Tag Archives: film analysis

Joe’s Random Movie Trivia: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Peter Parker’s teacher in “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and “Spider-Man: Far From Home”, Roger Harrington (played by actor Martin Starr) is actually the college student that let Bruce Banner use the computers in exchange for pizza in “The Incredible Hulk” seven years earlier.

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Joe’s Random Movie Trivia: “The Naked Gun 2 1/2 : The Smell of Fear” (1991)

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Near the end of the film, in the ensuing chaos, a man is seen randomly with a book screaming “It’s a Cookbook! It’s a Cookbook!”

The actor is in fact Lloyd Bochner, spoofing his infamous role in the Twilight Zone episode “To Serve Man”

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The greatest Sherlock Holmes adaptation is not the one you’re thinking of……

Over the years there have been numerous adaptations of the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. And some adaptations deserve more credit than others, and some adaptations are indeed more popular than others. But one of the older versions of the stories of Sherlock Holmes that deserves recognition is one that did not even come from the mind of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Based on the book by Nicholas Meyer (Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan), came “The Seven Percent Solution”.

Unlike many other Sherlock Holmes stories, this particular tale attempts to address one of the greatest flaws of what could arguably be called fiction’s greatest detective. His drug addiction, mostly regarding cocaine.

Alan Arkin, Robert Duvall, and Nicol Williamson in The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (1976)

In the story, Holmes his addiction reaches new lows. So his colleague Dr. Watson and Holmes go to Vienna for consultation from one of his peers. The acclaimed psychiatrist, Sigmund Freud. Together, the three of them, while attempting to aid Holmes in his drug addiction. Holmes attempts to help Freud solve a mystery regarding one of his patients.

Alan Arkin and Robert Duvall in The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (1976)

Right off the bat, what actually makes this movie interesting is that this is primarily a story about Sherlock Holmes himself. Where as other Sherlock Holmes stories or other person’s stories with Holmes happening to be in it. It’s one that actually attempts to further explore the motivations and personality of the hero moviegoers have known for decades.

Robert Duvall and Nicol Williamson in The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (1976)

No why is this story so important? Because some of the more recent adaptations of Sherlock Holmes do not necessarily address his drug issue as a problem, and indeed a couple adaptations even show it as a superpower. Attempting to glorify the horrible things Holmes does to his body to alleviate the boredom.

Alan Arkin in The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (1976)

We primarily see this in both the Robert Downey Jr. 2009 version, as well as the BBC series Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch. But as far as recent adaptations are concerned, the only one that ever really shows homes is addiction as a real problem, is the CBS series “Elementary” with Johnny Lee Miller in the part.

And this is a real issue that translates into today’s society. Another famous adaptation based off of Sherlock Holmes loosely, was the fictional Dr. Gregory House played by Hugh Laurie. From the TV show “House”. Showing his drug problems with an almost lightheartedness to the point where we are OK with him indulging in these narcotics. Not really issuing how much of a problem it really is.

Robert Duvall and Nicol Williamson in The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (1976)

In this bold attempt to see Holmes in a new light, this story dares to go where most versions today won’t dare go.

Joe’s Random Movie Trivia: “The Shining” (1980) Mr. Ullman’s Impossible Window

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Many fans of the film have noticed that the window seen at the beginning of the film, in Mr. Ullman’s office is an impossibility. Scenes that take place near the end of the film show that a hallway should be behind that office. Not the outside.

While this can be written-off as a continuity error, it further shows the mind bending space of the Overlook Hotel. The Hotel itself is a lot like a metaphorical maze the characters are going through. Leading up to the actual maze at the end of the movie.

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Joe’s Random Movie Review: 5 Reasons “Avengers: Endgame” is the greatest MCU film (plus 2 bad things)

!!!MAJOR SPOILERS!!!!!

Don Cheadle, Robert Downey Jr., Josh Brolin, Bradley Cooper, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Brie Larson, Jeremy Renner, Paul Rudd, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Danai Gurira, and Karen Gillan in Avengers: Endgame (2019)

 

  1. Time Travel

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By including the aspect of time travel in this newest Marvel film, not only do we get to explore a brand new facet of the MCU, but we also get to re-explore some of the more familiar tones and scenes from some of the more favorite past Marvel movies. Such as, Asgard during the time of “Thor: The Dark World”, the invasion of New York in the first Avengers film, and many other different things. It’s almost like a kind of childhood nostalgia. Going back over the past 10 years, events of the Marvel films have covered. But also kind of gets another chance for us to explore another facet though; how the  characters have changed over time. Change through character arcs, new allies made, as well as new enemies made known. This unique comparison between the past and present shows us just how far these characters have come since the beginning of the series.

2. Collective characters and multiple plotlines

Don Cheadle, Bradley Cooper, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Paul Rudd, and Chris Hemsworth in Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Even with the ending of Infinity War, Endgame leaves us with a plethora of many recognizable Marvel characters. Including the original avengers. Ordinarily, in a film that exceeds about three hours in length, you’d think that the storyline would get a little cluttered. Plotholes would show up left and right, and the film itself would seem almost chaotic (and not in enjoyable manner.) But this is not the case in this film. The scenes involving multiple characters and multiple different story arcs throughout the film actually kind of help with the pacing. The film doesn’t nearly seem as long as one would assume it to be. This structure is near perfect in it’s pacing, and is a testament to the skills of the writers of the films.

Bradley Cooper and Karen Gillan in Avengers: Endgame (2019)

3. Thanos’s death and (later) defeat

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One of the more ingenious aspects of the story line for “Avengers: Endgame”, not only is continuing directly after the ending of Infinity War, but by killing off the main bad guy within the first 15 minutes of the film. This is something  many MCU fans probably did not see coming. Thanos is, after all, the Big Bad fans of been waiting for since his cameo at the end of the first Avengers film back in 2012. They were expecting some sort of an all out last minute fight to the death fight to save all of humanity by the conclusion. And technically, we got that at the end of Infinity War. The only difference was that Thanos won that fight. And technically speaking, in Endgame we get that final fight with a past version of Thanos, facing the Avengers by the end. Even though he is the primary antagonist of Endgame, Thanos is not the same kind of villain in Endgame as he was in Infinity War. This characteristic actually humanizes Thanos. And creates much more depth into an otherwise comic book super villain. He won, now he just wants to retire and live a simple life.

4. Perfect plend of humor in a dark film

Paul Rudd in Avengers: Endgame (2019)

“Avengers: Endgame” is definitely one of the darker of the marvel films, primarily because it deals with a very strong moral lesson. The reaction of being defeated. The important thing to remember about all of our heroes in this film, is that they are a team that has lost. But in spite of that all Endgame is actually still able to maintain a good sense of humor not only with how it’s  presented to the audience, but also how all the other characters react to one another. A true sense of teamwork. The comradery between the characters is a bit more palpable than Infinity War.

5. A true ending.

Chris Evans in Avengers: Endgame (2019)

This film concludes with what could arguably be called the perfect ending to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The final conflict with Thanos is something that has been building up over the coarse of over 20 films. Tying up loose ends, as well as defeating the main bad guy that’s driven the plot along this entire time. The conclusion with the death of Iron Man and the “retirement” of Captain America, shows us that this could very well be both an end as well as a new beginning. Just as a good ending should be. So what will the MCU bring us next? Well maybe it shouldn’t, but making over 2 billion in the box office certainly says that they’re going to be expanding a whole lot more on this already well-established comic book film universe.

Robert Downey Jr. in Avengers: Endgame (2019)

And two bad things….. on a more personal note.

Although the film is great, it’s release couldn’t have come at a worse time. As it’s release coincided within a week the release of the new “Hellboy”. I’ve been wanting to see both films for a while, and the massive release of Endgame limited the audience intake for the new Hellboy.

Also, the only negative thing to be said about Endgame was the overall message of a do-over in the event of a defeat. In life, not all defeats get a reset button. This film’s bad theme, is that you shouldn’t get over it.

All in all though, an amazing film.

8.8/10

Joe’s Random Movie Trivia: “Life of Crime” (2013)

Jennifer Aniston, Yasiin Bey, and John Hawkes in Life of Crime (2013)

Although it isn’t right out stated, this film takes place in the shared Quentin Tarentino film universe. The characters Louis (John Hawkes) and Ordell (Mos Def) are younger versions of the same characters Louis and Ordell in the film “Jackie Brown”. Played by Robert De Niro and Samuel L. Jackson.

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Making this film a prequel, technically.

It’s worth noting that the books that both films were based off of were both written by Elmore Leonard. “Life of Crime” was based on “The Switch” and “Jackie Brown” was based off on “Rum Punch”.

Avengers: Endgame review, coming soon!

I’m waiting out on some of the insane rush of Endgame it’s opening week. So in the next few week, I’ll post a review.

Thank you for your patience!