Hello, fellow moviegoers!
With Warner Bros and Patty Jenkins' new Wonder Woman film opening this weekend, last night I decided to rewatch the original 1978 Superman film directed by Richard Donner. Jenkins has stated in the past that the original Superman film was a big inspiration for her new Wonder Woman film (which is getting amazing reviews by the way). When I heard that, I felt like I needed to go back and watch Superman again. I haven't seen the film in probably a decade at this point, so what did I think of it now?
Well, I think I'm going to surprise a lot of people here by saying that I thought Superman was just okay. It had some really good moments in it, moments that I completely understand why they've become so iconic. However, while watching this I couldn't help but feel they were great moments in a decent movie. Superman is a historic movie that changed a lot in the grand scheme of filmmaking, and it helped to shape superhero films as we know them today, unfortunately though, it doesn't really hold up all that well forty years later.
First off, I know there are some people out there that are thinking that I'm not a big fan of this movie simply because it's not a superhero film in today's sense. Meaning, it's not an action-packed the movie with lots of explosions and super complex fight scenes. To that, I would say I that I actually love smaller movies that don't have that. One of my favorite films of all time is Birdman, which is an entirely dialogue driven film. Superman, to me, just failed to be as absolutely amazing as most people hail it to be.
Whenever I discuss older films with my father, he's always stressing to me to take them within the context of the time they came out. I always try my best to do that, but simultaneously, I don't want to use the context of the time as an excuse for a film not to be of great quality (For example, Xanadu is an absolutely awful movie). Some try and make the argument that older films simply aren't on the same level of quality as modern films. For that, I have two examples that prove the opposite. Firstly, there's the original Star Wars, which came out a year prior to Superman. Obviously, I absolutely love Star Wars, and I'm also really nostalgic about it, which may make me biased. However, the quality of the film can really be determined when you show it to somebody now who has never seen it before, which I actually did a couple weeks back. They also absolutely loved it. The second film I would like to bring up is 1932's Frankenstein. A film that despite being 85 years old, is still extremely enjoyable. In fact, I would go as far to say that I love that movie, and it's leagues better than some of the more visual effects heavy films we have today. So the point I'm trying to make here is that saying Superman came out in 1978 is not an excuse for it to be a mediocre film.
Now, I do want to make it very clear that I did enjoy Superman. I thought it was a good movie. I just believe that it is nowhere near as good as a lot of people out there claim it to be. When this movie works, it works fantastically. Marlon Brando as Jor-El and Christopher Reeves in the title role of Superman both gave stellar performances. Reeves performance is highlighted the most in the way he plays Clark Kent and Superman completely differently. Kent is more awkward and clumsy, and he just wants to be a normal guy. Superman, on the other hand, well, he's Superman. He's the definition of a hero. He's brave, selfless, and just wants to do the right thing.
However, where this film faltered a lot, for me, was in the pacing, and the villains. Firstly, the pacing in this movie is way off. It starts off strong on the planet Krypton, and even up to Kal-El on the farm living with the Kents, it was pretty solid. However, there are multiple scenes throughout this film that just really seem to drag and bring the entire film to a screeching halt. These scenes plague the film all the way to the end. Warning, the example I have to give may seem blasphemous to some people, but hey, this is just my opinion. It's a movie. That pacing issue is most evident, to me, in the now iconic flying scene with Superman and Lois. The first half of that scene is fabulous. It's really well directed, acted, and edited together. Where that scene derailed was when Lois started reciting a poem in her head for the entire audience to hear. When it started, I thought it was a little odd, but then it just kept going and it didn't stop, and in all honesty, it almost ruined the scene for me.
The second major complaint I had with the film were the villains. Gene Hackman gave a fine performance in the role of Lex Luthor, but it was the character itself that really got to me. He was just a simple, cliche, mustache-twirling villain. He didn't have any motivations except for money. His diabolical plot was really silly and over-the-top, which could work if the film's tone had called for that, but it didn't. Luthor in this film served no other purpose than to have a bad guy in the movie. He wasn't there to add anything to the movie, he wasn't there to thrill audiences, he was there to give Superman something to be mad at.
Like I stated earlier, I still enjoyed Superman. As a whole, I don't dislike it by any means. However, it does have some major flaws in it that keep it from being as amazing as everyone claims it is. The performances across the board were pretty good, particularly Marlon Brando and Christopher Reeves. The film has some really great stand-out moments, moments that I completely understand why they've become as iconic as they are. In between those moments, however, the film really sinks down and becomes mediocre at best. I'll probably end up giving this film another shot someday, but as of now, I'm not a big fan.
So what's your opinion on 1978's Superman? Does it still hold up well for you today? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this article, share it on Facebook and Twitter. It really helps! Don't forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and other miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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Hello, fellow moviegoers!
Baywatch is directed by Seth Gordon, and it stars Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Alexandra Daddario, and Priyanka Chopra. It's a film based on the popular 90s TV show of the same name. When drugs start washing up on the beach and a series of murders occur, a group of lifeguards takes it upon themselves to investigate and protect the bay.
To sum it up, Baywatch is a two-hour mixture of pure cheesiness and raunchiness. The star power and charisma of both Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron make it watchable, but without them, this movie does not work at all. To put it simply, this is a really silly movie. At first, it felt like they were going for a super cheesy movie along the lines of Kung Fury, which can work as long as they know the movie they're making is stupid. Instead, after the first fifteen minutes or so, the film changes course and tries to be a legitimate comedy, and it fails miserably.
Don't me wrong, I don't think Baywatch is an awful movie, it just fails to know what it wants to be. They either should've gone all in on the ridiculousness, or tried to actually make a good movie. The film seems to flip between the two, and neither one of them really works because of it. The way this movie starts really makes it seem like it's going to be massively over-the-top and absurd. Take that and mix in the silly one-liners used throughout the film, and it could end up being a decently enjoyable movie. Unfortunately, in between the silly moments, they try to have an actual movie, and because of that, those cheesy moments don't work well at all. They really stand out, and not in a good way either.
The only redeeming things about this movie were some of the performances, Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron specifically. Admittedly, I laughed a few times in this movie, and the scenes I laughed at were the ones that heavily featured those two. The funniest parts of the movie occur when those two are sparring back and forth, verbally and physically. Efron and Johnson had a lot of chemistry together, and it's a testament to their talent that they almost keep this movie afloat. Also, despite his very small role, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II was pretty funny in this movie. He played a cop that was trying to convince the lifeguards to stay on the beach, and he was able to make the most out of his small role. Whenever a scene had him in it, the movie suddenly became a little less awful. I haven't seen him in anything else, but he is playing Black Manta in the new Aquaman movie, so I'm even more excited for that now.
This new Baywatch movie, as you'd expect, is pretty raunchy. Raunchiness isn't a bad thing in a movie, but it all depends on how it's used. For example, the 21 and 22 Jump Street films have just the right amount of raunchiness to them, and that helps to make them as hilarious as they are. Baywatch has way too much raunchiness to it. Plus, the raunchiness of Baywatch didn't seem to fit naturally. A lot of the jokes in the movie felt really forced and out of place. Baywatch tried to replicate the success of the Jump Street movies, and that didn't work at all.
Unfortunately, Baywatch ends up drowning despite how hard The Rock and Zac Efron try to save it. It can't decide if it wants to be an actual movie or a super over-the-top cheese-fest. It's extremely raunchy, often unnecessarily so, and a lot of the jokes in this movie fail to even get a chuckle out of the audience. The best scenes came from The Rock, Zac Efron, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (despite his small role). Baywatch isn't an absolutely horrendous movie, but it's far from good.
So what did you think of this new Baywatch? Did you think that it worked or not? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this article, share it on Facebook and Twitter. It really helps! Don't forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and other miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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Hello, fellow moviegoers!
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg. It stars Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, and Javier Bardem. It follows Captain Jack Sparrow once again in his misadventures on the high seas. This time, Jack is searching for a legendary item known as the Trident of Poseidon in an attempt to stop the undead Captain Salazar and his crew from exacting their revenge on him.
I would like to start by saying that, unlike most critics out there, I'm a pretty big fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Growing up, the first three were a trilogy that I found myself watching over and over again. As a result of this, I have a lot of nostalgia surrounding those movies (except for the fourth one which I wasn't a big fan of). Recently, I rewatched the first three, and though the first one is the best by far, I thought the second two were still pretty enjoyable.
This fifth Pirates movie has some really good moments in it, more in line with the kind found in the first film. Despite this, the film does seem to run into some of the same issues that the fourth one did. For every really good moment, there's an overly silly one to balance it out. This back and forth is most evident in Depp's performance as Jack Sparrow. At times, he seems to really be getting back to the Jack of the first film, the Jack that got him an Oscar nomination. However, there are many moments where it really feels like Johnny Depp playing his kooky Johnny Depp character that we see in almost all of his films now. At times, he feels like more of a drunk Mad Hatter than Captain Jack Sparrow.
The most surprising thing about this film was the new cast. The additions of Brenton Thwaites as Will Turner's son, Henry, and Kaya Scodelario as Carina Smyth were actually really good ones. The gave decent performances and had some chemistry together. I was afraid these two were going to be like the mermaid and the other dude from the fourth movie (the fact that I don't remember their names shows how forgettable they were). I was pleasantly surprised by how interesting their characters were. Unlike the young characters of the previous installment, I'm actually a little interested to see where these characters go in the future.
By far the best thing about this new Pirates of the Caribbean was also the most underutilized thing, and that was Javier Bardem as Captain Salazar. Bardem gave a very good performance as the villainous ghost pirate in this movie, but he didn't have a whole lot to do. His character felt sort-of forced into the film to make sure it had an antagonist. The plot involving him chasing Jack felt entirely separate from the rest of the movie, which is odd considering that should've been the movie. When Bardem is on screen in this movie, it almost feels like a pirate horror film. There is a lot that they easily could've done with his character to make him more compelling, but unfortunately, they sacrificed that time for more silly laughs with Jack Sparrow.
For the most part, this film was good, not great. However, it finishes really strong. I would argue that the last fifteen minutes or so of this movie is the best part of the movie. Surprisingly enough, I actually got a little emotional in one scene towards the end of this movie. If they can make future films in this franchise (because there will undoubtedly be more) feel more like the end of this movie, then we could be in store for some more really great Pirates movies.
Overall, I thought Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales was pretty good, but it wasn't amazing by any means. It wasn't as good as the first three, but it was undoubtedly better than the franchise's fourth outing On Stranger Tides. The new additions to the franchise actually worked surprisingly well, and I'm curious to see where they will go moving forward. Johnny Depp has great and not-so-great moments as Captain Jack, and that was indicative of the film as a whole. If you're a fan of the Pirates franchise (like I am) I'd recommend this one. If you weren't a fan of any of them but the first, this isn't going to be the one that brings you back on board.
So what did you think of the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean? Would you want to see a sixth one? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this review, share it on Facebook and Twitter. It really helps! Don't forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and other miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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Hello, fellow moviegoers!
With the recent release of Logan on DVD and Blu-Ray came an alternate version of the film known as Logan Noir. This version of the film is different in the sense that it is in black and white, instead of the full color that most films are now. The idea came when the first few images from the film were released, and they were in black and white. The images were extremely interesting to look at and had a few people wondering if the actual film would be. Obviously, that didn't happen, but with Logan Noir, that version of the film exists now.
So the big question here is whether or not the change in color makes a difference in the experience of watching Logan. After having seen Logan in full-color twice, and the Noir version once, I would say that it definitely does. Is it night and day difference between the two? No, it's still the exact same movie, it's just that one version is in grayscale.
The black and white images they initially released for Logan had a very artistic quality to them, and that's a quality that transfers over to the Noir version of the film. Logan was already a beautiful film to look at. The cinematography throughout the film is stunning. In the Noir version, there are several points where I paused it to just really take in the shot. The grayscale added an extra sense of artistry to the film. With many of the shots in the film, I found myself thinking that I could imagine that shot printed out, framed, and hanging on a wall.
Oddly enough, Logan Noir appeared to be less violent than the theatrical cut, which seems impossible because it's the exact same cut of the film. However, since there was no color, that means that we didn't see the red of the blood in the movie. There are many scenes that I remember being very violent from the first couple times I've seen the film in color, but they seemed to be less violent than I remembered when watching this version. Without the color, the blood is almost unnoticeable at times, which makes the film seem less violent.
The points where I found the grayscale didn't work were the points in which the film uses visual effects. There aren't a lot of obvious digital effects in Logan, but when they're there it's distracting in the Noir version. Due to the lack of color, Logan Noir feels like an older film. That feeling that is completely taken away when we see modern effects utilized in it. That's by no means a flaw in the actual film, it's just a slight drawback to watching a modern film converted to black and white. I haven't seen the "Black & Chrome" Edition of Mad Max: Fury Road, but I imagine it suffers from the same issue.
So is Logan Noir the version of Logan you need to watch? No, especially if it's your first time watching the film. The theatrical version of Logan utilizes color very well. So I would undoubtedly recommend watching that version first if you haven't already. If you love that version, which I expect you will, check out Logan Noir if you're interested. The grayscale definitely adds an interesting element to the film. While not an entirely separate experience, it's still different enough to have an effect.
So are you interested in watching Logan Noir? Or will you just stick with the theatrical version of the film? Let me know by commenting on this article? Also, if you enjoyed this article, share it on Facebook and Twitter. It really helps! Don't forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and other miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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