Multiple Universes

It’s time for another round of movie reviews. I remind you that I, mostly, don’t enjoy watching movies or television. There are just things I’d rather be doing. With that prejudice explicitly stated, let’s move forward and talk about some movies. I watched all three of these on my couch, as I rarely make it to the cinema anymore, so I missed out on the giant screen, the too cramped seating, and the overly loud sound. I guess I’ve missed out on the whole movie going experience and I’m sure that will color my opinion, but it will probably be offset by not having had to pay the high ticket price to get in.
I’m going to talk about three movies today. If I were to take the time to go through all the things I’ve seen since I last wrote a review post, this would be considerably longer. Let me simply say that, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is getting better the further we get from season 1, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 wasn’t nearly as good (or fun) as the first one, Star Wars: Rogue One wasn’t great, I enjoyed Wonder Woman, and Moana was not bad for an animated movie, but I’m not really into that sort of thing. Like I said, not really a fan of watching the screens…
Let’s get to the meat of this post.

Suicide Squad

2016 | PG-13 | 2 hr 5 m | They are the baddest of the bad–a band of supervillains assembled by a top-secret government agency. Led by Deadshot and Joker’s maniac lover Harley Quinn, this misfit and rather deranged ‘suicide squad’ is tasked with a do-or-die mission against a super-human enemy in this blockbuster comic mashup. Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman and Viola Davis star.

Oh cool, a Will Smith movie. I like Will Smith. Oh wait, this movie is a mess. First, let me state explicitly, for the record, and to expose my personal prejudices; I don’t like stories about villains, bad guys, or even most dark heroes. These are not the stories I want. Did I mention the Joker is crap in this? This is a movie about a group of convicted super villains, who are actually the most relatable group in this movie. And they are not relatable, they suck. There is also some government folks and some military folks and some other villains doing some stuff. Oh look, Harley Quinn’s ass in skin tight hot pants… not enough to save this movie. There are too many characters and we know nothing about them, we don’t learn anything about them, and we don’t care about them. Will smith plays himself with a beard, that sounds like a criticism, but that’s actually a good thing. People like Will Smith. There’s a couple different romance plot lines, but who cares and they’re mostly ignorable. Oh look, Ben Affleck’s Batman. How much did he get paid to show up and do nothing; but we can say he was there. Who cares? Lame! So despite all this, and this movie is a mess, I did make it through this one. DC has no idea how to do this whole movie universe thing. Their movies are not great. But there was enough in this movie for me to not say I didn’t like it. But it’s damn close. I’m giving it three stars out of five and I think it probably doesn’t deserve all those.

Doctor Strange

2016 | PG-13 | 1 hr 55 m | After a neurosurgeon loses the use of his hands he meets a mystical mentor who helps him harness magic to become the most powerful sorcerer on Earth.

Oh look, Marvel has taken us into the mystical side of their little superhero/space/comic book universe. Is that a big deal? I guess it is. All the reviews seem to think it is anyway. I’m sure that Doctor Strange is going to get a trilogy of movies (minimum), and maybe you’re excited by that. Maybe you’re a big fan of Doctor Strange. Personally, I think he came off as a less likeable, less charismatic Tony Stark, and I don’t know that he’s a character that I really care about. He has a cape that I enjoyed watching. I actually liked the cape more than any of the characters in the movie. Don’t miss understand me, I didn’t hate this movie or even dislike it. It was okay. Pretty typical fare for a Marvel movie. The origin story was a bit weak. The good doctor seemed to get his new skill set pretty easily, without much effort, or any real trials. I guess he’s just a natural. The villain was lame. I think I saw all this bending CGI in that movie where the guy from Titanic is obsessed with his spinner-thing… overdone. Oh, and why exactly is all that folding going on? Is that how magic works? Weird. I’m glad I’ve seen it. I mean, it makes me feel like I’m up to date on the whole Marvel Universe thing, but this ranks right up there with the Thor movies for me on the who cares spectrum. And having just watched Suicide Squad, this seems like a masterpiece of modern film making. Probably, it’s rating is benefitting from that comparison. Three stars out of five, I liked it, but I probably will never watch it again and will pretty quickly forget that it was a thing.

Kong: Skull Island

2017 | PG-13 | 2 hr | In a world where monsters exist, Kong is King! The second installment in the ‘MonsterVerse’ series of films that began with 2014’s ‘Godzilla,’ this kaiju-inspired epic is a rollicking adventure that follows an expedition to the mythical Skull Island–a place crawling with prehistoric dangers, led by the giant ape himself, King Kong.

MonsterVerse? Second installment? WTH? Okay. I get it. Everybody has to do a universe now. I think I shut off that Godzilla movie. That was the one with “Breaking Bad” in it, right? This is better. I don’t think I ever saw the “School of Rock” King Kong from 10-years back. Was that good? Kong is very large. Probably because  they’re setting up for Kong vs Godzilla, or some crap. Research tells me that Kong has ranged from 25-150 feet tall through something like a dozen movies. He’s closer to the top of the range in this one. He’s enormous. The cast is too big; why does Hollywood keep doing this. But it mostly worked for me. The island is suitably weird and full of weird creatures. But I’ve got to say that I absolutely hated the bone-headed, two-legged lizard-things. I thought they were dumb. There was enough talk about a “hollow earth” that I figure they’re setting up for another Journey to the Center of the Earth movie. There were some things, more than a few, but they’re pretty easy to overlook given that this is a movie about a 100-foot tall ape living on an island surrounded by a hurricane. I liked it. I’ll give this one four stars, but I imagine most people would give it three. I enjoyed it more than either of the other movies in this post. Oh… at the end, after the credits, yeah, there’s a Godzilla teaser.
Everybody wants a universe linking their films. I’ve spent time in three of those universes lately and it ain’t all great. Marvel has become a little predictable. DC has no clue what they’re doing. The idea of a MonsterVerse sounds cool, but it won’t be. There you have it, three movies rated. I know what my opinion is worth, but hopefully it was an entertaining read.