Paging Doctor Mister Strange. Your Origin Story Is Here

Doctor Strange 4.4/5

I’m not sure how often I’ve mentioned it in a review here, but I really hate that all movies now have to be a minimum of two hours. When movies drag out it is super lame. What ever happened to the 90 minute movie?

What does this have to do with anything? Well, Marvel went and made themselves a two hour movie that felt like a 90 minute fast paced, tripping balls, action movie and it rocked. I’m positive that the 1h55m run time listed on IMDB is a lie.

Benedict Cumberbatch’s American accent was not distracting. He was also good at being Doctor Strange because Doctor Strange is an asshole, self-centered, boastful, and a bit of a dickbag. He nailed it.

The supporting cast was interesting too.

  • Mordo was more interesting here than any time I’ve read him in the comics. He isn’t just the foil to Doctor Strange in the traditional mirror villain way most comic villains are
  • Wong taking more from the recent Way of the Weird inspiration as an army general was well served and executed. It sets up well for the future films if they continue down the WotW comic story.
  • The Ancient One and her monologues never took too long or felt too… “I’m so ancient and wise” which is so easy to do with the Grandmaster character. I liked how she wouldn’t take more than two or three sentences to ever make her point.

Was the villain a little underdeveloped? I suppose. But he was what he was and they didn’t try to do more. If I was more into spoilers I would go into more here. It’s hard to kinda get into what I want to say without letting it all hang out.

The tie-ins to the greater MCU? Fine. A shot of Avengers Tower with downtown New York? Good, in fact I would have loved to have seen the Oscorp tower too. Off hand mention of the Avengers? Cool. Blah blah Infinity Stones? Yeah duh.

I also liked things that were designed to be more character moments too. Complications around The Oath. The roller coaster of his status. Utilitarian vs Individualism was especially fun. I like to thing about the “What Ifs?” in a movie a lot. Like what if the character took the right path and not the left one. Make the renegade choice and and not be a paragon.

The action was well shot and smart. It was “magical” and manipulative. Creative and the use of the environment sets this apart from shoot-bang-kick-smash that most of the Marvel movies do.

The climax was great, smart and interesting on a few levels. I would have liked a little more fire, though (and you’ll understand that once you see it).

The trippy kaleidoscope effects were worth the price of admission. Same with the bright colours and tints and blurs and whatever else. I’m not one who does, but people who partake in certain psychedelics would have a blast about 30 minutes in.

The mid-credits scene was nice. I’m always of two minds on these. Part of me likes when these things are kept almost entirely to their self, but then the part of me who wants to see a 5 hour film of nothing but comic book crossover porn just loves it.

The end-credits scene plays into what we’ve seen from the character and sets up the sequel and maybe a small portion of Infinity War (if you make great leaps of imagination with fan theory that I do).

Would I like to have seen a little more doctor-ing? Sure enough. More Rachel McAdams being a Canadian sweetheart? Yeah. Some more cult time? Sure!

But at the same time, I really enjoy a movie that doesn’t bugger about too much and just keeps things going.

I will see this again. And probably again. Then once more. At least.

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Suicide Squad? More Like Yeah That Was Enjoyable Squad

Suicide Squad 3.7/5

This movie isn’t bad. It sure kicks the balls off of Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of AIDs. Its the best DC Extended Universe movie we’ve seen yet.

I enjoyed the movie. Your mileage may vary on whether this is a 2.5 or a 4.5 but its not bad. It takes Xmen: Apocalypse behind the shed and sends it the way of Lassie. It slaps Amazing Spiderman 2 like it is owed money.

This movie is well, well better than trash like Independence Day: Resurgence and Legend of Tarzan. Its at least on par with both Thor films.

Lets start with The Good:

  • The characters feel like real characters. They also feel like bad guys. Because they’ve done bad stuff and aren’t just good guys who done gone a wrong once.
  • I have seen a lot of people be mad that this group of terrible, horrible, not good, very bad people would include men who sexually ogle Harley Quinn in her fishnets and booty shorts, and make passes at other women loosely. As well as crack wise with snips of racism tossed in there. Yeah, I’m stunned a bunch of criminals aren’t morally righteous like a real Superman or Captain America.
  • Those scenes are a few of the times that our scumbag criminals feel like scumbag criminals. I actually really liked the scenes where the scumbags felt like scumbags. It made them feel like real characters.
  • All your squad members, except one, have backstory and varying levels of arc so they aren’t terrible, boring, flat characters like in Ghostbusters. Every character is good.
  • This movie has roughly 8ish or more characters that it needs to establish. It does a damn good job of doing so.
  • It takes the world it lives in seriously. I love that. They aren’t like “Derp magic witch wut thats dumb omg its real wtf so cray”. There is no “I’m Ant-Man :(. I know my name is lame.” They’re just like “Yup, that sword steals the spirits of whoever it kills. And yeah thats a 6000+ year old witch. And this guy is basically son of Satan.”
  • It plays the stuff straight. Its great universe building. Little stuff is explained so well and there are some cool ass camera shots. Plus little touches here and there (like the Joker’s goons) that are delightful to see.
  • I thought Harley Quinn was going to be unbearable and ditzy, but she’s just cooky enough that the zingers and one liners work. It would have been easy for them to go to the Nth degree with “crazy girl” and they didn’t.
  • Will Smith is living charisma as Deadshot. I also thought they might one-note him as the cocky, hired gun. But he’s dope.
  • I really enjoyed Jared Leto’s Joker being an entirely different Joker than we’ve seen yet. Being the biggest, baddest mob boss is fitting and the character pulls from the more androgynous and expressive/animated comic portrayals.

Now onto The Meh:

  • This could have been so much better with an R rating. It didn’t need a ton of F bombs or boobs to make it better, but the violence is strangely glorified and also muted. Letting them go whole hamhock on it would have been delightful in a Kingsman sort of way. When you have R rated villains as your protagonist, let them be R.
  • The plot may have been a teeny bit generic, but it serves as a good backdrop to get the characters through the dealio.
  • Another blue laser into the sky… but the blue laser did something for once. But still, blue laser into the sky.
  • I wasn’t too crazy about parts of the final fight scene. Power usage and strength levels kind of did a Mortal Kombat where powers and who can beat up who got a little muggy. It kind of made bits of the ending a thinky-face emoji.
  • I would have liked a Joker scene that I could instantly put into conversation with Mark Hamill and Heath Ledger. You didn’t quite get that but I still really liked it. The Joker was a supporting character in this movie and is treated as such. Its a bit unusual, but it works.
  • I generally liked the villain, but a bit less CGI would have helped. There were times that things looked a little awkward or too clean and that takes you out of it.
  • The soundtrack was fine and fun, but then it didn’t keep up. Like after having music playing for like the first 60% of the movie in and out, it just goes away at the end. You gotta commit to that or tone it way down at the start.

And finally, The Bad:

  • F*ck that post credits scene. That scene did more to establish Bruce Wayne as the go-getter for the Justice League than like the 20 minutes that BvS wasted to do the same thing. So it was good, but like bad too. It was so good it made a part of another movie bad.
  • I don’t like Amanda Waller. There is a scene where I just basically quit on the character.
  • Mook villains is as mook villains does. They didn’t quite make sense in terms of their abilities and how they fought.
  • I understand people’s qualms about pacing and editing. There was some stuff that was a bit disjointed, but it was fine enough all together. I’m really curious as to what David Ayer’s original edit was. It never felt as bad as Fantastic Four, but there were a few times it was a little sandpapery.
  • Probably could have done without some characters getting up to like three or four intro scenes. But they spent the money to shoot them so they gotta be in it I guess.
  • I hate random slow-mo in fight scenes. I hate how every DC movie needs to have that because Zack Snyder is/was the head honcho of the entire thing. There are a couple shots during the big fight at the end that didn’t need to be slow-mo or had to be held onto as long as they were.

Overall: Its a good comic book movie. Gonna let you in on a secret. I watch all comic book movies once with bros/on a date. Then my mom asks if she would enjoy it. If yes, I get to go again with my mom. If I say no, then we don’t. I’m batting 100% on this so far.

But with this one, I don’t know. I think she may enjoy it, I can see why she wouldn’t and will settle for me explaining the entire thing to her over dinner.

This one is 50-50. A coin toss. I liked it. I don’t know why its reviewing so poorly. I listed a bunch of movies that were well worse above in my opinion.

If you’re one of the people who reads my reviews and is like “ur dumb and wat is wrong wit moviez now and ppl like u r ruining cinema” then hump and stump and go see Star Trek (or some insufferable indie flick about how no one really understands life, man) instead.

I think its good.

Previously:

To Come (at some point):

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows
  • Batman: The Killing Joke
  • Sausage Party (August 12)

 

2016 Summer-ish of Movies: Hey Look How Cool Batman Is Right?

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice 3/5

So… your mileage may vary. There is a lot to digest here and its probably a 5,000 word essay or two hour discussion. It basically boils down to this: Like in comic books where writers take their own spins on characters, Zack Snyder has done that here.

This isn’t your childhood Superman. This isn’t the Batman you’ve come to know. There is merit to the characters and there decision making, but how its done is… inconsistent. The pacing is off, but when stuff happens it is cool. Its kinda dumb when you think about it too much, but whatever I guess.

Honestly, there is three movies here. Man of Steel 2, an Iron Man 2-ish Batman and Superman movie, then the getting the gang together for the Justice League.

I’m mostly disappointed because there is a great Superman movie in here that mainly revolves around a question that is asked. “Should there be a Superman?” That is a great concept and should be its own movie, unfortunately it gets back burnered because Batman and Justice League needs to release soon.

There is just so much Zack Snyder all over the film. There is probably a real good two hour movie in here, but at two-and-a-half hours it really drags at points. The saturation, the laughable musical cues, the “edginess”, the editing. I’m not trying to be a hater. I can live with that stuff, but he really needs a good producer or editor or extra screenwriter to help reel him in.

To some, it is a 4/5. To others a 1/5. I look at this like a better version of the Fantastic Four from last summer. You can see the moments where the movie is/could be great, but it just misses the mark a few too many times.

What did you think?

To Come:
– Keanu (April 29)
– Captain America: Civil War (May 6)
– Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows (June 3)
– Popstar: Never Stop Singing (June 3)
– Warcraft (June 10)
– Independence Day: Resurgence (June 24)
– The Secret Life of Pets (July 8)
– Star Trek Beyond (July 15)
– Jason Bourne (July 29)
– Suicide Squad (August 5)
– Sausage Party (August 12)

Maybe’s of the Summer
– Money Master (May 13)
– Neighbours 2 (May 20)
– The Nice Guys (May 20)
– Now You See Me 2 (June 10)
– The Legend of Tarzan (July 1)
– Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (July 8)
– Ghostbusters (July 15)

Rant on DC Comics and Their Movies

DC Comics, while you stumble around as misguided as you possible can be, I want you to listen to me. I want you to digest this, because before I go see your films over the next little while, with free movie passes so you don’t steal anymore of my money, I have a lot of things I want to get off my chest.

What are you doing? Do you know? Honestly. I’m not being facetious. What is your plan? Zack Snyder isn’t Joss Whedon with Kevin Feige holding his hand.

I’m going to tell you what to do. This will be the way to least piss me off with your plans. I love your animated movies. I love your TV shows.

jl3

For Supes 2 V Batsy: Meet the JL, make this movie primarily Supes v Lex Luthor. That is one of the most interesting power struggles in comics – Lex’s ability to have total control over everything but Superman. Lex can start as the face here. Everyone is mad pissed at Supes destroying like the entire State. Lex, the ultimate control freak, comes in and rallies the world against Supes. Batsy even is on Lex’s side before figuring the ish out. Great double turn and Supes doesn’t have to be a crybaby jerk.

Wonder Woman. You have the perfect WW in your 2009 animated film. Unlike Superman, she doesn’t have to come to earth. She can come to earth because she sees a world that needs help. Thats her motivation. She isn’t forced/thrust into hero-dom like Superman or Batman or the others. Make it her choice. Original idea. Boom. You owe me.

Aquaman is a total badass. He has a bad publicist. Guess who his publicist is? You, DC! YOU! Make him a dude who just loves fighting and stuff, Brave and the Bold style. Don’t treat one of your characters like a joke and the fans won’t either.

jl1

Your unnanounced Batman movie. I don’t know what to do here. I was unhappy with The Dark Knight Rises because that wasn’t Bane. That was some fan-fiction. You have the greatest pool of villains in comics. You don’t need to bastardize them to fit a story that is crap. I’d love to see Riddler. Focus on the brains side of Batman. The psychology. Not just punch-kick.

Don’t write off the Green Lantern movie with Ryan Reynolds. Just Incredible Hulk it. Sick of origin stories.

The Flash. My favourite DC hero. He can be a little hard for a movie. His flagship villain is his mirror-villain, to me, and your mileage may vary there in film one. The CW TV show is doing such a great job as well, you’re digging yourself a hole. Cold is probably you’re best bet as cold is the anti-energy and one of the few things that can stop the Flash. If you make him a pouty-puss, I quit.

jl2

Shazam is another great character being sewered by bad decision making. You screwed him up when you decided that his villain, Black Adam, is more interesting than he is. A kid that becomes Lightning-Superman should be interesting. There is a lot to work with. Focus on the character and not the character crying.

Cyborg isn’t a pouty puss. He’s a boy scout, but he’s not another brooder. He’s a human robot with basically unlimited tech abilities. He puts Iron Man to shame.

As for characters I want to see that are unannounced, Green Arrow. He’s a great foil for Bats. A lot of people argue that Bats is the “normal guy” of the JL. Nah, he’s like 99% flawless. He doesn’t screw up a lot. Green Arrow screws up his relationships and actions all the time. Way more like a normal person.

And please get into Captain Atom and Martian Manhunter. Those guys are super cool. So is Dr Fate.

jl4

I just don’t know how they’re going to do so many “origins” in Dawn of Justice. I hope they’re just quick cuts like “hey this universe is way bigger than we thought” or something.

Worry about keeping your own world in check before you worry about catching up with Marvel Studios. That sunk Spiderman. I can’t handle more of my heros being ruined.

Please.

Don’t even get me started on the choice not to link TV and Film universes. Writing in simple stuff like “Oh, its terrible what happened to the Queens” at one of Batman’s rich guy galas or “Did you hear about S.T.A.R. Labs in Central City?” is easy peasy lemon squeezy! Thats all I want. Also, your small screen is better than big screen so like… leverage your strengths.

Age of Ultron Trailer Reaction and Analysis: OMG

HOLY CRAP! That was my reaction. But lets also look at the trailer and try to find some things. SPOILERS DUH maybe.

  • 00:14 –  opening shots of general panic set the tone well. James Spader’s voice over is menacing and authoritative. Almost sounds regal. Excellent.
  • 00:19 – shot of Ultron(?) getting out of lava. Love this as it gets across the indestructible nature of Ultron.
  • 00:24 – some shots of Cap, Hawkeye and Thor in the area of the place that was panicking. They all look a little haggard and exhausted.
  • 00:29 – Looks like the interior of the Avenjet. Banner is tripping balls. No sign of Stark or Hawkeye in the jet. Banner is using his shirt like a straight jacket it seems.
  • 00:33 – More killer voice work and some shots of a limping and damaged Ultron V1 (we’ll call it V1).
  • 00:34 – “Tangled and strings” I love this theme.
  • 00:40 –  Things get real. Crushes the head on one of the Iron Men/Ultron prototypes.
  • 00:49 – Cap never skips leg day. I’m digging his new suit.
  • 00:55 – Some destruction shots. Guns. A tank. Makes things look hopeless.
  • 00:58 – Banner stumbling around in some woods. Really interested in his plot for this movie.
  • 1:00 – Is that Widow?
  • 1:03 – Ultron working with the “miracle twins” or whatever they were called by Von Strucker. Definitely makes sense if they were captives, and Ultron is looking to cut the “strings” on the world. They’d be willing disciples.
  • 1:06 – Love the design of Ultron’s minions.
  • 1:09 – Thor’s with Cap, Widow and Hawkeye. He drops his hammer. It’s a neat “oh no” style shot.
  • 1:12 – Stark is looking over what looks like Ultron V1/ what is left of him.
  • 1:13 – “This is the end.”- Stark. False. There are plenty of sequels still to be made.
  • 1:15 – Nick Fury. Curious to see what he can do without S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • 1:16 – “Nothing lasts forever.” – Widow. Except you having terrible hair in every Avengers film to date.
  • 1:18 – Elizabeth Olsen/Scarlet Witch screaming in the middle of a devastated courtyard. She isn’t my wife yet but I hope she is one day.
  • 1:21 – HULKBUSTER ARMOR! That is so hype.
  • 1:26 – Widow gets dropped on her Harley to go fight, presumably. Makes me wonder why there is still traffic heading towards where she is going. Robots destroying entire cities isn’t subtle, citizens. Why isn’t she getting people to safety?
  • 1:29 – Quicksilver runs through a robot as Cap takes a seat. Curious to see how they handle his speed powers after Xmen: DOFP and The Flash TV show handling super speed really well.
  • 1:31 – Is Cap geared up in a night club?
  • 1:34 – Who is this guy? He’s obviously someone but I haven’t paid too much attention to the casting and I can’t quite put a name to him.
  • 1:34 – Standard “Chris Hemsworth must be shirtless” scene.
  • 1:35 – Hulk and Widow share a moment. Really wanna know Hulk’s story now.
  • 1:37 – Tank shots. Looked like they were firing blue stuff, which was the Phase 2 weapons/Hydra weapons powered by the Tesseract.
  • 1:38 – Hawkeye still in a goofy outfit I am not on board with yet.
  • 1:40 – Thor grabs Stark by the throat, like Loki did. Looks like this scene is back where Ultron made his first appearance in Avengers Tower.
  • 1:42 – Hulk v Hulkbuster Iron Man – can’t wait to fanboy over this in the theatre.
  • 1:43 – Song plays again. I am so on board with it. I’VE GOT NO STRINGS by Ned Washington/Leigh Harline.
  • 1:46 – Quicksilver running. Tiny bit underwhelmed by what they’re showing his speed to be. He should be basically instant. Other characters look like they’re only at half speed.
  • 1:48 – Why do fruit stands always get destroyed in action scenes?
  • 1:53  – CAP’S INDESTRUCTIBLE SHIELD OH NO!
  • 1:56 – Dat Ultron design.
  • 2:14 – Making me wait until April is bullcrap.

Enjoy these gifs