Archive for the Films Category

Spoiler Free Review: Wonder Woman

Posted in Comic Books, Films, Movie Review, Uncategorized with tags , , on June 16, 2017 by boccobsblog

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Special guest blogger: Ann Johnson

The following is a spoiler free review of Wonder Woman, which is much harder to do than I had thought going into this. Where do you draw the line? Can I assume that the readers already know that Diana is an Amazon from Themyscira who, after rescuing Steve Trevor, leaves Paradise Island and becomes Wonder Woman? Oh crap…really? I mean, did you not see the trailers? Read any of the comics? Fine, that was the last spoiler. Crybaby. I am sticking to the Good, Badass, and Ugly format WITHOUT any other plot spoilers.

The Good

  • A good basic introduction to the character of Wonder Woman as she herself is introduced to the world outside of Themyscira. The exploration of her moral compass in the context of a global war adds depth to her character and gives her room to grow in the subsequent movies.
  • Strong peripheral characters such as Etta, Charlie, Sameer, and The Chief brought an otherwise simple story some much needed depth.
  • Elena Anaya brings sympathy to her portrayal of the villainous Dr. Maru.
  • The contrast between the modern Diana in the bookends and the young Diana in the story is well played and opens the door for additional stand-alone films to show her growth and progression.

The Badass

  • Can we talk about Robin Wright for a second? Her portrayal as Antiope was fully realized and dynamic. She fully illustrated a different archetype of woman, not only is she more mature but she shows physical and emotional strength, grace, and intelligence that is woefully underrepresented in cinema. Badass = Beautiful!
  • Some of the most beautifully choreographed fights EVER.
  • The lame lasso of truth became something truly useful and surprising, adding to the visual appeal of the battle scenes.
  • The cello riffs in the WW theme music are insane, edgy, and powerful.

The Ugly

  • Ridiculously predictable. Pay even the slightest bit of attention to what’s going on and the plot is laughably simplistic. I chalked this up to the framing of the story as an introduction to the newly realized Wonder Woman.
  • Just stop with the slow motion… seriously… we get it. I found the way too frequent slow mo more than a little distracting.
  • Chris Pine was weirdly flat. His intended comic moments didn’t land and I found myself not really caring much about his character.
  • David Thewlis’ moustache…. just no…

Gal Gadot put in a solid performance as Diana/Wonder Woman. Her portrayal fully embraces strength, compassion, and tenacity in a truly engaging introduction of a very dynamic character into the DC cinematic pantheon. I am not certain the movie lives up to the 92% on Rotten tomatoes. The CGI stroke fest that is the final battle fell somewhat flat along with Chris Pine’s performance as Steve Trevor. Danny Huston’s villainous Ludendorff was over the top and more weird and laughable than scary. That being said, I would totally watch it again and look forward to the Justice League movie.

(Thank you, Ann! Great review.)

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Spoiler-Free Review: Logan

Posted in Films, Gaming Culture, Movie Review, Uncategorized with tags , , on March 6, 2017 by boccobsblog

Logan

The following is a spoiler-free review of Logan. Keeping with B3 traditions here is the good, the badass, and the ugly as they apply to the third (and maybe Hugh Jackman’s last) Wolverine stand-alone film.

The Good

  • It’s dark, gritty, and bleak. This is not a cheesy comic book movie. No tights.
  • Dafne Kee puts on a solid debut performance.
  • The Deadpool intro is funny, and gives us an Easter egg that points towards another Marvel favorite in the works. No, it’s not Howard the Duck.

The Badass

  • This is the best on-screen performance of Patrick Stewart’s career. He nails the helplessness and loss of dignity that comes with old age.
  • The movie is savage. This R-rated Logan is the first time we actually see a version of Wolverine that comes close to the comics.
  • It is a good movie, not just a good superhero movie. It is well-shot, it has a great score, and the dialogue is believable.

The Ugly

  • The plot is a bit light.. Get from point A to point B. But there are some serious feels along the way, so we give them a pass.
  • The timeline is a bit confusing. Is this part of the First Class / Days of the Future Past thread, or the original X-Men trilogy? Is it something new? There is enough subtext to fill in the gaps, but it isn’t explicit.
  • The antagonist is a bit lame. He looks like the love child of a boy band reject and a T-100.

All in all, I truly think that Logan is the strongest Marvel film yet. It currently has a Rotten Tomatoes score in the low nineties, and I think that will only climb. It is easily the best superhero movie since the Dark Knight (2008).

Grab Logan on Blu-Ray

Conan the Barbarian: Thirst for Blood Trailer

Posted in Films with tags , , , , on August 4, 2011 by boccobsblog

On the Conan Film website they have posted a new trailer entitled, “Thirst for Blood”.  It is unclear if it is a teaser or a trailer (a teaser being a trailer that shows footage not actually in the film). In my humble opinion, this does not bode well for the film. It shows Conan as a ruthless, psychopathic 7-year-old killing machine.

My gripe with this scene is that the tragedy of the first film was that Conan was a peaceful, doe-eyed child that was taken away and forged into a killer.

They are going for the easy win. “Oh, he’s Conan, he kills stuff.” Conan himself reflects in the first film that he wasted his entire life in the pursuit of vengeance and death.

Let me know what you think. Watch the Trailer

(I’m trying to stay hopeful, but it’s waning)

Review of X- MEN: First Class

Posted in Films, Gaming Culture, Gaming News with tags on June 4, 2011 by boccobsblog

 

pic via IMDb

I just returned from seeing, X-Men: First Class, and I thought I’d give a review. (Some spoilers, nothing major)

The Good

I groaned when I saw Kevin Bacon as Shaw (I like Bacon, but in a comic book movie, it seemed like a weird pick) , but he did a good job.

Rose Byrne did a great job and helped to reduce the campiness.

 

The Badass

The Wolvie Scene was funny.

James McAvoy (Prof. X) and Michael Fassbender (Magneto) both did an amazing job. They carried this movie.

January Jones looks stunning. Marvel couldn’t draw a better-looking Emma Frost.

 

And the Ugly

I understand that the film is set in the sixties, but it felt like an Austin Powers sequel much of the time.  “Groovy Mutations man!”

The lil’ X-men feel completely tacked on. They barely do anything. The entire movie should have just been Prof. X and Magneto. Besides a training montage, they movie really have nothing to do with the first class.

Beast looks like a teen wolf.

The “birth of a monster” scene with 12-year old Magneto could have been really cool but flopped. It’s like someone said, “Hey remember the Frankenstein scene in Revenge of the Sith? Make something that lame.”

Diamond-form Emma Frost was super lame. (It pains me to say this, because I fear it will hurt the chances that January and I will get back together…but it is true).

Even though the helmet looked better this time around, its impossible to not look like a huge tool when you’re wearing it. (And they even nod to that that fact in the movie)

Azazel (played by Jason Flemyng) looked like he stumbled in off the Buffy Reunion set. Super mega ultra lame.

Riptide, worst henchman yet. He looks like a Tag Heuer model.

Overall- it was a pretty good movie (C+ / B-). I’m pretty hard on movies, but it was worth the ticket price.

Four Gamer Films You’ll Enjoy

Posted in Dungeons and Dragons, Films, Gaming Culture with tags , , , , on May 30, 2011 by boccobsblog

If you’re looking for something to help pass the time between gaming sessions, listed below are four films (two comedies and two documentaries) about gaming culture. I’ve seen all four and enjoyed them, so I thought I would pass them on (in case you haven’t seen them). I hope you enjoy.

Darkon (2006) [documentary]

Directed by Luke Meyer and Andrew Neel, Darkon is a documentary that follows the lives of several Live Action Role Players in Baltimore Maryland. Darkon can be watched for free at Snagfilms.com. (Link)

The Gamers (2002) [comedy]

This film, directed by Matt Vancil, follows the exploits of a humorous adventuring party as they attempt to stop their arch villain, The Shadow. The film’s hook is that it switches from the actual players, to their characers and back all throughout the movie. Gamers hits on just about every D&D joke possible, from the player that always plays a girl, to the thief that attempts to pickpocket everything, and the player that is always missing, but whose character is often forgotten about. While done on a low budget, The Gamers is worth a watch.

The Gamers 2: The Dorkness Rising (2008) [comedy]

The sequel to The Gamers does not disappoint. Here’s part of the IMDb synopsis:

All Lodge wants is for his gaming group to finish their adventure. Unfortunately, they’re more interested in seducing barmaids, mooning their enemies, and setting random villagers on fire. Desperate to rein in his players, Lodge injects two newbies into the distrust: a non-player character controlled by Lodge, who the power gamers immediately distrust, and the rarest gamer of all — a girl. Can the group overcome their bickering to save the kingdom, or will the evil necromancer Mort Kemnon triumph unopposed

The Dungeon Masters (2008) [documentary]

Directed by Kevin McAlester, The Dungeon Masters, is a documentary about the lives of three DMs.

Partial plot summary from IMDb:

An evil drow-elf is displaced by Hurricane Katrina. A sanitation worker lures friends into a Sphere of Annihilation. A failed supervillain starts a cable access show involving ninjas, puppets, and a cooking segment. These are the characters, real and imagined, of The Dungeon Masters: Against the backdrop of crumbling middle-class America, two men and one woman devote their lives to Dungeons and Dragons, the storied role-playing game, and its various descendants.