Movie Review

Review: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

I went into Dayman v Nightman: Dawn of the Troll Toll (see video below) with exceedingly low expectations, which is a strategy that has been working well for me lately. I was hoping for the best but expecting the worst (are they gonna drop the bomb on us) and secretly wanted this movie to blow my god damn socks off. It did not, but it was a lot of fun to watch. I invite you now on my journey through BvS:DoJ, let’s start with a trailer that is superior to the real actual trailer in every respect to get everyone in the mood….

Things kick off with this movie chronologically right after Man of Steel (2013) which gave us an excellent take on the origin story of Superman. If you haven’t seen it basically Superman destroys half of Metropolis while facing off against General Zod (a fellow Kyptonian who is a real piece of work). And by “destroys half of Metropolis” I mean they really mess that city up, like, how did Metropolis even recover? And Bruce Wayne happened to be in town to witness all of it.

zod wayne tower

Woopsie!

That was Wayne tower being completely obliterated by the way. So, Superman has just rolled into town unannounced and unknown and been involved in an insane amount of violence and death. Naturally Batman is not into this and the citizens of the country are also concerned which is where BvS begins, things have started off okay!

Enter Lex Luthor CEO of LexCorp. Words cannot express how much I hate Jesse Eisenberg as Luthor, it was frustrating to watch him neurotically mumble his way through this character who is supposed to be utterly terrifying. He sucks. Lex is trying to be the architect of the greatest battle of all time, Batman v Superman and although his plan starts with a lot of good ideas it deteriorates so quickly. Much like the film. As far as evil geniuses go he had a plan and it was a decent plan but it wasn’t diabolical or that clever.

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Lex Luthor lacking any semblance of villain worthy intimidation.

What started as a deep and thoughtful exploration into the resentment Batman and Superman hold for each other quickly spirals into a nonsensical farce with plot developments so weak it hurts. Maybe if Lex wasn’t so terrible it could have been saved? No that’s not it because anyone who has seen this film with their own eyes and witnessed the “Martha” fiasco knows this script was not exactly great material to work with.

I genuinely feel bad for Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill who both do a very good job in this film. Especially after seeing how sad Ben Affleck has been lately (see video below) because the fact the movie misses the mark has nothing to do with them!

Between the completely unnecessary flashbacks to the death of Bruce Wayne’s parents every five seconds and the overload of set ups for the upcoming Justice League films there really isn’t any substance to this script. It jumps from idea to idea as frantically as a small child trying to explain an exciting action sequence in a movie. “And then superman did this and batman did this and oh by the way all this happened ages ago which is important then omg lex luthor was doing something and then OH MY GOD THEN WONDER WOMAN CAME oh and there are all these other heroes but I don’t have time to explain..”

wonder woman

She’s a wonder.

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, now I had set the bar about as low as it could go, I had buried the bar of hope in the back garden of my mind palace because I love Wonder Woman. Her arrival on the scene was hands down the best part of the movie for me and she pulls out some serious bad-assery in her brief time on screen. I’ll admit I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this Wonder Woman! She’s absolutely nothing like the Diana Prince I grew up watching in the glorious Wonder Woman show but she kicks a lot of ass and gets shit done. She shows up just when you’re about to give up on the whole thing and somewhat redeems the movie, but it’s not enough.

All in all this movie was essentially a powerpoint presentation. There wasn’t any real story but a whole lot of flashy and admittedly amazing visual stimuli with a ripping score by Hans Zimmer (I am biased here because Zimmer is king in my books). That being said a lot of superhero movies do follow this format. I see people comparing this to The Avengers which I honestly hated a whole lot more. I think a lot of people will read that and get straight to their hate stations but honestly guys the Avengers sucked, Age of Ultron sucked and Batman v Superman was sucky but not entirely shit. Both movies are great examples of more style than substance but at least BvS has likeable characters.

It was awesome to see Batman and Superman beating the living shit out of each other and it was even more awesome to see Wonder Woman lasso the fuck out of Doomsday. If you go into this movie with the same attitude as any action movie you’re going to have a good time. Comparing this to the Dark Knight trilogy is a waste of time and energy, those movies were fantastic and brilliantly written and it is sad that it doesn’t live up to that but it’s not necessary to slam hyperbole everywhere saying THIS WAS THE WORST MOVIE I’VE EVER SEEN EVEN DAREDEVIL WAS BETTER THAN THIS (I’m looking at you Rotten Tomatoes).

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Affleck being comforted by a small girl.

I just think fans of Superhero stories in general (myself included I love this genre in every format) act like spoiled brats when things don’t go their way. Fans of the DC franchise have been building up hype for this movie in a shark like feeding frenzy for months on end and when they finally saw the film and it wasn’t as perfect as they imagined it to be they took up their pitchforks and called for the heads of everyone involved. Except Affleck, everyone seems to love Affleck.

So everyone just needs to calm down. Just because you love something doesn’t mean it belongs to you exclusively, just because you’ve read all the comics or own a batman costume or think you know more than the average Joe when it comes to these characters, it doesn’t mean you could make a better movie or get to decide “oh it’s terrible it’s the worst thing I’ve ever seen and I feel personally attacked by Warner Brothers for RUINING MY ENTIRE LIFE.”

I will be watching this movie again, probably a few times and I will be complaining about certain things when I talk about it but I don’t feel like I need to burn down Warner Brothers because they didn’t perfectly create what I wanted.

In summary this was disappointing, but if you’re a fan of the genre go see it with your own eyes before you jump on the hate train. It’s a good enough movie, a solid 2.5 hours of fun superhero antics that isn’t completely terrible. Will it be held in high regard among Batman fans? not compared to the Nolan movies. Superman fans? Maybe but they are upset that Supes didn’t get as much character development as Batman. Justice League fans? it sets things up for the upcoming Justice League films yes but it’s a pretty rushed example of team work at the end.

bvs gang

Squad Goals

 

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Ye Be Warned Wednesday: Pixels (2015)

This movie took a perfectly awesome premise (aliens attack earth with 1980s video game villains) and turned it into one of the most bogus things I have ever seen.

Now, I knew it was very risky territory going, the movie stars Kevin James and Adam Sandler who I am no fan of, in fact I actively avoid movies that either (or both) of them are in. But when I saw the trailer for Pixels I thought “hmm how could they fuck up a plot that seems to be really fun and action packed?” the answer, my friends, was IN EVERY CONCEIVABLE WAY.

The first of many instances I wish Sandler's character would die.

The first of many instances I wish Sandler’s                                 character would die.

This “action comedy” takes 45 minutes (yes I checked) to get to the action and as far as I can tell the comedy element was non existent. I laugh at some really dumb things, the other day I was at the park and I saw some kid eat shit on his bike  (he was fine by the way) and I chuckled to myself. Those five seconds of watching a kid fall off his bike were more entertaining to me than Pixels.

The comedy is low brow, big, scream in your face type comedy, which when done well can be hilarious (I’m looking at you Ace Ventura, hell even Adam Sandler’s 90s movies) but instead of uttering a SINGLE scoff laugh I just found myself cringing the whole way through.

Adam Sandler plays Adam Sandler (as usual) and Kevin James plays the President of the United States. But that’s not the bleak part, there are some actually AMAZING actors in this who utter less than ten lines (Sean Bean & Jane Krakowsi) which drove me absolutely nuts. Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) plays a mullet-rocking, arcade champion / convicted felon who says lines so cheesy it made me want to just hug Dinklage and say “it’s okay mate, we’ve all made mistakes.”

The Dream Team (if you are a middle aged crystal meth addict having a hard come down)

The Dream Team (if you are a middle aged crystal         meth addict having a hard come down)

The special effects are incredible, but don’t get excited there is only about half an hour of “exciting” action, I use the word exciting very very loosely here because in no way was I anywhere near the edge of my seat, in fact I was essentially laying down the entire movie and trying to decide if my time would be better spent having a hobo nap.

The scene from the trailer / poster that everyone seemed excited about starred Pacman, arguably the most iconic and famous of all arcade characters (slightly behind Donkey Kong & Mario of course). This whole section of the movie, fucking sucked. Imagine a giant game of Pacman on the streets of New York city, now imagine someone taking that AWESOME idea and spending 80% of the scene on Adam Sanders face and terrible one liners, it was a huge betrayal.

My face when I realised Sean Bean was in this, then again when they only used him for ten minutes of screen time.

My face when I realised Sean Bean was in this, then again when they only used him for ten                            minutes of screen time.

In summary: this movie was a complete piece of shit, I regret wasting my time (almost 2 hours of it) and literally asked myself “Jesus Christ what are you doing with your life?” while I was watching it. It was so bleak I contemplated my very existence and felt horribly guilty that I ever thought watching it was a good idea.

Things I would rather do than watch this movie again:
1. Go to the dentist
2. Kick my toe twenty five times
3. Drink olive oil
4. Get salmonella

Ye have been warned.

I’m refusing to add the trailer because I don’t want any of you to be deceived like I was.

Review: Inside Out (2015)

Disney and Pixar have unleashed yet another animated rollercoaster of emotion for kids to stare at with wonder while the adults cackle and ugly cry the whole time.

Inside Out is set inside the mind of 11 year old girl Riley as a few big changes are taking place in her life. Right from the get go the emotion of Joy (Amy Poehler) takes the lead and leads us all on an adventure that is the cutest thing I have ever seen.

In the “Headquarters” of Riley’s mind we also have Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), Fear (Bill Hader) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). These guys control all of Riley’s reactions as well as the processing of thoughts and general brain admin.

Literally all the feels.

Literally all the feels.

This movie was an absolute joy to watch (pun intended) it is exciting, emotional and full of adventure as well as being a wonderful representation of mental health and that all feelings have value and are important. It shows the way your mind grows up with you and how drastic these changes can be to a little kid, I thought it was beautiful.

To say I cried would be an understatement, this movie (like most Pixar movies will really bring out the child in all of us, they are so easy to relate to and pinch the nerves and bring out the feels BIG TIME, it was ugly cry central while I watched this movie.

Ermagherd Riley Noooo!

Ermagherd Riley Noooo!

All of the voice acting is fantastic, especially Amy Poehler as Joy. Everything she says will force a huge goofy smile on your face.

The writing is genius, as we go on this adventure of emotion each area of Riley’s brain is so beautifully illustrated and clever. From the world of abstracts that is the subconscious to the halls of stored memories being vacuumed up to make more room each location is so well thought out and designed that it will stir feels in everyone watching. It just encapsulates the complex world of thought and emotion in such a positive and fun way, I can’t stress how great I thought this movie was!!

I highly recommend Inside Out, kids will love it for the adventure, and there are A LOT of jokes for parents / grown ups. If anything I would say this movie was made especially for parents while throwing in all the things kids love as a bit of an afterthought.

It’s a short movie though, when the end came I found myself wanting more, but I think that may be because this movie made me feel like a kid again, and who doesn’t want to be back in their glory days of childhood every once in a while.

Here’s the trailer! Even watching this gave me all the feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeels!

Review: Kidnapping Mr Heineken (2015)

Alfred “Freddy” Heineken, I personally owe you a lot considering your beer is one of my favourites, so natural I was delighted to see there was a movie about you! Turns out, Freddy was kidnapped by a bunch of bozos in Amsterdam and had the highest ransom in history paid for his return; this movie is based on the true story of that kidnapping (obviously).

Let’s start with the elephant in the room, the acting… Anthony Hopkins is up to his usual standard of brilliance in the role of Heineken, who it seems was a complete smart ass / hard bastard throughout the entire kidnapping process. The gang of “down on their luck” career criminal bozos are Sam Worthington (that pretty Australian guy), Jim Sturgess (the main dude from Across the Universe), Ryan Kwanten (Jason from True Blood), Mark Van Euewen (not a guy I recognised from anything) and Thomas Cocquerel (ABC dramas).

Pew, Pew, Pew

                   Pew, Pew, Pew

The gang of bozos are… well.. decent. There was an issue where I wasn’t sure if the Australian actors were playing Australian characters or if the director just said “don’t even try to do an accent.” Kwanten slips between British and Australian accents for the entire movie though and it is extremely annoying. Generally the criminals hold their own with their acting throughout the movie especially considering not a single one of them is a likeable character.

TO THE PLOT. These guys are small time criminals, they decide that they are going to kidnap the richest man in Amsterdam and get paid a huuuge ransom (biggest one in history), get away with it and live happily ever after. They were very smart about it, I have to give you that! The way they go about the kidnapping is clever and surprising, but once they have Heineken things get pretty stagnant for a long time. DULLSVILLE.

"I'm tired from carrying this movie"

“I’m tired from carrying this movie”

The only redeeming scenes in the middle of this movie were the few short moments we saw Hopkins, he absolutely crushes it and carries this film solo for about an hour. Towards the end things pick up a bit more and we get to see some more well thought out, clever crime but there is also a very strong moral message which is thrown in your face over and over, subtlety is not even considered. And I can’t stress this enough, NONE of the criminals are guys you will want to succeed, there was one guy I liked for a while but then I realised that was just because he barely spoke..

If you like watching a clever crime unfold, give this a whirl. It’s reasonably entertaining has a few twists and turns and Hopkins as Heineken will give you quite a few lols, such a smart ass. It isn’t some huge blockbuster heist movie though and is a bit of a slow burn, which usually I like. The only reason I am down on this movie is because I just did not like the main characters, so I didn’t invest that much emotion.

Kidnapping Mr Heineken – “Meh, it was okay”

Here’s the trailer!

Ye Be Warned Wednesday : Jupiter Ascending

If you knew anything about me you’d know that “big budget sci fi” and “Sean Bean” are two things that are guaranteed to draw me to ANY movie. A combination of the two in Jupiter Ascending just seemed too good to be true – and you know what? It was.

Jupiter Ascending is essentially a splicing together of various other SUPERIOR sci fi themes and ideas with an unnecessary love story thrown in for good measure. For me the most annoying and blazingly obvious examples of stolen intellectual property include (but are not limited to); the presence of an intergalactic beaurocracy (thank you Douglas Adams), the harvesting of humans for nefarious purposes (thank you EVERYONE) and the replica baddies, like this guy….
 

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Spot the difference.

What they have created here with Jupiter Ascending is essentially an intergalactic fairytale between Mila Kunis (who sports various hand me downs from Queen Amidalas wardrobe for the majority of the film) and Channing “Pube Face” Tatum. Why do that?  Why take something perfectly awesome like science fiction and Disney Princess-ify it? It’s as if  the creators thought women wouldn’t be able to appreciate science fiction without a shit load of unnecessary sap laid on!  Give us a break guys!

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Spew.

This movie looks as though it was made for the purposes of winning the most awards for special effects and costume design (which admittedly are impressive) but the story itself left a lot too be desired.
Truth be told I mentally tuned out a little way in (thanks to fairytale rage) and if it hadn’t been for the promise of the occasional appearance of Sean Bean I probably would’ve turned this off 5 minutes into the Mila toilet scrubbing montage that was the first 20 mins of the film. Really, the only reason I watched it all the way to the end was out of morbid curiosity to see whether or not Sean Bean survived.

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Spoiler alert: he does

Maybe my expectations were just too high and maybe what i saw as being rip offs of superior ideas were just poor homage attempts (a likely story), but maybe Jupiter Ascending just plain sucked. All I know for certain is that Sean Bean definitely did not get enough screen time.

Ye be warned!!

Review: Fast and the Furious 7

So, I wasn’t going to see this movie but considering it has smashed many box office records (including the fastest film to make $1 Billion (yes BILLION) dollars) I thought I should check it out. Plus who doesn’t love a few ridiculous action sequences every now and then.

This movie was RIDONKULOUS. I have never seen such blatant defiance of the laws of physics in my entire life. There are multiple instances of cars flying through the air from great heights (I’m talking out of a plane, out of a building and more), people flying through the air, basically anything that should not be flying through the air does so in this movie. It is relentless and utterly hilarious! I don’t even necessarily mean that in a bad way, it was so over the top that I just laughed and laughed, this movie brought me great joy. It was one of the dumbest things I have ever seen, yet I found myself thoroughly enjoying it, which is…. embarrassing to say the least.

So the plot is pretty thin here, all you need to know is there is a bad guy (Jason Statham) who is after “The Crew.” The Crew is Vin Diesel, Paul Walker (RIP), Michelle Rodriguez as it has been since the very beginning a zillion movies ago. But there is also Ludacris, The Rock and Tyrese Gibson who have been added over the last few years. There’s a whole lot of man muscles, testosterone, douche-baggery and arrogance here, which I am not going to go into that much. Also crucial, Jordana Brewster plays Paul Walkers wife and they have a kid now in the movies… I know right? There’s a lot on the line.

Classic Dwayne

                     Classic Dwayne

You don’t see these movies for the poetry, you see it because you want to zone out, not think about life, watch really dumb shit happen, carnage and just stop being so uptight. I find action movies are an incredible way to not care about anything for the whole time they are on. BUT if you don’t share this weird thing with me or hate action movies, do not waste your time, because it will leave you absolutely furious and / or disgusted.

Cinematography has some quality action technique but mostly looks like a music video from the early 2000s. The script is 100% terrible, dialogue between explosions is short and very to the point, mostly consisting of tough guy one liners and bad jokes, that is right up until the last ten minutes when things get way too real and very sweet.

As everybody knows Paul Walker died shortly after filming, and thankfully rather than some obscene over the top insanity, the film gave him a touching tribute. A tribute which I admit, took me by surprise and was very well done. It made me feel way more than it should have, as it did many people (twitter is full of people crying about the ending just FYI).

ALL IN ALL this movie was entertaining, I ate my popcorn, laughed at the obscenity and just chilled out for two hours, it wasn’t the best movie I’ve ever seen, it’s pretty low on the score card but I still enjoyed it enough to maybe secretly want to watch it again, for the lols of course….

Pipe fight.

                              Pipe fight.

Highlights include:
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson doing his signature infamous wrestling move on a bad guy.
A drone… yes.. drone shooting the shit out of everything.
Anything VIn Diesel says being extremely difficult to understand on account of the bass in his voice box being turned up to maximum.
Shameless product placement.
Shameless close ups of boobs and booties.
The gang go to Dubai and rack up an impressive amount of property damage.
Street fights.

Fast & the Furious 7 is in theatres now and making an absolute shit tonne of money.

Review: Robot Overlords (2014)

In an unclear time period, Planet Earth has been invaded by Robots from space (I know right, awesome) which now control every aspect of life on our home planet. Humans are not allowed to leave their homes for more than five minutes at a time, if they stay out over this limit… cue incineration from giant robots. Despite that description this movie is pretty much kid friendly if you are looking for a lazy Sunday afternoon movie for the whole fam-bam,

The premise had me sold on this movie, and then I saw who “stars” in the film, Gillian Anderson (aka Special Agent Dana “I’m a Medical Doctor” Scully) and I got way too excited. Now, it needs to be said that billing her first in the cast is a little misleading. Yes she is the biggest name in this movie, but no unfortunately she is not the star, her character’s son is.

Like most movies these days the story follows a bunch of incredibly annoying teenagers and one extra annoying little kid who ruins everything a lot of the time. I know teenage heroes are a hot ticket right now, but come on it really is alienating all the adults who want to watch some glorious giant robots slice, dice and zap their way through the Earth.

Anyway, these kids go on an adventure after learning about a SERIOUS OVERSIGHT / design flaw in the implants the robots put in their necks to track human movement. The whole film takes place in a small English sea side town on account of it being made by the BFI, it’s not a robot war on a grand scale… but it also lacks the charm of a small scale Doctor Who type setting.

I’m not saying this movie was bad necessarily, it had some really good ideas, decent robots (it was not BGrade scifi at least) and the acting was generally really good. There was just something missing… I put it down to wasting far too much time with the annoying kids early on in the movie. GENERALLY speaking it was a pretty fun movie to watch.

Sean is the main character (Son of Scully) and is played by Callan McAuliffe, who I am going to claim right now is going to be a “career on the rise” / person we will probably see in many more films to come. He is a handsome Australian actor, and I feel like that is kind of a mandatory criteria for action films at the moment.

Ben Kingsley (Gandhi / Schlinders List / A few other incredible movies) is the human “collaborator” / bad guy, whose talents are pretty much wasted on this role.. But the production company that made this movie is called “Wasted Talent” so it’s really no surprise they seriously under used their two big names.

"Is it just me, or should we have bigger parts?"

“Is it just me, or should we have bigger parts?”

All in all, if you want an incredibly easy to watch movie, check this out. It’s got some good action scenes and generally pretty good acting. It’s a solid little British Sci Fi which I am assuming was made for the whole family to enjoy together, so if you have kids, I would recommend it.

BUT if you are an adult Science Fiction aficionado you will be very underwhelmed with this movie, particularly the lapse in robot judgement, which let’s be real… there is no way they would have missed a simple design flaw like the one the whole film revolves around. But it’s not going to make you want to gouge your eyes out.

Robot Overlords; not great… not terrible.. just… a thing that exists.. You can trust my review because as they say in the film “Robots never lie….”

Here’s the trailer;