Friday, March 2, 2018

Black Panther Review

Well it's here at last, the first black superhero movie ever to be released in February of 2018, Marvel's Black Panther.  Snark about the stupid amount of hype thanks to the politics surrounding this movie aside, my expectations for Black Panther were pretty much the same as I have for every Marvel movie, even though I wasn't especially sold on the trailers. Marvel's track record is making entertaining superhero romps, and even when they're rather mediocre, usually they're at least a good time at the theater. So that's basically what I expected here too.

It's kind of what separates Marvel from its competitors, who tend towards either hitting a homerun like Deadpool or striking out so profoundly with something like Batman v Superman or Fant4stic that you want to find the nearest studio executive and drown them in their own blood.  Marvel on the other hand doesn't run from their comic book characters; they embrace the things that make them fun so even when the plot is dumb or the villain's plan is stupid or the CGI doesn't hold up, you can at least still enjoy the ride.

So the question is, where does Black Panther stack up in the Marvel pantheon? Well I hate to be that guy, but I'll spoil some of the review for you by saying "not very high." Let me tell you why:

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Darkest Hour Review

Well now that Darkest Hour has gotten a few Oscar nods, I realized I neglected to put the review up over here at the blog.  It's doubly unfortunate I forgot since this was definitely one of my more anticipated films of the year, for all the reasons that it got Oscar nominations in the first place.

I mean, Gary Oldman playing Winston Churchill? Where could you possibly go wrong with that?  That's like Daniel Day-Lewis playing Abraham Lincoln, which is probably why everyone immediately started comparing this movie to Lincoln in the first place.

Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy this nearly as much as I thought I would, but I can tell you it did absolutely earn some of those Oscar nominations.  Let's talk about which parts of Darkest Hour worked, and which didn't:

Monday, January 8, 2018

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Review

I don't think there was anyone on the planet who thought "hey, we need a sequel to Jumanji!" and yet here comes Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.  Even with the increasing pedigree of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson at its forefront, this was still a film met with incredible skepticism by almost everyone, myself included.

Still, despite that, it's had more staying power at the box office than Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and I paid to see it almost 3 weeks early thanks to Amazon Prime offering special early screenings at local theaters.  I did that for the novelty, fully anticipating an absolutely cringe-worthy experience that I would delight in regretting. Strangely...that's not what I got.  In fact, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle turned out to be a lot of fun. Here's what I had to say about it:

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Review

Our yearly Star Wars event has come and gone now. The Last Jedi didn't last nearly as long at the box office as we all probably expected, but then again, the movie wasn't nearly as good as we all hoped. That kind of cuts right to the chase, but the fact of the matter is it's an objectively badly constructed movie. You can like it anyway, that's fine, but it's just not good storytelling.

So here's seven minutes or so of me talking about why:

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Justice League Review

Well, the Justice League movie finally came out.  It was a movie. That played in theaters. So, uh...yeah I guess that happened...

Look after four movies, only one of which can be considered anything remotely resembling "good", it's not a surprise that people (myself included, obviously) were a tad skeptical as to whether or not uniting the league was going to be anything but painful, and that was before we heard about all the production problems, the director switch, the re-shoots, and Henry Cavill's CGI-mustache removal.

Yup they spent something on the order of $25 million giving Cavill a digital shave so he could appear in the re-shoots without changing his look from the next Mission: Impossible movie.  You'd think at that point DC/WB might've pushed back from the table and said "you know what, let's rethink this thing. How about we delay this release a few months and give everybody time to re-assess and re-work this project into something fans and casuals alike can enjoy while saving ourselves $25 million in additional costs in the process?"

But yeah, it's the DCEU, making rushed, highly reactive, and otherwise bad decisions is kind of their forte.  Pity it isn't making good movies because Justice League is pretty much exactly what we all expected it would be: the kind of tangled matte of CGI scruff that inevitably results from years of poor decision-making.  Hence it's getting savaged by the critics, of which I am certainly one.  So without further ado, let's take the razor to the gnarled mess that is Justice League:

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Thor: Ragnarok Review

The Marvel Cinematic Universe keeps chugging along, this time with the release of Thor's third movie, Thor: Ragnarok. Since the first two Thor movies are widely considered some of Marvel's weakest offerings (an opinion I share), there wasn't much in the way of excitement for another solo Thor outing when it was announced.

Then the trailer came out, and boy did that change.  Instead of Shakespeare in the Park, suddenly Thor was like some crazy 80s-inspired sci-fi/fantasy/comedy mashup.  Plus the Hulk showed up in one of the most hilarious reveals we've ever gotten in a trailer. After that, I, like many other people, was pretty excited to see Thor: Ragnarok. It looked like it would be a ridiculously fun watch, which is saying something since this whole MCU universe only works because Marvel keeps finding ways to make the movies entertaining even if they aren't that great.

For once, looks were not deceiving. Ragnarok is indeed ridiculously fun, and I had a great time with it overall. There's still reasons to be cranky about it though, so let's talk about them:

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Star Trek: Discovery Season Premiere Review

Well by now it's on its sixth or seventh episode, but when Star Trek: Discovery's premiere came out I did review it like I did with The Orville because hey, I'm a huge Star Trek fan and I had to at least give it a shot despite my poor first impressions from trailers and such.

Like with The Orville, I did my level best to give it a chance to prove me wrong.  Despite the tone, the weird look with the Klingons, the SJW nonsense with the casting decisions, and the political commentary by the cast and crew, I went into it hoping for a good show because I wanted to see good Star Trek again.

Sadly, Discovery is not good Star Trek. Frankly this show isn't Star Trek at all.  It doesn't even fit in with the JJ Abrams reboot, which itself already turned Star Trek's corpse into a mindless zombie searching for brains, and unlike the reboot which could at least claim to be paced well enough to make you forget how stupid it is, Discovery fails on just about every level.

Fortunately for me though, STD is locked up inside CBS All Access so even though they're going to give it a second season, this will probably be the last time I'll ever have to talk about it: