Tag Archives: superheroes

ANOTHER SUMMER OF NOT READING BOOKS

4 Sep

1. The Possession/LGF                               Wknd/$   17.7            Total/$  17.7

2. Lawless/Weinstein                                 Wknd/$   10.0            Total/$  12.1

3. The Expendables 2/LGF                        Wknd/$     8.9            Total/$  66.3

4. The Bourne Legacy/Universal              Wknd/$     7.3            Total/$  96.3

5. ParaNorman/Focus                                 Wknd/$     6.6            Total/$  38.0

6. The Odd Life of Timothy Green            Wknd/$     6.2            Total/$  36.1

7. The Dark Knight Rises/Warners           Wknd/$     6.1            Total/$ 431.4

8. The Campaign/Warners                          Wknd/$     5.7            Total/$  73.2

9. 2016 Obama’s America                            Wknd/$     5.6            Total/$   18.7

10. Hope Springs/Sony                                 Wknd/$     4.7            Total/$   52.1

OY, VEY.

The Possession opens at number one and this is being called “The Jewish Exorcist” and it doesn’t matter what religion we’re exploiting: I don’t do the scary.  This is based on the true story of a box that made everyone who owned it sick.  Maybe it was just really fucking ugly. I’m a prime believer that ugly interior design can in fact make you sick.  I mean, that’s what feng shui is all about, right? No? Are you sure?

YEAH, I SAID IT

Lawless opens at number two and one of these things is not like the other: Gary Oldman, Thomas Hardy, Guy Pearce, Shia Lebouf.  Every day of Shia Lebouf’s career chips away at Steven Spielberg’s reputation because Spielberg is solely responsible for him having anything outside of a Disney show.  He’s Spielberg’s little representation of himself onscreen and you can tell by all the hot little shicksas he’s paired with onscreen with and he’ll be onscreen with giant alien robots before he’ll touch a Jewish girl.

NO ONE’S LOOKING FOR DANNY GLOVER EITHER, BUT FOR DIFFERENT REASONS

The Expendables 2 is down to number three and Jet Li is in this for all of five minutes making me wonder once again why Sho Kosugi didn’t get the call to step in for him instead of this Asian actress who is supposedly creating romantic tension with Stallone (they aren’t). Seriously, if you had to go there why not Lucy Liu or Michele Yeoh?  You know, someone people actually know with an action background?  But given they’re both over 40, that was probably unacceptable for the 68-year-old Stallone.  They’re already talking about number three and getting Wesley Snipes once he gets out of jail for tax evasion. But you know who they’re conspicuously not talking about getting?  Mel Gibson.  Seems there’s no great demand for a Lethal Weapon on the team.

PLOT HOLES YOU COULD PUSH A BILLION DOLLARS THROUGH

ParaNorman is down to number four followed by The Odd Life of Timothy Green at number five and The Dark Knight Rises at number six and the more I think about this movie the worse it gets in my memory, much like The Dark Knight.  Christopher Nolan and his brother are just shitty writers, period. But this has made another billion worldwide so they are now unstoppable in their crap.

DID HE POST HIS SECRET RE-ELECTION STRATEGY ON FACEBOOK TOO?

The Campaign is down to number seven followed ironically by 2016: Obama’s America which for many is also a political comedy, though supposedly a documentary about Obama’s secret agenda as revealed through his own autobiography. Yes, the basic premise of this movie is that the president wrote a book about his secret plans for America and if you can see the basic flaw in that logic you’re smarter than everyone who either helped make this or actually paid to see it.  But America, being founded on rebellion, has always maintained a strong number of conspiracy nuts, people just driven to be contrary to something for some reason.  From these idiots here to those who think The Illuminati run the world, to those who think The Masons control America, to those who felt not only were the moon landings faked but that Neil Armstrong was actually killed last week because he was going to reveal the truth. No, I’m not kidding.

SEE YOU IN SEPTEMBER

Finally, Hope Springs closes out the top ten at number ten and our summer movie season is officially over.

IT’S NOT ALL FUN AND GAMES, KIDS.

There was no top ten last week because a) I was on vacation and b) I walked out of Premium Rush, making it the second film in my life I’ve ever walked out on, the first being It’s A Guy Thing with Jason Lee and Julia Stiles.  That was a free screening, so I don’t count it so much, but his I actually paid to see and I still don’t know why I was there.  Brick was great, but it wasn’t so great I need to see every piece of crap Joseph Gordon-Leavitt puts out, least of all a movie about bike messengers. You know what’s interesting about bike messengers? Nothing. Not a fucking thing.  Kevin Bacon proved that 20 years ago with Quicksilver.  So why I thought this would be different I’ll never know.  Fortunately for us, our tickets were never torn so we can go back to that theater (where we go almost every week) and exchange them for another movie.

THEY SHOULD JUST CALL THIS SHOW “ART BITCHES”

I don’t pretend to be one of those people who are too good for reality TV. I’m not. I just don’t indulge in the “class porn” shows like Teen Mom or Jersey Shore or the various shows about “Wives” where we see people with and without money, but usually with no education basically showing they have dignity or self-respect.  It’s for one purpose and one purpose only: to laugh at them and feel better about yourself either that you were never dumb enough to get knocked up as a teenager or that you’d never start a bar fight in a $5000 Armani dress.  And on some of these shows you can find someone who’s done both.  What I did start watching was Gallery Girls, thanks to my Geek Girl Movie Buddy.  She hated the people in it so much it made her want to destroy NYC.  That of course meant I had to watch it and her hatred was totally justified. The girls on this show whose lives revolve around the New York art scene are some of the most horrible people you will ever see.  You think the worst person you’ve seen is the girl whose father is a collector so she leverages that to not only get an internship at a gallery but to make sure that she doesn’t have to work hard. Then you meet the girl whose grandfather made money with DuPont back in the day so as she openly tells you, she doesn’t have to worry about money. I know we’re all stupid when we’re young, but there’s no excuse for this bitch.  She and her friends open a gallery/store and while the girl who stupidly borrowed money from her parents to do this (they were equally stupid to loan it to her) frets about the business for good reason, DuPont Bitch (sorry, there’s just no other name for her) laughs at her, comes into work for only two hours then leaves with her hipster boyfriend and openly talks about what she’ll do next if this doesn’t work out because you see SHE’S FUCKING RICH.  She is as obnoxious and entitled as it gets.  That she and Obnoxious Intern don’t get along when they meet is the finest irony because they’re exactly the same.  Yes, Obnoxious Intern had a drug problem and daddy seems to be withholding love because of it, but you almost understand him.  Who could fucking love her!?!  Another girl is the Model Waitress. She claims to be a model and we do see her modeling but honestly she’s a waitress who occasionally models for white guys who clearly like Asians who’ll take their clothes off for “art photos.”  Real models don’t have to fucking wait tables.  But as self-centered as she is, Model Waitress is at least taking care of herself. Her parents don’t support her because they’re doctors and when she decided she wanted to be a photographer they washed their hands financially of her. A lot of her confidence comes across as a façade she puts on to hide her insecurities and fears.  She seems like someone who is going to look back in a few years and ask, “What the fuck was I thinking?”  Likewise the middle-class girl from Long Island who was blessed with height and cheekbones (she looks like Ali Larter) which were clearly her passport into being a “gopher” for the super-rich (we see her bring bagels to a private jet waiting at Teterboro Airport) as well as the internship for an art advisor. Even her career path makes sense. She wants to purchase art for hotels, basically combining her two current jobs.  She openly admits that she might not be able to afford her Meatpacking district apartment for long and that working a real job plus an unpaid internship is killing her. It’s why you like her better than the other intern who is Upper East Side born.  You want to feel some pity for her as she’s not very pretty and clearly loses out to the less knowledgeable Long Island girl on that basis alone, but you know what? Long Island Girl is open about her ignorance of art and doesn’t front.  Upper East Side Girl is obnoxious and anyone who likes going to an Upper East Side Bar with a bunch of dudes who look like they wear Axe deserves what she gets.  Needless to say, I’m going to watch and hate on this every fucking week.

SHE’S A WONDER, THIS WONDER WOMAN

Last year DC Comics relaunched all its lines except for the ones that were making lots and lots of money.  This means Superman was started over from scratch while all the Batman stories remain intact—except for the ones that don’t.  They’ll tell you which ones when they feel like it. Now DC Comics does this every couple of years but this was unique in that they were clearly ready to attract a new audience even at the expense of the older one—which is why they did the unthinkable and changed Superman’s costume. Gone are the red briefs and gold belt (which were actually a perfect balance of color to the blue tights) as well as his marriage to Lois and place as Earth’s greatest hero.  In their place are battle armor (if you’re asking why does invulnerable Superman need armor that question makes you smarter than anyone at DC Comics) with a collar because the idiot running DC thinks it looks “royal”; Superman being distrusted by the government and making out with Wonder Woman in his spare time. For me this meant the end of a lot of comics buying. I was falling off anyway because I simply don’t like a lot of what’s coming out, but my Superman wears little red briefs and is married to Lois Lane. I’ve no use for this new shit.  But just as a broken clock is right twice a day, they managed to come out with something worth reading and it was ironically Wonder Woman whose new book surely makes her worthy of more than simply being “Superman’s girlfriend.”  I passed on it not only for the reasons given but also because they backtracked on finally puttying some clothes on her last year.  Also from what I could see it was yet another freaking story about her and the Greek gods, which is like every Superman story being somehow about Krypton.  It was boring before and I didn’t see it getting any better this time. Oh, how wrong I was.  This is seriously good stuff. So good I give the best comic book writing compliment possible: it’s like something Neil Gaiman might have come up with. Seriously. First of all, it’s not a superhero book. Wonder Woman isn’t fighting supervillains to save the world. Zeus is missing, his throne is up for grabs and it spilling out onto the earth.  She’s trying to protect innocent people caught up in it, one in particular. Before, Wonder Woman was created from clay by her mother and given life by the gods. It was always a problematic origin, because it meant at her core she wasn’t human but a super-golem. A writer named William Messner-Loebs teased us briefly with the great idea that Wonder Woman was actually the result of her mother, Hippolyta’s relationship with Hercules, but since they had Hercules rape and imprison the Amazons after seducing her, which was a little distasteful so they didn’t follow through with it.  For this reboot the clay story is revealed to be just that; a story. She’s revealed to be the daughter of Zeus, making her ironically a demi-god just like Hercules (a greater irony is that previous the second Wonder Girl was a daughter of Zeus, but she was eliminated in the reboot clearly so her origin could be given to Wonder Woman). This also means that in dealing with the Olympic pantheon, she’s no longer fighting gods she worships, but her family.  And what a family it is. The interpretations of the gods here are nothing short of brilliant. They range from the beautiful to the grotesque to the beautifully grotesque.  Zeus and Hera are traditionally human-looking, while Hermes is like 9-foot bird-man, Hephaestus a creature with molten lava hands; Apollo the sun god is ironically as dark as night, but glows from within.  Demeter is a plant woman while Poseidon isn’t human at all, but appropriately a giant, tentacled sea-creature.  Most disturbing of all is Hades who looks like a small boy with a crown of candles melting on his head and what he does with his father Cronus in the underworld is so disturbing I began to question reading it so close to bedtime (we also see Persephone and it’s not good).  The first story arc was about Wonder Woman trying to protect an unborn child of Zeus from Hera’s wrath (in keeping with myth, when Hera learns Wonder Woman is a child of Zeus she punishes Hippolyta by turning her to stone and all the Amazons to snakes).  I can’t even imagine where it goes from here but while I’m enjoying the lack of superheroics, I know they have to show up and I’m afraid it can’t compare to what has come before.  Also even while I love it, it cannot go on forever, because like before, every story being about the gods can get dull.  But I do recommend buying the first 12 issues (the first six have already been collected). And for old school comics fans, the last page has a special treat.

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THE BOURNE STUPIDITY

12 Aug

1. The Bourne Legacy/Universal              Wknd/$   40.3           Total/$  40.3

 2. The Campaign/Warners                        Wknd/$   27.4            Total/$   27.4

 3. The Dark Knight Rises/Warners         Wknd/$   19.5            Total/$ 390.1

 4. Hope Springs/Sony                                 Wknd/$   15.6            Total/$   20.1

 5. Diary of a Wimpy Kid 3/Fox                  Wknd/$     8.2           Total/$   30.6

 6. Total Recall/Sony                                     Wknd/$     8.1            Total/$  44.2

 7. Ice Age 4/Fox                                             Wknd/$     6.8           Total/$ 144.2

 8. Ted/Universal                                            Wknd/$     3.3           Total/$ 209.9

 9. Step Up Revolution/Summit                  Wknd/$     2.9            Total/$   30.2

10. Amazing Spider-Man/Sony                   Wknd/$     2.2            Total/$ 255.5

 

THE BOURNE REDUNDANCY

The Bourne Legacy opens at number one and wasn’t the raison d’être of Bourne was that he was a young secret agent as opposed to Bond who was always a man?  That being the case, why the hell do you hire 40-year-old Jeremy Renner to take over?  Shouldn’t it be somebody from a vampire movie?  Or at the very least tall?  And they might have come up with a better plot.  Bourne was being chased because basically he was the loose cannon of government officials who’d been misusing that weapon and they didn’t want it to get out.  Jeremy Renner is being chased because…Bourne got away.  Seriously. They’re killing off all their super agents who haven’t done anything wrong and aren’t being used inappropriately because they’re afraid it will get out that America has created super agents to defend itself. I’m pretty sure post-9/11 America would fucking love to learn that its government had created super agents to defend it, so none of this makes a lick of sense.  It doesn’t help that characters within the movie are asking the same question: “Why do we have to destroy everything?”  The only answer Ed Norton gives us is an ominous “Just imagine what happens when all this gets out.”  WHY!?!  We’re never told why this is all so wrong.  Plot aside, the other hole in this is Jeremy Renner never fights his equal the way Bourne always did in all three movies.  They sent other super-agents after him so you got a battle of equals along with him trouncing others.  Renner never once goes mano-a-mano with another super-agent, which makes most of this like watching an 8th grader beat up a bunch of 6th graders.

 

THERE IS SUCH A THING AS TOO FUNNY

The Campaign opens at number two and for me both Will Farrell and Zack Galifinakis don’t work as leads because they will always be supporting comic foils to a straight man. This is why both their breakthrough roles came in movies that had just doing just that.  For Ferrell it was Old School and Luke Wilson filled the role.  For Galifinakis, it took both Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms to balance him out.  So the thought of them together with no one to balance it out doesn’t appeal to me.  Yes, I know Jason Sudekis and Dylan McDermott are here to do that to a certain extent, but honestly they’re both like wheat before the scythe for these two.

 

HOLY UNVARINISHED TRUTH!

The Dark Knight Rises is down to number three and as everyone probably knows by now Joseph Gordon Leavitt plays a character whose real name is revealed in the closing minutes to be “Robin” which seems like a tribute from Chris Nolan on his way out the door, but is really Chris Nolan giving those of us who love Robin The Boy Wonder the finger on his way out the door.  See, in his world of a man dressed up like a bat fighting crime without a gun talking in a stupid voice and fighting a guy with an even dumber voice who manages to take over an American city for months without the might of the United States government being able to stop him, a kid sidekick is totally ridiculous.  Here’s a little known fact: Batman only existed 11 months before Robin showed up.  So exactly 1.27% of Batman’s 72 year history is Robin-free.  He needs the Boy Wonder like he needs air.  Robin is what saved Batman from being lost in rush of superheroes that popped up in the wake of Superman’s success.  He allowed for Batman’s audience to imagine themselves fighting alongside him in a way that could never be for Superman who was an alien and the last of his kind.  Robin was also the first wisecracking teenage superhero, so you’re welcome as well, Spider-man.

 

FALL OF 2013

Hope Springs opens up at number four and this is one of those movies with a lot of good actors that gets mostly positive reviews that you know you’d probably like if you saw it, but you never do until years later when it’s on cable one night and you go, “Hey, that was all right.”  So, I’ll see you in a few years with my thoughts on it.

 

THE MORE YOU THINK ABOUT IT, THE WORSE IT GETS

Diary of a Wimpy Kid is down to number five, followed by Total Recall at number six and as long as we’re picking on this lame remake of Total Recall, let’s pick on the original story. Exactly how was turning Hauser into Quaid supposed to allow him to infiltrate the rebellion?  On friggin’ earth no less!  Was the job he was working some recruitment spot?  In fact it only works because Hauser’s memories bleed into Quaid’s mind and he goes back to Mars.  And if that wasn’t already a problem they cut the balls off the character here by making Hauser a bad guy who turns good and that’s why his memory gets wiped (though it still makes no sense as to why his memory gets wiped and him again taken away from the rebellion which is this time in England).  In the original, Hauser was evil through and through but inadvertently creates a hero in himself.  Here, falling in love with Mileena changes him. That’s the equivalent of Greedo shooting first. 

 

GO AWAY ALREADY!

Ice Age: Continental Drift is down to number seven, followed by Ted at number eight and Step Up Revolution at number nine.

 

YOU KIDS WILL LIKE HER. YOU’LL REALLY LIKE HER.

The Watch and The Amazing Spider-Man actually tied at number ten, but since I have nothing to say about The Watch, some final comments on The Amazing Spider-Man, where they actually show his dad, played by Campbell Scott and it freaks me seeing him playing older men when I remember him clearly as a young guy in Singles all those years ago.  And I love that Sally Field is playing Aunt May.  She’s gotta be 70, but she’s one of those people who looks forever young and now a whole new generation who never heard of Gidget, The Flying Nun, Smokey & The Bandit or Norma Rae will get to know her.

 

SUPER ART

My continuing attempts to get some culture crossed paths with my own geekness with an exhibition by photographer Gregg Segal of photographs of superheroes in “everyday situations” at the Chelsea Market.  Wonder Woman takes out the trash. Captain America gets his mail or fixes his car.  Superman vacuums his home filled with Superman paraphernalia.  It was borne out of the people in Hollywood who dress up and take pictures with tourists.  For a briefly moment they’re special, but at the end of the day they go home and they’re ordinary people and Segal wanted to convey that.  He also has photos from another project where Civil War reinactors go to the actual sites of Civil War battles that are now expressways, neighborhoods and department store parking lots.  The juxtaposition is surprisingly poignant.  See? I can talk some art!

 

EPIC-ISH

29 Jul

1. The Dark Knight Rises/Warners            Wknd/$   64.1            Total/$ 289.1

 2. Ice Age 4/Fox                                             Wknd/$   13.3            Total/$ 114.8

 3. The Watch/Fox                                          Wknd/$   13.0            Total/$   13.0

 4. Step Up Revolution/Summit                   Wknd/$   11.8            Total/$   11.8

 5. Ted/Universal                                             Wknd/$     7.4            Total/$ 193.6

 6. Amazing Spider-Man/Sony                     Wknd/$     6.8            Total/$ 242.1

 7. Brave/Disney                                               Wknd/$     4.2            Total/$ 217.3

 8. Magic Mike/Warner                                  Wknd/$     2.6            Total/$ 107.6

 9. Savages/Universal                                      Wknd/$     1.8            Total/$   43.9

10. Moonrise Kingdom/Focus                        Wknd/$     1.4            Total/$   38.4

 

THERE IS NO DO; THERE IS ONLY TRY

The Dark Knight Rises holds onto the number one spot despite the horrible incident in Colorado, because, sadly there’s no such thing as bad publicity. People probably would have gone anyway, but this atrocity made sure you saw “The Dark Knight Rises” on every TV screen, newspaper and website and considering no one could possibly blame the movie itself it translates in the end to pure awareness. That said, while I enjoyed it more than The Dark Knight, it’s not some kind of epic masterpiece.  Not even close.  I feel that we’re at the point where if you even try to make something with greater scope, try to take your time in telling a story and not rushing through it (to insure more showings at the theater for a greater take), people give you instant credit. Look at movies like The English Patient, The Last Emperor, Titanic and Gladiator.  Every last one of them utterly mediocre in their writing, but were long and pretty and BIG so they all got credit for being epic when they were not.  And much like anything Aaron Sorkin does, because The Dark Knight Rises gives the illusion of being smart referencing “real issues” it gets praise over it.  Because Nolan mentions there are rich and poor people in Gotham City, he gets credit for some kind of social commentary, but he really doesn’t address class structure at all.  The only suggestion that the poor are suffering is because Bruce Wayne blew most of his money on a clean energy device and didn’t have money left to give to an orphanage.  That’s not an example of “society.”  That’s a particular instance where a smaller good suffers in the pursuit of a greater good. That’s reflective of nothing of in the real world unless you think the 99% is a result of the 1% trying to make the world a better place. Nolan is so proud of addressing Bruce Wayne’s wealth, but Bruce Wayne is a total benevolent billionaire, which again is reflective of nothing at all.  The story itself is a slight rerun of the first as Bane comes to Gotham to destroy it, much in the way Liam Neeson was trying to destroy in the first film. He’s also from the same League of Shadows that Neeson ran that trained Batman. I’m down for suspension of disbelief, but you cross the line when you expect me to buy that the US Government would surrender a city on US soil for months.  Granted, Bane has a nuclear warhead that he hides by driving it around all the time, but the longer it goes on, the dumber you realize it is.  It was stupid in the comics when it was an earthquake that had Gotham City declared a disaster area and abandoned.  I won’t even get into how Batman gets “broken” about two hours into the film which means you know he’s got to “montage” himself back into health then save Gotham in about 20 minutes.  It’s an enjoyable mess, but a mess nonetheless. And Nolan still hasn’t learned that Batman’s costume looks pretty stupid standing around in the daylight.

 

MAYBE EVEN A FINE OR A SUSPENSION FROM THE LEAGUE

Ice Age 4 or 6 or 12 or whatever the hell number this one is holds at number two, followed by The Watch opening at number three and when you realize just how funny Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn were in Dodgeball you can’t believe what a clear disappointment this is.  Vince Vaughn’s motor-mouth routine has got to be one of the most irritating in movies. It worked in Dodgeball because he was relatively speaking the “straight man” in a wacky world.  When he’s supposed to be the funny guy, that shit gets old fast.  His five minutes in Mr. & Mrs. Smith were almost unbearable.  And now he’s teamed with Ben Stiller playing straight, (which is never a good idea) and the always-annoying Jonah Hill.  That’s already three strikes but to add some kind of 15-years-too late Men In Black storyline on top of it gets you flat out ejected from the playing field.  The only way it could have been worse would be to have Anthony Andrews or Martin Lawrence or Cedric The Entertainer as the token minority member of the group instead of some Brit comedian no one has ever heard of.

 

DANCE HAS NO COLOR…LITERALLY

Step Up Revolution is also the umpteenth edition of this franchise started by none other than Channing Tatum. He’s long gone, but like herpes, what he touched us with lingers on.  I love dancers, but I’m old so all this street dancing shit leaves me cold.  What made the first one even minimally appealing was the fact it was contrasting modern street dancing with more traditional types.  But since then it’s just been straight up “Hey, your crew vs. our crew” in a world where none of the best street dancers are ever minorities, which explains why it’s so popular.  That actually is a holdover from the first film.

 

FLASH! AHHHHH!

Ted is down to number five and there’s a running joke in this film based on the horrible Flash Gordon movie from the 80’s complete with Sam Jones himself appearing.  For that scene alone I will watch this on cable next year.

 

DOES IT MAKE MONEY? LISTEN,BUD…

The Amazing Spider-Man is down to number six and so far this is the lowest grossing Spider-Man film, which is to say it’s made under $700M dollars.  $655M is just not that impressive in the world of Spidey films, with the much-maligned third one making the most of all the previous three.  What amuses me about how much geeks hated it is their whining about how campy it was.  As opposed to what?  Did they miss the entire sequence in the second one set to “Raindrops Are Falling On My Head.”  Raimi never took it seriously, which was part of my problem with his take. This is more to my liking, geek that I am.  Though I hate the fucking costume.  Okay, you’ve proven you can make money. Let’s go back to the original for the sequel, okay?

 

AT LEAST SHE’S NOT TRYING TO RIDE ON GRANDPA’S COATTAILS

Brave is down to number seven followed by Magic Mike at number eight and the granddaughter of Elvis Presley, daughter of Lisa Marie, Riley Keough, is in this brief as the nothing-but-trouble girlfriend of Alex Pettyfer. Yeah, I have no idea what she looks like either and I saw the freaking film. She’s a former model, which makes sense, given Elvis and Priscilla were anything but ugly.

 

SPOILERS FOR A MOVIE YOU WILL PROBABLY NEVER SEE

Savages is down to number nine and this didn’t totally tank which is a sigh of relief for the management of Taylor Kitsch, though it still is the summer of his complete and utter failure to launch a big screen career.  Oliver Stone is grateful too, because it means he’ll also get to continue his career of misogyny.  Now, I cynically joked that two women in this movie would mean they’d come to horrible ends at Stone’s hands.  I was half right.  From what I’ve learned about the book, Salma Hayek as the mob boss eventually kills Bencio del Toro and one of the two dudes who love Blake Lively dies.  In Stone’s movie however, Benicio Del Toro gets to live after kidnapping and raping Blake Lively (which I could tell from the trailer would happen and I tend to avoid movies where actresses I like get raped) but he winds up killing Salma Hayek and living to be try and become the next boss.  Also both dudes who love Blake Lively survive.  No thanks, Oliver.

 

CURIOSITY BECKONS THE CAT TO ITS DOOM

Finally, Moonrise Kingdom holds onto the number ten spot yet again and actually is a success, making $38M off a $16M budget, despite the fact that almost all the indie fans of Wes Anderson that I know despise it.  I guess this is his Midnight in Paris.  I think I may have to break down and see this.

 

THEY’RE NOT CARTOONS; THEY’RE ANIMATED FILMS!

With no movies I’ve been interested in seeing and the disappointment of The Dark Knight Rises I’ve finally been using my Playstation 3 for something and that’s to stream movies.  Of course these movies are Justice League: Doom and Superman Vs. The Elite.  Justice League: Doom is based on the comic book storyline “Tower of Babel” where Ra’s Al Ghul (the guy Liam Neeson played in the Batman Begins) steals plans Batman has to take out the Justice League in case they ever go rogue.  Now given every other week they’re brainwashed to do just that, this actually make sense, but because comic book writers are, well comic book writers, this pisses off the entire Justice League and Batman actually leaves for a short period when they vote him out.  In the movie version a different villain uses the plan and it’s somewhat changed because they use different members of the Justice League (no Aquaman here and different plans are used because they’re more visual than the original), but it’s still fairly entertaining and there’s some degree of suspense as the members of the JL fall one-by-one to plans they can’t outthink because their smartest member thought them up.  What saves them is the appearance of Teen Titan, Cyborg. Because he’s not a member of the Justice League he was never attacked and is able to help stop the attacks on others. I didn’t care for this because in the original story they have to figure it out themselves and this stinks of a current push inside DC Comics to make Cyborg more important a character, which he will never be.  Yeah, I know we need more prominent black superheroes, but this guy ain’t it.  Superman Vs. The Elite is based on a silly one-issue story called “What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice & The American Way” which was a response to the popularity of more grittier comic books with heroes who killed people, specifically a one called The Authority which regularly poked fun at other superhero books by having their version of Superman and Batman a gay couple and had an entire storyline where a group based on The Avengers with the Captain America analogue raping anyone he defeats—in this case gay Superman analogue (in revenge the Batman analogue would take a jackhammer to his back while the Superman analogue would vaporize his legs).  In the Superman story a group based on The Authority shows up and wins public acclaim for finally dealing harshly with dangerous supervillans, which leads to a showdown with Superman where he actually outthinks them, which is somewhat novel in a Superman comic.  The movie—whose animation style took a moment to get adjusted to—follows the basic plot. People are bothered that Superman won’t deal harshly with bad guys and basically make the world a better place through force, so when a new team shows up ready to break a few necks they’re embraced. Clearly Supes doesn’t care for the whole death thing and it leads to a big fight.  This was supposed to a reaffirmation of Superman’s values, but the problem here is the same problem with the comic: once they started to embrace super-murderous villains in the 80’s, it does make it seem pretty stupid not to kill them.  The way the story should have been is that no one survives in a world where we’re all judged justly.  You cheer when a murder dies, but what happens when you’re judged for buying a bigger TV you don’t need while people are starving?  But no, it came down to showing Superman beating the crap out of people who killed terrorists and murders.  There is a story out there about the validity of Superman’s principles. This just wasn’t it.  I’m so glad I started renting these things before buying them, ‘cause I would have been pissed to have dropped more money on this.  Seeing a seemingly unhinged Superman cut loose is definitely fun for a moment, but not $20 worth of fun.

 

TV, I LOVE YOU

Again, I love that the TV seasons never stop now.  The latest show on is Sullivan & Son, which is a bit of a break-through as the lead character is clearly Asian and dates white women.  The downside is, he looks pretty white so it’s not like he’s that threatening. Also, he’s half-Asian and is playing half-Asian and if you miss it, there’s a joke every five seconds about the fact he’s half-Asian.  I can think of worse ways to spend half-an-hour before going to sleep…which is usually how I watch it.