Can you believe we’re already up to the 2,048th Blade Runner sequel? The original is both a great movie & a bad adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? (It was refreshingly humanistic to see a dystopian future on a dying world where people get along through a Jain-like religion based on empathy & animal reverence. ) I got to chat about the latest one on The Wages of Cinema because its usual co-host was unavailable again. When you can’t get Andrew, settle for second best!
Ofjack Korey is there too!
Pretty much anything I type about this film is a spoiler, so let’s drive right into Blade Runner 2049! Uh, you should probably watch the one of the cuts of the first flick beforehand as well.
I couldn’t afford to watch Star Trek Discovery. (I’ve never seen so many people eager to catch STD!) So against my better judgment, I watched both of the new TV series about Marvel Comics’ genetic superhumans, Inhumans & The Gifted. So strap in for an extra long spoilerific double review!
The best part of discount Thor featuring lunar muties was that my cat tried to ensnuggle me for 3/4 of it. Brought to you by the man who gifted the world with lumberjack Dexter & dragon-free Iron Fist, Inhumans shows glimpses of cool stuff only to yank them away. I may have some controversial views on the state of Lucasfilm, but I think we can all agree that Marvel Studios letting Scott Buck helm two series was a mistake. Did it lose a contractual bet with Sony or Fox to make Inhumans’ cinematic demotion as underwhelming as possible? It’s a pity this is set when when the Agents of SHIELD are indisposed because it could desperately use some charismatic protagonists (not to mention their writers). None of the visuals justified IMAX cameras. ABC can’t make this miniseries look as good as even one of The CW’s four DC series. It takes itself way too seriously without the necessary prerequisite of actuality being quality.
Since last we saw Gotham, it won an Emmy for Outstanding Special and Visual Effects in a Supporting Role! Presumably it’s returned earlier than usual because it needs a head start on all the hiatuses it’ll be taking. It’s also moved to Thursdays so we can get double-header of Batman-inspired shows once (Green) Arrow follows it this season. Gotham seems to be a very polarizing show despite it embracing comic book-iness while taking liberties with canon to the same degree as the CW’s DC shows. (If you dig Gotham, I highly recommend you checking out Preacher.) Weirdly Telltale’s Batman games get praised for doing its own altverse take on the Caped Crusader but this show is hated for the same principle? I’ve heard Zoo is even more bonkers, but my credulity has its limits. Irregardless, Gotham’s fourth season is off to a great start!
“Pax Penguina’s” wedding Rickroll with Mr. Zsasz was comedy gold! Oswald Cobblepot licensing crime is peak Penguin! (Studying Discworld’s Lord Vetinari the Social Justice Tyrant was a wise move.) You can tell it’s Gotham City because the nameless new Mayor & Police Commissioner eagerly agreed to his scheme. (I love that this Gotham City is a venal villain factory instead of Nolan’s insistence that it’s a regular city with Batman being responsible for all its supervillains.) He even told reporters he froze The Riddler until his terminal illness could be cured as if Nygma was the late lamented Nora Fries! Despite his lax security, Cobblepot is a way better kingpin than dull Carmine Falcone. Kingsmen has made weaponized umbrellas hip again, so how long until this series hooks him up? If I ever meet Robin Lord Taylor, I’ll probably end up calling him Lord Robin Taylor. (It puts his initials in alphabetical order!)
Darren Aronofsky’s latest motion picture is sure to launch a thousand film school theses, so allow this to become one of your citations! Mother! is a tricky film to talk about because, much like FILLER!, every sentence will look wrong unless you manage to place the title at the end. Then it just looks like you’re shouting, which is preferable to not knowing where punctuation goes. After the The Wages Of Cinema podcast collaboreview (They let me discuss a movie that’s not based on a comic book or sci-fi!), it’ll be all SPOILERS. The story is fairly simple, but it’s stuffed to the gills with so many metaphors & ambiguous themes. The most nonspoilery synopsis I can give is “Renowned poet Javier Bardem invites creepy strangers into his giant house much to the chagrin of his devoted yet neglected wife, Jennifer Lawrence.” The characters are credited with descriptions, so I can just refer to the cast by their real names with impunity. It’s a movie that transcends its pretension by going all out.
Colin Trevorrow has been booted from Untitled Star Wars Sequel: Episode IX. People who’ve had the misfortune of seeing The Book of Henry tell me this is fantastic news. (That’s not to say there isn’t a deep pool of worse directors they can plug into this too big to fail conclusion.) He’s the fourth director (Remember Josh Trank’s aborted Boba Fett film?) to be let go by Disney’s Lucasfilm. WB gets dissed for its DC plans being in a state of apparent entropy, but obviously this phenomenon is not exclusive. If fans are going to come to Lucasfilm’s defense for trying to right the mega-franchise ship to avoid cinematic icebergs, maybe grant WB/DC some of that courtesy too? Or rag on them both?
Michael K. Williams’s performance has been cut from A Star Wars Story: Untitled Han Solo Film (Why isn’t it just Han Solo?) because he couldn’t fit extensive reshoots into his packed schedule. Rather than axe the character completely, replacement director Ron Howard has replaced him with Paul Bettany in the quickest instance of whitewashing. I’m hoping this half-animal character is a Selonian because Han Solo punching a giant otter in the tummy is actually something I’d like to see. At least he’s going full nepotism by giving Clint Howard a role so he can be in both of the big Star franchises. If Rogue One can be a non-swashbuckling war movie, why wouldn’t Lucasfilm let Lord & Miller make this a comedy? Millennial Falcon & Red Letter Media deserve some Imperial credits for cracking the screenplay. I’ve got a bad feeling about this.
If you’re reading this, congratulations on surviving the total Eclipso of the heart! The big news that dropped just as I was reviewing The Defenders is that WB will be making stand alone Elseworlds movies separate from the DCEU (this is still a yucky name). These could be really interesting palate cleansers for folks that are bored with the current film continuity & tradtional superhero movies in general. The first one up is … a gritty The Joker origin movie set in 1980’s Gotham City? So this will still have nothing to do with anything fans like about the Joker? So far it’s just produced by Martin Scorsese not directed by him, so don’t get your hopes up.
Netflix’s The Defenders is finally out! My pre-Defenders blog became obsolete so fast! (If you’re not interested in this series, I recommend streaming the following international films on Netflix, depending on your region: Tag, The Forbidden Room, Wetlands, Filth, Look Who’s Back, Bon Cop/Bad Cop, & The Treacherous.) I was impressed by Daredevil season one, loved Jessica Jones, disappointed by Daredevil season two, & pleasantly surprised by Luke Cage. Instead of bothering with Iron Fist, I watched Crazyhead, which has the best title sequence so I regret nothing! Last chance to defend yourself from The Defenders spoilers!