Saint_Samantha's Movies of The Week #3

Saint_Samantha's Movies of The Week #3

Hey, there! So, I watched another 5 movies. You care, so here are my thoughts!

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5. 300: A friend on here likes this movie, and another guy on here called Leonidas a strong character, Snyder has overall impressed be with his visuals, and "THIS IS SPARTA!" is already iconic in my head, so I decided to check this one out. And it was awful, very awful!

Not really, it was actually above average. Not as good as I'd hoped for (I've read people on here call it the best movie they've ever seen). Yes, I get that it's a pop culture sensation, but it is also very, very flawed. Yes, it's manly, which is cool. But that isn't enough to redeem it for me.

Here's the problem with 300. It is not a good looking movie. People like to cite Snyder for his visuals, but this is not a visually appealing movie. All Zack does is match up colour here and call it a day. The primary colours here are gold and red, and Snyder repeats that for all of the films.

That's why people find this movie beautifully shot, but his shots in this movie are legitimately very simple. There is barely any range in the shots. Not to mention that it is severally lacking in detail. This here is a good shot. This isn't a good shot. Because all it is, is pretty colours matched together w/o detail to appreciate. There is hardly background in this film. It's mostly close ups. This movie has the aesthetic of a painting, but none of the detail.

Not to mention that the supernatural and natural elements did not match up well, and the transitions are jarring. BUT, it is such a manly movie. There is literally a slow motion scene of Leonidas giving it to her. The fight scenes are alluring, it's always nice to see Michael Fassbender in things, and above all, Gerald Butler did a very good job and his character rolled in nicely. I actually enjoyed his shouting.

Verdict: 6/10

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4. Warrior Tom Hardy, you magnificent Bastard. I meant it. I hate Tom Hardy after this movie. He performed so well that I hated his character. Tom Hardy is too good at being assholes. Makes me think he is one. I wasn't a fan of the first hour of this film. I found it bland and uninteresting.

But when the film entered it's second half, I really enjoyed the rest of the movie. It isn't remarkable from a filmmaking standpoint, it is a cliched movie, but the movie finds it's strength through a heartfelt narrative. By the second half, I was engaged. The fight scenes are not as well choreographed as Creed, but it was still a fantastic fight!

Why? Because of the emotional resonance. I was engaged in the characters, which made the climax enthralling to watch unfold. Before I move onto the next film, I'd like to mention that Joel Edgerton did a surprisingly good job. I haven't seen much of him previously, but the point is that I was expecting Hardy to be the only good performance in the film. Edgerton is no Tom Hardy, but he still did a commendable job.

Verdict: 7/10

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3. Good Will Hunting: I've been interested in this movie for a while. But regardless of all the praise surrounding it, I didn't expect to be a big fan. But Good Will Hunting wowed me. I'd heard of the "It's not your fault" line previously. And no, I didn't cry. But it hit me hard. This is not a perfect film. It still irks me that the reason for Will Hunting being kickass at math is shallow. He's practically a junkie, yet he's a BA at Maths. Why? Because according to him, he "looks at Math and he just understands it." That doesn't cut it for me. The rest of the film more then made up for it. This is a fantastic movie. Nothing from a filmmaking standpoint, but the performances and script of the film elevated it to new heights.

I heard that Affleck and Damon (cousins) wrote this script for the sole purpose of acting in something, which is why we've gotten nothing from them since this, although as it stands, Good Will Hunting is an excellently acted, excellently written film.

Verdict: 9/10

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2. Dawn of The Planet of The Apes: IMO the best summer blockbuster since The Dark Knight, and a near masterpiece.

The visual affects are some of the best, if not THE best, I've seen put to film. There are characters in this film that, if I didn't know better, I'd say were real life characters. By that, I mean the apes. Holy shit, especially Maurice. This film is both complex and entertaining, which is the same reason The Dark Knight is such a resounding success. The story is not black and white in the slightest. Hell, the villain the movie is not a villain. He's a sympathetic character that wants nothing but the best for the Apes.

Not to mention that the imagery of an ape on a horse, holding a machine gun, is epic. This film is epic, yet intimate and emotional. It is told in the same fashion of a Shakespearean tragedy + entertaining and complex. That is why the storytelling in this movie is so effective. Feel free to disagree with me on the rating, call me "liberal w/ ratings" or "low standard", but I'd be lying to you if I said otherwise.

Verdict: 10 out of 10

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1. Apocalypse Now I saw two 10/10's this week, and the first of them I've seen in a while. Apocalypse Now is an achievement in cinema that deserves to be remembered. This film was made before Computer Generated Imagery existed, yet Francis Ford Coppola blew my away with the film that he managed to craft with nothing but practical effects. The helicopters in the air, the music, the imagery, the Agent Orange, the epic war set pieces. That is w/o mentioning the tragedy of the death of Perry Black.

I didn't expect less for Marlon Brando after watching The Godfather, On The Waterfront, The Men, and A Streetcar Named Desire. And he blew me away again. I hear he improvised a 2-minute iconic speech in this film. If so, fantastic job, Brando. But then again, it wouldn't surprise me. The thing is that this film is somewhat of an accident. He accidentally made a masterpiece. For example, Brando actually showed up overweight to set. That's why for a majority of his screen time, Colonel Kurtz is shrouded in darkness. Hell, I hear this film almost didn't get made. Good thing it was. The horror - the horror of this movie wasn't made.

Verdict: 10 out of 10

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Bye bye. You better not leave your garbage lying around.

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Saint_Samantha's Star Wars: The Force Awakens Movie Review

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Warning: I will spoil everything.

"This will begin to make things right again" is the first line of dialogue spoken in Star Wars Episode IIV, or The Force Awakens, or both. With that, J.J Abrams, director of the first Star Trek movie which just about everyone loved, the director of the second Star Trek movie which people loved at it's release, then grew to hate it, that diet Spielberg-ien movie Super 8, promised to erase what PTSD was caused from the Prequel Trilogy, and redeem this beloved franchise, beloved meaning two movies that we all love, that conclusion to the trilogy that people like but don't like, and those other three Star Wars prequels, or the Trade Wars trilogy, is I like to call 'em.

There was a lot riding on this movie. Arguably the biggest cinema release in the history of the industry. J.J. Abrams is tasked with healing the scars that creator George Lucas left on the franchise, winning audiences hearts back, as well as engaging a brand new generation of Star Wars.

Or to simply put it, and bluntly: to make money. But to be less cynical, let's just call it the former three.

For what J.J. Abrams was tasked with, I have to say he didn't disappoint. Especially seeing as he was tasked with a lot more then any of us could handle. And I know there are certain people who claimed they were let down because the "story was a retread of all the plot beats from a New Hope", or more prominently, disappointed because "it ends with another Death Star." That's a bit unjust, IMO.

Because for me, saying something is a disappointment because it had flaws is basically saying "I had unreal expectations, I expected a movie to be perfect even though I know there doesn't exist a movie that isn't perfect." Don't get me wrong, it's fine to be disappointed in a movie, it happens all the time cough cough Spider-Man 3. But I find it more fitting to say a movie is disappointing if it didn't deliver what it promised, or if it's legitimately a terrible movie.

Enough about that. Let's get into what George Lucas did right. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the authentic Star Wars movie we've all been waiting for. Watching it in theatres for the first time, I felt a sense of wonderment that likely filled the downsized brain of all 7 year olds who watched ANH in cinemas for the first time, and had it blow their mind. The earlier parts of the movie set in Jakku are beautifully shot, and elevated and expended on by John Williams's score.

And by that I mean The Rey Theme.

The highlights of the action in the movie are the light sabre battles. A lot of people like the battles in the Prequel Trilogy. But in my opinion, even the light sabre battles in The OT were better then the ones in The Prequels. Because in the Original Trilogy, the light sabre battles were not just a visual feast, but an expansion of the characters. Every time a light sabre was pulled into combat, you knew that not only would shit go down, but character development too, or plot development.

In The Phantom Menace, a light sabre pops up in the first 10 minutes, and it appears for us to watch Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor smashing up droids into submission. How does that develop the characters? At all? In The Force Awakens, the light sabre battles are sparse, but they do the job of developing the characters.

Kylo Ren is a phenomenal character. A lot of people didn't like him, which is understandable: but if you take his character farther then face value, you'll actually find that he's the best written character in this film, and the best written character in Star Wars. If you thought Kylo Ren was wimpy, or bitchy. That's fine. But you know what? That's the point.

The Kylo Ren outside of the mask represents who Ben actually is. Kylo Ren with the mask represents who he is, or at the very least, who he wants to be. There's this blink if you'll miss it moment in which Kylo Ren, non masked, is ranting and crying at Supreme Leader Snoke. General Hux walks in, and if you focus on Kylo Ren's expression as he turns back, you can clearly catch an "oh shit, he saw me without my mask moment."

My favourite scenes from the film are as follows: the earlier moments in Jakku, for being beautifully shot and put together, Han Solo's death scene, for being simultaneously poignant and despicable, and the light sabre battle, for being able to feel the weight of these kick ass light sabres, as well as developing the character's and story. These are all very well executed scenes.

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That said, I'm not a huge fan of this movie. I wouldn't go as far as to say I love it. I like it, but don't love it. I mentioned earlier on in the review that Star Wars: The Force Awakens wreaks of Star Wars, but I don't think J.J. Abrams made a Star Wars film here, so much as he has performed taxidermy on it.

It looks like Star Wars, the feel of the movie is like Star Wars, the tone of it is Star Wars, the music and the sounds are exactly like Star Wars. But lacks the seriousness, depth, stakes, or originality ofa Star Wars movie. It feels more like a Pixar movie then a SW movie.

To explain what I mean by that: Star Wars films were never perfect. I'm not a big Star Wars fan. In fact, The Force Awakens is probably the best Star Wars film. But there were no stakes here. There is barely depth to the story and the characters, and the potential of depth that is there is glossed over. That is why Kylo Ren is the best part about the film. He is flawed, developed and complex. In this case, the 2 protagonists are either i) perfect, or ii) potentially complex, but the complexity are glossed over.

Look at Rey. She is essentially an admirable character: attractive, smart, powerful. You want to be her. But there is no depth to her character beyond what is presented at face value. Personally for me, it is not enough to just be the first female protagonist in a Star Wars film. It isn't enough for me that I don't know who is her mama and papa.

As for Finn, he's easily the most relatable character. But he's still flawed in a major way. They had an opportunity to explore in depth a storm trooper, possibly a storm trooper with PTSD, but instead, Abrams just glosses over it.

These all add up to the most prominent flaw that hurts the movie. It hasn't aged well. Yeah, it's been... 4 months still it hit theatres in December? But it's already getting worst the more I see it. I remember being blown away by it in cinemas: a film that sounded, felt and looked like Star Wars. But watching it again and again, there isn't much past the well directed action sequences and the film looking like Star Wars. And it makes for a rather bland film.

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Verdict

Because I've focused on the negative parts of the movie for the past few paragraphs, it might come off as me hating the movie. But I don't! I actually quite like it. It's still something I would recommend. I still stand by what I said about this being the most fun I had in cinemas in the entire year of 2015, but it is not a movie that gets better with re watches. My problem with The Force Awakens is that Abrams did not make a Star Wars movie, instead performing taxidermy on it. But a complex villain, visuals, light sabre battles and great moment such as Han Solo's death and the climax redeemed the film.

Score: 7/10

Thank you for reading. What about you?

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Saint_Samantha's Quantum Break Review

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Look, I'm not sure about you, but I felt like Quantum Break was never gonna come out. I mean, I've been waiting for this movie since... 2013! And when I heard it was releasing in 2016, I thought that sounded bizarre! And it isn't because this is another entry in a long-running franchise, or that it's developed by my favourite developer. In fact, it's none of those things!

The reason I was excited for Quantum Break is because of it's concept. Basically, the idea is to blur the line between the mediums of video game and television. If you don't know what that means, it means that this is a TV show and a video game. There are about 5 live action episodes in the game, all of which unlock at the beginning of the chapter. And what is more is that the decisions you make within the game impact what occurs in the show: meaning it really blurs the line between the two mediums.

Not to mention the premise of bending time. Which, let's face it, isn't common place in the gaming industry.

Now the game is out! Is it the system seller that we're hoping for?

Is it Microsoft's equivalent to Playstation's Uncharted?

Is it really great?

And the answer to all of those questions is a resounding... kinda and kinda not. I mean, it's okay. I mean, it's not a bad game, as a matter of fact, there are factors of this game that I love. And since it'd be unfitting for me to barge into here and make a claim about the quality of a game without backing up, I'll try and back it up.

The best thing about this game is NOT the TV element of the thing (surprisingly). The best thing about to behold in this game is really the shooting aspect of it all:

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The gunplay in this game: fantastic. Warping, slowing, stopping time: fantastic. Given how common shooter games are in today's video game world, I'm surprised how well QB held it's own against the other games in this aspect. The reason is, of course, the gameplay ability to manipulate time to your liking. And it isn't just this generic thing where you slow down time to get a shot.

I did some bizarre things in this game. I ran at slow motion, pressing B to, in slo-mo, a la Snyder, slam a man into submission. I projected a bubble, time stop, to suspend the enemies into place, then preceding to press B and slamming them into submission. I dodged bullets, y'know, stuff like that. I've no objections to the gunplay mechanics in Quantum Break, and to Remedy's credit, they really outdid themselves in that aspect.

You could be tricked into thinking that time manipulation will result in an easy playing, non-challenging game. You'd be mistaken. For the action in this game was not only stylised in ways unlike any other game, but also challenging. I do have complaints about the difficulty, but I'll leave that till later on.

Graphically, this is a nice-looking game. It doesn't blow The Order: 1886 out of the water. It isn't a system seller for it's graphics alone. But it does look pretty. There are indoor areas within the game that are visually displeasing and colourly bland, but as a whole, the visuals didn't hamper the experience in the slightest.

There are unexpected effective performances from the cast. Shawn Ashmore and that CIA guy from the opening of The Dark Knight Rises Aiden Gillen both did a good job in their respective roles. Courtney Hope was also effective as Beth Wilder. I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy her character. But as for fans of Dominic Monaghan, if there are any, yeah, you'll likely leave disappointed.

There are some... very interesting platforming sections of the game. You'll either hate them or you'll love them, which depends on where you stand in regards to gaming sections that almost leave you tearing your hair out in anger. But for me, they were some of the most creative parts of this game. And another aspect in which this game outdid most others.

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That said, the game is far from impeccable. And I deny you the right of being positive. For Quantum Break is...

Somewhat of a bummer?

The gunplay sections, as mentioned, are fantastic. But they only constitute for about 50% of the entire thing, if not less. Anything that isn't gunplay or the creative platform sections remains a dull, exhausting experience. Primarily you're just walking around from point A - Point B, pressing buttons. Every mundane thing you can pull from the gaming 101 bag.

This could've been forgiven if the game had a larger, more open environment to explore and revel in in the midst of this mundanity, but as it stands, the locations are linear. So that in the midst of those tasks, all you're focusing on... is how dry this is. And how much you'd rather be watching The Walking Dead or something. Take Infamous: Second For for example, a game that, for all intents and purposes, is comparable to this one, but which did it much better. That game isn't all shooting, but the open space and the character freedom and mobility, make what would've been otherwise mundane platforming, fast and fun.

On the topic of gaming 101, this game relies a ton of hackneyed gaming techniques. Stuff like "help me, I need to open this door", or "rinse and repeat till the enemy is beat" boss battles, more follow objectives then is welcome. Other great video games do have these aspects, but this game utilises them prominently, and the good bits of the game don't overshadow the repetitive aspects enough the game enough for me to call it great.

Despite being held together by a good performance, the villain in the game was absolutely rubbish. His motivation; I wasn't sure if I missed something or didn't understand it, but at the end of the game, I came to the conclusion that the villain didn't have a motivation beyond "let's destroy the world because I'm evil." The story itself is below average. I can't say it was horrid. This isn't a game in which I was pushed to skip the story, kind of like Far-Cry 4 where you just wanted the cutscenes to be all over and done with, but it was fairly generic, and didn't develop it's character's nearly enough.

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I'll wrap this up soon, but before we do: what are my thoughts on the TV element of QB? I still find it incredulous that the episodes are streamed instead of being in the disc (still cannot grasp why you would do that), but I thoroughly, to enjoyed the hell out of, the live action episodes in this game, enough for me to bump up my score.

I can't say the cast did a great job, but the production values were solid, especially for a production that's already required to spend on it's game aspect, but mostly of what the show had that the game didn't spend time on:

A solid, compelling story. This isn't the thing of Stephen King. This isn't Inception. There is suspension of disbelief in the show and moments that had me shudder, but the show's story was everything the game should've been. It was well paced, I was compelled, surprised, I cared about some of the characters. There was action. Double crosses. If the game had a story like this, it could've been great.

In regards to blurring the line between Television and Gaming, as the developers claim, I can't say it succeeded in that resoundingly. But I felt the weight of all of the choices that they offered me, and it was cathartic to see them carried out and into the show.

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Verdict

Is Quantum Break worth stopping time for? I'd say it depends. If you've exhausted every other new game out and have got nothing to play, then yeah, I'd recommend Quantum Break. That's not to imply the game is bad. I enjoyed myself for a good portion of it.

But if there are other games in the discussion that you could buy before this one, I'd easily recommend them before this. The third act was hackney, unoriginal, and frustrating. But gunplay as a whole was fantastic.

Score: 6.25/10

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Saint_Samantha's Movies of The Week #2

Hey there. I did something like this a week or two ago. Since then I've seen 5 films (well, actually more then that, but 5 new films), so here we are again. I don't like introductions, so... onto the thing. Here. We. Go.

5. Super

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This could've been miles and miles better then it actually was. There's an interesting concept at hand. People cite Watchmen, The Dark Knight and Man of Steel as an example of heroes existing in the real world. They're not really. Because a hero existing in the real world would look more like this.

Unfortunately, the film is hampered by lazy writing all throughout. In addition to this, abrupt tonal shifts.

This is a movie that very much aims to be messed up, and it did a pretty good job at that. I'm still disturbing thinking back to what I saw. The best thing about this movie is how it makes the viewer feel. You truly aren't sure whether or not you should root for these characters or hate them, and it makes it all the more disturbing. Scratch that, the best thing about this movie is Jodie Holmes, I mean Ellen Page. In an otherwise mediocre to below average film, she managed to be utterly fantastic.

I honestly don't recommend this movie. From a technical standpoint, it is absolutely horrid. It came around at the same time as Kick Ass, and although I'm not a huge fan of that movie, it was at least well put together. The same can't be said about this film, which is a tragedy from a technical standpoint. La la la la la.

Score: 5/10 (I was tempted to go lower)

4. Hellboy

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It took me a while to get to this film, huh? Surprisingly, I liked this film a lot more then I expected. It was fun to watch, and I'm interested in exploring the rest of Del Toro's filmography. We can all agree that the best thing about this movie is how attractive a certain character looks in this movie. Do you expect me to say Selma Blair? Nope, the real prom king of this party is Ron Perlman. How good does he look for a guy that was in his 50s? It's almost as if he looks more attractive as he ages. And if you tell me it's the makeup, I'll tell you to get eaten by Abe Sapien.

The action in this movie is, no overstatement, phenomenal. I wish there was more of it here. But the action that is here is uber impressive. Del Toro strikes the perfect balance between practical and special effects in this movie. In particular, I loved the tracking shots, which all occurred midst the action, IIRC. For example, Hellboy would get kicked and the camera would follow him as he goes flying through a hallway and smashing through a window and falling into the ground. You get what I mean?

It's not something I see myself revisiting in the future. One time was enough for me. That is enough for me to rate the film less, but I still really like it. I'll probably go watch to watch all the set pieces. But a film that I don't want to re watch is a film I'd consider rating down.

Oh, and the film had a surprising amount of heart.

Score: 7.5/10 (I was tempted to go higher)

3. The Dark Knight Returns Part 2

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Here's a hint. I rated Part 1 a 7.5/10, and this was better. Yep, they managed to surpass the first part IMO.

In her short screen time in the first movie, I fell in love with Robin's character. In this movie, we see more of her, and she was flipping awesome. I want a Robin like that in the DCEU. I still hate The Joker's design in these movies, but his character was suitably insane and disturbing.

Possibly the best segment of this film is the Batman vs. Superman fight. It was awesome watching them, y'know, be Batman and Superman and do the most un-Batman and un-Supermaney, punching each other around. So much for being the best bromance in comic book history :( The animation in this film is just beautiful. The action scenes, although still impressive, from a directing standpoint were admittedly a step down from the first film. Although they carry more weight and heft here. Not a lot I didn't like about this movie, but as a person who starts with a 5/10 rating and adds-subtracts depending on the pros and cons in this film, as opposed to starting with 10, I will rate this film a...

Score: 8/10

2. Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind

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My second taste of Charlie Kaufman (my first being Anomalisa), and this movie blew my mind. It's not a pleasant viewing film. As a matter of fact, and is an emotionally harrowing experience.

Kaufman understands human emotion, and created a complex narrative out of it. Jim Carrey's performance is other worthy, and Kate Winslet did an almost equally stellar job. It was also nice seeing Mark Ruffalo and Kirsten Dunst show up in this movie. As usual, marks lost for not being something I'd want to re watch again, but this film manipulated my emotions. Blew my away.

Score: 9/10

1. Contagion

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I had to watch this in science class and it was miles better then what I would expect. I mean, just look at the cast: Matt Damon, Gwenyth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Marion Cotillard, Laurence Fishburne, Bryan Cranston, y'know, the usual. They all delivered impeccably in their roles. What elevates this film as well is the sense of danger throughout. You truly feel like they're all running out of time and that everyone is dying. I still am of the opinion that the movie might've ended to soon. And I don't mean that the running time was too short, but that the story come to a close rather abruptly. Still a fantastic film.

Score: 9/10

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Thanks for reading <3 Don't forget to comment below. This was a much better week for movies then my last blog, IMO.

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Zack Snyder says he didn't need to explain [spoiler] in BvS because the idea of [spoiler] is ridiculous.

He didn't only reiterate my foremost problem with a movie that I otherwise loved, he doubled it:

"I didn't feel the need to explain how Lex figured out Batman and Superman's secret identities because the concept of secret identities is ridiculous."

Here's the interview: https://soundcloud.com/empiremagazine/batman-v-superman-spoiler-special-with-zack-snyder-charles-roven-deborah-snyder

I mean, you could've defended it by saying Lex studied the meta humans but that wasn't Snyder's intentions. It makes me worry for his storytelling capabilities.

Oh, and he said he loves that Lex named the members of the JLA and assigned them logo's.

More comments:

"I kinda came to the conclusion also that they couldn't really talk in their suits, um, with any credibility..."

"... more than 4 or 5 lines and you start to notice, like wait, these are two guys ... one guys dressed up like a bat and the other has a big red 'S' on his chest, and they're being super serious about how mad they are at each other..."

What the actual... I mean... what? The Justice League is centred around a group of people working together. If they can't communicate, that just doesn't work.

I'll defend Batman v. Superman, but if this is the case, Snyder should depart from the franchise.

EDIT: Look, I get where he's coming from w/ the secret identities thing. Snyder is applying realistic principles to these characters and that's understandable. But the "no credibility talking in suits" is garbage.

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Movies of the Week #1

Someone else did something similar and it inspired me to do it myself: sue me. Obviously I didn't watch all of this in a day, or else my life would be non existent (although I would've liked that). But these are the past 6 movies I've watched, including a short paragraph or two, or three, or four, and a rating for them all.

Here. We. Go:

Triple 9

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I was excited for this movie. What drew me in was the impressive ensemble - Casey Affleck, Norman Reedus, Kate Winslet, Chitewel Eijofor, Woody Harrelson, Anthony Mackie and Gal Gadot. Now, the cast did not disappoint, but regardless of the negative-to-mixed reviews, I expected to like this movie more. I was let down. As expected, the cast delivered, and there were nice costume designs, but the rest of the movie left A LOT to be desired. It wasn't an awful movie, it just wasn't anything remarkable. It was average. Towards the second half of the movie and till the end I sorta zoned out. I expected it to at least be pulp and have a lot of indecency to chew on but it wasn't even that. I don't feel like it was a complete waste of time, but I do feel I could've been watching something better.

Verdict: 5.5/10

V For Vendetta

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This was another movie that disappointed me. Not that I was expecting a masterpiece of cinema, but I was expecting more from a movie in the 1001 highest rated movies of all time, and a movie a lot of people on here included in their top 10 comic book movies. There are aspects of this movie that I enjoyed: Hugo Weaving turned in a strong behind-the-mask performance, the first 10 or so minutes held promise, and the film had legitimate heart at times, but I was unimpressed by the movie. Why? Most of the performances bordered on caricature. I don't know if that's the tone in the book, but for someone unfamiliar with the source material, I found it jarring. The film had an inconsistent tone. As mentioned earlier, my favourite parts of the movie were easily the earlier moments because they established a grim atmosphere, but then the rest of the movie felt awkwardly put together and awkwardly presented. Hell, even the "gunpowder" treason opening felt tonally detached.

Verdict: 5/10

The Dark Knight Returns Part 1

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I'd heart nothing but good about this film and watching it last week I was certainly not disappointed. The Dark Knight Returns was especially an impressive animated film from a technical aspect.

There was a lot of great directorial work displayed. For example, not showing a body shot of Batman till about 8 mins after he appears was genius, showing fight sequences being witnessed in 1st person through the eyes of a spectator through smoke was great. Robin was a high light for me, and I'm interested in seeing more of her, hopefully, when I watch Part 2. This could've been an 8, but the third act strayed away from the gothic tone that movie established and felt more straightforward and comical then the rest of it. Others may like that approach, but for me it was enough to knock the movie down a few points. It was still a great animated film.

Verdict: 7/10

Deadpool

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I watched Deadpool again since reviewing it and I liked it less. That said, I still enjoy it. Deadpool was a blast. It mostly suffered from a loss of potential, but that didn't prevent it from being an action-packed, hilarious movie with a passionate performance from Ryan Reynolds and hard hitting action sequences. The fourth wall breaking in this movie is beautiful. The filmmakers and cast really put a ton of passion into this film and they deserve all of the box-office and praise they've got (highest grossing R-rated film of all time). I don't mean to call it amazing, but it was a breath of fresh air and they achieved everything they set out to.

I'm tempted to rate this film lower but it was one of the best movie-going experiences I've had in my life. I loved every minute of this movie and saw it w/ my closest friend. Every time I think about this movie I get all nostalgic and emotional, therefore it holds a special place in my heart and I'm obligated to rate it higher. It's still a blast of a film. Verdict: 7.5/10

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice

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Watched this in Easter Holidays and had a blast. As someone who wasn't a huge fan of Man of Steel, this movie was surprisingly great. This movie taught me that the most valuable opinion to me about a movie should be my opinion, as well as motivating my to read comics.

This movie was subject of lazy writing and clunky storytelling that didn't impede by enjoyment of the movie, but did hurt my artistic appreciation for it. Zack Snyder is a great visual director and there are roughly 40+ minutes of fantastic action at showcase here, as well as beautiful cinematography. I still don't think Snyder understands subtlety, undertone, and nuance, but I enjoy the way in which he builds up scenes more then a lot of other directors at work today. I watch him for his style more then his substance.

That said, the movie brought themes to the table which I did enjoy. The actors, particularly Ben Affleck, delivered, and there was a surprising amount of effective dialogue in the movie: "If god is all powerful, then he cannot be all good. And if god is all good, then he cannot be all powerful."

Verdict: 7.5/10

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X-Men Movies: Best to Worst

Hello readers and true believers. Surprisingly, I'm more excited for Apocalypse then Civil War. I know it'll change as Civil War nears, but I'm geared into X-Men hype mode at the moment. Admittedly, the marketing for Apocalypse has been... underwhelming. But it feels good to know that the final product as a whole will be solid.

The X-Men franchise has unfortunately been overshadowed in the realm of superhero movies. I mean, we've been so focused on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Warner Bros and hell, Sony before the "rights went back to Marvel", that we sometimes forget to appreciate a great (and often not great) franchise.

No more moments to waste. Here we go.

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Famke Janssen brought the only great plot to this movie. The same cannot be said for all the other plot points.
Famke Janssen brought the only great plot to this movie. The same cannot be said for all the other plot points.

8. X-Men: The Last Stand to be honest with you, I don't remember this movie. I've forgotten almost all of it. But what I remember about it is enough to earn it eighth and worst on this list: that it is painful to sit through. I don't want to sit through it again. I haven't watched it for years, but when I watched it all those years ago, it scarred me enough (frankly, for life) that I do not want to visit the film again: for life. That's without getting into the character murders (and the murder of the franchise for what it's worth). I'm the Juggernaut, Bitch! shudders

The War montage was the best thing about the movie. But at least this movie has a redeeming quality that isn't Famke Janssen's plot points.
The War montage was the best thing about the movie. But at least this movie has a redeeming quality that isn't Famke Janssen's plot points.

7. X-Men Origins: Wolverine no fronting. You entered this blog expecting The Last Stand and X-Men Origins to be in the bottom two. X-Men Origins: Wolverine is yet another tragedy in the franchise, albeit to a lesser degree. But really, asking me which one I'd rather watch is like asking me if I'd rather be decapitated or burnt to death.

This movie introduced me to the Statue of Liberty
This movie introduced me to the Statue of Liberty

6. X-Men OK, we're at the point where we are past the stinkers. This is an influential movie in that I appreciate that it revived the sub genre after Joel Schumacher's toy commercial (sorry Sam Raimi, no credit to to you). It introduced us to the iconic X-Men cast: Jackman, Stewart, McKellen... um... that awful love triangle guy from Superman Returns. In all seriousness, Rebecca Romijn was a badass Mystique. I hope Jennifer Lawrence's performance in Apocalypse lives up to it. By modern superhero standards, this film is bland, which makes it difficult to regularly re watch. I still appreciate the effort put into the practical effects.

The third act degenerated into formulaic territory and it hurt the film. The rest of the film is solid.
The third act degenerated into formulaic territory and it hurt the film. The rest of the film is solid.

5. The Wolverine is an underrated, overlooked film. There are two primary factors that make this film a success to me. I don't mean a masterpiece, but an entertaining, and at most unique, film to watch. The Japan setting, which set it apart from all other superhero movies. I mean, has there been a decent comic book flick set in Japan? I think not.

And above all, Jackman's performance. This is when IMO, Jackman peaked. Before this, I couldn't help but feel he held back. I can't blame him. He didn't come to form yet. But he carried the hell out of this movie. I enjoy the thematic depth presented here. If you haven't watched this movie, or forgotten it, then watch it.

But no Stan Lee? I take it he doesn't like us Aussies.

The movie had bloody, hard hitting action too.
The movie had bloody, hard hitting action too.

4. Deadpool I had a blast watching this movie in theatres. I watched it with a friend on February the 11th and it was potentially the most entertainment I've gotten from theatres. This movie was hysterical. I laughed on multiple occasions every minute of the movie. I mean, this film lives or dies on the comedy aspect. And the comedy wouldn't have worked effectively if not for Ryan Reynolds's performance. I've heard people compare him to Robert Downey Jr. I stand besides them. This movie had blood, violence, sex, humour, medical horror, topped off with a great romance story. Y'know, the Valentine's Day marketing is not far from the final product. Great entertainment.

Rebecca Romijn was the most badass mofo.
Rebecca Romijn was the most badass mofo.

3. X2: United is a movie that had stood the test of times. That is primarily as a result of the bar scene. No, seriously, it has aged very well. The set pieces still excite me and get my blood pumping.

I mean, that Nightcrawler sequence O.o the film benefits from character development and separate character arcs. Mystique is bae.

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2. X-Men: First Class I admit, I slept in the theatres watching this movie. Don't know if it's the movie's fault or my sleeping cycle, but I slept. That said, I watched it multiple times since then & appreciate it more the more I watch it.

Matthew Vaughn is a great director and brought his signature style, and substance, to this movie. James McVoy and Michael Fassbender made their way into my Top 10 favourite comic book movie castings. Jennifer Lawrence was actually good in this movie.

It had a lot of great and emotional scenes: for example, the bar scene w/ Fassbender owning those bastards. That opening scene. Magneto remembering his mother. The final 10 minutes - munis that cheesy Magneto reveal - it's still tragic witnessing McVoy lose his legs. Great standalone movie, & credit for telling a story we already know the destination to and still doing it so well.

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You'll never guess no. 1. OK, you probably guessed it.

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1. X-Men: Days of Future Past

Fantastic movie. Fantastic action sequences that blow most other superhero movies out of the water.

Some of the best acting put to screen in a superhero movie.

Emotional weight to the characters, real stakes.

Character development.

Inspiring score.

I prefer my number 1's in my blog's to be simple and I will put it simply by saying this is one of the best superhero films of the decade. Not just a great superhero film, but fantastic standalone film.

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