Tag Archives: jared leto

Movie Review – The Outsider (2018)

Domo arigato, 3.5 Mr. Robotos.

BQB here with a review of the Netflix film, “The Outsider.”

3.5 readers, if it’s one thing that the Yakuza are known for it’s open-ness.  The Japanese mafia really like newcomers who change things up…not.

Jared Leto plays Nick Lowell, an AWOL US GI in 1954.  At the start of our tale, he’s in a Japanese prison.  He performs a favor for one Yakuza member and that favor is returned with a grant of his freedom.  Oddly, the Yakuza boss’ son welcomes Nick as an equal right away and after awhile, he manages to turn various Yakuza members from thinking he’s a dirty foreigner to deciding he’s just one of the guys.

Honestly, it would be a nice tale about tolerance, diversity, and acceptance if so many people weren’t being shot and murdered and so on.

Overall, a good film, very dark, could have used more info on Nick’s backstory and I feel like there should have been more karate but maybe that’s a stereotype on my part.  Do all Yakuza know karate?  Is it more offensive to the Yakuza to say they all know karate or that they all don’t know karate?  Which is it?  I don’t want to offend the Yakuza.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

Advertisements
Tagged , , ,

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.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,
Advertisements