Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice Review

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Review contains spoilers

So, I just saw the new big superhero movie that everyone hates annnnnnd…. I hated it too! Wow, what a shock. How could acclaimed film maker Zack Snyder, director of such classics as Teenage Boy Fantasy: Ancient Greece Edition and Teenage Boy Fantasy: Pretty Girls Edition, fuck up a movie so badly?

It’s not like he has a history with bad comic book adaptations or anything! He has always created quality cinema! How could such a terrible thing happen to a film this big!

 

WHO COULD HAVE FORESEEN SUCH TRAGEDY!?

 

In case you couldn’t tell, the previous paragraph was all absolutely biting sarcasm. Zack Snyder has a history of making movies that divide people. While it is true that I have not seen either of the previously mentioned films in their entirety, I have seen enough to gauge that Mr Snyder is not exactly the greatest film maker of our generation. I don’t think he’s a particularly terrible director. I actually quite enjoy his visual style; I just think he tends to make films that are rather… low brow. Again, this is not necessarily a bad thing, but it does tend to mean that his works often contain a lot of similar elements. They are all heavy on action and SERIOUSNESS, and low on good writing and well-developed characters. Batman V Superman is no exception to this with its big set pieces and “epic” speeches. Unfortunately for it, it also has to deal with setting up the new DC universe so Warner Brothers can catch up to Marvel and make that superhero monaaaaaay.

 

WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG????

 

Well, firstly, the plot can. The plot of this film is entertainingly stupid at its best and utterly undecipherable at its worst. As a consequence of being a setup for the next billion DC films the movie completely collapses under its own weight, with the various different characters and concepts that are introduced throughout the movie getting little to no explanation, and if it did, the film will probably end up contradicted that explanation at some point. For example, Lex Luthor. Why did he hate Superman so much? I don’t know! Why did Batman suddenly decide that he no longer hated Superman because Superman’s Mum was dying, even though Superman was responsible for the deaths of thousands of people in Metropolis, which is Batman’s MAIN REASON FOR FIGHTING SUPERMAN IN THE FIRST PLACE?

 

I DON’T KNOW.

 

I could try to describe the actual plot of the film to you, but as I could not understand what the living fuck was going on throughout most of the film, I am unable to provide a better plot synopsis than “Words are said and things explode.” And I am not a minority in this opinion. I saw this film with a group of friends and the amount of times that some variation on the phrase “what is going on?” was uttered throughout the film numbered somewhere in the hundreds. It might have been easier to understand had the film been two hours, rather than two and a half. But no, we have to force a fight with Doomsday, and we have to jam in introductions for a bunch of superheroes that won’t be relevant until another one these god forsaken movies come of, and than, at the very end of it all, we have to pretend like Superman is dead, only to bring him back at the literal last second.

That was all soooo necessary.

 

Thankfully, the movie was not without its positives. Namely, Ben Affleck as Batman. Despite the shitty material that he was given, Affleck pulled off a relatively convincing rendition of my favourite superhero. Even though his acting was often over the top, I really believed that he was The Caped Crusader. He was suitably angry and brooding, he looked the part, and he talked the part. I unfortunately cannot say the same for the other characters. Henry Cavill was perfectly bland as Superman, who continues to show that he could be a pretty good Superman if he was given a competent script. Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor was atrocious. He was about as intimidating as a hyperactive child on sugar and about as interesting as a small twig with the word “INSANE” written on it. Again, this is not entirely the fault of Eisenberg, as he was also working with very bad material. At the very least he looks like he is enjoying himself, which is more than can be said for Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, who looks completely bored for the short period of time that she was shoehorned into the film. I could go on about the various failures of acting and writing in the movie, but then we may be here for several thousand words, so instead, let’s get onto the other positives of the film.

The music for the film was pretty great. It was composed by Hans Zimmer, who also did the Dark Knight movies, Interstellar, and Man of Steel. Like those soundtracks, it is made up of loud orchestral pieces that suit the tone of the film, which made it end up as the only part of the movie that I thought to be legitimately “epic”.

Like I said before, I quite enjoy Zack Snyder’s testosterone filled visual style, even if it is rather silly. The film is no visual masterpiece, but, excluding the final action scene, which is ruined by the bad CGI on Doomsday, the film looks pretty cool.

Now, with all the ranting I have done, do I think you should watch Batman V Superman?

YEAH!

The movie may be a total train wreck, but is a blast to watch with friends. It’s incredibly easy to make fun of, making it a great hate watch. I don’t know if you should actually support the movie, as it does really suck, but if you have some friends around and want to laugh at an overly serious piece of shit blockbuster, then this movie is sure to be on your favourite illegal download site in the very near future.

Unfortunately for the movie though, I am judging the film on what it was trying to do, not what it actually does, so I am forced to give Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, an overall grade of D, with a special “entertainingly bad” recommendation.

That concludes the rant ahem… “review”. Thank you for reading, and I shall see you in the next post.

TWITTER: @tuneishere

 

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HOW I GOT OBSESSED WITH ANIME (OR HOW I LOST MY SOCIAL LIFE TO CARTOONS)

DISCLAIMER: This is actually school work, but as I haven’t had time to write anything much recently, I thought that I’d put this up there as it seems pretty relevant to this blog. Enjoy the hyperbole!

Not too long ago, I was a fairly regular person. I played video games, I watched Marvel Movies, and I found primary school boring. I wanted to have something new to talk about. Something different I had never seen the likes of before. Something new.

I decided to check out this ‘anime’ thing that people kept talking about. Apparently they were cartoons from Japan, but they were not for 5 year olds. THEY WERE FOR GROWNUPS. They had violence and death, demons and serial killers. This was interesting to my ‘TAKE ME SERIOUSLY I’M ELEVEN NOW’ self. I did some research on the web and found about one of these ‘anime’, a show called Sword Art Online. It had video games, death, pretty girls, and lots of things that I thought were “COOL”. I watched it. “Hmmmmmm”, I thought. “These anime shows seem pretty cool!” 

I did more research. I decided to watch a show called Death Note. It was even edgier then before! There was murder, psychological mind games, and a despicable protagonist. I watched it over the course of 3 months. I loved it. I started to invest myself in anime culture. I spent lots of time on the internet looking at reviews and news. I was in deep, but not yet lost.
Then I watched this show called Code Geass….
This was the tipping point. This is how I got where I am today. This show ran for 50 episodes. I watched it in two weeks. Any attempts to save me at this point were useless. I was gone. I ate this show up like it was potato chips at a really boring party. I ADORED Code Geass. It was my LIFE. Soon enough, I was trying my hand at writing my own reviews on my god awful blog. I created a MyAnimeList account to catalogue the various things I was watching and had watched. I couldn’t stop talking about anime. It drove my family crazy.
That was nearly a year ago. Things have gotten both better and worse. I don’t talk about anime to my uninterested friends and family nearly as much. I don’t plough through stuff at quite such an alarming rate anymore. I’ve improved my critical thinking skills due to how much I watch.
On the other hand I have lost over 13 days of my life to 53 different shows and movies, many of which have questionable artistic merit. I have become a pretentious overly critical hypocrite who hates some things for the same reason he loves other things. I’ve spent more money on DVDs then I care to remember.
So please.
Don’t make the same mistakes I did.
Don’t sit through terrible shows just to make fun of them on your blog.
Don’t legitimately consider buying 200 dollar statues of fictional characters.
Be safe.
Enjoy this great hobby casually.
And for the love of Haruhi.

Don’t watch Sword Art Online.

It sucks.

Neon Genesis Evangelion Anime Review

  

Ooooh boy. Neon Genesis Evangelion. If I had to sum up the general opinion on the show in one word it would be “devisive”. If you don’t love Evangelion, there’s a rather large chance you hate it. Today I’m going to be explaining which camp I’m in and try to tell you why. Let us begin.

Story

For a show that’s often called “completely insane”, Evangelion starts off relatively simple. 14 year old Shinji Ikari is called to NERV headquarters by his estranged father Gendo. Gendo, for whatever reason, needs his underage son to pilot a giant robot to defend humanity against “Angels”, monsters that are attacking and attempting to destroy the planet that can only be stopped by giant robots called “Evangelions”. This is more or less the premise of the first 16 episodes or so while introducing and developing its large cast of characters.

But then the show gets dark. The once somewhat-bleak-but-still-totally-fine-for-prime-time series begins its infamous descent into madness that culminates in the infamous original ending and then the alternative ending/expansion of the original ending (depending on who you ask) End of Evangelion, a film that is quite possibly the strangest thing I’ve ever borne witness to. I’m not going to write to much more about the plot as I would hate to spoil anymore for those who haven’t seen it, and I don’t want it bore those who already have.

To summarise, the plot of Evangelion is confusing, amazing, weird, and entertaining. It’s thought provoking but is never so insane to stop being interesting. And the main reason for this is the emotional core of the show. The characters.

Characters

The primary reason that I personally stayed invested in Evangelion was because of its characters. Sure, the show’s plot is interesting, but without this cast it may have become too inaccessible for me to keep caring. The characters give you something to latch on to and relate to. 

Not all the characters of Evangelion are likeable, some being down right detestable, but what makes them work is they all feel so incredibly real. Their problems are human problems. Isolation. Fear. Depression. Selfishness. The shitty things about people.

One of the sufferers of some of these problems is our main character Shinji Ikari, the emotional centre of Evangelion. Shinji is, like the rest of the show, divisive. Many complain that he’s too cowardly and unlikeable. Repulsive, even.

 I’m not really sure how this can be considered a criticism. People aren’t nessacarily inherently brave and strong. With the task that is placed in Shinji’s hands of literally saving the world from annihilation, I feel like many people would be just as terrified and weak as Shinji is. Combine that with his wide array of psychological disorders and problematic relationships and I feel it becomes quite easy to see why Shinji is the way he is. 

There are many other characters to talk about, most of whom are just as interesting as Shinji, but I’ll let you experience them yourself if/when you do decide to take on the task of watching the show.

Sound

The soundtrack for Evangelion is really good. It is highly varied and always compliments the scene in which it is playing perfectly. Not much else to say really other then that. It’s just really good. Amazing opening too.

In regards to English or Japanese, this is one is hands down Japanese. Unless you are unable to read subtitles or cannot stand listening to Japanese, I see no reason for you to listen to the dub. It’s not downright awful, but in comparison to the Japanese, the English just falls completely flat. 

Animation

The animation for Evangelion is pretty hit or miss. The show is well known for suffering from many budgetary problems. Various shots where absolutely nothing happens and a couple of infamous scenes toward the end PLUS the majority of the original finale make it apparent that animation studio GAINAX was rather short on funding for the show. However, I don’t really care. Partially because when the animation really needs to look good, it does. The battles against the Angels still look great 20 years after the show’s original run. And for the vast majority of scenes where nothing is happening animation-wise, the writing and direction is usually interesting enough to hold my attention.

Final Verdict

In case you somehow couldn’t tell by now, I adore Neon Genesis Evangelion. I love almost everything about it. From its excellent characters to its confusing narrative, it all works so well. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty close to it. I would recommend it to almost anyone, especially if you consider yourself an anime fan, as it is very influential and regarded as a classic by many (including me). Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the review. Feel free to leave constructive criticism in the form of a comment here or on one of the profiles I’ve linked down below as I am still pretty bad at writing and would love to get better at it. 

Until the next post!

Final Score: A (Excellent)

MAL:http://myanimelist.net/profile/itstune

Twitter: @tuneishere

Neon Genesis Evangelion used to be available from Madman Entertainment in Australia, but has unfortunately gone out of print. It’s not available for legal streaming either. A remake series of films is available from Madman Entertainment, but I have not yet seen them so I’m unable to provide comment on them.

First thoughts on Myriad Colours Phantom World

 

 Well. I guess Kyoto Animation have now made two shit shows.

So, I watched the first episode of Kyoto Animation’s new show Myriad Colours Phantom World, and well……

IT WAS REALLY FUCKING BAD.

Okay, think of every shitty light novel adaptation you’ve ever seen.

Add even more obnoxious fanservice.

Triple the production values.

And then a hefty layer of dissapointment.

I’m a big fan of Kyoto Animation’s work. One of their more popular series, the Haruhi Suzumiya franchise, sitting in the (subject to change) Holy Trinity of of my favourite shows, along with Neon Genesis Evangelion and Cowboy Bebop. They have pretty much always delivered consistently good to great work, with their only major misfire being the second season of Chuninbyo. Well. That was until this came out, and trust me when I say this is bad. Now you may say “BUT IT’S ONLY THE FIRST EPISODE. HOW CAN YOU JUDGE A SERIES BEFORE IT’S EVEN FINISHED?” and you may be right. Maybe I shouldn’t judge a series by its premiere alone. But I’m quite confident that this won’t be getting any better. And if it does people who read this and care enough can come back and get the satisfaction of telling me I was wrong and I shouldn’t be such a judgemental idiot.

If it were any other production studio handling this I would not be nearly as dissapointed as I am. I would just brush it off as yet another piece of churned out cash grab bullshit that seems to fill in the gaps of every passing season, disappearing from the viewer’s mind as quickly as it appears. But this is Kyoto Animation…. I expect better from them. 

Anyway, if there is one good thing about this show, it’s the way it looks. Kyoto Animation never fail to deliver gorgeous art.   Every thing in this show pops out at you, from the colours to the obnoxious fanservice. It all looks great. 

Barely anything to go on plot wise: mostly bad jokes, character introductions and, of course,  boobies. The only thing I could decipher  from what little the audience is told is that this appears to be basically Beyond the Boundary without any of the charm and all the seriousness sucked into a small safe where it may or may not get used for more worthwhile projects. Characters are bland at best and obnoxious at worst. I don’t remember anything about the music other than the totally okay OP, so I assume it was probably pretty mediocre.

Overall this show appears to be a steaming pile of horseshit that is only worth watching if you like pretty art and don’t want to watch hentai to see big anime breasts. I’ll keep watching it, partially to see if it miraculously gets any better, and partially to rip it apart in a review when it completes its run.

Also, Happy New Year!

Praise Haruhi.

MyAnimeList :  http://myanimelist.net/profile/itstune

Quick Thoughts on Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Okay, I feel personally that telling you anything about the plot specifics of this film will kind of make the film less enjoyable. So, in this short little piece I’ll just be giving you my very brief opinions of the film. 

To preface, I’m a massive fan of Star Wars. As much as it kills me to say this, The Phantom Menace was my first movie, but, as I don’t like the prequels very much, I like to think it was actually A New Hope. So, I may be a little biased about this new one. Then again, I wasn’t paticularly hopeful about this film. However, I am happy to report that Star Wars: The Force Awakens is, in my opinion, a rather excellent movie. It manages to pull off a plot that is still very much classic Star Wars, but also feel fresh and new. All the performances in the film are done very well, except for one or two lines that feel a little bit wooden. At points in the film, I teared up with happiness. This was a very cheesy and pretty silly thing to do, but so were the original Star Wars movies, and that’s why I love them. Overall, I had a brilliant time with The Force Awakens, and highly recommend it to pretty much anyone, before you too are spoiled. The film isn’t perfect, but then no film is. I may do a proper spoilery review in a few weeks, when I feel most people who wanted to see film would’ve seen it, but until then… May the force be with you.

I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist.

Spartacus Film Review

Hello there ladies and gentlemen. How are you? Don’t answer that, you’ll look strange. Anyhow, the other day I just saw a very nice remastering of the swords and sandals classic Spartacus from 1960, directed by Stanley Kubrick, though he didn’t have nearly as much input on this film as he did his others. So I thought that it was time I shook things up a little and talked about a film rather then another anime review. As I haven’t quite got a format for film reviews fully worked out I’ll just be winging it for the most part, so bear with me. Right, let’s go.

Story

The story of this film is basically just a highly romanticised version of the tale of Spartacus. For those unaware, the story is that of the young Thracian slave Spartacus, who after being forced to become a gladiator by Romans, incites a rebellion to try and free the slaves from oppression. Like all legends, how much of this is real and how much is fiction is unknown, but the Wikipedia page about it can do a much better job of explaining it then I can. This film also includes a fictional love story. The purpose of this was presumably to make Spartacus a softer and more likable character. But don’t take this is a criticism, as I actually really loved this movie. It’s an exciting, well directed, mostly well acted film, with some super impressive practical effects as well. With the new digital restoration (the one I saw) the film looks crisp and sharp. Not to say that this film looks new. If this film was made today, it would be mostly CGI for the battle scenes, and probably would have nowhere near as big a budget (or be nearly as good). This kind of film could only really work when it was made. Any earlier or later and it would most likely have failed. It’s like a time capsule of the late 50s to early 60s Hollywood film, and for that, I think it’s wonderful.

Characters

The characters of this film are simple, there’s no denying that. What makes them work is their execution. This film is full of at the time A-list actors, such as Kirk Douglas as our hero Spartacus, Laurence Olivier as the villain, Crassus, and Jean Simmons as Spartacus’s love interest Varinia. These actors all play their characters with great skill, especially Laurence Olivier, who is kind of the perfect villan. He is appropriately calculating as well as being a little nuts. My only problem with him is not really the character but more a fault of the script. There is one scene in the film that comes off as a little homophobic around the middle of the film, where it is heavily implied that Crassus is homosexual in a scene that is meant to come off as threatening. It tries to make the character come off as alien and deviant, which at the time I’m sure made sense, but now in what I like to think is a more enlightened and less stupid world, it just comes off as silly and unnessacary. This is just an issue of the times and not really a problem with the film itself, but still, it’s worth keeping in mind.

Kirk Douglas plays an appropriately charming freedom fighter in the form of Spartacus.  He may not be a paticularly deep and complex character, but that’s not really what he’s supposed to be. He’s supposed to be a likeable and heroic character who fights for freedom and justice. Douglas pulls this off perfectly. There’s not really much else to say about him other then that.

The rest of the supporting cast is great too. Crassus’s fellow senator Gracchus (played by Charles Laughton) is one of the higlights of the movie. Spartacus’s fellow rebels all serve their purpose excellently, and the slave trader Batiatus, played marvellously by Peter Utinov, is incredibly entertaining as the cowardly, money grubbing idiot.

Sound

The film’s soundtrack is rather excellent. Most of the songs are quite epic  in nature, which suits the tone of the film. There are also some love ballads thrown in there for the romantic scenes, which sound great as well. The other thing I like about the music is that it knows when to be quiet. Certain scenes become all the more intense when there is no music playing in the background.

Final Verdict

In conclusion, I absolutely loved Spartacus. It’s the quintessential midcentury Hollywood blockbuster. On a purely technical level, this is one of the most impressive films I have ever seen. The amount of time, effort, and money that must of been spent on this film boggles my mind. It’s worth seeing just for that, but even taking all that away, the film is still tons of fun to watch. It’s nothing paticularly thought provoking or insightful, but it is a really good time. I highly recommend it.

Grade: A (Most excellent)

OPINIONS CHAAAANGE

Hello there dear reader. I hope you are well. This post is just to make a point. That point being that my opinions change. Being a young teenager I am constantly in a state of ,there’s that word again, change, which means my opinions on various bits of media do as well. So, if you’re wandering why my earlier reviews aren’t exactly the most deconstructive things in the world, it’s because I had yet to completely develop the idea that good things could have flaws, and vice versa. At some point, I may rereview some of these things, but for the time being, just know that a lot of my earlier stuff is kind of different to my current opinions. I’m sure in six months time, I will have different opinions of stuff that I have yet to write about, because that’s how I function. Anyway, I’ve got a review of the 1960 film Spartacus in the works, so that’ll probably be released in the next few days. Until then, I bid you farewell.