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Movie Review: Black Widow

Black Widow

After much delay, the highly anticipated Black Widow soon comes to theaters. The film delivers popcorn escapism, the exact sort of adventure and story to allow you to forget the chaos of the current world. It also feels like a well-positioned film to address exactly that too. Taking place after Captain America: Civil War, Natasha Romanoff is on the run and a wanted woman. Scarlett Johansson against slips into the role giving the character a send-off after her fate in Avengers: Endgame. It’s a solo adventure that’s long overdue and more importantly, delivers a worthy successor to fill Black Widow’s role going forward.

The story has Black Widow and her allies dealing with their legacy and the Red Room, the secret program to train and build assassins across the world. The film goes out of its way to mention, or at times how, the abuse of the program. It’s a very dark subject matter for Marvel films that have often dance around the subjects. While it doesn’t fully explore the psychological impact, it does dive a bit deeper into the horrid things Natasha endure growing up, having been mentioned in passing in previous films. Black Widow fills in the gaps and answers so many questions.

Black Widow at its center is about control by the state and those “behind the curtain”. Its villain in Dreykov, played by Ray Winstone, is the powerful man manipulating women and abusing them for his own means. There’s multiple levels it can be taken, the clear abuse of women, but in today’s unease, there’s a nice aspect of the 1% manipulating us all.

The film could easily dwell in its dark subject matter only broken up by action sequences. Instead, the film delivers a lot of humor and a solid recurring discussion about what it means to be family. Black Widow introduces us to Natasha’s sister and her parents from the program, all of whom outshine its star.

While Johansson might get the top-billing, it’s her castmates that stand out.

Florence Pugh has a star-making turn as Yelena Belova. She delivers dry humor that picks apart Natasha’s superhero turn. There’s a brilliance to the film taking all of the “ticks” of how Black Widow has been portrayed and mocks it a bit. Mix it in the fact her role within the Avengers, it delivers a nice punch and laugh along with the action.

Pugh as Belova is Natasha’s partner in crime helping to bring down the Red Room and explore their experiences growing up. She delivers a different take on a similar character with a dry delivery to her lines that gives it all a kick in laughs. She’s the “cold Russian” to Natasha’s “Americanized Russian”. She also has the best lines of the film.

The two are joined in their adventure by Rachel Weisz‘s Melina Vostokoff and David Harbour as Alexei Shostakov/Red Guardian. The two are the Red Room parents to Natasha and Melina giving the film a dysfunctional family dynamic to work through. Harbour especially delivers the laughs in his out-of-shape Red Guardian and Weisz smacks his ego down regularly. The four characters together bring a nice aspect to the film as it explores family. It’s a juxtaposition to the one Natasha has found with the Avengers.

The film emphasizes either the quiet moments or massive action sequences. There is some issues where scenes feel like they pick up just before the actors begin to do their scene but overall, the film delivers spectacle. There’s also a Bond-like quality about the film as Natasha and Yelena must break into and out of locations and escape capture. While I saw the film on my tv with surround sound, it looks great and should be fantastic to experience wherever you choose.

Black Widow is a solid solo outing for the character delivering a little over 2 hours of escape and entertainment.

What the film impressively does is give its star a fun, final performance before exiting the role while setting up the next generation of Marvel Cinematic stars.

Overall Rating: 7.5

Will Black Widow See the Winter Guard?

Black Widow is still a few months away with details limited. There’s a lot of speculation including who will be under Taskmaster’s mask. But, actor David Harbour who plays Red Guardian has let slip we may be seeing the Winter Guard in the film.

The Winter Guard in the comics is Russia’s superhero group and on Instagram, Harbour named a few members of the group in his post. Is it just a tease? Will they make an appearance? Or is it just a mention? We’ll find out on July 9th.

What other surprises are you expecting from the film?

Black Widow is Coming to theaters AND Disney+ on July 9

Black Widow

After a lot of delays, Black Widow will finally be coming to theaters… and Disney+. Marvel Studios has revealed the film will be available through Disney+ through its Premier Access program starting July 9. Generally, Disney+ Premier Access has cost $29.99 and allows you to view the film as often as you’d like while you keep the Disney+ service.

In March 2020, it was announced that Black Widow would be delayed due to COVID. It was set to be released on May 1 2020. It then was pushed to November 6, 2020. It’s the first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe‘s Phase 4.

In Black Widow, Natasha Romanoff confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises. Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Natasha must deal with her history as a spy and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger. The movie is directed by Cate Shortland, produced by Kevin Feige, and stars Scarlett Johansson reprising her role as Natasha Romanoff. Florence Pugh stars as Yelena Belova, David Harbour as Alexei Shostakov aka Red Guardian, and Rachel Weisz as Melina Vostokoff.

Also announced, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has received a new release date, now arriving on September 3, 2021. Simu Liu stars as Shang-Chi, who must confront the past he thought he left behind when he is drawn into the web of the mysterious Ten Rings organization. The film’s cast also includes Tony Leung as Wenwu, Awkwafina as Shang-Chi’s friend Katy, and Michelle Yeoh as Jiang Nan. Additionally, Fala Chen, Meng’er Zhang, Florian Munteanu, and Ronny Chieng appear in the upcoming movie, which is directed by Destin Daniel Cretton.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was to be released on February 12, 2021, and then was pushed to May 7, 2021.

Around the Tubes

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge #2

It’s Memorial Day here at GP HQ but we’re not slowing down with news and our regular coverage. Check out some of the news and reviews from around the web you might have missed in our morning roundup.

Kotaku – “Gaming Disorder” Now A Recognized Illness According To World Health Organization – It’s not as bad as it sounds for gamers. Just playing lots of video games doesn’t mean you have it.

Kotaku – Man Arrested For Allegedly Stealing 80 Copies Of Detective Conan Manga In Japan – He planned on taking lots of notes.

CBR – Hellboy Star David Harbour Says the Reboot Had ‘Major Problems’ – That’d be an understatement.

Reviews

Comic Attack – Miles Morales: Spider-Man #6
Laughing Place –
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge #2

Hellboy Gets a New “Green Band” and “Red Band” Trailer

Hellboy is back, and he’s on fire. From the pages of Mike Mignola‘s seminal work, this action packed story sees the legendary half-demon superhero (David Harbour, “Stranger Things”) called to the English countryside to battle a trio of rampaging giants.

There he discovers The Blood Queen, Nimue (Milla Jovovich, Resident Evil series), a resurrected ancient sorceress thirsting to avenge a past betrayal.Suddenly caught in a clash between the supernatural and the human, Hellboy is now hell-bent on stopping Nimue without triggering the end of the world.

Hellboy also features Ian McShane (John Wick), Daniel Dae Kim (“Hawaii Five-0” and “Lost”), and Sasha Lane (American Honey).

Lionsgate has released two new trailers which you can check out below as well as three brand new posters. Hellboy comes to theaters April 12, 2019.

Green Band

Red Band

Hellboy Reboot Gets a New Poster and It’s Legendary AF

Hellboy is out in theaters April 12, 2019 and the excitement for the rebooted movie franchise based on Mike Mignola‘s comic series is only rising.

A new poster has been released showing David Harbour as the title character. The film also stars Milla Jovovich as Nimue the Blood Queen, Ian McShane as Professor Bruttenholm, Sasha Lane as Alice Monaghan, and Daniel Dae Kim as Ben Daimio.

A New Hellboy Movie is in the Works

Hellboy creator Mike Mignola has announced that a new Hellboy film is in the works. The film will be a reboot which unfortunately means no Guillermo del Toro and no Ron Perlman.

The film will be R-rated, directed by Neil Marshall (The Descent, Game Of Thrones) and star David Harbour (Stranger Things) as Hellboy.

Stay tuned while more information is announced!

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