Movie Reviews

Batman vs. Superman

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I just finished watching the extended edition of Batman vs. Superman. And while I did not see the theatrical version, I can’t understand all of the hoopla that went with it being a horrible picture. I know that those who followed their stories closely through comics may have had a right to be disappointed but those of us who do not read the comics this film was amazing.

The film touched and focused on the guilt of both, Batman and Superman over the losses of their loved ones. Including for Batman who felt helpless over not doing enough of the right things and for Superman who was also helpless over doing to much of the right thing, especially in a world full of  pain and self-destruction.

All of the actors were phenomenal, especially Ben Affleck. He truly owned Batman and I did read on such accolades. I was partial to Val Kilmer but after seeing Ben Affleck I will say this…in my book he really is the best Batman yet. The man deserves an Oscar but if that doesn’t happen then I would be truly disappointed if he doesn’t receive at least a nod. I know it’s difficult for Hollywood to give such awards to films of fantasy or science fiction, but I believe that Peter Jackson broke the mold with his Lord of the Ring trilogies and therefore should not have a problem giving him one.  

I am not neglecting Henry Cavill’s performance of Superman. I was one of those who first said, “I will not watch him as Superman when he was selected to play in The Man of Steel. I was trying to remain true to Brandon Roth, however, Cavill played an amazing Superman. My only fear here is like Elvis Presley, who I thought was an excellent actor, if you do not believe me watch King Creole or Love me Tender, male actors too fall into the category where they, like their female counterparts, are often exploited for their looks and not take seriously for their acting abilities. But let us hope. There is always hope as both Superman and Batman discover in the end of the film. 

As I said all the other actors were amazing, as well. I read somewhere that they felt the character of Lois Lane was useless in the film, but I found her key in the grounding of Clark Kent/Superman. And in the end after feeling that he had no world, he tells her that she is his world. I loved the interchange between him and his father played by Kevin Costner, when Superman gives up and heads up to the mountain. An extra tells the young boy with him, as they watch Clark climb the frozen mountain, that Clark was a man who came to die. So it was a surprise to see Clark’s father giving him a few words of wisdom in a moment symbolic to an out of body experience when one is about to die.

I loved the moment when Batman and Superman meet. It was a moment of enlightenment for Batman (Man) as he comes face-to-face with Superman (God). I think I knew this, but had forgotten that both Batman and Superman’s mothers’ name was Martha. This was a key moment for Batman as he realizes he wasn’t that different from Superman, not because he was jealous of Superman being compared to a God, but as a man who had suffered as well.

The special effects were amazing and I can’t wait for the Wonder Woman and Aquaman films to come out, though chances are I will wait for the movies to come out on DVD or Amazon. Still it was good to catch glimpses of Aquaman, and Cyborg.

As for the director Zack Snyder, who caught a lot of flack for his interpretation of the two superheroes, to handle such a large task as to bring these characters and story to life, it took an enormous amount of talent and drive. Kudos to Snyder.

Moral of my story is I am glad I never listen to critics. And some of you do and that’s okay. That is what makes the world special, we have a right to see and feel things for ourselves and not be influence by what others say or think. My thoughts here are not to influence you but to share with you just that, my thoughts. Hope you enjoy!  Henry Cavill Ben Affleck

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spy-2015-movie

I must admit that after the viewing of “The Heat” with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy, I was very hesitant to see McCarthy in anything else, let alone “Spy”. A movie that garnered her a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in the Motion Picture Comedy or Musical nomination category. “Spy” was written and directed by Paul Feig, which is interesting since he directed “The Heat”.

I found “The Heat” a sleeper where the two actresses’ trade places—Bullock gets to play the pretty FBI agent, this time around and McCarthy the role that Bullock played in “Miss Congeniality”. Not much of originality. I found the humor harsh and forced.

Not having much to watch this evening I opted for “Spy” and I was not only pleasantly surprised, but I enjoyed the movie and got a few laughs out of it—in actuality a lot of laughs out of it. I was tickled that the movie’s beginning credits began very much like a James Bond movie with the special effects and sound track. For a couple of seconds I thought I was going to actually watch a Bond movie. The lush European locales were amazing as was the film’s sharp and clear visual effects.

McCarthy was splendid, as Susan Cooper a CIA agent condemned to the “basement” because of her weight. She is partnered with Jude Law as Bradley Fine, a spy on the field where Cooper provides him with live tactical strategies, that helps keep him alive. They are joined by a cast of a thousand: Jason Statham, who pretty much stole every scene he was in. I believe this was Statham’s first hand at a comedy and even though his character plays the anti-hero we see in his other movies, it was hammered down to where it was freaking hilarious. I must admit that hearing him take second or third billing for his role in the film, I feared this would hurt his career, but instead I hope it proved to the world that the guy can be funny and that in times where we need laughter he pulls his own—as his character makes fun of the other characters he’s played in his repertoire of movies.

The rest of the cast seemed to be filled with a lot of pretty and sexy characters. As if to make a point that only the ones that are sexy and pretty make it in Hollywood, Feig keeps the geeks, over weight and not so pretty ones in the “basement”. Something tells me Feig did this on purpose—maybe to make a point of Hollywood’s penchant for giving the juicy roles to the sexy and pretty ones.

Even when the time comes for Cooper to go undercover, her boss is willing to risk her going undercover to protect the spies that have all been exposed at one point or another in their careers. She is willing to risk someone that is not considered important to her team.

When Cooper is given her fake identity, this is done twice; she is given a wig and ugly clothes, showing her more as a single mother of 4 or a woman with 10 cats—perceptions of overweight people are often seen as eccentric, loners with weird hobbies.

Part of the cast of 1000 includes Morena Baccarin, a super sexy spy who gets to go on fun assignments. Men fumble all over her. We see at the restaurant when Cooper is having a drink with her co-worker. She advises Baccarin’s character that the bar tender is slowly dispatching drinks, but before Cooper can finish her sentence, Baccarin is given her drink. Here Feig is pretty much saying that only the pretty and sexy get the things they want and quickly. When Cooper calls the bartender he does not hear her and in fact asks Baccarin if Cooper and her friend are bothering her. Cooper and her friend have been coming to the bar for years.

So, while some of the humor targeted at McCarthy’s full-figure and the quite no so pretty people in the “basement”, something that can be quite annoying, knowing Hollywood’s penchant for the pencil-thinned figures and beautiful actor/actresses, McCarthy proves that big can be beautiful, smart, and sexy. And even though she, in real like has lost some weight, she did only for the right reason, as in trying to get healthy for the sake of her family. It’s great to know that some actors do not necessarily do things just because Hollywood deems it.

I believed that movie’s success is not only largely due to the well written story and direction, but a good part to the wide range of the secondary actors and actresses, and I mean no disrespect here since a lot of them are famous in their own right, such as Rose Byrne, Miranda Hart, Bobby Cannavale, Allison Janney Crocker, Peter Serafinowicz, Morena Baccarin, and 50 Cent as Himself. These actors seemed to have had some fun playing their characters and it showed, but to the point that it made the movie funnier and fresh.

Of course a movie’s success is not totally pending on the actors and actress, though I think a big credit is due to them, we must not forget to give thanks to writer and director, Paul Feig and the film crew for bringing us a story we can all relate to.

Can’t wait to own this baby. It deserves a space in my collection. Whether a fan of McCarthy, Statham, Law or Baccarin (“V”, Firefly, and Gotham) I think you will enjoy it.

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Lost in Austen


Dear Readers,

A delightful and decidedly British production, “Lost in Austen” is a four-part 2008 British television series written by Guy Andrews as a fantasy adaptation of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.  The movie loosely follows the plot of Austen’s book, in which a modern girl, Ms. Amanda Price, craves romance and true love. As an answer to her strong desires, she is transported to the world of Pride and Prejudice.

The cast of “Lost in Austen” comprises Jemima Rooper as Amanda Price, Elliot Cowan as Mr. Darcy, Hugh Bonneville as Mr. Bennet, Alex Kingston as the delightful but often-trying Mrs. Bennet, Morven Christie as Jane Bennett, and Tom Bison as Mr. Bingley.

Before entering the world of P&P, Amanda Price is discontent and lacking something in her humdrum life. As she says: “I do like everyone else. I take it on the chin.”

She argues with her mum that her boyfriend lacks the qualities she needs, because she has learned standards of manners from reading Jane Austen so much.  Her mum’s response is that not everyone will be a Darcy and that she should settle for less.

Amanda meets Elizabeth Bennet one night in her bathroom.  Elizabeth Bennet had just come through a mysterious door in Amanda’s bathroom wall and was curious about the modern world.

Amanda, who craves the world of P&P, decides to go through the door to investigate Elizabeth’s claim that Regency England existed beyond the door.  When Amanda crosses the door, it closes and she finds herself trapped in the home of the Bennets.  Elizabeth is likewise trapped in Amanda’s time.

From the beginning of this fable, it is clearly visible that both ladies are seeking something different and that they feel they do not belong in their own times.  When Elizabeth is seen for the second time in Amanda’s bathroom, before Amanda crosses over, she is playing with the light switch and is amazed at such clever modern devices.

Soon after Amanda’s appearance in Regency England, her intrusion starts the ball spiraling out of control and the story veers away from the P&P‘s original plot.  The charming result gives us different views of a misunderstood Wickham and the pansy Mr. Bingley, who later punches Mr. Darcy for intruding in his love affair with Jane Bennett.

In Jane Austen’s novel, Bingley falls in love with Jane, but is advised by Darcy that the connection is not of benefit to him and his family name.  In “Lost in Austen,” he is likewise advised. He departs Netherfield Park, leaving the bereft Jane to marry the Bennet family’s distant and highly unpleasant cousin Mr. Collins in order to save her family from poverty.

A comedy of errors pursues the whole cast of characters as Amanda tries her best to make amends to her meddling and get the novel’s plot back on track.  However, she did not count on falling in love with the seemingly cold-hearted Mr. Darcy, or Darcy falling in love with her.

This film is definitely worth watching, and it will transport viewers into the seemingly magical world of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice with a decidedly touching twist. You can purchase the movie at Amazon.com.

Sincerely,

…Miguelina

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