Posts Tagged ‘review’

A review: Solo: A Star Wars Movie

Posted by Troy on 28th May 2018 in Current Events, Entertainment, Political

It wasn’t as terrible as people would have you believe.  If you take out the robot liberation philosophy, it’s actually a pretty good movie.

The Cannes Film Festival gave poor reviews of this movie.  I think that you must bear in mind that these are the same people who gave a standing ovation for The House that Jack Built – a serial killer movie that depicted the slaughter and dismemberment of women and children.  Frankly, their opinions mean JACK to me.

But you couple this with people in the movie talking about how Lando Calrissian is a pansexual on top of the general girl-power feel of the Last Jedi and Force Awakens, and you put a damper on things.

Everyone says “Well, there is Star Wars fatigue.”   This is absolutely not the case.  If anything, there should be super-hero movie fatigue.  And yet, there is not.  In fact, we can see that Marvel movies do fantastic and DC movies tend to fail.  Why is this?

It is because Marvel delivers what fans want.  True, Black Panther did have some black power/black liberation philosophy in it, but that was a running theme of the Black Panther comics.  It is true to the source (and very tastefully done).  In the case of Star Wars, they are using this franchise to promote liberal causes.  The net effect of this is that those who love liberal causes will probably love the movie.  Those who do not share this worldview will not particularly care for it.

The strangest thing was the promotion of Lando being a pansexual which actually had NOTHING to do with what was going on in the movie.  Such talk made those who roll their eyes at the concept of pansexuality to roll their eyes at the movie.  If they were a parent, they were even less likely to want to go to this movie with their child.  In Social Justice Warrior recap, here is what you should know: the girl in the movie is probably the biggest badass of the movie, there is a robot that runs around talking about droid liberation theology with the same annoying manner as a college sophomore, and Lando comes off at being too attached to his droid (but I can’t say that he really has a sexual attraction to said droid…and in the world where sex dolls are selling like hotcakes, I’m not entirely sure how taboo this is…).

People are whining about how Alden Ehrenreich is no Harrison Ford.  No.  He is not.  However, the Han Solo that Harrison played was 35 (or at least, that’s how old Harrison was).  The time isn’t very clear.  We do know that Darth Maul was alive.  Which means that Darth Vader is about 6 at the most.  Vader dies when he’s about 40ish.  So Alden is probably playing a teenaged Han.  As such, he wouldn’t have that cynical, hard shell that Harrison had.

It was an enjoyable movie outside of that stupid droid that is at the bottom of the list of favorite droids.  The droid liberation preaching was out of place and was not funny.  I think it was meant to be funny, but the writers failed.

Let’s remove the droid out of the equation.  What you have is a pretty decent movie with a solid plot, pretty good acting, and good special effects.

What does that tell you?

KNOCK IT OFF.  Seriously.  People do not go to Star Wars movies for left-leaning preaching.  They go there either for light saber battles or for classic, romantic storytelling.  We want to hear about balance and good vs evil.  We want courage.  We want friendship.  We want stories of hope and fighting against impossible odds.  That is what people go to Star Wars movies for.

I hope Disney learns their lessons.  Give the fans what they want, and they will reward you.  Try to shove preaching down their throat, and they will abandon you.  They still have time to save this franchise, but if they don’t learn this lesson quickly, they are going to run the franchise in the ground.  I do recommend seeing this movie if you are a Star Wars fan.  The annoying droid is a minor part of the movie, and I don’t particularly wish to see the franchise die.  Outside of the droid, it’s a pretty good movie.

Marvel is doing well because Marvel Studios is overseeing the project.  These are people who understand the characters and fans.  Star Wars is not being handled the same way.  You want to save the franchise?  Go pick up the Star Wars novels and just start making movies based on these instead of having others develop the stories.  This will work.

Long Live the Constitution!

Deadpool 2 – A Review

Posted by Troy on 20th May 2018 in Entertainment

I will attempt to do a review with little to no spoilers:

The movie was very funny.  I will say that they cussed more than I would have liked, but it wasn’t as bad as some movies.  I don’t have virgin ears, but I prefer cussing to be appropriate.  Cussing for the sake of cussing is a little tiresome.   There was a TON of violence.  But that’s kinda to be expected from a Deadpool movie.  Definitely leave the kids at home though…

Ryan Reynolds did a fantastic job as would be expected.  He loves the character and his sense of humor and Deadpool’s sense of humor really line up well.  Josh Brolin did a fantastic job of playing Cable.  And of course, we have to talk about Zazie Beetz performance as Domino.  This caused quite the uproar on social media.  If you do not know, Domino in the comics has a kabuki white face and a black spot over one eye.  When they cast a black woman in her place, this caused a hissy fit between two groups.  The first group: those who wish for characters to resemble their comic book counterparts.  This crowd views gender/racial swapping as social justice warrior bullshit (even if they are part of the SJW crowd themselves).  The other group applauds the casting change and accuses the first group of being racist.  In full disclosure, I typically fall into the first group.  That being said, Zazie made me a believer.  She pulls off the character with such swagger and likability that I could not imagine not having her in this role.  I tip my hat to you.

There were a couple of political jokes.  Normally, I shrug those off without much of a thought.  However, in this day in age, the early appearance of these jokes put me on edge and made me worry that the movie would devolve into a joyless political rant.  Fortunately, this did not happen.

X-men (the comic book) turned into an allegory about racism.  I believe Deadpool 2 was meant to be an allegory of prejudice against the LGBLT (yeah, I know it’s wrong, but they keep adding letters to it and I’ve stopped caring at some point…) community.  While I actually reject the underlying premise, it is actually pretty well done if you think about the place Russel escapes from as being a metaphor for the conversion camps where they talk about “curing gays.”  One thing: the people running this institute are torturing the kids.  Somewhere during the movie, they start referring to all the employees of this place as pedophiles.  Even when I watched the movie, I felt like there was a leap from child-abusers to pedophiles.  You may think I am splitting hairs here.  I am not.  Doctors running chemo on children are basically torturing children, but they are doing so with the intent of helping them.  The people of the aforementioned institute fall into this kind of classification.  I think at some point, the studio made this point and said “Let’s call them pedophiles so that people can get on board with them being killed.”  It makes the movie more enjoyable as it takes away any guilt on the mass violence.

The best part of the movie were the cut scenes during the credits.  These were hilarious.  There is no after-credits scene.  Do with that as you will.  They do a small, choral song that’s kinda funny at the end.

Long Live the Constitution!

Now It’s Just Getting Sad

Posted by Troy on 13th September 2017 in Current Events, Political

Hillary’s book is going to be little more than an object of ridicule.  I am of the mind that the Clintons are all about the payday.  If I was very cynical, I would say that she was purposefully making a total mockery of herself to sell books, as no one in their right might would read this drivel without the spectacle.  However, they read passages out of this book, and then Clinton supporters are forced to defend these near paranoid rantings and whole scale slander of Americans who disagreed with Hillary and even Democrats who didn’t do enough to get Her Majesty elected.

In an ideal world, the loser acts dignified.  They put themselves above the fray.  You shake hands and walk away and never speak of it again.  This allows your supporters to say “What REALLY happened was…” and they can feel free to insult any group or blame Russia or whatever.  However, she’s the one acting crazy, forcing her supporters into the role of defenders to things that they know are absolute bogus.  In the short-term, it’s awkward.  In the long-term, it drives these supporters away.  I hate to break it to Hillary, but she actually would have lost by a wider margin if the election were held today.  No one likes her.  The more you see of her, the less you like her (as I said at the beginning).  The way she is staying in the public eye, she will soon become one of the most hated people in America.  What she is doing is showing people why they are lucky she lost.

Long Live the Constitution!

Dr. Strange – A review

Posted by Troy on 5th November 2016 in Entertainment

This was a typical Marvel movie with a blend of action and comedy.  This is meant as praise, not insult.  Marvel consistently does a good job in delivering highly enjoyable movies.

The story – Basically, this is a good hero story that blends in strong elements of mysticism (Pathways to Mastership come to mind).  If witches and wizards attract you, you will probably like this angle.  It is also highly philosophical (think Captain America series like Winter Soldier and Civil War).  Without getting too deep in the weeds, the main philosophical arguments would be such things as relativism, utilitarianism, and Denotology.  However, these topics are just in the background–ie, the characters are driven by different philosophies, but it’s not some boring ethics essay.

The visuals – Bar none, this is the most visually stunning movie I have ever seen.  The imagination to create these effects is astounding, and many of the elements plays perfectly in 3D.  Without a doubt, also the best 3D I’ve ever seen.  I won’t say anything else that may ruin any of the effects.

The costume/makeup – Typically, I don’t comment about this kinda stuff, but good job!  Google Dr. Strange and look at his outfit…this could have come off as corny, but they made it look very cool in the movie.  They also did a great job on the eye makeup of the villains.

The soundtrack – What little bits I noticed were great.  However, the story and action kept me too focused to tell much about it.

Casting – All the actors did a great job, but great job of  casting Benedict Cumberbatch.  One, he did a great job of acting, but he also looks a good deal like the comic book version, which is a plus.  His baritone voice also worked well with the character.

I am giving this 5-stars (which translates into ”Dude, you gotta see this movie.”).

Maleficent

Posted by Troy on 30th May 2014 in Entertainment

Better than Star Wars.

That’s the best way I can put it.  Without giving away the plot line and without spoilers, Maleficent accomplishes in an hour and 37 minutes what Star Wars attempted to do in 13 hours and 11 minutes.

Maleficent is romanticism at its finest.  A study in character, of morals and the flaws and the elegance of the human soul.  How that soul is forged and beaten and grows under the stress and fire of pain and conflict and of the beauty it can achieve.  The story is just incredible.

If you had asked me at lunch today, what my favorite movie was, I would have told you Cool Hand Luke.  Now?  Maleficent.  I cannot even think of another movie that even comes close to approaching this movie.

The soundtrack?  Seamless to the movie.  A perfect accompaniment.

I did not particularly care for the comic relief moments.  I understand why they are in there, both for the audience and for the storyline (the fairies bumbling along is a necessary element in the cause and effect chain).  However, it was a little overly-silly in a movie of such intense, raw emotion.

I was never a big fan, but Angelina Jolie BECAME Maleficent.  Physically and emotionally, she embodied the character.  She kept a raw emotion that kept me on the verge of tears for the vast majority of the movie.  I found a few moments with Princess Aurora (Elle Fanning) that fell a little flat, but I think that only was because of the amazing bar set by Angelina Jolie (and the rest of the cast, truthfully, did amazing jobs with their roles).  I hesitate to even give that small detraction to the movie.  As I said, I think I wouldn’t have even commented on it except for the incredible job by all the other actors.

The only other detraction is they drew the climatic battle out a little longer than would have been true.  Battles are over in almost a blink of an eye.  However, this is a story, and a good battle scene is always welcome, so I forgive this blemish as just a bit of “storytelling.”

As far as 3D goes, it is worth it.  There are several segments that make it worth the premium.  However, the movie would not suffer for foregoing the 3D.  Worth the money, but you can let it go if you don’t want to pay for it.

Finally, I suppose I must comment about purists.  I am sure many purists will hold this movie up against Sleeping Beauty.  If it makes you feel any better, pretend that Sleeping Beauty is the legend that grew from what happened and Maleficent is the true story.  As William Wallace said in Braveheart, “History is written by those who have hanged heroes.”

The only Five Star rating I have ever given.

Iron Man 3

Posted by Troy on 4th May 2013 in Entertainment

Critics have panned this movie for being “joyless” and just crammed with action.  While I agree that this installment is much more serious than the previous movies, it felt right.  The last movie in a trilogy tends to be more serious, but there is still plenty of laughs, although some of the humor is a bit dark.  As far as the action goes, these fight scenes are some of the best choreographed and entertaining fights I have ever seen.  I also love how they handled the Mandarin as a villain.  I highly recommend this movie.  However, the 3D adds little or no effect to the movie.  As such, spare the expense unless you just love 3D.

The Avengers

Posted by Troy on 18th May 2012 in Entertainment

I liked it.

This movie is a roaring good time.  If you’re looking for a movie to change your life, this isn’t it.  If you’re looking for a movie with a moral or lesson.  This isn’t it.  The screenwriter tried to make a statement about freedom and subservience, but it really fell away.  I suppose the moral, if you must have one, is about coming together to battle a common enemy.   All that aside, there are laugh out loud moments, explosions, great special effects, and Scarlett Johansson in tight pants.  What more do you need?

Hunger Games

Posted by Troy on 30th March 2012 in Entertainment

Finally, a movie that lived up to its hype.

Unlike the other book series, which will remain nameless, this series appears to actually have very good plot and character development.  While there there a couple of “Say what?” moments in the movie (the biggest one being why anyone would form an alliance in a last man standing competition…particularly with the strongest guy on the field), it was a very well crafted story.

I don’t believe there is a cohesive political statement.  I would argue that it is merely a commentary of how human nature can degenerate to its baser instincts.  There is also some social commentary much in the way of the Time Machine by H.G. Wells, which was a populous book about the rich living off the poor until the poor (Morlocks) rise up and eat the rich.  Likewise, the rich in the capital city take great delight in watching the children of the poor battle to the death for their amusement.

Cliche message aside, Hunger Games is an excellent story and very entertaining.

The only question I have is…do we really need bio-engineered killer wasps?