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This is more for my upcoming YouTube videos, but if you want more written reviews as part of a patreon thing, I’d be okay with that 🙂

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Kubrick and Kingdom Hearts, also Hacking

Apparently I was “hacked” so for about a week nothing was on this site, but all they did was put everything in my trash so I restored everything and hopefully it will be up again now. Anyway, I’ve been away because of medical reasons and because I’ve been working on this YouTube series which I’ve started that compares the films of Stanley Kubrick and the game series Kingdom Hearts, check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTc3owsCIM8&list=PLDM8BqPcIxHVcEcCkh59KwB7QzoDFp8f2

Also, I’ll try to do more on this site from here on out. I don’t know about doing a movie a day but I’ll try to at least do a review every time I watch a movie at least, and get back to the List of 1,001 movies to watch before I die.

Joker (2019)

Rating: 10+/10

Arthur Flick wants to be a standup comedian. Unfortunately he’s not funny and also has a condition that he laughs at inappropriate points. He’s got a lot of problems, especially when they cut funding for his therapist and he’s taken off all his medication all at once. This is not the Joker as he rises to power, instead this is the Joker as he slowly becomes himself in this very intense character piece into a mentally deranged individual.

This movie is about power. The power to move people or the power to control people. In Gotham City, the rich have all the power. They have the ability to suddenly cut the funding of the poor people looking for therapy. They have the power to hide in their gated mansions or turn people away simply because they’re poor. It shows how one man, with absolutely nothing, learns to take his own power back. Of course, being this isn’t a movie about a hero, or even an anti-hero, but this is the first supervillain movie I think I’ve seen. Venom, doesn’t count, he’s an anti-hero in that film. I might count Barry Lyndon though…

This is a movie that took me completely by surprise. It’s not an action movie, like pretty much every other superhero movie, and goes straight in between drama and psychological thriller. It’s poignant, another thing that seems to be missing from most other movies with supervillains in them. It’s not like any movie I’ve seen, actually, whether having heroes or not. It’s an important film, that’s also something I would never have expected from a film based on the most off-the-wall-bonkers insane super-criminal that Batman has to face off with. This film has meaning. It’s important. And everyone old enough to see an R-rated movie should probably give it a watch. This isn’t just another film, but a story of how far a man is willing to go when he sees the injustice all around him.

Still, I wouldn’t say Joker should be anyone’s hero (again this is a supervillain movie, we aren’t meant to idolize the main character). Especially not the people living in Gotham City. But, at the same time, I know why people follow him. He’s pure chaos incarnate, he’ll kill you just for a laugh, and some people “just want to watch the world burn,” as Alfred put it in the Dark Knight. And the Joker is the only person who can show you the world burning at almost every given time. Of course, most of those murders only ever make sense to him, except in this movie it all makes sense. The director and Joaquin Phoenix makes it make sense because that’s how far into the Joker’s psyche that we delve through the course of the film.

Also, I want to talk about the Killing Joke for just a bit. This is the ultimate Joker comic and shows one version of his origin story, but as you read and reread it you might start to notice a few things, such as the same characters appear to show up again and again, but in different roles, or how one panel might directly contradict the next, or a panel pages later. You start to notice that there’s cracks in the story itself, and it becomes more and more clear that Joker is really just making it all up (or he’s just crazy, definitely one of those…). This is because the Joker doesn’t have a true origin story. It’s why the story keeps changing in the Dark Knight whenever that particular Joker said “you know how I got these scars…” There’s similar things here, though the film does tell you that one specific storyline was completely made up, after they did that I started wondering just how much of the rest of this story is really happening. Did Joker kill those three guys on the train or did he just watch it on the news and then make believe he did? It’s questions like that which plague me as I watch through this film but ultimately, just like with the Killing Joke, it doesn’t actually matter what the Joker’s origins are. He’s more like an elemental, pure chaos incarnate, and this shows us one way he may have become the way he is, but it’s not the only way. Joker prefers the multiple choice origin story.

SCORING:

10+: Perfect film, wholly original, and finally someone doing something entirely different with a superhero film (or villain, whatever)

TV: The Flash s1e17: Tricksters

The Flash — “Tricksters” — Image FLA117A_0117b — Pictured: Mark Hamill as James Jesse — Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW — © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Rating: 10/10

James Jesse, aka the Trickster, aka Mark Hamill, and a new Trickster, invade Central City, using their toy based traps to terrorize its citizens. Also, we delve into Reverse-Flash’s backstory.

Mark Hamill returns to revise his role as the Trickster from the original series and as always steals every scene he’s in. It’s too bad he’s not the main villain in this episode though the New Trickster is fine, no one will ever be able to up Hamill. He’s too good at being a fun villain to really have anyone being more than second fiddle when he’s on the scene.

I also really like how tensions have grown between Harrison Wells and Barry. He’s finally suspicious of him for being the true cause of his mother’s death and maybe he’ll be able to get some justice once and for all.

I do have one complaint, and that’s that the stuff with the Tricksters, the stuff with Harrison’s backstory, and the stuff with Iris, doesn’t really click together that well. Though fine by themselves, they don’t work well together. Maybe just after that last episode where everything flowed together perfectly, I’m a little disappointed that things feel somewhat disjointed here.

SCORING:

+10: Pretty damn good episode, Mark Hamill is always a plus in my book

-1: Just a bit disjointed with the plotlines this week

+1: I’ll give that point back for the “I am your father” line

TV: The Flash s1e16: Rogue Time

The Flash — “Rogue Time” — Image FLA116B_0129b — Pictured (L-R): Grant Gustin as Barry Allen / The Flash and Peyton List as Lisa Snart — Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW — © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Rating: 10/10

After traveling one day into the past, Barry is trying to set right the mistakes from yesterday. Also, Captain Cold and Heat Wave come back a bring with them a third rogue for their gallery.

And, once again, Captain Cold steals the show. He should have gotten his own show. Oh wait, he kind of did until they killed him off… SPOILERS! Anyway, aside from Wentworth Miller being as great as he always is, this was a very good episode. Also, I see another good use for Eddie. And that’s being a straight man, but one so straight that he becomes the funny guy. It only happens for a moment near the end but he made me laugh.

Anyway, this was a pretty great episode, had multiple plotlines that all kind of crossed over with each other throughout the episode. Some good twists, and a few funny bits to bring it all together. It was really a great episode.

SCORING:

+10: Very well done

TV: The Flash s1e15: Out of Time

The Flash — “Out of Time” — Image FLA115B_0279b — Pictured: Liam McIntyre as Mark Mardon — Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW — © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Rating: 7/10

Weather Wizard comes back and is hunting Joe West because he believes he’s killed his brother. Meanwhile, Eddie is jealous of Barry and Iris’s friendship!

Okay, I’m so done with love triangles right now. All love triangles are just quickly plotted, totally cliche ways to drag your plot out. Either love the person you’re with, as Barry and Iris are both dating different people at this point, or leave them and be with the one you truly love. Don’t drag this out! I don’t care! I will never care! Okay, I guess maybe that’s just my problem as I’ve already been so jilted by love in general that I just don’t care about other people’s relationships. I mean, I like having a romance here and there, I’m not heartless, but when you’re just shoehorning in something like this… Here’s what I think would be better, and more realistic really, Iris and Barry learn to be good friends while they also fall madly in love with the people they’re with and they move on from their feelings for each other. That would be a complex, emotional relationship-drama, rather than this that’s just what every writer does when they can’t think of a better reason to keep lovers apart. I know this is more comic-book-y, but still. We’ve all seen this before, I’d prefer seeing something new. Or if not new, then at least make it interesting.

Okay, outside of that major complaint about every TV show in general, I felt this was a decent episode. I like how tension is starting to get higher as evidence against Wells mounts. I also like the storyline with Joe. It feels more like a old cop story, a bit noire, a bit more serious than this show normally is, and dark as heck. It’s a good episode, despite the love triangle. Also, I like Eddie when he’s a cop, like when he’s giving a speech to the fellow police officers in the precinct, so it kind of pains me when they use him as just a foil to Barry not getting the girl he wants.

Also, trying not to spoil much, but I like the ending. Many might consider it a copout akin to a dream sequence, but I think it works well and also does a good job to set up the next episode while also allowing things to happen that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. There, is that vague enough for ya?

SCORING:
+8: Decent episode

-2: Love triangles are dumb

+1: I like the ending and the darker tone

TV: Vixen the Movie

Rating: 7.5/10

Vixen, a superhero with the ability to call on the power of any animal with the use of her sacred totem, comes to the streets of Arrowverse’s Detroit. In this short animated adventure, we learn of Vixen’s origins as she tries to find her birth parents, only to discover something that may put her in over her head.

Technically this is a combination of Season 1 and 2 of Vixen with some additional scenes to bind them together more fluidly. So I’m watching this a bit out of order, but I don’t care if you don’t.

Anyway, this was a pretty great way to watch the unfortunately short-run series. The voice acting is great as well as the story and the way it’s presented as a single story works very well for the film as a whole. It comes together in a great way and is very entertaining overall.

A couple of complaints, for one, the humor in this show just tends to be out of place and for the most part falls flat. There’s some good quips between Arrow and Flash early on but outside of that it tends to just undercut what would have been an otherwise very dramatic moment. Maybe this is the fault of the writers worried that kids will tune out or something, but I feel it would have been better without all the superhero one liners.

My other complaint is that this as a film is a little off. It feels more like three separate episodes just put together when you consider the overall story. Vixen has a problem, solves it, has another problem, solves it, has a final problem, solves it, but none of these problems really follow each other. Though the last story and the first one are essentially sequels, the first story is done and over when the next one begins. It’s just a bit disjointed.

SCORING:

+8: A pretty great, action-packed animated superhero movie

+1: Great story and Voice acting

-0.5: Some of the jokes don’t work

-1: Feels too much like what it is, two seasons of a web series mashed together

TV: Arrow s3e14: The Return

Arrow — “The Return” — Image AR314B_0118b — Pictured (L-R): Willa Holland as Thea Queen, Manu Bennett as Slade Wilson, and Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen — Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW — © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Rating: 10/10

Oliver and Thea are tricked by Malcolm to have to fight Deathstroke on Lian Yu. In the past, Amanda Waller makes Oliver do a mission back in Starling City.

I liked the reversal of having the past Oliver back in the city while present Oliver gets stuck on the island he escaped from. I also think bringing back Deathstroke for a one-shot is a good idea and this finally lets Thea ask all the questions she wants of Oliver after discovering he’s the Arrow. Also, I really like seeing Deathstroke again, now that his story his over he works very well as a villain for a single episode like this. They should bring him back again sometime later on.

The stuff in the past, which took up a lot of time in this one, did a few neat things as it showed Oliver seeing how the people he loves deals with his disappearance, while he’s unable to interact with them due to Waller’s strict rules and severe likelihood to murdering everyone he knows if he steps out of line. Also, I like seeing Tommy in this show now. His parts seem to have gotten a lot better since he died.

SCORING:

+10: A very strong, tense episode, Arrow seems to have gotten it’s form back