Archive for the ‘Movie Reviews’ Category

So I saw Jurassic World.  As some of you might know, I was cautiously optimistic about it (leaning a bit on the side of negativity).  But I saw it last night and unfortunately couldn’t post sooner due to a day job.  I really, really wanted to write last night because I had such strong emotions following Jurassic World.  The premise of the movie is something everyone knows by now it seems: A working, 21st century version of Jurassic Park is made by Simon Masrani, who bought out InGen from Hammond.

As always, a little story for you first.

Jurassic Park and I have a love-hate relationship.  The fandom can be a bit dramatic, and I’ve truly met some less-than-desirable people while navigating my way through it writing this blog.  If there was one thing I wish for this fandom it would be that everyone shuts the fuck up and gets along.  We have something new, don’t ruin it with unneeded drama.  We have waited for 14 years for this movie.

That ultimately brings me to my next point, here.

How did I even get into this Jurassic Park thing to begin with?

Well, it wasn’t some epically major introduction.  I had been a huge dinosaur nerd while I was a kid (I still have a whole bin full of dinosaur toys I refuse to get rid of much to my parent’s dismay).  My dad was watching it in the living room, and I happened to walk in on the part when Dr. Grant and Ellie Sattler first see the Brachiosaurus for the first time.  I stopped for a minute, and was completely taken aback.  I wish I could make it up that I walked in on that moment, but I actually really did.  So I had a JP Chasmosaurus toy someone gave me, and I always looked at the symbol on the leg wondering what it meant (the J and P together).  It was the only JP toy I had and the only original one I owned.  Finally a few years after wondering what it was, I noticed it in the movie my dad was watching.  I had seen The Lost World and hadn’t realized that movie and the movie my dad watched were related.  Then I saw that it was Jurassic Park.

Dinosaurs in particular got me through some rough times.  During one hard time, I was waiting for someone to arrive and I knew it wouldn’t be fun.  Before they came, I watched a documentary about T. rex.  I always had dinosaur toys, I was teased in school because I liked dinosaurs.  I had no friends in school, and still, I had dinosaur toys.  That’s part of why I liked Jurassic Park.  Dinosaurs led me to Jurassic Park.  The old scaly raptors, the big, lumbering T. rex… they led me to it.

At first I wasn’t a huge JP fan, but it grew on me, mostly because of how prominent T. rex is.

A lot.

So when JW happened, I was skeptical if it should be brought back at all.

It didn’t disappoint.

Spoilers here on out.

From the opening, the link between dinosaurs and birds is made with a crow.  We are linked with the past of dinosaurs through Gray’s little toy thingy that flipped through the drawings and pictures of dinosaurs back when they were thought to be big lumbering dumb beasts.  This scene I loved.  It set just such a great tone and gave a nod to science – something so many people decided to bitch about (by the way, if you want astronomy information, you don’t watch Star Wars).  Then later on with Dr. Wu admitting they may look very different if they were pure dinosaur genetics was another nod to science.  As a self-proclaimed weather nerd, geologist/earth science junkie, dino lover, and psychology person (so many thoughts right now on that) I enjoyed the nods to science.  It was just enough to be recognizable, as there was no reason to get carried away and begin proclaiming science as if it was a GEO 225 course.  Because it’s not.  It’s Hollywood, and it’s a movie, and it worries about artistic message and articulation – not if the T. rex head is slightly bulkier than the real one.  Obviously some research is always good, as well as some explanation in some cases, but not everything can be as it is in the real world.  Because if Hollywood was the real world, most of this wouldn’t be known or be a thing.

We continue on through the movie, seeing bits and pieces of the park.  I will say the beginning felt rushed, as if the directors and writers knew we were expecting a failing park.  But – The park is gorgeous, really – any JP fan was probably overwhelmed by it completely.  The park really seems to embody what Hammond wanted.  There was a lot of turmoil about the fact it’s a new park – and I’m sure there’s still people around who insist it was a bad idea.  But, mind you, the original Jurassic Park happened twenty years ago.  The original book happened even farther away.  Do you really think many people remember the novel and original movie in great detail?  Maybe the movie.  Maybe.  But not The Lost World or even Jurassic Park 3.  They don’t.  Casual fans and general audience don’t remember what Jurassic Park even is.  When I mentioned it to a friend a year or two ago, it was referred to as the movie where dinosaurs eat people.

He learned this the hard way.

So while your idea for a movie about how DX overtakes Isla Sorna (wait, there’s two islands?) and a whole team of researchers need to be assembled by Dr. Wu (wait, he was in the first one?) and like Ludlow’s half brother (who the fuck is Ludlow?) to find stuff on Isla Nublar to cure Isla Sorna and the Costa Rican government and blah blah blah… nobody would care.  People don’t know about DX, people don’t realize there’s two islands, and people don’t realize everything the super-fans do in general.  Which is part of the only reason I was cautiously optimistic at all about the new park plot – I knew if we gunned for some elaborate plot, the general audience wouldn’t know what it was.  Critics would maybe, but you can’t please everyone.  Ultimately, critics aren’t going to make it rake in 100 million on opening weekend.  The general audience, and making dinosaurs cool again (and in the 21st century) will.  I liked that the film nodded to the original JP many, many times, without making it too much.  i liked the old Jeeps (even if I think it’s ridiculous they found an old battery and managed to start it – I considered it unrealistic).  I liked seeing the Visitor’s Center ruins.  It reminded the viewers why they were there, even as the film struggled to explain to us why it was important.

So the new park is fully operational, and Claire, the person in control of the park, knows she must keep interest in the park for it to be successful.  Claire and Wu go on to make the Indominus Rex, a hybrid creature of raptor, cuttlefish, and T. rex.  She needs to ensure the safety of the visitors while preparing Indominus, so Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) is called on to inspect the walls.  Claire is initially painted as stiff.  Originally, I thought, oh great, another bitch woman to fulfill stereotype.  Then I realized something.

While conversating with Owen about Indominus, it’s made apparent she knows a thing or two about these animals.  She knows Indominus ate her sibling.  She knows how Indominus acts – saying things like she’ll come out.  She knows how dangerous Indominus is.  But yet we are constantly calling Claire stiff.

Claire is not stiff.  And that moment, when she was talking about the Indominus, did I realize that.  Claire is a woman in a man’s world (seriously, they’re all men except Zara).  She has a position to maintain.  She has a job to keep, which someone may say a man could do just as good if not better than her.  She needs to play her cards correctly.  Perhaps the reason for her stiffness goes well beyond the so called stereotype – I mean, hell, Masrani flies a helicopter without a license yet on an island full of dinosaurs that could kill him or thousands of others should he crash (kind of like, you know, the Aviary).  She has a right to be concerned with his lax attitude – he’s like a kid in a candy store, all while housing extinct creatures that could escape or kill anyone at any moment should something go wrong.  Claire, in my eyes, doesn’t underestimate the creatures she has on the island – she simply tries to keep up with Masrani.  Masrani seems super relaxed about his creatures and his occupants.  Even when Owen suggests to kill the I. rex to save lives, the person who objects is MASRANI – not Claire.  He states it costs millions of dollars to make the I. rex, hence not wanting to kill it.  Claire freaks out when the Indominus escapes, clearly worrying about the park and the people on it – she’s torn.  Owen has nothing on the line.  He could leave Isla Nublar, maybe go to college courtesy of the Navy, find a nice IT job.  No.  Claire has something on the line, she knows her boss does not want the island evacuated.  She knows her boss doesn’t want Indominus to be killed.  In the corporate world, it doesn’t take much to be fired.  All it takes is a little disagreement or a little disobedience.  Should she show she cares about the creatures that much, it could come off as being anti-profit or anti-guest.  Even when Masrani asks her if the dinosaurs are happy: how can she know if she’s in a huge security office every day, running the park, gathering sponsors, and trying to make money?

And she may just not like children, or be too fucking busy to deal with it.  Corporations void people of their humanity, their feelings.  Claire is a victim of it.  That’s why it takes a dead Apatosaurus for her to realize they’re living creatures.

Claire is the brains of Jurassic World.  Not Masrani.  And perhaps, she’s just too busy.

That leads me to my next point: The acting.

Other than some cheesy lines (“What kind of dinosaur they cooked up in that lab”) and some cheesy acting (see Beanie Guy in JW pressing the big red button to release the raptors as if he’s just beat someone on Xbox 360) I was pleasantly surprised by the acting.  Chris Pratt did… good.  Bryce Dallas Howard did.. good.  Ty Simpkins was perhaps a bit too over the top at times, and I really hated Nick Robinson staring at women (seriously what even is that shit?).  That was the only bit of acting that truly bothered me.  He could’ve been the grungy kid without staring at women constantly.  Just because it’s frequently done in culture does not mean it is right.  It would’ve also been nice for the kids to recognize how badass Claire was too for shooting a gun and doing everything she has done to save them.  It wasn’t all Owen.  Regardless, they were perhaps a bit cliched, but I could kind of overlook it because Claire took no shit from Owen.

But both characters had their badass moments.  Owen is the raptor trainer.  They were not kidding about it resembling real, wild animals.  I actually really got into it as a person who is into psychology (and dog training).  Owen was using a clicker.  The raptors must’ve been conditioned to think that the clicker means food, and food means they did something good, which you don’t necessarily need to be near the animal to do.  It’s simply conditioning, as is imprinting.  Imprinting actually makes a lot of sense for dinosaurs.  Now, I am not getting into a scientific debate (because this isn’t a fucking science blog thanks), but birds very much utilize imprinting.  It’s the only reason I can buy imprinting being effective.  These animals aren’t like other animals, and I know John Hammond tried to do conditioning via imprinting on the JP animals but we never really saw it in action.  These raptors are not his pets.  Most intelligent animals can be clicker trained – sharks, crocodiles, goldfish, dogs, cats.  Just about anything with a half functioning brain.  I have actually clicker trained (granted, it was a 40 pound dog) but I was very, very excited to see Owen using a clicker. That also brings me to that Vic dude (and some characters being underdeveloped).

The dude has like an OCD obsession with military.  Okay, I get it both he and Owen are former military guys – but it almost felt like too easy of a plot device.  I mean come on, most people with functioning brains can realize that wild raptors – or any animals – don’t generally function well as militarized animals.  Even if he proposed editing their genetic code, I highly doubt Wu would be able to get the exact qualities.  While in the end it was sort of why the Indominus was killed, it also felt like too easy of a plot device.  In addition to that, he really just ignores Claire’s authority after Masrani’s death.  At first, I didn’t see why they needed to kill Masrani, but now I get it.  Masrani needed to die for Claire to show herself – who she truly is.  She is quite obviously concerned for the families in the control room, but Masrani knows the profits will take a hit.  She quite obviously knows a thing or two about the creatures, but Masrani bogs her down with running the entire park herself practically.  She quite obviously could be up tight because of how chill Masrani is.  With Masrani gone, Claire can release herself.  Her boss is dead.  She can take the action she feels she needs to.  She can see the creatures and realize what they are without being in a control room.  She can let loose.  She can show Owen she can kick ass without the risk of being fired.

And she does.

That’s her badass moment.  Don’t lie to yourself.  This movie is about Claire.  Claire is the main character.  Not Owen, not the kids, not Masrani.  Claire.  I hear a lot of bitching about how she’s wearing heels – let me give you a quick lesson in feminism and realism.  Let’s be real, a lot of action movies with kick ass women do have heels on.  While it’s not the most practical footwear, I won’t bitch about it.

Oh.. oh god, are her shoes raised?

Wait.. maybe I’m missing someone.

… More heels ….

…. Seriously, I’ve had it.

The fact is, men do not generally wear heels but they are more than welcome to.  Claire is wearing heels, big whoop guys.  Women wear heels.  They can wear heels because they want to wear heels.  It is not for you.  In an interview with Colin Trevorrow with a news source, Bryce Dallas Howard insisted on wearing the heels for the scene (I can find it later).

Do you know why?

Because women wear heels.  And they can wear heels because they want to wear heels.  We do need to learn how to walk in those things, you know.  I have actually seen women run in them as well… and beat people up while wearing them. Wearing heels can be a part of being a woman (IF YOU WANT IT TO BE).  We don’t want to be men.  We want to be equal to men, and that includes wearing whatever the fuck we want to lure a T. rex out of a paddock.  If it’s unrealistic, please go ahead and erase all of Hollywood.  Drop a nuke on it (or would that be unrealistic?).  But, do not expect a woman to wear heels.  She needs to do it.  And she needs to want to do it.  It is part of our choices as women.  When you wear heels, you’re not the goddamn secretary anymore.  Of course there’s better footwear.  But if Owen led the rex out of the paddock barefoot and in his fucking pajamas, nobody would say shit and you know it.  Don’t lie to yourself.  She is a woman, she is wearing heels because she WANTS to wear heels.  And she is the one who saved the day.

Not Owen.

And if you think she suddenly wants kids now, the director himself more or less said he had no idea where the audience got that from.  You can be a nice person (ahem, woman) and not want kids.  You can be a person who is drowning in your work, and once you get out of that work, you’re nicer.  Maybe even be friendlier to kids.  But it doesn’t mean you want kids. It just means you’re nicer to the kids.  Still, I thought the ending was sexist, and I hated how Owen used cheesy pick up lines on Claire, which was basically workplace sexual harassment.  It did have sexist undertones.  Everyone being shocked at Claire using a gun was sexist.  Her suddenly loving kids, regardless of the reasons involved, was sexist.  Her sounding like an immature kid to Owen while looking for the kids – also sexist.  Something can be unintentionally sexist.

Overall, it was a fun movie, and I loved how such insignificant things too on big roles.  The Mosasaur at the end put the kabash on the I. rex.  The Dilophosaurus hologram bought our characters more time to escape as they slowly reconciled with each other in a non-creepy way (a theme a few noticed).

It was a good way to reintroduce the franchise, and T. rex.  It was apparent the director and writers were trying to do right by the fandom after JP3. While I didn’t want another dino fight, I think this one was the most appropriate.  The Spinosaurus skeleton was smashed, the T. rex once again comes out on top, and they even scare you a little – you fear that Rexy won’t make it.  But she does.  I need to add, I was so happy seeing my original girl back.  The fight scene, perhaps a bit cheesy, was completely overlooked for the most part by Rexy making an appearance.  She just saved it in every sense of the word.

The score was generally very good, especially with the tidbits that related it to the first few movies.  But I had a few complaints on top of what I already said. The CGI, generally, was okay, with some parts that it wasn’t as good.  Rexy in the beginning didn’t look so great but it got better.  In addition, instinct could have been emphasized more in the final battle – it doesn’t matter that, the raptors and T. rex have never seen anything like the I. rex.  Even digging into their instincts they wouldn’t be able to place the smell.  I didn’t like much the raptors communicating with the I. rex and turning on Owen – I think that could have just been done by the utter confusion of the park going to shit and the raptors associating it with Owen.  Or, perhaps, the fight or flight response – when an animal is scared they can redirect aggression.  The raptors, simply, could have redirected the aggression toward Owen in their fear until he is able to calm them down.  I just don’t consider it plausible for them to be able to communicate.  In general, instincts could have been emphasized more in the final battle. That’s the only reason indominus worked as a rampaging dinosaur who is confused. Instinct or lack thereof.

Still, I’ve never been so happy to see a goat.

Ultimately, the movie had it’s problems, but for a franchise on the brink of extinction, this was a hybrid of the past and the future. I can only hope things keep going as they are.

Because this time, the Kirbys aren’t here.

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As you may or may not know, there are certain movies people watch at certain times of the year.  Some people reviewed Christmas movies in particular.  Some people reviewed classics.  I’m going to review a movie that seems to take place just before or around Christmas – and unlike my other reviews, I’m not going to spoil this movie for you.  This isn’t a superhero movie I could presume you’ve seen.  This isn’t some new movie that young people following me have probably seen.  However, I just want you to know it’s set around Christmas time, and I’m going to intertwine some other messages in this review.  I know I said I was doing Big Hero 6, recently, but I’m actually a little all over the place getting back into the groove of this (and Christmas making it worse).  However, it is connected to superhero movies in a truly bizarre way.  You’ll see how.

The actual name of the movie is The Horse Whisperer.  The premise of the movie is – a young girl, living in New York, owns a horse.  She and a friend go out riding, only for her friend’s horse to slip on ice.  As a result, both friends end up tumbling down onto a road, where a truck eventually hits them both (this is all pretty much within the first 5-10 minutes of the movie).  The friend dies, the young girl we’re following lives but with a handicap (watch the movie), and her horse is traumatized.  Traumatized to the point where he has a complete change in personality.

So… why the hell am I reviewing a horse movie?

I used to ride horses.  I’ve stopped now, but I’ll be going back.  To review a movie such as this is really only appropriate.

Oh yeah… the little girl.  Remember how I said it’s somehow related to superhero movies?  Well, Scarlett Johansson is that little girl.  Her name in the movie is Grace.  If you want a taste for 13 year old Johansson, watch the movie.  But, someone else from a recent superhero movie happens to be in this movie:  Robert Redford, complete with the obligatory question about milk (seriously expected Sebastian Stan to show up).  And I have to be honest, Redford wasn’t terribly interesting – I mean, he was, but Johansson really peaked my interest.  Thinking of her then and now, it’s just really strange.  I mean, I have to be honest, she didn’t actually change all that much, but it’s like seeing a retrospective work of an actor.  It’s like taking a look into their past without even realizing it.  Honestly, Johansson wasn’t a household name until now.  She is a kid in this movie, and she works with Redford long before The Winter Soldier was even on the table – or any tables.  It sort of gives you insight into her acting style, long before Lucy, Avengers, The Winter Soldier, or any other big name she is known for.  You get to see a kid Scarlett Johansson act.

And all things considered, she wasn’t much different.

She was amazing as a child actor.  I mean, it’s easy to say that now because she became Black Widow, but she is actually very true to herself in this movie.  She is still snarky, witty, etc.  Sure, she doesn’t kick Redford’s ass in this one, but they do semi-battle it out in parts.  And I have to wonder: what was it like for her to work with him so long after a movie like this?  This was made in 1998.  Redford literally saw her grow up.  Considering he directed the movie, he was the one who probably found her in the first place.  And I can’t help but wonder how weird that must have been on the set of The Winter Soldier.  I can’t help but wonder their feelings toward each other or if there’s any other movies they did together (actually, if you know that, please tell me).  Seeing two actors suddenly take such a different stage, while one of those actors is so different, is just really weird to me.  I don’t know why.  It just is.

And for the JP fans following me: Sam Neill is there, too.  He’s Grace’s dad.  He presents himself in his usual calm, cool style with some outbursts.  Sam Neill is a smooth actor, I’ll never say otherwise.  I find his acting style quite mesmerizing.  Probably because whenever I see him, he comes off as someone with a lot of wisdom even if he doesn’t actually have wisdom in the movie.  Even in this movie, he just comes off as the Good Guy because of being level headed during a certain moment (watch the movie).

But let me continue my short summary: Because the horse is traumatized, and her friend is dead, Grace’s mom stalks down (basically literally) and drives several thousand miles to meet The Horse Whisperer (Redford).

So… I need to review from here with no spoilers.

Redford is not entirely different from his Winter Soldier counterpart, by the way.  He comes off as cocky in the beginning.  Overall, I feel like this movie really gave me an insight into some of these actors.  A real, serious insight.

But from this point on, Redford tries to work with the horse, and I feel as though the plot could’ve focused a little more on the horse in the end.  I mean, Pilgrim (the horse) is completely and utterly why they drove that far.  The resolution with Pilgrim appears to happen awfully quickly.  The movie was criticized a bit by horse people (don’t be offended, I am one of them) because of the training techniques used, but, I mean, you could kind of criticize any movie for anything like that.  Star Wars depicts space inaccurately.  Jurassic Park depicts inaccurate dinosaurs (oh, shut up).  The Dark Knight doesn’t represent real jokers.  I mean, hello?  You seeing a theme here?  Yes.  It’s hollywood.  That is what Hollywood does.  If you criticize hollywood that much, you will have a breakdown at what occurs in Bollywood.  I can see criticizing an actual movie with actual animals more than I can understand criticizing Star Wars for lack of space realism – how many friends and family of yours have gone into space?
Exactly.

Simply put, while I can understand why it was criticized *more than other movies*, everyone in the general public needs to remember it’s a movie.  If you have a horse problem, talk to a horse trainer.  Do not listen to Robert Redford, no matter how legit he may look as a cowboy… because he does look legit.  The main point is, someone might actually try to be Robert Redford (Darwinism at it’s finest), but nobody is going to try to turn the International Space Station into the Death Star.  While I don’t generally approve of constant nitpicking for accuracy within movies (see: “Documentaries”), I can see why a little nitpicking might be necessary here: people are stupid.

Aside from the possibility everyone tries to become Robert Redford, the plot itself got a little slow, because as I said, it felt like it didn’t quite focus on the horse as much as it was in the beginning.  It’s also a little bit muddled in it’s morals and the moral messages it’s trying to get through to you.  I haven’t actually quite figured it out yet.  Is it about loyalty?  Is it about not always getting what you want? Is it about being open minded?  I can’t actually figure it out, and the general consensus is actually that the ending sucks, at least within my household (I can’t disagree that much, but the polar opposite you’d just call “predictable” so they lose either way).  The problem with the ending is that they picked such a likeable person for it to be involved with.  It’s genuinely hard to hate the person that is involved with this ending.  The ending actually leaves you morally split.  To me, it’s almost as if it embodies the choices we need to make without owning a horse. You know, your dream job or a secure life type deal.  Overall, yes, the messages are a little bit muddled, but I definitely took that home.

I also took home a few other things: the power of animals, and how quickly people can change.  It’s no secret animals help people heal.  Therapy dogs.  Animals that visit nursing homes.  Dogs that visit cancer hospitals.  Seeing eye dogs (companionship).  I mean, if nothing else, Grace has her horse.  After the accident she is somehow disabled, and bullied for it.  You don’t need to own a horse to be disabled or be bullied.  You don’t need to own a horse to have family tension or a mom who works a lot.  If the messages were a bit more clear, I would say this movie isn’t about a horse at all – but it teeters between a horse movie and a moral movie with a horse in it.  It doesn’t fit either clear cut category.  At times it gets corny, as well.  It sort of speaks to people who watch it through one situation or another. It doesn’t really matter if you have a horse or not – you’ll relate to some situation in this movie.  The morals might be a bit muddled, but the fact is, everyone has something they’re grappling with.  The power of animals completely changes one person.  The characters are fairly developed, certainly, but follow stereotype.  Redford seems cold and distant (and underdeveloped), and the chemistry just isn’t there between he and Kristin Scott-Thomas.

And there’s more that makes you step back a bit.

The shots in this movie make you want to hop in the car and go on a road trip.  I shit you not.  It’s drop dead gorgeous.  It really does the mood of the movie itself justice, especially with the constant heartbreak going on.  It’s just awfully contradicting.

Overall, the movie isn’t terrible but isn’t great.  But if you ever want a movie to see struggle, or see a difficult choice, or just need something human to relate to that is in your face, and feeling like nothing is there for you – hug your dog and watch it.

The Dark Knight Rises.. you aren’t kidding.  He rose, man.

But a little story for you first, as always.  This movie, when I first heard about it, was especially close to my heart.  Why?

*hyperventilation*

As you may or may not know, I love Catwoman.  I have always loved Catwoman.  Like, as I said in the QA, I wanted to find a Catwoman costume for Halloween, and I was consistently pissed off that I couldn’t.  And like a good little Catwoman fangirl, my parents never knew this.  I kept it hidden (not joking).  I used to just casually scour the Halloween costume pickings looking for a girl superhero costume, but I wanted Catwoman in particular.  Why?  I don’t know.  I don’t know what led me to Catwoman to begin with, but that is what I settled on, probably because she was stealthy, sneaky, and just amazing at her job.  I liked she didn’t have a good or bad vibe about her, she just did things and decided what she wanted to be that day.  And I never found it.  But, that entire time, they weren’t aware of my wanted Catwoman costume.  They were unaware of this for years on end.  I just told them of this 4 months ago or something, and I stopped trick or treating a rather long time ago.

And, just, I saw her to be in this movie, and my life was complete.  Until a few other things made it less complete, but still complete nonetheless.  The premise of the movie is that basically Bane wants to expose Harvey Dent and Commissioner Gordon, and Batman comes out of retirement for it.

So when the movie opens, we get a feel for Bane, but it’s pretty apparent it’s not true to the comics.  First of all, Tom Hardy is a shawty (I may as well make him seem cool in the process).  And, I mean, in comparison to comic book bane, he is really.. different.  I mean, I know Tom Hardy got buff, but when you compare the two of them side by side, you know which one is more imposing.  Granted, yes, that is always the case because comic books aren’t drawn realistically per say, but you can still be as imposing or translate over into real life.  It felt like when they translated Bane, they forgot a few crucial characteristics about him.  Bane sort of seems very one dimensional.  We don’t really know that much about him as a villain-person.  And, I mean, in the movie, he just seems so… pissed off, for no reason.  I mean, yes, we get the plot and all, but I read his wikipedia article and my heart is aching for Bane (not too much, just a little).  Osito the bear, for instance.  The fact also is, in the comics, Bane seems a little bit more “crazy”, for a lack of a better term. But here’s the problem:  His mask is different.  His Nolan mask is used for a constant supply of medication while his comic mask is because he’s addicted to venom.  I like Nolan’s better (I’m so, so sorry, right now).  The reason why is because we missed out on that Bane Meet and Greet in the movie.  There is only so much shit you can cram into a 3 hour long movie (some of it really being shit, and I will get to that).  So, Nolan didn’t do all the “feel bad for Bane”, but he did make him able to be related to by making that mask supply him with medication in the most ironic way.  Bane is physically strong, but then you just… crack his mask and he turns into a puppydog?  It’s a really ironic weakness for Bane to have, and I don’t think Nolan would be able to do both.  It was either psychotic addict or sympathetic villain.  There was no way to do both, and given Batman is already maxed out in depression, if we got psychotic Bane…

Coming out of retirement?  Fuck that.

I just don’t think Batman could’ve needed antidepressants because of Rachel and then had a massive steroided-out Bane.  It’d just be like, nevermind, Gotham, burn.

But we get something else with Bane.  Granted, he’s different from the comics, but I can’t hate on it too much because he’s a stark contrast to the Joker.  I think if we used his psychotic episodes it’d be too similar and it’d just be a different film.  Bane is the epitome of terrorism.  Bane is a terrorist.

This movie has so many political undertones I can’t even list them all (and I’m not going to try).  But, a few themes I noticed are the obvious corruption, police issues, jail ethics, government documents/ethics of secrecy, and Bane being a terrorist.  That is what I’m going to talk about, because I could write a 10 page paper on this movie and it’s political undertones.  Given my blog posts are in the 1k-2k word range, you know I am capable of doing it, so I am honing in on one issue and talking about it that way you don’t need to read this post over a small lifetime.

Bane is scary despite all of those things I noted about him.  Yes, he’s short, yes, he need stilts, and yes, he is not as big as comic book Bane.  But he is still scary.  I found those scenes with the stock exchange horrifying.  I found that stadium scene so powerful that it got me physically uncomfortable.  Bane himself is a political statement, and frankly, it’s amazing.  The Joker is a political statement sort of, but the Joker is more of a psychological perspective and using the world as his mental playground for Batman and himself.  Nonetheless, Bane takes that a step further and basically does what people try to do. People with bad intentions focus on large gatherings (Boston Marathon bombing), and the stock exchange in New York City because they know what it will do… Bane did all of that.  And you can tell me it’s fake, and it’s fiction, and to not look into it that far.  But.. what he did was enough to give me goosebumps.  I can’t say anything in the superhero universe embodied terrorism quite as well as Bane, despite the fact they want to blow up a city somewhere just about every ten minutes (and within Marvel, it’s pretty much always New York City).  We very rarely see the actual citizens and something being done to the actual citizens we can relate to.  I mean, even with Superman and Zod, odds are we aren’t ever going to find a guy from an alien planet attacking us in some weird space suit.  (Disclaimer:  Terrorism is not to be glorified, do not use this blog post as inspiration for it or terrorist acts.  In no way am I endorsing those acts, I am merely relating the movie to present day events and issues.)

I can continue breathing now.

Even so, Bane could’ve been developed just a tad more.  Speaking of developing..

John Blake should not have happened.

Yeah. You read that right.

John Blake felt pointless.  John Blake felt like the Batman version of Coulson: the dude is a total fanboy.  If he could find Batman cards to collect, he totally would.  I get where they were going with it with the orphanage and everything, but how many times do we need to be reminded Batman is an orphan?  We got it.  Seriously. This is only the 600th time you’ve reminded us, amid seeing Batman’s parents die another 2,000 times.  We got it.  It was nice with the orphanage, but nice doesn’t mean good.   All the time they spent on a character that really isn’t… going anywhere (at least at first glance, because it’s like: Is he Nightwing?! Or is he Robin?!) because Nolan is done with superhero movies for now.  In addition, they could’ve totally made more of a point with not honing on John Blake so much: if they didn’t focus on him so much, they could’ve made more of a point about the police force.  The police force could’ve been used to make up a statement about Batman, especially with the end of The Dark Knight being considered.  Batman at the end of that movie is an outcast.  They could’ve used the police force to sort of buffer that and have society be like, damn, you’re not so bad – even if they didn’t do it directly.  It just felt like something that could’ve been made a little less to develop Bane a bit more and also develop someone else… You should know who by now, come on.

Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman, was wonderful as her cat-burglar self.  She was her snarky, sneaky self, but she could’ve been utilized more.  It felt lacking with her because of Blake.  Considering the ending of the film, they totally could’ve gone a little bit more of the Hush route which I am reading right now (just minus Batman going “nevermind”).  The dynamic between them in that comic is wonderful.  The dynamic between them is good, but Hush really manages to capture it.  I think Catwoman could’ve been a little bit more of a badass while being in love, especially toward the end.  I still loved her manipulation, I still loved her kicking ass, but they could’ve done more.  Without Blake, she could have been used more.  She could have essentially taken on the role of Blake without the feeling of being a sidekick – because she’s not a sidekick.  She’s Batman’s equal in many senses, and the movie makes her come off a little less independent of him.  Either way, she was the best catwoman portrayal on a screen to date.  For the most part, they didn’t let her get snarky enough.  They didn’t let her get sneaky enough.  In my opinion that was due to Blake and how many characters they were trying to develop.  I know her costume wasn’t true to the comics, and I can see why people take issue with it but I cannot.  I think they missed a few things in the translation, but I don’t consider it such a bad suit.

Also worthy of note are the two love interests we constantly see throughout the movie… you know, Talia and Catwoman.

You made the right decision, Bats.

It was just interesting to see that mental battle happening on screen.  It was like in between Bane and Batman physically fighting we had that going on.  It wasn’t too obvious, but it just added a certain element to see Batman pick Catwoman, which is a couple that seems to captivate comic fans in general.  Talia being there and gaining his interest just needed to happen.  She’s rich and could rescue his company, but still Catwoman comes out on top.

Overall, I generally like the plot; it did itself justice and wrapped up nicely. At times it dragged a little bit, but the plot, music, and effects just all came together.  And those car chases were absolutely epic.  I love a good car chase in a movie and this movie delivered it.   But like I said, I admit, sometimes the action and plot dragged a little, and there wasn’t too much Batman at times.  This movie has a lot to live up to being the movie after The Dark Knight and Heath Ledger.  Sometimes the plot wasn’t entirely clear, and I admit the fist fight was probably not the best way to get Bane to go out.  It’s jsut that he’s doing all these grand things, and then they’re fighting like schoolchildren when they’re done?

It was a good ending to a great trilogy.  Frankly, if it ended too strong, we’d be itching for more Batman Nolan movies.  I think, although this movie is not as strong as The Dark Knight, it was a perfect bell-curve like ending.  It was a perfect U shape in quality.  Good, Great, Good.  And to keep it from feeling like no more movies is wasted potential, that’s truly how it should be.  I think if we did see a lot of Batman, we wouldn’t be itching to see him in movies.

And that is how a Dark Knight remains one.

Annnd cue the soundtrack.

I spend an exorbitant amount of time just picking a soundtrack for these blog posts, it’s sort of ridiculous, but that just makes it a better read for you because when a movie is that good you need to listen to music while you write it.

I’ve needed to catch up on a few crisis situations, to be honest, and am finally getting around to this blog post.  Everything is resolved, and the next review will be Thursday.  I’ve been sick today which is why this review is so late (literally).  I stayed in bed an extra two or three hours than I should have… Sue me.  I haven’t exactly been keeping track of time, and I knew if I wrote this without watching it, this post would be short and dull – mostly because I notice a lot of meaning in movies and I like to talk about them, and if I don’t re-watch it at least close to the blog post, well, it’s messy.

A little story for you first.  This was the first X-Men movie I have seen in theaters (yes, I spared myself of The Last Stand).  I watched all of the others before I watched this one, but this movie didn’t disappoint. Originally, truthfully, I didn’t think much of the X-Men.  They were just weird to me (like everything else so far, apparently, because I call everything in every post weird..).  So I went into knowing I’d see this movie with the intention of watching all the others first.  And as a result, a lovely several-night-long binge of X-Men movies and comics hence began.  I brushed up on everything X-Men to prepare for these movies.   As as a result, I completely fell in love with the X-Men.   FOX, you have started the beginning of a beautiful relationship, and I swear in between my catching up on comics in general I want to go absolutely binge crazy on X-Men comics.  I literally love them.  The Avengers are not my favorite group, the X-Men are (*I know some X-Men are Avengers and vice versa, but I mean MOVIES).

Just the start of the movie alone is enough to get you to adore it.  Professor X making such a impassioned speech should let you know what direction this is going in.  We see new mutants, Sentinels, etc, and everything is just really intense and setting the stage.

Let me start off by saying I absolutely adore this movie, and for all the right reasons. (Spoilers now).  SIDENOTE:  Newer movies I will try to maintain spoiler free reviews from now on.  But anything just not recently released will have a spoiler review.

So the premise is that Sentinels have attacked mutants because Mystique killed a man named Trask.  Now, Kitty Pryde (a new X-Men we are introduced to) is needed to send off Wolverine to the past to save everyone and prevent Mystique from killing Trask.  They stop her, but not without trouble from this guy.  I adore this movie, as I said.. for all the right reasons.

That’s a good reason… right?  Right?

I very rarely go on about actors in movies.  To some extent, I take them for granted.  I just know, psychologically, we cannot envision anyone else as the actor, but the fact is that applies both ways.  Maybe one actor that wasn’t picked would be better over the other and vice versa, obviously.  There’s a few X-Men actors I will rave about (one of those being Hugh Jackman, I’m sorry to say, those who are sick of Wolverine), one being Patrick Stewart.  But the person who makes up my X-Men actor trifecta is Michael Fassbender.  You have to admit, the guy is intense.  He really makes the movie to some extent for me because without his intensity a lot of the scenes wouldn’t work.  I mean, even just when he’s being released from the Pentagon – he is just so incredibly intense.  He is staring at Quicksilver (who I also adore as an X-Men now) like, what do you want from my life?  You’re nuts, we’re going to die (although when he informs him about the 20 guys with guns, I guess he forgot he could control metal…), and you are just some nutty kid.  Without his intensity, the whole movie would’ve just been a corny let’s all play together and say we did.  He agrees to help, but this is Magneto: he helps on his own terms.  He really helps the plot come along, as does his son Quicksilver.  Without him turning on Mystique, without him bickering with Professor X and Wolverine, it really would’ve just gone too smoothly for time travel to not seem totally ridiculous.  I don’t think that First Class did his intensity as well as it should have – this finally showed his true colors. This is what we built up to.

And like seeing a young Magneto, we really get to see the fleshed out pasts of these characters.  Professor X comes off as a depressed drug addict.  We see some of the history of Mystique, who is constantly mind-fucking you along the way with her constant changes.  Mystique is de-mystified, and suddenly I have a new respect for her aside from just being the person who hangs onto Magneto’s arm and does what he says.  Like all the others, she seems so human.  To boot, we really sort of have a hard time pinning down a villain.  Older Magneto agrees to a truce to stop fighting, young Professor X is an asshole, older Professor X is that father-like figure we always love, and younger Magneto is the definition of intensity.  Most of the other times it has been very clear cut – even Mystique, who is Magneto’s lover in First Class, just seems to barely fit within one spectrum of villain or hero.  You can’t really figure it out.  She’s pissed at Magneto, that is for sure, but when they’re starting face to face you have to admit there is some odd chemistry going on there.  I thought back to First Class and their intimate encounter so to speak, and it was odd for me to say the least.  Even the real villain himself, I have a hard time pinning it on him, because if it wasn’t for Mystique killing him none of it would’ve happened.  They would’ve just realized, this guy is crazy, it’s time to just take away all of his resources.  Does that make Mystique the villain too?  Or Magneto?  Or Trask? Or Professor X because god damn, he’s dense?  Even Quicksilver looks on in horror as he watches the TV seeing the guy he broke out of the world’s most protected prison declare war on the rest of the world (seriously though, Magneto, it’s old, bro).

Quicksilver adds a much needed lightheartedness to the film right before it gets so serious that the characters in the situations will need to come up with their own lightheartedness.  Quicksilver’s scene was the best scene in the movie for me, the “what the hell” dynamics just made it for me.  Seeing everyone work together and to try to not do it their way because these random strangers they’re stuck with want to do it some other way was just so perfect.  It was like the one moment of unity.  He busts Magneto out of the Pentagon, and his work there is done, literally and otherwise.  They’re on their own, even within the plot.   It’s just an interesting dynamic that comes up – we can’t rely on Quicksilver for our comedic relief anymore, and we are left with the chemistry of Mystique, Professor X, Wolverine, and Magneto.  I utterly adore the character development and watching the characters build upon not only themselves, but the other characters.  Like, Professor X throws a punch.  That really sophisticated sounding British guy throws a punch.  They build upon their opinions of each other throughout the plot, and the characterization is really what makes all of these people thrown together work.

Speaking of the plot…

I love the pacing in this movie.

This movie is so perfectly paced, and the soundtracks just make your heart beat waiting for the next scene.  The time travel-esque plot wraps around itself perfectly, and much like Interstellar, I love how things just simultaneously peak.  As things are heating up in the past, things are heating up in the future.  The comedy in this movie simply executes itself perfectly and it’s a wonderful balance throughout.  I attribute that to none other than Wolverine – I mean, the guy is dealing with two ex-besties and one scrawny dude who turned into a blue gorilla.  Humor would realistically be the only way to cope.  Wolverine in this film is probably at his best, simply because of how relateable he comes off at times.  He shows his vulnerabilities to Professor X, to some extent, in order to get him to cooperate.  The guy who causes the drama is now trying to prevent it.

Awww, showing his cuddly side.

But, I’m going to touch on a constant complaint of the X-Men movies:  that they show a lot of Wolverine.  I love Hugh Jackman as an actor and as Wolverine.  In the beginning I like the introduction of the different X-Men, although it felt like they could’ve utilized some of them more in the end.  That brings up the issue of it not being true to the comic books: to some extent, it wouldn’t have worked, because can you imagine Kitty Pryde getting snarky with Magneto on that plane so they don’t crash and die?  It just wouldn’t have come off right.  Aside from that, Hugh Jackman is undoubtedly getting older unlike the actual Wolverine, so they’re going to milk him for everything he’s got right until the very last movie he makes.  The Sentinels felt a little generic in the beginining but I thought they were more appropriate during the 70s when Magneto takes them over in a slightly expected but incredibly asshole-ish twist.  Like, you’re really hoping he won’t do that shit and he’ll just behave, but you know that that’s not going to happen.  Regardless, the plot brought some very political issues to the spotlight.

You may or may not be aware of the treatment of various people considered legally disabled during the 60s and 70s (also prior, but it hit it’s tipping point then), and actually during the particular time frame the movie is set in once they go into the past.  For some issues, we had little to no understanding of how they worked (say, the autism spectrum).  Genetic disorders were probably next on the list.  This particular time frame was right before a crucial point in the late 70s or early 80s when legislation such as the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed/revised or when the WHO re-aligned their guidelines to include other disorders.  X-Men in general touches upon on the underdog, but the point that really stands out here is that people are afraid of what they don’t understand – and during that time in particular, we didn’t understand those issues. Many unethical things were going on, and basically what Trask is trying to do is unethical.  Trying to label them as we see in previous movies is still bad, but trying to wipe them out is just beyond the point where you can’t include ethics in the same sentence.  I think Trask himself technically being a mutant is a testament to that.  Dwarfism is an illness, it’s a mutation.  There is a strong possibility he could have been institutionalized were he affected some other way.. which makes him a hypocrite, but I’m sure you knew that already.

But you knew I was going to love the plot, the music, the characters, the everything.  There are other things I want to touch on in this review other people probably do not.

Professor X, in Days of Future Past, teaches us.

Truly, how many times do you hear people say “I wish I could tell my younger self..”.

Professor X was able to do that.

At first I thought the scene was a little over the top, then I realize, he is doing what everyone wishes they could do.  Everyone wants to teach a lesson to their younger self, and you know everyone in the theater could secretly relate.  It was just moving once I realized what their point was, and we also see the most unlikely person turn Professor X into who he is now – Wolverine – in the process.  But we saw him do what many people wish they could do.

I loved some of the imagery in this movie.  That was one, and there are two more.

The second involved Magneto.  He could have dropped basically anything around the White House, and they pick a stadium.  Does anyone else realize how utterly appropriate that is?  You’re talking about humans and Magneto becoming the bad guy again and Professor X disliking him again and Mystique tension?  It’s just so appropriate, because it is, in every sense of the word, a battle field.  The latter imagery I loved was Magneto tying all the metal into Wolverine only to dump him into water… if you know anything about Wolverine I really shouldn’t need to explain that one.

But perhaps the least obvious is the use of red with Jean Grey.  She’s in red.  Red is an obvious color with meaning.  I don’t just attribute it to love, or Wolverine’s feelings toward Jean.  I attribute it to partly the shit he has with Cyclops.  Red could mean love, anger, inappropriate attraction, and I still want to know what way they meant it.  She was not angry, in love, or inappropriately attracted then.  But Cyclops was angry.  Wolverine was in love with her.  It felt like it was more than one straight meaning to it.  It felt like a combination of all of those thrown together, and the red really complicated things in my mind about Jean.  I know, that is looking far into it, but they didn’t just happen to pick a red dress.

I went absolutely bezerk during that scene.

Even in the ending, I’m left conflicted.  On one hand, I totally want to see the Sentinels gone.  On the other hand, I really wanted Magneto and Professor X to make up and get through their shit.  I loved that scene, and was ecstatic and felt like my life was complete… then I realized it’d be undone and I was a bubbling mass of sadness, rage, and “Why, god, Why?”. That scene was so telling, as well as the scene when Magneto just decides to start fighting with them.  I have a boatload of respect for Ian McKellen Magneto.  I still do.  Even when he’s villainous, he’s classy.  And when he’s not villainous, sometimes, he is utterly mind blowing.

To conflict your viewers on the ending, it needs to be a kick-ass story and a kick-ass director.  Bravo.

But…

now onto Apocalypse.

Granted, we don’t know very much about this movie.  But there is a general list of characters that will be in it, and I know Magneto will (likely) be in it (so I’ve heard don’t quote me).  What will they do with him?  Apocalypse is the main villain.  I’m curious to again see the dynamics between these younger characters who aren’t nearly as wise or knowledgeable about themselves and how they handle the villain, obviously, who seems like a real piece of work.

Overall, I mean, there’s not much to say here other than I can’t wait for it.  So I’ll need to sit tight and see what new X-Men they’ll develop – because I want them to bring in new guys.

Overall, despite it’s stumbles, X-Men has built a truly unforgettable franchise.  The villains, the heroes, the figureheads, are all things we can relate to.

And it’s so weird, because, you know, that mutant thing and all.

So.. I saw Interstellar over the weekend.

WARNING.  SPOILERS PAST THIS POINT. DON’T KEEP READING BECAUSE I’M NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR ANGER IF YOU DO!


(Seriously, nothing worse than a movie being spoiled by someone who disregards the fact that you haven’t seen it yet.)

Originally I went into Interstellar without knowing anything about it.  I have seen some Nolan films, but not generally enough for me to say that I know his style better than most people. Truthfully, I don’t know his style that well.  To be frank, I wasn’t paying much attention to Interstellar before I saw it.  I didn’t see any trailers, I didn’t hear anything about the plot, I didn’t really know what it was about aside from space exploration.  I wasn’t terribly interested in it – in fact, hearing about so much death within the movie sort of made me dreading to see it.  I felt as though it was only going to be stressful to watch – in a good way, but still stressful.  I can’t really explain what I mean by that.  I just somewhat expected a movie that focused on space exploration, and the generic stuff we see.  You know, jibber-jabber about the laws of physics that nobody gets for literally no reason other than to validate it being a “sci-fi”, various political issues regarding mostly to space exploration and humanity’s role and alien life forms, etc. Many some explosions thrown in there.

But I will tell you, I didn’t expect what I actually saw.

Interstellar is a movie that reaches for the stars while bringing us down to earth.  It’s a movie that promotes the advancement of humanity without forgetting the humanity of the characters.  It’s a movie with grandeur technology in an age where the most basic things are slowly dying away.

And for that, I love Interstellar.

By the beginning of the movie, I was confused and frankly a little unsurprised.  It was the stereotypical “daddy’s going to go off and save the world for his daughter”.  Oh, wonderful, so the girl takes the back seat once again… right?  I thought it’d be another grand space exploration flick, but in between the extreme tech, the grand dreams and the fear of the unknown, it really reminded us of being human.  It reminded us of our fears, how small we are, and how much our actions are motivated by people we care about.  At first it started a little bit slow, and it bought into my “grand space exploration flick” idea.  The slowness was a turn off.  But then, something else happens.

We’re shown the 5th dimension.

It’s made pretty apparent that Murphy almost binds the brother and the father together.  They both look after her, and it’s almost like without her they wouldn’t even interact very much.  From the beginning of the movie, it felt like they were sort of walking on eggshells.  That was my one feeling toward the movie – that honestly, it felt like eventually the son wasn’t going to be such a big player anymore.  The dynamic just didn’t fit them.  They acted distant, just two people working together because they’re family.  You felt the dynamic between Murphy and her dad, Cooper.  You felt the bond despite barely knowing who they were, or anything about them – all you could take from it is that they were close.  Closer than Cooper and his son or Murphy and her brother.

I’ll admit I found it a little odd that Cooper shows up at the NASA facility and they’re like “hey man, we remember you, pilot this thing to save humanity k?”.  It felt like a shitty excuse.  It just felt stupid for a guy to happen to stumble upon a facility and then it’s like, so, fly this thing to save humans.

NASA and Professor Brand (and whoever knew that Brand never intended to save all of humanity) even still brings us down to humanity and emotions.  Brand plays on the insecurity of the people he’s inviting on this mission – even his own daughter.  He plays on people’s trust, people’s insecurities, and people’s loves.  I’m not sure if anyone has considered maybe Professor Brand knew his daughter was in love with Edmonton.  Why else would you send your daughter into the unknown, willingly, even encouraging her to do it, with an equation you never planned to solve?  If Brand so quickly dooms humanity, what would stop him from dooming his own daughter?  It’s not as if his plan is going to save her anyway, so even if she finds Edmonton and has space kiddies with him, they’re not going to benefit from his plans, because he plans on initiating plan B.  He knew there was a good chance his daughter was not returning, and even their conversations appear to be solely based on a working relationship.  Love can be pure, and can be corrupted.  Amelia begins to cry not because her father died, but because he lied to her.  I noted it, and found it pretty profound.

To me, this is foreshadowing the eventual relationship between Cooper and Murphy.

Cooper and Murphy’s relationship is based on love.  It is based on honesty.  It is based on hope.

But ultimately, it didn’t become much different from Amelia and Professor Brand’s relationship, except for the fact the love was still there in the end.  Murphy and Cooper’s relationship eventually almost becomes a working relationship.  At the end of the movie, Cooper did keep his promise to his 10 year old daughter, but she’s no longer 10.  She’s on her death bed, and tells Cooper to basically go off and she can be with her kids.  As it’s noted by Dr.  Mann, our kids are the last thing we want to see at death.  Cooper looks around, and it’s fairly apparent he’s almost a little out of place, until he goes off to find Amelia, who is sitting alone, mourning the death of Edmonton.  Mann himself shows us how we can corrupt ourselves.

But, that working relationship still doesn’t diminish their love for each other or their bond.  All little girls grow up.  I loved seeing Murphy take charge.  I loved seeing her grow and seeing a strong female character in the movie, in the end.

That bond between Murphy and Cooper isn’t forgotten.  At first, love is dismissed to just be complete irrationality.  Love is just that thing that exists in our heads.  Love is that thing that we consider to lead us to do irrational things.

But love is why humanity was saved.  Not an equation, or technology.  What stuck out to me is when Murphy says that gravity can’t constantly be quantified, and then shortly thereafter Professor Brand is dying and admitting everything was a lie.  Love can’t be quantified.  Just because Professor Brand and Amelia happen to be father-daughter, does not mean Cooper-Murphy share the same dynamics.  Love is like gravity in the equation, in some respects.  Because Murphy and Cooper had a bond, he was able to tell her through a 5th dimension what to do.  How to save the human race. Even Amelia, who knew going to Edmonton’s planet was the right thing to do, is faced with this bond.  She says to go, she says to follow her heart, but Cooper just chalks it up to her being irrational.  But, you know, they’re on this mission because they love it.  They love space.  They love exploration.  Is it truly that irrational to follow your heart?

In between showing us our humanity, Nolan reminds us that he does still believe in humanity.  He believes we can reach for the stars and develop, unlike various other apocalyptic scenarios we always see in movies.  We can use our strength as a whole, as humans, and in that way we are big.  It brings the issue of ecology and resources into the political field, as well.

But I’ll admit it felt weird for a science fiction movie to ignore the science as much as it did, and when it didn’t ignore science the science didn’t make sense.  It was a lot of jibber jabber.  Even when the 5th dimension is explained, it’s really just confusing, aside from the fact that technically Cooper would still be aging despite the lack of hours.  He should be dead before his daughter is and I don’t consider Cooper as much of a hero as other people do.  He missed his entire kids lives.

The movie also presents a lot of themes and none of them within the movie feel very developed until you sit down and analyze them, and even then it feels like it’s ignoring a lot of science for the sake of love and it feels more like a love flick than a sci-fi.  Love is great, but, a lot of how it’s presented in Nolan’s movie can get corny.  A lot of the characters only show us the bare parts of themselves as it happens, and not much more.  We don’t see much else other than love in this movie and in between weaving it, the movie gets slow and clumsy at times.  Aside from that, we’re presented with a lot of themes that can only be seen under a microscope (sort of what I just did). A lot of the themes, including the one I just talked about, are clumsily done.  I mean, I put the movie under a microscope to get that down, and I can’t exactly think of anything else that was developed aside from those two relationships.  The astronauts aren’t developed fully – not even Cooper – Murphy isn’t developed, the son isn’t developed.  The characters remind us of humanity but don’t dig too deep into themselves.

I loved a lot about this movie; the plot, the wrap-around, the CGI and especially the music.  There’s not much humor in this post because of how much I love this movie.  It has it’s problems, like dragging it’s feet, and underdeveloped characters, but I can enjoy it because of how it wraps around and utilizes something powerful.

I do think people can take Nolan and this movie too far, but that’s their prerogative.  Don’t take anything too seriously, fanboyism included.  It’s bothersome and it just makes his work less interesting to get it constantly shoved down your throat. It doesn’t do his work any favors, and you don’t do him justice by forcing other people to dislike him  by trying to force them to like him.

tl;dr: don’t argue on the internet, it’s pointless.

I hope you like superhero movies.  I mean, I hope you really really really like them.

Because you are about to get bombarded with them, but you already knew that.

Because if I didn’t do this, it’d be a wall of text.

So instead of writing a post for DC and a post for Marvel, I decided to grab this by the horns and do both, since they’ve both made it pretty apparent they’re in direct contest with each other (you think?).

I just wonder after this how much longer DC and Marvel can ride the superhero movie train before it gets old, but we’re not there yet.  But, for now, this is what we have and we can only speculate that.

Marvel has already given us a taste of their movies, and that’s why I’m not particularly surprised the greater majority of their movies is sequels or sequences.  Thor, Cap, Avengers are all movies the general audience is pretty familiar with.  Even if you don’t exactly know everything about them, you still probably know who they are (and if you don’t, Halloween just happened, so a 5 year old might’ve introduced you to them). As for the sequels, you can only hope their luck continues, and it certainly appears to be.

Luckily, nothing is taking the route Iron Man did, at least at first glance.

Iron Man 1 kept the bar high.  Iron Man 2 sort of kept it, but made it a little lower, and then Iron Man 3 just broke the bar.  No more bar.  It just broke the standard set for the franchise.  It seems like Marvel learned from their Iron Mistakes.

Thor: Ragnarok is restoring Thor to his rightful fame and respect and I consider him an incredibly underrated character.  Thor, for me, is right up there with Captain America and Iron Man for my favorite male Avengers (because I love Black Widow).  I love the Asgardian hero and I want to see him do well; I feel as though his movies have something different to bring to the table as opposed to Iron Man or Captain America or any earthly hero.  He is so different you have to love it, even if they occasionally mess it up.  Avengers: Age of Ultron is shaping up to be absolutely epic and dark (already gave my thoughts on that), and it appears as though people are drooling over Captain America: Civil War.  The only thing I am wondering with Civil War is Cap’s involvement, and how much of a lead he will have in the end because of how many characters they’re involving, and obviously Iron Man’s involvement (which is of course refreshing after Iron Man 3) and whatever happened to The Winter Soldier.  I think Civil War also works because of the obvious tension between Captain America and Iron Man we see in Avengers.  I feel as though it’s playing on it and the friendly jabs at each other turns into serious shit regardless if the storylines are at all related.

I bet he’s wishing he never pulled that lever now to prevent Iron Man from getting shredded.

 Guardians I am left wondering over because it’s not mainstream (the hell?  talking trees?), but the first Guardians did so well; they set their own bar for that movie, and they need to maintain it.  They made seriously bizarre characters become loved; we are talking a violent raccoon and a tree that can speak.  Frankly, even I thought Guardians was a little bizarre in the beginning, but then I realized it was a pretty lovable and hilarious movie.  Ultimately, their sequels and Black Panther are going to be the money makers because people have been calling for a Black Panther movie forever.  I have been one of those people, and at every mention of Black Panther I have been saying “They need a Black Panther movie”.  Well, they are finally making it and getting more diverse as some people want, and everyone I know will finally hear me shut up. But that brings me to the next part – new characters.

As you obviously are aware, Marvel is pretty established in the cinema scene.  There are a few things I am curious about with this list existing.  I’m curious about Inhumans and who they are, since I admittedly don’t know very much about them, and it doesn’t seem like anyone does.  It’s definitely not one of the heroes or hero groups I thought they would be adapting to the big screen anytime soon, and that appears to be the general consensus.  It does feel like a bid to get more Marvel characters into the mainstream or possibly compete with FOX and X-Men (even though they make money off of that indirectly).    Marvel is taking a little bit of a gamble with Ant-Man since it’s not true to the comic books (so I’ve heard.. then you had all that drama with the director going on), if you ask me, but they admitted already that they were going to keep adding new characters. Doctor Strange appears to be split, and some people seem to doubt their ability with a magical superhero like Strange.  There’s some iffyness for fans regarding the casting, and I’m wondering how Doctor Strange is going to pan out in the end: positive or negative.  I don’t have as much confidence, but I am interested.

But perhaps the movie that sticks out the most is Captain Marvel.  It’s one of the first female-led superhero movies (aside from Wonder Woman and whatever SONY is doing, I don’t want to pay attention).  And that worries me, just a little.  If DC and SONY happen to mess up those films, Marvel is going to have a tough time selling that movie.  Or, the opposite could happen, where if those movies bomb, Captain Marvel could pick up the pieces and prove that a female-led superhero movie is worth giving a second look at.  The only thing I wish was happening was a Black Widow movie, but ignore me because I love her so much.

But another thing sticking out is Infinity Wars.  Age of Ultron is shaping up to be amazing.  Age of Ultron is feeling like The Avengers’ “The Dark Knight”.  But, Infinity Wars needs to keep the bar, and it’s sort of a crossover I’m hearing (correct me if I am wrong).  I’m iffy on crossovers, I am not particularly crazy over them, but I like they are splitting it into two.  They are keeping your interest.

Basically, I think Marvel learned a lot from Iron Man and what happened there, but I have more to say about DC.  It’s shorter, yes, but more analytical.

DC movies, with the exception of The Dark Knight trilogy, are relatively new to us all.  There are very few sequels to be had, yet.

And I’m wondering if DC will look at Iron Man and learn from the mistakes Marvel made.

DC is introducing us to their movies, unlike Marvel.  Marvel knows you know who they are.  I’m genuinely curious about the direction of Aquaman and if they can make the strongest DC superhero work since he is so often regarded as a joke.  I want to see Aquaman work, but I am honestly curious how they will do it.  He is so powerful and is generally known, but it seems as though nobody can take him seriously – myself included.  But even the more known characters are leaving me guessing.

Batman V. Superman, for me, is shaping up to be crowded. I will still watch it and probably enjoy it to some extent, but it feels crowded, and I don’t want to see Wonder Woman become overshadowed in her big screen debut.  It feels like Bats VS Supes is going to either build up Wonder Woman or tear her down for her future movie.  If they mess it up, it could spell disaster for the first female-led superhero movie.  But, at least, for DC, they are playing on something people have always talked about – what would happen if Batman and Superman fought?

Well, I guess we’ll find out.  But, we’re going to find some other characters, too.

I’m happy DC is building upon the Flash TV show to finally bring us a Flash movie, which feels long overdue because of how utterly popular The Flash is and how lighthearted he is in comparison to Batman (who is probably the most famous DC character ever).  It feels like DC is finding their lighter side, and a Flash movie would undoubtedly equate to a lot of fun especially since he has a TV show, even if he isn’t your preferred DC character. The mainstream was already familiar with him and he was one of those characters who has deserved a movie.

Overall, a lot of the DC movies feel new, and they will feel new to the mainstream moviegoers.  Cyborg, Suicide Squad, and Shazam will feel new.  Unlike Batman and Superman, they’re not terribly famous outside the circle of people who like comic books.  Based on my little knowledge of Cyborg, I’m not terribly excited for it and am not terribly excited for Shazam (Frankly, Shazam sounds like a Billy Mays product, but I know nothing aside from the name and that he’s had some drama in his life as Captain Marvel).

The admission for the movie is only 19.95.

I realize he’s a character with a lot of history, but the general public still needs selling on him.

But I will tell you I am super excited to see Green Lantern back and hopefully a lot better because DC hopefully learned from their Green Lantern mistakes.. hopefully.  I consider Green Lantern one of the most respectable DC characters, and it only feels right GL get’s a better movie after that other disaster happened.  It’s a character, I feel, if done right, could be a smash of a movie.  I also am excited to see a Justice League movie (also two parts, to keep your interest), finally, but am also curious to see if all these movies will stay up to the The Dark Knight Trilogy bar Warner Bros set or the Avengers bar.  I also wonder if it being two parts from the getgo will help or hurt it, since Avengers built itself up so effectively.

The two movies that stick out the most, though, are Wonder Woman and Suicide Squad.

Suicide Squad is going to be the first movie to focus on villains and probably even make you feel a little bit sorry for them.  DC is really picking a political topic by doing Suicide Squad, and if you’ve read my past posts you know I love movies with a message that isn’t necessarily clear cut good or bad, or movies that can be seen in more than one perspective.  Suicide Squad is that movie, and it’s different because it’s villains; I expected Suicide Squad to be “The Winter Soldier” level political, which is setting a high bar for it (DC, don’t disappoint).  I have high hopes for that movie.  It’s inherently political and I am excited for it and what topics it will bring to the table.  I touched on Wonder Woman earlier, and I really hope DC and Gal Gadot can give Wonder Woman justice and earn her the movie she deserves.  They’re already building the anticipation for the Wonder Woman movie by releasing little tidbits (when it takes place), and I can only hope they keep the momentum.  A Wonder Woman movie and a female-led superhero movie are long overdue.  On that note, I’m a little disappointed they aren’t doing a Catwoman movie after the Halle Berry disaster, but, I could understand why they’re not.  Wonder Woman is simply more famous, and is clearly defined as a good character for women to relate to.  Catwoman muddles that line, especially with certain costumes she’s had in the past perpetuating the sexual stereotype.

But, of course, there’s other movies happening not from Marvel and DC.

FOX:

  •  Fantastic 4 (FOX, 2015)
  • Deadpool (FOX, 2016)
  • X-Men Apocalypse (FOX, 2016)
  • Untitled Wolverine Film (FOX, 2017)
  • Fantastic Four 2 (2017)
  • Gambit (FOX, ????)

FOX, you just rocked my world.

What do you think, reader?  Do you agree?  Well I hope so.

Yes, I am excited over Deadpool.  Yes, I love him and I think he’s hilarious while having a dark undertone.  Although I fully expect this movie to be rated R five times over, oh well.

I am so excited for this movie and it’s almost like blind faith.  I really hope they do this right, especially since everyone has said to do a Deadpool movie and they haven’t done it yet.  Well, they finally are.  I think he brings something unique to the table if they can do it correctly and manage to give him a decent plot in between breaking the 4th wall and remaining comedic, but I will admit it sounds easier said than done.  Either way, FOX, do not fuck this up.

But on the other side of the coin, FOX has X-Men, and after Days of Future Past, everyone is basically excited for Apocalypse.  I personally love the young versions of Magneto and Professor X, so it’s not exactly a turn off it’s not set in present day again as awesome as Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart are.  I love Fassbender’s Magneto’s intensity.  I love the different characters we meet because it is set in another time.  The next Wolverine film is leaving me wondering because some people are sick of Wolverine.  I am not sick of him just yet – but they should really try to integrate the other X-Men while he is still here.

But FOX does have some work to do.

Fantastic Four.

I cannot even take the Four seriously at this point in time, and I can only hope FOX gets things more serious.  The last Fantastic Four movie seemed forgettable.  But it seems like the reboot is going somewhere and going in a better direction.  Let’s just hope they can hold it.

Misc.

  • Big Hero 6 (Disney, 2014)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 (Paramount, 2016)
  • The Sinister Six (SONY, 2016)
  • LEGO Batman (Warner Bros, 2017)
  • Untitled Female Spider-Man movie (SONY, 2017)
  • Possible Venom movie (SONY, 2017?)
  • The Amazing Spider-Man 3? (SONY, 2018)

This is everything else.

The Amazing Spider-Man.  A little story for you first.

I grew up on Spider-Man.  He was the perfect childhood superhero.  He was still a hero, but super-sensitive and super-nice in addition to his super-Spideyness.  I loved Spider-Man (keyword is loved, though, at least right now).  He has probably one of the most money-making franchises ever, since he is also the most popular superhero.  Everyone knew Spider-Man, who he was, and his movies.  Spider-Man pretty much got me into comics and comic book movies.  Since I grew up on Tobey Maguire, I had high hopes for Sony and that they were planning to do.  Surely they had some idea of what they wanted to do with the most famous superhero in the world, often hailed as the most relatable?  It could only be expected they’d get someone who embodies the role perfectly, someone who unquestionably takes up the Spider-Man mantle and do as well if not better than Tobey Maguire, with Sony picking the best of the best storylines to give Spider-Man, our much loved hero, the justice he deserves.

Yeah, so um, that never happened.

That super Spider-Hair, though.

I went into this trying to have an open mind about Garfield, but then I realized he was that wanna-be executive in The Social Network who was just really god damn whiny.  Literally, throughout the entire movie I wanted Garfield to shut up, because his whining was high pitched and annoying enough to break a window or to get you to want to break a window because he was so annoying (your TV would work too, but a window is probably cheaper).  I really tried to like Garfield, but he just proved to be even more irritating once I tried to like him.  I tried so hard to like Garfield because I wanted to see Spider-Man become famous for his movies again in between Captain America, X-Men, Iron Man, Thor, and Batman when DC finally realized “Wow!  We have this Bat-guy and we should make movies about him that don’t feature corny spandex… and that Superman guy if we dump the corny “is it a bird, plane, UFO, meteorite, NASA space shuttle? No!  It’s Superman!” phrase!  Regardless, I just could not like him, and even the worst movie could outshine this one.

So while DC is having some kind of spiritual awakening or movie epiphany, realizing they can be just like Marvel and Iron Man (sidenote:  I don’t hate DC, I love Batman, and Catwoman is my favorite female character ever, but they are extremely late to the party in the theater here), Sony is going to give this Spider-Man thing another go.  Raimi says he’s done, Tobey says he’s done, and Sony re-casts Spider-Man.  Surely there must be some actor that can embody Spidey as well as Maguire did… and Sony would find them.. right?  And there would be a good story, too.. Is this too much, so far, Sony?  I know, pressure.  Expectations.  It’ll be alright.

I’d cry too if my successor did this to the thing I built.

Oh, God, you poor Spider-Man fans, you.  First you endure The Amazing Spider-Man 1, and then the Amazing Spider-Man 2, both of which are decidedly not amazing.

This series (or movie) does not even belong on the same shelf as Tobey Maguire and Raimi’s representation.  Actually, it should not even be on your shelf because that would require you to buy it and it truly is that bad to just not buy it.  Garfield confirmed the myth he cannot speak without sounding like a 5th grader who doesn’t get the toy they wanted or as though he is pre-puberty, or both, since 5th graders are pre-puberty.  Also, this question has been asked many times, but Garfield is 31, and he is playing an angsty high schooler.  I totally get wanting to be young again, the fountain of youth and whatnot, but let’s be realistic with ourselves Garfield and Sony.

But, okay, they receive an A for effort and an F for everything else.

Garfield did not disappoint, and by that I mean he completely fulfilled his whiny expectations I had set for him throughout The Not Amazing Spider-Man 2.  Throughout the movie he was consistently whiny and complained.  Garfield playing Peter Parker didn’t come off as a nerdy kid, a social outcast, or someone we can relate to like every other version of Spider-Man does.  He came off as That Guy who is unreasonably angry at the world despite being popular in school (he is known for his photography, which means he is popular).  He consistently came off as the cocky guy who locks himself in his room and blasts rock music, dying for vengeance on the world for what it did wrong to him.  He’s so obvious, in fact, the mean version of Aunt May only realizes something is wrong because he took meat loaf from the fridge.  To top it off, someone obviously kills Uncle Ben, and that only gets even worse, but even before it he still walked around hish high school with a constant pouty-face.  Overall, hipsters could totally relate to Spider-Man this time around, and this representation of Parker completely goes against what Spidey stands for. He was complete with the giant glasses, skinny jeans and emo attitude.  And that skateboard, too.

Did I mention the skateboard really shows off his physical features? (No, I didn’t, because I am not being paid by Sony.)

As a result, it completely attracts the attention of Gwen Stacy somehow, and throughout the rest of the film, we see absolutely nothing other than Parker and Stacy being in love with an occasional villain or two getting featured and maybe a few fight scenes if we’re lucky.  I have nothing against love stories or chick flicks, but given they are actually dating with a director who likes love stories, I can see how this easily got out of hand (let’s hope they never break up because they will hate this movie).

I very much enjoy the romantic overtones of many superhero films, but this was pretty ridiculous.  The greater majority of the movie was just watching them swoon over each other.  It’s okay to have Love in the Time of Electro, but seriously, can you actually focus on Electro even a little?  While adorable, it was really just way too much.  Way too much.  We were supposed to be fighting one of 15 villains in the movie or something, who had equally corny lines in the movie (remember to wish Electro happy birthday), assuming they had lines at all, since Green Goblin had one scene.

There were so many villains, you may as well have just gotten the DC ones to join in.  I mean, it’s not like it made any sense anyway, really, and it just made the plot messy and hard to follow.  Even if you managed to follow it, you were probably confused.  Everything just got muddled.  Nothing made sense in the end.  I don’t even remember their specific parts, aside from that one Times Square encounter with Electro; I only remember that because of how terribly annoying and cocky Spider-Man was during it, which is only a testament to how terrible his representation was.  It just didn’t make any sense how all of these villains were running around seemingly unrelated (but were actually all related, apparently), and then Green Goblin just wanted Spidey-blood and Rhino had a terrible accent.  The villains were so forgettable I don’t even remember their parts, and I think at least Electro is worthy of a better representation and genesis within a movie.  Every villain felt like they were running around without a purpose, with nothing getting fully developed and everything being undeveloped, except obviously Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy’s relationship.  We got that.

Speaking of Gwen Stacy…

She’s probably a psychic medium.

I’m referring to her Valedictorian speech.  If they made that foreshadowing any more obvious, they would’ve just had Gwen Stacy become a psychic prophet.  That whole speech made me cringe because of how obvious it was, and it needed to be done differently to effectively foreshadow without it being put on a highway sized sign in glowing lights. You know, assuming she didn’t die in a cinematically awful manner that wasn’t true to the comic books at all, I think we have a career choice, here.

That was probably one of the most awful death scene I have ever seen in a movie, and I know die-hard Spider-Man fans were slowly dying themselves inside when it happened.   They thought, for sure, one of the most iconic Spider-Man moments was finally going to get to the big screen, and then… well, not really, since it was different from that iconic Spider-Man moment.  Spider-Man freaking out, crying, whining, did not make him relatable or sensitive:  It just made him annoying, like I have been reiterating throughout this entire blog post, but that is an attribute of Garfield as a whole (who is clearly my favorite actor).  Gwen Stacy was a stereotypical girl and stereotypical girlfriend, and her maintaining her strong demeanor we see in the beginning would’ve been nice, but I have been tearing this movie apart for the last 3 hours so even a decent movie is a better request.  I will admit Emma Stone’s acting is probably the best part of the entire movie, and the only thing that is really and truly nearing any form of decency.

It’s not as if the graphics were at all decent, and I can’t comment on the soundtracks because I don’t remember that much of them.  All I know is I cringe when music (as in singing) is featured in any movie, and I remember that happening.

I can’t understand how people liked the graphics.  They were good sort of, but they had the feeling as if you were playing a video game.  If it was a video game, that would be great, but it was a movie.  Not a video game. It’s great to feel like Spider-Man as he calling attention to himself as he’s screaming through the air making corny jokes, but we shouldn’t need to get that view of Spider-Man for us to feel like we are in the movie; the movie should be able to do that all by itself.  They really took that notion a bit too far.  I realize it’s going against tradition and that is a good thing, but you can go against tradition and still make it good.

Overall, I am happy Sony is realizing their mistakes and Spider-Man may be recasted (and they’re pushing off any more Not Amazing Spider-Man movies), because Garfield does not capture Spider-Man at all.  I grew up with Spider-Man, I even read some of his comics before I read any other comics, and that isn’t what Spider-Man is.

I can only hope the next Spider-Man is out there waiting for us, waiting to be discovered.

If you enjoyed this post please feel free to follow my twitter: twitter.com/FictionalPlanet

A good segway from Captain America.  A review on what is probably considered one of the best superhero movies to ever happen.  The Avengers.

I’ll admit when I first watched it (the reason this review is so late is because I insist upon watching a movie literally directly before I write a review – and I don’t watch it once, but twice in total, so the viewing before the blog post must be the second time) I was a little on the confused side in the beginning, but then things became clearer (the scenes particularly right before Loki got the tessaract).  You realize who Loki is, what the hell that glowing cube is, and why suddenly everyone is frantically driving away from a building.  Now, the film has a very stereotypical premise to me.  It’s about this guy who wants to take over the world and rule, and even gets compared to Hitler.  He’s an alien, but of course looks like a regular person, and then this team of mega-superheroes is called in to save the day.  At the end of the movie, they’re hailed as heroes despite destroying basically everything around them. Hooray, everything has been burned!

Despite the stereotypical nature, though, it works, also because if you had every character running everywhere you’d eventually lose track and just think Loki may as well be an Avenger too.  The reason why this film works (for me) is because as the movie goes on we are presented with the characters, their histories, and to some extent conflicting viewpoints on them.  Everyone knows Bruce Banner turns into a big green angry rage monster, but there he is, exiled and working with sick patients in India.  Of course, either way he might be exiled, but, that doesn’t mean he needs to do anything for anyone.  He’s soft spoken and helps the little girl with her dad.  I know the scenes drew criticism, but there is basically bad parts of every country.  The worst parts of the United States don’t represent the city, state, or country or even area as a whole because there is more to it than just what we see in a film or even documentary.  It is only up to the viewer to distinguish the difference.

Look guys!  Thor’s a man again!

Regardless of that controversy, it was just something I mentally noted about Banner.  It’s a stark contrast to his huge green angry form.  The other Avenger that stood out was Black Widow again, who acts as Fury’s personal assistant to some extent gathering all the Avengers.  We see everyone be introduced.  It should go smoothy, minus the part where Thor just decides to land on their plane with dangerous amounts of lightning around them.  That wasn’t such a good introduction.  Iron Man is perhaps most famous for his acceptance and welcoming attitude, though.

Yet again, I realize some people ragged the Genius, Billionaire, Playboy, Philanthropist and his divisive nature and how much of an asshole he is to the other Avengers, but the film wouldn’t work without Iron Man being an asshole.  Iron Man being condescending, constantly prodding people, believing he is better than everyone, is why this film works.  I already said it was mildly stereotypical of a plot, so for all the Avengers to be like Bob the Destroyer (see the amount of damage they did) and start chanting “Yes We Can!” it would’ve been so incredibly cheesy.  In fact, if you didn’t like that, you should just cut out a significant portion of the film, and jump right to the army of aliens toward the end.  You are throwing all different people who have never met before into one flying ship they don’t understand, and on a mission they don’t necessarily want to do.  They don’t even like each other, and somehow you expect everyone to get along like they were in Kindergarten?

It’s just not going to happen.

The ending feels so good because all of them manage to shut up and fight together even though they bicker as much as they do.  Speaking of that, I loved the end fight scene just because it felt so good, despite the confusing and tense beginning.  In the ending, Iron Man proves something to Captain America as well – he proves he is willing to risk his life, and suddenly the Old Man (aka Captain America) is really concerned about Iron Man (as long as he doesn’t kiss him, it’s all good).

But, things got a little bit clearer despite the tense beginnings, and as it turns out Marvel started The Conversation again.

Because if Fury just wanted windmills, this would’ve been a lot different.

(photo credit: Wikipedia)

The plot says Fury wants the Tessaract for renewable energy originally – just as Iron Man says he is working on renewable energy, surprise surprise.  Now, obviously, he also wants it to create a nuclear arsenal as mentioned by the intense bickering, but it does again bring a very political issue into the spotlight.  The Tessaract is from the middle of the ocean – before we see it, it was hanging with anglerfish, the Titanic, and dolphins – at least they’re cute.  It literally embodies what we do not understand and what environmentalists are trying to save or improve – the earth.  They don’t know how to operate it, but they try anyway, because I guess trial and error of a glowing cube that harnesses the power of earth isn’t at all dangerous.  The Tessaract seems to almost take on a character itself when one SHIELD worker notes it’s “misbehaving”.  It’s a glowing cube, and it’s misbehaving. Loki probably has a greater understanding of the Tessaract because he is from Asgard, but was the explosion the Tessaract misbehaving or Loki knowing how to use it?  He only just got his hands on it at that point, and it doesn’t come with a User’s Manual.  It’s practically it’s own character because nobody really truly gets it, and even Thor just wants it gone.  Thor doesn’t even like it, while his brother just wants to destroy things with it.

You know he was amused during this.

It is probably even more down to earth than the superheroes themselves in the beginning – Fury is a guy with an eyepatch who everyone realizes has ulterior motives (because SHIELD does not exist to save the ozone layer), all the superheroes are bickering, Loki and Thor fight over their childhoods, and Coulson has a heart attack because of Captain America.  They’re all pretty all over the damn place despite calling themselves a team, included with insults, to defeat Loki, who is standing there smirking, and you know he finds this funny.  I’ll admit it came off a little weird for them to be fighting and then suddenly Loki is captured, but he wanted to be captured, so I won’t rag on it too much. I mostly just find it strange three seasoned superheroes did not realize that was a possibility sooner.

And the mention of Loki brings me to my next point.

Loki is such a psychological character despite his “I want to rule you!” attitude.  He uses the Avengers’ powers against them.  He gets the Hulk to turn into “an enormous green rage monster” without needing the help of Tony Stark to get him to do it.  I consider him more psychological than brute power, because, well, he is a bit puny.  Loki was able to set the stage to bring all of these heroes together though, because you know if this much arguing happened during someone else who happens to be a villain, we’d all be dead.  Fairly quickly.

You can only imagine how that would go.

Until the end, Loki doesn’t really do much direct fighting and even when he does he’s using an army.  A lot of it is just turning the Avengers against each other while scaring Germany, and just bringing them together for the first time is enough to get them started.  Captain America and Iron Man bicker, Iron Man keeps poking “the other guy” (Hulk), Iron Man and Thor fight, Black Widow is nearly killed by Hulk,  Hawkeye is taken over by the Tessaract, and so on.  Just even putting them on the same flying ship is enough to amuse Loki, and even get Loki and Thor bickering.  Ah, yes, the battle of the Teenage Heart Throbs.  Despite all this, Good Guy Thor still looks after little bro Loki at the end.  Aww.

Loki’s psychological nature and utilizing power as opposed to possessing it set the perfect stage for the next film, and if I need to tell you what the next film is, you have been under a rock for the last week.  Loki turning Iron Man into an asshole sets the perfect stage of Age of Ultron, because Iron Man is sort of why Ultron even exists.  Way to go, Iron Man.

Iron Man is yet again the odd man out, and there’s not one set good or bad with what he was trying to do.  Ultron was created because SHIELD was destroyed.  He had good intentions.  Unlike Loki, it’s pretty apparent his motives are clear cut bad.  It’s debatable whether or not he should have attempted to do it, but either way his intentions were good, and I can imagine Iron Man is going to come under fire for being unable to control his own creation.  Still bickering to some extent, but over more serious matters than whether or not a worker is playing Galaga.

You can tell from the trailer that the Avengers are going to get pushed to their limit.  We see a broken Captain America shield, Hulk actually fighting something that is the size of him, and a severely beaten up Thor dropping the hammer.  Loki looks like child’s play and a guy who is just deluded, and it pretty much feels like Loki even happened just so that way Ultron could happen because of how inherently psychological he was.  He got the Avengers to work together before Ultron happened.  If anything, we should be thanking Loki.  We got a lighthearted, hilarious, fun film from him.  Now we’re going into a much darker realm with a robot even it’s creator does not understand.

I have had a terrible cold, hence the delay.  I am aiming from here on out to create a platform for a comic book I am also aiming to launch.

This movie is actually a move close to my heart, and I’m sure everyone and their mother (or Hydra) has seen a review of this movie.  And I just gave it away!

A little story for you first.  In the 7th grade, I needed to do a project to create my own superhero.  I chose a superhero by the name of “Miss America” to create.  Hilarious, because I’d become the biggest Captain America fangirl some amount of years later (hopefully this review won’t be too skewed).

Let me start off by saying I watched this movie without actually being into superheroes at the time.  I mean, I was, but I was only into Batman.  Captain America was still a corny blonde guy who was the epitome of The Man (TM) society has the perfect idea of.  Society has it’s ideas of what is right and wrong too, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier turned it on it’s head.

Without messing up that perfectly done blonde hair of his.

But let’s face it – this is a comic character that even a fan admitted to me has died in the comic books more than the amount of years he has been alive (in The Winter Soldier, he’s 98).  Things got dreary for Captain America.  Yeah, we get it, democracy.  Now shut up and let the big shots take over, kid from Brooklyn.

Then Joe Johnston came along and showed us how epic he could be in The First Avenger.  But, even that movie had a bit of a historical tone that overtook it.  It was sort of like Titanic – we all know Hitler happened, we all know World War II happened, and we all know science played some role in World War II (as evidenced by Einstein and the Manhattan project, although that is quite obviously not related to the Nazis quite as much).

I don’t blame Iron Man for not taking him seriously.

But then we met Bucky.  And the obvious political nature about The Winter Soldier, which very few movies do effectively.  A superhero commonly regarded as “Good Guy Cap” suddenly seemed to strike very political and dividing conversations once formerly in that ridiculous star-spangled suit of his.  Suddenly the dancing girls of The First Avenger became girls who you didn’t know and didn’t know where they stood.  Suddenly you started looking at Nick Fury and whoever Robert Redford’s character is named 5 different ways.  Everything seemed to have a double meaning, including Bucky.

Bucky, in every way, regardless of your opinion of him (hailing Hydra, and all that) is in itself a debate.  He is the perfect example of a good guy-gone-terrorist, regardless if you attribute that to Hydra taking him or not.  It’s a debate in Congress even now if we should allow people who have joined terrorist groups to remain citizens of the United States.  Although it had the obvious political tones of surveillance, that was a tone overlooked.  It was overlooked that Cap refused to kill Bucky, still believing he is inherently good, while Falcon seemed to basically question Cap’s sanity and if he was still experiencing brain freeze.  The same rings true for people who join such societies and groups.  Can they be like Bucky?  Or are they a Robert Redford? (hopefully not because Redford is hideous… and then they need an awesome Black Widow to knock them out).  Everyone noted the obvious political tone of surveillance – it really is not hard to catch.  But that is looking at the bigger picture of the terrorist – Hydra.  What about individuals?  What about Bucky?

Bucky in of himself is something I can respect, just like Cap did.  He treated Bucky as an individual.  Black Widow treated him as just some nut who hides in the shadows (like real life Slenderman), Falcon treated him like an actual nut, and Captain America treated him like a person.

But what about everyone else?  Everything else?

Now, remember, I went into this movie without even knowing who Bucky was because I did not see The First Avenger until after The Winter Soldier.   That said, the only real confusing part was when Cap just suddenly showed up and looked lovingly at a woman so much older than him, but then you realize that was his past love and it’s suddenly a little less weird.  Unlike many people, I don’t think that scene did Peggy any justice.  I don’t really know how you give a 90-something-year-old justice, but I just felt it was cheesy and it could’ve been executed better.  It felt as though Steve Rogers was visiting his grandma as opposed to his ex-lover, but then again, I don’t have any experience there (thankfully), so I wouldn’t know any more than you do.  But otherwise, the plot was obviously fantastic for a superhero newbie to follow it so effectively, aside from having a mild heart attack at the “Let’s-All-Slam-Into-Nick Fury’s-Car” scene (which as terrifying as it was, was awesome).

And I will admit, the violence and action was completely paced, in between the weaving of Captain America’s humanity.  Yeah, he was frozen and all, but oh my God, date the nurse!

I have watched superhero movies before and after this movie, and I will say, nothing has struck a cord like this one and how the Captain was portrayed.  I’ve seen both DC and Marvel, and never has anyone seemed so human about themselves and other people.  Batman was always trying to rescue people because he is the goddamn Batman.  Superman rescues people because he has super-senses and super-strength and does super-things.  Iron Man is cocky and Thor talks like Shakespeare, and the Hulk turns into the violent version of the Green Giant vegetable guy.  But Captain America came off like that kid from Brooklyn.  Captain America came off like that really awkward kid who doesn’t have much experience with girls.  Captain America came off as that guy who is so caught up in work, he forgets how to interact (despite his stellar good looks).

And dating the nurse brings me to my next point.

Yeah, so, I LOVE her now.

Marvel.

You did it.

At first, I thought Black Widow was a bit too much of a sidekick to Captain America and seemingly the very stereotypical second in command girl who occasionally needed the guy to save her ass.  But then I realized something.

Nick Fury admits she has her own mission when she goes with Steve Rogers.  They start off almost bickering (as a result of all that “compartmentalization”), and then eventually team up.  Black Widow uses her own set of superhero skills, and I don’t just mean being a master of martial arts.  She is cunning.  She makes up for Captain Awkwardness’ awkwardness.  He doesn’t know what to do when the corrupt SHIELD agents are in the mall, so Black Widow does the logical thing.

You know, kisses him, to make everyone uncomfortable.

She adds a certain aspect to the film that just is unmatched by any female role I have ever watched.  And to those who say that she needed to be rescued by Cap a good few times:  Well, she asks if he would trust her to save his life, and he says absolutely yes.  They are in every respect a team, and then she goes on her own way, knocking the crap out of Robert Redford, who on his own is a good enough villain without needing any powers to make you at least somewhat afraid of him.  He managed to infiltrate something meant to protect America.  He had The Winter Soldier in his house and asked him if he wanted milk.  Does he seem like the kind of guy who just want’s milk? I am just saying.  The score for The Winter Soldier is absolutely amazing, by the way, and it is good enough to give you chills when you see that metal arm come onto the screen, as with all of the soundtracks in general.  The movie quality itself was utterly fantastic, and it didn’t look cheap.

But then, you know, there’s that third team member… what is his name?

Oh yeah, that guy who had like, 4 minutes of screen time in his actual costume.

I kid Falcon’s screen time, but I do feel as though he was a bit underused in the main “Destroy ALL the Helicarriers!” main scene.  I think even when he went down they could have done him a bit more justice (although, he is funny).  I just.. I don’t know.  It felt lacking to me with Falcon.  I can only hope they use him a bit more in the next film (if at all), because he felt like a guy we just got to know, and then, oh shit… his wing is broken.  Well, there goes that.  Overall, though, he was an awesome addition to Captain America and thrusted a little known superhero into the national and international spotlight.

It’s filled with humanity, twists and turns, and starts the conversation in the present day.  Captain America finally takes us through real America and the real issues we face.  But the question remains: What would Cap do?

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Godzilla 2014

Posted: October 30, 2014 in Movie Reviews
Tags: , ,

I’ve been thinking for a while which movie to review first, and I was led to Godzilla. This is the start of the blog known as Fictional Planet.  After doing research on criticism, movie reviews and developing my own style I am happy to announce the formal beginning of this blog.  I will be aiming to update it every day or every other day to help readers get a feel for my style and catch up with movies.  I may eventually start updating every week, but that will be once the blog is established.

You know, it’s interesting.  I was never one for Godzilla.  It was only recently I started talking to a die-hard Godzilla fan did I take a second look at the decades-old nuclear-iguana-thing.  For a while he just seemed weird to me because of how awkwardly he moved in the old movies – yes, I know they are old, but it just seemed very awkward to me.  Not that looks are everything (especially in regards to old movies) but it just seemed like nobody ever brought Godzilla into recent times.  It always basically kept me from Godzilla or ever becoming interested in him.  So, you might say this has been my first serious taste of Godzilla.

I think I made him angry.  He’s also yelling “Spoilers ahead.”

But in reality, the movie presented itself a little bit differently than other monster movies I’ve seen mostly because Godzilla was going after the MUTOs. and humans were going after Godzilla just for being a tsunami-causing-nuclear-dinosaurthing.  I’ll admit how he was built up was appropriate, but you know I’m going to say what everyone else did about Godzilla’s humans. They were pretty flat.  I didn’t find them engaging.  And…

More Bryan Cranston.

That’s right.

The son, in my opinion, didn’t do Bryan Cranston’s character literally any justice.  He came off as a pissed off son because his dad seemingly was mentally deranged due to being obsessed with a possibly mythical creature that he linked to killing his wife.  Both of them had more potential to be developed, if you ask me, and Cranston died way too early.  They could’ve actually used Cranston to make various statements about government, secrecy and a host of other topics much like Captain America: The Winter Soldier made various political statements (even though, Captain America is honestly a guy in a suit, fighting other guys in other suits, and some guy with those really cool wings..).
Not to mention, various women were blatantly stereotypical – using the barely-developed wife as a means to get Bryan Cranston’s character utterly obsessed with Godzilla, the son’s wife stereotypically being a nurse (and stereotypically sympathizing with her father-in-law), and the son himself fitting stereotype via his military, “tough guy” attitude, etc.  Overall, to me, I saw a whole lot of stereotypes within the characters.  Even if you argue characters cannot be developed too much because it’s a monster movie, there were stereotypes weaving the character’s cores.  I’m not one for stereotypes, mostly because if stereotype should fit me I should not be watching Godzilla at all.

As I mentioned, the plot was interesting instead of the usual humans VS. monster-thing, but I think that more Godzilla could have been shown at the end of the movie (especially considering, at the time, they weren’t planning a sequel).  Not in the middle of the movie, simply because that just let it build up to the moment Godzilla reached MUTOs and unleashed his real rage.  I actually agree with Godzilla not doing much until the ending of the film, simply because we seem to think animals that are prehistoric (or look that way) or endangered as uncontrolled and uncalculated.  Godzilla was very calculated.  He was like a Komodo Dragon meets a crocodile meets a dinosaur (which are actually truly very smart and evolutionary advantageous) meets fiction and it’s vast possibilities.  He’s smart, cunning, but still an animal.  Of course, humans still stereotypically fear him because we don’t understand him, but that’s more of a statement on nature than stereotype; there were also various obvious statements about how nature balances itself out, and we don’t exactly need to blow everything up to try to “balance it out”.  I also think the ending was incredibly cheesy and a testament to the horribly developed human characters that so wonderfully graced Godzilla’s screen.  (Yeah, it’s sarcasm.)

On the other upside, Godzilla sold me on watching one of his movies.  He looked like an animal and acted like an animal – a smart animal.

It was a while ago I watched the movie, so I may be missing a few things, but these things stood out in my mind.  I’d need to re-watch if I’m going to get everything.