Thursday, April 28, 2016

Batman & Robin

This is it. This is my last review. I am about to lose all credibility as a critic. It's the end.

Batman & Robin is a very campy throwback to the Adam West series, with a ludicrous plot, cartoon action, puns galore, and resulted in the death of the Batman for about 10 years in film. But before we delve into the plot, let's look at the good parts. George Clooney is perfect casting to play Batman and he is a terrific Batman but he had to deal with some bullshit in this movie! If not for the awesomely ridiculous plot this would be one of the best potrayals of Batman ever. Second, I still love the look of Gotham City in this movie. The art designer himself stated it was like "...the world fair on steroids" and that is pretty awesome! Also, big praise towards the fact they adopted the Animated Series origin of Mr. Freeze, that was pretty great that they added that human emotion to his character. And lastly, the best part of the entire movie is when Bruce and Alfred talk about life and death. Alfred is terminally ill and that already is very heartbreaking but it gets more sad, they are very quiet scenes where Bruce and Alfred talk about their relationship. Life and death, happiness and sadness, the fact that they are not just master and butler but family who love each other. That is what I take away from this movie. Alfred has always reminded me of my grandfather, and my grandfather got very sick and passed away. And everytime I see those moments, I remember him. And it is because of those scenes that elevates this film higher than most other people would deem it. Sorry about that emotional bomb, it's just what I remember most. But we will delve into the plot now. Crazy plot even whenever summarized so bear with me here. Batman is called to action once again battling the frigid Mr. Freeze, who teams up with both the lethal Poison Ivy and the behemoth Bane to destroy Gotham and break the Bat. It gets more ridiculous in depth, but I just wanted to give a brief overview of the madness. Now for the bad parts! And I'll try to keep it short and coherent. Where do I begin? You know, the whole bat nipple thing never really bothered me especially after Joel Schumacher said he modeled the suits after Greek statues and I thought that was pretty clever so no issue there. But my God, they butchered Bane. If you saw The Dark Knight Rises, you know how Bane is and he is so much more than that potrayal in the comics but they screwed him up the most more than any other villain! At least with the others, they got the basics right about what they can do, what their backstory is, simple stuff like that but with! The ice puns...they actually kinda make me laugh just because how horrible they are. Yeah the jokes really suck in this movie, and the action ain't much better. I'm still debating which is worse, but I think I lean more to the jokes. At least the action, while silly is still done well (kinda). I just can't recommend this movie unless you are morbidly curious or just enjoy bad movies. Take what you will from this review for better or worse, and decide if you have the sheer nerves to sit through the whole thing.

And with that ends the Batman marathon. After this review, I need something good. Something that makes me happy. Something maybe new! Next week, the first week of May so let's get some more brand new films in here.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Batman Forever

Yeah, this was the movie that made me the Batman fan I am today.

I may view this movie through rose tinted nostalgia but I love this movie. When you see a movie at such a young age it always leaves an impression on you. It went from the dark and disturbing previous film to a more mainstream, safe and marketable version of the Batman. But hell even in a kinda cheesy, fun, and all around good time several things have always stuck in my mind above the rest. And that's something since I can pretty much quote the whole movie from beginning to end. First is the casting of Jim Carrey as The Riddler, and most people have a problem with that but honestly I think he is perfect for it. Yes, it's more of a homage to Frank Gorshin's Riddler from the 60's TV series but there is one scene right at the end that cements that even a fun superhero movie like this can be very dark and kinda scary. Second is the music, specifically the soundtrack and not the original composed score. Now everyone and their mother remembers that Kiss From A Rose by Seal was the hit song from this album but Bad Days by The Flaming Lips is perfect, it hits that sweet spot right when Nigma snaps and I love it! Did you know that Bob Kane, the creator of Batman actually said Val Kilmer was the best choice to play Batman so far? And I think he does a really good job! He's a great Batman! In fact, most of the cast is pretty great. Tommy Lee Jones as Two-Face is a sight to behold and I just love the scene chewing, it's marvellous. Chris O'Donnel is a bitter, angry, and haunted Dick Grayson who rises through the movie to become Robin. Like I said, Jim Carrey is terrific as The Riddler and except for like maybe two other people, he is the only actor worthy of potraying him in a live action film. Also major big props to the art director, taking a dark gothic city and bringing such color and grandeur to it all! The plot is still a little busy, with some interesting ideas behind it so I'll see if I can properly recount it to you. Batman must now face two of his most memorable foes, Two-Face who has sworn vengeance against the Bat for failing to save him, and the subsequent birth of The Riddler who teams up with Two-Face to amass wealth and power to answer the greatest riddle of all: Who is Batman? Meanwhile, Bruce takes in an orphaned trapeze artist after Two-Face kills his family, who soon learns of his secret night life and wishes to become his partner in crime fighting. Fairly straightforward, highly enjoyable to me. Yes I don't care that I am biased, this was my very first Batman movie and I hold it highly for introducing me to my favorite superhero of all time. And you know, you're not gonna believe me but um...I really like Batman & Robin too. I do not think it is that horrible of a movie, it takes cues from the Adam West show and I really love the Adam West show but I still have a few problems with it. Tune in tomorrow where we finish this Bat-A-Thon with the film that killed the Batman movie franchise for about 10 years.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Batman Returns

This is a...bad movie? All throughout my years of living, people say it's not a good film. At best it's a guilty pleasure, and I love this movie!

Maybe I'm one sick, dark, freaky bastard but I love this movie! It's a friggin' awesome Batman movie and it was the third Batman film I ever saw and I was, I'd say about 4 years old when I saw it. And it didn't scare me except for one part near the end, and the very sexual potrayal of Catwoman didn't phase me at all. I wouldn't say it is a superior succesor to the first Batman film, but still a really good sequel. Major props to the casting department in this movie! Obviously we got Michael Keaton (Yay!) and Michael Gough back, but sheer genius casting when it comes to Michelle Pfeiffer and Danny DeVito. Could not pick anyone better to play Catwoman and the Penguin, I don't know why it just seems like they were born to play these roles. Oh, and how could I forget? We got Christopher Walken in this movie too! Just as awesome as ever, and he's in the movie quite a bit too. You could tell Tim Burton had absolute free reign and could do whatever he wanted with this movie, it has his signature brand of bizzare and darkness with a backdrop of Christmas in Gotham that surprisingly fits well with it all. I just love the thought of Gotham during winter, this gothic city covered in snow and it seems lovely to me. The music done once again by Danny Elfman is great, and has that creepy Christmas thing going on very much like in Nightmare Before Christmas but still it's own original score. Now I have no doubts that this is indeed a very dark, very adult film even though I viewed it at such a young age. The plot really shows that in it's scenarios, and it goes like this, it's Christmas time in Gotham and the Dark Knight has his hands full this season. A crime gang in the style of a circus troupe is raiding the city with the Penguin as the leader, but yet he is much more than a one note villain. I greatly admire the sense of humanity they put into his character with him being abandoned by his parents because he was deformed, wants to know where he came from and what his real name is, and be incorporated back into normal society. That's amazing how much character development he has! Meanwhile a corrupt buisness man by the name of Max Shreck tries to help Penguin become part of human society and even get him in office to help further his career. Unfortuantely, he kinda...kills his assistant and she is brought back to life by cats and becomes Catwoman. It happens. So now the Batman has two villains to combat to save the city he loves, while also having a relationship albeit a love-hate relationship with Catwoman. Fantastic, took more source material from the comics, put their own spin on it, and made it genuinely entertaining! Bravo Tim Burton. Seriously how can people hate this movie? It's strange and vastly different from any other comic book movie you have ever seen in your life but it's still good! We get many more badass scenes of the Batmobile and Batman laying some serious beatings on dudes, oh and I didn't bring this up but Keaton's Batman straight up kills people. Not like every single time, but it happens. More so in this movie than the last one, it is scary although amazingly awesome. Like there's this scene where this clown goes kamikaze on Batman and he cuts the bomb off of him and knocks him out, and he sees this big bad mamajama and he tries to punch him, and it doesn't work then he pins a live bomb on him, punches him down a hole, and walks away as the bomb explodes. Sweet Jesus. That was fraking great! Hell yeah! See I told you I was a sick, twisted bastard. But tommorow, we get to THE movie that introduced me to the Batman and made me a fan ever since. Yeah, that movie was my first Batman movie and made me the die hard fan I am today.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Batman (1989)

I'm Batman.

And with those two words, Michael Keaton proved everyone wrong. This was actually not the first Batman movie I ever saw. It was my fourth actually believe it or not, but it is my favorite. Yeah, more so than The Dark Knight! It just screams Batman to me in the comic book sense, I enjoy the fact that comic book films are being realistic but it comes from a medium that is FAR from being realistic. Now obviously this movie was made in 1989 when the Batman comics were very dark and serious, moving away from the Adam West potrayal of the Batman. This is a time period when you know, The Dark Knight Returns and The Killing Joke were examples of the Dark Knight. And it shows in this film. Dark and gothic setting, terrific character acting, an amazing score by Danny Elfman, and the best Batman and Joker in my opinion. I mean, my dear sweet God how do you pick better casting as the Joker than Jack Nicholson? He's been practically playing the role his whole damn life! He is creepy, he is funny, he really does steal the whole show even from Michael Keaton. And he is the best action wise. Kevin Conroy has been Batman for over 20 years, and for good reason. But Keaton is THE Batman to me. If I had to guess what Batman would be like, it would be Keaton's potrayal. And most people don't realize he is a comedic actor first and Batman second and his humor shows in the film. He's quirky but he just does a funny and real potrayal of Bruce Wayne. And people petitioned against him! Because they saw him as a comedy actor and nothing else so it made his performance that much greater. Danny Elfman's score is the best Batman soundtrack I have ever heard and I own it, and the Prince songs while very product of the times are fun, and how strange is this? Prince just passed away and I just so happened to have a film with his music in it to review and I planned this long before his unfortunate passing. They're good songs and they work really well with this Joker potrayal. Now plot wise, it's pretty basic but it has a lot of commendable points. The Batman is pretty much an urban myth cracking down on the criminal underworld of Gotham City while avoiding arrest by the Gotham City Police. During one of his nightly patrols, he knocks a gangster into a vat of chemicals giving birth to the Joker who soon declares war on the Dark Knight and starts to terrorize Gotham. And, as the director Tim Burton put it, it's a battle of the freaks. The film has almost too many excellent choices in acting, directing, etc. so I will just give you the absolute best one. And it's why Batman is Batman, and while I praise the discussions in The Dark Knight this sums it up so well in such a short time. Not even 2 minutes. And the reason it works so well is in how Keaton potrays Bruce Wayne, it fits so well to the character. I could talk a good long while about this movie and all the inner workings of what makes it so good but I will merely task you with watching both the 1989 Batman movie and The Dark Knight from 2008. And I will let you criticize both and come to your own conclusions. I'm of a mind to make some mookie, and I'll see you tomorrow.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Update And Apology

I wish to apologize about the lack of reviews last week. I got a brand new job, pays better than the last which means a steady income, which means more material to review. And that makes me happy. I get to go to the theatre more than once in a blue moon! Yes!! But we got an almost full week of reviews for my birthday week. Huzzah! And even better, all the films are superhero films. So I get to nerd out about my favorite superhero. And it all starts tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

In Retrospect: The Force Awakens

Welcome to my new series, where I look back at films that I reviewed while in theaters and now give further reviews now that they are out on video. With that let us look back on The Force Awakens!

Well the movies been out on video for about 3 weeks so here we go. Nothing that I said in my original review of The Force Awakens has changed. I stand by every word I said, but now is the chance to delve more into it. The film still rocks and I still love it! And I can't wait to see Rogue One this December. But back to the present film at hand, I can understand why they took plot elements from Episode IV for this film. They did it to reassure fans that this is not going to be like the prequels and will be truer to the original trilogy. With a familiar and still good plot with great twists to the original idea, original cast members with all new amazing characters, outstanding practical and special effects, and a true succesor to the Original Trilogy. The plot as I stated is similar to Episode IV, with a map leading to the last Jedi in the galaxy Luke Skywalker being hunted by The First Order, a remnant of The Empire headed by Kylo Ren. The plans are placed in a droid and is soon discovered by a scavenger named Rey who takes the droid in her care, and with the help of a AWOL stormtrooper nqmed Finn tries to get the droid back to The Resistance (why they changed it from Rebels I have no idea.) while meeting old friends, new threats, and trying to retain peace in the galaxy. Pretty familiar right? Well a bunch of other stuff happens, that really drives this film from just another carbonite copy of A New Hope. Different but similar settings which feel right at home in the Star Wars universe, outstanding action scenes with the most gritty and realistic lightsaber duel ever commited to film, good dialogue, excellent use of humor, and it's still just so cool knowing Star Wars is back. And what a shock, I have very few issues with the movie! One, I hate that they gave away such a big twist so early in the film, I wish they waited until a more pivotal scene and built more mystery around it. Two, kinda wasted the Captain Phasma character but we should see her in future films. Third, I can't believe they didn't give Mark Hamill one line of dialogue. Ironic since he hasn't appeared in a live action film in quite sometime, and mostly does voice acting work in animated shows or video games. So you hear him but never see him in the cartoons or video games, and then you finally see him in this movie but you never hear him. It's almost too funny to be real. But nevertheless I enjoyed the film, and I caught every damn reference to the Original Trilogy in this film, from the training orb to the substitute cave scene on Dagobah. God I love being an absolute nerd...

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Young Frankenstein

Alright, one more before the week is out.

Out of all the Mel Brook's movies this is probably my favorite, either this or Blazing Saddles. You know, it's been awhile since I've seen this movie and surprisingly it's even better than when I first saw it. It's a spoof, but a excellent spoof of the single most famous monster movie in history. The more you know about the original Frankenstein films, the better this movie is. It takes many, many odes from the first two films both of which I reviewed for Halloween and not just from those movies but german expressionist films. The humor is just hit after hit, and will certainly entertain you. The casting is spot on, I believe the cast was chosen based around the humor of each character. Dear sweet Jesus, Gene Wilder can do no wrong! He is both gut busting hilarious, and piss your pants terrifying! He's always a passionate, commited actor and it shows. Marty Feldman is a great comedic sidekick to Gene Wilder and probably his character plus Bela Lugosi's character in Son Of Frankenstein began the staple of Dr. Frankenstein having a hunchback assistand named Igor. I forgot Madeline Kahn was in this movie, both she and Teri Garr bring more hilarity and charm to the movie and they just crack me up. Terrific comedy actresses to say the least. The film is shot completely in black and white, and it makes me feel so at home. Spoof or not, it has that Universal horror look to it and that gets bonus points! All in all, a great comedy and a terrific cult film.

And now for the mystery week. What will happen next? Even I do not know. But the review must go on...

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Rocky Horror Picture Show

You knew it was coming. The definition of a cult film, a campy film, and a midnight movie.

How does one describe the Rocky Horror Picture Show? Uh...imagine the most sexually confused, hilarious, and all together weird film ever made with exquisite music, terrific acting, and probably the most original story ever told on any screen. It's not easy to talk about, you really just have to experience the movie. Now roll with me on this story cause it makes sense when you watch it (kinda) but it sounds insane when you describe it. Okay so the movie starts out with The Criminologist played by Charles Gray who recounts the case of Brad Majors and Janet Weiss and the events that happened on that dark and stormy night...ooooohhh!! We then meet our main characters and I got to admit they are really cute together, but on with the plot, they get a flat tire in classic horror movie fashion and end up at a friggin' castle! Well of course. And then all hell breaks loose, they meet weird although awesome characters, music, murder, and mayhem ensue and at the end it's kind of a bummer. But what a great film. Now several things come to mind, firstly who the hell could you get better than Tim Curry? Like, holy smokes this is him at his best! He just puts so much life and energy into the character, it's astonishing! Second, it's kind of hard to pick my favorite song. I mean, the whole soundtrack is beyond words kind of amazing but I think my favorite would either be the entire Floor Show, because every song goes hand in hand or The Time Warp. I know, I know, it's everyone's favorite but it's kinda hard not to greatly enjoy it. The whole soundtrack is just a cornucopia of emotions, ranging from happy, hopeful, raunchy as hell, fun, and even sorrowful. I love this movie to death, it gets weirder every single time I see it, and it could always use more fans so go see it! Hell even if the film doesn't sound anything like your cup of tea, give the soundtrack a shot, I bet you would like at least one song!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb

This is a excellent movie and I always love to watch it.

Dr. Strangelove is one of Stanley Kubrick's best films and for good reason. For the most part, his work is more of the dramatic and maybe horror type but this is a comedy movie, a very dark comedy but comedy nevertheless. The plot is very anti-nuclear weapons and even anti-war following the subsequent attempts to recall bombing planes from attacking Russia. And this movie was made in 1964 still in the heat of the Cold War so the possibilities of this scenario could actually happen. It is a fascinating movie to watch, with satire and comedy and irony for all. And the best part is there are three main strands of the story, one focusing on the bomber plane, one on the President in the war room trying to defuse the whole situation, and a executive commander creating mass paranoia and even firing on his own troops. Very serious situations but done with good writing and witty humor. I must admit, I did not know this was indeed considered a cult film but it is. It greatly puzzles me because it is a very good film and considered to be one of the best films ever made so it's cult status throws me for a loop. Nevertheless give it a watch, and look for a certain actor in the bomber plane, he only appears in those scenes but see if you can find him out. And I will see you guys and gals on Thursday for the king or queen of cult films depending on your point of view.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

You Fool!

Okay I'm an old idiot who can't remember anything. I do in fact have two films set up for next week. It is the week before my birthday that I have nothing planned. So next week some cult favorites. I can't wait to watch them again. And for my birthday week some movies from my favorite superhero. And I am perplexed for movies the week before that. I won't think about it, cause if I think about it I will worry. Maybe I need some suggestions? Spread the word and I'll see what I can review. Until next time.

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

Dear God this movie is still a riot to watch.

This is the funniest Star Trek movie ever, but not in a bad cheesy way I mean the genuine hilarious way. The film was directed by Leonard Nimoy and he really had fun with this movie! Our story follows the events of the third movie with Spock fully returning to the crew, meanwhile a mysterious probe is travelling to Earth with a mysterious encoded message. The crew soon pieces together the message is in fact for humpback whales. Yes the movie has several messages of communication whether misinterpreted or lack thereof, and environmental protection. For in the 23rd century humpback whales have been extinct due to massive whale hunting, forcing the crew to actually time travel back to the 1980's to locate two whales and bring them back to their own time. A good story with an admirable message but the film's true stride is in it's humor. This movie had me rolling, even after watching it so many times. For the most part the humor comes from the dialogue itself, but it actually has some physical comedy like slapstick and chases like in a Benny Hill episode. And it works. You really do enjoy the jokes and the dialogue and never once feel like it was forced. That's great comedy writing to be certain. I think my favorite parts are when Spock curses and when Dr. McCoy deals with 20th century medicine, that makes the whole film to me. This is the most fun Star Trek movie you will ever see, and I highly recommend it. Tell me what you think, and next week is kind of a mystery. I have nothing really planned out so I guess we'll see what happens...

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Star Trek III: The Search For Spock

A good follow up to Wrath Of Khan, but not as fantastic.

Our story picks up right after Wrath Of Khan with the Enterprise leaving the Genesis planet and on their way home. Soon after they arrive the Enterprise is decommisioned and it is discovered that Spock is still alive on the Genesis planet so Kirk and crew travel to the self destructing planet to save their friend. Meanwhile in all this a Klingon commander played by Christopher Lloyd seeks Genesis as well to help his people continue to strive. And this is a very good villain, not with a commanding presence and powerful dialogue like Khan but still a formidable foe with excellent character development which for the most part is very subtle but is nevertheless fascinating to watch. The film takes major steps and risks with their characters, with major losses and yet it adds strength to the film as a whole. Is it as excellent as Wrath Of Khan? No. Is it still a really good Star Trek movie? Absolutely! If you wish for a further continuation of the last film you really couldn't ask for more. And thus the journey continues in the next film, so join us tomorrow when we make The Voyage Home.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan

That's right. The Star Wars kid is reviewing a Star Trek movie the day the new Star Wars movie comes out on video. Oh the irony...

Now let's get to the review of The Wrath Of Khan, where Kirk feels old and Ricardo Montalban gives him grief. But I joke, this film is actually one of my favorite films of all time. The story is practically Shakespearean with it's themes of age, revenge, obssesion, and death with literary analogies to books like Moby Dick and Paradise Lost. The acting is exquisite, without a doubt the original actors at their best. The direction, fight scenes, music, and editing is stellar. The dialogue is quotable as all get out, and every line of dialogue has a purpose in the movie to the point where, if you watch an edited version on TV you lose a lot of the film. This is THE Star Trek movie. Even if you are not a fan of the series, you need to watch this movie! But enough gushing it's time to get to the story. Kirk has been promoted to Admiral and has not been Captain of the Enterprise for some time and soon takes command again not too long before an old enemy has returned. Khan Noonien Singh, the most dangerous opponet the crew of the Enterprise has ever faced returns for vengeance against Kirk, so the crew must battle Khan before he unleashes a machine able to create worlds but also destroy them. Now for a few things to clear up, this week is reviews of the Star Trek trilogy and you may be saying well why the hell did you start with Wrath Of Khan and not the first film? Well the second, third, and fourth films are continuations of the previous movies and share one overarching storyline. Secondly, if you wish to learn more about the events before the film I recommend an episode of the original series named Space Seed which is an origin of Khan and explains how he came to be exiled. So that is it for today, tune in tomorrow when we join The Search For Spock.

Monday, April 4, 2016

No It Wasn't An April Fools Joke

Okay so, I wanted to do an April Fool's joke by reviewing Twilight and proclaim it was the greatest love story ever told, the film has countless nuances, and anyone who doesn't like it is a misogynistic asshat who will never find love. And I...couldn't do it. I could not convince myself to say good things, even in jest of Twilight. So I will just have to review all godforsaken 5 of the Twilight films one day, a very very very very long time from now and not screw around with it. I can only say four good things about all of the Twilight movies, and I just could not bring myself to joke about such a horrible movie. I'm sorry. But we got a trilogy of movies to do tomorrow that are good so I can get my mind off of the rubbish and go to my happy place. So I will see you then in the final frontier.