5

“Peck’s film doesn’t waste time recapitulating Baldwin’s legacy and refuses to turn him into the marble statue that so many heroes become when centralised in fawning nonfiction movies. Instead, Peck and Strauss, through fluid, train-of-thought edits, reawaken Baldwin’s entire mindscape, one brimming with ideas and obliquely attuned to a present that is both changed from and familiar to the past. Wherever his brain wanders, our attention invariably follows. Indeed, I Am Not Your Negro excels precisely because it values Baldwin’s genius above all else. His aching, hard-earned wisdom has wavered in and out of the American consciousness in the decades since his death, but Peck’s film places it at the forefront, which is where it has always and unquestionably belonged.” — Matthew Eng

Read more: James Baldwin reclaims the spotlight in Raoul Peck’s magnificent film essay, I Am Not Your Negro

6

“From here on out, I am only interested in what is real. Real people, real feelings, that’s it, that’s all I’m interested in.”

Almost Famous came out in 2000 and it is directed by Cameron Crowe and serves as a semi-biography. It is also one of the best coming-of-age films I have ever seen, shared along with Stand By Me. As you may know, this film is one of my favourites. It is my home, it’s like a hug, strange at it seems. It is the life I want, well if I lived in the 70s. It’s the film I choose to watch when I’m feeling down, although it gives you quite the heartache at times. Almost Famous is drama/comedy film about music, 70’s music to be exact.

So the story is about 15-year-old William Miller (Patrick Fugit) who wants to be a writer, a rock writer, mind. William gets the opportunity to travel with up and coming band Stillwater. Before that big event, William submits his record reviews to Creem magazine writer Lester Bangs (Philip Seymour Hoffman). The two becomes friends and Williams gets the mentor of his dreams. Soon after William goes on a mission for Rolling stone, where he meets the girls, the band aids, the un-groupies. Penny Lane (Kate Hudson) the band aids leader takes a liking to the teen and William falls head over heels for her. William leaves his home, with the band Stillwater (Billy Crudup, Jason Lee, John Fedevich and Mark Kozeleck) and leaves his “trying to mean well” mother, Elaine (Frances McDormand) to worry.

This film is filled with lovely, wonderful performances. Patrick Fugit portrays naive and young William very well, Frances McDormand is brilliant as William and Anita’s (Zooey Deschanel) mother. Billy Crudup and Kate Hudson fill the screen with romantic tension and a bit of heartbreak, or a lot of it actually. Kate Hudson as mysterious, ageless, nameless “Penny Lane”, yes like the song, is brilliant and honest. Her character is very relatable and it really isn’t hard to fall for her ways. The beer scene is one to really look closely at. As always Philip Seymour Hoffman is brilliant, he exudes arrogance and confidence, he’s always such a good supporting actor.

The soundtrack, of course, is so very good, filled with classic rock tunes, only the best. The music written by then-wife of Crowe, Nancy Wilson, for Stillwater is so bloody good. It’s a visually good looking film, but the cinematography isn’t an element that stands out, this film is about honest characters and good music. I recommend it forever, I really do, and if you want the get the absolute best experience from it I would recommend trying to find the extended version.

Why “Boyscout” Characters are Underrated

In any given narrative in any genre, be it film, novels, comic books, video games, cartoons or stage plays, having a likable main character is important. Very important. One could argue it is the most essential part of the puzzle of storytelling in fact. After all, a story is all about following the adventure(s) of a person or collection of people who go through trials and conflicts and drama to fulfill a goal. Whether it’s a wannabe superstar tenaciously working towards glory or a strong man in tights seeking justice and apprehending criminals, we’re going to be sticking with this character for a while, so by all means the last thing you want is to make your character somebody who the audience is uninterested in or, even worse, neglectful to follow. 

But that said, opinions on what makes a strong lead can very among different audience members. It’s only natural; all art is subjective and has an appeal not everybody will appreciate. But sometimes certain tastes can trend; and that taste comes with a bitterness to it’s alternative. In this case I’m talking about the hardening and darkening of heroes, the promotion of moral ambiguity … and the mocking of “boyscout” characters. Characters often criticized for being too unrealistically moral and upstanding, “perfect” is the word often used. Superman is the prime example of this: for years people have been calling him boring because he’s so impossibly powerful he can resolve any situation and he’s so morally upright that his conflicts with bad guys become rinse and repeat. Even with the character gaining significantly more depth over the years the sentiment has been the same; Superman is just too good and powerful to be interesting. The same has been applied to other heroes, albeit to a lesser extent, such as Wonder Woman, Shazam and Captain America. Meanwhile, those characters more favored by a larger audience are more flawed individuals; people who make mistakes, whose acts of selfishness have consequences, whose good nature is often challenged and will go to a farther extent at apprehending criminals then boyscouts, perhaps even going as far as killing. Batman, Wolverine, Spawn and Lobo all have these reputations. The “Badass” of the crew is always the top seller: because it’s not enough for a reader to be morally upright and just. They also have to be badass and edgy.

Originally posted by vikaq

Now I didn’t type up this long winded article to bash anybody for liking brooding gritty characters. Far from it; I understand the appeal of them perfectly well and am also a fan of these characters. It’s not a bad thing to have leads who feel broken from loss and torment, and thus distance themselves from others and have a hard time trusting people, putting up a tough guy attitude to hide the fact that they are actually quite sensitive. This is a very real thing that many people in the modern world feel. Plus zealousness and confidence along with the capacity to back up such bravado is very endearing. If anybody is proof of that fact it’s the late Muhammad Ali.

But the question I want to ask is; are these characters naturally superior in likability to boyscouts? Are non problematic, morally upright people in fiction just not interesting? Again, this stuff is subjective, but if more people gravitate towards the gritty brooding Batman then the sunny, happy go lucky Superman, so much so that DC has been essentially making Superman out to be a tortured alien soul, then does this give us a window into what it means to be an objectively likable character?

My answer is: Not really.

Think what you will about Superman, but consider how long he’s been around and how much he has shaped our culture. The character has been around for over 80 years now, and he’s gone through many changes and adaptations to be sure (most comic book characters go through the same process) but his core elements and ideas have remained in tact and, to be honest, his franchise has told some of the finest stories of the 20th century. He’s still the highest selling comic book superhero franchise of all time. I think it’s safe to say there is something about this boyscout that sticks.

Originally posted by giphy

So in defense of these boyscout characters who I have an admitted fondness for, I will be pointing out the main criticisms against these characters and giving a retort against each.


1: Morally perfect characters aren’t interesting. 

 I disagree. Often times this criticism comes from a misunderstanding of what a “morally perfect” characters conflict really is, because it isn’t as simple and clear cut as “will this guy defeat this guy?”. Superman often comes under criticism for resolving his situations and defeating his bad guys way too easily, and as a result bad guys always resort to either repetitive weaknesses or are absurdly powerful themselves to even compete. But here’s the thing about Superman: It’s not about whether he’ll win or lose. It’s about whether he’ll do the right thing. He’s already proven time and time again that he’s the most powerful character in all of comics, possibly in all of fiction. His dilemma is whether or not he’s managing those powers responsibly, and whether he still belongs to the human race in spite of those powers. He may be on the level of a God, but he’s still a Cansas born farmboy raised by Christian locals, works on a reporters salary, is in love with his attractive female co worker and has an affinity for beef bourguignon. That sure as hell sounds a lot more relatable then a boy born into wealth and fortune, most likely went into private school, who traveled the world to study under the greatest masters of martial arts on earth after his parents were suddenly murdered, but that’s just me ;). Captain America’s conflict is also commonly misunderstood. He’s all about being a fish out of water who has to do his best to do the right thing in a world where other heroes such as Iron Man represent the modern age far better then he does. Superman and Cap are quite similar because they hold onto traditional values and morality. Make no mistake, traditional =/= perfect. Both of their ethics have been challenged and shaken time and time again in comics.

Originally posted by mithborien

2: Boyscouts aren’t relatable.

 So let me get this straight: You DON’T relate to trying to be a good person as often as possible? You DON’T relate to just wanting what’s best for yourself and people around you? You DON’T relate to seeking justice and hope and love? Maybe not everyone does; again, subjectivity is a real thing. But just because you may not aspire to higher ideals doesn’t mean nobody does. If nobody ever did I don’t think superheroes would even be a thing.

But that said, relatability isn’t objectively necessary for a main lead to have anyway. Don’t get me wrong; it’s always a nice and welcome touch. Depth is NEVER a bad thing. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be the thing that drives the story nor does it have to be the thing that defines what makes the character so likable. What’s more important then a character being relatable .  . .is a character being motivated. For evidence of this claim, look no further then some of the most popular VILLAINS around in pop culture. Relatable villains can occur and get popular, certainly, but more often then not the villains that become the most romanticized and trend the most are villains who are so malicious, so intent with their evil, so driven to make everything around them miserable that you can’t help but get involved with the chaos they’re bringing. Perfect example: The Joker. EVERYONE loves the joker, but I sincerely doubt anybody would say they relate to him. Moreover I think people are just invested because HE’S invested, and we’re interested to see just how far he’ll go to carry out his goal …whatever the hell it is.

Originally posted by vikaq

Heroes can work in very much the same way. How far will they go to seek out justice? What are disciplines they set for themselves? How committed are they to their cause? Will they ever break their code, and if so, can they be redeemed? I don’t buy the idea that good people don’t invite conflict because doing good even when it’s hard and having restraint even when people disagree with you is a conflict in and of itself.

3: Good guys don’t lend themselves to conflict.

 Allow me to repeat what I just said: Doing good even when it’s hard and having restraint even when people disagree with you is a conflict in and of itself. You don’t have to be flawed to invite conflict: matter of fact, heroes are literally DEFINED by their desire to seek out conflict because they would not be heroes if they remained indifferent to tragedy and crime. I know what you’re thinking: “What people mean when they say this is INTERNAL conflict”. People are interested by tortured souls who all too often do morally ambiguous things. Again, I understand the appeal of that, but on the other hand, if you aren’t convinced that people wouldn’t want to enact good in the world unless they learn first hand the consequences of evil when it strikes them, then I’m sorry, that’s a very cynical perception of reality. Wanting to do good can be propelled by wanting to SEE good in the world, and not wanting your powers or whatever it is you do to fight crime to not go to waste. Characters do not have to be defined by tragedy to be compelling: they can be defined by how they define themselves. What disciplines they set for themselves, what their code of honor is and how it conflicts with others. Personally I think it’d be really refreshing to see a character who didn’t learn the hard way that crime sucks and that’s what convinces them to take responsibility for once, because that’s just really selfish when you think about it. You don’t give a shit about what goes wrong in the world unless it effects you. I can’t assert this enough: I understand that writing characters in such a way can instill more drama, but I disagree that they have to be written in such a way every time.

4: Dark and gritty is more realistic.

No, it’s not. dark and gritty =/= more realistic. Matter of fact it’s just as much a fantasy as a light and upbeat world. Goodness and kindness is just as  much a part of life as cruelty and sadness. It is not “realistic” to highlight either extreme. It shouldn’t be necessary for entertainment to be “realistic” anyway. If you wanted realism you wouldn’t devolve into fantasy; you’d just go outside. Fantasy is about escaping realism and fulfilling a need to feel certain emotions by indulging in a particular genre. Every genre is valid for that reason. We watch comedies to laugh. tragedies to cry, romances to gush and horrors to scream. If you like your dark and grittiness more then other themes then by all means go for it; but it’s unfair to say lightheartedness and peppiness is any less valid of fantasy fulfillment, especially under the fallacy that it’s “less realistic”.

Conclusion:

So I’m hoping this article broadened the readers horizons a bit about what  it means to be an interesting character, and in particular I’m hoping they’ll be more open minded about “boyscouts” and “goody-two-shoes”. A good character is not always defined by tragedy and is not always defined by things they can’t control. A good character is defined by what motivates them, what actions they take, what disciplines they hold for themselves and what they do with their capacity for either good or evil. A likable character is one clearly defined and adds to the stakes, and in that regard good guys are no less valid.

Superman (1978)

This film was both a masterpiece and a trainwreck. There were elements to it that were incredibly brilliant, while others were completely moronic. The movie was filled with plot holes and logical inconsistencies. Many things were not well explained and made little sense. Lex Luthor’s logic that Kryptonite would be a weakness for Superman was such an enormous, baseless leap that it could have come from a Dan Brown novel. The worst part was the climactic scene where Lois Lane dies in the earthquakes caused by Luthor’s missile strike. Superman is so distraught that he flies into space and circles the Earth so fast that it reverses direction and, somehow, reverses time itself. As if the inevitable forward march of time is determined only by the rotation of one insignificant planet in what is already established to be a vast and well-populated universe. That alone makes absolutely no sense, but what was worse was that he only reversed time just enough to save Lois, but not enough to stop the attack in the first place, proving Superman only cares about Lois and not at all about the countless other people who must have died.

Lois herself was another major flaw in this film, though she was played well by Margot Kidder, the characterization of her was terrible. Ordinarily, it would bother me that the main female character serves as nothing more than a damsel in distress, but I recognize that it is important to the Superman mythos that he must routinely rescue Lois. What was wrong about it, though, was the way in which she manages to get herself in trouble. My favorite version of Superman and Lois Lane come from the 1996 Superman the Animated Series. In that series, Lois does regularly need to be rescued, but only because she is a great reporter who, like all good reporters, takes huge risks in order to get at an important story. She is bold, daring, and fearless, and that gets her in trouble, which is when Superman comes in for the rescue. Needing to be saved isn’t her weakness, it’s her strength. This is not the case in the 1978 movie. In the film, Lois is a tragic case of unfulfilled potential. Early on, when she is first introduced to the new reporter, Clark Kent, the two are walking down the street and they get mugged. Instead of handing over her purse, Lois attacks the mugger, causing him to shoot his gun and run off. Clark was able to catch the bullet, but not the bad guy. Provoking the mugger was stupid and reckless, but it was bold, and during the entire situation, Lois stayed calm, collected, and strong. Those traits do not survive the movie. Afterwards, whenever she gets into trouble, it’s either by coincidence or her own stupidity, but not because of any bold or strong action she’s taken, and instead of fighting to help herself, she just sits and screams until Superman saves her. She also turns into a vapid, lovesick child whenever she’s in Superman’s presence, totally losing any semblance of strength of character she had left. When Superman takes her flying through the city, her bizarre, out-of-place internal monologue sounds like the musings from a 13-year-old girl’s diary, not a grown woman.

Jimmy Olsen was another case of wasted potential. In the comics and the show, Jimmy is young, naïve, and inexperienced, but he is also intrepid and clever, and important to Superman as a character because Jimmy keeps him grounded in humanity. In the movie, though, Jimmy has maybe two minutes of screen time, if that, and he serves no purpose in the story. Superman occasionally comments on how much he likes Jimmy, but nothing on-screen holds that up. Jimmy is so insignificant in this film that he may as well not been in it at all.

With all that said, there was a lot this film did very well. The first thing that strikes you about this movie was the score. Of course, you can’t watch a film scored by John Williams without mentioning the music. John Williams knocks it out of the park every single time, and Superman was no exception. The main theme pulls you in right from the start. It’s powerful, heroic, and dramatic. It has the perfect feel of hope and righteousness that every good Superman story needs. Throughout the entire film, the music enhanced the good scenes and redeemed the bad ones. John Williams can take a mediocre movie and make it great just from the power of music.

Also worth noting was the performance of Christopher Reeve. He played Superman the way he was always meant to be played. Many people have commented on how Clark Kent maintains a secret identity with nothing more than a pair of glasses, but it has been established in the comics that he does so much more than that. He changes the way he speaks, the way he holds his body, the way he walks. Clark uses his physical presentation to change the way he appears to other people, even without a mask, and Christopher Reeve does this perfectly. When he is Clark, he stutters and stammers, he slouches and slumps. He is clumsy, awkward, and unassuming. Despite being tall and muscled, he almost disappears into the background. He is nonthreatening, unimposing, and unmemorable. As Superman, he stands tall, he talks clearly, and he dominates any space he’s in. He holds himself with righteous confidence without being arrogant, and he really does become the paragon of Truth, Justice, and the American Way. Without knowing ahead of time, you’d never know they were the same person. 

This film also had a number of other details that really made it great. The art direction and special effects were astounding, especially for the pre-digital era. Superman’s flight scenes were both innovative and effective. The film made great use of miniatures and matte paintings, which should be used more often today. My favorite detail was that every scene Lex Luthor appeared in, he was wearing a different wig. The early scenes on Krypton with Marlon Brando as Jor-El were like a great short sci-fi movie on its own, with great effects and a compelling story. Superman had many issues that kept it from being perfect, and it was goofy and ridiculous at times, but at other times it was masterful. It was the first big-budget feature superhero film, and it created an entire genre that we are still enjoying today, so it deserves a great deal of credit for that. It did something totally new, and despite its flaws, it did it well.

Robbie D.
The Directionless Director 

Get Out (2017) dir. Jordan Peele

I can’t possible fathom what a white person would get from watching this movie. I’m not even sure if non-black people of color could fully understand this movie. Get Out perfectly captures the anxiety that comes from being the only black person in an area, shit gave me flashbacks. I’m not sure if Asian or Latinx people feel the same sense of unease being around white people, they’re discriminated against too, but my mom has actual pictures of our enslaved family on the plantation, that shit is always on my mind even if it’s not at the forefront. And that’s not even mentioning shit like Emmet Till and The Central Park Five, just being in close proximity to white people could mean prison or a casket, but I’m getting off topic.

Get Out looks way too good and is written way too well to be the debut feature of a comedian. This is like if Brazil were Terry Gilliam’s first film. Get Out has been compared to the works of Dario Argento, Bunuel, and John Carpenter (which I can definitely see during the film’s second half), but personally, the first half of Get Out reminded me of David Lynch. Maybe a Lynch comparison was too obvious for other reviewers, the movie after all does take place in a small suburban town like Twin Peaks and Blue Velvet, but I wanted to point it out because I feel like the similarities go beyond the setting.

Daniel Kaluuya is a fantastic, I love Daniel Kaluuya. His accent slips a few times during the movie, but really, who cares? It’s Daniel fucking Kaluuya, I’ve been a huge fan of his since The Fades (a cancelled BBC show from 2011, it had 6 episodes).

I think what makes Get Out so great it tackles the latent racism and deceit of white liberals/allies not often brought up in mainstream media. The faux-progressivism of modern whites is near identical to the ideologies of white people from centuries past. Take Thomas Jefferson for example, author of the Declaration of Independence and purported abolitionist. He acknowledged that slavery was wrong many times throughout his political career, yet owned HUNDREDS of slaves, only freeing two within his lifetime. And even being self aware enough to know his actions were incorrect, Jefferson still believed that black people were inferior and raped one of his slaves multiple times. Point is, Thomas Jefferson knew that owning other humans (as inferior as they may be) was wrong, but his money eclipsed his morals. You see the same shit today, just look at how many white women voted for Donald Trump, I assure you that all of those women weren’t Republicans. “Liberal” white women who either couldn’t bear the thought of Hillary Clinton being the first female president or weren’t over Bernie losing the nomination voted for Trump because they decided their personal feelings were more important than the lives of minority groups.

Faux-liberalism and fetishization of black bodies is the driving force of Get Out, that’s what the movie is really about. 

The foreshadowing employed is fantastic too, along with the way the story of Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) is interwoven with the story of the film. Get Out is a lot more personal than trailers and commercials let on. 

I’d like to take some time to remind you guys that in 2008, Lucas Grabeel, AKA Ryan from High School Musical

Starred as Ezra in a film called ‘The Adventures of Food Boy’

Which basically is about this boy who finds out he has a superpower, the ability to make food appear in his hands.

but most of the time it basically explodes out of them.

It’s pretty much food flying everywhere for an entire movie and I’d like to recommend it to you all. It is beautiful. 10/10

Food Boy, everyone. It’s on Netflix.

Zero Day (Ben Coccio, 2003) follows two boys’ lives in the weeks leading up to a tragic school shooting. This pair, however, happen to be the antagonists in their own story. 

Shot in a mockumentary/found-footage format, we step into the daily affairs of Cal and Andre (Cal Robertson and Andre Keuck, respectively), two adolescents who never appear to suggest any underlying delusions or hints of insanity. They start the film off by deciding upon carrying out a goal and spend the rest of the film living out their lives as their goal gets pushed further and further away. Where they see intent and ambition, we see horror and regret. It is due to this that the film manages to be far more poignant and frightening than the vast majority of thrillers gracing our theaters.

Shot not long after the Columbine Massacre (and closer still, to the events of September 11th), audiences were still quite uneasy with the idea of humanizing two individuals who could be capable of causing such great harm to others. Seemingly trivializing the events, film like these were shunned. However, as we have come to learn, the awareness raised by these films surpasses any harm that could possibly be done by the cast or creators. 

Apart from humanizing these killers, we slowly come to find numerous similarities between them and ourselves. Juxtaposing circumstances and events, we can clearly begin to relate to and admire these two boys as they begin their attempt to make sense of the world that they were placed into. 

Regardless of intent or time and release, this film serves as an important reminder that those who commit even the most heinous crimes are not too far off from the people who inhabit our very homes.

MARCH 25: D.E.B.S. (2004)

Tired of seeing all your favorite lesbians die on TV? Looking for something absolutely cheesy and adorable that’ll make you go aaawww? Look no further and go watch D.E.B.S.

So, this is more or less the premise: lesbian spoof of Charlie’s Angels. The plot? College girls become top-class spies within a secret paramilitary academy called D.E.B.S. (the acronym for Discipline, Energy, Beauty, and Strength); and the main goody-two-shoes character falls for the archvillainness. (Shocker, we know.) And! There’s an happy ending, if that’s an important criteria for you (it is for us).

Angela Robinson (to whom we dedicated an article previously!) wrote and directed the movie. Fun fact: the whole D.E.B.S. idea started as an idea Robinson had in college. Power Up gave her a $20000 grant to make a 10-minute short film about the D.E.B.S. - which was notably shown at Sundance. And from that the glorious masterpiece that we know as D.E.B.S. was born. It didn’t fare well with critics at first but quickly became a cult classic for all of us wlw.

If it isn’t clear by now, we love this movie and have a lot of feelings about it and we think you should watch it too, if you haven’t done so already (and if you have, then watch it again - won’t hurt).

- AK

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 Spoilerish Review

Originally posted by the-reactiongifs

Firstly, bravo to Marvel for managing to make another successful sequel! Guardians of the galaxy vol 2 was amazing!

1. The plot was amazing! I like how each of these films seems to have a theme running through them, with the first one focusing on teamwork/friendship and this one focusing on family. It was sweet, funny and oh so sad.

 2. The music was superb. Not only was the Vol 2 mixtape incredible, with some of my favourite bands featured (including ELO, Fleetwood Mac, Sweet and Cheap Tricks), but the instrumental score was beautiful. Go listen to a track called ‘Dad’ from this film, and just feel it. Tyler Bates is a genius.

 3. Chris Pratt, once again, moved me to tears with his portrayal of Peter Quill. As someone who grew up without my biological Father, only to bond with the man who would become my adoptive Dad, I really identified with Peter in this film. The acting was great, as usual.

 4. Drax, Rocket and Gamora were also amazing, with each character developing a little bit as more was revealed about their own relationships with family.

5. Baby Groot. OMG, he was so cute!

Originally posted by gotgvol1

6. Kurt Russell played the fantastic character, Ego. As someone who read the comics, I was a little dismayed when they changed who Ego was in relation to Peter… but when I watched the film, it was great to see that Ego was pretty much the same dick as he always was.

7. Visual effects wise, this film was stunning, taking us to new worlds and facing new creatures.

8. The little cameos in this film were well done, with Sylvester Stalone as another Ravager and a little bit of David Hasselhof in there as well.

9. Kraglin… my god I fell in love with Kraglin in this film. Last film, he caught my eye, but this time he had a much bigger part to play and I’m glad about that (even if i have fallen into Kragdu hell)

10. And when talking about Kraglin, I have to talk about Yondu… or as I now call him, Mary Poppins. SPOILERS After watching Yondu kill a bunch of people to the song Come a Little Bit Closer, I can definitely say that the marvel universe has been robbed of one of the greatest characters ever! Not only was the fact that he died sad, but the fact that he died confessing how he saw himself as Peter’s dad (with Peter agreeing) only made it worse/better. END SPOILERS

Originally posted by josemoscosogta

11. I love the five post credit scenes, as they’ve all teased some great future scenes/films for the MCU and I will spend money on all of them!

And now for the bits that disappointed me.

1. Mantis…. I loved this character in the comics, and whilst I agree that she was very cute in this film, she was a badass in the comics, and I can’t help but think that her character wasn’t as good. It fit in with the story, but I don’t see her as the Mantis I like.

2. The Nebula and Gamora storyline felt slightly forced at first, but it grew on me i admit

If you want to talk about this with me, just pop me a chat :)

Logan

Dir. James Mangold

Originally posted by neqns

So let’s jump straight into it. The most, and probably the only, disappointing aspect of this film were finding out that the false rumor of a no credit scene was in fact true. Logan ended, and it just ended; Plain and simple. However, looking at the rest of the movie, it definitely didn’t need one.

Logan, Hugh Jackman’s last time playing the character he was meant to be, the wolverine. He has never disappointed in his role, as a matter of fact, he has mastered it and perfected it through every film he’s been featured in. Logan is when he reaches enlightenment. Old man Logan is above the expectations you’ll ever set, he depicts the old and retired like wolverine the way it was meant to be; we have that rated R to thank. From his foul language to brutal fatalities, Hugh Jackman went all out for this role; it almost brought me and everyone else in that theater to tears. Honestly, it probably did bring some tears without a doubt. It didn’t hit me until I left the theater that this would be the last time we’d see him in those shoes, nobody else can really walk in them after that; Logan set the bar pretty high.

The film runs for almost 2 and a half hour long, and not a single moment went to waste. I can definitely confirm that you’ll be on your toes each minute; Logan never has a dull moment to spare. This is such an advantage because it makes the movie shorter than what it is, because audiences are so engaged. The story was coherent and logical. In the simplest aspect, the film was about a road trip; a journey at that. There are “bumps in the road” during their trip and some changes in events but it all escalates to one climax, a simple story road map. It keeps the film enjoyable and not complex. The factor that makes the Old man Logan adaption so spot on is because of the Logan’s R rating.

If it wasn’t for Deadpool, Logan wouldn’t have been the masterpiece it was. Hugh Jackman would not have gotten the farewell movie he deserved, and in after watching that movie, and dumbed down PG-13 rating would have done damage if anything. Wolverine is made to savage and depicted without censorship; he’s violent and gruesome with a touch of sincerity here and there. With Logan, we can finally see the full scope of what that is. Now, there were some scenes that deliberately included R rating images, I’m sure only to qualify the movie as being so. However, it wasn’t depicted in a fashion that was thrown in the movie; it was done smoothly and fit just fine.      

There are some areas that make me question a perfect score. Like the exploration of character. In Logan, all the mutants are gone, there are hints to what has happened but nothing truly answered (comic book readers know I’m sure). There are only three original mutants in the film, most likely the last. One of them (no names, no spoilers) was a supporting role but had his significance, but I don’t think we knew enough of him to see why he was in the story. It made sense why he was there during the timeline but some background would have cleared up the story; these are just my personal opinions of course. Another factor was the ending. Not giving away anything but, personally I felt like some ties were left loose, not bringing closure to a story that was meant to have complete closure (or at least I think so…).

Overall the best qualities were the depiction of Logan without a rating restriction and a new point being the realism the film had. Even though it was obviously fiction, the setting and actions of the characters and “rules of the world” were entirely placed in realism. The year was past 2020 and everything looked logically of how it might look during those times, not like a sci-fi adventure film. I think films that incorporate fiction and realism together in unity are fiction works done extremely well. It accomplishes the “what if” question.

Verdict: 9.5/10 “it’s sad to see Hugh go, but he didn’t leave wolverine without a proper goodbye”

Film Review | King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword

I was watching this one with two eyes: 1) Guy Ritchie, let’s see you do jolly ole England; and 2) let’s see how you might approach Aladdin, which you’re moving onto next. I gotta say, I’m pretty excited for Aladdin.

The film is very much the legend of King Arthur and it’s also VERY much a Guy Ritchie film (that freaking soundtrack tho). What a ride from the very first note - the film just keeps kicking itself further along and Charlie Hunnam leads the way with so much swag you’re gonna fall in love - I know I did.

The camera work, as in all Guy Ritchie films, is to die for. The cinematography, mesmerizing. The editing, electric as all hell.

The story has some mechanic and plot issues, but it never falters so much that it rocks you out of it. Definitely a decent story being told - but may require some prior knowledge of King Arthur’s story. As ever, stoked for more from Guy Ritchie.

4 out of 5.

i will kill ‘em all

Originally posted by bubblegumdefective

Yes, you are, Jonathan, yes you are. 

Here’s the TL;DR:  John Wick Chapter 2 will never be as good as John Wick and it knows it.

However, it kicks ass anyway.  It tries to aim for Empire Strikes Back and Aliens levels of awesome and it succeeds. 

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