Apparently Matt The Catania recently had another birthday. So I did what anybody who forgets an important milestone does & fled to Skull Island with The Wages of Cinema! Andrew was back this week so my presence was superfluous! Listen to us geek out over kaiju films after the halfway mark!
This is a movie that really surprised me. Since the dolorous adventure of King Kong has been told by Hollywood thrice (& once in a book illustrated by Anthony Browne), there’s no reason for another remake. Even if WB made this movie just to segue into King Kong v. Godzilla: Dawn of Destroy All Monsters, Kong doesn’t have that much context that he needs a whole introductory movie. Despite my initial thoughts, I left Kong: Skull Island hungry for more ape awesomeness! This should appease anyone upset by the budgetary restrictions of the CW’s jaunt to Gorilla City. I skipped their attempt at Gojira, but now sign me for the Legendary Monsterverse! I guess we should call it the Kaijuverse or MONARCHverse to distinguish this from the resurrection of the Universal Monsterverse.
X-Men: Apocalypse gave Andrew Birchenough such extreme PTSD that Jack Gattanella was forced to install me as his Brand-X substitute for The Wages of Cinema’s Logan review! Is Logan the best there is at what he does, or is what Logan does not very nice? Going by Wolverine’s catchphrase, these options might not be mutually exclusive.
SPOILERS below, bub! SNIKT! SNIKT!
If you think Batman is oversaturated, you’re never going to be proven otherwise at the rate DC milks this cash-cow. Out of the four 2016 movies featuring Batman, Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders was the best because it didn’t take itself so damn seriously. Thankfully his solo LEGO film follows in that vein. My favorite movie of last year, Deadpool, was released in February. Will history repeat itself with The LEGO Batman movie? Since I struggled to write a review that’s not just “EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!,” I’d recommend betting on black.
Somewhat SPOILERY iterations of what I discussed with The Wages of Cinema to follow. (Do you prefer me speaking extemporaneously on movies or reading me take the extra time to make typos about movies?)
As the prophecy foretold, this is a real Star Wars: Rogue One review, unlike “This Custom Is A Rogue One.” (The secret theme of that one was symbiotic relationships, by the way.) Everything I knew about this movie ahead of time I learned from Jenny Nicholson. As usual, she’s right on the money.
The Wages of Cinema invited me to collaboreview this movie with them. I jumped at the chance to finally critique something that’s not a comic book adaptation. They even upgraded me from guest star Matt to Death Star Matt!
From this point forward there will be SPOILERS. Or as many SPOILERS as you can have for a story whose culmination occurs in a separate forty-year-old movie.
Nightmare was going to be the villain of Doctor Strange but Marvel Studios predicted it’d be too on the nose for reality.
So let’s dive right back into fantasy! Since my last entry was thoroughly Marvel-centric, this week’s topic will be DC-focused. Except when I write about about other things. I still insist I have a topic.
One of my favorite bits about Legends of Tomorrow season two is how much the team isn’t a well oiled machine. It’s not that they’re terribly incompetent; it’s just that they’re still not used to working with each other. Not only does this prevent the team of superpowered specialists from seeming automatically unbeatable, it allows for more humor & dynamic character interactions.
All of Heatwave’s dialogue in the cliche-ridden “Shogun” was solid fried gold! (“League of Assassins, class of ’09,” was the the only memorable competition.) Wouldn’t atomizing a real life political figure, Shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu, be the sort of time crime the Legends are supposed to avert?
As a doctor (of not medicine), I prescribe listening to my latest collaboreview of Doctor Strange with The Wages of Cinema! It’s as the prophecy foretold!
Benedict “malapropism generator” Cumberbatch may be slightly overexposed, but he’s actually a great Doctor Strange! I didn’t need him to affect a American accent, but I guess he wanted to show he’s not just coasting on his Sherlock reputation. Sadly he never utters “By the hoary hosts of Hoggoth!” It’s a missed opportunity for Marvel to subvert the white savior trope by casting someone that’s not a WASP, yet Cumberbatch still knocks it out of the park. His Dr. Stephen Strange is Marvel’s cockiest protagonist since
Iron Man Thor Star-Lord. Despite or because of his supreme arrogance, he’s always compelling if not necessarily likable. Cumberbatch definitely earns his starring role.
The special effects are superb. There’s plenty of Inception geography tessellation on steroids. Applying gravity to these shifts leads to some fun sight gag action. Other spells look generated from firecrackers & shards of molten glass. There’s a fight across the Astral Plane while both participant’s bodies are unconscious. The best scene is a psychedelic tour across dimensions. The plot may be cookie cutter, but the visuals are a feast for the eyes.
Now journey with me beyond the veil of the page break for movie spoilers, source material nitpicks, & social commentary!
Much like Ghostbusters, Suicide Squad is a remake of beloved film designed to retroactively ruin your childhood. So this movie has been getting lousy reviews, but I don’t think this movie deserves them. It’s perfectly adequate! I don’t mean to damn it with faint praise. After Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (not just Ice was snubbed when it came to extraneous Justice League cameos), WB could certainly use a DC movie that doesn’t make you want to kill yourself.
On the way to the theater, I had a Make Way For Ducklings moment with Canada geese. A huge flock of them stopped traffic in both directions for 5 minutes. A driver ahead of me had to get out & shoo the last third of them across. This is a personal anecdote that happened to me!
I achieved the rank of Guest Star Matt on my latest collaboreview (not all my portmanteaus can be winners) with The Wages of Cinema. After you put that in your ears, read my SPOILER-laden analysis below! I promise not to detonate the micro-bomb in your neck if you do!