Monday, April 16, 2018

Batman and Harley Quinn (2017)

DC superheroes have done better on animated movies than in DCEU. Movies like Batman and Harley Quinn show how these characters should be used. Movie has terrible name but it shows how you should use Harley Quinn. Wonder Woman is best DCEU by far. This beats all the other movies. If I had to put movies in order I probably put this even ahead of Wonder Woman. I enjoyed this more.

I complained how Justice League Dark had problems with tone. This too has different tones but it works. Beginning has serious Batman comic book tone. When Harley Quinn joins the movie she takes the main stage. Harley Quinn has crazy juvenile tone with moments of adults' world problems. This works because these tones fight each others when Batman and Harley Quinn try to get upper hand. Movie has only farting scene I can approve. It works because different tones are fighting each other.

This Harley Quinn is more interesting character than one in Suicide Squad. Suicide Squad version was just Joker's crazy girlfriend. This one is still crazy but she has got over Joker and tries to live normal life. It is bit difficult because former super criminals won't be hired to good jobs. She is clever woman who has to work at lower paying jobs. She is still crazy when it is needed. I want to see more of this Harley Quinn.

You can find several reasons to complain. Like musical scene at the middle but it is not that important. Most important is the movie is fun. It is fun to watch. It makes fun of superhero tropes. Batman movie where one of the main characters jokes how Batman and Nightwing (former Robin) doesn't like girls is fun movie.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Justice League Dark (2017)

DC superheroes have done better in animated movies than live action movies. Wonder Woman was exception to this. It is easy to find animated movie which does same thing better than DCEU movie even when those movies haven't been that good. Without Wonder Woman this would have been better than all DCEU movie even when this is not that good movie.

Justice League Dark is based on comic book of same name. There was supernatural version of Justice League led by John Constantine. Movie starts as Justice League movie but soon Batman goes to John Constantine and they join with members of comic book team. I assume story is not from comics because they don't form team. They just hang together. Movie start like Supernatural but when Batman joins rest of the team it gets more of animated DC movies' silliness

Not having consistent tone is biggest problem. Movie has really dark and violent moments but it also has the silliness. Like it needed to have tones of two different superhero teams mixed. Humor doesn't work. It is mostly based on how nobody likes Constantine. Movie relies too much on us liking Constantine. The character didn't work well enough. I didn't know him or others well enough to know who characters are and what they can do. It didn't help story has three different villains. Just pick one and concentrate on introducing characters most of us don't know.

Other problem is some characters look like they have spend all their time at gym and eaten something more than just whey protein. It was distracting. Not everyone was like this but whose few were too much.

I don't know who this movie was made for. Most animated DC movies are aimed for teens. This has some of that tone but it is too violent and dark to be for younger teens. It is too silly to be for adults. It is ok as it is but going more adult territory would have worked better. Movie works best when it goes there.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Psycho-Pass season 1 (2012)

I heard about this on random Facebook conversation. Premise sounded interesting and when I saw first season on sale I had to check it. Psycho-Pass is person's psychological profile which defines persons criminal potential. It is defined by central system called Sibyl. If Psycho-Pass score goes too high person has to go to therapy. If it stays high too long or goes too high person is defined as latent criminal. If you are latent criminal you are treated like real criminal. If score goes high enough you are killed.

Person's whole life is planned by computers which define what they can do based on different scores. Psycho-Pass follows rookie police officer who learns on her first day at job system might not be as fair as she thought. First episode shows series has no problems going really dark, gritty and violent. It is not that all the time but it goes there when story requires it.

Antagonist was like Joker without being insane.He talked like he had deeper message but all was just a game to him. There were times when you could agree with what he was saying. Few moments later he became guy who just wanted to see the world burn. It was shame because premise allowed antagonist to be someone you agree and protagonists being ones you disagree with.

Series had deep characters with individual story arcs. There weren't clear good guys or bad guys unless you count rookie police officer. Even she is not perfect. She is not sure if she is doing the right thing. Series have few strong scenes and good twists. It might be little too much of two almost perfect pretty boys going against each others. It is not the main thing but little less of it would have made this better. But I guess that is something anime is supposed to have.

Psycho-Pass is good science fiction which creates believable world and studies it. I am on fence if anime tropes could have been toned down. Watching best anime you don't think you are watching anime. This reminds from time to time you are watching anime. That is the only complainant I have. You should check this if you like science fiction and cyberpunk even if you don't like anime that much.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Justice League (2017)

I didn't see this in theaters because I have no faith in DCEU at the moment. Now I have seen it. This review has spoilers. If you cared you have already seen this or being spoiled by someone else. There wasn't big unexpected twists anyway. Everyone knew Superman will be back, Justice League will assemble and beat the bad guy in the end. Writers were content to have those happening during the movie. There wasn't much else. Yes it looks good at times but the writing is not at bar. I write this next day after seeing the movie but I have almost forgotten what happened.

There was moment when I wondered why this got so much hate. It was at the beginning when Batman fights parademon at Gotham. It looked interesting. Then Batman calls Alfred by his real name next to criminal who hears the whole discussion. It wasn't only time they used real names before other people. Superheroes have this secret identity thing. That is why they use masks. Calling each others with real names this often makes their identities not so secret in short time.

Steppenwolf is worst villain of all the time. He didn't have any personality. I have no idea what his powers were. He just wanted to destroy earth. He reminded little bit of Sauron from Lord of the Rings movies. Sauron works because he is mysterious. He doesn't say anything. Steppenwolf talks which destroys the character. His voice doesn't suit the looks and words doesn't suit his actions. Everything not Sauron ruined the character.

Story and characters are all over the place. Dialog is terrible at times. Character arcs miss parts where they decided to join the group. Flash doesn't even think when he says he wants to join. I honestly don't remember when or why Cyborg joined. Aquaman joined after they lost their motherbox. He just appears when others fight Steppenwolf. Characters just do things and say words.

Batman's suicide mission at the ending wasn't built at all. He made plan which would have killed him if others had followed his plan. There was no build up Batman being suicidal. Wonder Woman told others to save Batman. Otherwise he would have died fighting group of parademons. This is not my own thinking. Movie says this. I haven't seen anyone else complaining this. Maybe because it was during the best part of the movie.

Ending was best part of the movie because the action worked. I wish I cared about these characters. They worked together and used their powers. Other action scenes worked if you didn't think too much. Amazons had stupid way to shut doors to their motherbox vault. Shutting doors meant six people had to starve to death between closed doors. Two of them got easy way out because they closed door too early and they had to keep the door open long enough to their leader to escape. Then they were crushed under stone door.

Justice League is a mess story and dialog wise. I can understand why Ben Affleck wants to leave after I heard the lines he had to say. Movie looks good and action scenes work mostly. There were couple posing parts which I didn't like. Movie is step up from Batman V Superman but nowhere near to Wonder Woman.

And Henry Cavill's upper lip thing. I noticed it in first shot but not after that. Maybe I had lost interest at that point.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Boogie (2015)

I am not sure is Boogie tries to have some kind of message or is it just ultra macho fantasy. Main character is hitman who doesn't care about anything but money. He is rude and violent. He kills people all the time. Did I mention this was really bloody and violent animation? It makes it easier to disconnect what is happening.

I assume this is based on one of those ultra violent comics. Movie wasn't originally in English. I watched English dubbed version without subtitles which made me miss few texts. But I don't think those made movie different. This is story of best hitman there is when his customer want to use cheaper competitor and he doesn't like that. This is a movie where main character and antagonist kill about 80% of anything living. Our hero kills more than antagonist. This is that kind of movie.

If there is a message it is you shouldn't be around this kind of people. Almost everyone who talks to Boogie or even is near him suffers from it. I think that is too clever for this movie. It was made for ultra macho fantasy with hero who likes violence and does what ever he feels like at the moment. Everyone else is just there for him to abuse.