Someones Suing Suicide Squad

Another day, another story about Suicide Squad.

Now I had no intention of saying anything else about this film, because, well, what else is there to say? It’s not the savior of the DC Universe that the suits so desperately want it to be, its ticket sales have dropped by 41% going into its second weekend (Civil War’s was a mere 19%). It’s probably not getting released in the worlds second largest market- China, meaning that it’s really going to struggle to reach the 750 million dollars it need to break even and it’s being sued by a Scotsman known as BlackPanther2016 over it’s lack of Joker.

Wait, what?

Yeah, apparently BlackPanther2016 was forced to drive all the way from the barren wasteland of ‘Not London’ which apparently doesn’t have any cinemas to the Utopia of London which does. There, he paid his money, took his ticket, watched the film and then- in his own words.

“Movie trailers are like food menus, they give you a preview of what you’re gonna get. You look at a McDonald’s menu and you choose to get your favourite burger, presented in a nice picture with pickles, chicken, mild cheese (your favourite, in fact that’s the only reason you’re getting this burger, because you love mild cheese). You use your hard-worked money to pay for this burger, you get the burger, only to find out that this isn’t the burger you ordered. Yes it has pickles and chicken but it doesn’t have mild cheese, it has regular cheese.

“Suicide Squad trailers showcased several specific Joker scenes that I had to pay for the whole movie just so that I can go watch those specific scenes that Warner Bros/DC Comics had advertised in their trailers and TV spots. These scenes are: when Joker banged his head on his car window, when Joker says ‘“Let me show you my toys’, when Joker punches the roof of his car, when Joker drops a bomb with his face all messed up and says, ‘Bye bye!’ None of these scenes were in the movie.

“I drove 300 miles to London to go watch these specific scenes they had explicitly advertised in their TV ads…and they didn’t show them to me. Adding to this, they were also two specific Katana scenes they advertised that were also the reason I wanted to go watch the movie. These scenes were: Katana’s eyes going black, and a slow motion shot of her and her sword taking souls in a smoky kind of style. These scenes were advertised several times in the first trailer and many TV ads but they didn’t show it to me in the movie. I wasted a lot of money paying and travelling to go watch this movie because of these specific scenes they had advertised to me and all of us saying, ‘Hey, check out our preview! This will all be in our movie, come watch it on the 5th!’ All lies.

“If you advertise something, give me what you have advertised. Period. This is becoming a habit with movie studios, showing epic scenes in trailers that are never shown in the movies. It’s unjust.

“I just want to say, join me if you feel the same way. Let’s stop this nonsense of false bulls***ery and don’t let them bribe you with their ‘deluxe premium special directors gold extended edition supreme cut’ nonsense. You should get what they advertised as their first theatre showing and what you have paid for based on what they have showed you in their advertisements.”

Now, I wish Mr. Panther the best of luck with the lawsuit that he claims his “lawyer brother” will handle. I would also like to point out that this type of lawsuit does have precedent. A resident of Michigan sued the distributor of the 2011 film Drive as it   “bore very little similarity to a chase, or race action film … having very little driving in the motion picture” and in a more serious note- “substantially contained extreme, gratuitous, dehumanising racism directed at members of the Jewish faith, and thereby promoted criminal violence against members of the Jewish faith”. I can’t find out if she won or not.

Someone who did win their case was a New Zealand film buff, named only as J Congdon who sued Jack Reacher for a less than 1 second missing explosion that was allegedly was ‘the defining part of the ad’. He won has case and was refunded his ticket.

Now whether you enjoyed Leto’s Joker or regarded it as one of the worst portrayals of the character ever (and opinions do seem seem strangely polarized) I have to confess a strange admiration for Mr. Panther and his ‘lawyer brother’ and do hope they succeed. Trailers do lie to the public (mostly over how much I’m going to enjoy their mediocre offering) and if this is the start of change then it can only be a good thing.

Note-At time of writing (10/08/16) Neither Warner Brothers no DC have responded to the threatened legal action.

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X:Men Apocalypse Review

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James McAvoy James McAvoy
Michael Fassbender Michael Fassbender
Jennifer Lawrence Jennifer Lawrence
Nicholas Hoult Nicholas Hoult
Oscar Isaac Oscar Isaac
Rose Byrne Rose Byrne
Evan Peters Evan Peters
Josh Helman Josh Helman
Sophie Turner Sophie Turner
Tye Sheridan Tye Sheridan
Lucas Till Lucas Till
Kodi Smit-McPhee Kodi Smit-McPhee
Ben Hardy Ben Hardy
Alexandra Shipp Alexandra Shipp
Lana Condor Lana Condor

 

“This film generated over 15’000 jobs and took hundreds of thousands of work hours” declared the film after the (inevitable) end credits sequence. And whilst I don’t deny that the Special Effects guys clearly spent more time with this film than with their families, perhaps the script guy could have spent more than ten minutes writing the !~”!~”! thing?

Where to start? The script has a million plot-holes, the ‘villain’ would have been rejected by the Power Rangers, everybody apart from Michael Fassbender is phoning it in, its soggy and padded and goes out of it’s way to avoid anything as common as a fight scene.

I didn’t care for it.

But before I go back into the sea of hatred, let me revel in the sunshine of pretty good special effects and… er…. Jennifer Laurence (whocandonowrongever). Anything else?

Back down we go.

The plot dragged with an entire section devoted to getting some of the characters kidnapped purely so you-know-who can make a quick cameo. And, speaking of the characters this film introduces at least half a dozen (I lost count/interest) and has no idea what to do with them, Storm (who has about 4 lines and 3 minutes of screen time) along with Psylocke (ditto), Nightcrawler, Cyclops, Jean Grey and even Apocalypse himself (who is never referred to by that name in the film) are just stuffed into this bulging mess with pretty much no rhyme or reason other than to sell more toys.

And THAT’s not included all the constant flashbacks and references to not just the previous 2 X:Men films but the other trilogy as well! Oh, and did you like that bit in X:Men- Days of Future Past where Quicksilver ran around the room to the sound of an 80’s pop song? Well, it’s done again here except in a bigger and therefore ‘better’ sequence!

I can pretty much guarantee that this will be the second worst superhero film out this year. Skip it and go see Civil War again.

My Score- Poor 

 

Carry On Up The Oceans 11 Remake

You ever read something and then check the date to make sure that it’s not April 1?

That’s happened to me twice today and in both times my reaction was little more than a resigned shrug because whilst in retrospect I should have expected them to happen, I guess I just figured that they were a few years down the line.

Because not only is Oceans 11 being rebooted with an all female cast, but the Carry On films are coming back.

My reactions to the Oceans 11 reboot are the same as I had for Ghostbusters. Why? How much? And, does this film really need to exist? It’s a reboot of a reboot (the Rat Pack did it first back in the sixties) And even if it does star Jennifer Lawrence (whocandonowrongever) will it copy the first one which was as cool as a Polar Bear with sunglasses or the un-watchable sequels that followed it?

Personally, I don’t care if it’s an all man/woman/turkey cast  I just want a good script, story and characters. So I’ll watch this with interest.

The other shock of the day (which sent every critic I know into sheer terror driven sobs of panic) is that the Carry On films are coming back.

For those of you unaware of this franchise (and how I envy you.) Carry On was a series of 31 low-budget ‘comedy’ pictures that lasted from 1958-1992 and can best be described as the type of humor that your uncle thinks he can get away with after a few glasses of wine.

The series peaked with Carry On Screaming in 1966 and went downhill from there. They are still shown on British TV to this day, although mostly as a warning from history.

Nowt though, the team behind second rate Friends knock off Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps are threatening to bring the series back to the big screen. Now to be fair, they have stated “We are making a new entry in the series with love and care: it isn’t a remake or an attempt to reinvent the wheel.

We’re looking to create a whole new ensemble of brilliant British comedic actors. No stunt casting. No big American stars. This will be British film at its best, as the truly remarkable heritage deserves.”

But the series humor is very much of its time with a set of stars that had their own chemistry and to be honest… this series belongs in the past. Aside from at Christmas when the nation remembers the terrible, awful things we’ve done in the name of ‘entertainment’

 

 

Does Elsa ‘Need’ A Girlfriend?

I’ve never managed to see Frozen, the one time I tried to watch it my laptop insisted that I watch a rather good 2010 survival horror film of the same name instead.

However, it must have done something right- it it the highest grossing animated film  of all time after all.

And now, inevitably it’s getting a sequel which is due to be released in 2018 and there’s a campaign to make  the lead character Elsa come out as gay and acquire a girlfriend.

Now I’m going to sidestep the potential Elsa is a strong independent woman and therefore must be a lesbian debate.’ Much as i’m going to sidestep that Frozen to make has always looked like a bit of an X-Men rip-off to me. Instead i’m going to focus on LGBT representation in Disney products.

Because there isn’t any.

Not in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Marvel is owned by Disney)

Nor in the Star Wars universe (Ditto)

Nor (as far as I am aware) in any of the millions of films Disney has released, stretching all the way back to Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs 

And that’s ridiculous.

I understand that to make Elsa (or indeed any other character) gay would cause some controversy, but we live in a world in which Zootopia was released and if Disney can released something as ‘adult’ as that, how can making a character gay hurt?

Indeed, the people that would be upset about this ‘revelation’ have already tried to make this controversial and failed completely. And I honestly feel that it wouldn’t affect ticket sales in a negative fashion. Most people have gay friends/family and the world hasn’t ended. And it would be good for children struggling with their sexuality and feeling isolated to know that they are not alone and that there are other people out there like them.

Because now that I think about it, I really can’t think of any gay characters in films or TV aged at children.

Can you?

Captain America: Civil War Review

You know Marvel- there’s being good at something and then there’s just plain showing off. But if this is your apology for Avengers: Age of CGI AND managing to break Joss Wheedon then I accept it completely. Just don’t let it happen again.

This isn’t a good film, this isn’t a great film- according to IMDB it’s the 80th greatest film of all time and I think it’s the second best blockbuster I’ve ever seen after Mad Max Fury Road. 

Which puts me in something of a quandary- I’m a critic. I’m meant to criticize but the only criticism I can level is that the characters seem to survive things that should turn them into jam  and that the locations are announced with words that take up the whole screen rather than being placed in one of the bottom corners. That’s it! Even I can’t get that petty.

Hell, Marvel even seems to have realized that they can’t create a decent villain and have gotten around that by not really bothering with one. There’s a ‘make the plot move’ guy but I wouldn’t call him a villain.

The action is intense and fast paced. The directors (who also brought us  Captain America:Winter Soldier) have kept the CGI to a minimum and brought actual physical stunts to a maximum.

The film flows logically and builds to an incredibly inventive fight scene at an airport where every characters deploys their abilities to the maximum. Oh and did I mention unlike some other films I could mention this one juggles it’s huge cast effectively and doesn’t desperately throw new characters at us in a desperate bid to keep us involved?

Its a deeper plot than the other Marvel films showing that the Freedom Versus Security isn’t going anywhere and probably never will. And that neither side is completely in the right or wrong.

Enough gushing. You and I both know where this is going.

My Score- See It Now!

 

What Happened to Batman V Superman?

Whats that?

Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Migraines is tanking at the box office despite having the seventh biggest opening of all-time in the US, (ahead of The Dark Knight Rises), the biggest opening for a superhero film (ahead of all three Avengers films) and then…. broke Fan4stics record for the worst Friday to Sunday drop in modern box office history with a 58% decline.

It’s almost as if the critics know what the’re talking about!

No-body was surprised at the opening weekends gross. A gazillion dollar film starring two of the most bankable characters in history had no right to be anything else. And no-body should have been surprised at the drop-off.

The film suffered from toxic word of mouth and reviews, most of which cited bizarre casting decisions, a sloppy script, tonal shifts, was no fun to watch and generally left audiences bewildered and numb. (Purely from personal experience, whilst everybody that I know who wanted to see the film have seen it, no-body wants to go and see it again. Compare that to The Force Awakens where people were seeing it multiple times.)

However, the film has still made a mind tormentingly huge pile of money (785.5 million dollars as of 13/4/05) but that is no-where near as much as it was expected to make. Remember, this film cost 250 million and allegedly had another 150 million spent on marketing and advertising. Meaning that, adjusted for inflation, Man Of Steel made a higher profit.

Don’t forget, that this film featured DC’s superstars. With more obscure heroes to get their own films before the mega crossover film Justice League Warner Brothers should be sweating.

And yet the wrong lessons seem to have been learnt.

Warner Brothers has cultivated a reputation for mid-budget, adult-oriented filmmaking. And it’s a strategy that’s continued to reap rewards; their recent hits have included Magic Mike ($167 million worldwide box office on a $7 million budget), Magic Mike XXL ($122 million on $14.8 million), Argo($232 million on $44.5 million), 42 ($95 million on $40 million), Her ($47 million on $23 million), American Sniper ($547 million on $58.8 million), The Intern ($194 million on $35 million), and Creed ($137 million on $35 million). Which means that the odd flop such as the frankly baffling Inherent Vice hasn’t really hurt anybody.

However, Warner Brothers has decided to opt for the high risk, high reward strategy of tent-pole or franchise launching films. And for every one that works, theres half a dozen that flop taking that risk taking studios with them, (E.g. Jack the Giant Slayer, Pan, In the Heart of the Sea, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Jupiter Ascending, Seventh Son….) an approach that is working for Marvel since that studio took its time and remembered to produce enjoyable films that people can stand to re-watch but take WB away from the adult films that it has been producing.

In time, this film will probably make a decent sized profit, and nothing will stop the mega-budget blockbusters from coming, but with the amount of money that was lavished upon this film, to say nothing of the rumors that Suicide Squad is having millions spent on re-shoots to make it funny, we have to ask, do we want nothing bu the occasional event film and micro-indie budget films or do we want some mid-budget but good films as well?

And no, a 3 hour ‘Hard R’ rated version of Batman V Superman being released to theaters isn’t going to help anybody.

Batman Vs Superman Dawn of Justice Review

Honestly.

I go away for a week and the entire internet rips itself in two over some Zac Snyder film.

And I can’t work out why.

No, fellow critics, this is not the worst thing in the history of the world

No, audience members, it is not the best thing since tummy rubs.

It’s fine. Is did nothing particularly well , but it did nothing particularly badly either. It just was.

First things first, Ben Afflecks performance is amazing as Bruce Wayne/Batman, he deserves all of the praise he’s getting as he pretty much elevates this film above the dross that it rightfully should be. Gal Gadots fine as Wonder Woman and Henry Cavill as Superman? All i’ll say is that since Superman is an overpowered lump of magnolia with muscles it makes sense to cast a lump of magnolia with muscles in the role.

Why Jesse Eisenburg chose to portray Lex Luthor as some sort of demented Doctor Who is anyone’s guess.

You can break the film into two halves, cod philosophy and numerous plot threads (foreshadowing, so much foreshadowing…) that don’t go anywhere and then at about the half-way point, Mr. Snyder suddenly snapped, yelled “bored now” and the rest of the film de-evolves into CGI creatures punching each other and my girlfriend and I got to play ‘guess what the next line of dialogue will be.’ We both lost because we both won so much.

I don’t know what else to say. It’s a Zac Syder film, you could ask him to remake Pride and Prejudice and it would be slow-motion action packed with all the color drained out of it. See one and you’ve seen them all.

It dark, grey, should have been a 15 and I have no desire to ever see it ever again.

And that goes double for the threatened 3 hour version that might be coming out soon.

My Score- If Nothing Else