Captain Marvel

CaptainMarvel

Directed By: Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck
Starring: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Jude Law, Clark Gregg, Gemma Chan, Annette Bening, Djimon Hounsou, Ben Mendelsohn, Lee Pace, Lashana Lynch, et.al.
Rating: PG-13
Grade: B+

When Kree Starforce officer Vers is taken by Skrull operatives and has her memories searched, she is shown events she can’t recall living through. After escaping, she crash lands on Earth, where she meets Agent Nick Fury. Coming to a truce of sorts, Fury agrees to help her get information about Dr. Wendy Lawson, one of the people in the memories that were searched, who was working on an experimental engine that the Skrulls were looking for. As she spends more time on Earth, she eventually learns that her name is actually Captain Carol Danvers, an Air Force pilot who went missing after the experimental craft she was test piloting crashed and killed Dr. Lawson. No longer certain of who she can and can’t trust, Carol joins forces with Fury in an effort to unravel the mystery behind her missing memories and the source of the extraordinary powers she possesses.

Captain Marvel is the 21st movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), and is the first one to center on a female superhero. The introduction of Captain Marvel was long-awaited, and planned as far back as the first Avengers movie in 2012. The movie itself is very good, but falls a little short of amazing. Many fans have been critical of Marvel for ensuring they had a profitable idea before venturing into diversifying their leads, but wait was mostly worth it. It was interesting to see a couple of fan-favorite characters before the “official” start of the MCU, though the CGI de-aging was a bit disconcerting at times. The new characters introduced all fit into the established universe well, and Marvel continues to stock their roster of A-List actors in their movies. The storyline itself is fairly easy to follow, and while the twist near the end may not be jaw-dropping, it’s nice to see that they’re still trying to keep fans on their toes after 10+ years.

The special effects are all very well done, as is the case with nearly every Marvel movie, and the background filler isn’t noticeable.

Fans of the MCU, as well as anyone looking for a movie starring a kick-ass heroine, should enjoy this movie. Since it’s an origin story, you don’t necessarily need to be familiar with the rest of the MCU movies in order to understand what’s going on. Young girls in particular will probably like a movie with a strong female lead, which, while there are more movies with them being made, there’s still a serious lack positive role models and women carrying movies.

Captain Marvel is not currently available free to stream anywhere, but can be rented through Redbox or Netflix home delivery, or purchased at any participating store or on-line retailer.

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Crazy Rich Asians

CrazyRichAsians

Directed By: Jon M. Chu
Starring: Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh, Gemma Chan, Lisa Lu, Awkwafina, Harry Shum, Jr., Ken Jeong, Sonoya Mizuno, Chris Pang, et.al.
Rating: PG-13
Grade: A

When NYU professor Rachel Chu agrees to accompany her boyfriend, Nick Young, to China to attend his best friend’s wedding, and meet Nick’s family in the process, she has no idea what to expect. However, even in her wildest fantasies she couldn’t have imagined that her boyfriend comes from one of the wealthiest and oldest families in China, or that Nick himself is Asia’s most eligible bachelor. Upon arriving, Rachel has to not only contend with Nick’s extremely disapproving mother, but also the scheming socialites who believe that he would be better off with ‘one of his own’. With some help from a friend from college and one of Nick’s outcast cousins, Rachel does her best to outshine the glittering jewels of Singapore high society and show them that wealth doesn’t always equal worth.

I rarely see Romantic Comedies in theaters since they all seem to be better off viewed from the comfort of one’s own couch, but I made an exception for this movie. Crazy Rich Asians is one of the few major movie productions to feature an entirely Chinese cast since 1993’s Joy Luck Club, and its rampant success has since helped make small steps toward more diverse casting choices in Hollywood productions, which is always a good thing. While the storyline itself is rather simple and typical for a RomCom, it really is the cast that makes this movie a standout. From Michelle Yeoh’s understated disapproval, to Awkwafina’s scene-stealing and Gemma Chan’s almost ethereal presence, the actors all work wonderfully together and bring Kevin Kwan’s book to life beautifully.

The few special effects are fairly good, and the background filler isn’t noticeable.

Anyone who can tolerate Romantic Comedies should enjoy this movie, since it doesn’t quite follow the cookie-cutter pattern that plagues most ones made these days. The refreshingly somewhat original story and delightful cast also keep the movie from grating too much on rewatches.

Crazy Rich Asians is currently not available free to stream anywhere at the moment unless you have HBO, but can be rented through Redbox or Netflix home delivery, or purchased at any participating store or on-line retailer.