Monday, April 30, 2018

The Lego Batman Movie (2017)

The Lego Batman Movie (2017) is not to be confused with LEGO Batman: The Movie (2013). How you could be confused? There are same four words in different order. Okay, only the word "the" has changed the place. Will we get Lego the Batman Movie in future?

I don't usually watch and review kids' movies. Only when they could have something to offer for adults. I heard this is best version of Batman or at least best Batman movie lately. Or was it most faithful to comic books? Or one which knew most about Batman? Maybe the last one because this is full of references to other versions of Batman.

I watched this after Batman: Return of Caped Crusaders. This gets 60's Batman spirit better than movie which tried to recreate it. Return of Caped Crusaders needed to underline they knew how stupid the movie was. This trust audience understand how stupid this is without underlining it. Well at least adults in audience will understand. Lego Batman's movie is much more insane than 60's Batman's but the spirit is there.

For adults this offers lot of references to other versions of Batman and almost constant delivery of jokes. Action scenes doesn't work that well since there are not as much jokes. When movies slows down during action scenes it delivers something funny. I probably won't watch this again but it was enjoyable enough to watch it once.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Infinity War is one of those movies you have to see unspoiled. I didn't watch any trailers or read anything about it before watching it. I didn't even watch three previous Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. I probably should have watched Thor: Ragnarok but not knowing what happened there didn't ruin the enjoyment. Everything I needed to know was told in this movie.

I don't want to put Infinity War on top of MCU or superhero movies in general after just seeing it once. Right now it feels it should be there. First Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy movies are so good I won't put anything among them after only seeing it once.

Thanos is one of my favorite comic book characters. Movie Thanos is not the same as comic book Thanos. They have different motivations. Movie Thanos makes more sense when we learn why he does all this. In comics he is in love with Death. In movie he has better reason. People like to complain about MCU villains. They can't do that with Thanos. I don't think comic book Thanos would have worked in movie. At least not as well as this version.

You probably need to see both Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy movies and Captain America: Civil War before seeing Infinity War. Movie expects you to know the characters. It won't hurt if you know comics too. Not sure if you need to. I have read Infinity Gauntlet few times before. Knowing that story gave deeper understanding of the movie. Infinity War is not the same as Infinity Gauntlet but it has same elements.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders (2016)

Not sure if animated movie based on 60's Batman was good idea or bad idea. The movie turned out to be quite average. Hard to say was it best it could be or good idea was ruined by not being ambitious enough. Adam West, Burt Ward and Julie Newmar return to their roles as Batman, Robin and Catwoman. Ward and Newmar are ok in their roles. West sounds really old at times. It was nice idea to bring them but maybe not the best decision. West particularly sounds out of the place when other does better job.

Movie almost gets 60's Batman feeling. Sometimes it tries too hard and sometimes not hard enough. I was disappointed nobody opened windows when Batman and Robin climbed walls. That happened all the time in tv series. Almost everything else was there. On trying too much part movie shows they know this is stupid. 60's Batman knew it was stupid but they played it seriously. This one doesn't play it seriously. That is reason why this doesn't work like 60's Batman.

Almost getting 60's feeling is not enough. It works as curiosity like Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt. Both bring original actors and try to bring 60's Batman back. After you watch them you can forget they exists. It is hard to recreate feeling of something as crazy as 60's Batman. Even if you bring original actors. You can make silly Batman work nowadays but you have to go much further. More about that when I get to 2017's Lego Batman movie.

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.