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 the 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: Hail, Caesar!

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

Hail, Caesar! (Universal Pictures)

Hail, Caesar poster

Written, Produced & Directed by Joel & Ethan Coen

Starring Josh BrolinGeorge ClooneyAlden EhrenreichRalph FiennesJonah HillScarlett JohanssonFrances McDormandTilda Swinton & Channing Tatum

High concept. Hail, Caesar! is an exquisite work of art. But is it enjoyable? It’s very cool. Hail, Caesar! is starkly distant and cold. Visually stunning. It’s breathtaking. The plot is below average. It’s adorably cliché. Yet over the top because of its modern film-making and modern hind-sight. I practically busted a gut just from those beautiful and artful touches of pure unadulterated genius. The Coen Brothers are the best. A love song to Old Hollywood. It’s brilliant. But I only barely enjoyed it. Hail, Caesar! is a museum piece. Something you view through glass. Something you read about on the plaque attached. Something that makes you feel the way the experts tell you you’re supposed to feel. This one is for the laughs. The plaque reads. “Hey! It’s technically very funny.” That’s how I read it. Surprised and interested but in a deadpan delivery from out of an old 30’s Hollywood feature. The technique is funny but frigid. So, mind you, I’m personally reading that plaque from the cold hard floor of that proverbial museum laughing my fucking ass off. So… I guess I liked it. Sort of…

Verdict: SPARED

Clooney and Brolin in Hail, Caesar

“Is Mel shitting me with this dichotomy nonsense?” “I don’t know. Are you a violent caricature of a man, yet still very sexy?” ” Yes. Yes I am.” “Then I think you have your answer.”

Philosophically speaking this is a very smart movie. Extremely well-written. It opens the cliché of the old Hollywood system with writing that is drenched in realism but with a plot that is assembly line basic die-cast plastic like it came in a box from a hobby shop. But its supposed to be like that. The juxtaposition makes it hysterical. The dialogue is a seamless mix of dime store detective fecal matter and the brilliance of collected human thought. Stitched together so professionally that the political, religious and economic concepts sound pedestrian and the gum shoe banter sounds like it comes with a PHD in philosophy. And this painstakingly crafted concept shouts, “Hey! it’s technically very funny.”

Hail, Caesar

We have your movie plot. If you want to follow it you can but it really doesn’t matter that much what it is. The movie would still be a classic.

Visually speaking this a gorgeous movie but again the lofty concept smacks you in the eye holes. I mean it makes them weep with joy at how freaking beautiful this films is. The look and feel are all part of that wonderful joke. The old-timey movie scenes made with superhero movie special effects subtleties. The use of visual effects in Hail, Caesar! almost suffocated me. I was laughing so hard. It’s so fucking funny. But it’s also so beautiful that it demands to be taken seriously. I mean it slaps you right across the face and yells, “Take me seriously.” Like one of those old Hollywood b-movie slaps that a fella gives a dame when she’s acting squirrelly. Don’t laugh. It’s a dated and phenomenal work of art and “Hey! it’s technically very funny.”

Hail Caesar still

“I’m sensing a theme here.”

Professionally speaking the acting goes right along with this wonderful dichotomy. With the added bonus of having actors playing actors. George Clooney is just decent in the movie. He plays his character well. I suppose. He always does. But the actor he plays in the movie is doing Oscar level work in the movies within the movie. It hurt my head. The character is a great actor. The actor playing the actor is removed from this by playing the character just average but acting the hell out of his acting scenes. It’s brilliant. It’s, again, technically very funny. But what am I laughing at really? The movie’s one joke. The musical numbers are fantasy sequences without the fantasy elements. The stunts and dances are the equivalent of superpowers minus the super and the powers. Each one played for this beautiful unrealistic realism. But before I make this orbital station of a concept seem even colder than it actually is. I need to say it again. “Hey! (and say it with me people) it’s technically very funny.”

Scarlett Johanson in Hail, Caesar

“You funny? I guess we funny too.”

Literally speaking (actually I’m writing) I know I haven’t mentioned the plot. There’s a plot. It’s movie worthy. It fits the barest definition of generic Hollywood movie plot. And by that I mean a movie about Hollywood and also an Old Hollywood style movie. Concept overpowers narrative so that in the end we’re left with the blatantly unapologetic definition of phoning it in. Enough to make you question whether or not to call it writing. It’s more like assemblage. But the concept tells its own story. And it’s wonderful. It makes statements about history and integrity. It paints with nostalgia and science. Religion and philosophy. It tells the story of humanity and culture. And laughs at our distortion of our past and the past within our past. It’s as much phoning it in as Neil Armstrong’s famous words were phoned into NASA. Yeah. They literally were. so Hail, Caesar! is an old rotary phone that gets high-speed internet access. And before I put you to sleep with my customary I-just-saw-a-great-movie pretentiousness. We’re gonna go back to the chorus.

Hail, Caesar!

“Hey! It’s technically very funny.”

Artistically speaking Hail, Caesar! is an exquisite work of art. It’s not a good movie. But it’s technically perfect. It’s like the stickiest time-travel paradox. I don’t know how to put it succinctly in a blog format. I’m having a hard time finding the words. You know the Yin & Yang symbol? How the two halves are joined yet separate? However people familiar with the symbol will know that they are not so separate after all because the most important part (to me at least) was always the eyes of each. The good within the bad and the bad within the good. So I think the problem I’m having is which one is on the outside. Which quality defines the whole? Is it a good movie made to look, sound and feel like it’s not and really is at the same time? Or a bad movie extremely well-made in a bad way? Only time will tell. History will be the true judge.

Josh Brolin in Hail, Caesar

“You know what? He’s right. It IS technically very funny. Very funny indeed.”

Historians will note that Mel Rook (from Mel Rook & the Seven Deadly Sins) settles the question when he writes these words (back in the year 2016):

Hail, Caesar! makes you do too much work just to be able to like it. But at the same time it’s well worth the effort and one of the best things The Coen Brothers have ever done.”

Nope. That’s not it either.

Damn.

– Mel

10 Best Fights in Captain America: Civil War (SPOILERS)

This post is full of spoilers.

MASSIVE FUCKING SPOILERS!!!

Captain America Civil War

“Run away! He’s gonna spoil the movie for us.”

I saw Captain America: Civil War on Friday. Yes. Yes. It is an amazing movie. Just like Winter Soldier, it’s more than just a comic book movie. It’s political intrigue and espionage. Very well-written and directed. Though it can be said that the entire movie is just a set-up for one incredibly cool battle sequence. But that’s alright with me. There is an epic battle in an airport that’s worth the price of admission. So many good match-ups in that sequence alone. Amazing.

One more time…

SPOILER ALERT!!!

Team Iron Man

Team Iron Man

Civil War is almost as good as that first Avengers movie (almost) and it too has some amazing match-ups. Some of the best superhero on superhero fight scenes since the original. I loved it. I loved every minute of it.

Team Captain America

Team Captain America

Here is my top ten list of my favorite fights in Civil War. Some fights are shorter than others but all have something about the match-up that I thought was cool. Pay attention. There’ll be a test later. It represents half of your grade.

Captain America: Civil War (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Captain-America-Civil-War-Divided-We-Fall-Poster

Directed by Anthony Russo & Joe Russo

Written by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely  Based on Captain America by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby

Starring Chris EvansRobert Downey Jr.Scarlett JohanssonSebastian StanAnthony MackieDon CheadleJeremy RennerChadwick BosemanPaul BettanyElizabeth OlsenPaul RuddEmily VanCampTom HollandFrank GrilloWilliam Hurt & Daniel Brühl

Civil War

“What do we do, Cap?”

“We fight.”

Kevin Hart

To the list…

10. Captain America vs. Brock/Crossbones

Crossbones vs Captain America

This is one of the first fights in Civil War. It’s everyone’s favorite Hydra bad guy Brock and he’s back looking a little worse for wear. He has some technological enhancements and he gives Cap a good fight in the opening sequence. Before getting blowed up good.

9. Black Widow & Sharon Carter vs. Winter Soldier

Black Widow vs Bucky's Scrote

These two women kick serious ass but this fight is brutal. Bucky is in full Winter Soldier mode, killing people right and left. Sharon and Natasha try to take him down.

Sharon Carter vs The Winter Soldier

They try to. These girls are not in his weight class. But it is one of the better choreographed fights. I like that the first thing Natasha does is punch him in the nuts. And Sharon gets to show off her fighting skills in this movie.

8. Spiderman vs. The Falcon

This is one of the funnier fights. Spiderman is definitely the comic relief on the Iron Man side. We know Spidey. He will talk a bad guy’s ear off while kicking his ass. Spiderman kicks ass all over the place, talking shit the entire time. But in this battle Falcon finally tells him to shut the hell up.

7. Giant Man vs Team Iron Man

Giant-Man

Massive spoiler. Ant-man becomes Giant Man in that airport fight. It’s awesome. Changes the battle dynamic immensely and helps Cap and Bucky get away. This one was cool because Giant Man was one of the original avengers. Also if they do an Ant-man sequel, it will be interesting to know that he has this one in his back pocket. I also liked that Spiderman uses The Empire Strikes Back as a reference for how to beat him.

6. Black Panther vs. Captain America

Cap vs Panther

One of the coolest new characters is Black Panther. He brings the martial arts action and, in my opinion, kicks Captain America’s ass in a few small fights throughout the movie. I can’t wait to see what they do with the character in his own movie.

5. Ant-man vs Iron Man

Ant-Man

Ant-man shrinks down to a size small enough to get inside Iron Mans suit, Hawkeye fires him through the air and he starts pulling Iron Man apart from the inside. Only Tony’s new AI F.R.I.D.A.Y. saves him with the internal fire suppression system. Otherwise he was about to get undressed by the little guy.

4. Black Widow vs. Hawkeye (Broken up by Scarlet Witch)

This is a fun fight because they’re great friends and the entire time they’re chatting and it’s funny because they’re pulling their punches until Scarlet Witch just ends it for them because they weren’t really fighting. They were just sparring. Go fight other people.

3. Scarlet Witch vs. Vision

Scarlet Witch vs Vision

Speaking of Scarlet Witch we see again in this movie how she’s the strongest and in some ways the weakest Avenger. Wanda takes Vision down brutally. Also they hint at the future romance between them. It’s very cute. Making the way she brutally kicks his ass even more heart-breaking. She forces him first to his knees and then through the floor and through the ground and just buries him in a hole like a mile deep. The only way it could have been more crushing is if he were in the middle of telling her how much he loved her when she did it.

2. Spiderman vs. Captain America

Spiderman vs Captain America

Seriously Spiderman has some of the best fights. He takes on both Cap and Bucky and not only holds his own but kicks ass. I say “kick ass” a lot in this post because that’s basically all that happens in Civil War. A lot of kicking ass. I like that Iron Man sends Spidey to fight Cap. Not because they’re about equal strength but because Cap doesn’t know him and Captain America’s biggest strength is his tactical mind. So Tony sends a complete unknown after him and he kicks Cap’s ass… for a while.

1. Iron Man vs Captain America & Bucky

Final Battle

After all the cool fights, the best fight by far is the climactic battle with Iron Man fighting Captain America and Bucky. This is the coolest because Cap and Bucky are fighting together like they’ve known each other for decades. Oh that’s right they have. And neither one could take Iron Man alone. And for most of the movie the fights aren’t as brutal as they could be because everyone is a good guy and no one is trying to kill anybody…

Final Battle 2

Except for in the last fight where the gloves come off. And they are trying to beat the shit out of each other. This is the epic battle the movie builds to and it does not disappoint.

Captain-America-Civil-War

Some Random Thoughts:

Steve is so old school, he had to wait for Peggy Carter to die before making moves on her niece Sharon. That was considerate.

I have never liked the fact that Spiderman made his own suit. I’m more okay with him making his on web slingers. It’s much more believable that Stark Industries whipped a cool costume up for him. After the credits they show off some of the cool tech they included for the Spiderman movie. Can’t wait. Tom Holland is great as a young Spidey.

No one was more disappointed than I when Black Widow didn’t throw down with King T’challa’s gorgeous female body-guard. I would have paid extra for that one.

Bucky vs Iron Man or Bucky's Arm vs an Arc Reactor

The trailer leads us to believe that Bucky disables War Machine and that’s why Tony is going after him with deceptive editing. It’s Tony’s arc reactor that he tries to rip out (before Tony blows his fucking arm away) and it’s Vision who destroys War Machine’s reactor by accident because he’s worried about Wanda. I hate when trailers are creatively edited so that it changes the plot of the movie.

War Machine down

Tony was willing to use his arc reactor on Bucky but wasn’t willing to use it on Steve. In my opinion that’s the only reason he loses that final fight. He blasted Thor with it in the first movie. He hit Bucky with it and it disintegrated his arm. Had he used it on Cap when Cap was on top of him… fight over. Of course it may have killed him.

I thought Batman v. Superman was bad before but now that I can compare it to Civil War, it is pure crap. DC movies suck ass… honestly.

Captain America

“Language.”

So in conclusion, Captain America : Civil War is a great movie. With some great fights and a good story. I’m still #TeamIronMan though. Just sign the damn accords Cap. What the hell, man.

Now here comes the new quiz.

Talk to you guys later.

– Mel

Spared or Spoiled Reviews: Irrational Man

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

Irrational Man (Sony Pictures Classics)

Irrational-Man-poster

Written & Directed by Woody Allen

Starring Joaquin PhoenixEmma StoneParker Posey & Jamie Blackley

Woody Allen syndrome (Formerly Kevin Smith syndrome [Formerly Roger Corman disease]) Also known as the attack of the lazy film-maker. The act of phoning it in because your early work has earned you many loyal fans. Fans who will see every piece of shit movie you release. When a director’s fan base ruins their creativity. Forces them into a comfort zone out of which they never have to venture because the base is large enough to support making the same garbage again and again. The moment I lose respect for my heroes.

Verdict: SPOILED

Irrational Man

“Whoa that’s harsh. Even for Mel.” “He kind of has a point.”

SPOILER ALERT

Irrational Man is not a good movie. It’s the same old thing from Woody Allen. His movies are about people behaving badly or about May-December romances or some philosophy lesson. Irrational Man is about a philosophy professor who gets into a romance with a young student and then commits the perfect murder. We’ve all seen this one before from Woody Allen. He’s been running over the same old ground for a while.

Irrational Man 2

“Isn’t this the same picture but cropped.” “I think he’s making a point.”

I’ve seen this review before. Every year there’s a new Woody Allen film and I say the same thing. Blah blah blah. I used to be a big fan. Blah blah blah. I don’t judge him by his personal life but by his work. Blah blah blah. His work hasn’t been good for a long time because he never takes chances. He puts himself on the screen and calls it courage. But we already know him. He’s an old man who likes young girls, wants to kill someone and get away with it (I’m not gonna say who) and thinks his knowledge of European philosophers qualifies him to comment on other people’s lives.

Joaquin Phoenix and Parker Posey

“Hi.” “Hello.” “What’s your name?” “I’m age-appropriate.” “What a beautiful name. I’m Woody.”

So this is a pattern of shitty work from me and him. Yet every four years or so he comes up with something mildly good. Or gets a wonderful performance out of an actor. Or finds that old Woody Allen that’s been buried under the personal baggage, psychological issues and old age. But Irrational Man is not one of those films. It’s a film made for his fans. The folks that see all his films no matter how bad. I watched this happen with Kevin Smith. He had enough die-hard fans to justify his crappy work. Like Kevin, Woody can just do different versions of Clerks for the rest of his career.

Emma Stone and Joaquin Phoenix

“Is this supposed to be creepy?” “No. I think Woody is trying to desensitize us.”

Irrational Man stars Woody’s latest muse, Emma Stone. She’s lovely and her acting style and cadence is perfect for Allen’s words. Joaquin Phoenix is great here but he’s great in everything. There was a time, when he was still good at his job, when I would remark how every character and every actor in a Woody Allen film sounded like him. But these days he finds these actors fully formed. Scarlett Johansson, Emma Stone. They already sound like him. And this is all he has to do for the rest of his career.

Irrational Man Cast

“Remember what me and your mom always told you.” “I know.” “You can do anything if you put your mind to it. Now dry those tears.” “Thanks dad.”

Irrational Man is a collection of scenes from other Woody Allen movies stitched together to form something new this year. Every year he does the same thing. Woody keeps churning out films like a zombie. He’s a zombie director.The mind is dead but the body is still technically still alive.

– Mel

Captain America: Civil War Trailer

Aw yeah.

Honestly this whole thing hurts my heart. Captain America and Iron Man fighting is sad.

Can’t we all just get along.

But then again…

Fuck yeah!

The last fight in the trailer where Bucky and Cap hold their own against Iron Man is sick.

This trailer has everything. Scarlet Witch flying. Black Panther being all Black Panther-y. Falcon kicking ass. And lots of cool dialogue between Cap and Tony. But what it doesn’t have… Vision, Hulk, Ant-Man… Spiderman.

Captain America Civil War

I hope it’s better than Winter Soldier. I’m not saying Winter Soldier was bad. Winter Soldier was amazing. I’m just hoping this is better.

– Mel