Tags: movies

cass, can you not

Batman: Hush

Not astounding, and not all of the plot and aesthetic choices work IMHO, but better than I had expected, and quite solid in the Bruce/Selina angle of things (which is in fact the driving thread of the narrative).
cass, can you not

John Wick 3: Parabellum

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It's not John Wick, but it's a bit better than John Wick 2, without being in any way different from them.

Two minor observations:
  • Parts of the fights turn out to be funny just out of sheer bloody-mindedness, although there's only a couple of bits I'd call gory. People are fighting for their lives, and you can see it in how they just go for it without, save some exception, grandstanding or looking for style points.

  • Seeing John fight in the background while the camera looks at somebody else is both funny and awesome.
cass, can you not

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).
cass, can you not

Captain Marvel


  • 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:Collapse )
cass, can you not

(no subject)

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.
cass, can you not

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.
cass, can you not

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.
cass, can you not

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.
cass, can you not

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.