Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)
One of the Best Comic Book Movies!
I'd like to thank all the internet trolls for lowering my expectations. If I thought this was the Best DC movie going in, I'd probably be more critical. But constant, whining, complaining about political/feminist manifestos had me walking in just hoping it would not suck.
It Did Not Suck.
Pros. Cinematography! The colors! The watercolor? Washes? on the big scenes ( alas my vocabulary fails ) Captured the Full Page spread from a comic, beautifully. Very little shaky cam stupidity. Colors... Watchmen used a different palette than regular comics, and the movie captured that well. Birds Of Prey uses the classic comic book colors where it counts, and stark city realism where that's appropriate, or often inappropriate, since, Harley!
Stunt work & fight scenes. The Stunt work is top notch. There's not a lot of "Super Powers" stuff obviously going on. Other than the relative indestructible heroines, who shake off hits that would turn actual humans into paste. Hey! Comic Book! Motorcycle and roller derby fans, rejoice! Practical effects and serious stunt work.
Fight scenes are Fracking Brutal! Dark Knight and beyond. If you liked the Darkness ( philosophical ) in DC movies, this captures it perfectly, without apology, without the brooding hero. Oh, Harley might brood, but it's manic, justified, and meaningful. It's not "What She Does" like the Batman movies.
Acting. Great! Even the Villain(s) are working it here. Black Mask ( Ewan McGregor ) is actually scary. Even main characters meant to be cliche' refuse to stay in their box. Sure, the disposable villains don't get any character development, they get beat up too quickly, but you don't care about minion 7's motivation anyway. Greed and violence, nuff said.
Universe Building. Finally! Someone gets it right! Birds Of Prey is the follow on to Suicide Squad. They don't change Harley Quinn at all. Consistent character, and character development! Plenty of fan candy references to the previous film, but done right, not overloaded.
Darkness. Not a kiddie movie. That might be a negative. There is some serious adult hell going down here. Bad decisions, dire consequences, real villainy, blood and horror. Do Not Take Young Children. But for those who loved the Dark Knight Trilogy, this takes it to 11 and does it better.
Cons...that are internet troll b.s. Feminist? It's an all girl team! Sure there's some "men suck" spin happening, but it's a Break up Movie in part. ( It's in the trailers ) Very much the one sided view. On purpose. Plus, most of the men are bad guys or victims, and it's a seedy, dirty Gotham City crime underbelly here. Everyone sucks.
Pacing. Flashbacks in flashbacks. There's some justification for complaints on frentic, irregular pacing. But this is Harley's story, and she's insane, remember? Bright, educated, but twisted. It fits even when it jars your expectations.
I still think Wonder Woman is the best DC film, but this is a close second.
It's hitting second run theaters, and I highly recommend you ignore everything you hear or read about it, and go. ( including my rant ) Don't anticipate, just enjoy.
Adults only! If you've got a 13 year old, see it first and decide, before taking them.
Watched the new Blade Runner again the other night. I liked it the first time, a second viewing allowed me to catch more nuances, great stuff. It goes from almost whispers to the big noises, so it's hard to watch when my honey's in bed already. Don't want the subwoofer to get busy.
Mean Dad trick. When you leave the internet connected entertainment TV or PC thing that you use, crank the volume up. Porn videos played by the kids typically cause panic as the opening moans or bad music boom out.
Warning, damage to property and kids during startle reactions may ( nay, Will ) occur.
So I'm FINALLY watching this series on Netflix now that I've finished all of the individual character arcs. I quickly figured out this takes place after Daredevil season 2 and before Season 3. So far, so good. I've enjoyed all of them, but Iron Fist was the sole disappointment. WTF was that ending all about??? I see Daredevil was setting up for a fourth season too, before it was canceled. Agent Dex looked like a prototype "Bullseye" that never got off the ground.
A LOT of people hated the last Star Wars Trilogy. I understand why, mostly. It's not the story you wanted. The disillusioned Luke, the Big Bad with no explanation of how this mutant? got to be the Ruler, ( I assume it's in a book, but I didn't read it, and most who did probably just LUUUUUV anything Star Wars ( like my niece ) and would forgive a lot. ) and the tone didn't meet expectations.
And mostly, Star Wars is so hyped that it's impossible to please everyone who's been waiting since childhood ( or college age for us old farts ) for the NEXT one.
And parts 1-3... sigh.
Myself, I stood in line for the very first showing of Star Wars. Opening day in Pittsford NY. I was eager to see something new, and, like many, was blown away. The special effects were the first time anyone had seen... That. Sure the story was a basic fairy tale, princesses, wizards, sword fights, villains all in black. ( and white, which was a cool choice by Lucas ) But no one cared if the plot was cheesy and the dialog stilted. ( famously the best lines in episodes 4-6 were improvised ) It was cool.
And I really like Rouge One. Gritty, realistic, but not fake Batman dark. But Still Star Wars.
I enjoyed the third trilogy. I didn't like everything, and I don't insist anyone agree with me. There are lots of videos and articles telling you how bad, & good it was.
I'm not trained in fight choreography. I've done some, amateur stuff, mostly playing around, and Demos for the public. My martial arts stuff for the last 25 years has been tournament & mass melee, with nice polite rules. Which mostly work, since it keeps us from actually killing each other, which is kinda important in a weapons form that is full contact. But the rules are basic stuff like "Don't clobber a guy who doesn't see you" and "Don't hit the knees and below, since those are delicate, and not everyone has really good protection" and "Don't keep hitting someone once they fall down", and "keep an eye out for some poor sap you've just stunned, and hasn't fallen down yet, because you just lit him up and he isn't all there". And yes, I've had that happen, in both directions. ( It turns out a rising wrap shot with a mass weapon to an unarmored Butt not only makes you stand upright for a few seconds, but also "lights you up" so you can't see or hear for a few... Seriously )
So I have an appreciation for fight choreography, even if I don't practice it. And I especially enjoy a good sword fight. ( duh ) And I really understand how hard it is to make it all look good, without crippling the poor actors.
And I agree with the pro above about the throne room fight in The Last Jedi.
The first Demo fight I did for the SCA was in a book store. We showed off Arts & Science stuff, costumes, passed out flyers, the usual. Then it was time to show the crowd A Fight.
Unfortunately, my sparring partner and I had been training, hard, for a major tournament coming up the next weekend. So we were basically dialed up to 9 and ready to go to 11 when we competed.
The Lady called "lay on" and we went at it just like we had earlier in the week, full speed, maximum effort, I Want To Win attitude. After the first "point" the lady running the Demo stopped us, and told us to dial it WAY back, since we just scared the $%^& out of the crowd.