November 30, 2016 § Leave a comment
Well, this is gonna be perplexing. Earlier this month, I revealed that I didn’t like Man of Steel mainly because it’s not the kind of Superman movie I want to watch continuously. There are examples on what’s good about the movie and what’s bad but I still didn’t like it and this is on the view of me growing up on his adventures since the nineties. Superman is supposed to be a boy scout who knows what he’s doing but smashing his villains to some Kansas store filled with people in hiding is not what a hero does. That being said, we are looking at a different world where Superman first appeared as a controversial figure in the worst way possible. So now comes to the sequel and this one is gonna be hard for me to say this so here it goes.
I can’t believe I gonna write this but Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is not as bad as Man of Steel and also, it might not be one of the worst movies to come out this year. Instead, I actually think it’s one of the best and I really shouldn’t think that. But I liked it despite its flaws and now I am gonna take a risk saying this plus this is more interesting but how I came to like it is not based on me watching it for the first time in “Ultimate Edition” cut few months earlier. No, I came to like it based on the fact that I’ve seen the theatrical cut before that. Yeah, I came to the fact of liking this movie when it hits the big screens. And this is the same time where non-hardcore fans tear this movie apart for various reasons so what is up with me?
Hmm, 2016 does suck but I don’t think that’s the reason so moving on. Taking place eighteen months after the events of the first movie, Superman (Henry Cavill) saved his girlfriend Lois Lane (Amy Adams) in Nairobi from a dictator who got strangely under attack by Anatoli Knyazev (Callan Mulvey) who was undercover but working for somebody else. The incident lead to major news coverage and caught the attention of politicians including Senator June Finch (Holly Hunter) and Lois is wondering what happened in the incident including a bullet she got that is not made by anybody including the black market so she’s getting to the bottom of this.
Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) is on the raging war against criminals and has a hatred on Superman ever since the battle eighteen months earlier costs lives in Metropolis including his workers. One of the workers Wallace Keefe (Scott McNairy) survived the catalyst but became a amputee who has a vendetta against Superman right down to spraying “false god” on Superman statue. Wallace’s actions lead to the attention of Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) and he unknowingly became a pawn to Lex’s plans to bring down Superman and other meta-humans while being responsible for Nairobi. With his game, he finds ways to make Batman want to stop Superman and vice versa.
His game however didn’t plan out when during Batman’s battle with Superman, he discovered that Superman’s adopted mother shared the same name as his biological mother and they came to become partners stopping Luthor from turning Zod (Michael Shannon) into Doomsday and saving Martha Kent (Diane Lane). All with the unexpected help from Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) who wants to retrieve a photo of her from Luthor that caught Bruce’s attention earlier. Doomsday has been unleashed and the battle grew worsen before Superman finally defeats him but with the costs of his life. In the end, Superman died and both Bruce and Diana Prince decide to form a team of other meta-humans that’s part of Lex’s computer files.
Again, I like this movie and that’s even with notable flaws. To explain, I still not in favor of Superman being a controversial figure and a bit of a hard-ass that’s notably seen in this film but he is now trying to be a hero before all the battle happened so it’s progressive. As for Batman, how Zack Snyder interpret him actually fits well since he took the inspirations from Frank Miller’s early Batman stories like Year One and The Dark Knight Returns while giving a unique take by having Batman being acting much longer than Superman. Wonder Woman is another good note but the way she is handled prior to the battle is admittedly mixed by me, her fighting Doomsday on the other hand shows her being a warrior and fighter so that’s a plus.
And now comes something else I’m afraid to say and that is Lex Luthor. Now there is backlash on his involvement. Some take him a Riddler-type campy villain with anger issues and quirky attitude and others think there’s no way that Jesse is fitted as Luthor. They prefer somebody like Bryan Cranston instead and that’s fine but here’s the thing – I actually like Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor and that’s maybe due to the fact that he’s a fun and twisted entrepreneur with a vendetta on his “gods” and it’s maybe due to his father issues or something, I don’t know but he is having a fun time playing Luthor and he may not be like Hackman and Spacey but he deserves it so bring on the pitches and forks.
The story is straightforward even though it’s a bit convoluted, the acting is fine and the action sequences is a step-up plus how it tackles the approach following Man of Steel is something but should have been explored a bit more. The downside is how Zack handled Mercy Graves (Tao Okamoto) and Jimmy Olsen (Michael Cassidy) by killing them off, the latter who never met Superman. And there’s the little cringe-worthy portion involving other meta-humans that serves as fan-service but at least The Flash (Ezra Miller) has a little cameo time as a possible future version of him that shows up in Bruce’s dream after he have a dream involving Apokolips taking over… or was that a thing that really happened to Bruce? That confuses everybody and in both cuts of the movie no less.
The real-world politics and situations is another thing that gets to me and it is not in your face but hey, this is Zack Snyder’s playground so throw Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Jon Stewart and… Nancy Grace! Uh, throw this actual celebrities to talk about why Superman exists. Overall, this movie may or may not be everybody who grew up with Superman but as for Batman and Wonder Woman fans, it might be something good for them and I’m a fan of the three so I am recommending it and I don’t know why but yeah, I like this movie and I’m proving myself that it’s worth seeing while keeping an open mind about it.
Well, I may be done with this movie but now I got one more Zack Snyder movie to reveal this year… sort of! Yeah, I’m looking at Suicide Squad and before anybody says “David Ayers”, I will explain why it’s in Zack Snyder retrospective and it’s an explanation that I bet nobody didn’t expect.
November 26, 2016 § Leave a comment
It is already stated that Sharknado is a franchise that made The Asylum hit big, it started off as a usual B-Movie but grew into proportions thanks to Twitter and we now live in a world where there’s three sequels, a mobile online, casino slot machines (I am not kidding about that) and even Archie Andrews pulling off his Bruce Campbell impression. I do stand that I like the first and second movie but the third and fourth is another thing entirely and until the franchise eventually dies down, I will see how good and bad this Sharknado universe has gotten but how does this really became a thing is an honest good question.
And this is when Sharknado: Feeding Frenzy comes in which documents the birth of the franchise whether we like it or not. Unlike the previous movies in the franchise, this is under the director of Jeremy Wagener who start it out with a little obscure flick called Chicks, Man (which I’m sure didn’t became a long-running joke in The Soup) and went to documentaries after that. Yeah, he has made Sharknado: Hearts of Sharkness but I’ll talk about that movie the other time. I shouldn’t bring his stuff up mainly because I hardly talk about Anthony C. Ferrante and Thunder Levin’s filmography but hey, he has little work so there’s that.
Now while there is no plot obviously, I don’t know what to talk about really so how can I review a documentary and truth to the matter is I already did. I reviewed The Times of Harvey Milk earlier this year and it’s tied with Gus Van Sant’s Milk but a single review of a documentary is tricky. I watched it and there is surprisingly much to talk about that I haven’t said before and Sharknado start it off as a fluke which is coming out of a mile away and they basically hired Ian, Tara and John Heard to be in the movie while they think it’s under the title of “Dark Skies” instead. And instead of walking off, they stood in because they wanna know how to tackle Career Suicide and it shows right down to Ian talking about it.
Not only that, they try to sell it to SyFy whom said no and that is saying something since it’s now the same network that said yes to Highlander: The Source. So after they filmed the first movie in a hot summer in Los Angeles, Twitter happened and what was once a movie that’s like any other Asylum movie became a cultural phenomenon which involves fan videos, news media talking about it and even a spoof with more famous actors shoehorn in their cameos. No, I am not kidding and I didn’t know that Mike Tyson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Robert DeNiro and uh… even the late, great Robin Williams said yes to being involved in a small Sharknado spoof!
Speaking of me getting a bit uncomfortable while watching this is the fact that there’s even an interview with Jared Fogle and yeah, this is a third movie I watched with this convicted sex offender making an appearance. Speaking of which, I am now getting to them talked about the sequels with the second being shot in New York because SyFy is based there and they said so, how they got Richard Kind to be in it for the last-minute schedule and so on. A little has been talked about the third movie as well which start off with union strike and the talk of more celebrity cameos and such.
In all honesty, this documentary is interesting and while I’m sticking with what I said on other movies, I just can’t ignore its existence and will see how long before the franchise gives up. It’s a total love/hate relationship for me and this one is indeed recommended since it shows that people working on the franchise has their heart put into it, it gains a devoted fanbase and anti-fanbase and it proves that laziness is not involved. What else can I say about this other than it’s a good insight to a movie about sharks mixed with tornadoes. So yeah, one more Sharknado movie to review for this year and after that, nothing much except the fifth one so who knows. At least there’s no rip-offs or porn parodies involving this franchise so hope I’m not jinxing that.
November 22, 2016 § Leave a comment
Okay, truth be told time. I first got into comic books back in the early nineties mainly because of Superman. Now this was around the time the whole “Death of Superman” was happening so I got into comics at the sort-of right time. The plus side to that is that I didn’t become a 90s Kid who’s obsessed with collecting in a speculator’s standpoint, I got into it as a way to escape from the harsh side of the real world and that’s what comic is to me. To see the fantastic side of Earth and beyond with superheroes, aliens and so on and hoping that real-world physics and news won’t get to it. It eventually got to it starting from the early 2000s and at first, it was okay but became annoyed by it over and this is when Christopher Nolan comes in and change how we look at movies about superheroes for better or worse.
And thanks to the Dark Knight saga, Hollywood studios thinks campy and comical blockbusters won’t work so fuck it, let’s reboot everything with a Nolanesque formula. And the DC Extended Universe franchise is no exception since it follows the Dark Knight saga blueprint right down to hiring Nolan and wife Emma Thomas as producers. They both however stood back for the next movie as executive producers and for reasons I get to but I have to ask – Why Zack Snyder? Is it because of 300 and Watchmen? Is there nobody besides him qualify for the job? Well, I may never get the answer so instead, the question is why I feel indifferent about Man of Steel?
First taking place in Krypton in its final days before the destruction, Jor-El (Russell Crowe) decides to break the rules by getting the codex which includes genetic codes of his planet’s inhabitants and plant it inside his child Kal-El. However, as General Zod (Michael Shannon) caused an uprising and fails to stop the rocket carrying the baby from launching to Earth. He kills Kal-El instead and is sent to the Phantom Zone along with his army leaving Lara (Ayelet Zurer) to watch the planet burn before she dies along with it. As for Kal-El, you know how the Superman origin story goes right? Well, it’s almost like that.
Kal-El who goes by Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) is facing his life in Smallville, Kansas with him learning his superhuman abilities while being branded outcast possibly except Lana and Pete Ross (I don’t know, he’s friends with them but we barely see their friendship in flashbacks) before going on his walking journey working jobs. It’s not until he goes to the Arctic and attempts to find a spaceship that links to his heritage, his journey became discovered by a traveling reporter Lois Lane (Amy Adams) and the ship’s functioning range has alerted Zod and his team whom escaped Phantom Zone and roam around the space for few decades.
And this is when shit broke loose as Zod and his army demands Kal-El to be surrendered with demands for the Codex (which he didn’t know was fused on Kal-El) but long story short, Kal-El refused and Smallville has been caused by superhuman fight chaos. The fight has led to the army led by Nathan Hardy (Christopher Meloni) to trust Kal-El and as he becomes known as Superman, he plans to stop the destruction of Earth which equals to Metropolis getting totaled. Buildings crumble, lives were lost and Kal-El snaps Zod’s neck before more human lives were lost. The movie ends with Kal-El taking his job at the Daily Planet and his relationship with Lois grew more.
Oh god. It is understandable that at this day and age, this movie caused a massive backlash and divided across audiences and I grew up with Superman thanks to the comics and movies starring Christopher Reeve. So this movie is me saying that this is not my Superman movie, it is a Superman movie but it’s not my Superman movie and is more of a Superman movie for somebody else who likes the grounded reality aspects of it. On one hand, it has an engaging story and the acting is fine but it also puts me in the gloomy mood when I now see this interpretation of Superman as the guy who snaps Zod’s neck during his first mission. Now it has been commented that Superman has killed before one way or another but no, I am not in favor of this.
There are also points I don’t agree with but what I’m gonna write is already been spoken before so at this point, there’s no point on complaining about it because this is how DC Extended Universe (or the “Murderverse” according to others) is formed and here to stay. When it comes to Marvel Cinematic Universe, it does have a bit of grounded reality base but at least it is light-hearted at times and knows how the comics work (for the most part) so yeah, I am mixed about this movie and that’s all there is. I don’t like it and don’t hate it either and just leave it as the one where the only worthy line Zod has ever said is “I Will Find Him” instead of “Kneel Before Zod” which in all honesty was the funniest handled line in the movie.
So now I’m getting set for BvS (and Suicide Squad) to end the retrospective before Justice League comes out next year but yeah, going back to Sharknado territory next so until then.
November 17, 2016 § Leave a comment
I’ve waited a few months until I get to this movie. Honestly, I have talking too much about Sharknado when it comes to three movies and a comic book but now, I have to talk further more about it not because of this movie but also the documentary and mockumentary devoted to this. The timing couldn’t have been better but given that I’m already getting this Sharknado fatigue since the third movie, I am making my point that as a movie masochist that I’ll keep checking the franchise until it’s officially done or I’ll finally give up and I would say that this movie might be the end but no, there’s gonna be a fifth one so I am eating my hat either way.
And how do I know this is not the end? Well, let’s see. Taking place five years after the events of the third movie, Fin (Ian Ziering) is living his life in Kansas with his youngest son Gil (Christopher and Nicolas Shone), his mother Raye (Cheryl Tiegs) and cousin Gemini (Masiela Lusha). As both Fin and Gemini travels to Las Vegas to reunite with his son Matt (Cody Linley). Little do they know that Matt is about to marry Gabrielle (Imani Hakim) in the airplane with a priest. Oh, and Las Vegas has a hotel that includes the biggest aquarium full of sharks so surely nothing will happen to that.
Yeah, another Sharknado warning happened and it shouldn’t happened at all since multi-millionaire Aston Reynolds (Tommy Davidson) thought he has done anything in his power to prevent it since he started it years ago along with the help of Gilbert (David Hasselhoff) who was stuck in the moon for enough time for his spacesuit to sustain his oxygen. Beyond that, Fin and Gemini made it safely with him meeting the newly married couple and it’s off back to Kansas. Meanwhile in San Francisco, we find out where April (Tara Reid) is up to and this is something but she was thought to be dead by her family thanks to her father and scientist Wilford (Gary Busey) while the family themselves think she died thanks to the closing events of the third movie. Also, she has superhuman strength thanks to her father’s science experiments.
The crisis isn’t over since it now spreads to places including Kansas, San Francisco, Chicago and Salt Lake City and Aston tries to find a way which includes him destroying the Grand Canyon. Fin and the other three tries to get to Kansas which includes meeting Colton West (Steve Guttenberg) and witnessing Paul Shaffer who’s now a homeless musician. No really, this is what David Letterman’s friend is doing in 2020. One makes me wonder if Donald Trump succeeded as President in this universe as well but then again, I am fearful at what he does in real life now so back to the movie.
Back in San Francisco and April discovers her husband and family is alive and well and miraculously meet up with Gilbert and her daughter Claudia (Ryan Newman) thanks to their car falling near her. Fin then made in time to see Gil but the tornado rampaged so much that sharks dropped on Gabrielle, Raye is left behind in shelter and the three were thrown to Chicago. Survive with Matt not mourning the loss of his day-old wife (no really, her existence is never brought up again and he acts fine), their appearance in Chicago draws attention to both the others so Fin is finally reunited with his wife and it’s up to them along with Aston to travel to Niagara Falls to stop the nuclear-filled Sharknado.
Aston tries to prevent but failed which leads to him falling to death in the water and it’s up to Gilbert to do but no, he got taken away by a Shark. So yeah, Fin is the only hope and he decide to go to where Aston is last standing with a mechanical flying suit (also, he travels with April because she has boot flight powers) and he succeed but this is interesting, he got taken away from a shark just after two other sharks swallowed Gemini and Matt. And this is when it gets awful, those sharks then got swallowed by a blue whale and it’s now up to Gil to get them old with his little chainsaw. I am not fucking kidding here.
The family are alive thanks to Gil, Aston turns out to be alive all along in one post-credit scene (where he walks on water) and the whole movie finally ends with another post-credit scene where the Eiffel Tower hits near them with a silhouette of Nova holding up her weapon signalling a possible fifth installment. So it took me a while but I have finally seen it to see how good or bad it is. And the truth of the matter is that I feel nothing while watching this. This movie is another “rehash sequel” involving the same set-up of a family surviving a tornado full of sharks as well as stopping it one way or another and I already seen this set-up three times before this. There is nothing new to add and it goes to the point where I didn’t enjoy this, hate this or anything else other than being very bored.
Yes, there are cameos from Wayne Newton to Carrot Top to Jedward (again!) but what cameos does it matter really? It is getting repetitive that the only ones I am fine with is David Faustino reprising as Bud Bundy and Gilbert Gottfried playing Ron McDonald (really?) but that’s it. There’s also referential humor but as much as it parodies The Wizard of Oz, Christine and Evil Dead saga, it also took a big part on the Star Wars franchise and yeah, I prefer watching David Hasselhoff using lightsaber in Starcrash than him meeting up with two of his Baywatch co-stars in this so the humor is really lame, it’s copy-and-pasted and really uninteresting.
Also, am I okay with the near-future setting? Well, I explained that I do give a bit of credit for Independence Day: Resurgence for its alternate history setting but this movie? I don’t really care. Even if the fifth one took place a century from now or is a prequel reboot taking place in the 1900s, I still don’t care. So boo-hoo that it takes place in 2020, this movie sucks regardless of where and when it sets. And yeah, this is me summing up the movie – it sucks and it’s really a waste of time, intelligence and patience. I am getting to Feeding Frenzy and Heart of Sharkness very shortly since it’s on my pile but I’m gonna end this review by saying that Sharknado: The 4th Awakens is not only the worst installment in the franchise (so far!) but also the worst movie to come out this year.