Thursday, March 06, 2014
The science fiction flick was better known as a father/son vehicle for Will Smith (it was based on a story by him) and Jaden Smith more than anything else. With no credits at the start of the film, many folks didn't even know it was an M. Night movie. It works well for the Smiths, being a two-man acting tour de force, but honestly it wouldn't have been as good without M. Night's touch, at least in my opinion.
One thousand years in the future, a father and son crashland on a mutated, abandoned, and evolved Earth. The father is a genetically altered war hero with no fear who's been crippled and can't move. The son, the only other survivor, has find the beacon to call for help, with the remote guidance of his dad. They have a distant relationship, complicated by a lost sibling and a failure to be a ranger like dad.
In my opinion, it's another strong film from M. Night, visually stunning, good story, and well worth watching. Check it out.
Wednesday, March 05, 2014
While there's question as to whether Russia and the Ukraine will be participating this year, as with any year in which war looms among the competing nations, there have been several finalists announced (including Ukraine).
Here are some of them:
Israel - "Same Heart" by Mei Finegold
Romania - "Miracle" by Paula Seling and Ovi
Lithuania - "Attention" by Vilija Matačiūnaitė
Some strong competitors here, looks like it's going to be a good contest this year...
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
As I said, it's very funny, but it could have been funnier. This tale of a sociopath (McCarthy) who steals family man Jason Bateman's identity spotlights her outrageous behavior, but unfortunately there is a very real undercurrent that is sooo not funny. The realities of identity theft are all here, and how such criminal acts can destroy the victim's life. As much as one might want to laugh, there is always that underneath.
Where the flick falls apart is that the idea of Bateman confronting McCarthy and dragging her home on a roadtrip to right his life is just not enough apparently. It should have been, and would be, but the filmmakers somehow felt that drug dealers, bounty hunters, and lethal situations were needed in what basically amounts to a madcap comic romp. For me, it ruins it.
Melissa McCarthy is a delight, and saves the movie from being dragged down by bad creative decisions. It could have been better and funnier, had it been much simpler.
Monday, March 03, 2014
In a well organized world, Lord Business runs things with a well sorted attitude. Everything has its place, everyone has their job, and of course, Everything Is Awesome. Then an average guy finds the "Piece of Resistance," meets the girl of his dreams, Wyldstyle, and is swept up in an underground revolution against Business, where his fellow freedom fighters think he is "The Special," a legendary savior.
Biff Bam Pop!'s own Leiki Veskimets (check out her terrific wrap-up on the Oscars from earlier today). Liam Neeson is great as Bad Cop, and Will Arnett steals the whole movie as Batman. I also loved the bits with Superman and Green Lantern, and the Millennium Falcon.
This movie was a lot of fun, and I can't wait for the sequel coming in 2017. Now, if you excuse me, I'm going to go play with my Legos, especially my Batman...
Friday, February 28, 2014
The foremost of these baddies, in the Silver Age 1960s, was the Clock King. Like most Batman villains, the Clock King's crimes and gimmicks were themed, in his case, clocks and time. Though he wore a rather simple costume and cape, William Tockman's full face mask was a clock, both simplistic and disturbing. In my first encounter with the villain he had imprisoned Green Arrow and Speedy in a gigantic hourglass deathtrap.
Later, when Green Arrow grew a beard and became a liberal, and comics became most 'realistic,' the Clock King was unfortunately treated as almost a joke before fading into obscurity. He was a member of the laughable Injustice League in Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis' comedy Justice League comics, before being murdered as a member of the Suicide Squad. Notably he has reappeared in the New 52.
Ironically the villain's two previous television incarnations were as a Batman foe. Walter Slezak portrayed the Clock King on the 1966 "Batman" TV series, trapping Batman and Robin in the very same hourglass that held Green Arrow and Speedy in the comics. A slicker, cooler, differently powered Clock King menaced the caped crusader in the 1990s animated series.
Like his comics counterpart, he's obsessed with time and clock gadgetry, and unlike him, he's a killer. Happily, he's called the Clock King on the show, unlike many villains who know that's who they are but are never referenced as such aloud. He's also very resourceful and prepared, hacking Felicity's communication in his first encounter with our heroes.
With Sara revealed to be alive, we have a bit of a Lance family reunion this episode. It doesn't go well, as expected. Laurel is the obvious pooper, what with Sara ruining her life and all, but Dad wants it to work, especially between him and Dinah, so an attempt is made. Too bad Oliver is there too. Well, I guess someone has to play a-hole.
I am loving seeing (Green) Arrow and (Black) Canary as a team. We're finally getting some superhero action in this superhero show. For all those folks who gave up on this show early last season, come back, it's gotten sooo much better. That said, we need more of this and less of the soap opera.
Further comics shouts include Central City, the Flash's hometown, Kord Enterprises, owned by Ted Kord, the second Blue Beetle, Blue Devil movie ad on the side of the bus? Coming 'this summer' too, maybe we'll see more? And there's also the fictional MacGregor's Syndrome that almost took out Alfred in Batman Forever, and similarly affects Tockman's sister, as it also did Mister Freeze's wife.
Now while we've been away, and just today as well, there's been lots of "Arrow" news, mostly in the way of two photos on the internet. The first is of the television version of the Suicide Squad, set to appear in the March 19th episode, imaginatively titled "Suicide Squad."
Next week: finally, Deathstroke!