I'm astonished that Logan rubs 92% on Rotten tomatoes. Some reviews are very critical but tend to be "comic book crap!" Or "not comic book enough!" So if you demand accuracy to a 1985 comic or think mutant heroes are stupid you might not like it.
If you understand the X-Men have always been about prejudice and human rights not dumbed down but shifted in context to slide it by uptight jerks...
The battle isn't always against planet eating monsters. The monsters are sometimes real & personal.
I saw Ghost in the Shell last night with my niece, the college comics fan who never to my amazement saw the anime. She's a hard core anime fan who loves the androgynous love story genre ( which bores me ) and I can't believe she missed "Ghost". I suppose it's too old..
My reaction to the movie? Wow.
My niece was glad she hadn't seen the earlier anime since she was able to enjoy the story unfolding in front of her. Scarlett Johansson did her usual great job. The supporting cast was great. Special effects outstanding, although at times the sheer volume of holographic monumental scale street ads were overwhelming. ..... just like modern Tokyo.
Not a kiddie movie. Don't take anyone younger than a teen.
The "white wash" complaints are bogus. Can't properly rebut without spoilers.
"Ghost" is a long existing franchise. Beginning with the manga, ( comic book / graphic novel ) there are multiple movies, tv animated series, and videogames. ... plus comics of those series.
The Original manga was dense with exposition, heavy on philosophy and psychology, the implications of cybernetic enhancement and memory manipulation.
The 1995 anime movie was my introduction to Ghost.
Every version draws on the manga. Characters, story lines, all chosen with a different spin & tone. None have anything to do with each other. ( like "The Ten Commandments" & "Ben Hur" are not sequel at all )
It's inevitable that people have favorites and compare the different works, but it is Not a coherent series like Star Trek.
So...... play it as it lays. Enjoy each as a separate entity.
I love how Marvel thinks people are tired of "diversity".
NO I AM TIRED OF WATCHING UNCLE BEN DIE 373929463 TIMES.
Yeah, that might be why I never bothered to watch the last Spiderman movie.
I understand the desire to reboot a franchise with new actors. All you have to do is look at the Hulk movie with Eric Bana to understand that. BUT. The reboot, next Hulk movie, while not an academy award nominee for best writing, pretty much showed a few seconds of montage ( that looked like it was lifted right out of Bill Bixby's tv series intro ) and then went right on with the story, which in ALL Hulk stories, is about an outcast on the run. And done pretty darn good, too.
No need to give us an hour of exposition, technobabble, or psych scenes of bad tempered Bruce Banner. Everyone on the planet knows who the Hulk is, and the story of the film can stand on it's own.
Is there anyone on the planet that will actually GO to a comic book movie who does not know Batman, or Superman, or Spiderman's origin? Seriously?
It's darned irritating to watch Uncle Ben die, again, and the same is true for the Wayne family, and for the love of Stan Lee, get a writer who actually read some of the fracking comic books for a change!!!!!!
I can understand the Origin story kicking off the X-men Trilogy(s), and Ok, both trilogies, since while the X-men are a MAJOR player in Marvel sales, it's possible that new kids have never seen the animated series, or read, anything, ever, in a world of Common core education. But they didn't do the freaking origin story 6 times in 6 movies.
( I admit they did hint at Wolverine's origin, a couple of times, but that was supposed to dovetail with that trilogy, and it wasn't hammered into every movie )
Face it, the comic fans have learned to accept reboots, but every time it happens, you lose some older readers who just don't want to invest their emotions in a new batch of the same folk.
Good drama, no matter the medium, is very simple. ( And quite hard ) Create a character(s) that the audience falls in love with. Put them through Hell. ( and "love" here is not sexual. Many manly men enjoyed Thomas Magnum, P.I.) What is important is you want the character to succeed. ( or the villain to fail, spectacularly )
And ham fisted Political Correctness just makes for garbage stories anyway. I'm fine with a female Iron Man, I was a She Hulk Fan, and there are many great characters "of color" and ethnicity. But when it becomes, "Look, we are virtue signalling how awesome and enlightened we are by making Superman a gay Kryptonian paraplegic, dedicated to eradicating capitalism" we won't buy your crap.
I tried to watch "Iron Fist" a few nights ago, got through a couple of episodes... so far the storyline is pretty weak, but I'm trying to appreciate the acting, cinematography. "Jessica Jones" was SO much better!
It helps to have a nemesis that can scare the daylights out of the audience. An actor that can project the menace is hard to find, but they got the right guy, in David Tennant.
Iron Fist's origins are old enough that "fighting the giant corporation gone bad" was a fairly fresh thing. Today it's cliche. I'm only a few episodes in...
Let's hope the sum is greater than the parts, but even so, this project has been a pretty good shot at realistic superheroes.
If you're a reader, I highly, fanboy enthusiastically, recommend "Wearing The Cape" by Marion Harmon.
Set in a world where "The Event" for causes unknown started some few people in moments of crisis, getting superpowers. An attempt to look at what such a world would look like, realistically. There would be t-shirts, action figures, Superhero Insurance, ( liability for those times the Bad Guy slammed you through the neighborhood gas station. Sure, you caught the roof before it landed on the apartment building across the street, but there's still cleanup to pay for ) mandatory psychiatric exams for Heroes to keep the insurance, ( does being able to melt hypersonic missiles with your eye beams make you start to think you are above the petty laws of foolish mortals? ) and, of course, Hero Beat magazine for the teen fans, tabloids hyping affairs and drug abuse, and, horror of horrors, Fanfic.
The main Protagonist is Astra, a freshman in college, who gets her Breakthrough in a terrorist bombing, when she lives through the disaster, but desperately needs to save others. She gets the Flying Brick package. Super strength, flight, toughness, mildly enhanced senses. ( No eye beams or super breath ) At 5'3" with, as she puts it, the figure of an undeveloped Tinkerbell, and cute, the running gag is that she just can't intimidate anyone. This means that she actually has to fight MORE than a guy who looks like the Hulk. Since she's one of the dozen strongest people in the country, who can take a hit from a main battle tank and flip it over after trashing it, ( Not throw it... she has limits ) it's ironic as all get out.
She gets invited to join Chicago's premier super team, the Sentinels, at first to teach her how not to break the world around her. ( "a world of cardboard" ) Or the people around her.
Then she has to get written into the scripts for the next season of the TV show. ( actors & special effects.... The Hollywood Knights do their own movies, the whole team is very pretty, but the Sentinels are a Serious Team )
She also gets PTSD, as the series goes on. 6 books so far. How do you explain to the girls at the Sorority that you wake up sweating every night as you relive punching a man's heart through his spine? The fact that you HAD to, because he was literally in the process of killing you, doesn't help.
She's not alone. The Sentinels Team is diverse and.... not the Avengers.
And there's more than one team. Safire, of the West Side Guardians, had been an exotic dancer working her way through medical school when her abusive boyfriend nearly beats her to death, triggering her breakthrough. Skin tight spandex purple and pink flames uniform aside ( and dang does she look good in it... despite the eye strain ) her fans brag about her life saving statistics.
Not all grim, there is humor. The bystander that points out she's on fire at the end of a fight. The Heavy Armored Super Marine unit that thinks she's awesome.... because she takes out the Bad Guy that's mopping the floor with them. ( She gets a Team Challenge Coin... and they have to wait until she's 21 to Challenge her at the bar )
Worth a read, and the first chapters are available free at Amazon. ( I bought both the Kindle and paper versions. Good stuff.... in a genre I didn't even know existed until Amazon sent me a "if you like that.... you might like this" email. )
Saw last night with Sister & brother in law. Spectacular. In 3d.
Must see in theater. Worth every penny.
We were lucky enough to get into an uncrowded theater that was still rolling previews and no line at all @ 6:30 pm. The 3d was well done and seldom intruded into the enjoyment. ( I can take or leave 3d. If done poorly it can hurt a movie or even render it unwatchable. G2 did it well )
I have nothing to say about plot or.... anything. No spoilers if I can help it. The opening credits scene rivals Deadpool.
As different from Logan as a Super hero movie can be. In a good way. And I loved Logan. This is funny and sad and sentimental with enough explosions and special effects to satisfy any fanboy.
I still expect Wonder Woman to be DC's best ever, but the bar for best movie just got raised.
On a slightly different note... I FINALLY watched most, not all, of Rogue One last night. Rented the Redbox DVD about 4 days ago, and every night until last I'd FAIL to stay awake, or whatever, to get through it.
REALLY enjoyed the visuals! I bet a 3D viewing would be primo. But, I ended up REALLY hating the screenplay/script/directing! There were WAY too many scenery chewing dialogue moments, the android and the blind guy just became annoying with all the goony things they had to say... and the movie ran SO long, it seemed the director just went for asinine filler ad nauseam. Looking forward to returning it ASAP...
Here's hoping something new will come along soon for my sci-fi jones!
Passengers. Missed it in the Theater. Amazon up sold me the DVD.
Good. Makes me angry where it disappoints. Spoilers if I tried to explain. But.... good.
There's a critical sentiment that re-ordering the movie would make it better...... but on second viewing and watching the bonus stuff, I disagree. You could make it a darker story or a very different story if you re edited it..... but it wouldn't be the story they Wanted to tell.
( you can re-edit The Shining into a romantic comedy if you wanted....... just don't expect a Steven King tale if you do )
Incredible sets. Believable science. ( very little techno-babble..... and some next week gear. ( which makes it obsolete by the time of the film.... hard to avoid. ))
Pretty darn solid performances. Considering it's limited cast, all top pros, there's a lot of pressure on each. They nail it.
Cons. Unresolved issues. Spoiler blah blah. Maybe a few minutes too long..... or too short. My spoiler complaint might ruin the movie for you.....or you'll think I'm hyper sensitive. ... and I refuse to ruin it for you if I am.
I'm eager to hear how others liked it.
Passengers is a gorgeous film. It's not exactly what you expect from the trailers. I really think it deserved more notice in the Theater. I suppose being up against Logan didn't help.
Initial reviews on Wonder Woman have been gushing fanboy hysteria. Great! I'm looking forward to it this weekend, and am trying very hard to ignore the hype and walk into the theatre with not TOO much expectation.
But... just to be mean.... I urge everyone to go see Wonder Woman just to anger the uptight women enslaving mullahs of the world.
I admit, freely, that I find Gal Gadot, hot.
The best part of Batman vs. Superman, by far.
DC movies have not been my cup of tea, for the most part. I liked some of them a lot, but none were close to perfect movies.
DC really need to get someone who can write dialog. But that said there was nothing as bad as the lame exposition from Suicide Squad. "This is Katana, she's got my back, I would advise not getting killed by her. Her sword traps the souls of its victims."
Some of the accents were uneven.
My Niece didn't like the mustache on one character. She also didn't like that an actor she loved from a different movie franchise was a bad guy.
If certain people make a movie, I don't bother with it, even if I might like the story. ( yes, Bay, I mean you )
The Transformers flicks, for example, are unwatchable to me, because of Shaky Cam!. I'm just too old to care about the cartoons, but I'm willing to suspend disbelief for silly things if the story is good. But you have to let me see the action.
Or you have to let me see something.
Wonder Woman's fight scenes are completely understandable. You get the shape of the fight, the layout of the room, the peril is plain, the action is clear, and while there are multiple cuts ( because real people just can't DO THAT ) it's not cuts to hide the laziness of the film maker, they are there to put you in the middle of the action and not a spectator watching through a window.
And sometimes what works is what you leave out. WW is strong. But we don't get Goku building up his power, or Superman straining with an extended "it's too heavy, but I have to, to save the day, so I must blah blah grunt, groan, aaaaaarrrrrrrrgggggghhhhhhh!!!!!!!" shtick we've seen so many times. It's just a realistic Kiai yell any martial artist understands.
That's realism on a subtle level that is often missing from superhero movies.
And the Cinematography, while it never intrudes, is just freaking gorgeous. There are a few spot where the CGI could be a little better, but darn few, and there will be many Youtube cranks complaining about every one, but it's rare that you get spoiler. spoiler. spoiler on that level I haven't seen since spoiler.
I disagree. Her pay is pretty good for an relativity unknown actress that never before had a lead role. Now that she has established herself, she can negotiate substantially more in the future. Studios will pay more for something that has a higher certainty of success or ROI.
Henry Cavil got comparable pay for Man of Steel (and better known co-star Amy Adams got 7 figures), Chris Evans got $300K for Captain America, Chris Hemsworth only got $150K for Thor, and even an established star like Robert Downey Jr. only got paid $500K for the first Iron Man.
As a big fan of insider jokes, I loved this one. ( and growing up with a buddy who's Blackfoot just makes it better )
You can take it too far. "Star Trek, The Motion Picture" had a lot of inside jokes that only the real Trekkie would get, like the celibacy oath taken by the hot bald lady. ( Her people are SO hot and into empathic sex that humans can die from getting it on with them. The Captain of the Enterprise is pointed out to be such a stud that he's a former long term lover of hers ) And there's more, some I didn't get at the time, and I had most of the novels.
FF got me back into comics when I was in College. My GF was into Marvel and got me into X-men.
Saw an interview with one of the Amazons in WW. An athlete, turned actor, she went through the Amazon training with the rest of the cast, and the moment they all stepped onstage in full battle gear was a real thrill for her. The "300" Spartans would have been Toast. The best part is when her son come on set and saw her in Amazonian Armor, and the expression on his face.
I want to point out that WW passes the bechdel test as the Amazons only discussed men in the context of humanity, not relationships. It fails the cowboy test as it has only an Indian character. And a Native-American.
Batman vs. Superman fails since the three main female characters either never talk to each other or when they do it's about their relationship with men.
The test is not really a ridiculous idea. There are a host of movies that fail just because there's only one gal in the movie or they only talk about relationships.
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 passes. ( although much of the gal-gal dialogue is about Daddy issues. ..... but Daddy issues are the plot )
I don't sweat it when the test is failed. But I can see the irritation when much of movie history is full of fails. Almost all the period piece female oriented movies with English maidens of a declining household and the need to marry the rich guy....fail because it's the relationship that's the point.
I'll also point out that many lesbian movies also violate the test because it's still the "will she?" And relationship dialog, they just change from guys to gals.
Don't let anyone else tell you how much you like a movie.
I love some films with serious flaws. I liked Pocahontas in Space, despite the Fern gully heavy-duty anti-western slant. Man of Steel despite the broody murky vibe.
X-men 3 still sucked. So glad it got retconned out of existence by Days Of Future Past. ( which deserved better reviews )
I'm a who fan, especially the 2005 reboot/continuation of the ancient show. I personally look forward to a female Doctor.
Spoiler alert... Spoiler alert
I also loved the latest companion. The first openly gay female character on the show, the running gag that she can't get laid because the world coming to an end interrupts her was initially hilarious. Imagine your first date with a girl being interrupted by The Pope.
Although Bill was the first openly gay female companion she was preceded by Captain Jack, openly everything sexual male. I'd say bi..... but that doesn't cover it. He doesn't care if they are human as long as they say yes.. like Captain Kirk.
But brave.... ok, just following orders BBC mandatory sexuality break through aside, the New Doctor is not the first powerful female character in science fiction or tv or movies.
The works of many writers going back decades have had strong female characters. As usual Robert Heinlein was there long before with his preference for hot, redhead, omnicompetent heroes. ( like his wife, Virginia ) or EE "Doc" Smith and his hyper competent female characters. Or Tolkien and his.... although a modern feminist nut would object to the Little Mermaid plot with Arwen.
In other words. Much ado about little. From both sides.