Movie Review

REVIEW: Dark Tower (7/10 stars)

Before I start I will note I have not read the books (will change that when I get a chance).

The first and most important thing that The Dark Tower did was to built a large and complex world(s) without being an info dump or sacrificing everything else to do it. When needed it even let you just absorb the scenery. It reminded me of Guardians of the Galaxy Volume One in this respect.

The plot was not huge and complicated. While all the necessary bits were there many of the why’s were not explained. Honestly I am okay with that, if I can think of several reasons for an action and which one is true does not matter then I don’t really need details. The movie does that several times for several things. I like the idea that the movie respects me enough not to feel the need to spell everything out.

The action was good, I really liked the way they showed Roland’s gunslinging, he could do ridicules bullet bouncing and such but nothing too out there. He did nothing that could not in theory be done if you were good enough and had enough information (unlike say curving a bullet).
They also showed the man in black’s magic well, it was consistent and logical the way he used it. He was far from all powerful but he was smart and knew his limits.
The final fight was made much better because of this, it would have lost all its punch otherwise.

I will say that main character wise the movie does look to be of two minds, it seams to flip between Jake (the kid) and Roland. This does not hurt the movie as much as you would think but it does make me wish the movies was a bit longer to allow for more development.
As far as characters go one thing I did not realize until after I left the theater was that Roland treated Jake as an adult. There was no cliché having to prove himself an adult phase.

I really did like the movie, even if I think the characters could have been developed more. Its worth seeing just for the interesting and vast world it shows, let alone everything else.

On IMBD
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REVIEW: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (6/10 stars)

First the effects are amazing, both from the technical point of view and the artistic. You really do get the sense of a whole world that is only somewhat like ours.

The best analogy I can think of is Jupiter Rising, except it was done much better.

The basic plot does meander, several times the main characters veer to an area that had no effect on the main plot and does not tell you anything you have to know. This is done because the movie obviously values world building as much as it does plot. Despite this it does not and probably could not explain everything, or even most things.

For example it is never explained how Valerian could be a major with at least nine years of experience. It is implied at one point that they can put you in a box and de-age you but it is never said. The way the main characters are treated also implies this, their age is never remarked upon, they appear to be normal agents from how others interact with them. It could be that age is cosmetic, you are literally as young as you want to be.

The world that the movie builds is very large and complicated with a large amount of technology that is so far above us it might as well be magic. Trying to tell us what they all are and what they all do would not be practical.

Honestly the main problem I have with the movie is with the chemistry between the main characters, or the lack of it. It was established that Valerian does value his partner and would risk anything to save her just because she is his partner. At best it comes as more of a intellectual attraction then anything else.

When all is said and done however I just don’t think the whole romance sub plot was needed. The purpose of romance in such a movie is normally as a driver for the plot, to provide a reason for the characters to be moving in the directions they are moving. In this case it was not needed.

I would recommend that you see the movie if the art and world building look interesting. If you looking for a character piece or a logic puzzle then I would probably wait for it to come to Netflix.

On IMBD

REVIEW: SPIDERMAN HOMECOMING (8/10 STARS)

I liked the first two Spiderman movies (although I don’t think they aged very well) I did not like the latter three (although not all for the same reasons).

I do like Spiderman as a hero. His powerset is in that sweet spot between “Not as good as seal team 6” and “Can’t be threatened”. It also lends itself to taking people captive rather then killing them, the writers don’t have to come up with convoluted reasons why he does not kill.

Very minor spoilers ahead

That background out of the way I really did like Spiderman: Homecoming, much more then any of the other Spiderman movies.

It does not waste time with much of an origin story, nor should it. I certainly do not need to see yet another Spiderman origin story movie.

They also had Peter act and look like a real teenager. He made some big mistakes, as you would expect. But he did mean well, and he did learn to be better.

As you can’t fail to know by this point Iron Man is in the movie. Beyond the sheer joy of seeing Tony Stark chew the scenery, we also get to see him be the responsible adult. But most importantly he was in the movie what I would consider an appropriate amount. He did not steal the thunder from Spiderman. All the really important fight scenes he was absent for good plot reasons.

In a lot of ways it’s more like the Netflix marvel series then the MCU movies. The bad guy was not acting like a comic book bad guy who was trying to get revenge or take over the world. He was just a black market dealer trying to support his family (not saying he was a good guy, he was still a murderer). He was very careful and I could believe that he could go eight years without being caught.

While good there were still two things that I think held the movie back:

The first is that he had no spider sense. His super agility plus spider sense are what really sells Spiderman to me as a hero who can play in the big leagues. Without it I find it harder to believe that he can dodge bullets and such.

The second are the teen antics, I came to the theater to watch Spiderman, not a teen rom com. While to both Peter’s and the writer’s credit Peter does not take look to take school seriously when compared to this outings as Spiderman it still drags the movie down slightly.

on IMBD

Review: Wonder Women (6/10 stars)

First of all, Wonder Women was a fun movie, something that I was very glad to see DC do. The plot is fast moving and engaging. They do a good job of developing the secondary characters that Steve (the main character) brings, given the runtime.
Some of the problems come from the source material, those you can’t really blame on the movie because their hands were tied.
There were two problems however that were not inherited. Firstly even when they have hours or days no one really explains what WW1 is about to Dianna, she never really understands that its more complicated then two groups of angry people fighting in the middle of a field. She is just dragged around by those who do really understand what is going on and then reacts to that. She never really takes charge or attempts to understand what is going on.
Secondly you only really see the villain so late in the movie that much of the drama is missing. Far from all, but you do lose much of the satisfaction that you had in movies such as Avengers, where you saw the villain straight away.

Problems with Wonder Women Franchise (also spoilers ahead)
These are problems that are from the comic book source. I thought it best to separate them because you can’t blame the movie for making them. Also they bug me more more then most people so take them as you will.
-Dianna is so powerful that normal humans serve no purpose in a fight with her as allies, they can only get in the way. The best way to win a battle would be the send her in alone and let her do her thing. At most, normal people would act as spotters.
After all, would you follow after her? Even brave men would need a reason to risk their lives. When you can’t help her, but may slow her down why would you even try?
-The amazons call themselves warriors, but all they really do is practice with antique weapons. They have not fought anything more then a duel since the dawn of mankind. For them to call themselves warriors is like an 80 year old man calling himself a football player because he once played a pickup game at age 10.
At a minimum, they would need to keep up with with modern weapons and strategies. Not to mention that you normally need more then a few dozen people to win a war.
-Speaking of winning the war, the only reason amazons exist is to fight the enemy that Dianna left to fight. I just don’t get it, why not go with her?
-If your purpose of existence is to fight an enemy who is known to be a puppet master, how can you expect to fight when you seclude yourself on an island that he can’t find? What was their plan?
It looked a whole lot like their plan was just to wait forever and hide, knowing that even if the battle they were training for comes they would not know it, and if they knew about it would lack the numbers and the weapons to fight it.
They come off as cowards who fear nothing more then fighting the battle they are training to fight. They fear it so much they do everything they can to not know its coming.

on IMBD