Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

Okay, I Saw It (No Spoilers)

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

Okay, I saw it. Snapshot:

Not my Panther. An interesting take and nice performance by Boseman, but missing the fundamental element of the Black Panther (and upcoming PriestStroke): that he’s smarter than everybody else in the room. Black Panther’s super-power is his intellect, and this guy spent most of the movie pursuing an errant assumption.

T’Chaka was wasted. Could have gotten so very much more mileage out of that character.

Not my Ross. Martin Freeman is hilarious, this character was not. Ross was not brought on-stage properly and is ultimately forgettable. Also, I had no idea they’d have “Thunderbolt” Ross (whom I enjoyed) in the film, thus confusing the characters. I suppose it’d be fine if my Ross was somehow related, but the thought had never crossed my mind.

The overall plot was pretty thin– we’re going to fight because some of us signed some stupid pledge. Okay.

Spider-Man stole the movie. My goodness, well done. Thank you, Marvel for finally getting him right. A close second: Ant-Man. (more…)

Not Yet

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

Haven’t seen the new Marvel movie. Not reading movie-related posts because I’d rather people not assume I’ve seen it and spoil it for me 🙂

Thank you, folks emailing and posting congrats. Much appreciated–but I had nothing whatsoever to do with this film 🙂

Swamped, will get around to seeing it sooner or later. Thanks!

Credit where credit is due: Civil War

Sunday, May 8th, 2016

Respawning here since it’s going on the Deathstroke discussion and doesn’t really follow that topic.

Among the “thank you” credits in Captain America: Civil War was a nod to Priest and Tex for general work on Panther and specifically the character of Everett K. Ross.  (Eventually someone will come up with a picture of the credits screen.)

TFA (No Spoilers)

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a brilliant film, the latest empty-calorie frenetic 120-miute chase scene from director J J Abrams, who is threatening to become the Michael Bay of franchise remakes as he cheerily goes about strip-mining better films while demonstrating, amid astonishing creative wizardry, that he doesn’t actually understand them.

As with Abrams’ Star Trek reboot, TFA serves up heaping helpings of nostalgia like Grandma’s delicious chicken and dumplings, albeit served with a trowel from a plastic bucket and flung from the window of a speeding minivan. Keep up, open your mouth wide enough, and there are wonderful morsels. Also, as with Abrams’ Trek, the pace and nostalgia efficiently mask the film’s alarming lack of depth. Whereas the quasi-religious overtones of the original Star Wars disturbed the Force of Evangelical Christian Televangelists, triggering fierce debate and even condemnation from religious conservatives, TFA never slows down enough to provoke any level of academic or religious discussion.

In its headlong lunge to un-do one of the greatest pop sagas in human history, TFA makes absolutely no statement about the essential nature of mankind, the existence or role of God, or the role of spirituality. TFA says, essentially, that we can never again believe that evil has been vanquished. All of that Ewok dancing was for nothing because the Bad Guys Always Strike Back.

Which means, if I take this shiny, delicious candy-apple Star Wars into my heart, if I take it seriously, I have to now severely devalue the original trilogy, which I, at my advanced age, honestly can’t do. I similarly accept Abrams’ Star Trek for the fun Saturday Night Live sketch that it was but can’t possibly take that film seriously. TFA is a substantial improvement on the satirical Star Trek and the apocryphal sequel Into Darkness wherein Abrams, already choking on his ideologically bankrupt Trek Lite, virtually rapes the Holy of Star Trek Holies—The Wrath of Khan—while the family is tied up and forced to watch. (more…)

Def Jammed

Monday, January 4th, 2016

Someone gave me a Blu-Ray player and I am, frankly, reluctant to install it. When I was over friends’ homes watching movies on Blu-Ray, they just seemed… bad… to me. They didn’t look like film. Everything looked like it was shot on videotape, and *bad* videotape like 1970’s soap operas: just a little *too* lifelike and surreal.

This worries me because the industry is, of course, forcing us to use this technology (and, inevitably, 4k), but, to me, my upscaled “normal” DVD’s look a lot better and more film-like.

Is this normal? Is there some adjustment period I need to go through or is this actually what people are enjoying these days, films that look like bad 1970’s soap operas where everything seems to be made out of plastic? What am I missing? (more…)