“Plug him in, time to scream.”
Dear lord this movie, Batman & Robin, is a tragic waste of resources, a perfect model of how to kill a franchise. Every awful thing said about it is absolutely true. I saw it, stalled, and couldn’t bring myself to write about it until now.
I thought it deserved a single, cynical dismissal and little more but – seeing as I already did so this month with another terrible flick – I figured I should probably give it a hundred words per star.
(Sigh . . . at least 120 to go.)
* * * *
Years ago, if you told me that a cartoon would scooch just a little bit ahead of SpongeBob SquarePants taking over first place in my heart, I would have looked at you blankly and wandered off.
For that’s what I do when I am confronted by very silly people.
In this case, I would have been wrong. (But definitely not the other times I’ve done that).
Well, scooch a cartoon did. Verily. It is called Adventure Time, or as it was known first, Adventure Time with Finn & Jake. Finn (Jeremy Shada) begins the five-season (thus far…) series as a 12-year-old human boy who wears a white hat, wields a sword and has the heart of a lion. His best friend and brother is Jake (John DiMaggio) is a yellow dog that can contort and transform himself into literally anything that helps increase the fun.
In just a few short minutes, it had me hooked. It had the same quality that SpongeBob has – enthusiasm. Bountiful, relentless, ridiculous enthusiasm. I find earnest enthusiasm very, very funny.
“Let’s go get this sonofabitch!”
* * * *
Running! Yelling! Explosions! Couple fights!
This frenetic follow-up to the J.J. Abrams Star Trek reboot starts out at a break-neck sprint and never lets up. Hacker Renders and I had our crumpled, pre-purchased IMAX 3D tickets in our clammy palms to see it early Saturday morning.
Sleepy Saturday morning, this was not. We emerged from the theatre feeling slightly ravaged, and, in my case, tear-stained, breathless and drained.
Which is to say, I loved it. It hit me like a USS Enterprise saucer section plowing into a planet’s surface.
There’s something about the experience of seeing this film that rendered me incapable of rational thought. It made me feel my own feelings. It was a chaotic riot of violence, scattered with poignantly emotional moments between characters I love.
“Can’t you see the brother is down…?”
* * * *
Who would have thought the origin story would have so much blood in it?
Blood - Afro Samurai has it by the slurping, slopping bucketful. There are great arching spurts, pressurized arterial sprays, giant billowing gusts and ocean waves of blood.
There’s also heads popping off like the fourth of July.
Afro Samurai is one crazy, bloody, violent, incredibly engaging, cartoon.
I don’t know what it is with me and mostly silent action heroes whose origin stories involve their parents being decapitated or otherwise killed bloody in front of them, but there’s a definite thread there.
“I’m thirteen but I’ve been told I look at least fourteen.”
* * *
The director Paul McGuigan has really impressed me recently, with his feature Lucky Number Slevin, and the BBC series, Sherlock. I was less impressed, unfortunately, with this superhero opus, Push.
It’s listed online as a Canadian co-production, but shows little evidence of it. Its lack of overt CanCon, however, doesn’t factor in my disappointment. It’s rather being an average sci-fi thriller with exceptional good looks.
* * * *
If Frankenweenie‘s Mr. Rzykruski (Martin Landau) had taught my high school science classes, I can’t help but feel my life would be very different today.
In fact, I think if every kid today had Martin Landau shouting about electricity in a German-Russian-Hungarian-Slavic accent in class, we’d all be scientists.
My favourite teenager Miss_Tree and I went to Comiccon in Ottawa this past weekend. Attending the LeVar Burton Q&A on Friday night, Burton asked all the engineers in the audience in the audience to stand. Many said Burton’s Star Trek’s engineer Geordi La Forge was an inspiration to them, drawing them into the nether realms of math and science.
I felt a slight twinge of regret. My education listed a bit more toward the soft-option (mostly words and junk) so I never learned anything as handy as the talents demonstrated by Victor Frankenstein (Charlie Tahan) in this gorgeous, black-and-white celebration of beautiful, clever science freaks and the pets who love them.
“Wow. Goo Goo G’Joob got screwed.”
“Kuekuatsheu. It means ‘the wolverine’.”
* * *
Welcome to another edition of “I can’t believe they hated it so much.” Really, that’s how I feel, with all the wrath directed by critics and fans at X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It’s a movie that does what it needs to do, perhaps not perfectly, but well enough at least to entertain.
A complaint I’ve often seen about the original X-Men series was the sprawling cast with too little attention paid to individuals. Here we get that narrower focus on the most popular character, Logan/Wolverine (Van Helsing’s Hugh Jackman). I suppose that must have led to overblown expectations.