Saturday, July 21, 2012

Movie Review: The Dark Knight Rises

View the video version here.

Well, this brings back memories. Those of you who have followed me for a while may remember that 2008’s The Dark Knight was the first movie I ever reviewed. For those that don’t, please don’t bother bother looking it up, it’s not very good. I was very green at the time, and though I still am, I’ve changed considerably. I’ve grown out of my blind loyalty to the works of Christopher Nolan, & while he’s still one of my favorite filmmakers, I’ve developed a frustrating love/hate relationship with his Batman films. If you’ve seen my video “In Defense of Joel Schumacher” you know that while I consider both films to be very good, I also have serious problems with his approach. Let’s be very clear here: Nolan is not now, nor has he ever been, a good fit for this franchise. It simply does not mesh well with his sensibilities. Despite people’s assertion to the contrary, Batman is not a realistic character, and therefore he cannot comfortably inhabit the kind of pseudorealistic world Nolan has placed him in. Bale’s infamous voice, the horrible overdesigned costume and the resulting awkward fight scenes caused by Batman’s immobility, these are all symptoms of Nolan’s complete inability to accept the franchise on its own terms. His bizarre definition of what is & isn’t realistic still baffles me. Every film has at least one sci-fi macguffin: the magic water evaporator, the cell phone sonar nonsense, etc, and in films of his own creation he’s asked us to accept steampunk matter duplicators and mind-reading technology with little to no explanation, but apparently Batman is so outlandish that he needs to spend half a movie explaining his damn gadgets one by one. HOW DOES YOUR MIND WORK, NOLAN YOU MAGNIFICENT BASTARD?!

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Geek Chorus #5: The Uncomfortable Truth About Bat-Nipples

I want to thank all of you who watched & commented on my video A Defense of Joel Schumacher. I'm quite proud of it, and I was pleasantly surprised by the overall positive reaction I received. It seems people are ready to move on and stop anchoring Mr. Schumacher's entire career to one blunder. Many people also came out as fans of the film, admitting to enjoying it for it goofiness, and that thrills me.

A lot was left out of the script, mostly for being tangential musings of different aspects of the film. I originally had a whole paragraph on Poison Ivy and a lot more to say about Batgirl. However, there was one point I left out because it was honestly such a touchy subject it would've dominated the video, and potentially made it twice as long. It's a rather uncomfortable undercurrent to the entire outrage over the film, an elephant in the room no one really wants to address. I touched on it briefly, alluding to the "slightly homophobic" hate Schumacher had received over the years, but I downplayed it because I had no time to go into detail, and offhandedly accusing Batman & Robin haters of being bigots would have been absolutely the wrong approach.

Nonetheless, it's something I feel MUST be discussed at some point, if for no other reason than to just get it out in the open. I'm not here to accuse anyone of anything, only to address the more troubling subtext to how many people seem to respond to Joel Schumacher & his work.

So let's talk about Bat-Nipples.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Movie review: Rock of Ages

It appears Hollywood has finally found my Achilles' Heel. My kryptonite. My color yellow. My Aphrodite's Law (Look it up). I've mentioned in the past that I have weakness for musicals, that putting almost any movie to song can potentially earn it a pass from me. It's a gaping hole in my critical spectrum. Add to that an affection for 80's rock (but then who doesn't have one of those) ans you've got a movie I might very well be powerless.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Movie Review: The Amazing Spider-man

View the video version here.

It has not been a good time to be a Spider-man fan for quite some time now. Between the comics going quite literally to hell, and Greg Weisman's excellent Spider-man TV series being replaced with a godawful Frankenstein cobbled together from various popular cartoon styles, it seems like there's nowhere left in the world where Spider-man doesn't suck.

So one would hope that The Amazing Spider-man could've been just the thing to change that trend. Sure, it's a corporately mandated cynical cash-in designed to retain the character rights from Marvel lest something as awesome as Spider-man joining the Avengers materialize, but that doesn't have to be a bad thing. It worked wonders for 20th Century Fox's new X-men film after all. Unfortunately, sometimes first instincts are completely right, and The Amazing Spider-man is every bit as stale, soulless, and uninspired as feared.