Friday, August 18, 2023

Blue Beetle

I won't lie to you for a second, this was great.

I seriously believe this to be a damn good superhero movie, and speaking as someone who walked in with next door to zero expectations I was kinda impressed. I knew of Blue Beetle but really knew no character details besides the scarab and he's best friends with Booster Gold, so this was a real introduction for me like it will be for most everyone else. Jaime is a returning graduate to his hometown of Palma City where things have went south with the family since he's been gone and gets a sort of interview with a young lady who passes off aforementioned scarab to protect it from becoming a weapon, and wha-bam! New superhero in town. The first thing I gotta tell you is I have never seen a comic book movie with as much heart, emotion, and even family dynamic as this. Jaime's family is very front and center throughout and you get attached, at least with me anyway, very quickly. The family unit is what made the entire film for me. Now that's not to say all the other aspects fell flat, not at all! The effects, the suit, the action is well done and props to them for making a legit suit for Xolo to wear. The soundtrack is heavy on the synthesizers so it's an A+ score from me. The pace is just right and the plot isn't super involved, and frankly simplicity works best for an origin. Hell a superhero movie hasn't made me get goosebumps in a long ass time and this film accomplished such a feat 3 times. I really can't stress how much heart there is, cause Jaime and the family are entirely a real believable family and act pretty much how you would in such an ass wild situation. Solid great acting throughout, the comedy may be a notch much in brief instances but when push comes to shove and emotions start rising, you feel that! Xolo Mariduena is a fantastic lead trying to grasp the gravity of these events and protect his family, he may not have a giant arc other than becoming a hero but I wouldn't dream of anyone else in the role. Belissa Escobedo I won't lie I crushed, I thought she was great even with the more groany lines she owned it and that girl can act her heart out. George Lopez got the biggest laugh out of me and man if you want anybody to trust with a secret identity trust a guy who is anti-government and thinks anything could be a bug. Susan Sarandon was an interesting choice to play a villain and while she doesn't have much to do, she still has that hateable quality and it was kinda neat to see her as a baddie. It's a rock solid production and I'll be damned it kindled a spark of hope after I've basically written off DC films, I'll even go so far off on a limb here come what may and say if this is the future of DC movies, continuity or not, the future is very bright indeed. 4 stars, 8/10, seriously give this a watch in theaters. I'm almost begging for Blue Beetle 2 and I'll gladly do more research on this character. And this is kinda it for a brief moment in time, by my calculations 4 weeks until the next new release. But who knows, something could arrest my attention along the way. Until then be safe, hug your family tight, and rock on.

Friday, August 11, 2023

The Last Voyage Of The Demeter

It's Universal, it's Dracula, of course I was going to see it.

Which is odd because when I saw this trailer I had no damn clue it was even Dracula related, it was just a vampire movie. I had to look up the film to realize it's based on a a small section of the Dracula novel and in a happy coincidence I bought the book earlier. As an adaptation it's decent, they do take certain liberties with it some I'm fine with, other instances irked me, so fans of the book be aware. So we start in the Carpathians with a band of villagers delivering 50 boxes of soil to the Demeter for travel to London, as we meet our crew and get to know them a bit before the sun sets, blood is spilled, and paranoia starts setting in. I quite like the cast in particular Corey Hawkins as the residential doctor on board very scientific through and through, Liam Cunningham as the Captain I was pretty excited to see then remembered the grim fate of the Captain in the novel and was bummed because he is a mighty fine actor, David Dastmalchian returns as the first mate hell yes to seeing my man again, Aisling Franciosi was quite good though there just to explain a bit of backstory for Dracula, those are the main players and the cast isn't very extensive but all played well. I can't rightly remember the last horror movie I saw that was a pure period piece preceding the year 1900, which I greatly enjoyed that aspect! That shit, or should I say ship is real and impressive to know they built such an extensive set, the clothing, the weapons, it all fit wonderfully. The effects are pretty solid too, the blood effects and visible damage is gruesome, and Dracula looks damn good. I'm quite pleased with how they handled the look with him as a emaciated corpse at first before turning into a humanoid bat figure, you get bits of Nosferatu in there but ultimately it's original. The only other film version I can think of that did the humanoid bat to different effect was Coppola's Dracula, so points for originality. And he is effectively freaky and creepy, and while the movie does harbor more on the jumpscare side of things which I detest they mix it up to where it's not this thundering stinger music accompanied with each fright. Maybe I was asking a bit too much to get a faithful adaptation of that brief journal entry in the novel but honestly, it's kind of a slasher story already in the book. Weird weather patterns, this atmosphere of dread, crew members get picked off one by one, but you know what? They did more right than wrong. I really only have one major grievance with this movie and that is the matter of sunlight. Believe it or not the whole vampires shirk and die from sunlight thing is an invention of film, in the book vampires can walk in broad daylight but they are much weaker, I know it's a tradition but come on! Other than that, the subtle nods and references to both the novel and certain adaptations were appreciated, I'm happy I saw it and to support another Universal Monsters movie, and I give it 2.5 stars, 7/10. Blue Beetle next week so let's see what DC's next move will be.

Friday, August 4, 2023

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem

Short but sweet.

Didn't really have too many expectations walking into this movie but from the trailers I saw, I liked the animation style and was pretty game for it. It doesn't do too much or get wild despite the title, it's a basic story of the turtles still in the shadows but wanting to be accepted in the human world while battling creations of Baxter Stockman. So yeah we get dang near every side Ninja Turtles character that hasn't appeared in live action yet with notable examples like Leatherhead, Mondo Gecko, even Bebop & Rocksteady make a return to animation. I do really enjoy the turtle's personalities, and don't honestly mind the many modern references cause it was always a component of the DNA and it makes sense, it's a modern retelling of the story and the humor worked. Surprisingly not as much action as you might suspect, it deals more with the drama and emotions of our very much teenage protagonists and not done bad either! Sure they know some rad moves and are pretty cool, but good God they are a buncha' dorks as teens should be. I like how April is a teen in highschool and wants to be a journalist, Splinter is very much an overprotective dad, and while Superfly isn't a great villian though he gets a truly lovecraftian upgrade near the end which is pretty amazing, you can tell it's all being a modest beginning...even though they sequel bait pretty hard. The animation style seriously was what grabbed my attention, kinda like a mix of Coraline, Kubo And The Two Strings with the Miles Morales Spider-Man movies, it's actually really cool! The music is good, decent selection of songs but I must admit I would have loved for the songs to go on longer. Voice cast brought a lot of energy and humor across the board and I'm super down to see them again in a continuation. It's worth seeing, it's a cute and simple fun movie. Now am I still kinda waiting for the day we get a movie just as good as the 1990 movie? Sure, but a good movie is a good movie and they did the Ninja Turtles with love and wanting to tell something different and I feel they succeeded. I give it 2.5 stars, 7/10! Next week, a movie I had slight interest to see but now I'm pretty stoked and I'll let you know why so stay tuned.