Tuesday, August 31, 2021


Only took 800+ reviews to finally get around to Tombstone.

No need to even review it, 10/10, bye. I don't even care if it's romanticized or dramatized, 10/10. I've just been informed by the producer (El Duderino) the review must continue. So yeah Tombstone, probably one of the most loved and classic westerns in cinema, made at a time where there was this tiny resurgence of the genre in the 90s with other examples like Unforgiven and Dances With Wolves, and while granted I have not seen Unforgiven I will go out on a limb for now and say Tombstone is the best of the 90s westerns. And why that is, is surprisingly hard to articulate, it very much is a case of you just need to see it. The plot like most westerns is fairly simple, Wyatt Earp and his brothers, along with his good friend Doc Holliday have just moved to the town of Tombstone to start a new life but get caught up in this gang called the Cowboys who have come to do two things, drink and f*** shit up. This eventually leads Wyatt to pretty much going on this crusade to wipe the gang out completely, and yeah there is quite a bit more to the story than that but it really is hard to explain it when it can only be experienced. The production is excellent, with massive sets, great costumes, the cast is top notch and I seriously could not ask for better, and I feel the big draw and the love this movie has garnered over the years is down to these characters and the cast. You give me Kurt Russell as a badass leading man, I will praise your movie. I don't make the rules, I just follow them. And the problem is, I can go on for considerable time about these characters and the performances given, but there is a limit to how much text I can put on a page and I only have so much time. Val Kilmer is the stuff of f***ing legend in this film, everyone and I do mean everyone who has seen this movie claims Doc as their favorite character and for good reason. Of course I gotta give some major love to Sam Elliot and Bill Paxton, how could I not when they give a very strong familial bond with Wyatt and bring a lot of likability. Even the bad guys in this are super memorable and really enjoyable, Powers Boothe is having a wild time with this role and Michael Biehn I feel gets the worst death out of everyone in the film I mean holy gotdamn! Nothing but A-game acting here. For a more than 2 hour movie the pacing is great, and regarding the fact the film is more about the historical life of Wyatt Earp it doesn't feel school history video, or slow, or boring. Even the big gunfight at the O.K. Corral isn't made a huge deal of, despite the tension and action being executed perfectly, it's not trying to be the best western movie, it's just trying to be a good movie, but all the elements here propels it to being one of the best. There's a lot to unpack from quotable dialogue, character interaction, metaphors to the literal Four Horsemen, heavily dramatic scenes that are so fullblown you still love them, romance that while very old fashioned is still really nice, just go watch the damn movie. I ain't suggesting, I'm telling. 4 stars, 10/10, I'm out! See you tomorrow.

Friday, August 27, 2021

Candyman (2021)

Well folks we may have a modern day horror classic on our hands.

There is so much to say, and I could go on all day about it but the sheer bottom line is, go. See. It. It is great. I mean it had my intrigue and attention for months, hearing Jordan Peele work on a modern day Candyman film had good potential. To which I fully believe the film delivers, it is a flat out sequel to the first film set roughly 20 years later and I loved it for that, you get many mentions of Helen, the events that played out in the first film but never once for a second does it feel like treading the same waters. It fully does it's own thing and beautifully. The film snob in me was thoroughly pleased with the cinematography, sweet merciful glory did this film look good and the director better get awards that's all I'm saying. In fact, it took me nearly to the end of the film but it has this quasi-It Follows type of editing and cinematography, and news flash I adore that movie and it's look. Holy hot damn, the visuals this movie gives is bellissimo, so unique and always interesting. This film had me at not the first minute, not the first shot, but the studio logos. You'll find out when you see it. Just...ohhh this was the film I wanted, good story, really good cast, crafts it's own mythos while still firmly respecting and acknowledging the original film, I can barely even think of all the good stuff in this movie to talk about. Again, the cast is spot on and able to balance the more funny parts with the horror, Yahya Abdul-Mateen was a very good lead and the chemistry worked super well I found with Teyonah Parris, I have no problems getting immersed in this world with these characters. It's cool to go back to Chicago, and again it gives a lot of story and character to the setting. And the way they do the Candyman mythology is super interesting, not just with the sort of infection of our main character but also the past history of the legend himself. Hell, even the past events of the first film have a myth and story all of it's own. This film really is a breeding ground for people to start delving into and dissecting mythology, like Joseph Campbell kind of dissection. Whether it be urban myths of today, classic tales, greek legends, all that good jazz. It's just such a fascinating concept, and the movie makes you think a bit. I'm seriously gushing about this film, and I feel it deserves it. I think it can withstand multiple viewings and still keep it's edge, I dare even say it's one of the best movies I've seen this year. They pulled everything off in aces, I'm having a rough time picking stuff that I did not like. Visuals, excellent. Music, top notch. Cast, very good. Story, proper good I'd say. Do I think it's 10/10 material? No, but I'd give it a 9/10. Full 4 stars, highest recommendation, go see it in theaters. A super strong ending to this week, will the trend continue at the next theater experience? Time will tell, it always does.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Candyman 3

I totally get why they wanted to make a new one.

As a "final" entry in the series, it's okay I actually think it's better than the second, but not by too much, and the fact it was straight to video actually makes a lot of sense now that I know that. So we follow the daughter of Annie from the last movie Caroline who is now all grown up and trying to split the man from the legend of her great great grandfather as more killings and familial drama occur. Yet again centering the plot around a holiday, this time Dia de las Muertos and while it has as much to do with the plot as Mardi Gras did in the last film I do have to commend the filmmakers for not only shifting the setting again this time to Los Angeles, but also giving a fair shake of hispanic culture into it. Now that's not to say the direction is flawless, the flashes of white was unnecessary to say the friggin' least and majorly gave me Halloween 6 flashbacks and while the gore has been upped, there wasn't much to really admire this time around. The director of the last film knew how to work with mirrors, he really nailed the framing and creative shots utilizing this specific detail of the myth, but here I didn't get much from the cinematography. Plus I really miss the musical cues that the second film also retained from the first, though I will say the music was still good. The acting was certainly leaps and bounds better than the second with the entire cast delivering a solid performance with actually really good chemistry and dynamic between certain players, so you can kinda see why I hold it higher than the second film. Plus you get a very healthy dose of Tony Todd throughout, so that I really must applaud. But again it kind of is a mixed bag, with stuff I liked and stuff that did nothing for me. I'm happy I saw the other two films, but you really gotta be hardcore for the Candyman to delve farther than the first which is a movie that improves everytime I see it. 2.5 stars, 6.5/10, high hopes for Friday and I'll be endlessly fascinated how they will handle so much of the mythos in the new movie. Until then everyone.

Monday, August 23, 2021

Candyman 2

How could I resist?

So after one of the in my humble opinion, best and most defining horror films of the 90s how does the sequel stack up? Not terribly good but serviceable I would say. It's definitely a continuation after the first film with mentions of Cabrini Green and Helen from the first film, following a teacher named Annie who gets swept up in a slew of murders and quite unwisely calls upon the Candyman leading to revelations, bloodshed, and drama. Now while I wasn't completely taken by this movie, I do have to say there were aspects I very much enjoyed. I like the setting of New Orleans, it doesn't have to be Chicago again because myths and stories are universal and spread like wildfire, and you get a good sense of the city. It's not just Bourbon Street and the French Quarter, you see the damaged run down side of town, and the inclusion of a semi-narrator brings some flavor and personality. Now do I feel the inclusion of Mardi Gras is just sort of there and doesn't hold much thematic or interesting standing in terms of plot? Yeah, but I mean Jesus wept there is more stuff that happens in New Orleans more than Mardi Gras. The acting is, yikes is it hit and miss. Now of course Tony Todd is just as good as before, really further cementing he is one of the underrated big daddies of horror icons. The man just hooks you in (ha ha ha) and commands the screen! And yes I do like our main lead, she does fine work but this script needed some work boy howdy. Carrie Fisher said it best, "You can write this stuff but you can't say it." like it gets a touch melodramatic for my tastes to be blunt, and yeah there is some spoiler stuff that didn't do much or add anything for me that the first film just let my imagination run with when hearing about it. Now I will say Bill Nunn as the reverend is the second best actor in the film and I really liked his character though not on screen much. Everyone else is a bit...off but in a hard to deduce off, like I can't reckon whether they're playing it for laughs or are just not very good actors. There is a lot of stuff like that in this movie where I really enjoy some stuff but the rest just keeps knocking the score lower. Now if you are more like me and just want some more Candyman action with Tony Todd being really damn good, and you can care less about the intricacies of the story you might have a good time. 2.5 stars, 6/10, it's just a slightly above average film for me and we'll see what number three has in store for us next time.

Friday, August 20, 2021

The Protege

F**********k, that was good!

Granted I didn't really know too much or really knew what to expect, but Christ that was a good movie. It's not the action movie the trailer leads you to believe, it's here to tell a story, it knows what it wants to be, and it pulls it off in spades. Now the trailer did get me to see the movie, 100% due to it's star power but you get a proper good movie here. Okay so the plot follows two assassins played by Maggie Q and Samuel L. Jackson as they take on another case and hunt some bad guys, typical action movie plot. Then you have the wild card that is Michael Keaton. Now I'm not saying this movie is amazing because of Michael Keaton, I am a huge fan of his but at the same time...his character and the personality he gives to it is what makes the movie so much better than it already is. This dynamic between him and Maggie Q got me super invested and I was already really rolling with the plot and was digging the hell out of it, because they are two pieces on opposite ends of the board here but you see it and hear it in his eyes he does not want our main character dead, far from it even. That added so much for me, I just loved this movie! It's a very character driven story, and you get a few shooty shoots and they're done quite nicely, but it is at the heart of the matter the relationships between Maggie, Sam, and Michael that not only is the majority of the film but pushes it above my expectations. Now I can fully 100% understand why some people would walk out of this movie feeling a bit bait and switched, it's geared up to look like a out for blood revenge story with wall to wall action, but that's far from the truth. I get it. It's fine. Yet everything about this movie clicked with me. I love the actors, I mean anytime Maggie Q is in a new movie is a welcome celebration for me cause she's been kicking ass for years and I truly adore her, maybe even crushed a fair bit on her character. I don't know, a girl with reddish hair, owns a bookshop, and has a love for cats, assassin or not I can see myself settling down with for the rest of my life. Sam is a lot of fun, and has some dang nice chemistry with Maggie and as you learn more about their relationship it only gets stronger. And Michael, holy mother of mercy this is what I signed up for. So funny, can still kick ass, gives just enough of that off-ness to really knock these lines out of the park, and dude that final scene f***ed me up a bit. It really reminded me of Heat, and at the same time gave me final standoff in a western kind of vibe, this is some good stuff man. Like it has been awhile since I gushed about a movie this much, that should be clues enough for you to go check it out. Nothing short of 4 stars, 8.5/10, like man this movie could have a following and I am all there for it. What a high note to go out on this week, I genuinely hope next week can give the same when we look at Candyman so I'll see you soon.

Thursday, August 19, 2021


I feel this is the perfect evolution of films for this week.

After the success of Rush Hour in 1998, Jackie Chan returned to Hong Kong with a very different kind of movie idea, wanting to branch out into full romance comedy but as the script was fleshed out bits of action were thrown in and what we get is a silly, endearing, very good film that I was extremely happy to see. The story in this movie is a bit bonkers, fancy free entertainment that definitely won't work for everybody but if you can roll with it I think you'll have a good time. A young girl named Bu finds a message in a bottle floating near her home and decides to track down the individual in hopes of finding true love, but she finds it not in the man who wrote it but in a one Mr. C.N. Chan, and a quite cute and sweet relationship blossoms between the two. But all is not well when Chan's (that's a bit confusing but I mean the character) childhood rival gets a wee bit jelly and sends a skilled fighter to beat and humiliate him so he can have Bu all to himself. It's an almost childlike plot in a way, logic doesn't have much of a foothold here like most romances truth be told, it's about the emotion that carries the film. I personally very much enjoyed the romance factor here, Jackie and Shu Qi genuinely have heartwarming chemistry together and it's even better after seeing the previous films I've reviewed. Going from a hopeless romance situation, to Jackie chasing girls left and right, to a proper good relationship. Not too little, not too much, perfectly balanced as all things should be. The action is sparse, but the dynamic between Jackie and Bradley James Allan who sadly passed away just this month, is nothing short of amazing and unique. Cause they really have no animosity towards each other, no negative feelings, they treat each other with equal amounts of respect and consideration making the fights more a friendly sparring session than antagonistic brawling. I can't really say I've seen that much in cinema, you just get so much character and personality from these people in their matches. It's really amazing stuff, and the choreography brings ample amounts of lighting quick strikes and nothing short of 110% effort but it also has such a lightness to it, with creative and funny moments that make it markedly different from other fights in Jackie's career. It's simply a film that does not take itself too seriously and embraces the fun of the story and characters, which I have infinite respect for. It's such a different beast, but well worth your attention if you need some fluffy light fun times. 4 stars, 8/10, new movie coming tomorrow and one I didn't even really plan on watching but the trailer firmly had my attention so see you next time.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Dragons Forever

I definitely got a more solid sense of Sammo Hung's directing here.

Wheels On Meals was a good introductory film for his directing, and I get a sense he likes telling a myriad of different genres in a story. It's similar yet different to the first film this week, with more an emphasis this time on the romance with ranges of good to spectacular bits of action sprinkled in. The story follows three men who by some means or another is employed by a shady corrupt business to gain land for their factory, each member has their own plans and forge brief alliances but none of them is telling the whole story leading to periodic clashes before the pin is dropped and they all go after the business. Again it sort of focuses more on the lives of these characters than the action itself, and I really really like that. That's the reason why I hold the Ip Man series so highly, it gives you character and the big fights which I feel works very well here as well. It's so interesting seeing Jackie play a lawyer and be more of a romancing kind of guy, instead of his down to earth everyman persona in most of his films. But that sure as hell doesn't mean he can't still fight. Once again all these guys are on even better form than Wheels On Meals in my opinion, bringing so much speed and precision to their strikes and getting a bit more acrobatic in their movements. The final fight is short but unbelievably outstanding, with so much going on and some hits that straight up made me cringe. I mean f***ing hell man, I need an ice pack just watching it I can't even fathom the actors going through it. It does not shy away from the falls and the impacts, it's really one of the most impressive fight scenes in cinema for me. We even get another standoff with Benny The Jet, didn't entirely plan that but he brings his further improved skill to the forefront. I mean you could break down those two fight scenes alone and really notice how much their styles, technique, and skill has grown. But like I said the film is more of a romance, with Jackie and Sammo having some one on one time with their lady friends which I actually did like. It never felt like it dragged or was pointless so I must commend the film for that. Solid 8/10, 4 stars check it out, and we jump straight to 1999 for the final Jackie Chan film of the week before the next theater going experience.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Wheels On Meals

Yeah Vanguard really stuck with me so I figured why not see some more.

Believe it or not this movie has been on the review calendar several times but always got pushed back, but I finally saw it and while it was admittedly different from the few Jackie Chan movies I've seen I still really enjoyed it. It's much more a comedy film first with action peppered here and there, and if that turns you off it I still very much urge you to see it for yourself. The plot follows two friends who run a food truck in Spain who get swept up in this kidnapping plot by a bit bumbling detective, as they meet a woman with a penchant for pickpocketing among other characters. Now I will fully say the comedy even for me took me about 20 minutes into the film to really grasp, obviously I haven't seen many comedy movies in the 1980s from China but once I got it, the movie made me laugh a fair bit but even when I wasn't laughing I still had a smile on my face. I was pretty shocked to see the story unfold in Spain, Barcelona to be exact so it really just goes to show Vanguard wasn't the one and only to do such a thing. But the locations look nice and the production while obviously not top tier in terms of budget still gets a lot done and in no small feat for the choreography. It's good old classic martial arts fighting, with guys flying across the room from a hit, that instantly recognizable steak punching sound effect, and some neat-o camera work just for the fun of it. Again, it really isn't wall to wall action but at the same time I didn't have any issue with that because the fights were still engaging and entertaining. Hell I would almost go on record and say for a fact that the fighting was kept to a minimum so you really get your full money's worth with the fight between Jackie and Benny The Jet. Holy hot damn it has been a minute since I've seen a fight that good, no it's not even a fight. It's a duel. It's a duel of high skill and raw power that will probably be replaying in my head for the rest of the day. I wouldn't even be surprised if they said they didn't do much choreography for it and just filmed it like if it was a tournament match, it feels that organic and unscripted. If you had reservations watching this movie, chances are those dissipated while that fight was going on. I'm quite certain this is the first Sammo Hung directed movie I've seen, though I've seen him as one of the martial arts masters in Ip Man 2, and while it is an unashamedly 80s piece of foreign actiony cinema I really liked how he did it all. The slow motion, the unique camera placement for certain shots, the editing, it worked very well for me. Also have to give a nod to the music, it got funky and even had a montage song like any true 80s classic. It's a fun movie with a caper plot, and it's cool to see Jackie in one of his older roles. I give it 3 stars, 7.5/10, good times be found here. Tomorrow we jump closer to the 90s with another Sammo Hung directed film.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

He Who Gets Slapped

Once again proving a big distinction between best and personal favorite.

Ever since I first saw this film just a few years ago, it quickly became my favorite of Lon Chaney's films, despite Phantom being his most well known and yes I still consider it a great film, a film I love even, but this story just worked for me. It follows a scientist who is cheated and betrayed by his wealthy patron, and mocked openly at a seminar leading him to go a bit off the rails and takes up being a clown in a circus act, as we get to know a few of the side characters it all culminates in a revenge story which is probably why I love it so much. It still has the romance, and the tragic ending, but revenge while being a worthless cause can elevate storytelling and it works great here. Chaney gives another good performance but yet again I strongly stress his acting quality in The Unknown which was the highlight of the week, but the emotion in his eyes and more subtle moments of acting is really wonderful stuff. I don't know what it is, he just pulls off clown makeup better than anybody I've ever seen. Yeah, even more so than any Joker. In fact I did get ever so slight Joaquin Phoenix vibes from this, a down on his luck lower class guy gets snubbed by an upper class rich guy, goes a bit mental, puts on clown makeup, has someone close to him that he does love but is not reciprocated back, as a clown he becomes this celebrity with hundreds of admirers, and it ends with two people being murdered. Sounds a bit familiar in a way. The quality is quite good, and considering this was the very first film Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer started production on they did a good job, with good sets, huge amounts of extras, very good costumes, some pretty nifty cross dissolve's which was ambitious for that time and they do work quite well, it's a solid movie. It's not often I touch on films that are nearly a century old, but it really does go to show how much things change they stay the same. The world keeps turning, films are still being made, and here I stand amongst billions with such a passion for one of many artful mediums. 4 stars, 8/10, I'll see you next week everyone.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

The Unknown

I'm gonna find it difficult this week to see a better performance from Chaney.

Even though tomorrow we look at my personal favorite of his films, I really couldn't ask for better acting from him like ever in this picture. I think it was almost law, regardless of genre or story material, there had to be some love triangle scenario in the silent era, it pretty much is at the forefront of every Lon Chaney film I've seen in my life. So we follow a circus troupe, specifically Alonzo an armless trickshot, Nanon the ring leader's daughter, and Malabar the strong man as romance buds and tragedy is right around the corner. What fascinates me about this film is there actually is no complete print of this movie, which is kind of the shameful reality of it all when it comes to silent cinema. The full runtime was an hour and three minutes, the only surviving print is 50 minutes so you lose about 13 minutes and yet not once does the film seem like it's missing anything. It's a concise, easily understandable, and still engaging story that can be watched in the time of a modern television drama's runtime. Quite a few horror connections in this film, it was directed by Tod Browning who directed two previously reviewed films here on the show, Freaks and the 1931 Dracula. Speaking of Dracula, Bela Lugosi is in a very brief cameo near the beginning of the film. Norman Kerry returns as Malabar, two years after Phantom Of The Opera with Chaney so the trend continues for returning cast members from that film. And Joan Crawford stars as the romantic lead Nanon, who had a long and illustrious career in Hollywood with notable horror examples being in Rod Serling's Night Gallery, and the cult classic Whatever Happened To Baby Jane. Apparently Joan fully commited to acting after watching Chaney perform, and it does go to show what a truly unbelievable figure he was in that time and palce in the world. You get so much great acting out of him in this movie, and I can pin it down to the big emotional breakdown scene he has near the end. Good God, I felt everything in that scene. If people ever wondered or wanted reason why critics and fans praise Lon Chaney's acting ability despite the lack of sound, this is immediately the film I am pointing to. It even has a more cathartic and final ending, cause there is a point where the film could have faded to black, The End, done and over, with actually a pretty solid Rod Serling feel to it now that I think about it, but it gives you that little bit more of an emotional finale which I think works wonderfully. I think it's a great film, cannot even believe it could pop up in the public domain in a few years time, MGM get on top of your movie history, seriously everybody needs to pay more attention to films of the silent and early sound era from the studios that made them to the audiences who still watch them. I dare even say they are more important than cinema breaking films like Star Wars, Citizen Kane, or any blockbuster franchise going on now. We cannot let these films slip into obscurity and out of history, not for anything. 4 stars, 8.5/10, it's been a good week and we still got one more.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Laugh Clown Laugh

I still like the clowns.

Decided to do something a bit different with some silent films this week that all strangely have a circus theme for Lon Chaney this week, but honestly they are some of my favorite films of his. Made during the height of Chaney's popularity the plot involves a circus performer named Tito who one day finds a young girl abandoned in the woods and decides to raise her and names her Simonetta, as time passed and the girl grew up into a young woman Tito feels conflicted emotions on his love for her and quite soon she meets a young count named Luigi Ravelli as a sort of love triangle forms. I say kind of because in an aspect I greatly love and appreciate of the film, it's not this big rivalry between Tito and Luigi for the affection of this woman. In fact they meet while seeing the same doctor, Luigi has bouts of uncontrollable laughter while Tito weeps frequently and they actually decide to help each other out. So they actually have a good standing relationship and both have the intention to bow out gracefully if Simonetta chooses one of them. No nonsense, no fighting, no unecessary drama, just two men who will respect the woman they love's choice on who she wants to be with. Another thing I find interesting is you're not entirely sure how Simonetta feels about Tito, they keep it vague until near the end and it works well because of their relationship. Tito loves her unconditionally and wants her happy but raised her as his daughter so he has a dilemma of whether to confess his love, and Simonetta feels the same very much loving him and doesn't want to leave him but you can't pin down if it's romantic or familial love. It's an incredibly basic story but the performances are what makes it truly worth watching, I hardly think I need to say much about Lon Chaney the man was one of the greatest actors like...ever and can convey so much through facial features, Loretta Young was a mere 15 years old in her first leading role and she handles it very well being able to keep up with the pace of Chaney and is believable in the role, Nils Asther is a good secondary leading man and the writing they gave his character keeps him from being a one note dashing suitor like say Raoul in Phantom Of The Opera, speaking of which Bernard Siegal who played Joseph Bouquet in the 1925 version is the stage partner of Chaney in this film, isn't that neat. I feel the tragedy angle isn't nearly as strong as another film we're gonna look at this week, it focuses on the romance and the internal drama of the characters which is the important part, the tragedy element is really only at the end and while Chaney pulls it off with ease it's not something in the foreground throughout the movie. Production values are really good, the image of Lon Chaney in clown costume is striking and memorable, the version I watched had a score composed by H. Scott Salinas which was actually quite pretty in places and complemented the scenes effectively, and for a movie just a bit over an hour you really don't have much to lose. It's a very good movie, and anytime silent cinema is available to me I have no problem sitting down and watching it even at a much later hour like I did for this movie. Film has barely been around for a 100 years and every era is worth discussing and seeing to distinguish where we were and where we are going from here. 4 stars, 8/10, catch you next time.

Friday, August 6, 2021

The Suicide Squad

Better than The Dark Knight? No. Damn good movie? Yes.

It's probably the most light hearted romp with a hard R rating I've ever seen in my life, juxtapositioning gnarly brutal gore and violence with light comedy and fun characters. The story follows two teams of Task Force X as they are sent to the known DC locale of Corto Maltese to investigate and shut down a government operation known as Starfish as the body count rises and we get to see good adaptations of DC characters both returning and new. Now I still stand by my review of the 2016 original, I still like it, I felt the studio should have kept it's big noses out of a director's work, but it is a movie I enjoy and would call good so this is not devolving to a, well clearly the new Suicide Squad movie is better than that trash. F*** yourself! They're two different movies and both are fine. Granted this one feels strangely a lot similar to the first movie and yet so different. It's heavily stylized, the camera work is more intricate, the blood factor is almost comical in it's excess, and each character gets a good smidge of backstory and personality. It could easily be seen as it's own thing but there's lots to connect it to the first which I like. While I couldn't bash the casting of the original hard, this one is mighty spot on giving the actors to make the character their own and not just feel like they are playing a character in a tight box. Margot Robbie is still royalty, Idris Elba is and has been the man, Daniela Melchior is my moon and stars in this movie, David Dastmalchian is mighty good but I still lean heavily towards his Calendar Man performance, and Sylvester Stallone as King Shark easily was the best character of them all. Yes even above Harley, he's that good, I said it. But even the side characters like Viola Davis, Peter Capaldi, and Michael Rooker were all great. The story is linear and might not make much sense when you break it down but I can truly see this as a movie people will watch again and again. The effects I felt were really good, maybe not enough practical gore but that's a small gripe, King Shark and Starro look good and have spot on textures plus they just have fun with it. I also feel the comedy was balanced, it could have a serious moment, it could have action without a comedy beat, this movie flat out says f*** your feelings they'll kill anyone without hesitation, and I know there will be some jackass chucklehead who will just say, oh it shows how bad the DC movies are that they have to take MCU directors to make their movies better, to which I reply with a quote from the movie "Eat a big bag of dicks." and f***ity bye. It's really good stuff, despite the fact they killed nearly every character I liked a lot so the verdict is .5/10. I'm just kidding, it upsets me but I'll get over. 4 stars, 8.5/10, this will be the last new movie for a bit but there's always stuff to talk about. Be good people.

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Batman The Long Halloween

Thank you God.

Good news! It didn't suck. In fact....it's right up there with The Dark Knight Returns and Superman Red Son for me. There is a lot to talk about without spoilers so I will attempt to keep this coherent. The first thing I gotta say is, the film had me on two fronts from the start. The first shot of the Gotham skyline is absolutely gorgeous and the opening titles are easily the best out of the modern animated DC movies. If Matt Reeve's The Batman has an opening even half as good as this, it may get a 10/10. I'm so thankful we didn't have to wait long for part 2, and was actually quite curious where they would split the film. I very much liked and appreciated how they handled this story, with a long game of holiday related murders leading Batman, Jim, and Harvey to figure out who the mysterious killer is as boundaries are pushed on all sides. It's a very complicated case man, a lot of in's, a lot of out's, a lot of what have you's. I actually went and read The Long Halloween before watching the whole film and there was so much in that book that I was wondering how they would put it to the screen, because the book is very much a detective story with not a lot of action, it's stylized as all hell with at least a dozen Sin City parts composed of black, white, and red but I can safely say I love the production. The animation is absolutely great, the backgrounds are impeccable and the character designs have these thick black outlines that give this mix of The Brave And The Bold with Venture Bros., I kinda like how minimalistic yet striking the batsuit is in this it gave me heavy season 4 of The Animated Series vibes. Cast is wonderful and brings nothing short of their A-game, with Jensen Ackles getting the promotion to Batman since Under The Red Hood and has such a strong great voice and as a Supernatural fan I was impressed how much I didn't just hear Dean in the role. Naya Rivera is right up there with the all time greats of Catwoman voice acting in this, she was a joy to watch and I have nothing but love and respect for her. Josh Duhamel taking on my favorite Batman villain was also spot on, I adored the relationship between Harvey and his wife Gilda you can really get that sense of true romance in their perfomances and the same goes for Bruce and Selina, but yeah he was mighty good as Harvey and I swear he sounded just like the original Animated Series Two-Face near the end, way to go my guy. Wonderful to see Troy Baker back as Joker, how I missed this man in this role, despite not a load of screen time. The absolute stand out performance, believe it or not, is once again the man of a thousand DC characters David Dastmalchian as the Calendar Man. Best performance I've seen him give yet in the DC universe, can't wait for Suicide Squad, and while I always hear Maurice LaMarche from the Arkham Games when I read the comics he is awesome in this part! Here's to many more future parts my friend. And the absolute best part is that they treat the story seriously and not only that but it's a total run time of about 3 hours so it doesn't rush, you would be surprised how many quiet moments there are in this film. It really struck me that they just focus on these characters, cause at the end of the day a lot of the graphic novel did the same. I can't tell you how much I love it. Sure they change stuff, streamline stuff, yet it really didn't bother me and something struck me that really needs to happen to more people. A lot of people shit on adaptations, oh it didn't follow the book exactly, oh they changed this element, and I was sitting there thinking why would you want to watch a movie where you know exactly everything that is about to happen? Cause this movie kept me guessing, I was wondering where they were going with it cause the book ends on kind of an open note where debate and discussion is encouraged, so it didn't feel like a carbon copy of the book. They did their own thing while still adhering to the story of the original work and paying respect to it. That is no bad thing. I did however take a bit of grievance with two things, one being the ending that seemed out of left field and contributed nothing, I liked the book ending way better. Second is the movie projects Batman as a crimefighter but not a detective, it even brings up multiple times how Bruce didn't expect to be a detective. Bollocks! Great bolshy yarblockos to you! I know this kinda follows the events after Batman Year One so he isn't flawless in his technique, but seriously are you taking the piss? He studied how to be a detective! Urgh, but other than that excellent film. A serious fullhearted recommendation, 4 stars, 8.5/10 maybe even a 9, now I think the only big story they need to cover now is Knightfall. But time will tell, and I will see you Friday.

Monday, August 2, 2021

Batman Soul Of The Dragon

The second I heard this concept I knew I was game for it.

An Elseworlds tale of Batman in the 1970s, with influences of martial arts, Bond, and weird cults, sign me the hell up! And I actually can fully grant this a strong rating, I had a real good time with this movie. You can tell the director knew exactly what he wanted to do, taking so many elements from so many sources and incorporating it to make a solid good movie. You get a bit of Bond at the beginning with a flat out call back to The Living Daylights, you get the oriental martial arts stuff like Enter The Dragon and even some Big Trouble In Little China stuff, and it fully embraces the 70s style, jargon, and aesthetic. I do however feel the title is a bit misleading, it genuinely is the one thing I actually don't like about the movie because Batman is like in two scenes. Oh Bruce is present almost from the word go, but you really only see the cape and cowl on two occasions which is a shame because I really like how it adapted Neal Adams 1970s suit, with the grey and blue with the yellow bat symbol, I could kinda argue the cowl looks off but everything else looks so good. The story is more an ensemble with Batman, Bronze Tiger, Shiva, and more obscure character Richard Dragon as we kinda delve into Bruce's training and them hunting down this weird syndicate/cult led by Kobra who I briefly mistook for Copperhead. It's a simple but good story and the cast brings that perfect balance between serious and fun, David Giuntoli has a strong good voice for Batman and I believe this is the first time he has done the role and he did a mighty good job I'd say. Michael Jai White is excellent casting for Bronze Tiger, and to see some Black Dynamite influence in the movie made me a very happy camper. It was so great seeing Kelly Hu back as Shiva after playing Arkham Origins so many years ago, she's awesome and brings a lot more to the character than before so nothing but love from me there. Mark Dacascos while sharing the lead with David does a good job and gives a proper good introduction to this character I find, you can obviously see the Bruce Lee inspiration yet still retains an identity of his own. We even get friggin' James Hong, bless that man, we get David Lo Pan and he is perfect as always. I knew it was him instantly and I was thrilled to have him in this. The animation was also spot on, having great fluidity for the action scenes and worked great with the aesthetic of the time period, hell this movie had me at opening credits seeing that 70s Warner Bros. logo told me everything I needed to know about the visuals in this film. And I gotta say, I was about to go on the rant again about another R rated DC animated movie, yet it actually kinda warranted it and didn't even attempt some horseshit sex nonsense, it delievers some blood and some deaths without it reaching that animated Mortal Kombat movie levels I reviewed earlier this year, so shit I'm kinda stumped what to say next. It's a good movie, solid but not outta sight, 4 stars, 8/10. Well worth a rental and if you're hardcore about the animated DC stuff, is a welcome addition to the collection in my opinion. What did I review last time that was animated DC? Wonder Woman Bloodlines and Superman Red Son, those were pretty good too so I hope the trend continues as we talk next time about the highly anticipated The Long Halloween. Please God. Please. Don't be bad. When it comes to the big proper beloved titles of the Batman it has been some hit and miss, so fingers crossed guys. See you then.