Tag Archives: comics

Movie Review – Aquaman (2018)

So many fish, so little time.

BQB here with a review of “Aquaman.”

I’m just going to say it.  This movie is solid.  I think “Wonder Woman” was better.  There were some parts of this movie that were silly and it’s a half hour too long (two and a half in total) but it’s a feast for the eyes, very beautiful with a lot of colors and great action.

In other words, DC/Warner Brothers screwed the pooch by getting the super friends together first in “Batman vs. Superman” and “Justice League.”  Rather, they should have intro’d all the heroes in their own films with an ongoing subplot that ties them all together i.e. the Marvel model.

Oh well.  Perhaps now that the super heroes are doing the solo act, DC/Warner will be able to figure out their piece of the comic book movie pie.

Suffice to say, Aquaman aka Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) is half Atlantian and half human, the product of a lighthouse keeper (Don’t know the actor’s name) getting his fuck on with a runaway Atlantian queen (Nicole Kidman).

Note that this is the second movie in recent years where a human fucks a fish person so Hollywood might be into some pervery behind the scenes but I digress.

The hard task here was to make a likable Aquaman, one who is cool and awesome that you want to root for.  The problem is that Aquaman has always been the joke of the superhero universe.  You scoff but think about it.  Given your choice of superpowers, you’d surely choose flight or indestructibility or invisibility or any host of awesome skills before you’d say, “I want to be able to boss dolphins around.”

But the filmmakers lived up to the challenge here.  Arthur lives among humans, an outcast not welcome in Atlantis, using his abilities to save people and is fresh off of helping the JL save the world from Steppenwolf.

Alas, Arthur’s half-brother, King Orm (Patrick Wilson) (the product of a fish person fucking another fish person and call me old fashioned but that’s the way it should be) is solidifying his power with the other fish kingdoms with the help of another fish person king (Dolph Lundgren doing the most acting he’s ever done in his entire career) and seeks to lead a vast army to the surface world to destroy and conquer.

Ergo, it’s up to members of the Atlantian royalty to commit treason and help Arthur overthrow the king.  Those traitors include Vulko (Willem Dafoe who looks out of place in this movie and literally at any minute you end up wondering if he’s just going to look at the screen and break the fourth wall and say, “How the fuck did I end up playing a fish man in this schlock?  I was in Platoon, for Christ’s sake!”

And of course, there’s love interest, Mera, played by Johnny Depp’s one who got away Amber Heard.  Mmm boy, now there’s some sushi I wouldn’t mind in my take-out box.

Hmm.  That comment was probably inappropriate.  Oh well.  Good thing only 3.5 people read this blog.

Did I mention there’s a kickass fight scene in Italy with Black Manta (Yahya Abdul Mateen II?) I enjoyed the visuals but also the entire time as Aquaman and Manta pummeled each other I wanted to call my travel agent and book a trip to this exotic locale.

There are a few moments where it is absurd but the absurdity comes with a bit of self-awareness.  For example, SPOILER ALERT, Willem Dafoe makes a more skeptical than usual face when the long lost, thought to have been executed queen (Kidman) returns.  Heard shrugs it off and tells him, “It’s a long story.  I’ll tell you later.”

I took that as a wink as if the writers were telling me, a member of the audience, “Yeah, we’re sorry we couldn’t think of a reason why she’s back but aren’t you glad she is?  By the way, keep plunking down your ticket money and we’ll tell you why she’s back when we figure it out.”

Overall, the flick is a good time and a sign that if DC/Warner take their time and worry more about putting out good movies rather than rushing to put their characters together, it will pay off.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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A BQB Kickstarter?

Hey 3.5 readers.

If you’re a young creative person, you really have no idea how good you have it.  I know, every generation tells the next generation that, but it’s true.

In the 1990s, I thought it might be possible to start your own website and share your writing online while bypassing the traditional gatekeepers.  Some early pioneers with HTML coding skills were able to do just that but for the most part, it was too difficult for the average person.

Today, you have blog sites like WordPress where you type and WordPress codes.  You have social media to share your posts with like minded folks via hashtags.

But what about artwork?  Even as far back as the 1990s, the Internet was a very visual medium.  No one wants to read a block of text without some breakup in the monotony.

People used to read physical newspapers and not every article had a photo.  That’s because if you picked up a paper, you came to read.  Meanwhile, on the Internet, you’re trying to get people’s attention.  Flag them down as they pass by and for that you need artwork.

I was really surprised that an artist, based on my descriptions of two of this blog’s characters, Alien Jones and the Yeti, was able to produce this in a short time and frankly, at a reasonable price:

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I normally use shutterstock for most of this blog’s characters, but I was wondering if a kickstarter wouldn’t be in order?  By raising some funds, I could hire artists to draw Uncle Hardass, Vinny Baggadouchio, Professor Nannerpants, Dr. Hugo von Science, etc.

What say you, 3.5 readers?  Generally, I don’t like Kickstarter.  I feel it’s like virtual panhandling and it might be embarrassing to start it and get no support.  However, I think some original artwork could help bring this blog to the next level.

I’ve done as much as I can on the cheap.  The stats have increased every year.  The traffic slowly but surely gets slightly better over time, but that’s comparable to like, wind bringing sand to a beach and every five years the beach gets a quarter of an inch thicker.

Tell me your thoughts, 3.5.  If you’ve done a kickstarter, I’d like to hear your advice.  Is this a viable endeavor?

 

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Daily Discussion with BQB – The Accusations Against Stan Lee

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.

When I was a kid, I made an effort to start an autograph collection.  I wrote to celebrities, usually to like the network they worked on, the company they worked for, and wrote polite little letters asking for an autograph.

I got a lot of form letters back telling me politely to pound sand…but I also got…a photo signed by the one and only Stan Lee. (Not gonna lie, I have debated for years whether he signed it or if it was a photo with the signature already printed on it, but either way, it was a better response than what I’d received from anyone else.

It made me happy because I used to watch the “Spider-Man” cartoon on Saturday mornings, narrated in his cool voice.

Sigh.  Excelsior, true believers.

He’s denied the accusations through his lawyers.  I think I’ll wait and see how the story develops before I say anything.

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Movie Review – Wonder Woman (2017)

Amazon warrior babes!  Evil Germans!  The best female superhero ever!

BQB here with a review of Wonder Woman.

Let me just say it right off the bat, 3.5 readers.  This is a great movie – a really great movie.

It was a high stakes film for DC and Warner Brothers, a make or break film in their quest to create a Justice League franchise that would rival the success of Marvel’s Avengers.

The first attempt, last year’s Batman vs. Superman was an economy sized stink burger with extra poop cheese.  The second attempt, Suicide Squad, was not a critical success, though I liked it personally.

Luckily, WB/DC not only avoided a third strike with Wonder Woman – they knocked it out of the park.

Princess Diana (Gal Gadot) lives an idyllic, peaceful life on a secret island filled with super hot, boner-inducing Amazon warrior babes.  For years, she’s been told a tale by her mother, Queen Hippolyta and aunt, Antiope (Robin Wright) of how men were once kind and noble but alas, their minds were poisoned by Aries, the God of War, to fight one another.

The Amazons found safety on an island paradise but that is disturbed when WWI pilot Steve Trevor crash lands on their territory.  When Steve informs the super hot warrior babes that World War One (or just, the World War at that time) has broken out, Diana is convinced that this is the handiwork of Aries and teams of with Steve to save the day.

Great action, amazing special effects and plenty of humor as Diana adjusts to life in the early 1900s, a time when women were expected to be obedient to men and only speak when spoken to. (Ah, those were the days!  Wait, who said that?  Surely, not me.  Crap.  I’m going to get complaint letters now.)

Gal Gadot was the perfect choice for this role and she can wrap me up in her lasso of truth anytime.  Alas, I just wish I had more interesting stories to tell her.

The story is great, a real blend of history and fiction to come up with something unique on its own.

Frankly, I wish this film had been the start of WB/DC’s foray into Justice League territory. Marvel has been making bank for nearly a decade with a tried and true formula, namely, give each hero their own movie, then put all the heroes into one movie, then give each hero their follow up movies, then do another movie where all the heroes get together and repeat.

Admittedly, DC had a higher mountain to climb.  Batman and Superman are so well known that no one needed another movie where little Bruce Wayne sees his parents get shot or another movie where baby Kal-El crash lands in an Iowa cornfield.

Still, there could have been some standalone films where we are introduced to the latest incarnations of Batman and Superman.  True, we did get that with Man of Steel, but otherwise, Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman were all tossed into a big crap sandwich in the super sucky Batman vs. Superman before we ever got to learn what makes any of them tick.

And really, Wonder Woman was the only part of B vs. S that did not suck the super big one.

This is the first critical success for the Justice League franchise and what I hope will be the beginning of a winning streak.  Unfortunately, from the trailer of this November’s Justice League, I fear the winning streak won’t last long, as characters like Cyborg, Aqua Man and the Flash are all lumped together before we get movies that tell us who these characters are and what they are all about.

At least, no matter what, we can say we know what makes Wonder Woman tick, thanks to this film.

STATUS:  Shelf-worthy.  Best film of the year thus far.  Get off your butts and see it in the theater, 3.5.  You’ll be glad you did.

 

 

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BQB’s Favorite YouTubers – Straight Outta Gotham

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.

I came across this video by a group calling themselves the “Castanet Creative.”  It’s pretty funny, so check it out.

At first glance, it seems like a pretty standard parody by a bunch of buddies who got together to make a YouTube video.

But if you really look at it, it’s clear they were fans of the original Straight Outta Compton video by NWA, so much so that they copy all the scenes.  Batman and Robin chasing the villains through back alleys, Riddler getting slammed down and cuffed, the Joker standing up in a top down sports car, rapping insults at Batman ala Easy E.

Kudos.  These peeps have an eye for detail and that made this video 100% funnier.

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In lighter news…

Captain America: Civil War is on Netflix if you bitches want to check that out.

I’m sorry I called you bitches.  I meant it in a playful manner like “Hey, what’s up, my bitches?”

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Movie Trailer – Spiderman: Homecoming (2017)

Hey 3.5.

BQB here, still posting behind the Yeti’s back.  Shh!  Don’t tell him.

The trailer for Spiderman: Homecoming is out and it looks like the best Spiderman movie in awhile.

The first two Tobey Maguire movies in the early 2000s were great then they hit a wall with the third one.  Emo Spiderman.  Blah.

The most recent two were fine but didn’t really knock my socks off.

Here, it looks like they’ve come up with a great idea, setting Spiderman in the world of the Avengers and making Tony Stark his mentor.  It makes sense.  Tony is a scientist.  Peter is a wannabe scientist.

We don’t need need to see yet another origin story where Peter is bitten by the radioactive spider and he doesn’t stop the robber and the robber shoots Uncle Ben so from then on Spiderman pledges to never let anyone down again and so on.

We’ve got it.

Yet, while we don’t need an origin story, we do need an explanation as to what this current incarnation of a character is all about.  That’s why the latest DC movies have been struggling.

No, we don’t need another movie about young Bruce Wayne seeing his parents getting shot (shot parents/guardians create so many super heroes).

But yes, we could have used a movie to explain what this version of Batman is all about.

If you missed, SPOILER ALERT – in the latest Captain America film, we were given an introduction to Spider Man.  It was good.  It was all we needed.  Now we know what makes this current version of Spidey tick.  Now he can hit the ground running in his own movie without any need for devoting half the film to the spider bite and the Uncle Ben sadness.

What say you, 3.5 readers?

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Movie Trailer -Wonder Woman

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here again with another movie trailer, this time for Wonder Woman.

From the outset, I like it.

It’s got fine ass Amazonian warrior babes which is what I want to see in a Wonder Woman movie, and also at BQB Headquarters at all times.

It looks like effort has been made to produce a story line, which is an improvement over that Batman vs. Superman garbage we were given earlier this year.

I am slightly concerned that maybe they’re just bogarting the Captain America movie – i.e. they’re both superheroes that fought in a war a long time ago and then end up in modern times.

B vs S sucked. I did not think that Suicide Squad sucked though the critics did.

I’ll keep my fingers crossed that Wonder Woman will leave me and the critical world happy.

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What Was Your Favorite Summer 2016 Movie?

Happy Sunday 3.5 readers.

BQB here.  The summer is winding down.

Sigh. I hate it when that happens.

Though we’re only in mid-August, that’s pretty much all she wrote for the summer blockbuster season.

Hollywood has officially spent its load, so to speak.

So which summer movie was your favorite?

For me, I’d have to go with a tie between Captain America: Civil War and Suicide Squad.

As for unexpected surprises, the one movie that got me though I didn’t expect much from it was the Nice Guys. That was very funny.  Bits and pieces of it still leave me scratching my head but overall, good movie.

What say you, 3.5?

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Movie Review – Suicide Squad (2016)

It’s here…and its awesome.

Forget all those shitty reviews. Losers and malcontents, I say!

BQB here with a review of the movie that nerds the world over have been looking forward to – Suicide Squad.

SPOILERS, SPOILERS AND MORE SPOILERS BELOW.

So back in March, Warner Brothers released the smelly ass stink burger that was Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Oh it was so awful. No life having nerds such as myself were infuriated.  What a crap fest.

It led us to believe that the DC Universe was in bad hands.  We started to wonder if Suicide Squad would be just as bad.

The professional reviewers all seem to think so. Personally, I wonder if their still holding onto some of that B v. S. resentment.

I know I am. I cry myself to sleep about it often. “They both have mothers named Martha!  What fabulous writing!”

Boo! It stinks!

I won’t say this movie makes up for Batman vs. Superman, but it was pretty spectacular and one of the best films I’ve seen this summer.

The Setup

In the wake of Batman vs. Superman (which stunk), the government has grown concerned that another all-powerful being might arrive on the scene and not share Superman’s kind demeanor.

Thus, government agent Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) assembles a team of the worst super villains to have ever crossed Batman’s path (all imprisoned at the start of the film.)

The film relies heavily on flashbacks to tell the backstories behind all of the villains.  Flashbacks are always better if used sparingly, though with such a large cast, I can see why it was necessary.

By the end of the film, a dastardly all-powerful being does indeed arrive on the scene and the team of villains, under the control of Col. Rick Flagg (Joel Kinnamon) must save the day.

Harley Quinn

Harley has long been one of DC fans’ most favorite yet under utilized villains.  She got her start in Batman: The Animated Series and ever since, we nerds have long wondered if she’d ever get her big moment on screen.

With an accent that’s a cross between bimbo and New Yorker, female clown Harley dotes on her boyfriend, the Joker, referring to him as  “Puddin'” and “Mr. J.”

Ahh.  A nerd’s dream woman…well, if you ignore the psychotic tendencies.

The trailers made it look like the producers were going to scale Margot Robbie’s portrayal back – opting to go with just a sort of a not so bright female character but the trailers did not do the film justice.

Margot nailed. She’s totally Harley.  She’s got the voice, the demeanor, the twisted personality, she’s got it all down.

She really is the best of this movie.

Batman and the Joker as Bit Players?

The Joker (Jared Leto) had a large role for sure and Jared played it well. He went with a crazy clown mobster as opposed to Heath Ledger’s “I just want to laugh while the world burns” character from The Dark Knight.

Batman (Ben Affleck) only appeared in a few scenes and those were only flashbacks.

I’m not used to seeing a movie where Joker and the Bats aren’t the main attraction. It was surreal.

If anything, Will Smith as expert marksman/contract killer Deadshot carried the film as the team’s unofficial leader.

So Many Characters

Too many characters can potentially ruin a film. You’ve got two hours at best, an audience with a limited attention span and you have to somehow juggle it with the need to make every character interesting.

It can be done. Ironically, Batman vs. Superman only had to make Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman interesting and the peeps behind that flick failed and failed miserably. Damn that movie sucked.

In contrast, the squad in this film is large.  Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), Katana (Karen Fukuhara), Diablo (Jay Hernandez), the Enchantress (Cara Delevingne) are just a few of the many characters I can think of off the top of my head.

Seriously, they’re all great but I don’t have enough time to cover them all. I mean, shit, there’s a guy called Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney).  That’s his power. He throws damn boomerangs.

Each character gets his/her moment in the sun and with a film with a scale this grand that’s all one can really hope for.

Humor/Music

I love a film that can lighten the mood with a good joke and the pairing of classic rock and rap with several scenes left me laughing. It’s hard to explain. You just have to watch it.

PG-13 – Seriously?

I’m surprised this film pulled off a PG-13 rating.

I don’t recall any swears, at least no serious ones. There were no F bombs.  No sex (although there are some sexual references).

Yet, the body count is massive and its a blood and guts fest throughout.  Guns, guns and more guns with someone getting shot every two seconds.

Look, I’m an adult and a nerd so I enjoy a movie like this but…I mean do what you want.  Me personally, I wouldn’t take a kid to see it.

It felt R rated to me.  I’m not complaining, but the PG-13 rating leaves me wondering why a film can be filled with people getting shot every two seconds but as long as it doesn’t have boobs or an F bomb its cool to bring the teens.

OK. I’m done being Mr. Old Complaining Man. But seriously, get off my lawn.

Complaint/Observation

A lot of time is spent in the film on keeping the villains under control. Flagg is their babysitter, making sure they don’t escape.  And as the film progresses, they, dare I say it, the villains grow consciences, grow as people/beings, develop actual concern that if they don’t stop the big bad then no one will and perhaps this is their one shot at redemption for their sins.

That’s great and that’s definitely the way to go to create the optimal crowd pleasing movie. I can’t really knock it.

Still, I wonder if it would have been possible to add more of the “how does a villain carry out a noble mission” angle.  Do villains really care about collateral damage? Do they care about doing it right or just getting it done?  And wouldn’t a villain gladly leave everyone else to croak if they could save themselves?

Eh, many of these questions are explored but overall, suffice it to say, if there’s a sequel, I’d like to see more villainy.  Flagg needs to let them off the leash.

Better Times Ahead for DC Based Movies?

For me, this film was a much needed positive sign in the wake of the turd fest that was Batman vs. Superman. Did I mention it sucked?

I wonder if maybe Warner Brothers took on too much at once.  Like the student that enrolls in too many honors classes at the same time, they turned in a F movie with Batman vs. Superman (oh how it stunk) and an A film with Suicide Squad.

One wonders why they didn’t slow production down a bit and work on putting out one A movie a year.

No, I don’t actually have to wonder. They knew that even a shitty stink fest like Batman vs. Superman would have stacked the cheddar and damn it, they were right. As much as I complain, they got my money.

But remember that old chestnut “penny wise, pound foolish.”  I’ll never rent and/or watch Batman vs. Superman (because it stinks) again for the rest of my life, but I’ll totally rent Suicide Squad again.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy. Worth a trip to the theater. Excuse me while I go think about Harley Quinn while I polish my novelty clown mallet.

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