San Diego Asian Film Festival presents ‘The Royal Tailor’: Make Art until someone dies

Posted in Action, Comics, drama, Foreign, Historical, Movies, Romance with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 25, 2016 by aliciamovie

The_Royal_Tailor_Promotional_Poster

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Studio: Bidangil Pictures

Director: Wonsuk Lee

Review Rating: 8.5

The film rather incongruously begins with a modern-day showing of a fabulous hanbok (traditional Korean dress) wedding dress, apparently mistakenly attributed to the only royal tailor of Korea’s Joseon dynasty, Jo Dol-seok. After allowing the audience to admire the hanbok a moment, the movie moves right into what actually happened so long ago in the royal courts.

The King and the Queen of the courts have the rather standard relationship of many asian royal courts, which is to say, almost none at all. Because the King ignores his Queen, there are no children either. Jo Dol-seok has tailored clothing for three generations of Kings before finally working his way to the head of the Sanguiwon, the official department that makes royal clothing, and is justifiably proud of this fact. Dol-seok has very little in the way of imagination, innovation, and wants nothing to do with new ideas, so when the Queen asks him to repair a sacred robe belonging to the King that was accidentally burnt, Dol-seok has to say no. It’s against all tradition and for him, is akin to sacrilege. But the Queen is going to get into serious trouble if she doesn’t do something about the King’s robe, and this is how she meets Lee Gong-jin.

Gong-jin is young, handsome, reckless and headstrong. He also seems almost divinely inspired to make clothing, bright joyful colorful clothing in very non-traditional styles, for all women, not just the women of the court. The film credits Gong-jin with the newfangled bell shape of the hanbok and the introduction of brighter, happier colors. And at this point his fame has become fairly wide-spread, so much so that the Queen, desperate to find a tailor to fix the King’s robe, contracts Gong-jin to do the job.

This of course leads to all sorts of further palace intrigue – Gong-jin falls in love with the Queen, Dol-seok decides to let himself be used as a pawn in a plot to get rid of both the Queen and Gong-jin, and the King lets his need for loyalty outweigh proper good sense. As the film nears its climax and Lee Gong-jin is soon to be executed for his non-part in the plot with the Queen to overthrow the King, Dol-seok realizes he actually had a kindred spirit in the younger, flashier tailor, and comes to regret his part in the whole sorry mess. Not enough to let history remember the proper fashion designer to the Joseon dynasty, of course, but still. And thus, this being a rather traditional Korean film, the whole thing ends in tragedy, leading to the shameful execution of Lee Gong-jin, in sorrow and lamentations.

The film itself is sublime and I simply cannot say enough good things about it. Not because of the gorgeous well-replicated costumes, the lavish sets or even the very fine acting, but because of the manner in which the movie approached the fundamental need to make art. Like Jim Morrison of the long-remembered Doors band, the tailors in the film are tormented and at the same time delighted by the art they create with their own two hands. The absolute need to create art, as fundamental as breathing and even sometimes more important than that, speaks to the beautiful soul of every artistic person, famous or not, in the whole world. In this case, as with many other artists we lost far too soon, Lee Gong-jin and even his stilted counterpart Jo Dol-seok literally made art until someone died, and as tragic as that is, it is still a gorgeous and long-lasting testament to their artistic spirit.

San Diego Film Festival presents ‘Western Religion’: Your soul is at stake

Posted in Action, comedy, drama, Movies, suspense with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 23, 2016 by aliciamovie

WesternReligion_OfficialHR-600x891

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Studio: 3rd Partner Productions

Director: James O’Brien

Review Rating: 7 out of 10

In 1879, gunfighters, cardsharps and all manner of mysterious men (and women) come together in the newly formed mining town of Religion, Arizona, for a legendary poker tournament.

So the town entrepreneur Harvard Gold (James Anthony Cotton) wants to put his newfangled mining town of Religion on the map, and he figures the best way to do that is to hold a “first annual” poker game and offer up this ridiculously ornate golden cross as the prize. The game will be held at the Last Chance Saloon, no that doesn’t ring ominous at all, owned by Southern Bill (Peter Sherayko), and covered by the New York Times reporter Edward James (Tony Herbert). A whole host of odd characters with flashes of their backgrounds are offered up for our enjoyment too – Saint John (Gary Douglas Kohn), former gun-toting outlaw turned itinerant preacher; growling gunslinger Anton Stice (Claude Duhamel) who likes killin’ a little too much; wanted bank robber Chinaman Dan (Peter Shinkoda); flippant dandy yet unexpectedly charming Salt Peter (Louie Sabatassao); the spiritual but young half Injun Waylin Smith (Miles Szanto) and his Apache guide (Sam Bearpaw); flamboyant magician Raven McCabe (William Moore) and carpenter Bobby Shea (Sean Joyce). Even the Madam of the house, Bootstrap Bess (Holiday Hadley), wants in on the golden cross prize, and is willing to do all sorts of skullduggery to get it!

The movie did remind me of some of the more ridiculous aspects of films like Maverick and The Quick and the Dead, but overall it is a grand fun time. Every good western should have at least one femme fatale, and while Bootstrap Bess might be a bit of a bumble, she knows when to get the hell out of the way! And speaking of Hell …

See, each character has a little something that makes them at least semi-unique inside the context of the movie, and that’s always a good idea for a western. But the newly reformed Saint John has a past with Stice that includes run-ins for more than the common gold, women, or glory. Stice spends most of the film offering the golden cross to the various poker players, as though it was his to give alone, and it’s only in the last few “gotcha!” moments of the movie do we find out why. How much is your immortal soul truly worth?

Western Religion is a rollicking good time, and while I think the movie should have been longer to draw out the mini-stories of the other characters and perhaps give Stice and Saint John more fleshing too, if you like a good spaghetti western that has a little bit of everything and then some, this movie’s for you!

‘Star Wars Rogue One’ Trailer two will blow you out of the stars

Posted in Action, comedy, drama, Fantasy, Movies, Romance, Sci-Fi, suspense with tags , , , , , , , on August 16, 2016 by aliciamovie

Rogue-One-A-Star-Wars-Story-logo

by Steve the Space Wizard

Star Wars: Rogue One Trailer Two is out and hot damn, I got goosebumps. We get a better idea of Jyn Erso’s role in the film; she’s a criminal who’s been pretty much given a suicide mission. You know we just saw a film like that didn’t we? Well, imagine that but in space. Yet, it doesn’t reveal too much more, like a good trailer should.

We see the Empire’s power grow across the galaxy, the ominous shadow of the Death Star looming over entire worlds. That shot of the Death Star eclipsing the sun? That’s expert film making imagery right there. The Empire blocks out the light, both metaphorically and literally. I’ve missed that kind of visual storytelling. Not just from Star Wars, but from a lot of genre movies in recent times which crams the screen with visual effects but don’t know how to make a visual impression. Well done.

The other images we see in the trailer are those of war; gritty, dirty, and painful, like war is. We had that in the original trilogy (and The Force Awakens), and we see it now. Gone are the cartoony battles of the prequels. Shit gets real now. Ground battles, rocket launchers, and Jyn Erso stares down a TIE fighter because she’s that badass.

The final shot of Darth Vader should make fanboys and fangirls weep with joy, and I almost did too, but that Death Star eclipse will haunt me. Why isn’t it December yet?

‘Independence Day Resurgence’: It has its own gravity!

Posted in Action, comedy, drama, Movies, Sci-Fi, suspense with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 1, 2016 by aliciamovie

ID4-2

by Steve the Space Wizard

 It’s the summer of sequels (when is it not?), and now we have the follow-up movie to the original Independence Day from 20 years ago. The thing is,nobody really asked for a sequel, and yet here we are. Since I loved the original cheesy over-the-top apocalyptic alien invasion movie, I was obligated to watch this one too.

Back in 1996, CGI was kind of a newish thing, with Jurassic Park’s jaw-dropping dinosaurs wowing audiences just 3 years prior, and it was getting cheaper and cheaper to create bigger and badder spectacles. It was fresh and new to see swarms of computer-generated fighter jets battle another swarm of alien spaceships, and it was helped tremendously by having a great cast led by the wisecracking Will Smith who spat out lines like”No, you did NOT shoot that green shit at me”. It was an instant blockbuster.

Fast forward to today. They got most of the original cast back for the sequel, sans Will Smith, who is sorely missed. However we got back David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum), Thomas Whitmore (Bill Pullman), Julius Levinson (Judd Hirsch) and Dr. Brakish Okum (Brent Spiner), who are all 20 years older and are sort of taking a backseat to the newer, younger cast: Liam Hemsworth who plays hotshot pilot Jake, Jessie T. Usher plays Dylan Hiller,the son of Will Smith’s character who is also a pilot, and Chinese actress Angelababy, who plays (you guessed it), a pilot. Jake’s fiancée is none other than Patricia Whitmore, the former president Whitmore’s daughter, who works in the White House but also a pilot (see a theme here?). The pilots aren’t exactly interesting characters, they’re just standard fighter jocksand their scenes play out like Space Top Gun, complete with a Maverick/Iceman rivalry between Jake and Dylan. They fly SPACE JETS and they help the construction of some laser cannon thingy on the moon, which is supposed to prevent further alien invasions.

Next subplot! Somewhere in Africa, during the first alien invasion of ’96,there’s an alien UFO that _landed_ and tried to drill to the Earth’s core because they learned Space Villainy 101 from the baddie from J.J. Abrams’first Star Trek reboot. There we meet Dikembe Umbutu, a badass warlord who’s really good at killing aliens because he fought a ground war with them first time round. Also in this movie is Charlotte Gainsbourg as Dr. Catherine Marceaux, a psychiatrist/exolinguist/telepathy expert/plot device who exists for exposition and as a love interest for David Levinson. She ends up in Africa with David, meets up with Dikembe, and they do the obligatory translation of scrawled alien symbols.

Meanwhile, the moon base gets… an alien visitor! Thinking the aliens have returned, the US president orders the ship to be blown up. That’s probably a bad idea but we shoot first and ask questions later, because that’s how we apparently roll in America, often to disastrous results. This time it’s no different; David feels it’s not the hostile aliens but a new species(he’s right). So David, Catherine, and Dikembe fortuitously meet Jake, who comes down to Earth in a ludicrously fast space tugboat, and they return to the moon to pick up the wreckage of the ship they blew up. However, when the _real_ bad guys, our returning aliens, suddenly arrive in a massive ship to kick our asses, it all goes to hell as the moon defense laser thing is easily obliterated by them. Our heroes on the space tugboat barely have time to recover the wreckage before they find themselves having to outrun the massive alien destroyer ship which is heading for Earth. The alien ship is a vessel so massive that “it has its own gravity”. Sadly they play fast and loose with science. We see some funky gravity effects where things get pulled upwards toward the alien ship, but the while gravity effect is promptly forgotten some moments later as the ship actually _touches down_on the surface of Earth, making our world look like it has a clingy metal alien beast hugging it.

The devastation from the ship landing leads to our disaster porn scenes,but it feels really perfunctory; perhaps we as an audience have been jaded by endless disaster movies and this feels like yet another one. Yet it was the original Independence Day that captured the world’s imagination with its destruction scenes; perhaps we’ve moved passed that spectacle and have become incredibly desensitized to it. I won’t spoil the ending for you, but it feels a lot more video gamey than the first film, right down to having a(literal) boss battle. I enjoyed the performances of Jeff Goldblum and Judd Hirsch the most in this movie, and I wished there was more of that banter between David and his father. The other characters are otherwise cliched, bland and forgettable.

I give this film two and a half Jeff Goldblums out of five.

‘Gotham’ Season 2 Finale: Place your bets

Posted in Action, comedy, Comics, drama, Fantasy, horror, Romance, Sci-Fi, suspense with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 8, 2016 by aliciamovie

gothams2

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Season Two of the grittiest and arguably the darkest DC show on tv, our beloved Gotham, gave us the rise of so many villains, and answered so many burning (sometimes literally) questions, while of course bringing up brand new ways to put the laughter back in the slaughter our familiar Batman bad guys are doing. We met the legacy of the Joker in Jerome, we explored Arkham, took on the Court of Owls and Azreal himself, and that’s only the beginning. The casino, hell the fun park carnival ride of your deepest nightmares is coming to life in the underbelly of Gotham’s streets, and Jim Gordon, plus you know a forever exasperated Harvey Bullock and some cops too, are the only ones who can stop them!

I loved me some Penguin this season, but then, I am biased. Robin Lord Taylor is a giant sweetheart in real life, at least at Cons he goes to, yet he does great justice to the character Penguin. He kept trying to find himself, and nothing ever quite seemed to fit just right. We only knew him for an episode or two, but an amazing Paul Reubens, yes that guy, as Penguin’s long-lost father this season was epic. For me, it rather felt like we had been given a gift, a mini backstory from those few moments of Tim Burton’s Batman Returns where the Cobblepots (and a younger Paul Reubens as Father again) attempt to murder their monstrous son. If Father and son had known each-other a little bit longer, oh the mischief they could have gotten up to. As it stands, Penguin got his spirit back in the end, and in an enduring legacy from his graceful Father, a sense of fashion and dress unlike any other Gotham villain, clearly iconic and marking him as the Penguin Godfather we all know and love.

Oddly, as much as I adore Cory Michael Smith in the role, Riddler seemed relegated to a move-the-story-along character this season, and that’s unfortunate. Ed has always been presented as being at least potentially smarter than all of them, at least in his own mind, but too often this season he laughs maniacally and oh, just does whatever and mostly the right (for the bad guys) thing happens to, or because of, him. I got that when Ed killed his girlfriend and buried her, he went a little Mr. Happy psycho nuts for awhile, but then he decided to frame Jim Gordon and get him off the police force and off his case. Right? Why? Jim is clearly distracted by this other villainous nonsense, why does Ed keep reminding him? Because Jim needed to be outside the law when things really started to pop off and by then, Ed’s in Arkham along with the rest of them. Ed got found out, completely plausible, trooped off to Arkham, okay, and now he makes friends with Hugo Strange and plots his escape. I suppose I buy it, we just thought perhaps Ed’s smarts outweighed his crazy. Not this time. This season has been marketed as The Rise of the Villains and The Wrath of the Villains later on, but poor Ed’s part of the story struck me as a descent. His wrath wasn’t quite up to par either, but Ed only just became a villain, and so he gets some slack.

We’ve come round to Hugo Strange and oh the many twisted things he’s done. If you thought Arkham Asylum was bad, Indian Hill, where the real monsters live, is worse hell. Awful experiments go on down there, human/animal splicing and modern necromancy just for openers. A poor young girl, Selena’s friend in fact, nearly died from all those burns she took. Yet here she is reborn as the goddess Firefly in all her scarred and flame-throwing glory. Strange raised Victor Friez, that poor frozen dead man and his frosty wife story, from the dead and weaponized him, which worked for me and looked quite cool, but kind of relegated that whole epic tale to a side jaunt. Strange even brought Fish Mooney, you know you just heard Jada Pinkett Smith snarl her name in that voice too, back from the dead, memories intact and as unique as ever. Wong does well with iconic Hugo Strange mannerisms, somehow even the pinkish Lennon shades work too. Though his assistant, Ms. Peabody in her improbable purple lipstick glory, makes me distinctly uncomfortable. Which I assume is the whole point of her.

So, what do we know? We know most of the iconic characters of the show have managed, by means both fair and foul, to get into Arkham and even into Indian Hill. Where Hugo Strange is currently being told by his Masters to transfer all the patients and blow up the damned facility. Who’s the lady in the white owl mask? Oh that’s a very big can of worms, just go look up DC’s Court of Owls and prepare to be astounded. They want Strange to be able to resurrect the dead with their full memories and personality intact, no small job. Yet Fish Mooney lives, commands, hell she escapes and takes the bus-full of crazies with her. Fish survived the crash, took Butch and company, and let Penguin live after he fainted at the sight of her – it’s a very scary Fish Mooney return. We know Bruce Wayne and Lucius Fox are now playing the quiz game with a maniacal Ed Nygma; from them we know Wayne Industries runs Indian Hill, and that boring little board of directors does not run Wayne Enterprises. It’s a secret society thing apparently.

We know that holy cow, Harvey Bullock can’t make speeches to save his life, and yet somehow he’s going to make a great GCPD Captain anyway. Heart you forever Harvey Bullock, especially when played by Donal Logue in all his rumpled glory. We know that Bruce Wayne will never be a boy again, he is now a little man capable of great acting and subterfuge, violence, even poverty. We know that Alfred Pennyworth forever and always kicks so much ass, Sean Pertwee just rocks that part so bloody hard.

I’d like to state for the record that we missed Morena Baccarin as Lee for most of this season, she was much better at grounding Jim Gordon than anyone else. Then again, some of the things he had to do in the fight against the freaking Mayor, Theo Galavant, or when he resurrected as Azrael (super-cool DC comics nod) or against Hugo Strange too, Lee didn’t need to be around for that. I was sorry she and Jim’s would-be child suffered the absentee cutting room floor treatment though. It is worth noting that we the audience didn’t actually see Lee disappear or suffer a miscarriage, so it’s entirely possible for a Baby Gordon problem out there in the next season.

Where do we end the Rise and the Wrath of oh so many beloved Batman villains? With yet more villains spilling out of that crashed forgotten bus, that’s where. Let the speculations begin, place your bets! Was it Killer Croc, certainly plausible with monster genes and non-aging involved; was that Man-Bat, that poor misguided scientist type who experimented so wrongly on himself; how about even a Jerome-infected laugh? And let us not forget the Bruce Wayne lookalike, whom we could lay wage is Lincoln March (don’t click unless you like major spoilage). Oh Gotham, you do justice to my love of Batman bad guy mythos. You’ve set the stage for a danse macabre of mobsters and real monsters in season 3 and I cannot wait.

It’s already been confirmed by the show that season 3 will have the Mad Hatter and the Tweedle brothers, presumably working with him; plus one of my personal favorite villains, Solomon Grundy, in what I sincerely hope will be the Halloween episode; and in keeping with the groundwork for mythology already laid for the Court of Owls, Talon should make an appearance as well.

There is literally nothing else like Gotham on TV right now, mixing the gritty cop drama with the magically psycho world of pre-Batman DC comics. It will be far too long a wait for season three, but I’m betting it will pay off in the end. Season one built the mob-laden world of Gotham’s underbelly, and season two absolutely reveled in the monstrous mayhem of legendary Arkham Asylum, so the mixing of crazypants mcstabby over here and armed-to-the-teeth gangsters over there virtually guarantee a hell of a badass heroes journey for James Gordon in season three. Seriously, if nothing else, mini-Catwoman Selina (Camren Bicondova) is the most wonderful little cat-burglar-in-training toughie we love as an adult; her scenes of mini-romance with Bruce Wayne this season gave long-reaching echo to the epic push-pull love between a certain thief and a be-costumed dark knight.

‘Batman vs. Superman Dawn of Justice’: Yer killin me, Bats

Posted in Action, comedy, Comics, drama, Fantasy, Movies, Sci-Fi, suspense with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2016 by aliciamovie

BvS-movie-sign

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Director: Zack Snyder

Studio: Warner Bros.

MPAA Rating: PG 13

Review Rating: 7 out of 10

I actually liked this version of Batman, but very quickly came to think of him as the Bond kind of Batman. Full of toys and technology, bitter from past failures, effortlessly charming while never actually revealing anything, Ben Affleck somehow manages to bring to mind Daniel Craig’s current run of 007, and that is kind of bewildering. Jeremy Irons as Alfred immediately somehow becomes all the powerful supporting characters of Bonds life, from Moneypenny to M, chiding Batman as he does for his cruelty and yet offering unstinting support in all Batman does. We are offered a morsel of why Bats is this way when he stares at a dark suit in the Batcave a-plastered with Jokersign in sorrow and rage, and even those of us semi-in the know of the DC-verse can tell you, it’s alluding to the death of a Bat companion, most likely one of the Robins.

We learn all of this about Bats piecemeal, but what is immediately established at the outset is that Bats is hurting bad guys. And there are more than a few allusions to him outright killing people, when the situation demanded it. We are supposed to have established by now as just part of the Batman mystique, that Batman never kills, right? Period, end of story. Only now, he might be. But why? We the audience are never actually given an answer, and Bats deserved more.

I know Henry Cavil can act, I’ve seen him do it in The Tudors. You’ll note I don’t say Man of Steel because, while yes I did see it, I didn’t think it was particularly his finest work. A good deal throughout Man of Steel Cavill seemed to have this look of mild confusion, like he couldn’t understand why Superman was acting this way, either. And here he is again, as Superman, biting his lip and frowning the Superbrow but saying nothing as he’s accused and belittled and occasionally even reviled. We don’t expect you to go all Zod-killer on everything, Supes, but you could at least, I dunno, defend yourself.

The whole thing that Superman really needs to defend himself from, that controversy over what happened with Lois Lane, is just a horror-show. And really, Lane herself walks around the entire movie in a kind of dumb-show numbness, gamely doing her best to act as a character that’s been reduced from a woman strong enough to be Supes’ lady, to a whining damsel forever in distress and in eternal need of saving. Lois Lane, the woman that has been associated with Superman the longest, is now a vehicle for what plot there is to move along. Who needs backstory when there’s things to smash?

And then there’s Wonder Woman. Annnnd the other Leaguers. Let’s just cram as much backstory bites as we can into this movie so we can get to the hour of action, yee-ha! Gal Gadot as Diana Prince was perfectly serviceable for the screen time she got, which wasn’t much. I get that the movie is supposed to be a vehicle to the next Justice League DC movies coming out hopefully soonish, but to tack an icon like Wonder Woman onto this already bulging sandwich sub seems really optimistic. Prince has a teeny exchange with Bruce Wayne, is herself used as a vehicle to introduce the videos of the other Justice League potentials, and that is it before she dons those iconic duds and its off to fight Darkseid!

Is it really? Because, it seems to me, that the films actual big-bad is a big let down. The…crazy-Luthor-made from my blood and Zod’s body and something about a Kryptonian ship and a forbidden sort-of-science process turns out this CGI monstrosity that must’ve been a real bitch to fake fight against a green screen. Our actors valiantly battle on and look pretty good doing it, I have to give them that, Snyder can make the shit out of an action scene, oh yes. But he failed us at making any kind of scary villain for his opus movie.

And what about the Leaguers? This is another instance of trying to include way too much stuff into one movie. Dark Knight Rises suffered mildly from that too, but the BvS version is just a big ole hot mess. We see a robbery foiled by a speedster with that gold lightning bolt and we know, the Flash will be there in the next movie for sure. There’s already some minor controversy over the fact that Ezra Miller and not Grant Gustin will play Flash in the next movie, but that’s only if you watch tv at all. (I’m undecided as yet; I saw Miller do an astounding job in We Need to Talk About Kevin, but based on that, his version of Barry Allen will be quite different.) Next we have Jason Momoa as Aquaman, and his video moment was enough to elicit gasps, but all we got was a moment. And hey look, Ray Fisher as Cyborg is being tortured, I mean, helped, by his father Silas Stone. Each of these moments is our very brief introduction to the updated versions of the Justice League, an icon of DC comics that’s existed for decades. Boy that’s a lot of pressure. But Snyder is full steam ahead to get to the punching and the throwing of people around!

We’ve come round to Lex Luthor. And I have to agree with the general consensus: what the hell was that? I’ve actually liked some of Jesse Eisenberg’s roles, he does awkward-charming fairly well. Him as Snyder’s version of Lex Luthor was neither awkward nor charming, nor even coherent half the time. Luthor seems to a warped mirror face of the Luthor we normally know, mad with power and determined to stop at nothing to stop Superman. This Lex laughs at the most inappropriate things, rants like he’s a mini-Caesar, has genuine nervous tics and could be Norman Bates’ cousin. Lex Luthors known powerful voice and his ability to deliver the epic speech as Supermans ultimate nemesis is in evidence nowhere in here, and that is a shame. Even his determination and reasons for sending Darkseid against both Superman and Batman are at best muddy, at worst incomprehensible. We all know Lex Luthors Superman obsession drives him to do all sorts of crazy things, but we’re talking Legion of Doom kind of evil, not John Gacy with an alien fetish. Bond-Bats needs his Oberhauser and Nine Eyes, after all.

And yes, we will address the elephant in the room called, “Martha.” Now, while it never occurred to me until right then when the movie pointed it out, that the two orphans shared a love for a momma whose name was Martha, it can’t possibly be enough to halt the fighting right in its tracks like someone had flipped a switch. I call shenanigans. I mean, sure, Supes and Bats can stare at each-other a bit and perhaps have an actual conversation as they stagger to their feet, but this cannot instantly make them on the same side. We are denied what could finally be a beautifully written piece of drama between Batman and Superman, and it’s yet another shame.

Director Zack Snyder is a total fanboy and wants to do justice to the storylines at DC that he grew up loving, we can all totally get behind that. The trouble is he loves it all so much, he wants to try and include every last bit he can get away with, including an exclusive to DVD R-rating directors cut nonsense. Which will likely bring the whole movie, Snyder’s ultimate vision of it anyway, up to three solid hours of stuffing every single last sock he can find into the washing machine and hitting psycho-spin-cycle!

See, we here at the superhero-watching geek community have become mildly jaded on the whole superhero action movie deal. Marvel blockbusters don’t thrill quite as much as they used to, and Nolan’s Batman only proved how far and how dark beloved familiar characters can go. We’d be perfectly fine with a properly marketed hour and a half or so of nothing but Bats and Supes wailing on each-other, have at it! These pinches and dashes of plot from fanboy Snyder are trying to turn the action stew into a full-on film casserole, and a lot of us just don’t have the patience for pretentiousness anymore. And, it should be noted, you’ve set the bar really fucking high for the Justice League movie. Like, almost impossibly high.

The internet says Ben Affleck will be returning to direct and star in the next, I assume it is, standalone Batman film. Which I’m actually totally okay with, because if you remove all the external noise and fluff from around Bats in BvS, Batfleck is actually pretty hot. Just make sure you keep Jeremy Irons as Alfred on, damn it.

Next up in the DC movie-verse is Suicide Squad, and I think most fans are looking forward to it. After this  terrible version of a bad guy, we deserve to be treated to a whole squad of unapologetic real villains. And don’t get me wrong, there are some redeeming things to BvS, sure there are. Our collective expectations for a vehicle epic enough to open the door for the Justice League movies may have been a shade unrealistic, but no-one can deny that Batman vs. Superman Dawn of Justice is a bombastic movie that nearly any fan can at least enjoy parts of!

‘Doctor Strange’ trailer will go astral on your ass!

Posted in Action, drama, Fantasy, Movies, Sci-Fi with tags , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2016 by aliciamovie

benedict-cumberbatch-is-doctor-strange

by Steve the Space Wizard

It’s time for a Marvel wizard to grace the silver screen! So this coming November, I, Steve the Space Wizard, finally get to go to the theater to see Steve the Superhero Wizard. Because, you know, his name is Stephen Strange.

The tale is that Stephen Strange, MD, was a brilliant but arrogant surgeon who lost dexterity to both his hands after a car accident, rendering him useless as a surgeon. So he went to some faraway land with magical monks and learned how to be wizard. Therefore it’s kind of like Eat Pray Love but with wizards and Benedict Cumberbatch as said wizard, so it’s 500 times better in my humble opinion. It’s a happy coincidence his name happened to be Doctor Strange, because that’s quite an apt name for a wizard.

The teaser trailer for Doctor Strange dropped this week, and we see a montage of Doctor Strange after his auto accident, wandering distant lands and meeting Tilda Swinton’s Ancient One. Stephen isn’t one to believe in “fairytales about chakras or energy or the power of belief”. Stephen’s a cynical bastard. Stephen’s about to get his mind blown. The Ancient One hits him so hard his spirit gets knocked out of his body. And then he’s all “I wanna be a wizard teach me how”. Right on Stephen, but I am guessing you need to learn humility or something or other first, just like Stark and Thor during their hero journeys.

We don’t learn very much more, this is just a teaser trailer, but we do see Rachel McAdams as another doctor, and Chiwetel Ejiofor as Doctor Strange’s arch-nemesis Baron Mordo, who also has a name that just screams “I’m a wizard” (also, an evil wizard, because his name sounds like Mordor). There’s a cool reality bending scene where the whole world gets splintered and flipped around and having all the dimensions altered like an M.C. Escher painting in a mind-boggling visual spectacle reminiscent of that scene in Inception where the city gets folded in half.

Honestly I’m pretty psyched about this, I like the Marvel cinematic universe and I like wizards so this is two of my favorite things in one thing. Just like a steak and cheese sandwich. My only gripe is Benedict Cumberbatch adopted an American accent for this, and wizards always sound better when they’re British (see Gandalf and Dumbledore).

Doctor Strange is set to be released on 4 November 2016.