. Jordan is completely raw and open here. Yes, he certainly gets a beating in the ring and in training but it’s the vulnerable and emotional weight that he easily carries that gives the movie its soul. He’s growing as a husband, father, and the man he wants to be versus the man he thinks he should be.
-Wonderful supporting performances from Tessa Thompson as Adonis’ wife Bianca and Phylicia Rashad as his mother.
-Far better than it should have been given that the story is mimicking Rocky IV to an extent. I didn’t expect to be quite as emotional as I was by the end of Creed II.
-The Creed movies are proving that the Rocky franchise is more than just a simple boxing movie.