Tag Archives: DC comics

Joe’s Random Movie Review: “Aquaman” (2018)

With the plethora of superhero films coming to theaters in 2019, it seems rather fitting that the conclusion of 2018 should come at an epic scale. With the release of DC’s “Aquaman” not only has this been a major improvement on the layout of the DC film universe, but it also has a great deal of action, grandeur, and a good example of storytelling that other superhero films might to able to improve themselves upon.

Jason Momoa and Amber Heard in Aquaman (2018)

Up until the release of this film, the DC film universe was basically a hit or miss type situation. This is especially the case with films like “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice”, and “Suicide Squad.” People either really like these movies or they really hated them. But one thing at the DC cinematic universe has actually shown is that the next film tends to make the previous film just a little bit better.

In the case of their version of “Justice League” it out of a certain lightheartedness that the cinematic universe DC was strongly lacking. Initially, the Aquaman film is a little bit more lighter in story than say other introductory movies like “Man of Steel”. The character of Arthur Curry is a very complicated and yet extremely simple protagonist. One of the oldest forms of storytelling to date: a man fighting his destiny. Well this type of story may be one of the most recognizable, it is also quite possibly the most easily understandable. And then having such a sympathetic character the audience is more easily able to relate to him. This is not a person burdened by the glorious purpose of being a god among men like Superman, or someone with borderline sociopathic tendencies like Batman. For the most part Aquaman is simply a man doing what he believes is right. The exploration of such a character in the DC cinematic universe alone helps garner a better audience response that some of the previous films.

Besides the great acting and story line of this film, another thing that date that deeply deserves praise is the use of visual effects. In presenting the underworld the underwater world of Atlantis, there is great beauty mix both in comic book images as well as typical undersea landscaping. The world present an Aquaman is an elegant and yet chaotic world.

Djimon Hounsou, Natalia Safran, and Sophia Forrest in Aquaman (2018)

One thing that audience is me find a little bit intimidating about the movie, is the length of time. It seems like they tried to cram a lot of the mythology in as much as short a time as possible which unless the story is written correctly, can get tedious very fast and resulting in a poor film. But for what it was worth the writers and filmmakers did an excellent job in that including very subtle comic book references that only true fans of Aquaman will notice.

Aquaman (2018)

Overall, this is a terrific that fully delivers.

This film is the reason there will be no more bad jokes about Aquaman.

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Joe’s Random Movie Review: “Superman Returns” (2006)

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The era of superhero movies was basically a hot or miss situation throughout the early to mid 2000’s. Movies that the general public would rather just forget about, or try to forget but can’t no matter how hard they try because social media has devoted a meme to its mockery. Movies like Ang Lee’s “Hulk”(2003), and the Daredevil film with Ben Affleck. It’s rather obvious that most of these movies were made to get in on the action left over from Bryan Singer’s first X-Men film in 2000. While Marvel had a head start in the cinematic world, DC was a late bloomer.

After the success of Christopher Nolan’s “Batman Begins” Warner Bros. decided to rediscover the Man of Steel. Director Bryan Singer took a break from the X-Men movies to direct it. While director Brett Ratner went on to direct “X-Men: The Last Stand”.

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In the film, Superman had been missing for years. He has traveled to the cosmic ruins of his former home planet, Krypton. Presumably, because he has grown lonely being the only known living Kryptonian alive. Upon his return, he is greeted by the public with open arms. Except Lois Lane, who is now engaged, has a son, and had won a Pulitzer prize winning story entitled, “Why the world doesn’t need Superman.” Meanwhile, Lex Luthor had broken into the Fortress of Solitude and stolen Kryptonian crystals for the purpose of creating a supercontinent that threatens the world with massive tsunamis.

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Brandon Routh does an excellent job as Superman. In the emotional scenes at least, however the few action scenes he does lack a certain something. Superman first and foremost is depressed throughout a good portion of the film, as such, we doo not see him in the usual light as we do throughout other film’s of the DC universe. Kevin Spacey does a hands down, great performance as Lex Luthor, with a touch of humor much in light of Gene Hackman’s performance in the 1978 movie.

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So what went wrong with this film? Why, even though it’s moderately scored by critics, is it shunned for the most part by the fans? For one thing, this is an action film with little action. It’s a film that focuses way too much on the romance between Superman and Lois Lane. While the emotional parts are indeed necessary, there was an unnecessary amount of time spent on it, and very little of the classic good vs evil setting fans of superhero films are used to seeing.

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Another factor to keep in mind was that this movie is presumably set with the original film’s “Donner universe”. Named for the original’s director Richard Donner. Chronologically, this film takes place between the evens of Superman 2 and Superman 3. In doing so, the filmmakers did something they aught not to have done. It was too much of a nod to the original film’s, and wasn’t really “it’s own thing” like the new DC films Man of Steel and Dawn of Justice were. By making the movie set in that particular universe, it limited the number of audience members who could relate to it. It limited the number of new fans to the Superman mythos. While this is pure speculation, it seems like a reasonable assumption.

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All in all, as far as superhero films go. It was good, but not great.

Final Score:  4.5/10

Directed by Bryan Singer

Cast

Brandon Routh……….Superman/Clark Kent
Kate Bosworth…………Lois Lane
Kevin Spacey………….Lex Luthor
James Marsden………Richard White
Sam Huntington………..Jimmy Olsen
Parker Posey…………..Kim Kowalski
Marlon Brandon……….Jor-El
Frank Langella………….Perry White

https://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=_z4LafXkU6c

Joe’s Random Movie Review: “Suicide Squad” (2016)

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Much in competition with the onset of the superhero movie frenzy, the DC Cinematic Universe is undoubtedly setting us up for something big. It has given audiences two films so far, namely Man of Steel, and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. With few of the comic universe’s mythology being messed around with, both films are high- octane, edge of your seat action films that are both very well made. 2016 brings us Suicide Squad.

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The movie begins in the aftermath of the previous film. With known of metahumans (people with powers) becoming known to the general public, the government seeks to gain allies/soldiers knowing that any future threats to the world many be with the usage of superpowered individuals. They recruit/bargain/blackmail a group of already caught villains do the work of the government, and are sent in when a threat arises that could potentially destroy the world.

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The introduction before the main storyline occurs is admittedly slow, but for a good reason. A film like Man of Steel has Superman, a character a great deal of people are already familiar with, and so the fast paise of that movie is justified in that we as an audience don’t need as much exposition on the character. But this film took its time in introducing our rag tag group of villains as they are a group many people (even comic fans) may not be as knowledgeable enough about. It takes its time, but quick dives into the story head first, and doesn’t look back.

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There is a danger to the casting of many talented stars film such as this one. Talents tend to collide if; the writing is bad, the acting is off, poor editing, etc. But the group as it was casted for the film was right on the money. Each acting very much how their comic book counterparts would’ve acted. Will Smith does an excellent job, as does Margot Robbie and the others. Top marks on the par of the actors. A job very well done.

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As for the part of the Joker, this was tough cookie to crack. Heath Ledger left such a strong mark on the character in The Dark Knight that it would be easy to see how difficult it would be for any actor afterward to take up the mantle of the clown prince of crime himself. Leto’s craziness pay off in spades. How the Joker is written into the story perfectly weaves itself into the plot without totally overshadowing anything else presented. Leto in undoubtedly a force to be reckoned with.

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The film overall has an extremely chaotic tone, particularly in the second half. So it would be easy to see why this would leave some people into not enjoying it. But in a way, that’s where its true creativity lies, in the chaos. Remember, these guys are not heroes. They’re villains, and the style of the filmmaking, the acting, the directing, all constantly remind the audiences that key factor. Hopefully we will see this group (or individuals of it) appear in later DC films. All in all, a chaotic awesome movie. A terrific addition to the ever growing genre of superhero (villain) movies.

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Final Score: 6.75/10

Directed by David Ayer

Cast
Will Smith…………Floyd Lawton/ Deadshot
Jared Leto…………The Joker
Margot Robbie…….Dr. Harleen Quinzel/ Harley Quinn
Joel Kinnaman……..Rick Flag
Viola Davis……………Amanda Waller
Jai Courtney…………..Digger Harkness/ Captain Boomerang
Jay Hernandez………Chato Santana/ El Diablo
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje………Waylon Jones/ Killer Croc
Cara Delevingne…….Dr. June Moone/ Enchantress
Adam Beach……….Christopher Weiss/ Slipknot
Karen Fukuhara………Tatsu Yamashiro/ Katana