Just Pillow Talk’s Marvel Movie Mayhem continues with a 2 for 1 special!

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Exactly what the title says. This time our intrepid reviewer has decided to take on 2 of the recent and shitty comic book adaptations being nut rubbed by the nerds, met with indifference by the general public while boring the arse off me.

Sadly, they’re not Ghost Rider 2. Although I am deeply troubled by his worrying Ex-Mrs. Martin obsession. Still, she seems to have had a conscious uncoupling from the Iron Man films now, so he’ll have to watch her try to act to get his fix.

Apologies for the late posting of this, I’ve had it for a while, but been buried under real life stuff. Nevertheless, Take it away Pillows…

2 for 1 Special!
Thor 2 & Iron Man 3

Early in my career at my current employer, there was a high turnover rate in my department. During that time, one of the contractors that passed through was named Beth. Beth the horse lady. Beth, in case you didn’t guess, loved horses. Alas for Beth, though she loved to ride them, she couldn’t stay in the damn saddle. Beth fell off and smashed her jaw. But did Beth let that one fall stop her? Hell no. She got back on that horse and fucked up her jaw again by falling. Me and Beth…we’re the same. Hence, more of these God forsaken Marvel reviews.

Thor2 cover
Thor 2 aka Thor: The Dark World

We begin our continuing adventures of Thor in the past, with a battle between the Asgardians and some Elves, who I guess are worse that watching Bloom act as an elf. Odin’s father defeats those dastardly elves, but alas their leader Melvin (begins with M, fuck knows what his real name is and I get be bothered to look it up) and some of his other cohorts escape. They have some powerful weapon that shoots shitty red CGI at people which is locked away. Fast forward to present day, which is two years after Thor first made his appearance with Jane (Natalie Portman reprising her role, with even less interest this go-around), and Thor is busy cleaning up the Nine realms. Now, I saw this film a while ago (delaying the inevitable review), but I believe it’s because that bridge was destroyed in the first film that chaos has reigned across the universe. I could be completely wrong on this.

Thor never enjoyed his visit to the doctors

Thor never enjoyed his visit to the doctors

Jane ends up discovering the bad red CGI thingy and gets infected, charging herself with power. Thor, with help from Prometheus captain, zips over to Earth to locate Jane after she goes missing after slipping into another dimension. After Jane displays some power that clearly she didn’t have before, Thor decides to bring back to Asgard to have his peeps take a look at her and hopefully make her better. Odin is not happy with that decision, and even less so when Melvin tracks down Jane and the power source to Asgard and attacks, killing Thor’s mom in the process.

He tried to destroy the world. Twice.  And all he gets is community service.

He tried to destroy the world. Twice.
And all he gets is community service.

Thor decides, against Odin’s wishes, to take Jane away from Asgard to lure Melvin as bait. The kicker is that Thor ends up needing Loki’s help to defeat Melvin, who has been locked up for bringing those aliens to Earth. I’m not sure why they want to lock him up because he’s one of the two only interesting characters in this damn movie (Thor being the other). Suffice to say, we go through the motions of yet another uninteresting bad guy doing his thing before being beaten at the end by our good guy. Of course, there never really seems to be a real threat. That seems to be a common thread in these Marvel movies: the lack of any dramatic tension. Unlike the Batman flicks, which I think succeeded quite well in creating tension, this movie just runs through the motions.

No idea. Sorry.

No idea. Sorry.

The only time I really dug this movie was when Thor and Loki busted out from Asgard to take as their interaction is by far the best thing. I do have to give some props to Rene Russo, who actually had a cool little part. Anthony Hopkins reprises his role as Odin, and he is, frankly, horrible. He clearly had no interest in being part of this movie and it shows. I was taken aback on his mono-toned, disinterested monologue talking about Melvin. Thor’s gang of warriors are back and are equally worthless. Bonus: we get horrific comedy from Jane’s partners in crime, Darcy (Kat Dennings) and Erik (Stellan Starsgard, who is without pants for much of the proceedings). What these Marvel movies have a hard time getting right are the villains. They are vanilla, whose plans are shit and character development are even worse. As a result, our heroes never feel like they are really threatened, nor does it seem like a real struggle for them to overcome the villains’ plans. As I type this, a real comic book movie is on, Batman Begins. The acting, characters, tension, are all far superior. Sure, Thor 2 has some decent action, but there’s no oomph behind it. All of it seems like going through the motions.

Shocking, but I could not recommend this movie. Besides Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston, the rest of the cast is little more than taking up space. The action, while slightly better than the original, is offset by some poor acting and horrible “comedy”. I am being overly generous and giving it one Legolas head out of four.

1

It’s only because of Iron Man 3 that this seems better than it is.

Iron Man 3

Irom man 3 poster
Sigh. RDJ is back as the now dancing, calling little kids who help you a pussy, hardly in his armor, Tony Stark aka Iron Man. Seems Tony has trouble sleeping and gets these little panic attacks thanks to that Alien business from Avengers. To get his mind off of it, he’s been building some new suits. Meanwhile Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) has a meeting with Guy Pierce who wants some funding for some project. She rejects him and Happy (Jon Favreau) doesn’t like the looks of him or his lackey who accompanied him. Happy ends up tracking the lackey to a meeting with some other dude where a brief case is exchanged. Things happen, dude turns all red lava like and he blows up, severely injuring Happy. Turns out there is some link to the Mandarin, a terrorist who is threatening the U.S. That pisses off Tony and on camera, gives his home address and challenges the Mandarin. We all know that the Mandarin would have never been able to find out where Tony Stark lives if he didn’t give out his address on TV. Well, Tony gets attacked and his house gets blown up and he gets tossed into the sea. Everyone thinks he’s dead, but he manages to escape.

Pepper on the receiving end of some head. Yeah, I went there.

Pepper on the receiving end of some head.
Yeah, I went there.

This leads him to Tennessee (at least run on the checkered end zone if you have to be there) to track down a lead of a potential lava man. His new armor isn’t quite up to par, so he’s got to lug it to a place where some kid lives, and comedic banter ensues including calling the kid a pussy as mentioned before. This is constitutes a Marvel hero? Whatever. At the end of the day, Iron Men prevails over Guy and his lava group of henchmen. Yup, Iron Men. All 383 suits that Tony created converge in the finale to find the bad guys. See, Tony is hardly ever in the damn suit. Gwyneth is in the suit nearly as much as Tony. Well, that’s not true, but the fact that she’s even in the suit is beyond stupid.

I'm a bit worried about Pillow's Burgeoning Paltrow fixation

I’m a bit worried about Pillow’s Burgeoning Paltrow fixation

This movie sucks. A lot. It boils down to a couple of things. One, Robert Downey Jr. is crap in this. See, he was good in the first one, but now by the third, it’s a mockery of what a hero should be. He quite simply is a douche bag to everyone, supposedly in a funny way. If he was going to be a douche bag, why not go the route of the comics and have him be an alcoholic? That would be a natural progression considering the events of the Avengers that are still haunting him, and would enable a good character arc transforming him to hero again. Of course, there are no serious themes in these Marvel movies, so why am I even bothering? Second, having a kid in this movie, in most action type movies, is a grand mistake. The interaction between them, meant to be funny, is not. Third, yet again we have a boring villain. There never seems to be any menace, nothing of substance to either the character itself or the acting. I tend to think it’s really the writing that lets all these actors down. Fourth, when Tony Stark is an asshole, why the hell do I want to see more of him than Iron Man? Mistake.

Kids in action movies. Never shit. Never.

Kids in action movies. Never shit. Never.

The action itself was fine, if hollow, because of the lack of giving two shits about what would happen to any character. I mean, when Pepper falls I’m thinking, lucky you for getting your ass out of this quickly turned to shit series. But they can’t even follow through on that. Happy being in a coma…who cares. And I haven’t even mentioned the character/performance of Ben Kingsley. For the love of Belgian beer, what the hell was that? If I remember correctly, the Mandarin was a serious foe for Iron Man, and to turn him into….that? I just shake my head at this movie. RDJ and Iron Man…I am so done with you. So is Gwyneth.

Gwyneth knew she'd made a mistake turning her vibrator up to 11

Gwyneth knew she’d made a mistake turning her vibrator up to 11

Of course until Avengers 2 that is. Curse you. I give this ½ zifandel bottle out of four. I fucking hate zifandel and GR2 has got to be much worse than this.

half

I apologize for the shortness of these reviews, but these movies are soulless steaming piles of donkey poop.

Pillow out.

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About Jarv

Workshy cynic, given to posting reams of nonsense on the internet and watching films that have inexplicably got a piss poor reputation.

122 responses to “Just Pillow Talk’s Marvel Movie Mayhem continues with a 2 for 1 special!”

  1. Jarv says :

    Thought Thor 2 wasn’t so bad on first viewing. But I’ve gone off it since. Iron Man 3 was shit.

  2. Jarv says :

    Again, apologies about the delay in this. Kids and whatnot, and thanks to Pillows for bravely battling on.

  3. tombando says :

    I liked both actually, Thor 2 is an extended sitcom episode while IM 3 was entertaining despite kid and Kingsley silliness.

    Preferred both to Bats Beguine, too-sadly.

  4. Xiphos0311 says :

    Batman Begins is also a terrible movie.

    Iron Man 3 is so very meh

    Never bothered with Thor.

  5. Judge Droid says :

    Thor 2 was (again) carried by Hemsworth and Hiddleston. To be honest I’ve forgotten most of it already.

    Iron Man 3 sucks. Better than 2 though. But Downey Jr is so very clearly over playing the character. Like Evans as Cap, neither want to be there and it shows in their performances.

    One of the things I liked about Spidey 2 is that, even though Electro was a crap villain with dumb, muddled motivations for villainy, the action scenes created some pretty decent tension and a sense of danger. And hey, at least Electro made an impression. I can’t for the life of me picture the villain in Thor 2.

    Onwards (but not necessarily upwards) Pillows the Marvel Bastard.

    • tombando says :

      Baddie in Thor Too looked like George Washington

    • Jarv says :

      I can’t remember the villain in Thor 2 either. Probably because he was just one of millions of identikit “Dark Elves” (shit idea anyway). It honestly felt like it should have been a hellboy movie.

      • Jarv says :

        I also don’t think Thor 2 is that bad. It’s basically a run of the mill Marvel movie. Is it good? No. Is it worse than any version of Hulk, Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3, Crap, any X-film you want, any Spidey you want. And so on.

        It’s the definition of anodyne disposable cinema.

    • Just Pillow Talk says :

      Spidey 2 is so much better than either of these, from depth of characters (not Spidey villains, whose motivations are always rushed) to action.

  6. Continentalop says :

    I 100% agree with your reviews, Pillow. When I get home from the beach I have some serious venting/bitching about these two POS.

    Also, I think BB is overrated. But compared to these two turds it is a masterpiece.

    • Jarv says :

      I actually think BB is a bit underrated, to be honest. It doesn’t get anywhere near the love that the other 2 get (which are definitely overrated)- it’s almost like it gets forgotten in comparison.

      I like all three of them, but they ain’t perfect.

    • Just Pillow Talk says :

      They are horrible films, and pale in comparison to the first films in each series. The first films are nothing special, but at least were fun films. These are a chore to get through.

      • Continentalop says :

        The reason the first films in any Marvel series is the best is because there is change. After that every one of the movies only has the “illusion of change.” It’s like early comics where things changed versus modern comics where they just appeared to change, or every 12-24 issues they reverted back to the status quo.

        IM 1 and THOR are about self-centered assholes who start out on the path of being true heroes. IM2 & 3 and THOR 2 are about noble heroes who have shit happen to them and at the end of the film are back to being noble heroes waiting for their next adventure. They are episodes in a sitcom – you could skip one episode and it wouldn’t matter because it would be the same character at the beginning of the next one as he was at the end of the first movie.

        NOTE: I haven’t see THE WINTER SOLDIER, and that seems to be the only sequel where thing truly change, but if you look at it CAP TOO is the origin movie of Cap in the modern era, so lets see if from now on how he is at the end of that movie is now the status quo or if they’ll shake it up every movie or not.

      • Judge Droid says :

        Crap is still very much Crap at the end of Crap 2. A personality free boy scout. Some of the world around Crap has changed.

        The biggest change Marvel will make will come in a few years when they rotate Chris Evans out of the role and the dude who plays Bucky in. Because Evans only has 2 movies left on his contract and the Bucky dude has about 7. It won’t make a difference because Bucky’s a shit character too.

  7. ThereWolf says :

    Nice one, Pillow.

    Haven’t seen Thor 2 (or Cap 2). Watched Iron Man 3 the other night; I was neither happy nor sad during the 2 hours. It was there then it was gone. I recall thinking, ‘what a waste of suits’ at the finale.

    Generally I haven’t got anything against these ‘Avengers’ films. I’ve quite enjoyed most of them. The ‘Hulk’ ones could’ve been better.

  8. Continentalop says :

    I forgot to mention how much I hate the Mandarin in this movie. SPOILERS coming:

    What annoys me most is I was looking forward to Kingsley’s interpretation of the character. The idea he was maybe an ex-SHIELD agent who went “down river and never came back” like Col. Kurtz from APOCALYPSE NOW seemed interesting, but no, they make him into just a joke. And maybe I could have handled the joke/twist if the real villain was interesting but as much as I like Guy Pierce, his character was a boring cliche. He hates Stark because he pulled a prank on him – it’s NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CLASS REUNION all over again (and the desire for revenge in that film actually made more sense).

    Another thing that annoys me about the neutering of the Mandarin was that this is the third time that IM has faced stand-ins for terrorism but the real villain is a big corporation. In IM1 Stane was a much bigger danger than the 10 Rings, and he also was the one who outfitted them. In IM2 Justin Hammer might have been an incompetent idiot, but it was him breaking Rourke out of prison and supplying him with equipment that lead to all the problems. And in IM3, the Mandarin is just some actor so Guy Pierce can sell more weapons on the backs of a fictitious terrorist threat.

    The big problem I have with that is, besides being done three times in a row, is that it ignores a real problem – terrorist and fundamentalist. The Mandarin could have been a stand in for those types of guys, just like the Joker and League of Shadows were over in the Batman franchise – and the thing is, despite whatShane Black thinks those guys are the threat to us and the world. Just look at ISIS. And the Mandarin could have been a perfect stand in/surrogate for those types of nut jobs (without even being anti-islamic).

    Fuck Marvel and Shane Black.

    • Just Pillow Talk says :

      I have to agree, there’s no serious threat with an agenda that is earth shattering. And what they did to the Mandarin….I still don’t get how they possibly thought that was a good idea.

      But to do what you say, Marvel would have to lay down some issues, which clearly they want no part of.

      • Continentalop says :

        Well as bad as the Mandarin & Killian were, they were way better than fucking Malekith the Accursed. In the comics he’s great because of the plot/saga he was part of, but in this movie he was just a token bad guy, as much a cliche as a guy wearing a black hat in an old Western serial.

      • Just Pillow Talk says :

        So was the Red Skull.

      • Echo the Bunnyman says :

        Funny bit about the horse lady there in the beginning, Pillows. Did she really land on her jaw twice?

        I have no real strong feelings about either of these movies, but I agree they are failures, and worse, largely boring. The common thread; none of these movies is really telling a cohesive story, as much as they are flitting between outlined events that could eventually become a story.

        Iron Man 3 is the biggest mess, because it barely seems to consider the implications of whatever happened before (not in the previous films, but in the twenty or thirty minutes prior of the same movie). Pulling out the suits at the end is all well and good, but where were they when he was under threat of having his home bombed to smithereens? Downey’s Iron Man is just a placeholder by this point; nothing of consequence that would have any impact on any future movies happens here.

        Thor is mostly the same problem, and it’s aggravating because they work towards setting up the main gist of the film—an uneasy team-up between Thor and Loki—and then proceed to completely waste it on a rushed escape, about ten minutes of plucking about an ugly alien world, and then some useless, easy-to-see-through “about-face”, all of which occurs about halfway through the film. I felt like I was watching Star Trek: Generations for a moment. Also, knowing it’s Chris Eccleston (who I happen to like) as Malekith is as disappointing as finding it’s Lee Pace under all that makeup as Ronan the Accusor. Why hire interesting actors if you are just going to hide them from sight?

      • Just Pillow Talk says :

        Yup, it was a nuthouse here. We also had a dude who claimed he played against Patrick Ewing in college, which was promptly proved false. IT manager and CFO secretary cheating on their significant others, who would get into rip roaring fights, including thrown telephones and the like.

        Good times.

        Iron man is a complete waste at this point, and Marvel flicks will never pursue a potential lay interesting bit like Thor/Loki dynamic. Touch on it and move on.

      • Continentalop says :

        Yeah, Red Skull was a complete waste of a good villain. It is like they thought that just having him with a red skull and working for the Germans would just be enough to make him interesting, but he comes across weak and boring.

        I mean, they got rid of the number one thing that makes him a great villain – he is evil, knows it, admits it and relishes in it. The guy loves in being a Nazi, and they have him leave the Nazi party right away and start Hydra. WTF?

        The Red Skull isn’t just some reject from Hogan’s Heroes, he is a villain who totally lives by the idea that any evil action is justifiable. Death camps to exterminate unwanted people? No problem with that, it makes sense to him. Enslavement of other nations? Endorses it. Experimenting on captured civilians? Good idea. Killing non-combatants. including women and children, and using torture? Hey, that is a good policy.

        The Red Skull in the comics was like a combination of Reinhard Heydrich, Joseph Mengele, Oskar Dirlewanger, Fritz Duquesne & Rommel, a strategic genius but also a psychotic,sadistic evil war criminal. I am not saying they had to show him gassing Jews or raping and murdering babies, but c’mon, at least show why Cap would hate him more than any other Nazi and why Göring, Himmler and even Hitler were afraid of him. You know, make him at least as scary as the Illinois Nazis from the Blues Brothers.

    • tombando says :

      Yeah Mandarin is a great character, and they screwed the Pooch by doing this Wizard of Oz routine w/ him. I was not impressed. Kingsley could have played the character to a T straight, and this was a missed opp at least.

  9. Echo the Bunnyman says :

    Spidey 2 kind of pissed me off, which rarely happens with the Marvel movies. I just usually don’t care enough. But I actually let them do their rehash thing with the first—thought it was ok, was hoping it was the groundwork for something promising—and started this one with hope. Garfield nails the Spidey character, the first action scene is just enough like a Saturday morning cartoon to be fun, while Webb transitions to some well-captured teen drama that balances it out. Raimi’s movies never had that balance.

    The Peter Parker/Gwen Stacy stuff is quite good, and it makes you root for him, and want to see him succeed, and I feel like he tries to deal with it the way a real kid would, not some dippy-doo in a superhero movie. The Sally Field scene—‘You were MY boy!”—is probably the most realistically emotional and honest moment in any of the Marvel movies to date. There’s a climactic scene that should totally kill—it’s handled very boldly for this sort of thing—but it feels mismanaged by the stuff around it.

    Because what sucks for me is everything involving the villains and most of their action scenes. Droid, you mentioned tension, but that was the one thing that was totally missing (for me) from the second Electro fight and the battle with the Green Goblin. I honestly felt like I was watching a PS3 game being played—especially the pinball Spidey bit where he’s used to play ‘Itsy Bitsy Spider’. Electro’s motivation was stolen almost directly from The Riddler in Batman Forever, and the Hary Osbourne stuff was tremendously clunky. I get Pete’s reservations about the blood, but his relationship with Harry rings false at the same time that his one with Gwen feels real. The only scene that kind of works is when Harry recruits Max—that should have been the crux to inform their motivations, one is dying and needs a miracle—or a God—to help him, and the other wants to be relevant and needed, to reverse the flow of the powerful crushing the powerless. Instead, it’s just a throw-away.

    The Goblin was visually horrendous and the action looked pretty phony, even by these overly CGI standards. They went from ticked-off Power Ranger to completely embracing the Raimi homages to the Wicked Witch of the West. That showdown was so generic that it totally spoils the big scene that follows it. The parent stuff was such a movie-killer—not just the unwanted, and frankly too-dark-for-kids, opening—but the fifteen minute random departure in the middle of the movie that literally impacted nothing in this film and only served to set-up stuff that might happen in a third. I didn’t even know there was a graveside return for Dad, but it doesn’t surprise me.

    • Just Pillow Talk says :

      Completely agree with last paragraph, but compared to all the Marvel studio stuff, at least this did have emotional weight, uneven and all.

      • Echo the Bunnyman says :

        This and Godzilla were the disappointing one-two punch at the start of the summer. They are both some of the only characters I have anything approaching affectionate nostalgia for in the ‘geek’ world of franchises, and both seemed to really nail it in the first thirty minutes.

        I was sitting back thinking, finally Spidey is Spidey and the human stuff looks good too! and with Godzilla, that opening, and Cranston doing his Close Encounters schtick, I thought ‘hey, they finally give Kick Ass someone interesting to play off of, and it’s going to build to a great Godzilla reveal…

        Both movies waste their best moments in ways that are frustrating because they also seem intentional. They could have been two great summer movies. Instead, I thought they were “just OKs” that left a bad aftertaste.

        I actually thought Days of Future Past was a bit better than Spidey, Godzilla and some of the other lackluster summer product.

        It’s not terrific, and has some issues at the script level, but it’s actually well directed and had a few legitimately great moments. It’s my favorite of the X flicks so far, although I know that doesn’t amount to much really.

      • Judge Droid says :

        Godzilla was one giant cock tease. Shit movie.

      • Echo the Bunnyman says :

        I actually liked Godzilla better than Spidey–for similar reasoning that you used on AS2, with the parts i liked I really liked. I didnt mind the slow reveal, but thought they should have only done that bait and switch once–the kid watching tv was fun, but then it should have immediately cut back to the midst of the real battle, to see the devastation and carnage as it was happening. My only real issue with Godzilla is that the useless humans carve a giant hole right into the middle of it. I liked Godzilla, how he was handled, and would have liked more but was mostly happy with the final sequence. I think a lifetime of watching old giant monster movies has probably made me more tolerable of dopey humans standing in the way of the real monster stars.

        I can, though, totally see where you’re coming from. I think if they had found a way to tell a human story, that sense of tease would have been greatly reduced.

      • Judge Droid says :

        An hour of not particularly interesting or involving build up is long enough to make the audience wait for a monster fight. Then to tease that fight the way the movie did just annoyed me. It didn’t make me anticipate the action more or anything like that. It just shitted me off. Then another 45 minutes of really dull character shit, including another tease. By that point it had lost me and it needed one almighty awesome finale to win me back. But the end was mediocre and it was saddled with the obligation of following the monster magnet main character.

        I never thought I’d say this, but Pacific Rim is better. Because it’s unapologetic. It knows it’s garbage aimed at kids and gives them a whole movie of monster vs robot fights. Godzilla just wants to dick tease you for 2 hours.

    • Judge Droid says :

      I was engaged by all the action scenes involving Spidey. Instead of something like Thor 2, where the action scenes (like the finale in London for example) just kind of wash over you with little to capture the imagination, the action scenes in ASM2 (aside from the baffling opening scene ripped straight from The Parker Ultimatum) were engaging, fun, and visually appealing.

      The look of the GG was a bit OTT but the new films have established the more comic booky look of the villains, with the Lizard in the first one. So it didn’t bother me. Unlike the Raimi one’s, which were a dude in a suit fights a dude in a suit for 2 films then all of a sudden alien slime and gamma ray sand monster vs Fred Emo Hitler Astaire.

      The problems I have with ASM2 stem entirely from the script. My assumption is that they started with a script that featured the Parker Sr subplot and Electro as the main (and only) villain. But then the powers that be realised they should be trying to emulate the Marvel money making machine, so they’ve gone over the script and tried to jam in another subplot establishing the wider “universe” of Spiderman characters. But they’ve done this without wanting to lose any of the original script. The new stuff should’ve replaced the Parker Sr subplot. But there would be very little for Peter to do during the film (apart from look mopey) if they lost that. Which is precisely why it feels so overstuffed and clunky.

      I’ve said there’s many issues with the movie. But overall I liked it because what was good, I really liked.

      • Echo the Bunnyman says :

        Ironically, man in a suit–Rhino–is (visually) the least plausible part of ASM2. It wasn’t the implausibility of Goblin that bothered me, it was the way he looked and behaved, just a bit too one-note cartoonish after some attempts to humanize him all movie long. Honestly, the villains came to close to resembling Schumacher style (particularly the crazy goggle-wearing German doctor in the institution. He could have been ported over directly from Batman and Robin.

      • Judge Droid says :

        Heh. I guess I’ve missed the sillier style of funny book movies then. The doc (Martin Csokas is good at playing creepy psychos and nutjobs) was weird but I went with it. As I said, it has problems, but whenever Spidey was on screen I had fun. And it’s been a while since I had any fun with a funny book movie.

    • tombando says :

      I basically loathed this movie the more I think of it. Sure Spidey and Blondie are good, sure the rhino bookends were kinda fun, but holy cats—! Electro was a poo poo and rote, Gobby Jr was worse, like I said google ‘Ratso and Batso’ and you’ll see what I thought of him. If you are going to mine this terrain yet again, DO SOMETHING ORIG w/ it. Gag.

  10. tombando says :

    Didn’t see either Xmen or Apes Too, will remedy that when they are on DVD or whatever this fall. I think both Guardians and the Tom Cruise flick were tops for me this summer. Big Robots Fore was OK but just more of the same, and it really didn’t register.

    How come we don’t see anything ala Patton, Lawrence of Arabia or White Heat being made for the summer now? I like entertaining overpriced junk too, but c’mon. It doesn’t ALL have to be Marvel or DC or Tolkien shite now does it?

  11. Judge Droid says :

    So I have taken binge viewing to gluttenous new levels and finished two seasons of Arrow in just a few weeks. Here are some overall impressions…

    The dude who plays Arrow was a bit weak to begin with, but got better as the show went along and by season two really was quite good in the role. I especially liked him in the flashbacks because he made the character distinctly different to the post-island Oliver.

    I enjoyed the way they set up and/or introduced different characters. Deathstroke was an especially good one.

    I like his little team. Both Digs and Felicity compliment Oliver well. I’m not a big fan of Roy, especially his angry face. Most of the actors are fine.

    This is a really shallow criticism but I find the actress who plays Laurel weird to look at. It’s mainly her neck and jawline. In the first season she had just a tiny bit of chunk about her (not a bad thing), but it all showed in her neck. By the end of the first season she was almost chinless. In the second season someone had obviously discussed this with her, because she’d lost weight which accentuated her jawline, which made her look even weirder. I know. Really fucking shallow. What can I say? I’m a prick.

    The plot of the first season was decent, with the “Undertaking” playing out pretty well. I was wondering if they were going to address Arrow killing so many people throughout the season. It seemed like a hell of a lot. They do in season two. Moira Queen is okay, and Thea is really annoying in the first half of the season but gets mostly sidelined in the second half so becomes less irritating.

    I don’t know anything about the funnybooks, but the show seems to owe a lot to Batman. Just seems very Batman-y.

    SPOILERS OF SEASON 2

    I liked the Sarah stuff, although it initially felt like a bit of a cheat when she was introduced. The way the writers pawn it off with a line from Oliver was pretty weak. But I got over it. It also felt like fanboy pandering to have her in a relationship with Nyssa al Ghul. Gotta chuck in 2 chicks kissing for the 13 year olds.

    Merlyn still being alive and Thea’s father wasn’t that good. At least he wasn’t in it much because that actor is terrible. I liked the Moira stuff, and her story was quite effective. I don’t like Summer Glau at all, and she looked laughable in that stupid mask at the end.

    The few eps that introduced the pre-Flash The Flash were decent enough and the character might be okay. I half expected him to appear in the finale (especially when they said the cure was coming by courier from Central City).

    The showdown between Arrow and Deathstroke was a bit of a let down, especially after the very long, very drawn out set up but overall it was a good season and I’ll look forward to the third season.

    END SPOILERS

  12. tombando says :

    I get that it’d cost a frightening amount to Be David Lean now–no one’s going to do a Zhivago or Lawrence now, but I also think we lost something along the way. Who’s William Wellman or Raoul Walsh today? Please don’t say Cokey. His idea of White Heat would be to cast Kurt Russell, Ken Wahl and Chris Tucker in some combo, ramp up the carnage, have Kurt call everyone Coon and basically piss all over Cagney and everything he stood for.

    And Chris Nolan or Ridley Scott or say Raimi—their stabs at All Quiet on the Western Front or Lawrence…you tell me. CGI desert! Greenscreen Battle of the Somme. The mind gibbers–

    • Judge Droid says :

      Ridley wouldn’t CGI the desert. He’d shoot it in Morocco in the middle of nowhere in searing heat then lens filter the living shit out of it. I’d still watch it though.

      You know what a Raimi western looks like. Although Quick and the Dead is fun.

      Nolan would probably be the closest out of the three you mentioned. But cinema has changed drastically since those days. It was 40-50+ years ago after all. Yes, the vast majority of Hollywood movies these days are shit. You’ll always have those older films so it’s not really something to get too worked up about. I’ve been surprised this year, because I’ve not had the unlimited cinema card so I’ve had to pick and choose what films I’ve gone to see. They have generally been okay to good. No real stinkers apart from Lucy. I’ve avoided nearly all the “blockbusters” apart from Apes 2. And Noah, if you want to call that a blockbuster. But Marvel, Transformers etc, movies I’d normally have seen just because, I’ve thankfully missed.

      • Echo the Bunnyman says :

        Noah would probably be the closest to an old-style movie of the ones mentioned, although Aronofsky took more risks with it than would have been available 40 or 50 years ago. I quite enjoyed it, mostly because it didn’t feel totally compromised or cookie-cutter.

        Scott attempts the big, lavish epic spectacle and sometimes it works. Kingdom of Heaven was more of an older era than it was modern. I am wondering why he decided to remake ‘Prince of Egypt’, but I’ll reserve judgment on that one for now.

        You didn’t like Lucy? The most thoughtful, rigorously researched, scientifically accurate science fiction film of recent memory?

        I’m pretty sure Besson was either on coke the whole movie or intentionally taking the piss. I was baffled by that whole thing.

      • Jarv says :

        I think he was taking the piss. I’ve seen interviews with him that seem to suggest that.

      • Echo the Bunnyman says :

        I actually enjoyed Lucy, but it’s not good at all. It felt like a really weird return-to-form, but only back to the Fifth Element, not to stuff like Leon or Big Blue or Subway. Still, more of the mad Frenchman in that than his other recent stuff.

        It’s a crazy movie. I liked it, but I think I did so because it was so completely ludicrous. When Scar-Jo is on the phone with her mother–while doctors are sewing up her abdomen–telling her that she can “remember what your breast milk tasted like”, I felt like I had jumped the rails into the Twilight Zone.

      • Judge Droid says :

        I just thought it was shit. It was really badly put together. Things like she was taken to the airport. But the next scene is her in some fake looking cell being groped by some dude. So she has to bust out and kill everyone. It’s completely unexplained. I think it’s a really bad movie in nearly every sense.

      • Echo the Bunnyman says :

        I actually thought it was mostly well-handled from a technical perspective, with only the really odd stuff being out of place. Scar Jo gave, what considering everything, was a pretty good performance, especially in the beginning when she’s just the scared girl who’s stumbled into this. That first scene where she meets OldBoy was legitimately suspenseful.

        They didn’t take her to a prison, it was the back of some shady restaurant; I assume it was some holding place until they could get her to the airport. Why they didn’t take her right there is a totally different issue, but when dealing with shady gangster types, who knows. It felt no more haphazard than developments in similar action movies.

        I just liked the sheer nuttiness of it. I’m not arguing it’s not crap, but it was, for me, entertaining crap. Like the scene where she’s on the plane, typing super-fast on two laptops, as if that makes any sense at all, or that the laptop could work faster than its processing power just because you are super-smart and are processing info faster.

      • Judge Droid says :

        I didn’t think she was good at all. It was a really mannered performance, and somewhat unlikeable character. If only because she wasn’t really a character at all.

        The Oldboy intro scene was hammy as shit. I was bored by the movie I must say. The only interest was in how stupid it would get.

      • Judge Droid says :

        I know it wasn’t a prison, but they were holding her in some cell like room. I had gone to the bathroom during the end of the previous scene and asked my mate why she was there and not the airport. He said he didn’t know. They just cut to her in the room.

      • Echo the Bunnyman says :

        There’s a really long scene in there where Morgan Freeman explains the capacity of the human mind and the evolutionary trajectory of life on Earth, and it’s notable for containing not one single piece of anything remotely resembling a scientific fact, and yet it’s presented as if you’re watching Cosmos. All the while, you’re also cross-cutting to Scar-Jo jittering across the ceiling in some kind of super-drug seizure.

      • Jarv says :

        Hehehe.

        That sounds hilarious.

        Incidentally, lovefilm have sent me American Mary with (Canadian) Katherine Isabelle in it. Have you seen it?

      • Jarv says :

        Or rather “Amazon Prime” as they’re now known. I’m going to cancel it, though. It’s shit.

      • Echo the Bunnyman says :

        We’ve got Amazon Prime–only for free shipping, although sometimes they have stuff worth watching on there. That’s how I watched Flash the other day, but mostly, it’s just Netflix-lite.

      • Jarv says :

        Ah, right.

        May as well get it over with tonight. It’s a marginally more appealing option than either nuRobocop or the last airbender.

      • Echo the Bunnyman says :

        Dear lord, don’t touch airbender–if in fact, that’s the shyamalan one. However you acquired it, trust me that you will be richer for just skipping it. It’s easily his worst movie, and these days, that’s really saying something.

        Robocop Redux is just meh.

        You might like Mary, it never tilts over into TP, but thematically it does go down the torture/vengeance route, when I thought the body modification angle was a much stranger, more intriguing path to go. Either way, you get a good Katherine Isabelle performance, and that makes it your best viewing choice out of the three.

      • Jarv says :

        But…

        A man punches a fish in it…

        How is that not funny?

        (Mrs. Jarv put it on the list ages ago, and I never took it off. A bit disappointed they’ve actually sent it)

        It can’t be worse than “Swing Free” or all of lady in the Lake or the Crappening or basically every film he’s made not called unbreakable.

      • Echo the Bunnyman says :

        You are wrong, I’m sorry to say.

        See, that punching the fish thing. It’s not what you think. I imagined him just full-on throat-chopping some sort of massive CGI Frankenfish or something.

        Instead, it’s a regular-sized “spirit’ fish, that if I recall, he puts in a bag, and then punches, but it’s all done so dramatically that you actually miss the humorous reality that he’s, basically, punching a fish.

      • Jarv says :

        Shayalamanamanadingdong is worse than Cokey.

      • Jarv says :

        I imagined him just full-on throat-chopping some sort of massive CGI Frankenfish or something.

        That’s what I was thinking. The I EAT YOUR HEART bit of Frankenfish was fucking hilarious.

      • Echo the Bunnyman says :

        Seriously, they aren’t even in the same zip code. I’m no real Tarantino fan–over here, I’m considered the ‘QT hater’, but he usually makes movies that possess some sort of real authorial stamp and attempts to tell interesting stories. With him, it’s usually that he starts strong and goes off the rails.

        I really liked 2/3rds of Django and Inglorious, but they lost me in the third acts.

        Every Shyamalan movie post Signs (it’s not great, but I still liked parts of it) feels like it was constructed on another planet somewhere, one where they only thing they’ve see for the past sixty years are Outer Limits episodes and Leave it to Beaver.

      • Jarv says :

        one where they only thing they’ve see for the past sixty years are Outer Limits episodes and Leave it to Beaver.

        Fucking loved the Outer Limits. Saw Sci-Fi tried to sort of bring it back with that Masters of Sci Fi thing, but it was pish.

      • Echo the Bunnyman says :

        I love Outer Limits too. The Showtime remake in the 90s actually wasn’t bad either.

        Demon with the Glass Hand, I,Robot, The Zanti Misfits, Soldier….I’m going to go out on a limb and say ‘Outer Limits > Twilight Zone”

      • Jarv says :

        I could be talked into that. A lot of the best ones were the “smaller” character pieces as well- Inconstant Moon and the frankly fucking fantastic Final Exam.

        That’s it. I’m definitely acquiring them when I get home.

      • Jarv says :

        I’m sure there’s a hilarious one with Casper in it as well.

      • Echo the Bunnyman says :

        What I found when revisiting both Zone and Limits–Im not ragging on either, I love them both, and to a lesser, extent, Night Gallery too–is that Zone is the more straightforward and sentimental one, and usually heads for the twisty punch instead of character. That makes sense though, since all but the fourth season of Zone, were half-hour eps. The hour-longs are closer to Limits in attempt, but I still don’t think they achieve as much. Most Zone stories couldn’t support more than a half hour of content.

        Limits, on the other hand, felt like a real stab at making serious or thought-provoking science-fiction stories, and although it was often just as silly as Zone, it had more time to develop character and atmosphere within the hour format.

      • Jarv says :

        I think Limits was at it’s worst when dealing with big out of context problems such as Alien invasions. There was one with Robert Patrick, I think, captured in a war between man and alien species. It was lumbered with really lousy prosthetics, and a twist you could see coming a mile away. Then they tried to redeem it with a shitey “what is it to be human” epitaph that didn’t work.

        But, even then it was still better than almost all tv nowadays. I totally agree with you about the attempt at making proper, thought provoking Sci-Fi.

        What do we have nowadays? Game of fucking Thrones, Battleshit Galactica and fucking V.

      • Echo the Bunnyman says :

        Oh, I was still talking the old series…but yea, the new series was good too, at times. The old Limits had a usually good handle on that context, like ‘Nightmare’, where the alien interrogator is holding that group of soldiers.

        I remember that new Limits did a sequel, a season or two later, to that Patrick episode, continuing the alien war story and somehow finding an even bleaker ending.

      • Jarv says :

        That Patrick episode didn’t work- it was Quality of Mercy.

        I’ve not seen the sequel episode.

        The new Limits reused a hell of a lot of the old ones, and I’ve just discovered Rebecca De Mornay directed some.

        If you can find it, I can’t recommend Final Exam enough- I’ve not seen it in years, but it was fucking incredible. Barely qualified as sci-fi, and had one of the most nihilistic endings ever, but stunningly thought out.

      • Jarv says :

        New. Series 4.

        The premise is a nerd takes a school hostage because he has built a cold fusion bomb, and wants the authorities to execute people that have fucked his life up one by one.

        There’s no flash effects, just really solid character work and a humdinger of an ending.

      • Jarv says :

        Yeah, that’s the one.

        Fucking STUNNING episode. A bit silly (building cold fusion bombs out of easily available household shit), but that was really an excuse to get the main meat of the story going.

      • Echo the Bunnyman says :

        Man, I cannot remember the ending of this now. It’s driving me crazy. I recall the grad student giving some creepy speech about why it is we haven’t found intelligent life on other planets yet, but I don’t recall the final resolution.

        Can you invisotext it, or something?

      • Jarv says :

        Here you go:

        They disarm the bomb with a laser and shoot the kid. This is after he’s given the speech about the inevitability of an invention when a certain set of criteria are made: it’s there waiting to be discovered. The FBI guy talks to him, begging him to explain while he’s dying how he cracked the cold fusion thing. The kid’s answer is “The answer was there all along, you’re asking the right questions but expecting the wrong answer”. It then cuts to a final exam with another grad student frantically scribbling away. He gets up, tells his professor to fuck off and walks out. The professor looks at the paper and the question he was answering is “explain using examples why Cold Fusion isn’t possible”.

        All round superb episode- the premise that humanity was basically fucked because of how easy these things were to build, and the sheer nihilism of the script, coupled with top-draw performances meant they really struck gold on that one.

      • Echo the Bunnyman says :

        ok, so about what I recalled. His speech points out that the reason we never meet an advanced alien society is that at some point in advancement–before we reach faster-than-light travel or something like that–a race discovers how to build these things, and promptly blows themselves to smithereens.

      • Jarv says :

        Yes, that’s the bit. He’s just wildly guessing at that stage though as he’s completely paranoid and gone totally insane.

        It’s the exam at the end that’s the smack in the bollocks, and I like that they never show mushroom clouds going up all over the earth like a lot of series would do now.

      • Jarv says :

        The problem with the new series was that it became obsessed with genetic manipulation- probably because it doesn’t require a lot of effects and is cheap as fuck to do. There were loads of episodes on that.

      • Jarv says :

        looking through the episodes, I’ve been reminded of Mind Over Matter as well, which had Mark Hamill in it. That was a great episode.

      • Jarv says :

        Not to mention “The Sentence” with Niles Crane in the lead. Horrifying episode. Not really “high” Sci-Fi either.

      • Jarv says :

        And Dead Man’s Switch was about repeatedly pressing a button. Except good. Unlike Lost.

      • Echo the Bunnyman says :

        The Sentence was a great episode. I need to find all of these somewhere, and go back through them.

      • Echo the Bunnyman says :

        I’ve been looking at the lists and so far, it’s only the first season and it had all of the following quality eps:

        The Conversion: One of the best ones, and one of the eps directed by DeMornay. She was also in it. Solid stuff.

        Caught in the Act: More fun than good, persay, but it did have Alyssa Milano as a lusty teen who ingested guys after the deed.

        I Robot: a good remake of the old episode, and a better version of Asimov than Yo, Brobot.

        The Message: Larry Drake FTW

        The New Breed: Interesting body horror, very much of its time.

        Dark Matters: Reminds me a lot of an old ep without actually being a remake of one.

        Under the Bed: overlook the shoddy cgi and it’s a pretty cool monster in the bedroom kind of story.

        The Second Soul: Another interesting take on aliens, although ending was kindof out-there.

        Corner of the Eye–I liked this one too, although it was cheesy in some ways.

      • Jarv says :

        Dark Matters is troublesome, because of the whole ghost alien thing.

        Under the Bed is gold. Belongs in the Twilight Zone though.
        I, Robot, The Conversion, The Message, The New Breed are all great episodes.

        I’m doing the same and am up to about half way through season four. So many good ones:

        The Sentence- Machine that simulates jail, but only if you’re guilty. Niles Crane tour de force,
        Mind over Matter- Coma Virtual Reality stuff with a fucker of an ending
        Inconstant Moon- Sentimental episode, brilliant acting and a happy end, which is rare for this series
        From Within- I DUDDITS!!!
        First Anniversary- Depressing
        Stitch in Time: paradox to the max
        Becka Paulson: this is how you do Stephen King
        Dead Man’s Switch- PRESS THE FUCKING BUTTON
        Feasability Study- remake of the original episode. Really good, though
        Re-Generatio- Creepy
        Last Supper- Love this one.
        Final Exam: I think this is the best episode full stop
        The Vaccine: Love this one, too.
        Fear Itself:Good concept, well executed

      • Echo the Bunnyman says :

        All of those are spot on. I love Inconstant Moon, and it’s got Michael Gross!

        Feasability Study is great in both incarnations.

        First Anniversary is notable for having a scene where Clint Howard raves on and on about his smoking hot signifcant other being a terrible, unkissable beast. You will never see that anywhere else.

      • Echo the Bunnyman says :

        From Within was the right way to handle that particular idea, and I’m surprised they pulled it off.

      • Jarv says :

        It’s daft, having a heroic retard, and the parasites are a bit rubbish, but I think the episode works really well.

        The Innobiotics trilogy: Valerie 23, Mary 25 and Resurrection are decent, but Mary 25 is standout brilliant with one hell of a twist in hit.

        Not so sure about Resurrection though.

      • Jarv says :

        The Camp and Paradise 1-2 is OK, if a bit underwhelming in the second episode.

        Balance of Nature is great. Series 4 was really strong.

      • Jarv says :

        Looking through these episodes, what’s striking about almost all of them (Alien fuckmonster possessing Alyssa Milano aside) is that they’re all adult themes, and contain a LOT of complex idea to get across in an hour. Take Series 5, for example. All 3 of the first 3 episodes are really good, but the sheer depth to The Grell is astounding.

        It’s a bit of a hippyish message, but it sure as hell made compelling TV.

      • Jarv says :

        Also, what’s interesting is that the premise of many of them could quite easily translate to feature length.

        Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, for example, isn’t miles away from Inconstant Moon.

      • Echo the Bunnyman says :

        One of my personal favorite sci-fi movies of all time is really just a slightly longer Outer Limits episode: Dark City.

        Of course, I mean in spirit, not an actual remake, although Demon with the Glass Hand does have some of the same mind-bending elements. What’s reminiscent is the mysterious setting, the characterization of the aliens, and the way that some really deep thoughts are pretty much embedded in what’s otherwise pulpy sci-fi.

      • Jarv says :

        Demon is based on a short story.

        that may be why

        this is a fucker to download as well

      • Jarv says :

        Fuck you EU and your pointless IP blocking.

        Still, procured Final Exam, Black Box, In Another Life and Mary 25

        Chuffed

      • Echo the Bunnyman says :

        Nevermind it, I found it and recall it now. Always a fave, it was quite later in the series. The one with the kid and the cold-fusion bombs whose ‘ransom’ terms are that five people he hates be killed or he’s going to set them off. That was an excellent episode, and as you said, minimalist sci-fi. I had no idea the new one ran for seven seasons though.

        The original ran for 2!

      • Echo the Bunnyman says :

        I did see it., and I remember thinking it had potential, but it became sort of nasty and one-note in my opinion. She’s good in it, though.

        I’ve looked at my initial review, and did say this. :

        “As a film, American Mary becomes too flat and aggressive to retain much of its initial power, but Katherine Isabelle was exactly the right choice for Mary, and she’s so committed and at ease in the role that she almost musters the film a recommendation; almost, but not quite. Ever since the edgy Canadian gem Ginger Snaps, where she donned a wolfie snout and wagging tail, Isabelle has been something of an on-again, off-again staple of the genre. Here, she’s playing the monster in another horror film, but her approach is calibrated differently, and we see the idealistic med student, the desperate stripper, and the spurned, broken soul coalescing subtly into one ‘modified’ being. It’s a truly inspired turn that deserves a better script and movie than American Mary, although if there’s anything to take away it’s that both the Soskas and Isabelle have the talent and tenacity necessary to make one.”

      • Echo the Bunnyman says :

        I should add that I recall Kloipy enjoying it, more than I did anyway.

      • Judge Droid says :

        Also intercut with national geographic footage of animals and whatnot. It’s a really shit movie.

      • Judge Droid says :

        Once she started downloading herself into the computer I joked to my mate that she’ll turn into a USB stick of all of the knowledge in the universe. And then… it happened.

      • Echo the Bunnyman says :

        I did the same…and was gob-smacked when it happened, although at that point I was still recovering from the bit where Scar-Jo was doing the Minority Report Tom Cruise hand-swipe to rewind and fast-forward the biological history of the Earth. At one point, I thought she was going to pet that dinosaur!

        Honestly, the only movie I laughed during more this summer was 22 Jump Street.

      • Judge Droid says :

        Not to prattle on about the scientific inaccuracy of Lucy, but when she’s Kinecting her way through time, she in in present day Manhattan and ends up back in the dawn of fucking time. But I’m pretty sure she would have sunk to the bottom of the ocean because there wouldn’t have been any land mass underneath her back in that time period.

        We saw 22 Jump St straight after because we had to erase the shitness of Lucy from our mind. Thank christ we did because that’s the funniest movie I’ve seen in ages.

      • Echo the Bunnyman says :

        They were both the funniest movies I have seen in ages, but 22 Jump gets the upper-hand becuase I never had to question whether the directors wanted me laughing.

        Totally right regarding that, but they were wrong when they started with the ‘only use 10% of our brains’ tact. Maybe the writers do, but Im pretty sure most humans use most of their brains, we just aren’t 100% certain what all the parts do.

      • Judge Droid says :

        I genuinely laughed out loud a half dozen times in 22 Jump Street. And chuckled all the way through. Plus it has brilliant end credits.

      • Echo the Bunnyman says :

        I really like that directing team. l admire the fact they can do an R-rated comedy and a kids movie with the exact same level of energy and hit both targets.

      • Judge Droid says :

        Yeah, they know what they’re doing. The Lego Movie was better than expected. Not great, but easily watchable with some funny moments. I liked the Pirates in it.

      • Echo the Bunnyman says :

        Lego was not the classic it was deemed, but pretty funny and solid etertainment, and not painful if your child gloms to it and gets addicted. My favorite thing to see is when people talk about how much they like the ‘Everything is Awesome’ song, proving that most of the movie still passed them by.

      • Judge Droid says :

        My god I had that fucking song in my head for days. It was a nightmare.

      • Judge Droid says :

        And the main Pirate was Ron Fucking Swanson!

  13. kloipy says :

    Great reviews Pillow! Still haven’t seen either of these.
    So far for me the best Marvel films have been: Guardians of the Galaxy, X-Men: DOFP, Avengers, and that’s about it for what I’ve really enjoyed

    DC: TDK, Man of Steel, Watchmen (i know, I know, I’m the only one that likes it haha)

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