Posts Tagged ‘Justice League’

30 Day Challenge – Film Pt. 2

June 8, 2020

7 – A film that you will never get tired of

I never really get tired of Fifth Element. It is one of the most quotable movies that I have ever watched. The movie is unashamedly wacky and does not get hung up on taking itself too seriously. The world-building is wild and instantly made me want to know so much more about it. The comedy is strong and plays off of the characters and the plot in a very natural way. This might be low key one of the best movies that Bruce Willis was ever in as it allows him to exercise his comedy and drama chops. Milla Jovovich is a true action star and she really nails the role of a strange but wonderful alien. Some people find Chris Tucker annoying but somehow his character absolutely works for me. Ian Holm is underrated in this but great. The chameleon Gary Oldman is absolutely great as a melodramatic villain. It is still probably my favorite movie soundtrack, full of brilliant techno and a two-part opera piece that is legendary. The director Luc Besson still remains one of my favorites and this is the movie that made me always give him the benefit of the doubt.

8 – A film where you liked the soundtrack more

City of Angels sounded like an interesting concept when it came out but it turned out to be a pretty boring movie. You would think that Nicholas Cage is an earthbound angel who falls in love would be a recipe for a weird but fun movie. It was not even wacky and strange like a lot of so bad that they are good Nicholas Cage movies. It kind of once again proved that Nicholas Cage is at his worst when he is playing a romantic lead instead of a weirdo. However, it does have an absolutely great soundtrack full of bangers. Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, John Lee Hooker, Goo Goo Dolls, Alanis Morisette, and Frank Sinatra are all excellent. Sarah MacLachlan, Peter Gabriel, and U2 are not as good but still alright. An absolutely forgettable movie that spawned a great soundtrack that it never deserved.

9 – A film you hate that everyone else liked

I just never really liked A Christmas Story. I have only recently started to like Christmas movies again period but this one was particularly dismal. Everybody seems to go crazy over this movie every holiday season but I never got it. First, the movie has no coherent plot. It is instead a collection of meandering stories that really do not amount to much. The whole movie feels depressing to me. It follows a family that does not really seem to like each other as they try to get through the holidays. Many of the stories have little to no effect on the rest of the movie and are forgotten as soon as they are done. The pacing is off because the movie is constantly narrated and cuts away to the main character’s fantasies. The narration is often unnecessary as it explains things and character motivation seconds before the movie shows what the narration just said. It is not a happy movie to watch during the holidays or any other time. People seem to love it but it is definitely not my cup of tea.

10 – Your favorite superhero film

This is a really tough one. This is my favorite genre currently and I have not watched a lot of superhero movies that I did not like. I particularly like the Marvel Cinematic Universe as anybody who has read this blog can attest to. However, I think I am going to have to go with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse. The movie came out of left field to create a beautiful and nuanced superhero origin story. Miles Morales was a really great innovation on the Spider-Man mythos in the comic books and the character is infused with both Latino and Black culture. This movie did not shy away from that. Miles is an instantly likable character and his journey to become Spider-Man is beautiful. It is also extremely accessible as I have talked to many who are not exactly superhero fans who fell in love with the movie. The animation is some of the most fluid and beautiful that I have seen. They also managed to bring in Spider-Gwen (aka Ghost Spider) and make her not just “the girl”. She is strong, competent but a full character. There is also one of my favorite versions of Peter Parker in the over the hill, dad Spidey who has been around the block. The movie is just so good.

11 – A film you like from your least favorite genre

I do not dismiss any genre offhand but I think the genre that I watch the least is the Romantic Comedy. I think I am still going to go with Trainwreck. Written by and starring Amy Schumer, it is a very real and dark version of a romantic comedy. A lot of romantic comedies follow two horrible people who try to trick each other into a relationship or try to destroy each other. In this, they lean into it by making Schumer’s character into a horrible person and have her truly seek to change. Additionally, she is joined by the genius Bill Hader who is also a somewhat flawed character. The movie includes an honest character arc that is not finished over the course of a day or two but instead goes on for a much longer period. It also confronts alcoholism and more deep-seated emotional problems than most romantic comedies. On top of that, it has Brie Larson in an excellent role. It also has actual comedy which is surprising since it is directed by Judd Apatow. It is not an easy movie to watch but it was so rewarding.

12 – A film that you hate from your favorite genre

That’s a tough one but I think I’ll go with Justice League because it was the culmination of a long project built on rotten foundations. I loathed Man of Steel because it took a potentially interesting character and wasted them. It made me actively like Superman less. This is why I never watched Batman v. Superman which apparently managed to screw up Batman and Lex Luthor. I knew for sure that was true after watching Justice League. It was not a matter of accuracy for me. I grew up with these legendary characters so I have seen so many iterations and versions of them. The problem was that the writing and direction sucked all of the life out of them. They were all assholes but not likable assholes. The attempts at comedy were either cliche or just too colorless. The dialogue is just awkward and clunky. There are a ton of plot lines that just end without being resolved. It poisoned the well to the point where I definitely did not want to see Aquaman after experiencing him in that movie. I am wary of anything that DC produces from here on out. (Birds of Prey rocked, though). Hopefully they change their plan and actually try to make good standalone movies. Now that Snyder is out, they may be able to find better and more diverse directors and writers.

Media Update 11/23/17

November 23, 2017


The Punisher

This show has been getting some press lately but for a lot of negative reasons. We have reached a critical mass when it comes to spree and mass shootings in the United States. So, a show about an anti-hero who famously uses firearms really has no good release date. This iteration of the character was introduced in Season 2 of Daredevil. The character is way more nuanced and deep than my experience with the character in comic books. An ex-marine, he is not just a goon with a gun. He would probably be the first person to admit that he’s just not sane, though. During the first season, Frank Castle tries to uncover corruption in the military while avenging his slaughtered family. The character feels a lot more focused on this show. The show does a great job of bringing up how we deal with our veterans, which should be a non-partisan issue. Mental health, the difficulty of finding a vocation, and the soldier mentality are all addressed with a great deal of compassion. The show is dark but the good writing and great acting carry it through for me. I read a comment somewhere that the show does not really give a coherent thought on gun control. I agree but do you really want that answer to come from a television show? The show depicts several different facets of the issue and lets the viewer decide for themselves. I definitely recommend it but it might be a little too dark for some.


Batman and Harley Quinn

I was a huge fan of the old Bruce Timm Batman animated series that came out in the nineties. It was a very successful form of the character and the world because it was a great mix of the dark and the light. This movie is a step back into that world, a step away from the darker, grittier Batman seen in the live action DC movies and a few of the animated movies. In this, Batman is the ultimate funny straight man. He gets more laughs from a stoic expression or the squint of his eyes than any bit of dialogue. When he does let slip a joke, it is both surprising and funny. He is accompanied by Nightwing who is a little bit looser than his old mentor and more into cracking a joke. The two get Harley Quinn to act as their criminal informant and she is as zany and crazy as you would expect. I loved how self-aware she was. This is a Harley who has finally realized how bad Joker is for her and how important her friends (like Poison Ivy) are. She also loudly corrects anybody who can hear that she is not a psychopath but is instead a sociopath. Get it right. With so little, the cartoon showed that these characters are part of a bigger world with a history. I ended up smiling from ear to ear through most of it and it was good to take another spin around the block with some old, familiar friends in new situations. I wholeheartedly recommend this as DC Animated is killing it.


Justice League

Nobody is more surprised than I am that I went to the theaters and saw this movie. After skipping Batman v. Superman, I did not think I wanted to see Justice League either but my friends lured me in with promises of Joss Whedon. Wonder Woman was also a truly great movie. Well, the movie had a lot of problems but that is to be expected. The movie introduced Cyborg to the big screen and missed much of the point of him in previous iterations. He used to be a happy, friendly guy who covered up his sadness at becoming more machine than man by being the best person he could be. In this movie, he was a mostly quiet grump. The Flash was that annoying guy at a party who will not shut up and thinks his jokes are just hilarious. Apparently, The Flash is one of the most polarizing performances in the movie. Henry Cavill still does not feel like Superman and instead just comes off as awkward. The villain, Steppenwolf, was basically a video game character and his performance was forgotten by me every time he left the screen.

So was there anything good? Wonder Woman was great again, although they keep sabotaging her character. Batfleck is alright though he seems to mope and get his butt kicked a lot. Affleck’s sense of humor came out here and there and that was definitely welcome. Aquaman was fun, coming off as a loveable asshole. There were moments where the movie showed glimmers of hope that it might dig its way into the light. Overall, I feel like you can build the best house you know how but if the foundations are bad then you will still fail. Man of Steel and BvS are bad foundations. I could see where Joss made it better but Warner Brothers still has a long way to go and that starts by firing Zack Snyder and banning Frank Miller from the set. I definitely do not recommend this. There are tons of superhero movies out there actually worth your time and money.

Music of the Week:
Marmozets – Why Do You Hate Me?

Man With A Mission – Raise Your Flag

Ratatat – Loud Pipes

Wowaka – Rolling Girl

Set Your Goals – This Will Be The Death Of Us

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Comic Book Team-Ups”
– I finished Blacklist Season 4
– I watched more Blindspot Season 1
– I finished Santa Clarita Diet
– I watched more Sleep Hollow Season 2
– I watched more Van Helsing Season 1

– Happy Thanksgiving!

Media Update 1/5/2017

January 5, 2017


Justice League vs. Teen Titans

I have to admit that I have not really read much of the New 52 (some of which is currently getting half-rebooted?). In fact, it has been a while since I have read any DC Comics because of Man of Steel and the loss of a lot of characters that I really liked. The new grim and gritty direction turned me off but the animated features seem to be based on the New 52 but seem lighter. Maybe it’s the vocal performances. This movie is done in the same animation style as Young Justice and it is really pretty even if the colors seem a bit muted. I had already seen the new 52 Justice League (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash and Cyborg) but I had not seen the Teen Titans yet. This movie surprised me as it was centered around Damian Wayne as Robin. The other big star of the movie is Raven dealing with her father which is a threat big enough to draw in both teams. Most Teen Titans groups have been centered around Dick Grayson or Tim Drake. I am always happy to see Beast Boy, Blue Beetle and Raven but I was happiest to see a grown up and not-so-naive Starfire. There was a bit of comedy here and there to lighten the mood which is always needed. The story is a great introduction to the Teen Titans while continuing the Justice League and Damian’s stories from earlier animated features I have seen. There are a lot of moments I did not expect and it was a movie well worth watching. It was like a blend of Young Justice, Teen Titans, Justice League Unlimited and the New 52. I recommend watching it as it is a pretty good look at some older characters made new again.


Birds of Prey

This has been on my list for quite some time. The Birds of Prey series was a way to make the best of a bad situation with Barbara Gordon. While The Killing Joke had good artwork and a good story, it discarded Barbara Gordon like a cheap bit of tissue which was unfair to her character. Better writers picked up her character and gave her a new direction, using her mind instead of her body. It still did not really make sense but it was better than letting her die or gather dust. This show is about Barbara Gordon (as Oracle) mentoring Helena Wayne, the daughter of Batman and Catwoman. Along for the ride is Dinah, the daughter of the Black Canary who has psychic powers. They are up against Harleen Quinzel (still a psychiatrist somehow) and a cavalcade of superpowered lackeys. The show has a bit of an interesting feel to it. Since it is an alternate history that deviated from the comics early on, I had little idea what to expect. It has a bit of a Riot Grrrl feel mixed with early 2000 electronica slickness but it is extremely dated. The show was created by the same company that created Smallville but it did not survive after its first season. I can see why as it is a bit clumsy and lacks an iconic character like Superman or Batman but the show had heart. The actors and actresses are really trying their best with less than stellar scripts and there were actually a lot of actors who I love. Shemar Moore (Criminal Minds), Rachel Skarsten (Lost Girl), Mia Sara (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) and Dina Meyer (Starship Troopers) are all solid. Aaron Paul even makes a cameo in the first episode. It’s a shame this never really got off the ground but it’s worth a look if you think you might like a combination of Charmed and Smallville.


Batman Unlimited: Mech vs. Mutants

This movie was based on a toy line that is available for purchase in toy stores everywhere. Therefore, it has a specific look it is going for which ends up being a pinch of Young Justice mixed in with a bit of Bruce Timm’s Batman the Animated Series and a lot of The Batman. Once again, I was surprised to see Damian Wayne again but he is definitely an interesting Robin. Let us not bury the lead, though. This movie is about Batman using a giant mech to fight giant monsters. As such, it does not pretend to be anything else for even a moment and does not take itself too seriously. It is a story that definitely lends itself to wackiness and a campier tone. It is also definitely a toy commercial, not that this is necessarily bad. I watched both GI Joe and Transformers when I was a kid and that is all those shows really were. We also get appearances by great characters like The Flash, Green Arrow and Nightwing as part of Batman’s team. For villains, we have Mr. Freeze, Penguin, Killer Croc, Bane, Chemo and Clayface. One of the most interesting elements to me, is that Damian is now a teenager (or older?) and has shed a lot of his arrogance. I think my favorite part is The Penguin, voiced by Dana Snyder who plays Master Shake on Aqua Teen Hunger Force. The heroes are kind of white meat but the villains really shine in this as snarky weirdos who made me laugh more than once. It is probably not a series that I will pursue but I did not hate it and I was amused throughout. I would definitely recommend it for younger Batman fans.

Music of the Week:
Jet Black Stare – Ready to Roll

The Soft Moon – Black

Butts Band – Be With Me

The Birthday Massacre – Superstition

Bad Meets Evil – Fast Lane

Weekly Updates:
– I watched more of The Magicians and it’s great
– I started watching Dusk Till Dawn Season 2
– I’m almost done Season 3 of Arrested Development
– I am on Season 5 of The Office
– I am on Season 3 of Parks and Recreation
– I can watch RAW and Smackdown again since my schedule changed!
– This week’s theme is “The Wayne Family Does it Again”

Riddle Corner:

Which was the first planet discovered?


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