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494

Review: Civil War, Dawn of Justice, and Apocalypse Trailers

Culture, Fail, Reviews, Videos

December 14, 2015

Ho-hum. Another day, another trailer.

That looks like something. There’s people in in that resemble the X-Men, certainly. When you talk to people that liked the recent x-movies, though, the thing they mention is the complexity of the relationship between Charles and Erik. Does it look like there’s much of that here?

No, there’s some blue thing who is doing… something? Something bad, maybe? There’s a lot of sparkle and jingle-jangle, like keys being dangled before a toddler, but after the initial wow dies down – the second the trailer ends – everything about the trailer is gone. It’s forgettable, interchangeable with any of a dozen other trailers.

Like, say, this one:

You know, I’m going to go out on a limb: Ben Affleck’s take on Batman looks interesting. I think he’s going to pull that character off, and I’d be interested in seeing his movie, preferably before Dawn of Justice, but DC Comics is playing catch-up to Marvel and instead of taking their time to craft a story using their incredible backlog of characters, they’re just going to jam everyone into one movie like throwing shit at a wall and hoping that something sticks.

The problem with this approach is that it relies on spectacle rather than substance, and spectacle is increasingly meaningless on it’s own – effect based movies have become increasingly boring because every movie has special effects, and so the only thing to set one movie apart from the others is the characters within those movies.

It’s funny that character driven movies, which fell out of favor because of spectacle, are now making a comeback due to the super-saturation of spectacle.

And that’s why we’re excited for this movie:

Yes, the Black Panther looks awesome for those of that know who he is, but every beat in that trailer is character based. Cap, Bucky, Falcon, Natasha, Iron Man. We care about everything in this trailer because of who these people are and what they mean to one another. They have a mythos behind them, history, so everything they say and do is given weight.

X-Men Apocalypse could have focused on the strained ties between Charles, Erik, and Raven as they deal with one another and a new threat, but instead we get what looks like a confused mangled mess. Dawn of Justice could have focused on the fallout from Man of Steel resulting in Batman and a panicked response from the world, but instead we get what looks like a rushed outline that will cram too much style with too little substance.

Civil War hits a perfect median by having every bit of spectacle be character based.

It’s a difference born of different philosophies of movie making. Fox and DC Comics are making superhero movies, whereas Marvel is making good movies that just happen to have superheroes in them. It’s a design choice that informs everything all three of those studios do, and it’s made all the more frustrating when it comes to DC Comics because of how good Arrow and Flash are.

Yes, I’m going to go see all of them in theaters, but by the time they come out on blu-ray I’m only going to remember Civil War, and Civil War is going to be the only one I’m likely to buy. I hope I’m wrong. I hope Dawn of Justice and X-Men Apocalypse buck the expectations set by the trailer and give us solid, interesting characters.

I’m just not going to hold my breath.

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562

The AristoChats – Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

Culture, Reviews, Videos

August 24, 2015

Chronological conversations about the Disney Animated Classics, starting with Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.
Hosted by Dale Wentland from TheDcast, and Jenna and Aaron from Nerdcouver.

The AristoChats are and can be found at:

Aaron Golden @lastswann / Living Myth Magazine

Dale Wentland @DaleWentland / The D-Cast

Jenna Táralóm @novavandorwolf / Fighting Dreamers Productions

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1775

Movie Review – Dead Hooker in a Trunk

film, Reviews

April 1, 2015

Dead Hooker in a Trunk.

That’s a hell of an evocative title, especially considering the actual state of the hooker in question, but the events that whirl up around her make this trip worth it. Let us be straight, right from the start: this is very much a b-movie, a passion product shot on no budget but made workable from an inversion of tropes, a completely insane narrative, strong performances, and a short sojourn into madness that viewers may not recover from.

(more…)

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2288

Deadpool The Movie: A Tale of Ressurection

Opinion, Showcase, The Truth

April 1, 2015

If you spent even ten seconds on either Facebook or Twitter today, you were probably inundated by a series of reposts about Ryan Reynolds’ tease of the new Deadpool costume. Sexy as all hell, am I right? Of course I am. This has caused a lot of talk about the production and I figured it might be a great opportunity to go over how we got here. Deadpool has had one of the most treacherous transitions to film of any of the upcoming comic-themed productions to date.

(more…)

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1969

Bi-Monthly B-Movie: Orc Wars and Ninja Shadow of a Tear

film, Reviews, Showcase

March 25, 2015

Welcome to Bi-Monthly B-Movie, an article where we look at the very best of the very worst movies we can get our grubby paws on. We’re aiming for the sorts of things made by studios you’ve never heard of, and starring people you don’t want to. Why are we looking at these films? They’re fun to heckle. Just ask the Gentleman Hecklers, who are professionals. For those looking for a more amateur experience, or some light (very light) entertainment, these are the very best in quality.

Ranking comes in five categories, but they’re a little skewed because these movies are never good. Never, ever, good. Well, rarely. Still, acting, direction, sound design, script, and entertainment are things that these movies presumably have, so we figure they’ll be noted using a single symbol that can be broken into four pieces, like so: LMM Tree of Life One Quarter,  LMM Tree of Life HalfLMM Tree of Life Three Quarters, and LMM Tree of Life.

We’ll provide links to Amazon for these movies. We’ll also misquote some things we heard in these movies. Feel free to reply with your own quotes should you suffer through these films. We’ll pick a winner every couple weeks, and send you an e-prize.

Everyone on board? Cool.

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2525

Pixels vs. Wreck-It Ralph, or Story Before Reference

Opinion, Showcase, The Truth

March 18, 2015

When it comes to Video Game movies, there are basically two categories: movies based on video game franchises (Tomb Raider, Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, Super Mario Bros.) and movies that are ABOUT video games (The Wizard, Wreck-It Ralph, Tron). The most recent iteration, in the latter category, is the upcoming Pixels, a comedy/adventure featuring the acting talents of Adam Sandler, Josh Gad, Kevin James, and Peter Dinklage.

(more…)

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1185

CHAPPiE [Movie Review]

Reviews

March 9, 2015

Last week we finally saw the release of Neill Blomkamp’s third feature film, a spiritual successor to the 1986 classic Short Circuit. Chappie is all about the development of the world’s first true AI, a robot that can think for itself, express itself through art, and most importantly learn.

(more…)

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1401

Kingsman: The Secret Service [Review]

film, Reviews

February 13, 2015

In the last two weeks I’ve seen Kingsman: The Secret Service twice. I’ve also written roughly five drafts of reviews for it, too. Why so many, and why has only one ever made it on to the site? Well, because Kingsman is a GD overload.

(more…)

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919

An Ode to Kevin Feige

Opinion, Showcase, The Truth

February 12, 2015

Kevin Feige has been accepted into my heart as my own personal lord and savior, and with the events of the last couple of days it seems a good time to suggest that the geek-community at large do the same. For the last 15 years, Feige has been working behind the scenes of every last Marvel movie property for a series of different production houses to try and shape current comic book movies into what we know them as today. This has resulted in massive box office successes with respect for their original fans and the ability to branch out to a new generation of potential nerds.

(more…)

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657

You Hate the Ghostbusters Reboot for the Wrong Reason

The Truth

February 3, 2015

In terms of trivial movie information setting the world on fire, the Ghostbuster’s reboot represents the second blunder this week that I have to discuss with the internet at large. The net’s majority seems to be, in my opinion, lost on what makes a good or bad movie. It seems to have forgotten that it doesn’t matter what the ‘gimmick’ is, but what the story and purpose of the movie actually is.ghostbusters

If you follow any movie news blogs/sites/Facebook pages or Twitter feeds you probably heard about the forthcoming Ghostbusters reboot featuring an all-female cast. For those that haven’t managed to be inundated with the news already, it looks like this: Ghostbusters is officially getting the phoenix-treatment with Paul Feig heading up the project to bring together a female cast of Ghostbusters, now confirmed as: Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon.

Upon the announcement of the cast, and date (July 22, 2016) the internet exploded.

Of course that’s predictable, it explodes every day for a variety of reasons both legitimate and less so. However, what was surprising was the reason and scope of the explosion. Fans were upset about the casting for a variety of reasons ranging from blatant sexism to disapproval of a potential SNL/Bridesmaids reunion.

Somehow in the mess of all the casting news (which I honestly don’t care about), people ignored the small bits of information that Feig gave us with regards to the plot and tone of the film. Why? When in the hell did we start, as a collective, not caring about the script so much as the actors?

Haven’t we been shown, on multiple occasions, that people we would have NEVER assumed had a range, managed to dig deep and find it thanks to a particularly brilliant script or director? Not to say that’s the thing I want to talk about where Ghostbusters is concerned either though… I’m certainly not going to leave you thinking that ‘brilliant’ is the idea left in my head when reading the brief information provided about the tone the new Ghostbusters is going for.

“Dark,” “Scary,” and having “Nothing to do with the original” were all key phases used to “sell” the direction of the new film (now scheduled for just slightly over a year away).

…What?

Never mind that I’ve already unleashed my thoughts about “dark and gritty” re-dos of existing franchises on the internet, you don’t want to have anything at all in common with the original (insanely successful) film series?

Where is the logic in that? Actively seeking to remove yourself from the original story and tone of the Ghostbusters makes this feel like an endeavour that probably could (and should) have been done under its own branding. There’s no reason a paranormal capture/extermination team couldn’t exist and NOT be the Ghostbusters, is there?

I’d happily have let Paul Feig create a Frightener’s-esque storyline with the cast he’s choosen, and maybe even enjoyed it! But if you’re taking something beloved by so, so many fans… taking that branding power and lineage and actively saying “Naaaah, I don’t want anything to do with the actual film itself I just want the name/logo” then screw you specifically.

Look, no camp is “right” in this debate. Not yet. All we have is a date, a cast, and two lines of concept for the tone of the film. Until we get a bit more information it’s impossible to say this is going to be a good or bad take on the franchise and characters. With that being said, when all you have to go on is the person in charge saying they want to avoid the tropes of the first films, it becomes enough to raise a red flag in my mind.

That’s what we should have been talking about, not the quality or sex of the damned cast.

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