Raised By Animals (A Film Comparison Game Show)

It’s that time again ladies and gentlemen.

It’s time to play social media’s favorite and most recent Blog Based Game Show. That’s right. It’s time for…

Raised!… By!… Animals!!

(cue the music)

We don’t have music? Okay then.

This is the game where a panel of experts compare recent movies that imagine what happens if a human baby is raised by a different species.

The Legend of Tarzan Margot Robbie

“You were raised by a different species.”

Tonight we compare The Jungle Book to The Legend of Tarzan. Two classics from Rudyard Kipling and Edgar Rice Burroughs. Two epic adventures. Two old-timey stories of people who never existed in jungles that no longer exist because of hunting and deforestation and the general suckyness of human beings.

Is there gonna be a review in here somewhere

“Is there gonna be a review in here somewhere?” “I certainly hope so.”

It’s that time again, people.

Time for

What? We did that part already?

Raised… By

No?

Okay then let’s get right to the game.

Panel of experts are you ready?

Name That Genre Contestants/ Panel of Experts

I’ll take your stunned silence as a yes.

I watched two movies based on classic literature with a similar premise. The Jungle Book and The Legend of Tarzan and neither of them deserved its own post.

So here’s my comparison.

Tarzan

“This could be good for us.” “Yes. I prefer a good fight.” “You’ll kick that little wolf boy’s butt.”

Let’s start with the whole believability factor of the main characters shall we.

 

Tarzan of the apes vs Mowgli the wolf boy

1) Raised By Animals

Tarzan – Apes

Mowgli – Wolves

The Winner: The Legend of Tarzan 

Tarzan as a baby

“Mommy. Can I have another banana?” “Boy. Get yo ass to sleep.”

In Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan a young human baby is raised by apes. However improbable the premise. Apes and humans at least share more characteristics than humans and wolves. As long as the apes don’t accidentally pull the kids arms out of their sockets. It’s possible they’d protect him. Right? (RIP Harambe the gorilla)

The Loser: The Jungle Book

Mowgli and his brothers

“Mommy, what do we feed it?” “I think it picks fruit from the trees to eat.” “Ewwwww.”

I’m sorry, Rudyard Kipling, I know you were first with the idea, but wild wolves would eat a baby right up. If just to shut it up. There are little to no similarities between the species. We are food to a wolf pack. And what they eat is completely unpalatable to humans. After he is weaned off that wolf teat it’s not like he’s going to tear into a fresh kill with those flat teeth of his. Or digest uncooked putrefying meat through miles of intestines.

Let’s find out what the experts have to say about the subject: And by experts I mean Wikipedia: Feral Children.

In summary (if you don’t feel like reading): There are only a few cases of children living with animals. None of them can be defined as being “raised by.” Not a single one is pretty or heart-warming. And there has never been a successful re-integration into society. In fact all of them died young.

But let’s not forget these are both fantasy stories with science fiction elements. So let’s leave believability to the experts and talk about this crap like it’s possible.

 

2) Animal Friends

Tarzan – Friend to all animals.

Mowgli – Friend to a few select animals

The Winner: The Legend of Tarzan

Tarzan and a lion

“You’re not gonna find your contact lens in all this grass.” “I don’t care. Keep looking for it.”

This is no contest. Tarzan is The King of the Jungle. Friend to all animals. Doesn’t really get along with all the local humans because he fights against them to protect the animals from over-hunting and deforestation.

The Loser: The Jungle Book

Mowgli and his mom

“Are you crying, Mowgli.” “No. I’m cold and wet and naked. I’M FUCKING NAKED.”

Wolf boy Mowgli spends most of the story trying to get to the human village because pretty much everything in the jungle wants to kill him except his close friends and family.

Scarlett Johanson in The Jungle Book

“I dreamed of Scarlett Johanson wanting to hug me. But… not like this… Not like this.”

Damn Nature, you scary… Damn.

But let’s talk about the most recent movie versions.

 

The Legend of Tarzan vs The Jungle Book

3) Casting & Characters

The Legend of Tarzan – Ape Man, His gorgeous bride, A bunch of humans (African and European) that truly suck, and a bunch of animals that really don’t.

The Jungle Book – Wolf Boy, His immediate family (or “pack” if you will), His best friend & mentor; a black panther (the struggle continues), His new friend; an industrious brown bear with a great sense of humor, and various creatures that want to eat him (when they’re not singing)

The Winner: The Jungle Book

Starring  Bill MurrayBen KingsleyIdris ElbaLupita Nyong’oScarlett JohanssonGiancarlo Esposito & Christopher Walken

The Jungle Book Cast

“You were saying something about – Gimme your lunch money? Well let me introduce you to my friends… Don’t run… it’ll just piss them off.”

You can’t beat a movie that features Bill Murray as the voice of a bear and Scarlett Johansson as a seductive snake. Christopher Walken as a giant orangutan and Idris Elba as a truly frightening tiger. Ben Kingsley as a panther and Lupita Nyong’o as a beautiful wolf mother. The cast is stellar. Christopher and Bill even sing songs from the animated movie. They cut Scarlett’s song but you can hear it in the credits. Fantastic cast all around.

The Loser: The Legend of Tarzan

Starring Alexander SkarsgårdSamuel L. JacksonMargot RobbieDjimon HounsouJim Broadbent & Christoph Waltz

The Legend of Tarzan Cast

“Now that we’re in Africa, shouldn’t my face be well-lit and you guys look overexposed.” “I think you’re being racist.” “Fuck that. You can’t even see me.”

This is a heartbreaking loss for the Tarzan movie. The first of the day. Heartbreaking because the actors who play Tarzan and Jane are two of the hottest people on planet earth at the moment. And then throw in two of Tarantino’s favorite bad guys Samuel L. Jackson and Christoph Waltz and you’ve got a pretty awesome cast. But they can’t beat the star power of Bill Murray & Christopher Walken singing Disney songs out of the mouths of authentic looking animals.

 

4) Animal Actors vs CGI Animals

The Legend of Tarzan – The animals do not talk or sing.

The Jungle Book – The animals DO talk and sing and it’s wonderful.

The Winner: The Jungle Book

Christopher Walken in The Jungle Book

“You are big and scary, sir. Quite big and quite scary. But what’s worse… you sound like Christopher Walken. I think I just pissed myself.”

The animals are talking and it doesn’t even look creepy. It barely looks animated. They’re singing and they’re dancing and it’s more believable than being raised by wolves. Completely believable. And now I’m convinced that animals talk when we’re not around. I know that was my cat who answered when my girlfriend called. No seriously that was my cat, baby. I swear… Damn.

The Loser: The Legend of Tarzan

Tarzan fighting an ape

Sorry Tarzan. You’re cool and all that but get back to me when your animals can talk.

 

5) Writing & Directing

The Legend of Tarzan – Bad story, Bad dialogue, Cool characters, Great special effects, Exciting action sequences, Strong climactic battle, and a powerful ending.

The Jungle Book – Bad story, Good dialogue (from Bill Murray), Familiar songs, Great characters, Cool special effects, Completely stupid action sequences, A totally stupid climactic battle, and a horrible ending.

It’s a tie.

The Legend of Tarzan (Warner Bros. Pictures)

The Legend of Tarzan Poster

Directed by David Yates

Written by Adam Cozad and Craig Brewer  Based on Tarzan by Edgar Rice Burroughs

The Legend of Tarzan continues the adventures of the so-called King of the Jungle and his wife Jane after they have integrated back into society as Lord & Lady Greystoke only to be lured back to the jungle by nefarious forces bent on Tarzan’s destruction. Too bad the story is stupid. The dialogue is hokey. And the only thing really cool about it is the ending.

The Jungle Book (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

The Jungle Book Poster

Directed by Jon Favreau

Written by Justin Marks  Based on The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

The Jungle Book is a re-telling of the classic story and the classic Disney animated movie with live action and CGI animals. If you can call that live action. There’s a lot of CGI. It’s fantastic, but it doesn’t help an already bland story. The cast is phenomenal and they save the movie from a lot of its problems but they can’t change the ending. Jon Favreau does a fine job. Once again proving that he can do every genre well. But he and the producers really didn’t know what to do with the songs. And the script is a mess.

It’s a toss-up.

 

6) Verdict: Both of these movies sucked.

Idris Alba in The Jungle Book

“The human speaks lies. Our movies do not suck. I will kill you.”

Both Tarzan and Mowgli are dumb characters. Just because a boy is raised by wolves doesn’t mean he can run as fast as they can. And just because a man was raised by apes doesn’t mean he can hold his own in a fight against one. I know it’s fantasy but do what everybody else does and add some radioactivity or something that gives them their superpowers. It’s fantasy. Act like it.

The Legend of Tarzan

“You tell him to take it back. I do not suck.” “If I know Mel. I don’t think it’s you that would be doing the sucking.” “Whoa. I don’t know how to respond to that.”

And then there’s Tarzan and those swinging vines. Firstly, unless he put them there as a sort of rapid transit, it’s stupid. He’s in the thicket of the jungle until he grabs a vine and starts swinging and all of a sudden there are no branches in his way. It’s worst than Spider-man. I haven’t forgotten about you Spider-man. Swinging above the rooftops in Queens. What the hell are you attaching your web to, Fool? Tarzan is the Spider-man of the jungle. Or is that other way around?

Mowgli and Baloo

“What’s a spider-man anyway?” “I have some comic books back in the cave. You can read them.” “You’re the coolest bear ever.” “I know. Right?”

And Mowgli’s mom. What’s her damage? Your boy has fingers. He won the evolutionary lottery. Let the kid build you a house. You’ve earned it. You kept a human baby alive in the jungle. Somehow you hunted with a crying baby in tow. You must have found a store that takes wolf saliva in exchange for baby food or something. You’re an incredible woman. A bitch to be reckoned with. Let the kid use his hands. Damn.

Tarzan and Jane

“You know Mel would switch places with either one of us in a heartbeat.” “Yes. And I’m trying not to think about it right now.” “It’s ALL I can think about.”

And Tarzan producers, what the fuck? How you gonna have a movie where the too hottest actors on the planet play a married couple and they don’t make sweet monkey love? What’s up with that? I know I, and probably the rest of the world, want to see Eric Northman and Harley Quinn getting down. I’m just being honest. Epic fail, guys. Damn. I mean, just look at those two.

You know what? I’ll be in my bunk.

Show’s over.

– Mel

Spared or Spoiled Reviews: The Nice Guys

The rules are simple. The good get spared. The bad get spoiled.

The Nice Guys (Warner Bros. Pictures)

The Nice Guys Poster

Directed by Shane Black

Written by Shane Black & Anthony Bagarozzi

Starring Russell CroweRyan GoslingAngourie RiceMatt BomerMargaret QualleyKeith David & Kim Basinger

One of the common, tragic themes I run across a bunch in my cinematic endeavors is the writer as director. And the inability of some film-makers to separate the two hats when tasked to do both jobs. Mostly what you get is a talented scribe presenting the audience with a visual interpretation of their script. It’s easy to think that’s all that movies are, from the writer’s perspective. I guess that’s all they really want. Hey, look at this cool thing I wrote. Here it is as a glorified table read… on location… to music. And Shane Black who wrote & directs The Nice Guys does that same thing. He puts a great script on film. Without any of the intangibles that bring a story to life, that make the written word into a film. You might as well be buying a ticket to watch a table read… with music.

Verdict: SPOILED

the nice guys

“I don’t think this is gonna be a good review.” “Really? What gave it away?”

SPOILER ALERT

Abbott & Costello meet Mickey Spillane. The Nice Guys is a buddy comedy and a mystery and it has great dialogue but both Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling needed to reign in their Abbott & Costello shtick. They needed to be reigned in. A better director possibly would have. Both of their performances are way over-the-top. The only believable character is the daughter who delivers the best line in the movie when she says her dad is the worst detective ever. She’s right. He’s awful. We’re talking Inspector Clouseau. Gosling’s detective is the Abbott to Crowe’s Costello. It’s silly. It’s really fucking silly.

The Nice Guys with Ryan Gosling

“Wait. What’s wrong with silly? There’s nothing wrong with silly. Monty Python are silly. Abbott & Costello are silly.” “Try not to let it get to you, dad.” “I like silly. There’s nothing wrong with silly.”

The plot and the mystery have something to do with the car industry and the porn industry. And even that ends up being kind of silly when the plan was to show a porn film to a car show audience as a way to expose corruption in government. Whatever. It’s really stupid. But the dialogue is great. Shane Black is a good writer. Scratch that. He’s a great writer. But because he’s not much of a director these lines feel like they’re being delivered on a sound stage or in an acting class or a High School auditorium. It doesn’t feel organic… even in all its silliness.

Ryan Gosling in The Nice Guys

“I think I let it get to me. No. I definitely let it get to me.”

The Nice Guys includes the customary violence and cartoonish masculinity we expect from Shane Black while he’s doing his best channeling of Mickey Spillane or Raymond Chandler. I have no problem with that. It’s Shane Black. There will be gun-play. Somebody’s gonna get punched. Someone’s masculinity will be questioned by the proverbial manly man’s man. That’s fine. Again, it’s Shane Black. The problem is there is nothing else there. After the clever dialogue and the cool violence, nothing. There’s no visual story. And by that I mean. The sets don’t tell a story. The wardrobe has nothing to say. The camera doesn’t have a secret. The music is not helping us empathize with the action. There’s so much more to presenting a story than just… presenting the story.

“What the hell does that mean?” “Just ignore him.” “I can’t. He’s insulting our film.”

The Nice Guys is not a good movie. Shane Black fails to make us care about any of the main characters (except the daughter… but I think the actress does that on her own). The two title characters are so very hateful you just want to smack ’em. There’s no sense of jeopardy at all. Because nothing feels real. And also because it’s hard to care about what happens to these two fucking assholes. Honestly, they should have told the entire story from the daughter’s point of view. Her exasperation with the two adults is the best thing about The Nice Guys. The rest is a total mess.

The Nice Guys movie

“You’re a total mess… I love my film.”

So in conclusion, The Nice Guys is a waste of two hours. I wasn’t invested even through the shoot-outs and fight scenes. I rarely laughed even though the dialogue is extremely funny. The actors are completely over-the-top. And I don’t even remember the plot and I just watched the damn thing. I literally just watched the damn thing.

– Mel

Spared or Spoiled Reviews: Harley Quinn & The Suicide Squad (with apologies to the BvS Ultimate Edition)

The rules are simple. The good get spared. The bad get spoiled.

(Unless Joker hijacks this review and makes it all about Harley)

Harley Quinn

“You heard the man. It’s all about me.”

Suicide Squad (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Nope.

Harley Quinn & The Suicide Squad (the nincompoops at Warner Bros)

Harley Quinn Suicide Squad Poster

Written & Directed by David Ayer  Based on a Character from DC Comics

Starring Margot RobbieWill SmithJared LetoMargot RobbieJoel KinnamanViola DavisJai CourtneyJay HernandezAdewale Akinnuoye-AgbajeIke BarinholtzScott Eastwood & Cara Delevingne and Margot Robbie

Let’s get right to it. I really liked this movie. And no one’s forcing me to say that. But I think a lot of what I liked had to do with Margot Robbie’s Harley and Jared Leto’s Joker. So granted I would have liked it better had it just been about those two. And also I agree that the beginning is disjointed and wordy. And after having to sit through all the origin stories, and how each character has their own theme song, and how all the songs are movie cliché needle drops, and how DC comics sucks at making movies (and comics), and how Warner Bros execs have screwed up the last three comic book titles they’ve put out. Knowing all of that. Knowing all that failure that was baked-in from before the opening credits… Suicide Squad ends up being a pretty good film (about the epic love story of Harley Quinn and The Joker: Partners in Mayhem. A movie I have re-titled as Harley Quinn & The Suicide Squad). In my completely un-coerced opinion it is the best DC comics movie since Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight.

But that’s not saying much.

suicide-squad-margot-robbie-harley-quinn

“Look Puddin’ I’m a meme… But that’s none of my business.”

And I’d like to add, of my own freewill, that Jared Leto is the best Joker since Mark Hamill redefined the role, rescuing it from Jack Nicholson’s awful interpretation. And since Heath Ledger broke the part by actually becoming the Joker and then dying. Jared Leto is amazing, but not in the film nearly enough.

And here’s the part where he tells you he’s not going to spoil the movie for you because that would be wrong.

Verdict: SPARED

Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad

“I make this look good.”

I saw Suicide Squad at the NYC premiere and I was expecting a mess of a movie on the same level as Batman v Superman. but I wasn’t as disgusted as I thought I would be. It was alright. No seriously. No one’s holding a gun to my head or anything. I actually liked it.

Don’t look at ME.

Batman from Suicide Squad

Joker & Harley’s Batman-sized car ornament shaped like Ben Affleck.

By the way, dear readers, I watched the Ultimate Edition of Batman v Superman before going. And at well over three hours long, I see why they needed to cut some shit out (language). The idiots at Warner succeeded in cutting out the movie’s heart. Every cut was wrong. Completely fucking wrong (LANGUAGE). What needed to be cut were special effects shots and explosions and large expensive set pieces. But what they cut out was story and coherence and good performances and logic. And what was left is more like the producers flung excrement at the screen and proclaimed proudly “Look mommy. I made a stinky.” And we’re all expected to hang it on the fridge like proud parents.

Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad

“I really like this guy.”

I wanted to do a blog post on how much better the Ultimate Edition is from the theatrical release but it was just paragraph after paragraph of me cursing about how fuck**g stupid (better) the studio was in their cutting and slashing and justifying. And I get it; They needed a shorter movie so they could squeeze in another showing in a day and make the studio more money in the first month. But after that month was over, maybe they should have put it all back again or made the cuts I suggest here, respecting story and logic. Cuts that go against every instinct in their expensive business suit wearing bodies.

suicide-squad

“Just tell me… where… they… are.” “Easy, Vasquez… um… ALIENS… Rent it.”

“You can’t cut this special effects shot,” They’d say. “It cost us millions.”

You know what cost you millions? Putting that crap in theaters the way you butchered it, ASSHOLES (I’ll allow it). Now you see why I didn’t do a blog post.

Jared Leto as The Joker in Suicide Squad

“Woooooo.”

But what were we talking about… Oh yes. Suicide Squad (excuse me). I mean Harley Quinn & The Suicide Squad. The movie is fun and cool and the characters are interesting and full of Bad Good Guys and Good Bad Guys, however you want to look at it. But it’s the casting here that truly shines. The actors are all amazing. Even Cara Delevingne who still can’t act but is not as annoying as she usually is in other movies. But you know it’s all about my girl Margot. Long-time readers of my blog will know how much I love her and think that if they let her play something other than the hot girl she’d really show us something (other than her ass). And of course Jared and Will can each carry a movie. Both guys can go above the title, and for good reason. They are all sensational in it. The cast is not to blame for the weak quality. Not at all.

Will Smith and Margot Robbie in Suicide Squad

“See. I told ya I’d hook ya up. Did I lie?” “Aren’t you cold in that?” “I’m crazy.” “Crazy hot.”

What I had a problem with was the crowd pleasing classic movie tunes. Not because they are all over-used needle drops. But because there were so many of them. Each character had their own rock song intro theme and it was too much and too cheesy. Actually the entire first half hour was hokey and awkward. But once they get past the sloppy-ass way they introduce the characters, the movie is pretty decent. The relationships feel real. The characters are three-dimensional and the actors do a great job. This is a DC comics movie, so all the characters are extremely paper-thin from the start. Marvel has always had more depth in their heroes (careful). One of the reasons I never picked up any DC titles as a kid was they were all so dumb (except for Batman). Except for Batman. So when I say three-dimensional characters, I mean more like origami or paper airplanes. The actors themselves add more depth and save a flimsy premise populated by minor characters defined by their countries of origin. They don’t call DC; Dumb Comics for nothing. I get it. She’s Japanese and he’s Australian. He’s got a boomerang and she’s got a katana. I’ll try not to feel insulted (geez).

Margot Robbie and Jared Leto in Suicide Squad

“You’re gonna like this part, my dear.” “Don’t call me my dear. I’m your doctor.” “You wanna play doctor?” “That’s not what I meant.”

But having said that, I found the Harley and Joker story very enjoyable. I thought Margot Robbie did an exceptional job balancing the crazy with the sexy. Marrying the homicidal with the likable. Just when you’re thinking she’s just the hot chick, or just the girl, or you’re staring at her ass, she cracks your skull open with a mallet and laughs at your corpse. Somehow though I think Jared Leto, and his “method” acting may have even helped her… in a weird way. And Will Smith, I’m sorry, he can’t play a bad-guy. Not really. So it’s hard to paint him as a villain. But he tries to sneer every once in a while to sell it. But what Will is good at is making the action look cool and he does. However his quiet scenes with Margot are some of the best in the movie.

And I can’t wait for the Joker and Harley movie to come out. What a great relationship those two have. I’d buy that video tape from my local Blockbuster video store for sure.

Harley and Joker the movie

“That was nice but ya know Blockbuster’s outta bizness right?” “You’re outta business.”

Harley Quinn & The Suicide Squad is better than the critics say and a thousand times better than Batman v Superman. And, in my opinion, it’s worth the price of admission. Unless of course you want substance (hey). There’s very little of substance (uncool). It’s not substantial at all. It’s mostly fluff (watch it, you). But it’s fun fluff (that’s better). Gun to my head, I’d even buy the Blu-ray (I’ll get my gun). And like I said, it’s the best DC comic book movie since The Dark Knight.

But again, dear reader, that’s not saying much.

– Mel

(J.)

5 Quick Reviews of 5 Movies on DVD (Bad Movie Edition)

So sure. I’m calling this a Bad Movie Edition of my 5 Quick Reviews series but it’s more of a Sci-fi Fantasy Edition or a Five Movies That Are Bad But You’ll Probably Still Check Them Out Edition.

The Queens

“Did you hear that, sister? Mel wants us to check them out.” “Why aren’t you dead?”

This is a strange quintet. All five films could be considered sequels or part of a series. They all have great casting. But every single one has a fatal flaw. So maybe I should have called this the Fatal Flawed Movie Edition.

Joker

“I’ll show YOU a fatal flaw.”

But to tell you the truth, I’ve been so busy, I didn’t give it much thought. I have so many reviews on my hard-drive. I’m so far behind. I didn’t even bother to give you a recrap of these movies. Recrap is my own word. It’s when you try to do a recap of a shitty movie like it was good. Recrap. So this is the phoning it in edition. Yes! That’s it. All five directors knew, going in, that they had an audience because fans of the source material were already going to see these films. So they phoned it in.

And so did I…

This is the Phoning It In Edition.

(but honestly I’m too indifferent to get up the energy to even change the title)

To the reviews…

X-Men: Apocalypse (20th Century Fox)

X-Men Apocalypse

Directed by Bryan Singer

Written by Simon Kinberg and Bryan Singer, Michael Dougherty & Dan Harris  Based on X-Men by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

Starring James McAvoyMichael FassbenderJennifer LawrenceOscar IsaacNicholas HoultRose ByrneEvan PetersTye SheridanSophie Turner & Olivia Munn

Wow! what a bad movie. Bad writing and bad directing. There’s really nothing more I can say. A disappointing display. People knock the X-Men original series but all three are better than this piece of shit. X-Men Apocalypse is awful.

X-men Apocalypse Cerebro

Love this cast. Honestly, what a group. With the welcome addition of two of my favorite young actresses; Olivia Munn and Sophie Turner. There is nothing wrong with the cast. But that’s the only thing good here. The rest is shit.

Cyclops and Jean Grey from X-Men Apocalypse

X-Men Apocalypse is the worst X-Men movie ever made. It is horrible in every way imaginable. This stellar cast deserved a lot better than this.

Skip it.

NEXT!!!

Allegiant (Summit Entertainment)

Divergent-Allegiant-Movie-Poster

Directed by Robert Schwentke

Written by Stephen Chbosky, Bill Collage, Adam Coper & Noah Oppenheim  Based on Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Starring Shailene WoodleyTheo JamesJeff DanielsOctavia SpencerRay StevensonZoë KravitzMiles TellerAnsel ElgortMaggie QBill Skarsgård & Naomi Watts

These movies are pointless but this one has some decent tech and an interesting story. I’m guessing these are better books. Allegiant is better than the second one at least but the whole idea of factions was what made the first one just a little more interesting even though it was just as bad as the next two. Am I making any sense? It’s bad. Okay?

The-Divergent-Series-Allegiant1

I’m glad it’s over. It’s over right? Tell me it’s over. I also have a strange observation. I like the actress, Shailene Woodley, but her body grew up and her face did not. She looks like a baby head on a grown woman. The body of a thirty year old well-fit woman and the head of a toddler. It’s disconcerting.

Shailene Woodley from Alegiant

That’ll be enough out of you, Divergent Series. You’ve over-stayed your welcome.

Skip it.

NEXT!!!

Everybody Wants Some!! (Paramount Pictures)

Everybody Wants Some!!

Written & Directed by Richard Linklater

Starring Will BrittainZoey DeutchRyan GuzmanTyler HoechlinBlake JennerGlen Powell & Wyatt Russell

Everybody Wants Some!! is classic Linklater and in my book that’s just fine with me. The man is one of my cinematic heroes. An artist with entirely his own style. I love everything he does. Everybody Wants Some!! is a sort of sequel to Dazed and Confused.

Everybody Wants Some Matthew McConaughey

My big problem with Everybody Wants Some!! is one of the central jokes or themes of it. In it. About it. Whatever. Everyone… Every mother fucking person in this movie is playing Matthew McConaughey. ALL OF THEM. The women. The men. Everybody is doing a McConaughey impression. It’s funny at first then becomes a bit creepy as it continues for the entire film.

Everybody Wants Some Alright Alright Alright

Everybody Wants Some!! is an amazingly entertaining film where little to nothing happens but “Life” happens. You know… classic Linklater but I need to tell you that everyone in this thing is playing a version of Matthew McConaughey from movies or appearances throughout his life and career. That’s the joke.

Everybody Wants Some

ALL of the characters are Matthew. But I still loved this quirky piece of shit. Linklater can do no wrong. The man is a god.

Rent it.

NEXT!!!

Batman: The Killing Joke (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Batman The Killing Joke

Directed by Sam Liu

Written by Brian Azzarello  Based on Batman: The Killing Joke by Brian Bolland and Alan Moore

Starring Kevin ConroyMark HamillTara Strong & Ray Wise

ATTENTION: IT HAS COME TO MY ATTENTION THAT I WASN’T PAYING ATTENTION AND I SPOIL THIS MOVIE AND THE COMIC BOOK TERRIBLY IN THIS QUICK REVIEW.

IF YOU DON’T WANT TO SPOIL THIS FILM OR DON’T KNOW THE STORY OF THE COMIC THEN DON’T READ THIS REVIEW.

SPOILER ALERT!!!

This is a mistake. You can’t screw up a great story like this. I know it’s a little too dark for the animated world but it’s the whole point of the story. Batman finally realizes that it’s pointless. Joker’s too dangerous to lock up. Too unpredictable to leave in Arkham Asylum. Too smart to underestimate. And too sadistic to let live. He paralyzes poor Barbara just for shits and giggles, so Batman kills him. Batman kills Joker. He breaks his neck at the end. You don’t have to agree with Batman’s decision but don’t change the story. Then it’s not the same story and you just piss me off.

batman-the-killing-joke-batgirl

The ending is not ambiguous in the comic book. No matter how uncomfortable it makes you because Batman kills someone, it is a great story. The only thing uncomfortable about the animated adaptation is that Batgirl sleeps with her boss. It’s kind of weird.

Barbara and her gay friend in Killing Joke

Batman: The Killing Joke is just that… a joke; They could have really told a dark and powerful Batman story but they didn’t and it kills me. And yeah the whole first part with Barbara Gordon and her awkward relationship with The Dark Knight is strange at best but I was thinking they were adding an extra layer to the final joke. Nope. She’s annoying. Her gay best friend is annoying. And it doesn’t change the fact that they wimp out in the end.

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I’m watching that first part thinking okay this is good they’re making it more personal so they can justify the final act. But no. But no such luck. But go ahead and rent it anyway. It’s a wonderful story after the initial 30 minutes of Bat-Girlyness are over.

Rent it.

and Lastly…

The Huntsman Winter’s War (Universal Pictures)

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Directed by Cedric Nicolas-Troyan

Written by Evan Spiliotopoulos & Craig Mazin  Based on Characters by Evan DaughertyThe Snow Queen by Hans Christian AndersenSnow White by The Brothers Grimm

Starring Chris HemsworthCharlize TheronEmily BluntNick FrostSam ClaflinRob Brydon & Jessica Chastain and Narrated by Liam Neeson

I think I liked the first movie. I didn’t like this one very much. It plods along awkwardly. It starts off as a prequel and then suddenly turns into a sequel. It’s almost like they want you to pause the film and watch the first one because it’s easy to get lost and they just jump over the events of the first Huntsman movie and if you don’t remember it you can get a bit lost. I got a little lost but it’s gorgeous to look at.

The Huntsman Winter's War

I liked the story of Winter’s War, even the true-love elements which can seem a little corny. Like a romantic fairy-tale and that’s the point. So I don’t blame the story for the movie being bad. I blame the direction. Instead of playing up the fairy-tale elements, thus making the true-love theme fit the movie, the director plays up the epic quest a little too much and it feels like the romance is weirdly out-of-place.

The Lovers The Huntsman Winter's War

Winter’s War is a tough movie to like. But I did like the story. I just thought it was badly directed. I guess it’s worth a look. But in my opinion, the first one, with Snow White, is way better. Though Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain are both amazing.

Rent it.

So To Recap…

There were two movies about awkward love affairs between bad-ass warriors shoehorned into classic stories; Batman: The Killing Joke and The Huntsman Winter’s War. In one case I wanted to see a lot more of the romance, In the other, a lot less.

There were two movies about a group of awkward teens with special powers on the run from an oppressive government and a powerful enemy; Allegiant and X-Men Apocalypse. One of them a below average ending to a great series, the other, a welcome ending to a bad series.

And one movie where absolutely nothing happens in it. And it stars Matthew McConaughey; Everybody Wants Some!!. Except that a lot happens and Matthew McConaughey isn’t even in it. So yeah…

And that’s it.

I’m playing catch-up so there should be a bunch of posts in a row, if everything goes according to plan (but when has Everything been known to do that?)

Never, that’s when.

Jessica Chastain

Jessica knows what I’m talking about.

Wish me luck.

– Mel

Spared or Spoiled Reviews: Star Trek Beyond

The rules are simple. The good get spared. The bad get spoiled.

Star Trek Beyond (Paramount Pictures)

Star Trek Beyond Poster

Directed by Justin Lin

Written by Simon Pegg & Doug Jung  Based on Star Trek by Gene Roddenberry

Starring John Cho, Simon Pegg, Chris PineZachary QuintoZoe SaldanaKarl UrbanAnton Yelchin & Idris Elba

Star Trek Beyond starts off a little weak but it comes on strong in the second half delivering the same (new) Star Trek action and excitement and laughs and cool shit we have come to associate with JJ Abrams and the Trek Franchise. I really liked it.

Verdict: SPARED

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I had a problem with the story of Star Trek Beyond early on. There was a lack of discipline and naval or nautical clarity. They’re not military, I know, but it is a space vessel with a hierarchy. Are there no regulations? But anyway. Then for some reason when anyone from the crew are asked who they are they all need to give their full names. Everybody uses their last names. That’s how it’s always been. Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Uhura. We get it. You’re a fan and you know the character’s first names. And I know it seems petty but it bothered me a lot. But then the movie got really exciting and I forgot about all that crap.

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Beyond is a good story. Simon Pegg does a great job of distributing the action. This is truly an ensemble cast. Where the original series was very Captain Kirk-centric. Or at least the top three. Kirk, Spock and McCoy got most of the screen time. Here Simon Pegg gives everyone a meaty role in the action and everyone a chance to be the hero.

Star Trek Beyond with Sulu and Uhura

The new Star Trek movies have great music. I love Michael Giacchino‘s score. It’s a nice mix of old and new and brand new. But there are also some classic tunes from Public Enemy and The Beastie Boys included in the soundtrack. And I don’t entirely hate the new Rihanna song Sledgehammer. The two rap songs play a large part in the plot which is pretty cool too. You know how they love that classical music.

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Star Trek Beyond is well-directed and I love the new cast. With the welcome addition of new allies and menacing villains and a great mystery and overwhelming odds, Justin Lin does a fantastic job of keeping the whole shebang moving and the mystery interesting. The franchise says goodbye to Leonard Nimoy in the movie with a touching and beautiful tribute that brought more than one tear to my eye. And they also honor Anton Yelchin’s passing, tastefully, in the end credits.

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Star Trek Beyond is a fantastic installment to the new Trek franchise. Fun, exciting and entirely Trek. Some say it feels like a run-of-the-mill science fiction action film just wearing a Star Fleet uniform, but I disagree. The writers are clearly huge fans and the plot, the action, the dialogue and situations are pure Star Trek goodness. And I enjoyed it a lot more than Into Darkness. Beyond represents a return to form for the series.

STAR TREK BEYOND

RIP Anton. RIP Leonard. Good job guys. Bravo.

– Mel