16 posts categorized "Comic Book"

November 26, 2017

LOGAN

LoganIf indoctrinating child audiences into accepting, and enjoying, brutal deadly violence was the intent of the filmmakers responsible for making “Logan,” then their mission is accomplished. Audiences not wanting to be party to such a disgusting cause will want to avoid this cinematic abomination like the plague.

How much senseless killing can an audience member be expected to endure? You’ll be asking yourself that question when “Logan’s” third act slips into gear after a black family are brutally murdered in their plantation-posited home after they have the bad luck of receiving charity from Hugh Jackman’s Logan and Patrick Stewart’s Charles during a runaway horse episode on a local highway.

Logan2

As superhero movies go, this one seems poised to put a final nail in their overdue coffin. In 2029, long suffering mutant Logan (a.k.a. Wolverine) cares for his wheelchair bound mentor Professor X (a.k.a. Charles) in a fenced off compound somewhere near the Mexican border.

Logan drives a limo to provide a meager financial backing for the ailing Charles, whose weird episodes can have far-reaching negative effects on the people and atmosphere around him when they strike. Things get especially strange when Logan takes over caring for a similarly hand-blade equipped child, the [seemingly mute] mutant named Laura (Dafne Keen) who desperately wants/needs to be transported to the Canadian border where “Eden” awaits. The “Antichrist” reference seems apropos as there is far more graphic violence in this film than there is in Lars von Trier’s psychological thriller.

Breaking character is etched in stone as a rule of dramaturgy to never cross, and yet it occurs in this movie like a fart that can't be held in. Screenwriting teachers take note. This is a sure-fire way to make your cinematic cake fall. 

Logan3

Naturally our of trio limo-ensconced travelers are pursued by a militarized gang of soldiers overseen by an evil doctor (played by Richard E. Grant). Chase scene after redundant chase scene gives way to repetitive sequences of decapitating violence. Blood spews, characters yell in monstrous glee after bringing mutilation and death to their victims. There are more murders committed by a child (Laura) than in any film I can think of.

Logan speaks the film's theme when he says, You have to learn to live with hurting people." How anyone could think this is a responsible message to teach young people is beyond me. 

Logan

“Logan” is a film that will scar your psyche. I cannot in good conscious recommend that any peace-loving person expose yourself or your children to viewing “Logan.” There is nothing to be gained; it’s not entertaining, and it will leave you with memories you don’t need to have rolling around in your brain.  

Rated R. 137 mins.

Zero Stars

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

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March 29, 2016

DEADPOOL

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon. Thanks a lot pal! Your generosity keeps the reviews coming!

Cole Smithey on Patreon

DEADPOOLThe LGBT movement gets an ostensibly unwelcome filmic addition in the guise of Ryan Reynolds’s wisecracking bi-sexual mercenary Wade Wilson. Wade likes to shoot bad guys, and get plowed (yes sexually violated) in his off time. Yawn. Our anti-hero of sexual experimentation is on a revenge mission against a mad scientist whose meddling turned Wade into a horribly scarred superhuman.

Deadpool is billed as “God’s Perfect Idiot” during an unconventional pre-roll announcing the inclusion of characters such as “A Moody Teen,” “A Gratuitous Cameo,” and a “CGI Character.” Such is the nature of this film’s annoying tic of self-referential asides.

Deadpool

The film takes a lot of things for granted, such as why any audience member would empathize with a sociopath such as the one propped up here as an anti-hero with weird body issues. If you liked “Kick-Ass” you’ll probably enjoy this movie. Personally, I found “Kick-Ass” to be a snooze.

Fast twitch one-liners abound during the film’s visually impressive, but thematically cartoonish, opening act. Dressed in his signature red-and-black suit, Deadpool comments on his sexual predilections when he tells a criminal, “I’ve never said this before, but don’t swallow” before stuffing a hot car lighter in the man’s mouth. The innuendo and non sequiturs pile on to a point of exhaustion. Deadpool is very impressed with himself. If smug is your bag, drop Deadpool right in with Donald Trump. 

Deadpool&colossus

Pop culture references bounce around like ping pong balls in a windstorm. Deadpool tells his latest victim, “I’m about to do to you what Limp Bizkit did to music in the late ‘90s.” That was so funny I forgot to laugh. Fourth-wall breaking comic asides regularly mock the audience. This is the kind of movie that would fit into the “Rocky Horror” phenomenon of attracting audiences who have scripted responses to specific lines. Since Deadpool seems obsessed with things like what "nuts" taste like in his mouth, kids could have a field day.

When “Dead” (his nickname) isn’t contemplating his navel, butthole, or masculine appendage, he’s busy keeping romance burning with Vanessa Carlysle (Morena Baccarin), a hooker whose childhood of sexual abuse mirrors similar mistreatment that Wade suffered as a boy. Vanessa has a way with a strap-on, and that’s quite all right with our bottom-boy hero.

Wade abandons Vanessa after he meets mad scientist Ajax (Ed Skrein), a doctor who promises to rid Wade of the cancer that he has just discovered is taking over his body. Accidents will happen. During Ajax’s not-so-medical procedure Wade gets dosed up with a toxic substance that leaves him one big mass of scar tissue. The upside is that Wade also has self-healing attributes that come in handy when he’s doing battle with the likes of Colossus (Stefan Kapicic), an enormous CGI creature with a bad temper.

Listening to smart-alecky one-liners while watching a clown in a red suit kill people might be some audiences' idea of fun, but it isn’t mine. This movie blows, or sucks, depending on your perspective. 

Rated R. 118 mins. 

1 StarCole & Mike

In episode #5 of LA GRANDE BOUFFE (THE BIG FEAST), Mike Lacy and I drink "Delicious IPA" (Stone Brewing) while chewing the fat over Robert Altman's unforgettable 1992 film THE PLAYER.

Cozy Cole

Cole Smithey on Patreon

August 30, 2012

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

Dark Knight RisesDisconnected significantly from the flow of logic between the first and second installments of Christopher Nolan’s “Batman” films, “The Dark Knight Rises” is a disjointed mess. Plot inconsistencies from the last two films — about things such as the performance of Batman’s hi-tech armored suit — arise when he battles the least charismatic, or knowable, villain of any of the Batman movies, dating back to Joel Schumacher’s four installments.

Image result for THE DARK KNIGHT RISES movie 2011 bane

Tom Hardy’s hulking Bane gets lost behind a cloistering mask that covers his face below the eyes due to a beating his character received while imprisoned in the Middle East many years ago. The mask ostensibly holds Bane’s face together and enables him to breathe. Even more suppressed is any context for Bane’s desire to wipe out humanity via a nuclear bomb, which he aimlessly transports around the streets of Manhattan for a few weeks in one of three decoy trucks.

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For such a bloated movie — it runs a ridiculous 165 minutes — you’d think the screenwriters (Nolan and his brother Jonathan) could at least manage to weave a proper narrative together. Robert McKee won’t be referencing “The Dark Knight Rises” in any of his screenwriting seminars. The best thing “The Dark Knight Rises” has on offer is Anne Hathaway’s butt-in-the-air silhouette as her Catwoman speeds around Manhattan on Batman’s mean-machine motorcycle.

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Unreliable characters saturate the story. Catwoman has more in common with a black widow than a feline when it comes to loyalty. Her alter ego Selina Kyle is a hypocrite thief who betrays Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne every chance she gets. For his part, Bruce Wayne proves himself to be a terrible judge of character. His misplaced trust in Marion Cotillard’s Miranda Tate, a corporate mover-and-shaker for clean energy, takes a heavy toll. Worse yet, Bruce Wayne betrays Alfred, his most trusted confidant and assistant, in an impulsive fit of anger. Batman doesn’t make for a very persuasive anti-hero this time around. There isn’t much to like or respect in this latest incarnation of a crime-fighter who we discover during a ghostly visitation by Liam Neeson’s Ra’s Al Ghul, was built for failure from the beginning.

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Christopher Nolan’s outspoken defense of fans that rained down threats on critics of the movie before they had even seen it, speaks to the bullying hype surrounding the film. The film’s odd pokes at political exploitation — regarding the battle being waged between the world’s 99% and their elite corporate oppressors — come across as half-hearted attempts at pandering. Even without the Colorado shooting tragedy that will forever haunt “The Dark Knight Rises,” the film represents a soulless and gratuitous ploy that favors flimflam over substance. There’s something gross and mean in the way Nolan approaches the material. It’s not an entertaining or enjoyable film to watch. The only likable characters are secondary roles. You keep wishing that Morgan Freeman’s Fox, Michael Caine’s Alfred, and Joseph Gordon-Levvitt’s police officer John Blake would co-opt the story.

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The bottom-line is that Christopher Nolan is a better director than he is a screenwriter. He specializes in plot holes and logic gaps in the same the way that M. Night Shyamalan toys with hackneyed suspense device. It would be good if Christopher Nolan didn’t make anymore Batman movies. The world could certainly use fewer comic book movies. It’s just sad that Nolan had to take so many talented people down with him in a movie that sinks under the weight of its own pretentions. You can sit through “The Dark Knight Rises” once, but you’ll never want to see it again.

Image result for THE DARK KNIGHT RISES movie caine

Rated R. 95 mins.

2 Stars

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.

Cole Smithey on Patreon

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