Film Brief: Black Panther

What a slog.  2/10

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Film Brief: Thor: Ragnarok

The 2017 Thor movie gets a marginal thumbs-up laden with the normal caveats.  Definitely some fun moments and charged performances, especially from Cate Blanchett, who was utterly charming last time out on Ellen.  Second half of that appearance below, along with her “Kneel.” clip.  6/10

Film Brief: Wonder Woman

Credit Apple TV marketing for finally pushing me to see the biggest movie of the year.

What I do is not up to you.

There are nice bits of Wonder Woman that absolutely soar.  But…

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Perhaps my biggest problem with superhero movies is they all end exactly the same.  Wonder Woman is no different, which is too bad — because otherwise I found myself having a good time.  I didn’t even mind the beginning non-titles (see posts on Les Miz, Selma, and the upcoming one for Logan Lucky.)

Two trailers included below. This movie is growing on me, but for now my original evaluation: 6/10

Logan’s Run, Run, Run

Pursuit – run-in, pursuit – run-in, pursuit – really big run-in, end of movie.  This basic, worn out, unengaging and paper-thin plot structure is the bane of many superhero and “action” films, and to some degree explains the disparity between the Tomatometer and my score on a movie like Logan.  Almost makes you wonder if all these other critics are so dim as to not recognize the formula, or somehow think it novel.

I liked the feisty girl, and the performances in general were OK.  I’m a bit of Hugh Jackman fan — from Les Miz at least.  Add in a little fun to get 4/10.

Comparison Notes: the much better Mad Max film from a couple years back

Film Brief: Suicide Squad

suicide-squad-posterSuicide Squad is the most hyped movie of the year by far, so despite the poor reviews I took it as my duty to go see it. Plus, it looked kinda fun.

The funny thing is that although it was terrible, it wasn’t worse than any other latter-era superhero / comic-based movie.  Which is to say critics can’t find the line between good and bad action flicks.  2/10

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For a real female superhero movie, I suggest La Femme Nikita.  And for a real evil-doer movie, Dead Calm.

Film Brief: Deadpool

Deadpool - poster smallI was even more set against seeing Deadpool than I was Hail, Caesar!, but, as with the Coens’ picture, something switched.  Deadpool has legs, and I thought how bad could all the male crotch/ass shots be?  As it turns out, bad, but also not frequent or disturbing enough to ruin the picture.  So we’re left with a fairly original, somewhat fun, somewhat boring, plotless film.  I am really on the fence with this one, but the lack of a compelling story was causing my mind to drift, so a marginal thumbs-down.  5/10

Comparison Notes (Recommended): Guardians of the Galaxy, Natural Born Killers, Fido, John Dies at the End

 

Michael Keaton and Edward Norton on Charlie Rose

The early returns on Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s Birdman are in, and it is hitting universal praise.  I’ll be seeing it soon enough and will report on it then; in the meantime, the director and veteran actors Michael Keaton and Edward Norton appeared on Charlie Rose.  And check out the Charlie Rose website for other interviews with luminaries inside entertainment and out — there is no better talk show.  If you bear with an annoying 30-second ad, you will be treated with an alternate trailer at the beginning of the segment.