Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Super Hero Movie Sequels: I Quit!

I, Boonie, don't quit! The super heroes quit! Watch. I'll explain.

In MOST super hero franchises, the super hero gets a good start during the first film, then second film pops up during which the super hero throws in the towel.

Don't believe me? I'll show you.

Let's go back in time to the early 80's: SUPERMAN! Superman starts off with the first movie. We get a beginners look into Superman's beginnings, we meet Lex, (we even meet Zod and friends for a little bit!) and Superman saves the day. Later we get Superman II, or Superman Calls in Sick. Lois figures out he's the man in tights, (duh Lois,) and so he's like, "Okay. Well, then I quit." He goes into the Super-Extractor, sheds his powers, makes out with Lois, gets his butt handed to him by some loser in a bar, then is like, "Uh-oh. Someone has to stop this Zod guy. If Batman's not gonna do it I guess I better go see if my mommy will let me have my powers back, even though she said she wouldn't. But she's a push over."

Then in the early 90's we get BATMAN! Batman actually doesn't start with the origins of Batman, oddly enough. (Oh, we get glimpses, here and there. For YEARS we couldn't have a Batman movie [not even animated] without flashbacks of the night Bruce lost his parents. Not that that's a bad thing.) No, we got the origins of the Joker however. Apparently if you fall into one of those vats of acid you see lying around everywhere, it doesn't kill you, in fact, you won't even lose a limb, or go blind or something! All that happens is your skin bleaches and your smile widens... which some people pay for. So then we get Batman Returns, and we have to wait until the THIRD installment before Batman quits. (That's probably because Batman's not as big of a quitter as the rest of these guys.) Eventually we get Batman Forever which comes with Jim Carrey, Drew Barrymore before she was famous, Nicole Kidman before anyone really cared about her, Robin, and Tommy Lee Jones in the worst role of his life! He does SUCH a horrible job. It's sad. We also get Val Kilmer's Batman what quits. Why does he quit? I don't know. Is it because he doesn't want to be a bad influence on Robin? Is it because of these repressed memories about the time he falls into a cave and a bunch of bats come out of it? For whatever reason, it looks like he's gonna call it quits, then he doesn't. It's pretty weak, but it gives us a title.

Let's skip ahead to the better Batman's, The Dark Knight series, so named for the best movie out of the trilogy. This time around we do get Batman's origins story, and it's a doosy! That all happens in Batman Begins. Then we get The Dark Knight in which, you guessed it, Batman almost quits. Because of the Joker's threats, Batman's THIS close to giving himself up when soon-to-be Two-Face steps up and claims the cowl and gets arrested in his place. I'm sorry. Did I spoil that for you? Have you really not seen it yet?

Okay, now let's rewind a little bit and talk about Spider-Man. In the first one we get his origin story, then POW, in the second one he starts to lose his way. He says things like, "I am Spider-Man no more," and "My back! My back!" He even ignores a mugging on the street! But, you know what, the X-Men aren't gonna swarm in and take care of Doc Oct! So, before the end Spidey puts on his mask again, then takes it off, then puts it on, then takes it off, then puts it on! Maybe if he kept his mask on it'd be harder for people to figure out who he is!

Now let's look at Iron Man. Iron Man I was another origin story. Yay! But in Iron Man II he gets sick, starts to die, quits his job, and thinks, "Yeah. I'm gonna die. So I'm gonna throw a big party and not be the hero Pepper thinks I should be," or something. Anyway, he doesn't die, and he doesn't quit.

But let's look at the X-Men... no let's not. The fact is Wolverine is ALWAYS quitting the X-Men, and nobody really cares about any of the others, at least not their movie versions.

Okay, I think I've given enough examples. Can you come up with a few?

Iron Man III

I loved it. I loved Iron Man 1 more, but I loved it.

You're either going to see it or you're not.

And I don't care what you choose. 

Oh no!

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Age Old Question: What was Attack of the Clones about? AKA: OBLIVION

I'd really like this movie... if I had never seen a movie before.

If you're watching it and thinking, "I've seen this before...." Relax. You haven't seen it before; you've seen Total Recall before, but don't worry, you're not IN Total Recall, it just kind of feels like it.

I honestly think these movies are made by men who think, "Yeah, my wife is okay, but I bet there's some kick-hand wife out there who's REALLY my wife, and one day I'll meet her, and we'll be unstoppable!" Dream on, boys.

Within 10 seconds of the beginning of this movie I knew three things, (SPOILERS!) 1. He was trapped in clone-city. 2. That radiation zone was a-okay, they just don't want anyone going there. and 3. That's not an alien; it's Morgan Freeman in a "HAZMAT" suit. (I'm not sure if the radiation zone, or Red showed up in the first 10 seconds of the movie, but the second they showed up, I knew it wasn't radiated, nor was it alien.)

How did I know this? Well, I knew it wasn't radiated because I've seen Total Recall... and other movies like it. I knew the alien was a human because... it was a human. I knew he was a clone because I've seen other clone movies and TV shows and they have a few things all in common:

1. They're confusing.
2. The characters have memories, but they don't know where they got them.

SO, if either of these two things pops up in a movie or TV show, sit back, kick your feet up, and wait for the clones.

(Some exceptions to the rule: Attack of the Clones. To be fair, that movie really isn't ABOUT clones, but about... you know, I have no idea.)

Anyway, Oblivion was a little slow, but charming.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Now You See Me

Now, I might be crazy, but I like movies when I know who to root for. I couldn't decide whose team I was on! Was I on the side of the "four horseman:" the quartet of magicians following a mysterious someone's wishes in hopes to join a secret society of magicians dating back thousands of years known as "The Eye." (OH BROTHER!) No. They were law breakers. Sure, maybe they were a type of Robin Hood law breakers, but... no. I could not root for them. I didn't care about them!

Maybe I should root for Mark Ruffalo, the cop on their trail. But he's so useless and mean to his French lady counterpart. So... no.

Or maybe I should root for the expert, Morgan Freeman, who excels at exploiting magicians? Eh.

Then, near the end, I start to think, "Okay. We all know one of these guys is the mystery man behind it all, (we know this because if he/she wasn't one of the people we already knew, they wouldn't keep it a mystery. Mysterious person always = someone you already know! [Unless it's someone you already know's mother, like in Friday the 13th.]) and we all know his reason has probably already been said. So... okay, it has to be connected to that story they told earlier, and the dude is probably the dude we least suspect." Then a certain character gets framed for the four horsemen's crimes, and when another pivotal character tells everyone else that he/she wants to be alone with said person... yeah. He/she wants to be alone so that he/she can reveal that they're behind it all, and enact their vengeance upon said character.


We're all supposed to gasp.

THEN, okay, SPOILER ALERT - I'm tired of dancing around pro-nouns - THEN he, the dude behind it all, comes clean to his lady friend and says, "You'll probably turn me in." But she doesn't, and I'm thinking... "UM HELLO! AN INNOCENT MAN IS ROTTING IN PRISON BECAUSE YOU LIKE THIS GUY!"

I like my villains to be evil. This villain's only crime was being really good at his job.

In short, it's a cute idea, but it unfolds like a film student's project: self-proud, predictable, and self-amazed. If the writers could get their arms off of their patted backs and back onto the computer keyboard, maybe they would have seen what I saw... which was one of the first lines of the movie: "The more you look, the less you see." Yes. That. I saw a lot of less.

And now, as promised, my sexism rant:
Within the first 3 seconds of meeting one of two women in the movie, Isla gets her pants ripped off her while on stage so that she is in a sparkly swim-suit, ready for her next trick illusion. Apparently the most important thing I know about Isla, is that she has legs. No one else in the movie gets wet. No one else in the movie has legs.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Star Trek: Into Darkness

Rarely is a movie so radiant, so immaculately written, so brilliantly performed, so incredibly executed! I was in love from start to finish.

I'm not a big Star Trek fan, but these last two movies are some fantastic pieces of cinema.

I'm tired of sexism in movies. I'm so tired that I'm going to complain about it a lot more often. Apparently it's too important to the world that Kirk is a philanderer to leave his objectification of women out.

A new woman joins the USS Enterprise. Her name is Carol. There's a scene where she HAS to change her clothes in front of Kirk. She asks him to turn away and we get a close-up of Kirk facing the other way. I thought, "How refreshing that she's not behind him, in our eye-sight, stripping." Then Kirk turns his head and we see her in all her underpant-selfness, and what was refreshing has turned into just more mud to add on to my huge pile of refuse.

Is any of this necessary? No. Would this be a better movie without it? Yes.

Write your congressman... or your 14-year-old Hollywood executive.