Welcome to my blog!

Yes, I’m an adolescent, but I’m definitely mature for my age. Hollywood always goes after my demographic by manufacturing crap after crap after crap and keep feasting on your money. Well I’m here to tell them that not everyone is so easily fooled. With my love of art and cinema I’ve decided to create a blog to share my reviews with you guys. I hope some of you can at least respect my opinions instead of ridicule them because I’m underage. So sit back and relax and enjoy my blog.

 

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Opinions on Howard the Duck Comics

It’s been a year since I started this review blog! In that time span I’ve made over 70 posts, whether it being reviews on movies, TV shows, and our category for today, Comic Books! So to celebrate this blog’s one year anniversary, I’ll be going over the very comics of my favorite superhero of all time, Howard the Duck! Now you might be thinking “Why the Hell is your favorite superhero some anthropomorphic duck with possibly the worst comic book film adaptations of all time?”. I know it sounds weird, but hear me out. Throughout this review, I’ll be explaining why I love him so much. Please don’t take that as a statement on beastality! We have plenty to go over so let’s dive in! In the 70’s, comics were going through the Silver Age, a time where they were starting to get more adult and deal with darker themes. A writer at Marvel named Steve Gerber was working on a comic called Man-Thing, and it was boring. It was just a clone of DC’s Swamp Thing, except with no personality. Gerber needed a hook in order to attract sales. Hmm, how about adding some wizards, demons, inter-dimensional wars, or how about a talking duck? Thus Howard the Duck was born as a visual gag in the corner.

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Howard’s backstory involves him coming from a dimension called Duckworld, where everybody is an anthropomorphic duck. He gets sucked out of his world in order to combat an inter-dimensional demon named Thog. Even though he was just a side character with very little to do, fans fell in love with him for some reason. But someone who didn’t was the Man-Thing editor who demanded that Gerber kill him off in the next issue. He did so and a nerd outcry ensued. Because of the backlash, Howard was brought back for a couple of annuals before finally getting his own solo comic in January of 1976.

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In those comics, we follow Howard’s adventures as he is thrown into the world of humans, or “hairless apes” as he calls them, and is forced to adapt to their society. Along the way he comes across a human friend, named Beverly Switzler, and a bunch of colorful baddies. The comics shine most at their social satire. Like making fun of religion, media, social norms, and other Marvel comics. I’ve read several comics from the time that are the same “villain of the week” storyline over and over again with nothing different. This is a nice change of pace as it feels as though it goes it’s own way. There’s a lot of stories here that other comics wouldn’t think to do at the time. There are some issues where Howard just takes time to think instead of just constantly fighting villains, making him more complex. Howard is funny and kind of relatable, despite the fact that he’s a talking duck. You really get to know his character, which is just a device for Gerber to express his political beliefs through. Howard has gone into other dimensions, been put into an asylum, ran for president, turned into a human, became a circus freak, exploited on TV, learned Quack Fu, and has fought an onslaught of villains. These include a giant toad, a vampire cow, a mind controlling eggplant from outer space, a crazy, old, kidney-obsessed lady; a religious nut, a mutated bubble monster, a Frankenstein gingerbread man, a secret, orange-headed organization that loves to censor things; and his arch nemesis, Dr. Bong.

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A genius who after losing his hand at a rock concert, becomes a bell-headed, mad scientist who performs experiments on animals, making them more human like in their appearance. Naturally he wants Howard, but also desires Beverly due to a past crush at college. He becomes a recurring character as he keeps Bev at his castle while Howard escapes to New York City. He believes that in order to fully earn Bev’s heart, he has to kill Howard, resulting in may ongoing confrontations between the two. I guess I should now talk about the relationship between Howard and Bev. I know it sounds awkward that the supposed love interest is between a human and a duck, but it’s not that bad. They never truly fall in love, they’re just friends who may love each other, but it’s never explored…for a good reason. Unlike the dreadful film adaptation where they wanted to sleep with each other after meeting. Besides Bev, Howard has also made allies with Bev’s uncle…who’s also named Beverly apparently, a male artist who’s also a sleepwalking vigilante, a young woman with a speech impediment named Winda, a powerful wizard named Dakimh, a barbarian from another dimension named Korrek, and a Vietnam Vet repairman who thinks he’s Tony Stark. Howard has also teamed up with other Marvel heroes like Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Hulk, Man-Thing, Jennifer Kale, Daimon Hellstrom, and…KISS of all things. The comics have a great sense of creativity, not just in the writing but in the artwork as well. Though there have been a lot of artists in the original issues, the best was Gene Colan, who’s work managed to make the world come to life and has that Silver Age look to it. Eventually Marvel got sued by Disney over the design of Howard the Duck resembling Donald Duck. You see, in foreign releases of both HTD and DD comics, they were both called the same thing. So because overseas markets didn’t do their research, there was a lawsuit involved. Howard’s design was changed and nobody at Marvel seemed to care, except for Gerber. Gerber was the kind of person who wanted no one laying a finger on his work, so the lawsuit really pissed him off. When he later claimed that he owned the rights to HTD, Marvel fired him and he was kicked out of the writing process for the HTD comics and newspaper strips. So what happens when the one person who made the comic great to begin with is removed? It becomes a crappy magazine with no talent behind it!

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The magazines were, how do you say, sleazy garbage crapped out by hacks. Because it can be more adult, means you can be a lot more dirty and foul, even at the cost of raping a beloved character’s dignity. The jokes go a little something like this, “Hey, why don’t we do a joke where Howard has to take a physical and he sees a bunch of naked dudes?”. Yep, it’s pretty bad! Because of the decrease in quality, the magazine failed and fans were turned off. It seemed as though HTD comics were over and it was back to being a character in the background. That is until Gerber came back in the 2000’s and redeemed Howard once and for all in the Max comics!

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Gerber’s return to HTD was very welcomed by Marvel and for the last comic he ever wrote, it’s kind of sad. This time using more adult themes properly and keeping the original spirit of Howard the Duck. In the last issue, Howard has a talk with God, yes, the God; and they discuss what being a creator feels like. Basically a reflection of Gerber’s history with his creation of Howard and finally letting it go. A couple years later, Gerber passed away at age 60 on February 10, 2008. Despite Gerber’s untimely passing, Howard still lives on. There have been many comic book revivals of HTD over time, but none of them being too successful as the original issues. Now he’s owned by the company that had a lawsuit over him 40 years ago. The most recent comic book appearance by Howard was a 5 issue team up with Deadpool called Deadpool the Duck.

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Which I have read and I think it’s kinda funny, but not as good as Gerber’s work. And Howard has made his fair share of film appearances as well. He had cameos in both Guardians of the Galaxy movies and had his own crappy solo film back in 1986, which I may or may not go over in my next Retro Review. So now I hope you’ve figured out why I love Howard the Duck so much, if not then…sorry.

So those are my opinions on Howard the Duck comics! Glad I managed to squeeze this out before the month is over. Hope you enjoyed it and follow me on Twitter @BenSuey, ya magnificent hairless apes! This is the Adolescent Critic signing out.

 

 

Kubrick-athon Part 2

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Barry Lyndon (1975)

Out of all the films I viewed for Kubrick-athon, this was the one I knew the least about. I didn’t know the plot, the characters, it’s release date, or even the novel it was based off of. So it was kinda pleasant watching a film with no prior knowledge and seeing how it goes. For the most part it’s a really good movie, great cinematography, direction, acting, plot, sets, costumes, lighting, score, etc. The plot follows Barry Lyndon (played by Ryan O’Neal), a young Irishman who lies his way from peasant, English soldier, Prussian soldier, spy, and husband to a rich, entitled woman. The plot has a mind of it’s own and takes its time to develop the character.  Being the longest Kubrick film at a runtime of 3hrs and 23m.  However, it never feels as though it’s too slow, there’s enough stuff going on to keep your attention. Our protagonist is such a fascinating character, he can be a charming man or a drunken slob. He’s almost dislikable as he’s a liar, cheater, adulterer, and child beater.  But it’s just so intriguing to see his life go by. The highlights are the gun duels, especially the one at the end. The film is competently made, especially shown in its lighting techniques.  In order to feel as though you’re in the 18th Century, the lighting is comprised of candle light.  The costumes are also very authentic to the times, winning it an Oscar. Some critics have said that O’Neal’s performance has no depth on screen, which I can agree with. Overall, the film is very well made and I think is one of the best films of the 70’s. Though panned by some critics upon it’s release in the U.S., the film would go on to win 4 Oscars and was nominated for 3 other categories. Definitely check this one out when getting into Kubrick’s work.

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The Shining (1980)

Now we’re at probably Kubrick’s most iconic film, the one that terrified audiences and spawned many theories. Based on the novel by Stephen King, The Shining centers around  a man named Jack Torrance (played by Jack Nicholson) who is given the job of the winter caretaker of the Overlook Hotel up in the Colorado Mountains. Along with him is his wife Wendy (played by Shelley Duvall) and his telepathic son Danny. A harsh blizzard sweeps up the land, but that seems to be the least of their problems as several hauntings keep occurring. The acting is top notch here, especially from Nicholson. You truly believe he’s going crazy, and when he snaps it’s almost terrifying to watch. The improvised scene where he breaks down the door and says “Here’s Johnny!” is one of the most memorable sequences in all of cinema. Duvall also does a great job as the broken housewife. Apparently Kubrick stressed her out on set in order to make her performance more believable. I kinda think it was worth it because in the end it was nailed perfectly. Danny was also well performed as well, he could be creepy and innocent. Though I will admit I kinda thought his voice sounded a bit annoying when he shouted “Redrum!”. There’s just so many memorable, scary visuals in this movie. Like the dog man, the elevator of blood, the twin girls, the ending photo, Nicholson’s creepy face, and many more. The eerie music also helps make the film scary as well. Speaking of which, the score was done by Wendy Carlos, who also did the soundtrack for another Kubrick movie, A Clockwork Orange! And just like any Wendy Carlos album, it’s impossible to find a copy digitally, but there’s always Vinyl! The cinematography is also fantastic as well, being one of the first horror films to utilize the steadicam. Just like any Kubrick movie, there’s always theories about it. There are so many theories that there was even a documentary about it, Room 237, even if it’s full of crazy idiots. The best theory is that the film is about the genocide of the Native Americans. There are Natives in paintings, on products, the main theme has chants in it, and there’s a line saying how the Overlook Hotel was built on a Native burial ground. There’s also references to the Holocaust as well, but I won’t get into that. Stephen King panned the movie for being unfaithful to his book, though I personally think that was a smart move on Kubrick’s behalf. As seeing how the more direct adaptation of the 1997 TV miniseries went, I think he made the right decision. Overall the film manages to be scary and is one of the best horror films of all time, up there with The Exorcist and Psycho. It’s sad because a film like this could never be made today. Audiences nowadays are so hardwired to crappy, CG, jumpscare fests that it’s hard for a more intelligent horror movie like this to fit in. But the film is still good, no matter what.

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Full Metal Jacket (1987) 

30 years after Kubrick made his epic, anti-war film, Paths of Glory, he’d make another war based film that’d be more brutally honest called Full Metal Jacket. A Vietnam War film that was praised for it’s brilliant first half, and sort of for it’s second. We follow our protagonist, Pvt. Joker (played by Matthew Modine), as he’s drafted into the Vietnam War and we chronicle his life from bootcamp with his hot headed drill sergeant, Hartman (played by the late R. Lee Ermey), to his time in Vietnam as a photographer. The best part of the film is the first half in bootcamp. Ermey’s improvisation as Sgt. Hartman is so great that when anyone thinks of this movie, they immediately go back to his performance. Another performance everyone remembers is Vincent D’Onofrio’s as Pvt. Pyle. He’s the weakling of the core who always screws up and everyone gets mad at him. At one point everyone holds him down and hits him with bars of soap. Just like Jack in The Shining, we see him go insane to the point where he talks to his gun and kills Hartman. The first half is easily the best part of the movie, it mixes comedy, drama, and horror and gives us memorable characters. Then when you get to the second half, while still good, can’t compare to the first. Pvt. Joker goes to Vietnam and meets up with his old bootcamp buddy, Pvt. Cowboy and his platoon. There’s a theory that the platoon is actually a reflection of the one at bootcamp, due to them sharing the same number and the similarities between Pvt. Pyle and the gun wielding Animal Mother (played by Adam Baldwin). A lot of Kubrick’s movies have hidden depth in them, many of them require analysis in order to discover, but here they just spell it out. Like how the relationship between the Americans and Vietnamese is like the one between the Whites and Native Americans. There are subtle hints at it, but it’s completely spelled out in the scene where they’re being filmed on the battlefield. I would have been fine if we just saw Pvt. Joker’s peace sign pin with his “Born to Kill” helmet, but they stopped to explain it twice. Overall the film is great, the first half is fantastic, while the second half lets you down just a little, still is great.

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Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

Finally we have Kubrick’s last movie, Eyes Wide Shut. The Blu Ray I have of this movie didn’t work too well, it would come to a certain point where’d it started to glitch. Luckily it is available on Netflix, so I was able to watch it. Bill and Alice Harford (played by Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman) are a couple who’s relationship is starting to crumble. Once Alice reveals that she has sexual fantasies of another man, Bill is furious and wants to get back at her. So he sets out to find a sexual experience and comes across a cult. Once he is discovered though, he ends up putting his family’s life in danger and might have cost another one in the process. Now I know I have been rather harsh on Cruise, for obvious reasons of course. Cough, The Mummy, cough! But he can be a good actor when he has something to work off of, here he does really well and is very convincing, though you’ll never refer to him as his character’s name. Nicole Kidman is great here as well, the scene where she breaks down while talking about her dream is such a shocking moment, and her acting helps make it that way. I guess the part I really should talk about is the cult scene. It’s the best part of the movie, and everybody remembers that the most. It’s such a creepy scene, the masks, music, and chants just give you a sick feeling in your stomach. When Cruise gets caught and is led to the main room, when you see the crowd just staring at him in those haunting masks, you immediately feel nervous about what’s going to happen to him. There’s a theory that it’s all about the Illuminati and since the film was too revealing, they murdered Kubrick before anything else could be given away to the public. Seeing how Kubrick wasn’t finished with the final cut of the film. I honestly never take Illuminati theories seriously and have always seen them as mumbo jumbo. Going back to the movie, the twist about the women’s death and what happened at the party, while I’m not gonna spoil it, is very surprising and catches you off guard. The lighting and cinematography is good here, just like the other films I’ve reviewed on Kubrick-athon. Sometimes it’s reminiscent of Barry Lyndon, with the shots of the Christmas lights being the only light source. Oh yeah, this takes place around Christmas time. Isn’t this what you think of when you think of Christmas, marriages falling apart, satanic cults, how jolly! Overall the film has great acting, lighting, cinematography, etc. Kubrick would go on to say this was his best contribution to film, which I do disagree with. But it’s sad, because he died of a heart attack four months before the film’s release. Though he passed away at age 70, his legacy still lives on. He has inspired many filmmakers, and his movies are still masterpieces.

So that’s Kubrick-athon part 2! Maybe I’ll do a part 3 where I’ll go over his early work like  Spartacus, The Killing, etc. Hope you enjoyed it and follow me on Twitter @BenSuey. This is the Adolescent Critic signing out.

Kubrick-athon Part 1

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Lolita (1962)

Kicking off our list is the controversial film about an old man lusting for a teenage girl. Stanley Kubrick at this point was coming off the heals of films like Spartacus and Paths of Glory, both of the starring Kirk Douglas. This is the movie that synonymous with being an arthouse risk taker. The plot, like I said earlier, is about a professor named Humbert (played by James Mason) moving over from Europe to America. While looking at a house he comes across a adolescent girl named Lolita (played by Sue Lyon). Humbert’s lust for Lolita drives him mad as he causes Lolita’s mother (played by Shelley Winters) to kill herself, drags Lolita all across the country, and constantly keeps a close eye on her. The film is competently made with great acting, a good score by Nelson Riddle, and a unique plot. It has that stamp of classic cinema on it, from the black and white, the music, and the performances. It’s weird seeing this seemingly innocent style clash with a dark plot. The film is basically an analysis of human behavior, and how far sexual urges can drive a person, or at least that’s what I got from it. It was even nominated and won some awards, including one for actress Sue Lyon. The best performance definitely goes to Peter Sellers as Clare Quilty, a genius playwright who Lolita has a crush on. Sellers was such a great actor and some believe his involvement in the movie was the main reason it sold tickets. I genuinely felt bad for the mother character, she puts up with Lolita’s crap, lost her past husband, then gets remarried to Humbert who has the hots for her daughter, and then dies. My only problem with the film being that it feels like there’s a little restraint in some scenes. I know you have to be careful with a subject like this, but I feel like there was some stuff that wasn’t expanded upon, as if it was missing. It turns out that a lot of scenes had to be cut or shortened due to complaints from Catholic foundations. Overall the film is probably my least favorite one on the blu ray collection, though that doesn’t mean it’s bad.

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Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

At the height of the Cold War, an angry brigadier general by the name of Jack D. Ripper (played by Sterling Hayden) sends his B-52s out to bomb Soviet Russia. The government officials at the Pentagon try to stop him, but he refuses to recall his planes. So it’s up to them, and the Russian ambassador, in the War Room to decide what happens next, take down the planes, or let the world be plunged into nuclear armageddon. This film is heavily known for it’s “grade A” satire of the U.S. in the Cold War. A very ballsy move for its time, though there were those who supported America and hated seeing it being portrayed like this on the silver screen. But there were those who absolutely loved it and laughed alongside.  Peter Sellers, just like in Lolita, is the highlight of the movie. It’s amazing seeing him do so many different roles perfectly. Obviously he’s the title character, Dr. Strangelove, but he’s also British, Group Captain Lionel Mandrake; and U.S. President Merkin Muffley. He also would have played the hillbilly pilot but couldn’t do a Southern accent to well, so that role was given to natural redneck, Slim Pickens. Sellers is so good in the movie that not only is every character funny, but I didn’t even know he was the president on my first watch. That’s how great he was! Interesting fact, the character of Dr. Strangelove, though being in the title, isn’t in the film for that long. He sort of plays an important part, but only has like little over 5 min. of screen time.   Dr. Strangelove isn’t even in the novel the film is adapted from, Red Alert. George C. Scott is also in the film as a gruff general named Buck Turgidson. Scott was another great actor and plays his part splendidly. I especially love his banter with the Russian ambassador, completely summing up America’s relationship with Russia during the Cold War. Though not having a dark and serious tone, the ending is actually a bit mean. The film literally ends in the world being destroyed by nuclear weapons. I like it, because I thought it was a very good point to end on and is better than the original ending. That ending would basically be a huge, glorified pie fight between everyone in the War Room, which I think would have been way too silly for the movie. Overall the film is very enjoyable to watch with its memorable and funny characters, great satire, and it’s guts to make a comedy out of a subject that everyone was crapping their pants about back in those times. And who can forget the classic line, “Mein Fuhrer! I can walk!”? Oh, and the film’s a metaphor for sex.

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2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) 

I’ve never seen a film as breathtaking as this film, the sets, effects, and camerawork are all magnificent. There wasn’t a single moment where I felt bored or disinterested. The visuals are so astounding that I’m immediately entranced whenever I look at the screen. I would usually tell the plot by this point, but it’s a little hard to follow in this case. One moment where at the dawn of man where our species first learns how to use tools, then we’re in the fictional future of 2001 where men are investigating a strange asteroid on the moon, then we see a mission to Jupiter where the super computer named Hal 9000 goes rogue and starts killing the crew, next we jump to the last surviving crew member who makes it to Jupiter and goes beyond through a colorful vortex and sees his future selves, and yeah, it’s complicated. But I  don’t care because the film is so gorgeous to look at. The vortex scene just hits you with vibrant colors and beautiful visuals. Even when it’s just a space ship trying to land in a station, it’s so pretty. The use of Richard Strauss’ music also helps to give it that feel. The thing that ties the events of the stories together is a tall, iPhone looking machine called a monolith. The machine is sent from an unseen extra-terrestrial species to influence humanity’s use in technology. Whenever it shows up, we hear a creepy choir accompanying it that gives it this foreboding presence. The characters aren’t that memorable, apart from the super computer Hal 9000. He’s so creepy, even when he’s supposed to be friendly, that flat toned voice just gives him a nerve wracking presence. Spoilers, the ending where the survivor, named David, becomes the Star Child has always been up to interpretation. There’s a lot of theories about God, the aliens, and what the ending actually means. I kind of took it as the monolith made him the next step in our evolution. We see how it helps early man use tools and influences our interest in technology. Then again, that’s just what I got from it. There was a sequel, 2010: The Year We Make Contact, but Kubrick didn’t do it, so I’m not gonna go over it. Overall despite it’s lack of a consistent plot, the film has great visuals, good acting, fantastic set design, and good use of music. A film that still holds up after 50 years.

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A Clockwork Orange (1971)

Out of all the movies on I’m reviewing, this is my absolute favorite. The music, cinematography, sets, visuals, thought provoking plot, and a magnificent performance by Malcolm McDowell. In a sexualized future England, we follow Alex (played by Malcolm McDowell), a troublemaking teen who goes out at night with his droogs and breaks into houses, assaults old men, and get into fights with rival gangs. One night he accidentally kills a cat lady and is arrested. While in prison, he jumps at the chance to be a guinea pig in an experiment to cure criminals of their madness. Once he is out however, things seem to get worse for the newly reformed Alex, as he comes across bad event after bad event. McDowell’s performance is the highlight of the movie, he can be scary and sympathetic. In the beginning, he’s a wicked little punk who is disturbing to watch, but at the end he seems helpless and is tormented by the people he wronged, which makes you feel kinda sad for him. Few actors can pull that off well! A lot of people are disgusted by the nudity and violence, but that’s what makes the film so memorable. It doesn’t hold itself back and uses shock value to it’s advantage. After all, the film was some sort of warning about teenage delinquency and what the future may hold. It also betrays the future, British government as a corrupt one full of buffoons. Maybe reflective on the British or American government at the time. The theme is about how machine cannot alter human nature. The importance of evil in man is reflected upon the character of Alex. The film is very well paced and manages to keep your attention. Besides the disturbing parts of the movie, there’s also dark comedic aspects to the film. For example, you get a scene where Alex and his droogs break into a couples’ house and beat them.  The cinematography is well shot and eye-catching.  The sets and costumes look great and give the film such a 70’s look. It’s memorable and still looks unique to this day.  I love the music most of all, it’s  given me new found respect for classical music. Wendy Carlos, who also did the score to another Kubrick film we’ll get to in part 2, did the music for this movie, which is a bunch of techno renditions of Beethoven music. The main theme, The Funeral of Queen Mary, sets the film’s tone and is one of the greatest motion picture scores ever made. What is disappointing about the score is how rare it is to find an album of it. I’ve searched iTunes, Spotify, Youtube, and came up with barely anything besides covers. However, there are CDs, Vinyl records, and cassette tapes of it available on online stores such as Amazon. I could dive more into the controversy and the behind the scenes stuff, but I have to go over more Kubrick films. Overall this is a masterpiece and Kubrick’s best film, so I highly recommend you see this movie if you want to get into his work.

So that’s part 1 of my Kubrick-athon! Sorry if this one is too long, I want to really  talk about these movies without having to do separate reviews of each of them. I promise that part 2 will come soon, I know that I haven’t been to honest in the past, but just trust me here. Hope you enjoyed it and follow me on Twitter @BenSuey. This is the Adolescent Critic signing out.

 

 

 

 

Deadpool 2 (2018) Review

Hi guys, today were reviewing the most anticipated film of 2018, Solo: A Star Wars Story! Nah, like anyone went to go see that, no no, I’m going to review Deadpool 2. Possibly my most favorite super hero film of the year so far. It’s funny, the action is cool, the characters are memorable, but there’s some flaws I have to go over. So put on your red spandex and make your chimichangas, because we’re jumping right into Deadpool 2. By the way there’s also spoilers here too. The plot centers around Deadpool/Wade Wilson (played by Ryan Reynolds) is mourning over his dead love Vanessa, who was killed when thugs broke into their apartment.  The X-Men take him in, send him on a mission to help a kid who’s named Russel who has the power to control fire and he’s out of control. After Deadpool discovers how abusive the orphanage the kid comes from is towards mutants, he shoots some of the employees and gets arrested along with the kid.   Over the course of the film, Deadpool and Russel kinda form a friendly relationship, which will help Russel’s violent behavior. However, it seems Russel has caused a lot more harm, as a time traveler from the future is out to kill him, his name being Cable (played by Josh Brolin). So it’s up to Deadpool, and a group of mutants with him called X-Force, to stop Cable from killing Russel. First things first, the comedy is still as good as the first movie. It’s slick and hits the marks like it’s supposed to. My favorite jokes being the Wolverine references, the after credits scenes, and Peter. The one scene that made me laugh so hard was when the X-Force Team jumps out of the helicopter and just straight up dies except for Deadpool and Domino. The plot can be kind of predictable, so having a scene like this caught everyone off guard. It’s also nice to see a movie that makes me have a good laugh, because a lot of modern comedies and other superhero flicks don’t have that witty type of humor. Either it’s painfully unfunny or badly timed, but this feels like a breath of fresh air. Deadpool is the same character as the last film, Reynolds is so perfect for the part that he steals the spotlight whenever he’s on screen. Brolin’s Cable, performance wise, shares a lot of similarities to his performance as Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad, but there isn’t a lot to take away from it. He’s got that serious tone in his voice and never cracks a joke, except this time he’s more broody instead of threatening. He’s just the straight man to the comedy. I do think Brolin was a an okay choice, he fits the character of Cable from the comics. Going back to the predictable plot, I knew that Deadpool and him were going to be enemies at first but later become allies at the end.  If you know comics, you’ll know that their best bros, it wasn’t a surprise when they came together. There was also Domino who I didn’t mind whatsoever. She managed to be entertaining and not annoying. I’m not astounded if there’s people out there who hate it that the character is black instead of white like in the comics, but you all know that I don’t really care unless the character is well written. Luckily she is and the actress they chose was great for the part.   I’m at least glad they didn’t take advantage of it in order to sell the movie like Ghostbusters (2016). And no, that  “luckily” statement is not a pun on her superpower being that she’s overly lucky.  TJ Miller and the cab driver were fine, the deposed X-Force characters were one note, the girlfriend Vanessa was also good, but the X-Men characters felt tact on. Though Colossus actually did things in the plot, Negasonic Teenage Warhead really had no point being there.  The studio was like “Well, people liked her in the last movie, so put in this one as well”.  Her girlfriend was just there to be there. But the character of Russel (also known as Firefist) was at times annoying, especially when he said lines like “Damn, it’s good to be gangster!”. Uggggghhhhhhh! The relationship between him and Deadpool, though cliche, was at least well executed. Russel teams up with fan favorite Juggernaut (also played by Ryan Reynolds), who’s only there because Reynolds loves him. He’s given no development outside of being huge and evil, but at least he’s miles beyond the obnoxious version portrayed in X-Men: The Last Stand. The action was as fun as the last movie, thought the CG effects look a lot more phony, with the good effects only going into Cable’s robotic arm. Plus the score is just a generic action movie score you hear in most action movies nowadays. I hate that, because if you’re going to have an epic fight scene, shouldn’t the music accompanying it be epic as well? It only takes away from what should be an awesome moment. Overall, Deadpool 2 is a good comic book movie with a lot of laughs, good action, and likable characters for the most part. I can’t really decide which Deadpool movie I enjoyed the most, this one or the previous one. I guess I like this one more.

So that’s my review of Deadpool 2! Now that this post is over I can now fulfill my promise of doing Kubrick-athon. So like always, stay tuned. Hope you enjoyed this review and follow me on Twitter @BenSuey. This is the Adolescent Critic signing out.

The ‘Nam #1-10 Review

Happy Memorial Day, to honor those who gave their lives on the battlefield, we’re going to review issues #1-10 of Marvel’s The ‘Nam. The ‘Nam was a pretty ballsy comic for the late 80’s. It dealt with the horrors of the Vietnam War, and the poor men who had to endure it. Keep in mind that most schools and parents wouldn’t teach kids of the war due to the shame that America lost a war that was a lost cause to begin with. But these comics helped to teach kids about it without adults having to explain it, which made it earn it’s place in comic book history. Now we’ve seen the Vietnam War handled in films and on TV, but how are the comics going to handle it? Well, let’s find out with The ‘Nam! Edward Marks is a young man who’s drafted into the Vietnam War and immediately experiences the horrors of war. Along the way he joins his platoon and meets his friends Mike, Crews, and his commanding officer, Sgt. Polkow. Through the first ten issues, we come across deaths, bombings, and lots of trauma. Despite being a form of entertainment, the comic is also very educational as well. The writer, Doug Murray, was dedicated to making this comic as historically accurate as possible. He himself was a Vietnam vet who frequently did tours of his post there. He’d insert stories that were based on real events and facts of life in the war. He’d use military codes, real settings, specialized weaponry, and documents of soldiers. He stated several times to his Marvel colleagues that he wasn’t doing a G.I. Joe or Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos type of comic, it was going to be as accurate as possible, as long as it didn’t go over the Comics Code. The heavy themes are dealt well in this comic. Usually when comics try to deal with adult themes, like comics around this time, they fall on flat on their faces. However, this comic does it perfectly and doesn’t feel like it’s talking down to readers. It knows how to treat source material like this and succeeds. The characters are just like the characters you’d see in a Vietnam War movie. You get an average joe who gets drafted into war and meets some colorful, one note soldiers along the way. You get the strict leader, the immature jock soldiers, and the best friend who will ultimately die so our protagonist can have motivation. You could say that’s spoilers, but come on, you knew he was gonna die anyway. They’re are two interesting characters however. One of them the first sergeant Tops, who’s become completely corrupted from being in the war. When you first meet him, it’s already established how greedy and slimy he is by showing how he’ll rank a soldier determined by if they bribe him or not. We learn later that he was once a wise and humble soldier, until the battlefield changed his mind. He’ll literally let his men die in order to get himself to safety. He’s always busting Sgt. Polkow’s balls to the point where he almost punches him. He’s fighting a war for his country and all he cares about is money, what a crook. In the end, he gets what he deserves. The other character I’d like to mention is a former V.C. turned Kit Carson Scout named Duong. He’s introduced in issue #7 and the whole story of it is centered on his life. Probably the first and only time a media portrayal of the Vietnam War to focus on the opposing side. We go over Vietnam’s history in war, starting with the time where Japan invaded to the current events of the story. We go over his life as a rebel who’s fought hard in order to restore his country’s freedom. All the while showing Vietnam’s constant struggle to be it’s own country. It’s sad because when it seems he has finally found peace and happiness, he’s forced back on the battlefield. Both of his wives have been killed, both by the Japanese and French; then later is forced to turn against the very country he has fought for for years. It’s sad to say the least, and gives us insight to the other side of the war. According to Murray, Duong’s story is apparently based off of other Kit Carson Scouts’ stories. I guess the last thing to talk about is the artwork by Michael Golden and Wayne Vansant. Despite having a dark tone, the artwork can sometimes be a little cartoony. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not badly drawn, and when it needs to be it fits the tone, but sometimes the character portions can just look too odd to go with the comic’s subject matter. For example, Tops kinda looks like Steve Harvey in some panels. But don’t let that make you think I hate it, because I don’t. Though The ‘Nam proved to be a success upon it’s release, soon sales started to drop. Of course Marvel tried to spark up sales by inserting popular heroes like the Punisher, but that didn’t work the comic was folded in 1993. It’s sad because judging from the first ten issues, this comic had a lot of potential,  it even won an award. Overall the first ten issues of The ‘Nam are really good. It was definitely provocative for the time and clearly had effort put into it. If you’re in the mood to get into some war comics, then I highly recommend this one.

So that’s my review of The ‘Nam #1-10. Stay tuned because I’ve got more reviews on the way. Hope you enjoyed it and happy Memorial Day. What else was I supposed to see today, go see Solo, ha! Also follow me on Twitter @BenSuey. This is the Adolescent Critic signing out.

Kubrick-athon Announcement

I’ve realized that I haven’t done a retro review in a while. I was originally planning to review Little Shop of Horrors due to the movie party of it I attended last month, but I found out I didn’t have much to say about it. So I went to the next best thing, I would do a marathon of films from my favorite director, Stanley Kubrick in a two-part series that I’m calling “Kubrick-athon”! Now I know what you’re thinking, “Boy, for a guy who makes fun of cliches, he sure does follow the cliche of every film buff idolizing Stanley Kubrick as the greatest director of all time”. I am aware we hear that a lot, “Kubrick is the best director, no one can compete”. Except unlike other people who only take the word of mouth, I actually watch a person’s movies before I can determine they’re my favorite. That’s the case with good, old Kubrick! I’m not necessarily going to review his whole library of films, but only the ones that are featured on the blu ray masterpiece collection. Recently I bought a limited collector’s edition of Kubrick’s best films, plus some other neat stuff I tweeted about.

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If you’re interested in getting it, I’d say go for it because it’s awesome, but it will drain a lot of money out of you. Back to Kubrick-athon, I will be getting to that sometime soon and a new Comic Book Corner review I’m planning on releasing on Memorial Day. We’re going over eight movies spanning four decades, not counting the various documentaries that come with the collection. So keep in touch because part 1 of Kubrick-athon is on it’s way! This is the Adolescent Critic signing out.

Avengers: Infinity War (2018) Review

Wow! I did not expect this to be as different as other Marvel movies! I was going to just review this as another Marvel movie, but some of it was, actually different from the usual generic, popcorn flicks that we’re so used to by now. That being the ending and the villain of Thanos. I’ll warn you now that this is a very spoiler heavy review, so if you haven’t seen it and have any interest in going to watch it, then don’t continue reading. If you don’t want to see it, or you’ve already saw it, then you may stay. After the upbeat ending of Thor: Ragnarok where the people of Asgard venture forward, they all die at the hands of Thanos (played by Josh Brolin). Yep, that’s what makes this Marvel film so different. It’s darker and feels like a turning point in the franchise. Thanos kills everyone, including Loki (played by Tom Hiddleston), and only Thor and Hulk (played by Chris Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo) survive. Hulk lands on Earth and turns into Bruce Banner, while telling everyone of the incoming invasion of Thanos. Thanos wants all five  powerful, jolly rancher-like rocks known as infinity stones. So, it’s up to our heroes, that being the Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Spider-Man (played by Tom Holland), and Doctor Strange (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) to save the day. This is probably my favorite of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We all know by now that Marvel movies are not masterpieces of film. They’re meant to be crowd-pleasing, popcorn flicks that make the dumb, mainstream audience cheer. Not necessarily saying this one is entirely different from the rest, there is still tact-on humor, cluttered, CG fight scenes; and told on the level that third graders can understand. But there were risks taken with this film that no one would ever think would happen in these movies. Marvel has a trend of having bland, underwhelming villains that are easily forgettable. However, with Thanos it’s actually a welcomed change. Thanos gets a lot of development and feels like an actual threat instead of your run of the mill bad guy. The film does a good job making him feel unstoppable. He takes everyone down one by one and will kill anyone to get the infinity stones. In the end, he wins! That’s right, Marvel had the balls to say to the popcorn munchers “Screw you, you’re not getting the happy ending this time”. Thanos gets all the infinity stones and everyone in the world starts to die. Even a lot of the heroes die! I made a joke before I saw this that it would be hilarious if Black Panther gets completely obliterated by Thanos, seeing how he’s huge right now. I mean, his movies been out for 2 months and it’s one of the highest grossing films of the decade so far. So I was like “No way they’re going to kill him off, audiences would has tantrums”, but they did kill him off anyway. He and the others who disintegrated into dust are obviously coming back, but still he died! They didn’t even give you a hint of how the heroes are coming back, they leave you hanging. I love it, I bet all the little kids and main-appeal crowds are going to hate this ending. They always want the same thing 20 times over, they despise it when something is different. Sure, people like me who are above the age of 10 know that they’re coming back, but I wouldn’t be surprised that theaters are flooded with kiddie tears right now. I went to see this film with a friend, who I’m not going to tell his name, and we sometimes whispered jokes to each other, sort of like MST3K. We kinda knew that there’d be idiot folk talking during this, so we didn’t really care. Except we ended up talking the most out of everyone in the theater.  I also saw it again with my brother and his friend because they wanted to see the movie and I wanted to catch anything that I missed in my first viewing. Both screenings had some funny reactions from audience members. In my first viewing in a crowded theater, right when we’re at the shot of Thanos looking at the sunset, a woman sitting right next my friend and I yelled out “What the f#%k!”. Then she yelled it again when the credits came on. She walked out of the theater pissed at the ending. It wasn’t funny for her, but it was hilarious for us. At my second screening at an almost dead theater, the funny reaction this time was from my brother who was also sitting right next to me. Right when Thanos won and everyone started to fade away, his jaw dropped to the floor. I wanted to take a video of him and post it on Twitter, but the lighting in the theater made it hard to see on my phone. Getting into the movie itself, let’s talk about the characters. All the heroes are fine, there’s nothing new brought to them, but the villain of Thanos is brilliantly expanded upon. Going into the movie, I didn’t really care about Thanos. They’ve been building him up for so long with never explaining why would we should be hyped for him. He just seemed like the final boss in a video game, he’s the hardest but will be defeated. But after watching the movie, Thanos was definitely the best part of it. Josh Brolin’s performance adds to weight and tension to the role. This is definitely his movie! Whenever he’s screen, you feel the pressure that’s put upon our heroes. The CG for him was also well done. Over 300 million dollars went into this movie and most of it was used into the effects. Thanos never feels like he’s added in in post-production. He feels like he’s there interacting with the characters, and not actors staring at a green screen. The sets are awesome too, in Black Panther Wakanda never looks real. But here it looks better and almost looks like a real location. Same thing with all the planets and space ships. I do like it how they kill beloved heroes off. I know all the people who disintegrated into dust are coming back, but I’m pretty sure Gamora and Vision aren’t coming back. Gamora’s death was actually very surprising and serves a point in the plot. It adds emotional motivations for Thanos and Star-Lord (played by Chris Pratt). Vision dies twice, first he has this emotional sacrifice and blows up, destroying the mind stone in his head. But Thanos just uses the time stone to turn back time, bring him back to life, and rip the stone right out of his forehead. I really don’t care about the character of Vision. His relationship with the Scarlett Witch is uninteresting and was stupid. Loki dies too, but I’ve already said that. I’m gonna hate it if they bring all the characters back and make this movie basically pointless. You did something really dark and new, but screwed it all up. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen. Also some of the scenes with the Guardians of the Galaxy often derail the plot to tell jokes. It messed up the film’s pace and felt tact on. There’s nothing else to say and this is probably the best film in the MCU. Overall the film is good, it took risks and really paid off in the end. I genuinely hope Marvel keeps this up.

So that’s my review of Avengers: Infinity War! I was supposed to get to this earlier but I’ve been sooooo lazy recently. Hopefully that’s all out of my system and I’ll get more stuff done. Hope you enjoyed it and follow me on Twitter @Ben Suey. This is the Adolescent Critic signing out.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Comics Review

I had a bit a hard time figuring out my next Comic Book Corner post. The last five CBC posts have had a point why I was reviewing it. Whether it would be an upcoming holiday, the month, or just because I needed to update my blog. What now? You know what, why have a tie-in? Just review what you want, it’s your blog, your rules. Let’s go over something random with the random comic series of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Wait, was that a tie-in, whatever. If you were grew up either in the late 80’s or above, chances are you’ve heard of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It could be form a friend, family member, or you watched the show yourself. I am one of those kids. It’s everything a kid would love. Cartoon turtles that eat pizza, are ninjas, and are teenagers who know cool lingo. There have been TMNT shows, movies, toys, and gross food products. But let’s not forget the franchise’s roots, in comic books. I’ll remind you that we’ll be focusing on issues #1-7. In 1984, comic book writers Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman created a small company called Mirage Studios. They wanted to publish a single-issue comic that spoofed popular Marvel comics from around that time. It would follow four anthropomorphic turtles that were young adults and knew ninjutsu. They were named Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Donatello after the famous Renaissance artists. They fought crime off the streets, primarily the evil mastermind Shredder and his army of ninjas called the Foot Clan. That comic was published in May 1984 and gained vast amounts of popularity like the comics it was parodying. So the duo created more comics and soon it became a phenomenon. They didn’t expect the comic to get so much attention, but fate was fate, and they wrote more issues. We’d get to know more characters along the way, like the Turtles’ mentor, a mutated rat named Splinter, friendly allies, and an onslaught of unique bad guys.  Most kids that grew up watching the cartoons and movies were unaware of the original source material. There’s a lot different from the comics and its adaptations. A lot shows were kid-friendly with no swearing, blood, and killing. The tone was more light-hearted and harmless. The comics however, took a much more dark and serious tone. There was blood and killing. In the original 80’s cartoon show, the Foot Clan is comprised of robots so the turtles can constantly slice them up without controversy. In the comics, they’re human and die about as much. Even Shredder, the Turtles’ arch nemesis, gets killed off in the first issue. You might say that’s a spoiler, but that’s the only major one I’ll get to. So yeah, Shredder doesn’t make it past the first issue. He comes back later, but still, he died. Everyone who has seen the show knows the Shredder is the main villain. He’s the one the Turtles fight the most, he’s always behind something. Not here though! We get a backstory that Shredder was the assassin of Splinter’s former owner before he was mutated. The Turtles face him and his Foot Clan at the top of a building and kill all of his soldiers and best him in combat. The ask him to, and this is not a stereotype, commit seppuku, but he refuses and the Turtles throw him off the building. The rest of the issues go as you’d expect. The Turtles eventually befriend a quirky news reporter named April O’Neil and have some adventures with her. They later fight a mad scientist named Baxter Stockman, who built mouse hunting robot called “Mousers”, and he sends them to kill Splinter but the Turtles jump in and stop him. Raphael, always feeling rebellious, goes out one night to fight crime on his own and comes across another vigilante wearing a hockey mask named Casey Jones. The two square and eventually realize that they can’t beat each other, resulting in them forming a bond. Then the Turtles and April discover that Splinter has been kidnapped and find out that the culprits are inanimate brains from another dimension. But then the Turtles get into a teleportation accident and get beamed into another universe and befriend a fugitive robot with the conscience of a scientist and they get captured and are put into a galactic gladiatorial arena to fight anthropomorphic dinosaurs…maybe this isn’t how you think it goes. TMNT has always had a memorable roster of both heroes and villains. However, not a whole lot of them appeared until the 80’s cartoon. For example, the popular characters of Bebop and Rocksteady don’t make an appearance. Neither does Krang, we see members of his species, but not him. Instead, we get Fugitoid, a fugitive robot with the the mind of a scientist named Zayton Honeycutt. He’s a homage to C-3PO form Star Wars, except not as cowardly. In fact, all of issue #5 is a homage to Star Wars. There’s a scene where the Turtles and Fugitoid go into a cantina and have a shootout. Oh yeah, the Turtles use laser blasters in the comics. Then they get arrested and become gladiators against their will. They fight anthropomorphic triceratops’, called Triceratons, and later are sent back to their dimension. As you can tell, these are no ordinary comics. The Turtles, for the most part, don’t have much different personalities. Raphael gets a little rebellious, but that’s about it. Leonardo is the leader and the rest all seem to follow him. Splinter is just the wise, old mentor that raised the Turtles and has a father/son relationship with them. April is just an eccentric ally, Casey Jones is just a frenemy, Baxter Stockman is an insane inventor, and Shredder dies. That’s about it. Not to say it’s bad, they kick ass and throw one-liners. When the show came around, the creators made more of an attempt to give the Turtles more personality. Leonardo was still the leader, but Raphael became more rebellious, Michelangelo became a goofball, and Donatello became the nerdy one that’s into science. Just your typical group cliches from the 80’s and 90’s. April was still enjoyable, yet became a bit of a damsel in distress. I can go on about the cartoon, but we’re here to talk about the comic. The artwork is good, there’s nothing really to complain about. It fits the tone and the character designs are fine. The collection I got only has them in black and white, but there are colored versions of them out there. The villains are not as memorable as they are in the show. Sure, their designs are mostly unique, but personality wise, not much can be taken away from them. Shredder is just a main bad guy that gets axed off, Baxter Stockman is just your typical mad scientist, and the Triceratons just serve as villains of the week. I don’t doubt that they were expanded upon later, but judging from only the first seven issues, they’re not. Overall TMNT #1-7 are good comics to read. Spoof or not the writers clearly put effort into them. I don’t have any plans to look at further TMNT comics in the future, but we’ll see what happens. I could talk about the more recent Michael Bay film adaptations, but I feels like what has been said about them would be no different from my own opinion. So order some pizza, dig up all your old TMNT action figures, and read the very comics that started it all!

So that’s my review of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics! Recently I ordered a huge collection of the Life in Hell comic strips by Matt Groening, but they haven’t come in yet. Amazon said it shipped but it has no tracking. I don’t know when it will really arrive, hopefully soon. In the meantime, hope you enjoyed this review and follow me on Twitter @Ben Suey. This is the Adolescent Critic signing out.

Isle of Dogs (2018) Review

After months of waiting, I saw my most anticipated film of 2018, Isle of Dogs. A stop motion animated film by Wes Anderson. The plot takes place in future Japan in Megasaki City. A huge outbreak of dog flu infests the people of the city and Mayor Kobayashi files an executive order to exile all the dogs of Megasaki City a garbage-dump island called Trash Island. On the island, there’s a small pack of dogs named Chief (voiced by Bryan Cranston), Rex (voiced by Edward Norton), Boss (voiced by Bill Murray), Duke (voiced by Jeff Goldblum), and King (voiced by Bob Balaban). One day they come across a plane crash containing a little boy named Atari Kobayashi. He came to the island looking for his lost dog, Spots (voiced by Liev Schreiber). The dogs agree to help Atari find his lost dog and this results in dog fights, student protests, and corrupt government who have some shady secrets. So far this is the best film I’ve seen this year. This is Anderson’s second stop motion animated film, the first being Fantastic Mr. Fox. The film has great animation, funny humor, terrific acting, and a decent score. The plot seems to be unique. Though I fail to see anyone allowing their pet to be taken away from them, at least it’s not a recycled plot line. Apparently the Kobayashi family has held a grudge against dogs for a long time. In samurai times, the Kobayashi family ordered all dogs to be killed, but a boy samurai betrays his own species to protect the dogs. The Kobayashi’s were defeated, but never forgot. Now that this raging dog flu is spreading around the city, they now have an advantage. Now this film has a strong cast. Besides the people I just mentioned, there’s also Scarlett Johansson, Frances McDormand, Harvey Keitel, F. Murray Abraham, Tilda Swinton, Ken Watanabe, and Yoko Ono.  Everyone must have been dying to get a role in this movie! Even if some of them only have bit parts. The five main characters are good. Though not much of them have too much development. Chief is a stray who was rounded up with all the dogs and clearly is hiding something. He’s the one that gets the most development and is voiced by Walter White, neat! There’s Rex, who’s a smart-mouth and is basically the geek of the group. Duke is very quirky and often tells a lot of misinformation, like a living Buzzfeed. Boss was a mascot for a baseball team before he was taken away to the island. He’s the one with the least development. Then you have King, who is also a fallen mascot except he achieved a lot more fame from a dog food brand and is now washed up. They’re not the best developed, but still are good characters. It’s like the side characters from Aliens, sure there’s not much too of them, but the writing and actors chosen make them enjoyable. Besides the dog characters, there’s also humans. The main one being the boy, Atari Kobayashi. He clearly loved his dog and really wants him back. Even if he was just a guard dog. Atari is the adopted nephew of Mayor Kobayashi, who’s really just Japanese Hitler. Actually, the whole film is just an allegory for the Holocaust. With the government being the Third Reich and the dogs being the Jews. Some people say that’s really metaphorical for the European Migrant Crisis back in 2015. But the film was already in production a year earlier. Mayor Kobayashi has this butler that looks like he jumped straight out of an episode of The Addams Family. He almost looks out of place but ends up fitting in okay. There’s also a student protestor that rallies against Mayor Kobayashi. I wonder if it was the studio’s decision to make her a white, exchange student from America, but I don’t know. Though this is a nitpick, it kind of bothers me that the character of Professor Watanabe is not played by Ken Watanabe. Why would you get him to be in your movie if you’re not going to have him as the character who shares the same name as him. Come on, Yoko Ono’s character has the same name, why not him? Going back to the dog characters, F. Murray Abraham plays a wise, old, Scottish terrier named Jupiter. I think Abraham is a terrific actor and is in one of my favorite movies, Amadeus. He also serves the role of the narrator and says his lines with sincerity. I kind of want to know more about his character, he comes across as a very mysterious character. With Salieri voicing him, I’m all for it. He’s accompanied by a funny oracle dog voiced by Tilda Swinton. The joke is that everyone thinks she can predict the future, when really she can understand the news. Scarlett Johansson plays Nutmeg, a former show dog that has completely lost hope since being on Trash Island. She becomes the love interest of Chief. The problem is she shows up at the beginning and disappears until the end. Enough with the characters, let’s talk about the animation. I just realized that this is the first animated movie I’ve talked about on this blog. The Star Wars Holiday Special had an animated portion, but the less I say about that train wreck, the better. For the first animated feature I’ve reviewed on this blog, it’s very well done. It has it’s own style to it, with the designs, visuals, and the advent of stop-motion which you rarely see in movies nowadays. I know some people are turned off by the animation because some of the designs look a tad ugly, but if you look past that the animation is astounding. It’s done by the same team that did Fantastic Mr. Fox. The film also has a very sly sense of humor. It isn’t like a Marvel movie where it feels tacked on in order to sell it to a main appeal audience, it comes at the right moments and doesn’t feel like an interruption. The best humor comes from the main pack of dogs, especially from Duke. He’s like that one kid at school that believes everything the media says and always feels like sharing it with everyone. The humor also isn’t so overused that it takes away from the serious. Nothing feels like it’s dumbed down for younger audiences and presents itself in a great way.  There actually are some very adult themes in the film for a PG-13 movie. I know the rating seems very subdued in this modern age, but this film doesn’t treat itself as if it needs to restrain from darker subjects. There is a decent amount of blood in this movie. It isn’t so much to the point where it’s gory, but is a surprising quantity for a PG-13 rating. I also want to discuss the score. It’s comprised of music from Alexandre Desplat and some by Kaoru Watanabe. Desplat uses the same tempo and sounds in each song, but it fits the film’s tone and scenery. I like the bass choir of men along with the taiko drums. There is also some music borrowed from pieces of classic, Japanese cinema like Seven Samurai. I’m going to get into a bit of spoilers, so skip this part unless you’re not interested in seeing the movie. It’s revealed that Kobayashi and his party purposefully caused the outbreak of dog flu. It’s not surprising but doesn’t take anything away from the film. The only other thing I have a problem with is the twist of Chief being related to Atari’s dog, Spots. I don’t get why it was put in and it really goes nowhere. They could easily edit it out of the movie and it would change nothing. I guess it was added in because Atari gives Chief a bath later in the movie and he shares a strong resemblance to Spots. At first I thought “Oh no, the twist is gonna be that Chief is really Atari’s dog”. Throughout the film he sees being a pet as pathetic, then he later reveals that he was once a housepet and he bit his owner’s hand off. So I thought that was going to tie-in somehow, but luckily they didn’t and I’m thankful for it. Overall I think the film is nothing short of great. I hear a lot of people think the film is racist for the setting of Japan. Mostly because it’s not “embraced” enough. There’s no stereotyping and the scenes that shows images of Japanese culture are fine. Some people think it should be more in the forefront of the plot, but it’s not supposed to be the main focus. The film mainly focuses on Atari trying to find his dog while bonding with the pack of dogs, as it should. People also don’t like how there’s many English speaking actors in a Japanese setting. I personally thought the contrast of the people speaking Japanese and the dogs speaking English was a nice touch, but there’s complaints of too much English. I think I need to remind those people that this is an American movie. Sure the U.S. is a place with many different cultures, but the main nationality is American. Even if it was an all Japanese speaking movie with subtitles, people would then complain about having to read their way through the movie. If you want to see a movie like that, then watch a foreign film. The U.S. isn’t the only country in the world the distributes movies. I don’t know why people don’t get this. Ignoring that, this film is very passionate. Wes Anderson always puts a lot of effort in his movies and it clearly pays off. A nice feature is if you ignore the title, it sounds like the characters are saying “I love dogs”. Showing that he, and the rest of the crew, actually cared about making this movie. I can’t wait for this to come out on Blu Ray so I can watch it at home.

So that’s my review of Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs! I think the dog flu in the movie projected out of the screen because I have something. Hope you enjoyed this post and follow me on Twitter @Ben Suey. This is the Adolescent Critic signing out.

My Favorite Movie of All Time!

I have been a film buff for years now. I’ve seen many movies, both bad and good. No other movie has come close to the one that I hold close to my heart. The characters are well written, the direction is fantastic, the editing is flawless, the dialogue is shakespearean, the acting is Oscar-worthy, everything about the movie is amazing. My followers, the film that has earned my respect and has no problems whatsoever, is none other than the masterpiece simply known as, Bio-Dome!

 

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Ever since this film came out, critics and audiences alike have called it a terrible, horrible dumpster fire of a movie. What do I have to say to that? They’re all full of donkey droppings, because this film is a milestone! This plot is about two rad dudes named Bud (played by the messiah himself, Pauly Shore) and Doyle (played by Stephen Baldwin) get tricked by their super hot girlfriends into going in to a science experiment. That experiment involves a handful of nerdy, buzzkill scientists putting themselves in an ecological environment for a period of time. But the cool duo accidentally confuse the place for a mall, so they go to the bathroom in there. Then, uh oh, they get stuck in there with the scientists and have to stay with them. This results in some wacky hijinks with our lovable, and not the least bit annoying, leads. GNARLY!!! If you don’t know who Pauly Shore is, than you should crucify yourself immediately! For he is probably, that doesn’t work, most likely, that doesn’t work either, without a doubt, the best comedian of all time! Many people say that comedians like Rodney Dangerfield, Richard Pryor, Johnny Carson, Andy Kauffman, Carol Burnett, Abbott and Costello, or the Marx Brothers are some of the best.  But screw them, cause Shore can kick all their asses any day. Who needs to tell humor with wit when you can just shout like a mentally ill peacock over, and over, and over, and over, and over a million times more. Don’t even give the audiences time to breathe, just keep making loud noises and hilarity will ensue. Also make jokes about balls. If you have to go, then go all the way to the bottom of the barrel. Don’t forget doing things that even Jackass would call too stupid to do. Like damaging property and annoying other people who are trying to do research. Now that’s comedy! Along with the Holy Spirit of Encino Man is Stephen Baldwin. Who you might know from the critically acclaimed film that everyone remembers, God’s Club. You know, that Christian propaganda movie that says “Forget your meds and get with the faith!”. So poetic! Oh, and I guess he was in another film called The Usual Suspects, but who cares about that? He makes a perfect comedy duo with Shore as they spend the whole movie making noises, breaking things, making noises, breaking things, making noises, breaking things, you get the idea. It is like hearing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony live whenever they open their mouths. The soundtrack is pretty cool too. The songs aren’t just dated, 90’s renditions of the Spider-Man theme. Of course we have to have a villain, because being unconventional is just ridiculous. He is the head of the nerdy scientists that’s played by the same guy who played Walter Peck in Ghostbusters. Except he’s way funnier here, because when you have Pauly Shore in your movie, even the writings of those such as Harold Ramis can’t stand a chance against him. There’s not much else to say about this movie. Probably because Pauly Shore is just so amazing that he almost hypnotizes you with every action he makes. Everyone else just seems to become invisible whenever Shore is on screen. Maybe due to the fact that nothing is that memorable or unique as Shore and Baldwin. I might usually say that this film has no substance and nothing going for it, but like I said, Pauly Shore is in it. Need I say more? He’s so terrific that I want to be the one to hand him the Oscar for Best Actor when Bio-Dome 2 gets nominated. Don’t know why they haven’t gotten around to that yet. Stephen Baldwin has stated before that he’s thinking of doing a sequel with Shore again. Even though the last time he sequel-bated it was back in 2007. But there’s always hope! Maybe one day, there will be an official sequel. Then that sequel will get a sequel, then that will, then that will, then it will become the Bio-Dome franchise. Then it will go so far that there will be cinematic universe where it will crossover with other Pauly Shore movies like Son in Law, Jury Duty, and the other timeless classic, In the Army Now. This will result in the Pauly Shore Cinematic Universe, or the PSCU as I like to call it. I can’t wait because it will be glorious. Not only will all the movies be nominated for Best Actor, but for every other award, even the ones for foreign films. Why should they even give other movies nominations? They should just give all the Oscars to it every year. Why isn’t anyone casting Pauly Shore anymore, he’s comedy gold! Not casting Pauly Shore is sin!  Is it Passover Week? And wasn’t one of God’s Ten Commandments “Thou shall always cast Pauly Shore in their movie”? Such a blasphemous world we live in today. We will never get another film like Bio-Dome, it’s just too good. Why should other people even try to make movies when they’ll never match up to the genius that is Bio-Dome? Hollywood should just stop making movies altogether! You know what, what’s even the point of reviewing other movies anyway? I should just pull the plug to this blog! This is my last post everyone, I haven’t been doing this for year now and already I’m calling it quits. All of you other critics out there should just quit too. What’s the point of continuing after seeing this movie? This is not only my favorite movie, but the best film of all time! Sure you have made Citizen Kane, Orson Welles. You have made Goodfellas, Martin Scorsese. And you may have made Seven Samurai, Akira Kurosawa. But none of you have made something as iconic, astonishing, or mind-blowing Bio-Dome. BIO-DOME IS THE BEST MOVIE EVER, AND DON’T YOU FORGET IT!!! DO YOU HEAR ME, THE BEST!!! NOTHING IS COMPARABLE, BIO-DOME IS ALPHA!!! IF YOU SAY OTHERWISE, I WILL DESTROY YOU!!!!!!!

 

April Fools! Come on, you knew this was all a joke from when you saw the date this was released. Sorry if it was too obvious. This is actually one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. Worse than Woody Woodpecker. So that was my April Fools Day joke! I’ve been planning this one for a long time. Hope you enjoyed it and follow me on my brand new Twitter account! That’s right, I finally did it. Just follow me @Ben Suey. Now if you excuse me, I’m going to spend my Easter wisely by watching Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments and search for plastic eggs with candy in them that an anthropomorphic rabbit put around my house. That sentence just rolls off your tongue. This is the Adolescent Critic signing out.