In 1990 Marvel’s What The –?! parodied a fight between the Justice League and the Avengers. It was silly, and I quite enjoyed it. In a world where we have not one by two very different, but also very similar, Justice League movies, I figured we could combine them, and we would have Just A League. Not as good as it could be, but also not a total train wreck.
I just sat and watched the Zack Snyder’s Justice League. It is a lot of movie. Four hours of movie. In the older 4:3 aspect ratio, which actually works unless you really need something to complain about. Watching this is a weird experience, especially having seen the theatrical release. It is much the same, but also fairly different. Because of those, spoilers ahead, mostly for the Snyder cut, but I suppose for the movie as a whole too.
As my friend Matt posted, Wonder Woman 1984 was definitely a movie. No question about that.
There is, however, a real question about how good it was. And that is a truly self-contradictory answer. So, to reexplain, I recently decided to rate movies based on one main criteria…did I like it when I watched it. And that works for most movies. Not all, though. When a movie exists in a series, I also look at how it fits into that series. So a movie with issues can be good until those issues bump into established internal series continuity. Captain Marvel approaches that problem, but manages to not bump to much into the internal chronology (well, except that Fury & SHIELD knew for a fact aliens existed before Thor/Avengers).
Wonder Woman runs face first into the established continuity, flounders around, and dances off stage. I know that sentence is tortured, it’s the best I could think of.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is the finale of the Skywalker Saga, and I have to say, it was in a lot of ways the most Star Wars of the 9 movies. There is a lot of Star Wars in this…like more than you might expect. And that is a good thing.
A quick warning. For those who linked in from Facebook, there are spoilers ahead. I will attempt to place them at least one screen down, and will add a note when they appear, but you’ve been warned.
So, first things first – I liked this a lot. It worked incredibly well as a closing chapter, and while it does leave a lot open for the future – including direct sequels – so did Return of the Jedi, and literally every concluding chapter of every series ever. So that can’t really be a complaint. It wraps up the current story nicely, deals with the death of Carrie Fisher nicely. And, in short, hits all the marks in needed to, and did so without being overly anything. Which is nice.
We begin with a flurry of ‘things happening’ scenes, crossing from heroes to villains, and no real explanation beyond what you see on the screen. Which is very much in the Star Wars model. We move on to the plot, which, as is the norm, has new places, old places, new toys characters, old characters, and lots to see. There is a lot of well done fan service. And then a satisfying ending, which is good to have, again, after the recent backlash.
There are issues to address, of course, as well as some things I realized about this particular trilogy, and Star Wars as a whole, just before I saw the new movie.
Star Wars is most like 40’s movie shorts. It draws inspiration from those, and is designed to mimic them. Keeping that in mind is crucial to understanding Star Wars in general.
I wrote, some years back, that the lack of character development in Pacific Rim was acceptable, as the characters were all archetypes. From Eager Rookie to Shouty Leader, not one character in the movie was much more than a stock archetype – many from Japanese media.
Rim of the World doesn’t have that problem. It has character development. Much to it’s detriment. The characters evolve from one barely tolerable stereotype to another barely tolerable stereotype. Seriously. That may be the worst flaw of this disaster, but it is far from the only one. This is a movie with so much promise, and so little quality that it causes a serious cognitive dissonance.
There are good bits in there, but they are swamped by the cliches.
I want to give some love to the trailer for the upcoming Addams Family movie. It’s animated, and while exaggerated, the characters are really quite close to the original Charles Addams art. It’s neat to see that. The weirdness is on full display as well, which is to be expected.
The cast is impressive too:
Oscar Isaac as Gomez Addams, Morticia’s husband.
Charlize Theron as Morticia Addams, Gomez’s wife.
Chloë Grace Moretz as Wednesday Addams, Gomez and Morticia’s daughter.
Finn Wolfhard as Pugsley Addams, Gomez and Morticia’s son.
Nick Kroll as Uncle Fester, Gomez’s brother.
Bette Midler as Grandmama, Wednesday and Pugsley’s grandmother who is an expert witch.
Allison Janney as Margaux Needler, a greedy reality TV host.
Elsie Fisher as Parker Needler, Margaux’s daughter.
And suddenly everyone on my Facebook is sharing the SW9 trailer.
I’m mostly impressed. The flip with the TIE fighter looks amazing, and we all know what a stickler JJ is for practical effects! Many Bothans died to bring you that stunt.
Not gonna lie, seeing Billy Dee Williams back as Lando was nice. Looks like a lot is happening in this one, and there is going to need to be even more if we want to pretend this is actually a wrap on the series.
Yes, I know Star Wars is a kids movie second and a merchandise machine first, but even so, I was not happy to see another ‘cute’ droid – we can leave that well alone, you know.
And finally…the cackle of Ian McDiarmid to close it out? Perfect.