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14
Oct
17

Blade Runner 2049: A Sequel Nobody Asked For

Blade Runner 2049 is a sequel that nobody wanted or asked for. The 1982 original was a landmark film that inspired the look and feel of virtually every sci-fi film since. It told a self-contained story, was completely satisfying, and had no need for a continuation. It was also an abysmal failure at the box office, and these are precisely the reasons why there was never a follow-up film. Well, this is a new era in Hollywood where every ancient property, no matter how obscure or irrelevant, gets resurrected for a reboot or sequel. If there is even a remote chance for name recognition, the hacks in charge green-light it for production.

The new film has strengths, but also glaring weaknesses. It is by no means a bad film, but perhaps ill-advised. As a direct sequel, director Denis Villeneuve, captured the look and feel of the universe exactly. It feels just like the original film. The neon nightmare, the crumbling infrastructure juxtaposed with state-of-the-art technology, and the oppressive loneliness are all brought from the original without missing a beat. Without a doubt, it feels like a Blade Runner film. And that is perhaps the sequel’s greatest strength, that the universe is still tangible and plausible, and, most importantly, consistent. The transition between films, despite a 35 year gap in time, is seamless.

Continue reading ‘Blade Runner 2049: A Sequel Nobody Asked For’

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08
Oct
17

Movies > Books: Blade Runner

I’m willing to bet a lot of people aren’t aware that seminal sci-fi noir film Blade Runner is based on a novel. The awkwardly titled Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep forms the basis for the 1982 film. The film is a loose-ish interpretation of the book. The two entities are similar, yet different enough to make comparisons difficult. Even so, I’m going to give it a whirl.

Blade Runner is a film I didn’t initially like. I had seen the theatrical cut twice, and wrote it off as a failure. I ignored the international cut and director’s cut, because why would I watch additional cuts of a movie I didn’t like? Then, the final cut came out in 2007, and was much ballyhooed. So much so, that I decided to give the film one more chance. This time, I was blown away. Director Ridley Scott had perfected his dark, futuristic vision. What he had in his head when he filmed it was finally conveyed to the audience without studio tinkering. I liked it so much, I now consider it a masterpiece.

But what about the novel? This, too, I had actually read a long time ago, when I was a teenager, and unable to appreciate the nuances of it. I thought it was a weak-ass sci-fi novel which had been completely overhauled and improved upon in every aspect by the film. Even though I didn’t like the film at that time, I still considered it a vast improvement over the novel. I didn’t give it much thought in the years since. But with the release of the sequel film, Blade Runner 2049, I thought I’d revisit the source material. My intent was to write up what a piece of shit the book was compared to the superior film. But what I found was that the book was surprisingly great, too.

Continue reading ‘Movies > Books: Blade Runner’

25
Sep
17

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice

Just when it seems like superhero movies can’t get any worse, the studios manage to shit out a fouler turd than ever before. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (you can’t believe how much I hate typing that long-winded, dumbass title) is definitely in the top 3 worst big-budget superhero movies I’ve ever seen. Fantastic Four and Green Lantern are the only ones that somehow managed to be worse, but only by a slim margin, because BVS is really fucking terrible.

The movie begins with yet another recap of Batman’s origins. Seriously, every goddamn person on the planet knows Batman’s origins, we don’t need to see it rehashed again, especially since we had an entire movie, Batman Begins, dedicated to his origins, and it isn’t even that old. Except this time, it’s overwrought, and inter-spliced with Bruce Wayne’s flashbacks/nightmares. For some reason, Bruce Wayne has zombie/desert nightmares which make no sense and add nothing of value to the movie. This comes along with Lois Lane’s incomprehensible-to-the-plot voyage into the Middle East to do a journalistic expose on . . . something. What the fuck was the point of these scenes?

Continue reading ‘Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice’

07
Sep
17

Suicide Squad, The Lego Batman Movie

Suicide Squad

The first supervillain team-up movie features Batman’s rogues gallery, although, it’s comprised mostly of his second stringers like Deadshot, Killer Croc, Harley Quinn, etc. The crux of the film is that the U.S. government wants a special team of bad guys to be able to combat superheroes if the need arises.

The plotting is horrible, even for a comic book movie. The team assembles, and immediately one of the members (Enchantress) goes double-rogue and tries to kill all humanity. Of course, if they hadn’t put the team together in the first place, none of this would have happened. But the Hollywood executives behind this movie figured that the movie-going public are a bunch of mouth-breathers who wouldn’t notice.

The “action” is incredibly dull. The characters virtually stand still as they stiffly stab or shoot generic monsters. They move from Point A to Point B until they ultimately defeat Enchantress. A couple of them die, but since they are all underdeveloped, you feel nothing for them. Deadshot and Harley have the most backstory, but still leave a lot wanting. Perhaps whittling the team down to just two or three characters would have yielded better results.

Will Smith is fine, doing his usual shtick, Margot Robbie is perfect as Harley Quinn, and Jared Leto is an OK Joker, but really hard to take as a menacing figure with his grill and all his tats. The Batman cameos were interesting, but rather pointless.

All in all, this was a weak, directionless, sloppy entry into DC’s cinematic universe. It made boatloads of money, though, so I suppose we can expect more of this dreck in the future.

Verdict: Shitty

The Lego Batman Movie

I wasn’t a huge fan of the first Lego Movie. I realize I’m the only person on Earth who didn’t like it, but I hate everything, so you shouldn’t be surprised. Well, I do like Batman, so I went into this one a bit more hopeful. Fortunately, this time I wasn’t disappointed. Lego Batman was a very funny film, managing to lovingly skewer all things Batman. They make jokes about the franchise, but not at its expense. The writers clearly understand and enjoy Batman, and make references to all the series’ various incarnations from comics to animated series to Adam West’s campy 60’s version. I even enjoyed the references to other franchises such as Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. Will Arnett and Michael Cera were perfect as Batman and Robin, respectively. Zach Galifianakis’ version of the Joker was kind of shitty, but other than that I don’t have much to complain about. This one was a lot of fun.

Verdict: Good

 

 

29
Aug
17

Fantastic Four Sucked (But It Was Still Not As Bad As Green Lantern)

Fantastic Four¬†was much reviled by the Marvel comics masturbatory fanboy community. To be honest, they weren’t wrong. This movie is bad. But it isn’t the incoherent piece of shit I had been led to believe. The story isn’t good, but it does make sense, and there is a general sense of cohesion. Watching it, you can’t tell there was so much behind-the-scenes turmoil.

The main problem is the story. It is woefully generic. From the moment the opening shot fades in, you have already seen all of this before. The main character, played by Miles Teller, is a boy genius who is ridiculed by his luddite teacher, Homer Simpson. Of course, Teller invented a teleportation device in his garage by hooking up a bunch of Nintendo 64s.

Teller keeps working on the device throughout the course of middle school and high school (and his luddite teacher follows him for some reason), and eventually gets disqualified from a science fair, because the luddite thinks it’s magical or something. I don’t know, it’s idiotic.

Continue reading ‘Fantastic Four Sucked (But It Was Still Not As Bad As Green Lantern)’

05
Aug
17

Pirates of the Caribbean 5, John Wick 2

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

The fifth film in the franchise tells a bit of an origin story, showing how Jack Sparrow became Jack Sparrow. He double-crossed (of course) a ruthless privateer when he was a young man, and simultaneously became captain of his first ship. Decades later, the privateer, Captain Salazar, returns from beyond the grave to exact his revenge.

This outing was a step up from the previous one, Pirates of the Caribbean: I Can’t Even Remember What It Was About. It was essentially a rehash of the first movie, featuring young male and female leads who are in search of a fantasy McGuffin, and reluctantly enlist Jack Sparrow’s help in order to get it. While it is a rehash, it doesn’t contain the same effortless storytelling, and elements of whimsy and adventure the first film had. Let’s face it, the first film in the series is a modern classic, and they haven’t been able to recapture that.

This film wasn’t a complete waste. While most of the jokes were lame and forced, some of them absolutely worked. There was still a sense of high-seas adventure, although held back a bit by an over-reliance on CGI. Instead of letting two ships duke it out in a naval battle, they had to throw in stupid bullshit like the mast coming to life and attacking Jack Sparrow (ugh, why?). Back on the positive side, the finale was pretty inventive, and I loved the Black Pearl dropping anchor as it skirted the edge of the ocean.

Johnny Depp is still watchable as Jack Sparrow, and there was fun to be had in this film. Overall, though, the franchise is completely out of steam. It wasn’t exactly a memorable film, but it wasn’t complete garbage. Disney should do the smart thing and end the series on a decent note. But they probably won’t, and will make another one.

Verdict: Average

John Wick 2

 

Taking place immediately after the first film ended, John Wick 2 shows Keanu Reeves getting deeper into trouble in the world of assassins he tried to leave behind. An old ally of his returned and cashed in a favor Reeves owed him. Then, the ally double-crossed Reeves, making him the target of every assassin on the planet. The action scenes were incredibly inventive, flashy, and a whole lot of fun. The only thing that didn’t work for me was Reeve’s bullet-proof suit, which made him nigh-indestructible. Other than that, I liked everything about this movie. I especially enjoyed the hall-of-mirrors finale, and kept on wondering how they filmed it without ever showing the crew. All in all this was a worthy sequel in a cool-as-hell franchise.

Verdict: Awesome

22
Jul
17

Happy (Shitty) Nine Year Anniversary (Belated)

It’s hard to believe that this blog has been alive for nine years. I’m pretty late on the anniversary post. And as some of you have noticed, I haven’t been posting frequently anymore. I’ve been incredibly busy with my new job, saving lives, and banging supermodels every day. The time for writing shitty posts about shitty movies has become smaller and smaller. I don’t know where the future of Awesomely Shitty is heading. I hope to continue to post, but it will be more erratic than it had been. Let’s look forward to the tenth year of Awesomely Shitty! Thanks, everyone, for reading.




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