Friday, June 30, 2023

The Dial Of Destiny

So did we end on a high note?

It may not have been the glorious and most grandiose send off for Indiana Jones, but you know what? I'm happy with it, I felt this was a good movie, and I don't mind recommending it. So the year is 1969 and Indy has retired from teaching before getting drawn into this plot with his goddaughter following in her father's footsteps, trying to track down a device that alters history before a certain mister hotsi totsi nazi gets a hold of it. I know that little ipso facto of a device that deals with time will be a hard split for people, and once again like the extraterrestrials last movie, I'm a bit on the fence with it. I actually feel the history and mixing of culture for the crystal skull was done better but it was competently done here centering on ancient greek and roman times, so no huge points taken there. The globe trotting felt very much upped in counterblance, and it was really nice seeing Tangiers, Sicily, and Athens cause you know they legit filmed there. It may sound strange when I say this but for a movie that keeps up a solid pace of action and plot, there isn't a whole lot of gunplay or fisticuffs involved it's much more a chase type of action movie. Decent stuff, they did as much as feasible for real, and nothing seemed horribly farfetched. As one last hurrah for Harrison he does well, I see a lot more of his personality come through Indy but at the same time he doesn't get the full spotlight. That's where Phoebe Waller-Bridge comes in as Helena, and I'll admit this up front I thought she was going to be a straight up heroic companion but she's a bit of a bastard in this movie, very well...Han Solo before he joined the cause, just whatever means I'm on top and get paid at the end. So I wasn't at all feeling it but she almost entirely redeems herself through just one action at the end, so take her with a grain of salt. I also did not like that my handsome man was the villain, granted he can cut a sinister shape and goddamn was he nicely dressed throughout (sans SS uniform of course), but gah I just didn't like that! I will say this movie has zero fucking problem making the bodies hit the floor, there is some gruelling deaths presented so it has that sharp edge, that danger and stakes, I mean innocent parties just get shot in cold blood like it's nothing man. And don't get me wrong I was concerned about this movie, not so much whether it would be good or bad but the concept of the dial itself made me nervous they would lean hip deep in time travel, maybe indulge a bit in needless fan wank, and yeah I was a touch nervous Harrison would bite the dust but thankfully no. They still do stuff with it, but it's not egregious. It's directed well, the performances are legit, the adventure is there, I'd call it decent. Nothing grand or amazing but not a letdown either, 3 stars, 7/10. And mate, if you feel it all should have ended with Indy riding into the sunset in The Last Crusade, I'm with you all the way but it's at least worth seeing once. And that's about it for me for the next 3 weeks, so stay safe, have fun, enjoy your celebratory fireworks if you are proud we disbanded from Great Britain like the rebel scum we are, and I'll see you later.

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull

I think it's mellowed over time.

Story time! I didn't start getting into Indiana Jones until after this movie came out but from all the contemporary word of mouth there was, you either despised it or liked it. Hell my mom tried to get me to watch it before any of the others and I just couldn't go for it yet, but I quickly loved the previous 3 movies and when I watched it the first go around it didn't strike me very much. I guess the line is drawn at do you think extraterrestrial life belongs in an Indiana Jones movie? My teenage self would say hell to the no, but nowadays I'm kinda on the fence. I mean it's Spielberg in conjunction with Lucas, they wanted to do a big throwback to film serials and adventure films of their youth in creating this character and you could argue the progression is sound, science fiction and alien movies were huge in the 1950s so they wanted to tip their hat to that genre as well, and I do feel Spielberg did fine work with all the elements here. So we basically follow Indy as he's being hounded by KGB agents where we meet his son Mutt Williams who enlists his help to find an old teacher and his mom as we piece together the puzzle, world hop, get into some action, and touch upon another religion albeit a less than common one. Now how they weave this story of the crystal skull for the most part works, bringing in conquistadors, the legend of El Dorado, and various bits of mesoamerican history I feel works well. You follow it, understand it, and can even be intrigued by it. It doesn't feel like an exposition dump and feels natural in this world, my only gripe is they introduce two crystal skulls and that can be a bit confusing because it just didn't need to be there and we only focus on one anyway. I don't really know why they chose to add another one in the mix for only one scene. My other more major gripe is I cannot grasp why the character of Mac even exists, he turns heel on Indy almost right from the word go but he doesn't contribute a goddamn thing and they keep yo-yoing between he's a double agent and he's actually a bastard helping the commies. Superflous. Fucking superflous. I'm not all that wild about our villains here either, I mean I get why, the time is 1957 and the movie actually does exceptional work setting you in that time frame! The cars (with a subtle nod to American Graffiti for the opening credits), the fashion, the Red Scare is rampant, all the details of the world help a lot, but I'm sorry the russian army doesn't have at all the menace and force of the natzis in any way whatsoever. But honestly those are my 3 main problems with this movie, I mean yeah sure it gets a little friggin' Looney Tunes and a bit too much CGI when they're in the Amazon jungle, but even then I kept my eyes peeled the whole movie to discern what they actually did and what was CG and I'm happy to report they did the majority of stuff for real! There may be a CG background but the sets are real, the stunts are real, it's not quite to the extent people would leave you to believe that it's very much a Star Wars prequels production. I've heard many a people say that Indiana Jones is too old, I heard it back then and I'm certainly damn well hearing it now He's not. Indy would adventure, preserve artifacts, and keep learning as much as he could until his last breath, that's why I'm not against The Dial Of Destiny. Harrison still fucking has it, he's great as always and this gives him a new angle when he learns he has a son. It's rock solid all the way through. It's nice to see Karen Allen back and I'm more curious as to what that will entail in the next movie with their relationship. Same goes for Mutt, is Shia LaBeouf gonna make an appearance? I felt he did okay here, I mean this was a point in time where he was a getting a huge push, remember Transformers came out the previous year, I'm not a fan but I'm not a hater either. Cate Blanchette, sorry hun I think you were way more intimidating even when you're just chilling in Lothlorien with your husband Celeborn, you did decent but I can't blame it on you. Poor John Hurt needed more material, I adore that actor but I feel he was more on the wasted potential side in this movie. But all the acting is good and serviceable so no major points deducted. Effects work again is primarily solid with a few bits that were off, but I'm just thrilled they did as much as they could in camera and I hope that tradition continues one last time. The story progression was good, I liked all the bits of history and trivia, even if I'm not fully on board with interdimemsional creatures. For a movie that got some bashing over the years, I think people are at the point where they can re-evaluate it and make peace with some grievances. Is it still at the bottom of the ranking list for me? Yeah, but I would not go so far as to say it is a bad movie. I give it 2.5 stars, 6.5/10. I really have zero clue as to how the next movie will go, cause I've seen young and old Harrison Ford, they made my sexy man an SS officer, and they tout this as Indy's last adventure. Can't wait until he gets blasted by missiles on an island saving his love and his child. I guess we'll see how it goes.

Friday, June 23, 2023

Asteroid City

Whoa man. Like I'm a bit speechless but all I'm gonna put as a disclaimer here is, if you're not a Wes Anderson fan you need to turn around now sunshine cause we got praise incoming.

Even though this is only the 3rd film I've seen directed by the guy I'm pretty set on seeing his whole filmography. Okay I'm going to attempt to review this movie and summarize the plot. So the story is more or less a fictional stage play that we follow intercut with the real world behind the scenes of it all, it's a very meta storyline and I'm kinda proud of myself cause earlier today I was thinking of the visual aesthetic and it dawned on me that the film looks like a high school stage play so brownie points for me. We meet up with an assortment of characters who travel to Asteroid City for a science award ceremony that quickly gets hijacked by a brief alien visitor which I'd say roughly happens halfway through, so we get a lot of time getting to know the characters beforehand and how exactly they are coping with that little incident after the fact. It's weird man. I mean stylistically in terms of direction, framing, and dialogue aside it's kinda hard to break down or at least for me it is because to bring out that Tim Burton quote I like, "It's too complicated, it's too deep, it's like trying to explain the Bible or something." basically there is an edge of interpretation to it. There is a clear connection between the play and the writer of the play beyond creator and creation which could very easily be part of that too, and I don't wish to color perceptions of what it may be (not yet anyway) so I'm just trying to objectively state what I saw. I really love this style of dialogue, it's so to the point to an almost bashingly blunt effect but it's just so refreshing to hear people say exactly what they think and feel even if it's to acknowledge they don't know how to feel. For a high functioning autistic individual like myself who speaks without a filter or complexity, it's a sight for sore eyes. It would take all damn day rattling off the star studded cast here from main character to brief cameo so all I'll say is they do really great jobs and help immerse yourself in this fiction. The humor was more hit than miss with me, in fact I was shaking holding in my laughter cause we got a pretty solid group of people and I ain't one to distract, so I'd say it was a definite hit for me. And as stated before in terms of direction, cinematography, framing, and editing it screams Wes Anderson and I'm a sucker for his look and aesthetic with asymmetrical framing, a rich color palette, constantly interesting camera movements, and editing as cutting as the dialogue. He even mixes bits of stop motion, puppetry, and flat out breaking the fourth wall in an extremely casual way. Say what you damn will about the guy's movies but he is entirely unique. It almost feels like sensory overload trying to unpack and critique everything presented, and I do fully understand it's a matter of taste and not everyone will like or even love it, but for me I had a great time. I was really looking forward to the movie, so far was my most anticipated film of the year, and I walked away extremely happy and excited to talk about it. It really and truly is days like this where I remember why I started this show to begin with. Final scores oh boy what to give it? Definite 4 stars, slightly stuck between an 8 and a 9 so I'll give it 8.5/10, I feel quite compelled to do an In Retrospect on it because it really is a movie deserving of at minimum two watches so that should be fun. Indy 5 next week, all I'm asking is please don't kill or even attempt to kill off Harrison, and fucking hell you know what I just realized? I haven't talked about Crystal Skull yet. Alright, more alien stuff next week!

Saturday, June 17, 2023


Alright Pixar, you did it again.

Elemental, not Elementals as I always want to call it is actually a pretty dang good movie. From the concept of the trailer alone I thought it would be a fascinating new way to essentially tell a romance movie and I'm happy to report it succeeds. Set in the metropolis of Elemental City a young girl named Ember is on the verge of inheriting her father's shop when a bit of a disaster strikes forcing her to come into contact with a city inspector named Wade as sparks fly and waves form. That's pretty much it, even though there was a bit of a setup for kind of a mystery when a floodgate breaks for unknown reasons that endangers the flame section of town, which I thought was gonna lead somewhere but never did. I feel that may have ended up on the cutting room floor, but hey they probably did it so it wouldn't be a reskin of Zootopia. Which...okay it's not overt but it kinda is Zootopia. The flame people are quite frankly discriminated against like Nick the fox, our main leads form an unlikely relationship, a large sprawling city split up in districts for each type or group, you can connect the dots. But don't let that deter you, they bring the originality in aces in so many other forms. I liked the animation style from the trailer, but being able to just drink in these visuals, the style, the abundance of colors goddamn it's another masterpiece of animation. I feel they were extremely deliberate in making a movie centered on elements, it pushes what a computer can do to amazing lengths on just how each element moves about, but the attention to detail in all aspects from characters to architecture is really quite special to behold. They wanted to show off and well done I say! The music is also truly special, I mean I absolutely adored the score and I can't even explain the influence or origin because I'm just not that much of an expert but it really worked for me! The relationship is actually really sweet but I feel ever so slightly bait and switched cause I infered that they would meet each other's respective parents so there's no horseshit liar revealed, 3rd act breakup, same old nonsense but it did. I did not like this. But the personalities of Ember and Wade are defined well and they are quite cute, it's honestly a breath of fresh air to see a guy have such unashamed and crystal clear acknowledgements of his emotions and opinions with no hint of hesitation which clashes well with her very pent up emotions and can't speak truthfully about what she thinks due to just her own personal inhibitions. I'm sure people will pathetically cry and obnoxiously bemoan the fact the movie goes "political" or "has an agenda" because well like I said the fire folk are heavily discriminated against and are potrayed as immigrants who live in their own private district, I mean it starts off as subtext but quickly becomes text but it never does the thing where every person in this city is a bigot except our main characters, far from it but some just hold more reservations to elements mixing. I had no problem with it and I think I would say it handles that material better than Zootopia, but I'm in the firm camp of it's not a problem unless you make it a problem. For what it's worth, it's a rock solid film and is worth seeing for sure if only just for the remarkable visuals. No joke, hand over my heart, for exactly one wonderful second I saw a shot just a simple shot of a motorbike and I said, that looks like real life. Cause it did. I'm...having a hard time believing I said such a thing but it's true, it blew me away. The future is now man. So thumbs up from me for sure, 3.5 stars, 8/10! Until next week everybody.

Friday, June 16, 2023

The Flash

Okay so it's finally here.

As a more DC centric fan I was interested how they would do the Flash movie, in no small part to the return of Michael Keaton, and ignoring the real world walking fiasco that is Ezra Miller and focusing entirely on the film how was it? Not bad, pretty decent I would say, adapting parts of The Flashpoint Paradox (feel free to read up my review on that for a synopsis) and adding plenty of a mix from all corners of the DC universe. Handy pro tip straight up, DO NOT look up anything about the movie on the IMDB period! So Barry on the eve of his father's appeal case and having a rough PTSD flashback to his mom dying, runs faster than ever before and travels back in time. The year 2013, where Zod invaded Earth but with zero metahumans to help, he has to enlist help wherever he can to get back to his proper universe and time. Obviously he gets a hell of a partner and a slight twist to an old classic. A lot of stuff happens, some of which I shall not reveal, but how the story progresses feels natural and since the crux of it all is an emotional dilemma for Barry you feel some stuff man. Just that general idea of turning back the clock just to see your mom alive again holds some emotional drama and that's the arc for Barry, to accept it and live for the future and not the past. Obviously we get a lot of action between the start and finish of that arc but it's still potent enough. For the sake of brevity I shant indulge my inner Keaton fanboy a tremendous deal, but come on was there a doubt he wouldn't be as cool and awesome? Highly doubt this is a straight up continuation of the Burton movies but screw it, I saw all the details and nods and appreciated it. And truth be told, Sasha Calle is a pretty good Supergirl too, but I'll admit up front I haven't watched the show or had the gumption to watch the movie so my view is limited for sure, but I really digged the shit out of her! Ezra still has that bubbly, completely autistic, and fun attitude and ain't terrible at the heavy scenes either, but I fully and completely understand if people can't disassociate enough between artist and art. So let's lightning round some details! Music, okay but points for the Danny Elfman theme. Action was shot well and never got boring with good and ample use of speedforce. Effects, they're not super polished and I heard some people say the movie is flat out unfinished but in all reality the vast majority of the film holds up with only two major areas where it looked very early PS3, so it's passable. Acting all around was solid. And hey if this movie ain't your cup of tea from the get go, rent The Flashpoint Paradox animated movie and pop in the 1989 Batman! I'm probably gonna do that anyway this weekend after we talk about Elemental tomorrow. Final score 2.5 stars, 7.5/10, and they don't really do the reboot thing like in the comics so who knows what will come next after Blue Beetle. Just do weird random movies DC, the cinematic universe seems to be getting lethargic and bloated to the point of expiration so just make some wild ass superhero movies every now and then! Can't hurt, I promise you that.

Friday, June 9, 2023

Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts


The universe did me a solid, it wasn't bad! It was good and I'll take it, I'll fucking take it! Bumblebee still reigns supreme but as a continuation set 7 years after that movie, set in 1994 with a new human cast and a good few new entries for the Transformers, I feel it was decent. So what's the story this time around? Right off the friggin' bat Death Star wannabe Unicron is hunting for a relic able to transport him across time and space no police box required, so as per usual Autobots need to find it first, some humans get swept up in the madness, few fights, and victory huzzah! Okay I'm simplifying and painting in broad strokes but you know what you're signing up for and the movie does tell it well, the human story is actually bearable and has some heart to it. I genuinely liked our mains Anthony Ramos and Dominique Fishback, they were decent characters and while they accept and role with this giant robot war premise quickly hey we need to have a movie somehow so no points deducted. I must admit though being an individual who really is a Transformers noob the whole Beast Wars thing, while indeed on TV when I was little little I never watched it so this like so many other people was my introduction to these characters. I only had one small gripe and by all means let me know but why do they have patches of fur? I mean I know, I know! Seven damn movies in and I'm questioning robot anatomy but I was very confused by this. In fact I really only had two major complaints with this movie but it crosses the neutral zone into spoiler territory but you'll definitely know it when you see it. But the good stuff does outweigh the bad! Peter Cullen, awesome as always and somehow after all this time still utters lines that cascades goosebumps down my body. Oh yeah, I called the "Till all are one." and guess what? Fanboyed just a teeny bit. Ron Perlman as Optimus Primal, no idea that was him but a very good solid character that would be a welcome return in the future! Peter Dinklage as our main baddie Scourge, again no clue that was him but had a great villain voice and maybe it was just me but his vehicle mode looked uncannily like the big rig in Duel. Nice. The 90s man, they really shove as much as they can as often as they can and I'm not sure if I like it or hate it, cause pretty much when they globe trot it looks exactly like a modern Transformers movie. I'm split, but I simultaneously applaud them for not throwing one or two references and committed to it. Action was well shot and everyone was identifiable, humor didn't do much for me but other people liked it and it wasn't eye bleedingly bad, I liked it just fine and I know next movie we're picking up after The Last Knight. Can you do me a real solid and just blast that Unicron theme, you teased me and I really liked it. Now just flood my earholes in that theater and make me scream....I've said too much. 3 stars, 7/10! Goodnight everybody!

Friday, June 2, 2023

Spider-Man: Across The Spiderverse


I may have been late to the Miles Morales party but I knew I had to buckle in day one for this movie! I was waaaay off on runtime, I thought it would be maybe an hour and forty-five minute flick, but nope this sucker is close to two and a half hours long and happily I can report for a very good reason. The story goes kinda wild, not in an incoherent or difficult to keep up with state but it fills that runtime appropriately, and it does what any sequel worth it's salt does! Expand the story, expand the world, and keep rocking on with the story. Now I thought one particular element which may cause some not necessarily backlash but just a difference of opinion is the movie starts off ADD as shit, 20 things happen concurrently at the same time and it can be quite taxing to try and absorb everything but they hit the emergency brakes and take the crack away fairly quick so it can move at a semi-regular pace. The plot is far from regular mind you, dimension hopping is a much regular occurence and you'd think with the plethora of Spider-People jammed in, it would get too bogged down but our main cast hold their ground and the attention is fully on them start to finish. And shock of all shocks, voice acting was pretty ace on all fronts! We see changes in Miles and Gwen, they bring up aging and growing up, the uncertainty of their double lives and what they want to do with their lives, they give several moments not only to quiet contemplative scenes but a good fair few scenes of their respective parents and how they feel parenting. Christ I never thought I would have seen that in a superhero movie but it's handled extremely well. It all feels like a natural evolution from the first movie and man the fact it took half a decade to get a sequel to one of the biggest sleeper hits of the comic book movie genre kinda blows my damn socks off, name one fucking movie that came out 4 or 5 years max after the last one. In a world of sequential entries in a movie series this is practically unheard of aside from the James Bond series. And clearly they made the most out of those 5 years with this animation, it goes beyond showboating how fucking good it is, not to be lewd or rude or slightly crude but they were not shy and just pulled their dicks out to gloat and my oh my I cannot deny. DAT LOOK GUD! It's friggin' ludicrous how many styles, colors, animation techniques, editing techniques, and just pure, unfiltered, raw, hook that shit up to my veins visual storytelling is employed. Like Pixar I'm sorry, you got schooled, there be no Oscar for you next year, good luck son! And while no spoilers shall cross these lips, these bastards pull a flat out Empire Strikes Back on my ass and not only did it work but I didn't see it coming. These little shits right here were like, "Gotcha'! Pay up and come see our movie next year for the end!" and I'm over here like, "Let me just go find a cash machine.". I'll be there man. So what's the rating?'s a lot to take in and frankly I'm still digesting and processing all which has been displayed to my eyeballs, so for all I know the score could increase over time but for now I give it 4 stars, 8.5/10! Potential Top 10 list material? It seems like it! And next week fighting robots. Please God, Satan, Buddha, Odin, Shiva, Gaia, Cthulu, Flying Spaghetti Monster, anybody, please let it be good!