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Avengers: Endgame was seen

Wrote unspoilery comments, but on second thoughts, there's always a chance of misjudging that sort of thing, and no reason to risk it.

The tl;dr: it was better than I thought it would be, without being better in a different way than I thought it would be, although it's certainly more ambitious.

Anyway, if you'll watch, watch unspoiled (which I guess means ASAP).

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Captain Marvel

Non-spoilery:

  • Loved it. Straightforward superhero awesomeness, and very funny. At no point you feel that something is a drag.

  • Marvel casting keeps batting it out of the park. Brie Larson is Carol Danvers as much as RDJ is Tony Stark, Chris Evans is Steve Rogers, etc.

  • I don't know of many people who enjoys her life as much as Carol Danver enjoys hers most of the time. When things are going well, because they are going well, and when they aren't going well because that often means there's something dangerous and/or violent about to happen, and if nothing of that sort is scheduled, she'll very much go and seek it. And she'll smirk all the way through it. And she's a genuinely good and caring and reasonable and *funny* person.

  • Also: best, sanest, most loving family in the story of super-heroics.

  • Also also: Nick Fury is pretty good in this one (you can see how he's Nick Fury but not yet *the* Nick Fury, yet well in his way from point A to point B.)


Single historical detail spoiler, and a single generic sort-of-spoilery plot observation:Read more...Collapse )

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In a move of mind-boggling Hollywoodness, there's now a Hobbs & Shaw (yes, that's the frakking title) trailer for a buddy spy semi-comedic movie where the both of them have to take on an Idris Elba that has seen Cipher's super-hacker-with-a-flying-base move and raises with a classic bio-enhanced superhuman (exoskeleton and/or biotech, it's not clear from the trailer).

I think the most significant clue about the movie is that the background song for the trailer is Why can't we be friends.

Seriously, the way this franchise turns antagonists into allies is relentless, and near Dragon Ball or Rurouni Kenshin levels, and perhaps part of what keeps it ticking, but it does demand quite a bit of suspension of moral disbelief. I mean, just a couple of movies ago, Shaw mailed a literal bomb to Brian and Mia's house, missing killing them and their kid by, like five minutes; true, the next movie he helped rescue Dom's son, and was forced-cute about it in an Uncanny Trench way, but that was in exchange for his brother, and besides... again, suspension of moral disbelief, at least when it comes to people who not just tried to kill you, but didn't take care not to kill kids.

The jury is still out on my prediction for FF9 — Singularity meets Space Cowboys meets the Death Star trench run — but I have to say that now that we have literal supervillains in that universe, I'm feeling better about it.

Ant-Man and the Wasp

It's (mostly) sweet and funny, almost an straightforward resolution/redemption arc with mild shenanigans mixed in and a rather unique McGuffin; it suffers a bit, IMHO, because some of the interpersonal dynamic stakes are set up before the movie begins, and while they make sense in-universe (and I don't oppose in media res) it does affect a bit their weight for me.

A more problematic issue, from my point of view, is that the main opponent's history could be made into a fairly workable horror story with deep political overtones (I'm considering whether to write the fic or not), and, modulo one or two choices, a sympathetic one. That's somewhat addressed in the movie itself, in fact the characters know and acknowledge that, but I was left thinking that not enough.

To put it in another way, and to be fairer to the characters: it's not a matter of they being bad, unfair people, or even of the movie being so. It's just that plot A was taking place next to a huger and more awful and darker plot B, and in some senses it felt like the camera was being unfair by focusing more on the former. Of course, then it'd have been another(s) movie.

Perhaps that's a way of framing my mild dissatisfaction: it's a nice Ant-Man and the Wasp movie, but I wish they had shot the darker and more difficult (and perhaps contextually much more important) story that was colliding with it. That said, goddess knows we need sweet and funny movies as well, so this isn't a complaint about the movie that was shot as much as about the movie that wasn't.

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Just saw Black Panther

I think the word I'm looking for is unapologetic. Deservedly, beautifully, straightforwardly, why should it be otherwise? so. And indeed no reason at all.

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Batman: Gotham by Gaslight

It's not uninteresting, but the thing to keep in mind before watching it — and what tripped me at the beginning — is that, tonally although not in terms of screen time, this is a Jack the Ripper movie, not a Batman one. The violent misogyny (with a side dish of classist crap) ranges from quite nastily explicit verbal aggression to, well, Jack the Ripper, right from the beginning, and it never really slows down. And there's of course classist crap and general squalor as its own thing.

Within that context, there is a practically sane and well-rounded Bruce Wayne, a quite fantastic Selina Kyle, Sister Leslie is aces, and, well, other Dickensian stuff. And you never get the impression that the movie (or our main characters) agree with the crap.

In short: up to you.

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Saw The Last Jedi yesterday

With some uneveness, the post-Original Trilogy Star Wars movie I enjoyed the most, very likely. It has more humor than I expected, and a few unarguably gorgeous shots.

YMM, of course, V. If you're planning to watch it, though, best do it as soon as you can to minimize the chances of spoilers; it's not entirely devoid of (IMHO, well-deployed) surprises.

Justice League

Not that I expected it to, but it regrettably failed my gets out of the movie humming the main theme from the soundtrack and half-seriously planning to become a superhero superhero movie test.

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Thor: Ragnarok

Not unentertaining; it does do what it sets out to do, mostly, which is to compensate for the tonal misstep that was the previous Thor movie.

The most jarring part, curiously enough, was the background music during some of the epic battle bits. To my very musically inattentive ears, it was so close to Wonder Woman's that seeing Thor go Slow Motion Battle God while it played threw me off.

Although do note that this has been a week of much worrying and not enough sleep, so I might've hallucinated that.

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Blade Runner 2049

A much edited, short, unspoilery review: As a movie asking the eternal Philip K. Dick question of "what makes a person real?", it's mediocre at best. But. There are parts of it when, whether it intents to or not, it asks instead "what do we think makes a woman real? what's necessary, and what's sufficient?" and gives horrifyingly direct and honest answers to it.

It's not that those are true in the moral universe of the movie — that'd make it unwatchable. It's simply the moral universe of that universe's society, and to a large degree ours — that's what makes some scenes deeply uncomfortable.

In a somewhat dreadfully hilarious way (and I feel it cannot not be doing this on purpose, but I also fear this is just me being naive) it doesn't seem to know or notice this. It's a bit like the opening of Shawn of the Dead: terrifying things are going on, but neither the protagonist nor the camera notice them.

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