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.
I’m happy to say that Preacher season two is an improvement over the first. The great stuff carries over, the dead weight is mostly gone, the pacing is less languorous, & there’s plenty of added intrigue. AMC even adapted a few of the more outrageous scenes by Ennis & Dillon. If you’d like to remain unspoiled, skip to the end where I bid adieu to one of my favorite YouTube channels.
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.
The Defenders comes out on Friday! Until I get a chance to watch it at a leisurely pace, here’s some random other musings! If you make it to the bottom, I’ll tell you about DuckTales!
My feline overlord had her ferocious fifth birthday! She actually liked her presents this year! I don’t know how to process this.
With Marvel & DC’s cinematic rivalry on hold until November, we can turn our attention to film adaptions of indie comic books: Valerian & The City Of A Thousand Planets & Atomic Blonde. These two motion pictures share other commonalities too: I’ve not read either source material yet, John Goodman’s voice, & neither is doing as well at the box office as I believe they ought to be. If you want more variety in your comic book movies, support these! So (with very minimal spoilers) here’s why you should see both of them in cinemas. (But if you only want Marvel & DC movie tidbits, scroll down to where I discuss Deadpool 2 & Aquaman.)
Guess what I made this year for pumpkin carving?
It’s a jackal lantern! (Curse your spoiler, you dumb headline!) Get it? Sometimes puns are sight gags too! I was considering giving it a Wedjat Eye to decrease the resemblance to an aardvark until I noticed Anubis isn’t usually depicted with one. Learning that real jackals don’t look as classy as ancient Egyptians led me to believe may be the biggest disappointment of my life since I discovered pumpkin pie doesn’t taste anywhere near as good as I imagined pumpkins ought to taste. (Reality never meets my great expectations!) My cat is too scaredy to eat in the same room as the Jack-o-lantern. She was fine with my Ewok-o-lantern, but she draws a line in the litter at canines.
Shin Gojira a.k.a. Shin Godzilla a.k.a. Godzilla Resurgence is the first Godzilla film I’ve actually seen in a cinema. It wasn’t what I expected from a kaiju movie, but it turned out to be a welcome palate cleanser. Thankfully only a few brief scenes are found footage, which is somehow a revolutionary notion to Hollywood.
I wary about the film since the title monster is uncharacteristically grotesque. Much like how the MCU’s Abomination looks less like the comic character than a roided out zombie (or DC’s Doomsday), J-Horror Gojira is made of melty broccoli. (Young Justice’s Kobra-Venom infused Mammoth is another apt visual comparison.) It will randomly drown you in its own blood before blasting you with the atomic rave rays randomly shooting out of its dorsal spines. I actually preferred its debut form as gawky amphibian that instinctively smashes its googly-eyed face through buildings like my cat opening doors with her mind. Instead of being a separate appetizer kaiju, this “evolves” itself into a slightly more traditional yet icky Godzilla. (Actually it acclimates or mutates, as evolution applies to species not individuals.) So this Gojira could probably be defeated by a Pokeball.
There’s some attempt at biological realism, mostly via a hoopy frood who really knows where is pink towel is, that doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. There’s a giant origami to explain how Gojira somehow metabolizes energy from the atmosphere, making its entire mouth superfluous. Luckily the largest Gojira thus far (the film acknowledges that its feet shouldn’t be able to support it, then ignores this structural improbability) goes into torpor long enough for the plucky misfit GULF committee to devise a scientific strategy to stop it. Despite being made by the man that brought you Neon Genesis Evangelion, the solution doesn’t even involve giant mech suits piloted by neurotic teens!
This is both the least & most complicated Godzilla movie I’ve seen. It’s a hard reboot where the entire plot is vanquishing Godzilla & there’s no other kaiju. What makes it complex is the level of bureaucracy involved in accomplishing this. (What ever happened to the good old days of green ape aliens trying to conquer the world by framing Gojira with a robot duplicate that can only be defeated by partnering with an ancient magical monster?) A Gojira film suffused with red tape is something I never realized I needed until I saw it. Somehow it escalates from dull obligation to Gilliamesque satire to bureaucracy inspiration porn. In addition to subtitled dialogue, every scene contains onscreen captions for character names, their official ranks, & the scene location down to the room & floor. It’s the greatest love letter to unnecessary OCD labeling since Batman ’66. This has walk & talk’s too! GO TEAM BUREAUCRACY!