Sunday, August 3, 2014

Ten Things: Guardian of the Galaxy

Hey, remember when going to the movies in the summer was supposed to be fun?  Well, Marvel sure does, and they've decided to take the rest of us along for the ride with Guardians of the Galaxy.  It's actually quite remarkable what Marvel Studios has accomplished here; they've taken one of the most obscure and bizarre hero teams in the Marvel Universe and turned it into one of the best Marvel movies since The Avengers.  Heck, I'm ready to see it again right now, which I haven't done since Pacific Rim.  If you haven't seen it yet, drop what you're doing and go now.

If you have seen it, stick around and see ten things I didn't like about my favorite movie of the year so far:

Sunday, January 19, 2014

I Love It, But It Sucks: Legend of the Guardians

So The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug has come and gone, and I've had a good month or so to collect my thoughts on the matter.  Unfortunately, my thoughts on DoS so closely mirror my thoughts on the previous installment that going over them again would feel redundant.  In a nutshell, DoS is bloated and poorly paced, with a climax that so thoroughly breaks the film that it merits its own analysis once it comes out on Blu-ray.

However, if the Hobbit films have taught us anything over the last two years, it is to appreciate brevity and a solid pace when we can find it in the age Epic Cinema.  Yet brevity can lead to failure just as easily as bloat, as evidenced by 2010's Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Ten Things: Saving Mr. Banks

I've had reservations about Saving Mr. Banks, Disney's retelling of the creation of Mary Poppins, ever since I first saw the trailer.  Mary Poppins is easily one of my all-time favorite movies, as anyone who knows me can attest.  While I may consider Mary Poppins to be an absolute masterpiece of family entertainment, there was one prominent person who disagreed: Marry Poppins author P. L. Travers.  Tim over at Antagony & Ecstasy has discussed the tumultuous relationship between Travers and the screen adaptation of her work on multiple occasions with more knowledge and detail than I could hope to, but suffice to say that she despised the finished product.  With that in mind, the idea of Disney making a film about Mary Poppins' production struck me as blatant historical revisionism.  And make no mistake, Saving Mr. Banks truly is historical revisionism--but damned if it isn't some well-made historical revisionism.  The film is well-acted and even quite moving in places, so if you're interested, check it out.

Now here's Ten Things that really bugged me:

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Such Heroic Nonsense: Get 'Em While They're Young

I mentioned in my last post that the release of Man of Steel on Blu-ray got me thinking about a couple topics, and I'd like to take some time to talk about the other.  Actually, the truth is that I've been thinking about this for a while, but Man of Steel just put it into stark relief: comics and superheroes don't seem to be for kids anymore.  And I think that's a bigger problem than anyone in the industry--especially at DC--realizes.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Such Heroic Nonsense: My Top 5 Superhero Movies


This week saw the release of Man of Steel on DVD and Blu-ray, and with it a renewed discussion of that film's portrayal of violence, collateral damage, tone and the ethics of killing supervillains.  I'm not going to get into those discussions here, because as I've said before, the two sides of the debate really do seem to be talking past each other.  I'm not sure yet what these stark and seemingly irreconcilable differences among fans mean for superheros and their various medias, but the topic has gotten me thinking about a couple different things that I'd like to discuss at length.

First up: superhero movies and my personal Top 5 of the genre.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Ten Things: Thor: The Dark World

I'm just going to put this out there: Thor is probably my favorite Marvel superhero.  Thor and his supporting cast bring so much of what I love in good superhero stories: high adventure, whimsey, conflicted villains and high-stakes conflicts with a healthy dose of high fantasy strangeness.  Basically, everyone is larger than life and they are constantly dealing with weird and crazy shit.  And it all works, because we're dealing with Norse gods and nothing that modern writers can come up with will ever be as strange as the actual myths.

This love of Thor (and Tom Hiddleston's Loki) is probably why I thoroughly enjoyed the original Thor film, even though it is objectively in the lower-tier of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  The sequel, Thor: The Dark World, thankfully requires no qualifiers or justifications to explain my enjoyment.  This movie is fun, joyful, and above all funny in a way that hasn't been seen since Captain America and the first Iron Man.  While it takes a while to get going, the second and third acts more than make up for a slow start.  If you get the chance, you should definitely check this movie out.

Now here are ten things that I didn't like.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Ten Things: Pacific Rim

I'm not going to lie: Pacific Rim is easily my favorite movie so far this year, with disclaimer that I haven't seen Gravity yet and Thor: The Dark World and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug have yet to be released.  But even if Gravity turns out to be the best movie I see this year, Pacific Rim will still hold a special place in my heart.  Not only is it a Kaiju movie--and I love me some Kaiju movies--it's a Kaiju movie made with a big budget by Guillermo del Toro.  Plus, it's fun.  Indeed, Pacific Rim was easily the most fun I've had watching a movie since The Avengers.  If you don't already own it on Blu-ray, do so.

But Pacific Rim is by no means perfect, so here are ten things that I didn't like about it.