• Member Since 15th Dec, 2017
  • offline last seen 45 minutes ago

Scholarly-Cimmerian


A guy who loves movies, comic books, video games, as well as stories with colorful talking ponies in them.

More Blog Posts212

  • 3 weeks
    RIP Kevin Conroy

    Well, damn. I just learned that Kevin Conroy has died. From what was described in the reports as "a short battle with cancer."

    He was 66.

    This is a real blow. He will be missed.

    Rest in peace, Mr. Conroy. Thank you for all that you did to bring Batman and Bruce Wayne to life for so many fans over the years.

    4 comments · 33 views
  • 3 weeks
    November News / Status Update

    Hello again, everyone. Hope that your November has been off to a good start.

    This is going to be another status update from me. There's been further turns in my real-life situation.

    Read More

    13 comments · 52 views
  • 5 weeks
    October Update

    Hello again, everyone. I hope that life is treating you all well.

    October's been a rather mixed bag of a month for me in some ways. Which is a shame, because I'd planned at first to try and dive back into writing this month, as Halloween came ever closer.

    Read More

    7 comments · 62 views
  • 6 weeks
    Computer Resolved

    I am happy to report that my laptop is back from the shop, and I'm still trying to come to terms with that. :yay:

    But MAN is it good to have this trusty old device back and, hopefully, all fixed up again. :pinkiehappy:

    5 comments · 42 views
  • 6 weeks
    Computer Update News

    Hoping to get my laptop back this Wednesday.

    The battery needed replacing (no surprise there) and the hard drive also was showing signs of aging too, so I just opted to go for both fixes at once instead of one at a time.

    Hard to believe I've spent nearly the better part of two weeks without it, but it'll be a blessing to have it back and fully functional again. :yay:

    Read More

    4 comments · 28 views
Jul
21st
2022

Mini Movie Review Marathon, part 2 · 5:18am July 21st

Hello everyone.

Found myself thinking about some of the movies I've seen over the past months, some of which I've meant to write up more in full but never got around to... and I remembered my earlier blog where I condensed each review into a few short paragraphs, and decided to do the same thing all over again. :yay:

Some of these write-ups will be of older movies. Some of them will be much more recent. Either way, beware of spoilers!


When Harry Met Sally -

This romantic comedy was quite a fun watch. I mainly just knew it for the iconic quote "I'll have what she's having" (which is hysterically funny in context), but as a whole this movie is quite an entertaining watch. Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan are a delight in their roles as the snarky and neurotic Harry, and the idealistic go-getter Sally; you really enjoy seeing the way that their personalities bounce off of each other as the movie progresses through the years of their lives and all the ups and downs therein. (Billy Crystal does some fine facial acting as well. Several moments in the story are made funnier just by the look in his eyes as opposed to any snarky remarks he could have made.)

Carrie Fisher and Bruno Kirby are also quite charming as the "beta couple" to the main characters. The scene where everybody is on the telephone with each other, splitting the screen four ways, is a real hoot. :rainbowlaugh:

The framing device of the movie makes for a nice through-line, and by the very last minutes of the film it feels very rewarding to see Harry and Sally seated on the couch. It makes for a perfectly simple, yet satisfying, capper to the events of the story. All in all, quite a good way to pass an afternoon.

Unforgiven -

I'd written up this movie in full before. Those interested in that original write-up can read it here.

This Clint Eastwood movie from 1992 may well qualify as one of my all-time favorite Westerns, maybe even one of my all-time favorite movies, period. This heavy, somber story of revenge in a harshly unsentimental realization of the Old West is a fantastic meditation on the cycle of violence, and the falsehoods spun about the outlaw/gunslinger life. Clint Eastwood (starring and directing) is superbly understated as the retired outlaw William Munny, taking one last job while trying to hold true to his beloved wife's memory, but upon rewatching this movie I was struck by how damned good Gene Hackman was as the brutal sheriff "Little Bill" Daggett. The scene where Bill chats with the dime novel writer about gunfighting, and what it actually takes to shoot a man, is brilliant - Bill comes off as a veteran speaking from long experience, and he seems quite jolly and fun to be around, at least until he switches on the menace... it's a great performance, and one that constantly leaves you anticipating the next blow-up.

But more than just our protagonist and antagonist, though, is that everyone in this movie gives a good performance. Everybody in this story, from the wannabe gunfighter "The Schofield Kid" to William's old comrade Ned Logan (Morgan Freeman), fraudulent 'gentleman bandit' English Bob (Richard Harris) and down to bit characters like the deputies or the other prostitutes at the saloon, feel like real characters, and get some moment to establish their personalities or have some impact on the story. Upon second viewing, I was particularly moved by the scene in winter between William Munny and the scarred prostitute Delilah. Seeing the two of them talk about scars (inside and outside) just makes you feel sad for both of them.

This movie is a masterclass in buildup. There is only one real shootout in the whole movie (130 minutes for anyone counting), but by the time it gets to that point, you're on the edge of your seat. (The scene right before this, with Munny and the Kid at the tree outside of town, is also a standout in terms of both dialogue and staging.)

Highly recommended. About as close to perfect as I can say for a movie of its kind.

It Happened One Night -

In many ways, this Frank Capra film from 1934 may well the forefather of a lot of romantic comedies. Which is funny in a lot of ways, given that it's a pretty hard-edged romance. You follow Ellie Andrews (Claudette Colbert), an heiress who runs away from home and winds up falling in with Peter Marne (Clark Gable), and while the story ultimately ends on a joyous note for them both, it's quite a journey to get to that point. Ellie Andrews starts off as a sheltered brat, and Peter Marne is a real hard-edged tough guy. (When he pretends to be a gangster to scare off a snoop who wants to turn Ellie in for a reward, he's quite convincing!) Peter and Ellie bicker a LOT, and while the movie has a classic "third act misunderstanding," this one carries some legitimate weight to it. For a director whose name is often associated with feel-good sentimentality, Frank Capra's movies had a real tough sensibility behind that sentiment. Anyone who's ever seen "It's a Wonderful Life" will remember the hell that George Bailey had to go through to get his happy ending.

One thing that's also interesting about this movie is that both main characters have pretty flawed fathers/father figures. Both of whom do go through a subtle, but nice, character arcs. Ellie's dad begins the movie a rich jerk and softens up by the end, enough to approve of her marrying the right guy. Peter's editor trades hell with the pugnacious writer but eventually realizes when he's serious about being in love, and lets him off easy for it. That was a nice touch.

There's some very nice sequences in this, especially involving bits where Peter acts up a part to fool someone - be it some encroaching detectives or a nosy jerk who wants to cash in on the reward for Ellen. (That latter one is a hoot!)

Glad to have seen this one. Now I want to see more of Capra's filmography.

Batman Begins -

I've never been a fan of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, and while this first of those three movies is definitely the most comic book-like of the lot, I'd be lying if I said I had fun with this one. I found the majority of this movie to be ponderous, and even self-important (whenever I listened to Ra's al Ghul or Bruce Wayne talking about symbols and legends, I could hear the capitalization for each concept) at times. While the movie is shot well and there are some genuinely good sequences - to give credit where credit is due, the Batmobile chase is superb - I enjoyed this one largely for Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman. Whenever the movie focused on Christian Bale's Bruce Wayne and his relationship with Rachel Dawes, I just found myself thinking about how much more fun and investment I had with Michael Keaton and Kim Basinger in the Tim Burton movie.

If nothing else, I can say that at least I've seen the whole trilogy. I can say that it was instructive, but not in the way that most of the trilogy's usual champions probably would have hoped for.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness -

It was very funny to watch this one and see just how much Sam Raimi took his horror movie roots into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This is a movie where the director of The Evil Dead movies really flexes his muscles - you have a book of evil magic, possession of bodies both living (and, in one of the movie's most twistedly inspired moments, dead), and an obligatory Bruce Campbell cameo as well.

Honestly, this movie was strikingly dark for an MCU film. In a lot of ways the core of this movie can be summed up as being about facing one's failings - Stephen Strange being taken to task for his failings both past and present; until he finally sticks the landing and begins to move on from his mistakes of the past. (Though really, in many ways, part of me wants to say that this movie is really Wanda Maximoff's. Elizabeth Olsen did an outstanding job as both terrifying villainess and deeply broken, in-denial mother wanting-to-be.)

I'm also darkly amused by the sheer audacity of this movie bringing us Mr. Fantastic, Black Bolt, and Professor X on the big screen together for the first time ever... and the Scarlet Witch slaughters the majority of them. My GOD, that was vicious. :pinkiecrazy:

While this movie won't ever be a favorite of mine, it had some solid, inventive sequences for sure. My two favorites being the "music duel" between Strange and his evil counterpart, and then the entire climactic sequence of Strange possessing the corpse of one of his alternate selves and forging a new cape out of a horde of damned souls. That has got to take the medal for "most gruesomely clever" feat I think I've ever seen the character do in ANY medium.

Definitely appreciated for its mix of horror and superhero tropes, though I'm not in a big rush to come back for a second viewing.

Jurassic World Dominion -

This one started strong, sagged in the middle, and then ended on more-or-less a solid note. I loved the opening act of the movie, particularly with some truly breathtaking shots of dinosaurs in the snowy American Northwest. What really hampered this movie for me was that it tries to tie up every plot thread from all the previous movies - Jurassic Park and Jurassic World alike. Which is a shame, because there are some truly fascinating plot points in this movie: Owen Grady and Claire Dearing struggling as parents and guardians in a post-Fallen Kingdom world. Maisie Lockwood feeling lost and grappling with her own humanity. BioSyn as the dominant genetics power in the world, and its oily leader Lewis Dodgson masking his ruthless, rampant greed behind a pleasant facade of idealism about discovering a brighter tomorrow through the beasts of the past. These are all great concepts but they feel disjointed; as it stands, the movie largely holds together from the charm of seeing Alan Grant, Ellie Sattler and Ian Malcolm together again for the first time since 1993. (Major props to Laura Dern for her performance, by the by.)

While there are plot points that are ludicrous, some of them I can roll with better than others. (The entire sequence in Malta just felt like an excuse to have a Bourne/Bond-type chase with dinosaurs. Though part of the "dino black market" really made me think of Jabba's palace in Return of the Jedi as well.) I did really enjoy some of the sequences with the new dinosaurs though; Claire's run-in with a Therizinosaurus was nicely suspenseful, and Ian trying to rescue Alan and Ellie from a horde of Dimetrodons threaded the needle between humorous and terrifying quite well. I also really enjoyed the human characters' standoff with the Giganotosaurus. In many ways I'd call that real climax of the movie for me. :yay:

At any rate, even if this movie is just "okay" or even "mediocre" to my view, I am glad to have finished up this trilogy. Even if "Fallen Kingdom" remains my preferred entry of the Jurassic World series.

The Goonies -

Just watched this classic of 80s family entertainment last weekend. I found it satisfying and also interesting, largely because of the very clear involvement of Steven Spielberg and Chris Columbus in its making. There's parts of this movie that feel like a lighter, kid-friendly version of Indiana Jones - a race to treasure, death traps, puzzles and a secret test of character with the discovery of said treasure - and Home Alone as well - largely for the use of Rube Goldberg devices and a gang of bumbling crooks for the major antagonists. (The Fratelli brothers are largely complete idiots. Their mom is truly menacing, and you'd believe that she would cut a kid's tongue out for being too snarky.)

The titular group of kids are a basic but well-realized group. I was impressed by how the script managed to give a role or place of importance to, by the end of the film, a group of about seven people. (You have the kid leader who inspires everyone to go on the treasure hunt; his big brother who gets roped into the fray; the boy who can speak Spanish and read the treasure map; the kid who invents gadgets; the overweight kid who's kind of the screw-up but pulls through and helps save everyone at the end; plus the two teenage girls who also get sucked along on this wild ride. That's a lot to keep track of, not counting the crooks after the group, or the other side characters along the way!) But everything works out pretty well, and by the very end of the movie, one can smile at the ending shot of the old pirate ship sailing into the horizon one last time. It makes for a charming finish to the movie. The Goonies won't be a favorite of mine, but it made for an amiable way to kill an afternoon, and I am glad to have finally seen it for myself. :twilightsmile:


And there we have it. Lemme know what y'all think! :pinkiesmile:

Comments ( 7 )

I think I've figured out the issue with Phase 4 of the MCU. They can't win. If they do movies that follow the same basic structure as they usually do, they get people bitching about how all MCU movies are samey. But when they get creative and weird like Multiverse of Madness, they get bitched at for it being weird.

That and the sheer volume of Marvel content coming out every year.

5674076

No no see they have to do the movies EXACTLY like how they do the comics now. Clearly they have no excuse to not do that now outside of dumb reasons like continuity or trying to tell their creative stories.

Oh and remember that they only are hiring PoC directors now because they're suddenly political and thus it ruins the movie experience..... I actually hate that i have to put a /s in here but with how the internet is i really don't wanna be lumped in with the Cro Magnons.

Solid reviews. ^^

Admittedly I have only seen Goonies and Dominion, so I can't really comment on the other movies you've looked over.

5674141
Thanks. :yay:
It's much appreciated, believe me. ^_^

5674076
That's a valid point. Ironically though, I did just see Thor Love and Thunder today and I had fun with it. Not going to be a favorite of mine, but it's the most MCU fun I've had since No Way Home for sure. (I don't watch the Disney+ shows so I can't speak to their quality. Just going by the movies here.)

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