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Category Archives: 10’s movies

Batman: Gotham by Gaslight

Batman: Gotham by Gaslight 2018

I’m not exactly the biggest fan of Jack the Ripper, generally the most I know of him are when various TV shows that I watch have the random episode where they go back in time or something along those lines to have a Jack the Ripper episode. Aside from that, there’s also the mediocre comic book movie From Hell. And on top of that, I actually went into this movie knowing nothing about the background of the comic aside from the fact that it’s basically Batman if he existed in the early 1900’s. It is actually the first Elseworlds style story that even pre-dated the Elseworlds title. It basically comes from the question “what if Batman tried to solve the Jack the Ripper case?” only instead of random people asking the question, it’s asked by comic book writer Brian Augustyn and drawn by Mike Mignola. I thought it was pretty entertaining but I wasn’t fond of the final reveal, which I will be discussing so here’s your spoiler warning.

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Thor: Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok 2017

Surprisingly, as much as I enjoy the MCU, over the past year and a half I hadn’t been keeping up with every release like I might have expected to despite all the rave reviews I had heard for this one as well as Ant-Man and the Wasp. The MCU has always been about making action comedies, though most of them have been heavy on the action and light on the comedy. This time director Taika Waititi turns things on its head and gives practically a full blown comedy with some action elements. It might initially seem like an odd choice for Thor to be the property to transition from a more Shakespearean action/fantasy to an action comedy, but it really works. Especially with Chris Hemsworth’s charisma and the addition of Jeff Goldblum as the Grandmaster. The more dramatic stuff still works, but through and through it’s a comedy with plenty of laugh out loud moments.

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Batman and Harley Quinn

Batman and Harley Quinn 2017

When this movie was first announced, I was actually quite excited for it. I would consider Harley Quinn to be my favorite comic book character. I love her aesthetic and her unpredictability, but when the first trailer came out I sensed trouble despite the fact that it was clearly modeled after the designs of the 90’s Batman the Animated Series. And while the animation style and several of the voice actors are from that series the tone and content of the movie is much more adult than the original series ever was. Unfortunately the idea of more adult is just plenty of jokes and references to sex and some blood including a character death. It just felt completely out of place and while a few of the jokes did make me laugh quite a bit, it never really felt right and never came together as a whole.

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Howard Lovecraft and the Undersea Kingdom

Howard Lovecraft and the Undersea Kingdom 2017

Last year I decided to take a chance on the first Howard Lovecraft movie. At the time, I thought it was just a low budget knock off film that somehow was trying to trade in on the HP Lovecraft lore and was also based on an indie comic. This year I did a little bit more digging and discovered Arcana Studio spun off of Arcana Comics. They do seem to be a low budget animation studio, but the majority of their films are adaptations of their comics which I think is a great concept. I wasn’t a huge fan of the first Howard Lovecraft film, it seemed like a fascinating world, but there wasn’t much of a character arc and the tone seemed like a weird childish goth with mediocre voice actors except a couple token cameos. The sequel works much better with an overall darker tone with less kid-centric humor, bigger roles for the notable voice actors, and more of a character arc for Howard himself. I actually quite enjoyed this one and am curious to see where things end up in the third movie coming out in a couple weeks.

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Justice League

Justice League 2017

I’m not entirely sure what bug got into me, but I’ve been full speed ahead trying to catch up on the year (more or less) that I’ve missed writing on this site. This is one of the biggest films that I missed from last  year and while it made a decent amount of money, it was a pretty big disappointment for what a Justice League movie could have made. Out of the major superhero movie releases of the year, it was the second lowest grossing film just above Logan which was R-rated and it was the lowest grossing film of the entire DCEU. It was plagued by some behind the scenes nightmares like the tragic loss of Zack Snyder’s daughter midway through filming so that the film was finished by Joss Whedon. There was also the well documented issue with Henry Cavill being unable to shave his mustache for reshoots while filming the latest Mission Impossible which created some unnerving scenes of CGI hair-removal. The resulting chaos resulted in a rather chaotic movie that shifted in tone from the more serious and dramatic Zack Snyder films that came before it, and the more irreverent humor associated with Joss Whedon with a lack of overall cohesion. Some moments worked, but the team never quite came together as a whole.

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I Kill Giants

I Kill Giants 2018

It’s been a long while since I’ve sat down and written a movie review. This past year I’ve tried and gotten through the opening paragraph twice, but haven’t been able to finish one out just yet. But I’m trying to revitalize my interest in this site. Or let me rephrase that, my interest has not gone away for this site, just the ability to give it the time that I want to. But things are starting to change and as I’ve started to prepare for the new year, I’ve been getting a jump start by trying to catch up on what I’ve missed. The first one that I decided to grab was something that I always enjoy doing for this site, a lesser known comic book movie that’s not really about superheroes at all. This is a family fantasy drama adapted from the Image comic by Joe Kelly and Ken Niimura released in 2008 about a young girl who appropriately kills giants. It comes close to being a cliched version of the outcast/weird girl living in her own fantasy world to escape reality, but there’s enough different about this to make it stand out.

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Surge of Power: Revenge of the Sequel

Surge of Power: Revenge of the Sequel 2018

An interesting thing happened the other day, I had a Facebook memory reminding me that a year ago I was contacted by an indie filmmaker who discovered my site and reached out to me to request a review for their movie. And that actually happened yet again this year. Justin Cook sent me a screener of his superhero spoof sequel, though I originally thought that the whole “Revenge of the Sequel” was part of the whole spoof concept. It also boasts being the first out gay superhero. On top of that, it’s filled with literally dozens of cameoes from superhero and sci-fi history including plenty of Star Trek actors. Not to rain on anyone’s parade, but even though most of the cameoes felt like they were pulled from various convention circuits, it was still a treat for someone like me who recognized plenty of stars from films like the 70’s motorcycle riding Captain America or the unreleased Roger Corman’s Fantastic Four. It felt like a cheesy road trip movie with a gay superhero twist that had some fun moments here and there.
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Atomic Blonde

Atomic Blonde 2017

Still trying to catch up on some of last year’s superhero and comic book movie offerings I managed to get around to one that I didn’t know much about but I had heard good things. Even when I checked it out from the library, the librarian recommended it as a good movie. I’m a fan of Charlize Theron in general as well as action movies with female leads as there are so few of them, and this movie delivered pretty much everything that I could have expected. Especially considering that the director’s previous effort was John Wick which I have heard nothing but good things about. And in case you didn’t know, this film was based on the graphic novel The Coldest City. The film has a lot of rawness, sex, great action scenes, bright colors, and a decent 80’s vibe but while it was a fun watch, there was just something missing so that it didn’t quite become an absolute favorite of mine immediately.
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Spider-Man: Homecoming

Spider-Man: Homecoming 2017

Still finding it difficult to get back into the swing of watching superhero movies and writing on this site, but this past weekend I managed to watch one of the MCU movies that I missed last year even though it took me nearly a week having it from the library before actually watching it. Which is a little odd since I’ve heard almost nothing but good things about the latest Spider-Man even though it’s been such a quick reboot since the last iteration. I did quite enjoy Tom Holland’s full-fledged entry into the MCU but there were a couple things that I noticed while watching the film. First is how often the film side-steps many of the traditional superhero movie tropes. But on the other side of things, while it isn’t an origin story, it actually still manages to hit a lot of the origin story beats that we’re used to, just with a slight adjustment to them.
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Black Panther

Black Panther 2018

I’m still working on getting back into the swing of things here but I did manage to get out to the theaters to see the latest Marvel movie even though I missed the last two. Luckily, this falls in line with the end of the previous phase where Ant-Man came out just before Avengers: Age of Ultron and also had little to do with the overall phase’s arc, instead it’s a mostly stand-alone film with just a few ties to the rest of the movies. Notably Civil War where T’Challa made his debut. Honestly, the movie this reminds me the most of is Wonder Woman as it is very important for its cultural impact in the realm of superhero movies as this does for the Black community what Wonder Woman did for women. The main difference is that where Wonder Woman was weakest in the third act, Black Panther’s weakness lies in its overall lack of strong action set pieces. But what it lacks in action, it more than makes up for with strong characters, themes, and gorgeous visuals. And just for full disclosure, I am a middle aged white guy from the suburbs and I will get into spoilers.
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