Tag Archives: super heroes

Movie Review – Glass (2019)

I’ve got to stop seeing movies in January, 3.5 readers.  I really do.

BQB here with a review of Glass.

It’s funny how things come around full circle.  Nineteen years ago, I saw M. Knight Shyamalan’s Unbreakable and thought it was a ridiculous pile of crap.  Nearly two decades later, the literally waited for by no one sequel is equally crappy.

Hollywood types have got to start asking themselves a key question – just because they CAN make a movie, does it mean they should?  No, I get the free speech argument.  I’m not telling them to not make a shitty movie if that is their desire.  I also get that shit is in the eye of the beholder.  Overall though, I just wonder if there is limited time and money to make a movie, then maybe a movie maker should make a good movie rather than a shitty one.  Worse, maybe take a risk on a movie with a good idea but no history rather than slap together a pile of crap because it has characters who were in the pile of crap years ago and now making endless sequels to everything, no matter how crappy, is the vogue thing to do.

Poor. M. Knight.  I’m really going to take a dump on this movie.  But the twist is that I’m going to pee on it too.

Ironically, 2016’s Split was good…and also a January movie.  I wrote on this fine blog that perhaps it was the start of a Shyamalanassaince.  It was a decent, scary part-horror/part-thriller/part-mystery about a shrink working with the so-called good personalities of a schizophrenic to defeat an incoming monstrous personality.

Top notch, Knight.  Shoulda stopped there.  Take the win. Move on.

Alas, Knight (because I refuse to write Shama…malamalama…whatever…a hundred more times) doubled down.  He decided to pit James McAvoy’s “Split” character against the Bruce Willis character, with evil assistance from the Samuel L. Jackson character, both from Unbreakable.

Though in the ending of Split, it looked like a movie in which Willis’ indestructible vigilante, David Dunn, hunts “The Beast” i.e. the worst of “The Horde” or the collective name for all of McAvoy’s character’s personalities, it turns out to have been a shitty idea.

There’s little hunt to be had.  Instead, Dunn, Horde and Glass find themselves in the same looney bin.  A shrink (Sarah Paulson as Dr. Ellie Staple) arrives on the scene, claiming to be the world’s foremost expert on convincing screwballs to stop believing they are comic book super heroes…because apparently, that’s a real, legit thing that people study…that or no one in Hollywood wants to tell Knight no.

Dr. Staple subjects the trio to all manner of experiments, drilling it into them that their so-called powers are not real but rather, anything extraordinary they have done is just pure coincidence.  The Beast isn’t really strong.  He just managed to push away some jail bars that were rotting.  David isn’t really indestructible.  He has just been really lucky in avoiding death thus far.  And Mr. Glass may be smart, but so are other people, and his gift really just lies in talking chumps into thinking he’s a genius.

There are way too many logical leaps you have to take.  With three highly infamous nutjobs all under one roof, the mental hospital has ridiculously lax security.  Allusions are made to a showdown at a new, state of the art tower but the trio never get past a show down in the nut house parking lot.

Overall, it’s dumb.  Just plain dumb.  It’s cool that Spence Treat Clarke, Dunn’s son from the first film, is back and all grown up as his father’s assistant in vigilante crime fighting.  In fact, the first twenty minutes of the film make it look like a real treat – that Willis is going to track this psycho through the streets of Philly with the help of his son.  Alas, it just gets dumb after that.  Pure dumbness.

STATUS: Not shelf-worthy.  Seeing this and Serenity in the same weekend just makes me weep for Hollywood’s future.  I feel like Knight shot himself in the foot here, because Split was good, but rather than just take the win and think of a whole new idea, he did the old “Let me take a part of a movie that people liked and put it with a part of a movie that people might remember and serve it up like a three bean casserole and hey, it has a bit of recognizability so maybe people will see it.”  Ugh.  Please don’t see it.  Stop encouraging Knight.  I know he’s got talent.  He just has to stop chasing that twist dragon.  He got on it with The Sixth Sense and then he never let it go.  He thinks he’s going to outdo his past twists and he never will.  Knight, really, it’s ok.  You can make a story that does not have a twist.  In fact, a movie from you without a twist?  That would be the greatest twist of all.

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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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Movie Review – Fantastic Four (2015)

So a rubberman, a rock monster, a burning man and an invisible girl walk into a bar…

Bookshelf Q. Battler here with a review at the latest attempt at a Fantastic Four movie.

To paraphrase Ben “The Thing” Grimm:  IT’S SPOILIN’ TIME!

Fantastic Four – Movieclips Trailers

This movie is getting the crap panned out of it by the critics and even director Josh Trank reportedly tweeted (and later deleted), “You’ll probably never get to see my good version,”  assumedly in response to a collective thumbs down from the movie review community.

Rotten Tomatoes, a movie review site that ranks films on a scale of 1-100% gave it 9%.  It barely registered.  Holy crap, that’s like, Gigli territory.

To put it in perspective, if Disney ever puts out a Jar Jar Binks origin story film, it’d probably get at least 15% just for being a completed film.

(I don’t know that to be case exactly.  What do I look like, a Rotten Tomato expert or something?)

Personally?  I don’t get it.

Call me crazy, tell me why I’m wrong, but I didn’t think it was that bad.

It was better than the two mid-2000’s attempts, though that’s not saying much.  This franchise’s big villain/draw has always been the metallic Dr. Doom, and those movies, for some odd reason, were pretty light on the Doom.

A Fab Four movie that’s light on Dr. Doom is the equivalent of making a movie about Superman, except there’s no heroics and it’s just a rom-com about how he wants to tell Lois his secret but is too afraid.

This version makes up for it, with some pretty sweet Doom scenes  in which he, in almost a Darth Vaderian level of bad-ass-itude, started popping heads left and right with his mind.  Toby Kebell plays the baddie in this version.

The franchise went with a younger crew this time around, and I don’t think that hurt it.  In fact, Miles Teller plays Reed Richards and in a summer where every hero is buffer and has more muscles than the next, it was good to see a nerd as the hero for once.

For once?  TRY FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER!

NERDS:  Can a nerd be the hero for once?

SOCIETY:  What?!  You need glasses to see?  Boo!  No!  No super heroics for you!

In this movie’s defense, this franchise isn’t Marvel’s easiest to put on film.  You’ve got Reed aka Mr. Fantastic, who is a freaking rubber man.  While being super stretchy is an interesting power, it does have the potential to backfire and look dumb.  This film avoided that.

Then you’ve got a rock man, an invisible girl, and a man on fire, so all in all, they’re a haphazard collection of heroes with random powers.

(Oddly though, while this group usually gets goofed on by the critics, another comic book group featuring a Nordic god, a man in a robot suit, a green monster and a super patriot are box office gold so go figure.)

Kate Mara and Reg E. Cathey pull off a House of Cards mini-reunion.  Frank Underwood fans know Kate as Zoe Barnes and Reg as Freddy aka the owner of Frank’s favorite barbecue joint.  Here, Reg is the father of Sue (Kate) and Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan).

Sidenote:  Jordan took a lot of heat (pun intended) for playing Johnny/the Human Torch.  The character has usually been white in past films.  But really, who cares?  Spread the super hero roles throughout the races.  If you’re worried about what color a character is in a super hero movie you probably have too much time on your hands.

Meanwhile, Jamie Bell plays Ben Grimm, the team member who has it the hardest (pun intended) because while the other characters can return to normal, he’s stuck being a rock monster.

And in this film, he’s a rock monster with no pants.  He’s got nothing down there in case you were wondering.  Maybe you weren’t.  I don’t know.

This movie is all origin story with a face-off against Doom at the end.  Perhaps it can be criticized on the fact that most of the first half is devoted to the experiment that leads to the team inadvertently catching their powers.

I’m not a fan of super hero origins stories, mostly because we know them front and back already.  I don’t need to see Batman’s parents get shot for the hundredth time.  I don’t need to see Superman’s escape pod land in the Kents’ corn field.  I don’t need to see Peter Parker get bitten by a damn radioactive Spider again.

We all know what happened.  There’s no need to re-tell the whole story again every time the cast changes.  Just jump straight to the action.

However, I can’t begrudge the Fab Four an origin story because they’ve been denied a good one thus far.

I don’t know.  Based on the reviews, I went into it thinking that it would be two hours of The Thing performing a poetry recital while Sue and Johnny use Reed as a jumprope, so I was pleasantly surprised.

If you hated it, I don’t want to start a nerd fight or anything, but what did I miss?  Why is this movie considered so sucky?

It’s not like it was good enough to run out and watch again, but I didn’t feel like I didn’t get my money’s worth either.

STATUS:  Shelf worthy.

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Hoppy Easter

BQB here.

Hoppy Easter!  Bah ha ha…see what I did there?  I switched “happy” with “hoppy” because of the Easter bunny.  I’m so witty.

Alien Jones is taking another Sunday off.  He is fully recovered after being hit by a space bus.  However, today his planet celebrates a holiday that is similar to Easter, except it involves honoring a holy bunny who died for the planet’s sins.  To get the children involved in the holiday, they’re told a bearded human man with sandals will hide baskets and eggs around the house for them if they behave.

He hasn’t forgotten your questions and swears on a stack of space bibles that he’ll return next week.  Until then, enjoy these eggs:

Justice Legg of America

“The Justice Legg of America – Fighting Crime with a Side of Bacon” – via a Creative Commons License by Flickr User JD Hancock

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