Wait a minute it’s not Halloween anymore, what is wrong with you Ben? Well hear me out. Just because it says “Halloween” in the title doesn’t mean it all takes place on Halloween. The story starts on Halloween and goes through the other holidays until it comes full circle. So I could have reviewed on any holiday. Plus I promised I’d do Comic Book Corner once a month and there’s a lot of films I got to review in the future, so I decided to put this out now. And boy do I’ve gotta good one for you today. Batman: The Long Halloween like I said is a Batman storyline about Batman and friends trying to track a killer called Holiday, who obviously strikes every holiday. Holiday mainly goes after mob bosses from mafia families such as the Maronis and the Falcones. Not only is Batman after Holiday, but his villains are too. Seeing how Holiday is taking away most of their targets and they all are frankly pissed off about it. So it’s up to Batman to stop Holiday and his rose gallery as well. The storyline lasts over 13 issues and was published back in 1996-97. It’s a very intriguing story and has many twists and turns. Batman and comic book fans are sure to love. You got Batman doing his detective work while battling an onslaught of villains. You get your typical picks from the rose gallery. Like Joker, Catwoman, Riddler, Scarecrow, Mad Hatter, Solomon Grundy, and…Calender Man? Yeah something that you outsiders may know is that Calender Man is one of the more obscure Batman villains. He was just invented as a one-off character, the villain of the week as I like to call it. He looked ridiculous, his schemes were ridiculous, and he was very easy to track, which is also ridiculous. So rebooting such a silly villain for a serious storyline kinda sounds like a recipe for disaster. Actually no, the Calendar Man is a very important aspect to the story and has a more interesting approach. He’s sort of a Hannibal Lecter like figure that always acts weird and mysterious. No surprise Batman needs him to take down Holiday because they have very similar methods. The rest of the villains are the same as you remember. I like how the author cleverly fitted most of them to holidays. Like Solomon Grundy is Thanksgiving because he’s a flesh eating zombie. Joker is on Christmas because he’s bright and colorful. Catwoman is Valentines Day because of her live/hate relationship with Batman. Poison Ivy is St. Patrick’s Day because she can control plant life (including shamrocks). Riddler is April Fools Day because he’s a trickster. But the only that I can’t figure out is Scarecrow and Mad Hatter on Mother’s Day. It’s so unfitting! Sure it leads to Scarecrow gassing Batman which causes him to start hallucinating about his dead mother, because parents dying blah blah blah. But really, Mother’s Day? Could you have put them on Halloween or another spooky holiday like Day of the Dead? Whatever, it’s fine nonetheless. Besides the villains, there’s also stuff about Batman’s friend, Harvey Dent, trying to catch Holiday as well. This storyline is the one that leads to Dent’s disfigurement which turns him into Two Face. Except where Batman’s treating the Holiday case like any other, it drives Dent to near insanity. Holiday goes after the mafia families and Dent hates them, but now has to defend them. You can see what’s bugging him so much. This results in his relationship with his wife getting neglected, his friends trusting him less, and of course, him eventually getting acid thrown in his face which turns him into a villain. It’s probably the most interesting part of the whole storyline. The other stuff that’s happening in this story is the contrast between the two mafia families, the Maronis and the Falcones. Right when both of them are about to come to a truce, this Holiday stuff comes up and ruins everything, especially with the Falcones. The head boss, Carmine Falcone who many of you might remember as one of the villains from the Christopher Nolan film, Batman Begins, is getting crap from his family like his screaming wife. It’s the less interesting part of the story but it’s not too boring. All of this stuff leads to a twist that’s actually very surprising and that you’ll never see coming. The twist being something I’ll not spoil because I want to encourage all of you to read it. I know, me not spoiling the plot, that’s unheard of! Enough of the story, is there anything else that’s good about this graphic novel? Another thing I must mention is the artwork. I find myself enjoying it because it’s ver stylized and creative. Especially the covers, if you ever have some spare time on your hands, look up some of the covers, they’re awesome to look at. Although some of the designs I’m too crazy about, like the design of Joker. I don’t know, I just find that jawline all messed up and a little silly. But that’s just me nitpicking again. I can’t really say much else without spoiling the story too much. So I encourage you, the reader, to view it for yourself and see what you think. The characters are good, the artwork is good, and the story is great. Check it out and see what you think. So that’s my review of…WAIT A MINUET, YOU DIDN’tT TELL US ABOUT THE CHRISTMAS STUFF!!! Okay, okay, I’ll tell you about the Christmas stuff. So issue 3 is about Joker getting loose and wanting to kill Holiday to lower the competition. He plans to gas all of Gotham City to get rid of him/her and Batman of course comes in to stop him. There’s also Christmas trees, lights, and all that crap. So that’s the Christmas stuff. Does that clear it all up, I don’t care. So that’s my review of Batman: The Long Halloween! Should I review other Batman storylines? Let me know in the comments below. Hope you enjoyed it and follow me on Snapchat at bensuey3. This is the Adolescent Critic signing out.
Time to end the original Star Wars trilogy with Return of the Jedi. There’s that saying that third is the worst, and it often applies to movies. This is a prime example of that term. No I’m not saying that this is a bad movie, far from it, but it is the weakest of the original trilogy. This is also the one that is the most edited by George Lucas. Let’s dive in! Continuing from the events of The Empire Strikes Back, Han Solo (played by Harrison Ford) is imprisoned in carbon freeze and kept in the palace of Jabba the Hutt. So our heroes bust in and try to free him. That being Princess Leia (played by Carrie Fisher), Lando Calrissian (played by Billy Dee Williams), Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2D2, and Luke Skywalker (played by Mark Hamill) who’s now a highly trained jedi. Meanwhile the Imperial Empire is rebuilding the Death Star as Darth Vader (played by James Earl Jones and David Prowse) is preparing for the arrival of the Emperor (played by Ian McDiarmid). Just like the first two movies it’s full of space battles, lasers, and memorable characters that will become best selling action figures before the film even comes out. This is still a good movie with good characters and effects (except the special editions), but isn’t the best coming off the heels of one of the best sequels ever made. Obviously the first half of the movie is our heroes trying to save Han from Jabba’s Palace. It goes on interrupted for too long that when the Empire comes back in it’s like “Oh yeah, they’re still in this movie.”. It’s not bad, but I wished they would have kept Jabba in the movie more instead of dumping him in the middle of the film and just completely forget about it. Let’s talk about the Jabba stuff first. I will admit a lot of the alien creatures in Jabba’s palace are very colorful and creative (when they’re not terrible CG add-ins). Like the Rancor, the Max Reebo Band, that tentacle-headed guy, and Boba Fett, who’s back from the last movie. Jabba is a huge puppet, and not a poorly rendered CG add-in that Lucas forced in, which has a lot of expression despite that his face is so large and stretched out. But you don’t want to know about puppets and costumes, no no, you want to know about the music number. In the original cut they had a small song number, Lapti Nek, which though a little cheesy, keeps with the film’s pace and fits with the idea of Jabba’s Palace being a dark dump. Lucas wanted a longer dance number, but didn’t have the time or money back in 1983. Thanks to computers, in 1997 he added a longer dance number that interrupts the film and has heinous CG. Not only is the song, Jedi Rocks, terrible, but in when they show Jabba’s Palace as depressingly crappy place, they add in this light hearted dance number where we see a close up of an alien’s uvula. Thanks Lucas! I don’t know why they needed all of the people to go into Jabba’s Palace? First Luke sells Jabba C-3PO and R2D2 in exchange for Han to be free, but that doesn’t work. Then Leia goes in disguised as a bounty hunter turning in Chewbacca to Jabba, then later at night frees Han. That doesn’t work either because Jabba and the gang catch them in the act. Finally Luke comes in and is tricked by Jabba and is sent into the Rancor pit. Then it turns out Lando was in disguised as one of Jabba’s guards. Why didn’t he free him while he had the chance? Why did they need all of these people have to be sacrificed? Well, so they can have a battle at the Sarlac Pit of course! Except Luke does most of the work. Well what do you expect when one is blind, another is imprisoned as a sex slave, an the other is trying to escape the sarlac pit. I will admit the added in CG effects for the Sarlac Pit is the only CG that is passable, but I thought the original design for it was a gaping hole with tentacles and rows of sharp teeth. Now they show this mouth that looks like the plant from Little Shop of Horrors. So Leia chokes Jabba to death, they blow up the place, and just leave. Luke goes to visit a dying Yoda (played by Frank Oz) while the rest fly off in the Millennium Falcon. Then we go to plot #2, as the film reminds you that Darth Vader and the Empire are still in this movie, and rebuilding the Death Star. Yep, just forget about Jabba and all of that stuff, as our heroes now travel to the Empire’s base on the Forest Moon of Endor, where they meet, sigh, the Ewoks. Yeah, I bet all of you 80s kids remember the Ewoks. Admit it, you bought all the toys and watched the cartoons and crappy spinoffs like Caravan of Courage. To be far they’re not that annoying and compared to the future Star Wars characters, I’ll take them. How do our heroes meet them? After a pretty cool chase sequence through the forest, Leia gets knocked off one of the speeder bikes and is approached by an Ewok named Wicket (played by Warwick Davis). Leia befriends Wicket and he helps her in a brief encounter with stormtroopers. Then Luke, Han, and the gang get captured and are taken to the ewok village to be cooked and I guess eaten? Then Luke uses his force magic to levitate C-3PO because the Ewoks think he’s a god because he’s made of gold metal, just go with it. The Ewoks let them go, the gang meets up with Leia, and they tell the ewoks about the Empire which convinces them to fight with them. Yeah, an intergalactic empire with highly advanced weapons against an army of small, bear aliens with weapons so primitive that the Stone Age would call it outdated, argueably doesn’t sound like a fair fight. But the Ewoks actually manage take down a lot of the stormtroopers on the moon. It’s just embarrassing to see the Imperial Empire, which the past two films established as such an unstoppable, evil force; be taken down cute, little, teddy bear like creatures. Wouldn’t have been so much cooler to see Jabba’s men teaming up with the Rebellion to fight the Empire? Like they worked it into the plot somehow instead of dumping them halfway through the movie. Wouldn’t it be awesome to see Boba Fett kick more ass instead of being knocked into the Sarlac Pit by a blind guy (that blind guy being Han who’s blindness is a temporary side affect of the carbon freeze). So these toy ads defeat the blaster wielding stormtroopers by using sticks and rocks and logs. But there’s also the rebuilding of the Death Star. While the the gang and the Ewoks are taking care of the Imperial base, the Rebel fleet is trying to destroy the Death Star, which is now more operational. Hmm, a rebel fleet trying to blow up a planet destroying space station that has and easy and obvious weak point, this sounds like the climax to the first movie! You couldn’t think of a better climax that you had to repeat the first one. Whatever, the real good stuff in the climax is what’s happening with Luke. Vader senses that he’s on The Forest Moon of Endor and, in order to save his friends, Luke openly confronts Vader and is taken to the Death Star to meet the Emperor. He also does this because on his deathbed, Yoda tells Luke that in order to fully become a jedi, he must confront Vader one more time. Vader and the Emperor try to convert Luke to the dark side of the force by showing the Rebel fleet being crushed and telling him that his friends are being captured and killed on the forest moon. Like tries to keep control but eventually can’t take it anymore and gets into another lightsaber duel with Vader. Only this time Luke’s more prepared and bests his evil father. When Luke refuses to fight him, Vader taunts Luke by saying he’ll convert his sister, Leia, as well. This causes Luke to snap and unload on Vader till he has him pinned down and chops his hand off. But Luke comes back to his senses and tells the Emperor that he will not kill Vader to prove his commitment to the light side of the force. Then the Emperor gets pissed and start attacking Luke with force lightning. Luke screams to his father in agony to save him. Vader starts pondering about what to do when he chooses the side of his son and picks up the Emperor and throws him down a shaft. This is another scene once again ruined by the special editions. In the original cut, Vader doesn’t speak, allowing you visually to see him struggle to decide what to do. Will he save his own son, or stay a pawn to the Emperor and the dark side of the force. You can tell he’s thinking without a single line of dialogue. Then Lucas thought one day “Remember what I did at the end of Revenge of the Sith with Vader yelling No which ha everyone has made fun of and spoofed? Why don’t I do it again, but put in a scene where it doesn’t fit!”. Yep, before Disney managed to pry the rights away from his hands, Lucas and crew made more changes to the original trilogy for the Blu Ray release. This included dubbing in James Earl Jones yelling “No” again in the scene from earlier. It ruins the scene and makes think of how god awful the prequels were. But he did still keep in the Vader’s death scene. When the Death Star is in chaos, Luke drags an injured Vader to his ship. Before Vader can get on the ship, he falls down and pleas to Luke to take his mask off, even though it will kill him. His reason being that he wants to see his own son with is own eyes. For some reason David Prowse wasn’t available for the scene so they replaced him with actor Sebastian Shaw. Shaw does give a great performance despite the little screen time he has. It shows that even a dark, cruel person such as Darth Vader still has a little good in him. It delivers a kind of emotional scene that sticks with you. Too bad Lucas ruined it again at the very end when Luke sees the ghosts of his mentors, Yoda and Obi Wan Kenobi, and his father who’s no longer Darth Vader, but back to being Anakin Skywalker. In the original cut they show Shaw without the burnt makeup, and it feels fitting. In the special editions however, Lucas decide to take out Shaw, and replace with Hayden Christensen’s Anakin. It feels so unfitting, disrespectful to Shaw, and reminds me of how much I hate Christensen’s performance as Anakin from the prequels. At least for the ending celebration they added scenes of other planets celebrating the galaxies freedom from the Empire than making it look like one big Ewok party like in the original cut. Even the John Williams score sounds more like a happy finale to a trilogy than the original Ewok song, Yub Nub. However the added in scenes are full of poorly rendered CG and Lucas thought it would be a nice touch to add in a Gungan yelling “Wesa free!”. Which reminds me of how much I hate Jar Jar Binks from the prequels. I wonder if Lucas does these edits just to piss fans off more. Like saying “Stop complaining about the prequels or else I’ll add more clumsy edits to the original trilogy!”. I know it sounds like I hate this movie, but I really don’t. Though it’s the least greatest of the original trilogy, it’s still a fun movie with great effects, memorable characters, good performances, and yet another amazing score by John Williams. I know the special edition edits can get really distracting sometimes, which is a shame because most of the stuff Lucas edited out is already good. I’d recommend, if you can manage to find one, a copy of the original cut for this movie, or a fan edit that heavily resembles the original cut. At least before if Disney hopefully gives a widespread release of the original cuts on Blu Ray and DVD sometime soon. We Star Wars fans can only hope this 20th Century Fox purchase will finally end up giving us the chance to see the original versions in 4K ultra HD. One more thing I have to say before I end this review is that how much I nag about the special edition edits, I really don’t hate George Lucas. After all, he’s responsible for the existence of the Star Wars franchise, and some of my other favorite action movies like the Indiana Jones series (which I’ll probably individually review someday). I just wish he wouldn’t have to change so much and hide what made his vision a global hit in the first place. Even after 40 years the Star Wars franchise is still going strong, and with the ownership of the House of the Mouse, they’re gonna milk this cash cow for two more trilogies and four more anthology films. What’s that, a Boba Fett movie is in production? Looks like my wish came true. And as you all know, when you wish upon a star, you can make a billion dollar entertainment company hell bent on ruling the world! Or something like that. So that’s my review of Return of the Jedi! Sorry, this review was supposed to come out a lot earlier, but a bunch of stuff came up and I’ve been slowly trying to get this done. Any thoughts on the Boba Fett solo film? Let me know in the comments below. Hope you enjoyed it and follow me on Snapchat at bensuey3. This is the Adolescent Critic signing out.
The Star Wars saga continues with 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back. Many Star Wars fans, including myself, consider this the best film in the franchise. And just so happens to be the one George Lucas had the least control over, hmm. Is it the best, or is it an over exaggeration? Let’s find out. Remember the warm ending of the first movie when our heroes saved the day, blew up the Death Star, and receive medals? Well wake up, because the Empire is back and gives the Rebellion a huge ass whooping. As Luke Skywalker (played by Mark Hamill) gets a message from ghost Obi Wan Kenobi (played by Alec Guinness) to go to Dagobah System to train with a jedi master named Yoda (played by Frank Oz), all while he’s freezing in the snow. On the other hand, Han Solo (played by Harrison Ford), Princess Leia (played by Carrie Fisher), Chewbacca, and C-3PO are trying to escape the clutches of the Empire, led by Darth Vader (played by James Earl Jones and David Prowse), in a Han’s malfunctioning ship, the Millennium Falcon. Throughout the film we come across new characters and tons of great effects (besides the Special Editions of course). The main reason many of us consider this the definitive Star Wars movie is for one thing, the tone. The tone is very dark in this movie. The first had some dark moments like Luke seeing Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru’s corpses burn in flames, or the literal destruction of a peaceful planet, but never to this extent. The dark tone is immediately shown with the first scene being Luke getting attacked by the Wampa and his poor tonton being killed and eaten. The especially dark stuff happens with Darth Vader. This is the film that established him as the menacing monster that he is. There’s nothing wrong with him in the first movie, but he was more threatening in this movie. He doesn’t care who he has to kill or even if he’s losing men and ships. He literally makes his entire fleet go into an astroid field when it’s clearly too dangerous to get through just to get one ship. And if you fail, you get the force choke. Vader isn’t the only villain in this movie, they also introduce the ruler of the Imperial Empire, the Emperor. It’s a small cameo but it gives us a bad guy who’s even more evil than the man/machine who chokes people if they don’t follow through with his orders. The other one who’s worth mentioning is the bounty hunter Boba Fett. Despite him having so little screen time, he has become a huge fan favorite. Maybe it’s just his design and the fact he has a jet pack that shoots missiles. This wasn’t his first appearance to the public, but it was his first appearance in film. Thus, many fans were introduced to him and celebrated by buying his action figure. I heard he was originally supposed to eclipse Vader as the main villain Star Wars was supposed to be a twelve parter. But Lucas got bored with space and reduced it all down to three movies. But we still have our Boba Fett comics, novels, video games, and merchandise! But enough of the bad guys, what about our good guys? Luckily Luke isn’t as whiney as in the first movie, which allows Hamill’s acting to shine. Plus there’s a relationship brewing between Leia and Han that doesn’t feel as tact on as many other mainstream movies. So Luke isn’t whiney, Han’s dialogue is better, and Leia’s on again off again British accent is gone. Everything seems to be fixed. Guinness is back as Kenobi, but mostly appears as a ghost or just his voice can be heard. Need I remind you that he hated these movies. But we have new protagonists. Like Yoda who I mentioned earlier. Yoda is an old jedi master who was forced into hiding when the Empire took over. Frank Oz, who many of you might now as the voice and puppeteer of the Cookie Monster from Sesame Street and Miss Piggy from The Muppets, does a good job performing as Yoda. Once again I must say that a puppet is more better than a CG figure. When Luke first meets him, he acts like a dumb old geiser and has comedic moments where he goes through Luke’s stuff and gets into a brief fight with R2D2, when after a while starts to get better. You can kind of see him as this once great warrior that’s now effected by age. Apparently Lucas hated Oz’s Yoda voice and wanted someone to provide another. But when they couldn’t find anyone else they left it in, and audiences and fans loved it. Then at the Academy Awards, Lucas pulled a 180 and demanded Oz get a nomination for best supporting actor. Leave it to George to make a decision and then change his mind. Besides Yoda, there’s also Han’s old buddy, Lando Calrissian (played by Billy Dee Williams). Lando is the leader of Cloud City, a supposed paradise that is stationed above the clouds as the name suggests. Williams performs it as sort of a charming smuggler. Cloud City also acts as the place where everything goes wrong. Spoilers beyond this point, so if you haven’t seen it than don’t read any further! Okay, here we go. Lando betrays Han and the gang when they seek refuge at Cloud City, and gives them over to Vader. They torture them and eventually freeze Han in frozen carbonite. This is because Han still owes money to Jabba the Hutt, and Jabba has grown even more furious that he sends out Boba Fett to retrieve him. It also adds to the dark tone seeing such an enjoyable character get frozen and the look of pain on his face is a little gut wrenching. When it seems like Lando breaks the gang free and their about to save Han, Boba Fett gets away with his frozen prison. I’m glad that this film isn’t conventional and offers more than just space battles with lasers. That’s not all, apparently Vader uses the torturing of his friends to lure Luke, who Vader now knows of his powerful force abilities, away from his training so he can freeze him in the carbonite as well. Luke doesn’t end up getting frozen like Han, but he does get his hand cut off, loses his lightsaber, and is revealed a heart stopping secret. Go back to Luke’s training with Yoda. In one scene, Luke goes deep into the swamp and gets a vision of Vader. He has a brief lightsaber duel and chops off Vader’s head. Vader’s mask explodes open revealing Luke’s own face inside. Now seeing this for the first time your like “What does this mean?”. Well hears the answer. It turns out Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father. This twist always shocks people when they first hear it. It did to me at least. So yeah this film’s really dark, but can we talk about lighter subjects like the action? Once again he battle scenes are a ton of fun. The best fight scene, and the one everyone remembers, is the battle on Hoth. When I first saw the imperial walkers through that one rebel soldier’s binoculars as a toddler, I was like “I my god, those are huge! How the hell are they gonna take those giants down?”. It’s a fun scene after watching Han put Luke inside a dead tonton. They get the T-47 airspeeder trip up the walkers while the ground take wave after wave of explosions. The effects for the walkers are amazing and still hold up today. Another effect that I find kind of funny is the big worm monster on that astroid. when the Millennium Falcon flies out of it’s mouth and it tries to catch them, it looks like a puppet show. You have the great Frank Oz on set and don’t use him for that scene? Come on! Then again I prefer it over the special editions. That’s right were not done yet, but luckily Lucas doesn’t change a whole lot in this movie. Some of the changes are welcomed. Like the stuff with Cloud City. Landon describes Cloud City as a paradise, yet in the original cut we just get white hallways and an alien or droid pops up once in a while. But in the special editions we see more of Cloud City. There’s windows that show all the buildings, you see more ships flying around, and there are some more beautiful matte paintings. Sure some of the dated CG can get in the way sometimes, but it’s a welcomed change. Another change I find better is the addition of replacing the original design of the Emperor with Ian McDiarmid’s version that would appear in the next movie. Not because f continuity, though that’s fine, but because I always thought the original design looks a little silly. It’s like a cartoon than a menacing figure. I know there was a lot of work that went into it, like filming a person with a mask on and cropping on some chimp eyes, just Google it if your curious. One change I think is worse than the original is the addition footage of the Wampa. This is something I like to call the Jaws effect. Where they wanted to have more of the monster but had troubles that resulted in them cutting it down, but it ends up adding to the suspense and mood of the scene. I find the Wampa scene in the original cut more suspenseful because you don’t see that much of the monster. In the special editions, there’s way too much screen time of him that it’s no longer nail biting. I will admit I’m glad that they used a guy in a suit than a CG disaster, but it still is weaker. It probably is worse for Hamill. True story, Hamill thought the scene was gonna be Luke getting his lightsaber and singing the Wampa’s fur to scare it off, instead of cutting off it’s arm which is what happens in the movie. Hamill is a huge animal lover and seeing Luke cut off the Wampa’s arm and watching it hit the floor was enough. But we get an additional scene in the special editions with the Wampa screaming in pain while bloods soaks into his fur. It’s kind of graphic for a supposed kids movie. Sure you could say Luke senses the that the Tampa is evil, but we don’t know in the movie and Hamill thought the Tampa was like a hungry bear. Do the good changes made have to result in them replacing the original, no, but are definitely welcomed. Besides all of that, the film is great. It’s dark, but has it’s fair share fun moments, as well as give us memorable characters (no matter the little amount of screen time they have), phenomenal effects, and another amazing score by John Williams. Not only do I consider this the best Star Wars movie, but I also consider it the best sequel of all time. It didn’t repeat the first film and gave us something different. And I love every minuet of it. So that’s my review of The Empire Strikes Back! Do you also consider this the best Star Wars movie? Let me know in the comments below. Hope you enjoyed it and follow me on Snapchat at bensuey3. This is the Adolescent Critic signing out.
I originally wanted to do a bunch of reviews of classic Christmas movies and specials for the month of December. But then I said, “Screw it, I’m just gonna review Star Wars movies!”. Yes, before we get to The Last Jedi I think we should go over the original trilogy that started it all. What do you know, it’s been 40 years since the first Star Wars movie came out and was given thunderous applause from audiences and critics alike. It also launched George Lucas’s career. Sure he made films before like American Graffiti and THX 1138, but nothing as big as this. Today, we’re going to look at that film. So put on your costumes and believe the hype, because I’m going to review Star Wars. Let’s talk about the plot (though you all most likely know it by now). A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, the universe is full of battles between the evil Imperial Empire and the good Rebellion. Two droids, C-3PO and R2D2, are sent down down to a planet called Tatooine with a message for a man named Obi Wan Kenobi (played by Alec Guinness), who they think can help the Rebellion win the war. But stuff goes wrong and they end up in the hands of Luke Skywalker (played by Mark Hamill). After Luke finds a message from a rebel leader, Princess Leia (played by Carrie Fisher), in R2D2, it eventually leads him to Kenobi (going under the alias of Ben). They team up with a smuggler named Han Solo (played by Harrison Ford) and his Wookie sidekick, Chewbacca, to stop the Empire and bring peace to the galaxy. The rest of the film involves prison breaks, laser fights, and blowing up a planet destroying device known as the Death Star. What can I say about this movie? It’s iconic, celebrated, and still is considered one of the greatest science fiction films of all time. But it’s not a masterpiece. Hear me out. The film has great effects (beside the added in special editions), an interesting mythos, creative designs, and a fantastic score by John Williams. A lot of work went in to this movie. No matter how George Lucas tries to erase it, it all pays off nicely. The matte paintings, models, makeup, it’s phenomenal. I like a lot of the alien designs like the Jawas, Sandpeople, that cantina band, and the one that looks like the devil. Okay the names aren’t that memorable but it’s still awesome nonetheless. Most of them were made by Rick Baker who also did the makeup effects for The Exorcist and An American Werewolf of London. The space battles are the highlights of the movie. There’s something about models being more amazing to watch fighting than CG. Probably because it’s more believable and is actually there. I will admit that by the time the x-wings started to attack the Death Star, I was already rolling around on the floor like a little kid again. There fun scenes that give you what you want. Lasers, explosions, cool spaceships, all the stuff that your inner child loves. It doesn’t feel like a Michael Bay movie where it goes on too long and you don’t care. You care about the characters and your so entranced by the effects, you know when there’s no special edition edits. The mythos is anther thing that everyone loves. Like everyone else who saw this movie, the description of the force is intriguing. A psychic energy that holds the galaxy together, sounds epic and magical. Forget all that midichlorian crap from the prequels, if George Lucas wants to take all the imagination from his movie and replace it with a boring explanation, then just ignore it. That’s why I didn’t title this Star Wars: A New Hope Review. But I digress, the last thing I want that’s amazing is the famous score by John Williams. Williams has composed many great scores for many great movies, but none compare to this one. Just by hearing one note of any of the tracks you can tell it’s Star Wars. Every time the title appears on the screen and you hear that music, it fills me with excitement. But what about the characters? Their all very memorable, but some not in the right way. I’m pretty sure audiences back in 1977 didn’t think about this back then, but it seemed as though Luke was very whiney. Not against the actor Mark Hamill, in fact with Lucas as the director that’s probably what he was told to do, but he always complains the same way a Disney princess does. He wants to be something more and hates where he’s at, all that millennial crap. He’s not the only one who’s questionable. Remember Leia’s on again off again British accent. It comes out of nowhere and then just disappears. How about that corny dialogue that Solo had. But there’s a lot of great acting as well. Like Alec Guinness as Obi Wan Kenobi. Even though he hated the film afterwards, he gives a good performance. He plays the whole wise old man character and is believable as a great mentor. But everyone remembers the dar character of Darth Vader (voiced by James Earl Jones, portrayed by David Prowse). Jones’s booming voice mixed with Prowse’s imposing figure makes for a very threatening villain. He’s the most cosplayed Star Wars character, whether it’s kids going trick or treating, or nerds going to cons and screenings. Everyone knows the stuff that Jones has done, but horror fans will remember Prowse from some of the Hammer Frankenstein movies with Peter Cushing. Speaking of Cushing, he’s in this movie too as Grand Moff Tarkin. Just like his portrayal of Dr. Frankenstein, he plays it as a slimy, devious bad guy. Speaking of bad guys, I have to bring up that the storm troopers suck at aiming. I know everyone talks about this all of the time, but can you for once hit something with complete accuracy. How did the Empire take over the whole galaxy? Don’t bring up the prequels, the less we talk about them the better! If you want to see more sloppy storm troopers check out the blooper reel. And of course, I must nitpick the seemingly easy way to take down the Death Star. Your telling me that this planet destroying device that fly through space and time has big hole where one simple laser blast can blow up the entire base? Are you kidding me?!? Sure Rogue One stated that the guy who designed the Death Star was forced against his will to do it, so he gave it a huge weakness (which makes even less sense, why did none of the higher-ups check it over before hand). But no matter how much I nitpick it, Star Wars is still an awesome movie. Even today it’s power is unmatched and still makes millions of dollars across the globe. It shows zero signs of running out of steam sometime soon. Especially now with the supervision of the House of the Mouse. Here’s hoping they don’t copyright strike me. So that’s my review of Star Wars! Lots of people are nostalgic of this movie, what’s your nostalgia level of this? Let me know in the comments below. Hope you enjoyed it and follow me on Snapchat at bensuey3. This the Adolescent Critic signing out.
Oh yeah, you want to know more of the special editions, okay. For those who don’t know, in 1997 George Lucas announced that for the 20th anniversary he’d rerelease the original Star Wars trilogy into theaters. But with a bunch of new groundbreaking CG, which of course ended up being the direct opposite. Fans hated the special editions for changing important scenes and adding in terrible effects. But who cares, at least we can go back to the original, more better cuts, right? WRONG! Lucas thought the special editions respected his vision so much that he basically made it the only available version of Star Wars out there. Yep, those original versions that won academy awards and launched the franchise, forget them. Instead watch these terrible versions with bad CG and added in parts that don’t need to be added in. Except even more changes have happened over time. First the VHS with the stuff on screen, then the DVD release which added in more bad effects, and now the most recent which is the Blu Ray release has yet even more added in crap. For years fans, including myself, have demanded giving the original cuts an updated release, but it has never happened. Not even now when Disney owns it have they really budged. Sure there’s fan edits like Harmy’s Despecialized Edition, or you just own good-conditioned Laserdiscs and VHS Tapes of the originals like I do, but we still want to see justice be prevailed to the original trilogy. But my best quality versions of them are my Blu Ray and DVD collection. There’s of bad CG added in and it’s so blatantly obvious and why Lucas thinks it’s good is anyone’s guess. There are so many parts where these poorly rendered abominations keep getting put in the foreground and it just takes me out of the movie each time. The one edit every fan complains about is the Han shot first part. Everyone knows how the scene goes, Greedo has a blaster pointed at Han thinking he’s gonna kill him, when all of a sudden Han shoots from under the table before Greedo can get the chance to fire. Cool scene and makes Han look like a badass, simple as that. But apparently Lucas didn’t like it, so in the special editions he edited it to look like Greedo shot first and Han just slightly moves his head a little to miss it and fires. Everyone freaked out about it, such a small edit has made an entire fanbase go crazy. Not to mention it’s such a bad edit. They clearly used a simple photoshop tool to make Han’s head move, and it’s it looks like garbage. Then we get a added in scene with a poorly rendered Jabba the Hutt. But wasn’t Greedo’s scene about him executing Han on behalf of Jabba. Then why do we have this scene that makes the scene before it pointless. Apparently this was a deleted scene from back when they didn’t know what Jabba was gonna look like. So Lucas basically took that unused scene and added in a crappy looking, CG Jabba. Granted the Jabba on my Blu Ray and DVD of this movie isn’t as bad as the first version, but still sucks. Plus more of that Han photoshop that’s even worse than the Greedo scene. At least we got that one shot of Boba Fett. That’s cool…right? This Seriously, you can see the blurs. Then there’s stuff Lucas edits over the much better, original effects. Screw you! And this is just the first film’s edits, we got two more movies to go. But no matter how much I hate on the guy, if it wasn’t for Lucas we wouldn’t have Star Wars, or Jar Jar Binks so count your blessings I guess. If you want to know more about the dysfunctional relationship between Lucas and his fans then watch the documentary The People vs. George Lucas. Hope this clears it up. Now if you excuse me, I have to prepare for my review of The Empire Strikes Back.
Now that I’ve reviewed a documentary, let’s get back to comic book movies. Justice League is DC’s answer to The Avengers. I was having serious doubts about this one. Sure Wonder Woman was a huge step up from before, but with Zack Snyder having complete control over this one and seeing how well that worked out, I thought it was not going to be that good. Then I heard Joss Whedon was writing the screenplay and my predictions became a bit more positive. For the most part, I was right. It’s not the worst thing ever, nor the worst DC film, but it’s still not great. Let’s just talk about the plot. Apparently there’s a huge threat on the horizon, a powerful being named Steppenwolf wants to get three objects called Motherboxes, which when together, will morph our Earth into a version of his homeworld. So Batman (played by Ben Affleck) wants to assemble a team of heroes to save the Earth. This includes Wonder Woman (played by Gal Gadot), Aquaman (played by Jason Momoa), the Flash, and Cyborg. There are some good scenes and acting, but it’s buried by a jumbled plot, bland villain, bad effects, and an obvious tease you can see from a mile away. Affleck and Gadot are once again good as Batman and Wonder Woman, Jeremy Irons is great as Alfred, and even Momoa is a decent Aquaman. However, Cyborg is a little forgettable, it’s nothing wrong with the actor who portrays him, but he doesn’t have much personality and your too distracted by the terrible CG covering him. Then there’s the Flash, oh god the Flash. He’s just straight up comedy relief. He always has to say a punchline no matter what scene he’s in. My brother watches the Flash TV show on the CW, and while I don’t like it, I will admit I would’ve preferred actor Grant Gustin over Ezra Miller. Guess what, my brother also would’ve preferred that too. But the weakest character has to be the villain, Steppenwolf. Now we’ve all seen bland, forgettable villains the MCU puts out every year, but by god, is this one so uninteresting. At least some of the bad MCU villains have colorful designs, this is just as boring an antogonist can get. It also doesn’t help that he’s poorly rendered as well. Is it so impossible nowadays to smear makeup and slap a helmet on a guy that you have to go straight to relying on computers to do the work for you. I’m not anti-CG and I know some people put hard work into this, but could you just make him look like he’s actually in front of the camera for once. Every scene he’s in feels like a PlayStation cutscene. I’m starting to think Warner Brothers does not have a good visual effects team. After watching this, along with It (2017) and Suicide Squad, I’m starting to have doubts. Probably they had to save all of that great CG for erasing Henry Cavill’s mustache for the Superman scenes. Even though that didn’t work either because it always looked weird. Oh yeah, Superman is in this movie. Face it, we all knew he was coming back and that WB thought they could cleverly tease it was stupid. No surprise, the gang, that is never really referred to as the Justice League, tries to fight Steppenwolf and fails, so they decide to literally bring Superman back from the dead. They go so far as to show a scene of the Flash and Cyborg digging up his body. When Superman finally comes back to life, thanks to one of the Motherboxes, he starts out as a bad guy, mostly because he just came back to life and is confused. He first thinks of the Justice League as a threat, because Cyborg shoots at him, and we get a pointless fight scene. Though it is the most interesting part of the movie, and we do get a funny part when Flash realizes Superman is as fast as he is, it completely derails the plot. It makes our heroes look kind of dumb, not because they think that this man who came back from the dead won’t get confused and think they’re hostile, no, but because they leave the last Motherbox unattended while fighting Superman, which results in Steppenwolf easily stealing it and using it start the apocalypse of our world. Nice going, guys! In fact, I think the film would have been better if the plot was about them resurrecting Superman, and him starting out as crazy and thinking the world is a treacherous place. Wouldn’t have that been more better than recycling the plot of Man of Steel? It would’ve also made our other heroes feel more useful trying to take down Superman, instead of them feeling like sidekicks to Superman, who in the last fight is the one that weakens Steppenwolf and saves a bunch of citizens at the same time, while the rest of them either fail at stopping Steppenwolf, or doing something else. While we’re talking about the plot, I knew going into this movie that it was going to be jumbled trying to introduce all of these characters, and it almost was. Hear me out. The film does rush a bit to with characters in order to get to the action, but it also sets up other movies like with some of the scenes with Aquaman and such. Don’t forget the after credits scene with Lex Luther and Deathstroke talking about setting a villain League of their own, and we still have that god awful performance from Jesse Eisenberg as Luthor. Let’s talk about the score by Danny Elfman. Throughout this film, if you listen closely you can actually here the original score he did for Tim Burton’s Batman back in 1989. That’s not enough, in some Superman’s scenes you can here the original John Williams score from Superman (1978). A lot of you probably thinks it comes across as desperate, but I actually the cool, heroic sounding music over the dark and brooding music that the movie’s soundtrack is sadly mostly composed of. I know this film exists to catch up with Marvel, but at least they had solo movies of the characters before bringing them all together. That way it builds character and allows you to know all of them better when they’re all together and it moves the plot along. Unlike this where it stops to introduce these characters and their personalities before getting the plot going. Plus, Marvel at least has their cinematic universe all planned out while DC’s cinematic universe is clustered and confusing. They apparently are planning to have a solo Joker movie outside of the DCEU starring Leonardo DeCaprio as the title character, but there’s going to be another inside of the DCEU with Jared Leto’s Joker. Then there’s talks of Affleck stepping down as Batman and it just keeps changing! If you’re going to have a cinematic universe full of all of these characters, you’ve got to plan it all out first. You can’t just do one thing and decide where it goes. I’m sure I’m going to be talking about more cinematic universes once I get to my review of Star Wars: the Last Jedi. Besides that, this another ehh mainstream movie. It seems as though this film was biologically engineered to be a crowd pleaser. By reusing old scores from better DC movies to even getting Joss Whedon to write the screenplay and re-shoot some of the scenes. If you’re just looking for another generic action flick, this is for you, but for people like me who want their comic book to be a little bit more thoughtful and creative, this is not for me. So that’s my review of Justice League! Sorry for the huge delay on this one, I’ve been terribly sick lately. What do you think of this movie? Leave it in the comments below. Hope you enjoyed it and follow me on Snapchat. This is the Adolescent Critic signing out.
Today, I’m not going to talk about another action or horror movie. Instead, I’m going to talk about a documentary. It is called Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond. The film is about Jim Carrey talking about the behind the scenes footage of one of his films, that being Man on the Moon. The film is biography on the life of the late comedian Andy Kaufman. It’s an okay movie overall, but the real interesting stuff is what was happening behind the camera. Kaufman was Carrey’s idol, so he method acted as Kaufman, as well as his fictional character Tony Clifton, in order to fully succeed in making Andy’s movie. But he took it a little too far, seeing how on set he convinced himself he was Kaufman and repeated his wild lifestyle. The behind the scenes footage was hidden by Universal on the grounds that people should never see such behavior. Now it’s been discovered and Carrey is now talking about his actions on set, plus his career and how it was inspired by Kaufman. The documentary is a very good one. Carrey is the only person who’s interviewed in this documentary, but that’s the point. It’s all told through Carrey’s eyes. It’s obvious that he loves Kaufman’s work and wanted to do it perfectly. For those who don’t know, Andy Kaufman was very out-there for his time. Where most stand-ups would go on stage and tell jokes, Kaufman would do very odd things. He would do an impression of a shy foreigner, lip-sync to the Mighty Mouse theme, read The Great Gatsby, wrestle women, or pretend he’s another person like Tony Clifton. Carrey wanted to recreate that image, so he basically became Kaufman. Because of this, he often came to set drunk with a paper bag over his head, would wonder around the Universal backlot, and would abandon set to do stuff like visit the Playboy Mansion. He would often nag other actors and crew members on set as Tony Clifton. Once he even went to Steven Spielberg’s office to tell him to stop being such a crowd pleaser. We all know Hollywood loves to milk method acting nowadays. Why do you think they kept talking about Jared Leto mailing people dead rats as the Joker on the set of Suicide Squad. Speaking of DC movies, I will review Justice League soon enough so don’t worry, back to the review. Usually people who method act know when to dial it back, but Carrey would never stop. He kept being Kaufman so much up to the point where co-stars were actually convinced that he was reborn through Carrey. Other actors like Danny Devito, Paul Giamatti, and Judd Hirsch believed that Andy came back to make his movie. Not only did the co-stars believe that he was Andy, also Kaufman’s family believed it too. Apparently Kaufman had a daughter who never really saw him in person that much. So she came to visit set and talked to Carrey. They discussed about life and how she’s now a parent and it was such an emotional moment it almost Carrey burst into tears having to talk about it. There is also stuff about Carrey’s life and how he was influenced by Andy. He goes over his family and how he had a close relationship with his Dad. Also his career and how it sky-rocketed from films like Ace Ventura, The Mask, and Dumb and Dumber. Plus being on set inspired him to do other dramas like The Truman Show and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. There isn’t a whole lot to nitpick here. This Netflix film gives what it promises, a documentary about the lost behind the scenes footage of Man on the Moon and Jim Carrey’s influence of Andy Kaufman. Hey, it was either this or bingewatch Big Mouth, an ugly animated show with tired humor about teenage hormones. I’m pretty sure I made the right choice. So that’s my review of Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond. Do you also like this documentary? Leave it in the comments below. Hope you enjoyed it and follow me on Snapchat at bensuey3. This is the Adolescent Critic signing out.
The last Marvel movie of 2017 has finally come out! And, it’s really fun. It has nonstop action, good comedy, and just all around entertaining. Marvel movies are no masterpieces, but they’re good just being fun action flicks. This is no exception, of course. It definitely cheered me up from the amount pretentious crap I had in my mouth from The Florida Project. Let’s talk about the plot. Thor (played by Chris Hemsworth) returns to Asgard after the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron. He seeks to find his father, Odin (played by Sir Anthony Hopkins), along with his mischievous brother, Loki (played by Tom Hiddleston). They find Odin, but he dies soon after, but before he does, he tells Thor and Loki that they have an evil sister who he’s kept secret for years. But when he dies, the sister, Hela (played by Cate Blanchett), free of her prison, breaks Thor’s hammer, and takes over Asgard with her Aku antlers. Then there’s a bunch of other stuff, like Thor being captured and forced to be a gladiator, he finds Hulk, there’s a girl who is a former Valkyrie, and tons of mentionings of Ragnarok (basically the apocalypse of Asgard). This is another one of those crowd-pleasing movies. Just your typical, cookie-cutter action flick that will keep dumb, popcorn-munching audiences entertained. It’s not bad by any means. The film is well made, has good visual effects, and fun action. The actors are good, Hemsworth is still great as Thor, Tom Hiddleston is also great as Loki, Mark Ruffalo is once again good as Hulk/Bruce Banner, the works. There’s a shoehorned cameo with Doctor Strange (played by Benedict Cumberbatch). Why, because there was an after credits scene with him talking to Thor in Doctor Strange, so we have to fit it in even if it’s pointless. Plus, what a surprise, we get another forgetful villain. Except this time, we have three. Yeah, is one or two not epic enough, this time we have three. Neither well developed though. It seems as though Marvel was trying to do something a little different with its villains this year. Villains like Kurt Russell’s Ego from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, or Michael Keaton’s Vulture from Spider-Man: Homecoming who are a written more well than past Marvel villains. But these are all just your run-of-the-mill baddies. Blanchett can be a great actress, but here she is really hamming it up as Hela. They give her a backstory about how Odin and her conquered many worlds, but Odin decided to be a more pleasant king, so he imprisoned her because she was crazy. But most of the time, she’s just the villain who blows stuff up with an army. I just realized that she’s the first main female villain in a Marvel movie. Sure you had female henchmen here and there, but never as the one in charge. We also have Jeff Golblum as the man who enslaves the gladiators, though most of the time he just plays himself. Then there’s one more who’s name you’ll completely forget after seeing him. He has a strong resemblance to the Balrog from Lord of the Rings. He shows up at the very beginning, and shows up at the very end, isn’t much to say about him. In fact, there isn’t really much to say about this movie. One can I say differently than I said in other Marvel movie reviews? Well, I can tell you this. The score was done by Mark Mothersbaugh from the new wave band, Devo, from the 80s. Instead of using typical orchestras, he uses more techno, synthesized music, sort of like a John Carpenter movie. Honestly, I don’t mind it. I’ll definitely take it over the usual heroic, bland orchestrated music that all sound the same in every Marvel movie. I usually don’t like going to see these movies, because it involves having to watch it in a mainstream theater. I prefer to see movies in independent movie theaters, but either it’s too expensive, or they don’t show it. So I have no other choice but to see it at mainstream theatres with annoying audiences. It wasn’t as bad as other experiences, but I still heard people loudly crunching on their food, kids being annoying, and people who constantly comment at the screen. Oh yeah, I really want to know if you think what’s on the screen is amazing or if you think a line of dialogue is funny. JUST SHUT UP!!! No wonder these type of theaters are slowly dying out. Boy, did I just went off topic, didn’t I? So that’s my review of Thor Ragnarok! Do you also hate going to mainstream theaters? Leave it in the comments below. Hope you enjoyed it and follow me on Snapchat at bensuey3. This is the Adolescent Critic signing out.
Since I began back in June, I’ve been reviewing a lot of action, horror, and science fiction movies. For today, I’m gonna try something new. I’m going to review an Independent film, and it is The Florida Project. Don’t imply “Oh, but you’re too young for more sophisticated movies like this one”, just because I’m an adolescent doesn’t mean I can’t watch a non-mainstream movie and not properly criticize it. If you don’t believe me, my favorite director is none other than Stanley Kubrick, who directed films such as Clockwork Orange, Eyes Wide Shut, and 2001: A Space Odyssey. I’d like to tell you that one of my favorite movies of all time is Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver, which is a low budget indi film that doesn’t have action or horror. So just to be clear, I can watch and review a indi film, and give it the same standards as mainstream movie reviews.
Now, let’s get to the review. When I saw the trailer for this movie, I thought it looked overly cheesy. But I heard from early reviews that it isn’t at all, and the trailers don’t do it justice. One of the people who fell for the trailers was my own mother. She really wanted to see it, and I thought I’d go and review another modern movie. Boy was that a mistake. If your wondering why, let me explain. First, the plot. The film follows the life of a little girl named Moonee who lives with her trash mother, Halley, in a hotel in Orlando Florida. That’s it, as simple as that. Except it’s so overrated! The thing about indi movies is that if it’s good, it can be amazing and downright Oscar-worthy. When it’s bad, it can be obnoxious and downright Razzie-worthy. This is the bad type. It’s annoying, pretentious, and drags on for soooooooooooo long! I should have known I would love this movie when the main characters are two of my most hated types of people. Annoying kids and “hot mess” parenting. The film tries to make you root for them. Except they do nothing that would make them likable, so it makes the characters more unlikable. I hate it when a filmmaker thinks when they have to do a passion project they have to drag it to nearly 3hrs. So this film drags on for what feels like an eternity. Most of the time nothing is happening. I do like some realism in a movie, but not so much where nothing is going on. One minute they’re burning down a house, going camping, living off of other people, stuff like that that pads out the movie. Halley is such a great mother, she teaches bad morals, let’s her little children wonder around town, and even encourages them to twerk, nice. Because of them the film has a very trashy feel, from what I’ve heard, that’s what director Sean Baker wanted to do, so bravo I guess. Still doesn’t excuse how terrible the film is. The only character that I liked was Willem Dafoe’s, Bobby. Who, once in a while, got a funny line. There’s some comedy in the movie that can be funny, but then feels like it waltzed out of a frat movie. One of the jokes literally involves Dafoe having to cover an old lady’s bare naked breasts. Ughhhhhh! The film is plagued with random scenes. I guess when you keep your plot so simple, you can just fit whatever you want in it. So you get scenes like when Dafoe has to take care of a pedophile. You might be saying “Well, that’s the point, it’s supposed to be like following a person’s life”, okay, but in order to tell a movie, you have to have something with substance. You can’t just give random scenes and tie it all together in a motion picture. As expected from an artsy movie, there’s some good cinematography. But it isn’t like a Kubrick movie where it’s meant to build mood or tension. Instead it just comes across as “Oh, look at this shot, look at this one, isn’t out-of-the-ordinary, please give me an Oscar!” Did we really need a scene where we see Moonee’s face while she’s chewing her food and talking at the same time, did you feel as though the movie would fall apart if you didn’t include that scene? It’s one of those scenes where it’s supposed to be funny because it’s kids being innocent and stupid. Why does Dafoe’s character keep letting them stay at the hotel? Sure they establish that he doesn’t want anything bad to happen to the kid, but you’re a hotel manager! It’s your job to throw out people who cause trouble! Another thing I must say is that there’s nothing interesting about the movie. Films like this are supposed to show the deterioration of a character. We’re supposed to see Halley slowly lose everthing. Except she’s already poor and lives in a dumpy hotel, and it doesn’t change throughout the movie. In a better indi film like Taxi Driver, we see the character of Travis Pickle go crazier and crazier until he considers killing a presidential candidate. What happens to Halley? She is a trainwreck, and stays a trainwreck. She loses a friend at one point. She gets Moonee taken away, but that only happens at the end. Oh yeah, let’s talk about the end. If you’re wondering why I’m not referring to it as the ending like I usually do, that’s because the film doesn’t have one. It just ends abruptly. Finally, when things are starting to get interesting, the film mucks it up. Moonee escapes the child-service ladies, runs to her friend’s hotel room, her friend takes her to Disneyworld, they just keep running while stock music plays, and it ends. Yep, we don’t know if she gets caught, or anything, just cuts to black, and ends. They run towards the big Disney castle, which I guess has something to do with the fact that Moonee lives in a hotel called the Magic Castle? My theory is that the two writers couldn’t decide over the ending, got bored, and decided to go to Disneyworld. While there they were like “Should we just film the ending here?”, and they did. Let’s just stop here, this film is aggravating me to death. It’s sad, because this film was distributed by A24. One of my favorite modern film studios. They’ve had a pretty good run this decade. They’ve had films with wonderful effects like Ex Machina. Plus great horror movies like The Witch and It Comes at Night. But this film is a weak entry. I honestly don’t know this has a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes. So that’s my review of The Florida Project! Is there something I’m missing about this movie? Let me know in the comments below. Hope you enjoyed and follow me on Snapchat at bensuey3. This is the Adolescent Critic signing out.
Welcome to my first review for Comic Book Corner! Today, let’s go over my favorite comic, Watchmen. This is known as probably the most celebrated graphic novel of all time. Plus it’s written by one of the greatest comic book authors, Alan Moore. For the most part, it’s a really good part it’s great. So let’s dive in! The basic storyline is that a former superhero is murdered and slowly brings his group back together, but also apart as well. I love this comic, from the characters, writing, artwork, setting, almost everything really. Alan Moore has wrote tons of great graphic novels like V for Vendetta or Batman: The Killing Joke, but they’re not as good as this one. So, let’s talk about the good stuff. First of all, the characters. All the characters are greatly developed and very interesting. The one who got murdered was Edward Blake (aka the Comedian) was a very sleazy, pervert who was responsible for many of the group’s low points. One thing that is constantly brought up throughout the series is the time when he raped Silk Spectre II. Yeah I know this is going to get really dark, but you clicked on it and your gonna read it. This is a plot point that is constantly brought up. It works for the characters, because it establishes the sleaze ball of the Comedian, and the argerness of the Silk Spectre (by the way there’s two Silk Spectres). There were two versions of the Watchmen, the first group was in the 40s and mostly a nod to the golden age of comics. Most of them are in goofy get-up and punch criminals and such and such. Sadly most of them have bad endings like locked up in asylums, brutally murdered, or bad experiences that forced them to retire. The second version of the Watchmen was in the 60s and 70s, and had most of the popular characters. Like Rorschach, a hobo detective with a cool mask who loves beating the sh*# out of everyone. Nite Owl, who inspired by the original Nite Owl, Hollis Mason, decided to take his place and fight crime, plus make a cool hovercraft that shoots fire. Ozymandias, a genius who’s also a bit devious. And of course, Dr. Manhattan, a scientist who in an accident turns into a being made out of pure nuclear energy, that old cliche. The backstories of all these characters are so interesting, that it resulted in spinoff issues. My favorite would have to be Rorschach’s, he has a very interesting backstory. It’s almost like the backstory of Michael Myers from Halloween, for the most part, he seems like a normal, nice guy at first, but when you look far into his past, he was a poor boy who beaten badly by his hooker mother. He later went into an orphanage and did pretty well, and afterwards he became a crime fighter. But during the anti-watchmen protest of the 70s, he lost all of his glory and became homeless. There’s a very good part that I must talk about it. Though he fought crime, he never killed. But that all changed in one event after the new anti-watchmen law was passed. Rorschach was hired to kill a pedophile who kidnaped a couple’s young daughter. While at the child molester’s apartment, he finds the remains of the little girl’s outfit near the fire place, meaning she’s dead. This enrages Rorschach so much that he actually kills his the man’s ferocious dogs. Before he can stab them with a butcher knife, he closes eyes, says “Mother”, and opens his eyes, and kills the dogs. This is obviously symbolizes the death of his alter-ego, Walter Kovacs, and the take-over of Rorschach. That’s just one of the many writing talents of Moore. Another character that is kind of interesting is Dr. Manhattan. Sure the whole origin story of a scientist turned supper-being is a comic cliche, but the graphic novel takes in a different direction, at least different at the time it came out back in 1986. Though he has done a lot of help and even won the Vietnam War for the U.S., he still kills a bunch of people, cheats on his beloved wife, and is kind of a stuck-up douchebag (sounds like another famous DC superhero). Plus Moore does a good job writing the Comedian as such an asshole. Besides the sexual assault of Silk Spectre II, he apparently during the Vietnam War, he fell in love with a lady and even got her pregnant. After the U.S. won the war, the lady goes to discuss with him about their future child. Being the the Comedian, he laughs her off and says how he’s leaving her forever. Of course she gets pissed and cuts face with a broken beer bottle. Then the Comedian also gets pissed and shoots her. Yep, he kills a woman who was pregnant with his own child. So now you probably thinking right now “Jesus, this guy is like a combination of Hitler and Stalin with a hint of Bin Laden, think god he died”, and yes he’s a huge asshole, but he does have a moment of slight redemption. Just days before his death, he breaks into the apartment of Moloch, who’s an old villain of the Watchmen, and doesn’t kill him or do anything you’d expect him to do. Instead he breaks down and cries in front of Moloch. He talks about how he’s killed hundreds of people and he regrets all of it. It’s an unexpected moment that catches you off guard. It doesn’t fully redeem him from all the horrifying stuff he has done, but it’s still a good part. The rest of the, though not as interesting, still are well written. Daniel Dreiberg’s Nite Owl is obviously inspired by the first Nite Owl, Hollis Mason, and wants to fight crime. But sometimes he can be a little cowardly, especially towards Dr. Manhattan. I don’t blame him, seeing how the guy can make you explode with a flick of his finger. He does later snap when he hears that Mason was killed in a violent gang jumping, and beats up one of the guys that did it nearly to death. Silk Spectre is an okay character. There’s one part where her whole life flashes before her eyes while she’s on Dr. Manhattan’s new home on Mars. We go through her memories about her mother, step-dad, Watchmen stuff, her relationship with Dr. Manhattan, and even some stuff involving the Comedian. This all happens while she’s slowly breaking apart. It’s another inclusion into Moore’s great writing. The last character I must talk about is Ozymandias. Unlike most of the Watchmen, Ozymandias managed to become very successful, creating an industry of marketing, including producing action figures of the Watchmen. He’s the most intelligent of the group, and he even reanimates a lynx which he names Bubastis. His backstory is mostly kept secret till the end. However the book gives you a lot of hints before hand. Throughout the book, your constantly interrupted from the story to get another story about a comic, Tales of the Black Freighter, read by a teen at a newspaper stand. At first I was like “What the hell does this comic inside of a comic have to do with anything?”, but later Ozymandias tells his backstory briefly to co workers, it sounds similar to the comic. It ties into a journey Ozy took to discover more of his childhood idol, Alexander the Great. Reading more into what people did to him, Ozy made a decision to get rid of crime. But the Cold War tension keeps happening and by the 80s the U.S. and the Soviet Union are pointing nukes at each other. Ozy decided to take his motive a bit further. Eventually he gets the plan to create a giant squid monster that will beam into New York City, causing the death of millions, tricking both governments into thinking that it some sort of alien invasion, and causing them to join forces. It’s a bit complicated, but is very ingenious. Oozy is another one of the characters that your confused whether he’s right, or wrong. Sure he kills millions of people, but because of that he ends the Cold War and creates world peace. Another thing about that I love about the graphic novel is the artwork. The book was illustrated by Dave Gibbons. I like the shadows and colors, it’s very subtle and almost has a very noir feeling to it. One more thing I must say is that the 80s of the novel is sort of different from the real life 80s. I think Watergate didn’t happen, because Richard Nixon gets elected for 3 terms! I bet you wonder what my thoughts are about the 2009 film adaptation by Zack Snyder. I highly appreciate Snyder’s determination to do a very faithful adaptation of the novel. For the most part it follows the novel very closely, but it doesn’t come without its flaws. There were some great casting decisions like Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach and Jeffrey Dean Morgan as the Comedian, but hen there’s bad ones like Malin Akerman as the Silk Spectre. Plus it loses some of the key plot points from the novel. That one amazing scene with Rorschach was ruined, because he already killed before then. Plus it takes out some of the humanity of Ozymandias which makes his war ending act unbelievable. So I’m glad that Snyder tried really hard, but it’s not as great as the graphic novel. Maybe I’ll give it a full review someday. I can go on for hours about how much I love this comic, but I feel if I keep going I’ll set my laptop a blaze. Plus I have to make way for my review of The Florida Project and I also have to see Thor Ragnarok. So I have to cut it here. Overall Watchmen is a fantastic graphic novel, and is my favorite comic book. You can by collections of all 12 issues like I did at any book store or any online shopping site. You won’t regret it! So that’s my review of Watchmen! Is it also one of your favorite comic books? Let me know in the comments below. Hope you enjoyed my first review for Comic Book Corner and follow me on Snapchat at bensuey3. This is the Adolescent Critic signing out.
I have a new announcement to make! You all know I love movies and TV shows, but I want to try something new. For there’s another type of media I’m fond of, comic books! It’s seems as though this is the perfect time to be doing such a thing. As you know, the box office juggernauts nowadays are based off of comics. So, once a month I’ll be reviewing a comic, most likely a collection of classics. I’ll get to one sometime this week, so stay tuned for that! If there’s any you want me to review, then leave it in the comments below. Just thought I’d give you a heads up. This is the Adolescent Critic signing out.