Joe’s Random Movie Review: “Hellboy” (2019)

David Harbour in Hellboy (2019)

While many fans of the comics in the films were disappointed when Guillermo Del Toro failed to deliver us a third film to his Hellboy franchise, a reboot was the next logical step. In 2019 that’s exactly what we got. This time, directly from Hellboy creator Mike Mignola and director Neil Marshall (Dog Soldiers, The Decent) have given us.

Milla Jovovich in Hellboy (2019)

In this age of remakes and reboot it’s easy to be cynical about such things. But in the case of the Hellboy franchise I think it is very well defended as a reboot. Because the franchise has such a rich mythology, specially in the comics, the Del Toro simply left it alone and wasn’t going to do anything with it. It’s exact same mistake that Warren Beatty made when he made Dick Tracy in 1990.

Daniel Dae Kim, David Harbour, and Sasha Lane in Hellboy (2019)

One thing that a lot of horror movie fans might enjoy from the new Hellboy movie as oppossed to the Del Toro films is that it actually ignores the whole superhero stereotype in some of today’s films. The previous films ahead actually focus more less on the superhero motif of Hellboy. Where is this new reboot actually focuses more on the horror and mythological elements.

David Harbour flat out as awesome as red. He gets the characterization perfect. It actually does in my opinion a much better job than Ron Perlman did. And Harbour’s performance we actually see Hellboy”s internal struggle to try and find a place in the world. In that way his version is a little bit more sympathetic, more grittier, and the kind of underdog that film fans want to root for.

This film is on also much closer to Mike Mignola’s universe. Including certain characters which make appearances besides Hellboy of course, and Professor Bruttenholm (now played by Ian McShane), it also has characters such as Alice Monaghan , Ben Daimio, even an appearance by Lobster Johnson.

Thomas Haden Church in Hellboy (2019)

This film was undoubtedly made for fans of a comic book, and such fans, myself included, were rewarded. It seems the only thing that’s really holding some back from total success, is the cynicism of people who regretted not getting a third original Hellboy film. Daniel Dae Kim in Hellboy (2019)

This film dares to be something different in this modern era of superhero films. It tried to ditch the superhero motif and present Hellboy as an all out gory horror film piece with quite a bit of humor and lots of action. Such a dark tone only helps the story.

David Harbour in Hellboy (2019)

Hopefully this film delivers us a sequel or two, because the universe set up in this one, has more action, more horror, more character development, and flat out is a good, fun movie.

6.5/10

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“The Fly” (1986) The Deleted “Monkey-Cat” scene

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Shot, but later deleted from the film was a 6 to 7 minutes sequence in which the scientist Seth Brundle attempts to re-create the accident with his teleportation device that mutated him. He takes the surviving baboon from his earlier experiments in the film, and an alley cat that he found. Then tries to fuse the two together through his Telepods. But unlike his accident in which he in the fly were linked on a genetic level, the baboon and the cat become this hideously mutated two-headed creature. With the creature in obvious pain, Brundle picks up a pipe and proceeds to beat it to death. He then goes up to the roof of the building where he lives feels an excruciating pain in his side and attempt to climb down the wall but loses his grip. He didn’t slides down the wall and falls to the ground where a growth in his side appears. A mutated insect limb. Horrified, he tears it off.

Here are five facts about the scene:

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1. Why it was cut.

Besides the fact, that it delivered to much gore too early in the film, the real reason it was cut was because test audiences could no longer sympathize with the character of Seth Brundle. At some point in this film our Protagonist becomes the Antagonist. And the problem with the film including this scene, was that you no longer cared about the suffering the main character is going through. It was pretty evident to the filmmakers as a result of the test screenings, but the movie was better off without it.

2. “Stage 4b”

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This sequence features a stage in Brundle’s transformation not seen in the final film. Makeup Artist Chris Walas and his team dubbed it “stage 4b”. Walas said in interviews That was actually one of his favorite looks of Jeff Goldblum in the film. Because it had a Jekyll and Hyde quality about it. It was the halfway point between who Seth Brundle was in the beginning of the movie and into the creature Brundlefly that he later transforms into.

3. Director cameo

Besides his cameo as the gynecologist, director David Cronenberg is the one wielding the pipe that kills the creature in this shot.

4.

A large set of the warehouse wall was constructed for the shot where Brundle loses his grip and “slides” down the wall. To create this, the filmmakers made the wall slanted, like a slide so Goldblum could fall as well as give the illusion he’s sticking to it like a fly.

5. A shot from this deleted scene appears in the film’s original theatrical trailer.

Joe’s Random Movie Trivia: “Child’s Play” (1988)

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In Don Mancini’s original script, back when the film was called “Blood Buddies”, the Chucky doll wasn’t possessed at all.

The original idea was that the doll was a manifestation of the little boy’s Id. And with a workaholic mother, an abusive babysitter, and other children making fun of him, all the victims in the film were going to be people that the boy had a deep, subconscious rage towards.

Joe’s Random Movie Trivia: “Dances With Wolves” (1990)

The Language spoken by the Sioux in the film is genuine Sioux Lakota, spoken by less than a thousand or so people in North America today. Very few people knew it, so a consultant  from South Dakota’s Sinte Gleska University was brought in to translate the script and teach the actors how to say the lines. The consultant for the film was Doris Leader Charge, who taught the Lakota language and culture at the university.

She has a part in the film as Ten Bears’ wife, Pretty Shield.

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Joe’s Random Movie Review: Mirror Images in “Falling Down” (1993)

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Over the years after it’s release in 1993, the film “Falling Down”has gained certain popularity. In this chaotic world that we find ourselves living, audiences more and more find themselves sympathizing with Michael Douglas’s character, William Foster.

In the film, Foster a man who fired from his job building missiles to protect America from the Soviet Union, divorced and through a court order cannot visit his daughter. Decides he’s going to ignore the rules of basic society and go visit her anyway and along the way he encounters street gangs, gun violence, and various other predicaments that seem to be standing in his way. Along that time, Robert DuVall’s character Detective Martin Prendergast is slowly tracking Foster down. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of rooting for Foster because he seems to represent the everyman, but there is a great flaw in this theory. He flat out IS the bad guy. He has zero regard for anybody except for his own selfish ends.

The character Prendergast is actually much more relatable, but many people may not have much sympathy for him because this is a film were the hero is in fact the Antagonist of the film, and the villain is the Protagonist. But there are many images and subtle references to both characters as the film progresses that shows that they are mirror images of one another.

For example, in the first half of the film you’ll notice the both Foster and Prendergast dress very similarly. And as the film progresses you’ll see them both change gradually into what they both consider themselves to be. Foster who puts on the neo-Nazi’s jumpsuit almost making himself appear like a soldier. Prendergast simply puts on a suit closely resembling what he sees himself to be, which is a detective. Fitting imagery for both of them since they see themselves as both defenders of society.

The fact that both of them have families are also very similar. Foster is alienated from his family divorced and cannot see his daughter. Prendergast also has a wife and daughter. His wife has gone insane, so he feels as though he is lost her in a way. And his daughter is long since deceased the prior to the events of the film. So both men are alienated from their families.

 

There also seems to be a great lack of respect from their peers and both characters in the film. In the case of Prendergast we see that his other detectives and fellow officers do not really respect him that much and they treat him like he’s lower than them. Even though it’s obvious from the get go that Prendergast has probably been there much longer than any of the others have been.

We don’t actually see too much of Foster’s peers throughout the film, we could references in the people that Foster encounters along the way to see his daughter. From the bum who begs for change, to the two old men at the golf course that he encounters, to the man and his family that are taking care of the plastic surgeon’s house.

The special moment doesn’t even really come to mind until the final part of the movie. Which is something that a lot of fans of this film seem to take for granted. This is literally a film, where the hero and the villain do not meet one another until the very last scene.

The structure of the film this way seems to make the mirror image seem much more poignant and much more noticeable. It also makes it clear that this is the point of transformation for both men. Our protagonist, William Foster begins we can believe, as a good man who threw a set of circumstances thrown at him, has become the villain. Prendergast in reacting to Foster’s reactions to the world, has actually risen above his circumstances and actually become a hero in the process.

5 Reasons why “Captain Marvel” isn’t the greatest movie/character in the MCU (so far)

Please Note:

I thought the film was great, however I did notice a few flaws in it.

Can’t wait to see her return!

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!!!SPOILERS!!!!!

Captain Marvel has certainly left a positive impression on fans of the MCU. But the film is far from perfect, and it broke a few patterns but the MCU has spent the last 10 years establishing. Initially, it’s building something up for the film “Avengers: Endgame”. Not to say at the film “Captain Marvel” or the character are terrible, quite the contrary, both are really good. But there were a few noticeable flaws in both.

  1. She’s too powerful

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Captain Marvel could very well be one of the most powerful heroes in the MCU. Her power of Energy Projection basically makes her a living Sun. And because her powers come directly from the energy of the Tesseract  (a.k.a. an infinity stone) we can assume that her powers must be on par with Scarlet Witch’s as both derive their powers from infinity stones. Making a character as powerful as Captain Marvel the MCU did do something that was very unconventional. They broke the standard formula set by a basic MCU movie. Usually in the first film that introduces the hero, they will have a villain that is equal to them in power and in essence a mirror image of the hero being power or tech. Iron Man had the Iron Monger, Black Panther had Killmonger, Ant-Man had Yellowjacket, but Captain Marvel has no equal. While this probably is looked better on paper than it did actually in the film it’s not bad. But at the same time it left some audiences a little bit bewildered as far as the introduction of this character is concerned. By not giving Captain Marvel and equal villain the face up against, her power has yet to truly be tested in emotional and physical dual.

It’s almost like Captain Marvel is a hero from an Ayn Rand book. Rand’s characters are always too noble. They were good characters but too noble and characters who are too noble have no real transformation emotionally speaking throughout the story. A poor comparison I know, but it speaks to the idea the Captain Marvel’s powers have yet to be tested by an equal of hers. It really makes you wonder just how she’s going to work with the other Avengers in the upcoming film “Avengers: Endgame”.

2. No Real Answer to Feminism

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While the film DOES have a positive outlook in a positive message for women everywhere, it doesn’t really deliver on much of an answer to feminism except the “they’re too cool for this”. It almost seems as though she is answering Gaslighting with more Gaslighting and that doesn’t exactly provide a healthy answer to the idea of equality among genders. And in the case of this movie they might’ve written it in there a little too strongly.

3. Another Moses leading the people to freedom

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Rather than skip a few sequels to bring her into this motif, the first film of Captain Marvel is already turning her into essentially another Moses leading an exodus to save an endangered race. Well this is a noble act for the character to do in her first movie, it essentially fulfills Captain Marvel (as well as any other MSU heroes) role as a Jungian Archetype. By putting them in the Moses or Jesus-like protagonist role, our hero has already gone a step further than being just a regular superhero. Rather, she and possibly the others are going to be introduced to the MCU are now the “new gods” walking among mankind. And this may sound cool but it actually isn’t. Because when you make heroes into the new gods of the Earth defending truth and justice for all people of all races, it makes it more difficult for human beings to relate to them as characters. And that’s actually what the marvel comics excelled at. Being able to make sympathetic characters that we could all relate to. But introducing this in the first Captain Marvel movie, they’ve almost made the character completely unrelatable to the everyman.

4. Too Heavy on the 90’s

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While those moments of actually showing off the 1990s in the film are quirky and funny, the problem with that was that there are scenes were it was a little bit too heavy such as the computer scene where the file is trying to load, the arcade games, and a few other bits and pieces are thrown throughout the movie. It would’ve been enough just have a subtitle saying that the film takes place roughly 1995. But they were trying a little hard to remind people that the film took place in the mid-1990s.

5. Coulson and Ronan needed more screen time

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Being a prequel of course is a perfectly legitimate way to bring back previously deceased characters. As well as seeing familiar characters in a completely different light. This film did excellent in showing Nick Fury a different point in his life before he was the Nick Fury that we all know and love. In this film also did something else to buy bring back to previously deceased characters such as agent Phil Coulson, from “The Avengers”, as well as the villain the Ronan, from “Guardians of the Galaxy”. And let’s face facts, both Coulson and Ronan are awesome characters to begin with. And it seems like there are scenes in this film were not quite long enough. These are both fan favorites one good, one bad but it really would’ve been more interesting if they had much more scenes in the film. Honestly, it seemed like they were just thrown in for fun. But it really would’ve been interesting to see Ronan a little differently than we had seen him and “Guardians of the Galaxy”.

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And a character like Phil Coulson is just a very likable guy. In all this chaos and mayhem, it’s nice to see a character with no powers, but it was already captured the hearts of superhero film fans everywhere.