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Posts Tagged ‘300’

Deadpool  —  movie review
Today I took my son James to see the new movie from Marvel Studios, “Deadpool” (2016).  This movie is rated “R” and for very good reasons: violence, nudity and language.  Of the three, the most egregious is the language, followed by the violence and then a distant third is nudity.  Obviously, it’s a comic-book movie and “kind of” a rom-com, but I would more accurately describe it as an action (violence) based dark comedy.  Most of the “comedy” is from the scripted lines spoken by the main character Wade Wilson / Deadpool – played by Green Lantern, I mean Ryan Reynolds.
This is clearly the first in a series, so of course, this is the origin story told in a series of flashbacks.  Blah, blah, “hero” does small “job”, meets girlfriend, love ensues, “hero” is diagnosed with terminal / inoperable cancer and advised to get his things in order.   Blah, blah, “bad-guy” is introduced, torture of hero follows.  Hero escapes and tries to track down the bad guy.  Hero kills a lot of people and blows stuff up.  Bad-guy gets away and kidnaps hero’s love interest.  Blah, blah, big fight, hero wins and saves girlfriend.
So, is the movie any good and what about the “R” rating?  This is a surprisingly good movie and Reynolds, I mean Green Lantern, seems to be perfect for the role.  Because so much of the humor is oral / spoken, you really have to pay attention to the movie.  How strange is that?  You’re paying attention to the movie so you can catch the jokes, not because the movie is all that interesting!   It is (interesting).  But that is not why you’re paying attention.  Either way, it works.  I enjoyed the movie a lot.
What about the big three?  Well, in (severity) reverse order, the nudity isn’t that big a deal.  I only really remember one bar scene with nude dancers.  Oh, yeah, they show Reynolds’ tush a couple of times.  Bad language, yeah, there is quite a bit of that.  Is it “really” bad?  I’ve heard worse.  Did it spoil the movie for me?  Not at all.  What about the violence?  There is quite a bit of that, too.  But, and this is the BIG qualifier, I didn’t find it to be as gratuitous as I’ve seen in some movies – actually, many movies.  I would say it’s easily on a par with “Watchmen“, the two “300” movies or “Sin City“, but not as bad as the “Kill Bill” movies.  None of this is to excuse the reasons for the “R” rating, merely to put them in context with other similar movies.
Final recommendation – strong but with the qualifications that this movie is definitely not for children just because it is a comic book hero movie.  As the “hero” says in some of the promos: “this is not that kind of hero movie.”  Not as good a movie as “Guardians of the Galaxy” for non-mainstream tier comics,  but a very good addition to the “adult” comic hero movie genre.
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On This Day In:
2015 Within The System
2014 None But…
2013 Obviously Longer
2012 A Childhood Poem
Who Are You Callin’ Leather-Faced?
2011 In No Particular Order
The Need For Proof

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Today’s review is for the Sci-Fi movie “Dredd” (2012) starring Karl Urban.  This movie is a remake of “Judge Dredd” (1995) which starred Sylvester Stallone.  Whenever you start off a movie review with “remake”, there are two immediate questions: have you seen them both, and, which one is better.  Answer one: yes.  Answer two: neither one of these is going to win anyone any Oscar.  As a Urban “fan” and as someone who is not “really” a Stallone fan (although I’ve seen a LOT more of Sly’s work than Karl’s), I’d be tempted to go with the remake.  In fact, though, they are different films about the same main character which makes comparison more problematic.
Dredd (Sly) is a lot of action with a touch of humor.  Dredd (Urban) is a lot of action with a lot of blood.  Dredd (Sly) is a lot like any other over the top comic hero shoot ’em up.  Dredd (Urban) is a visual “experience”, shot very similar to “300” or “Watchmen” with slow-mo amputations and spurting blood.  It was obviously meant to be viewed in 3-D at a theater, but I’m a 2-D person at home, so it probably lost some of its effects.  In any case, even when these visual effects are spectacular at the start of a movie, at the end of two hours you’re still yawning (ho-hum).
In this film, Dredd is assigned a new partner and he must evaluate her performance.  The pair get trapped in a meg-structure controlled by a drug-cartel / gang.  (Spoiler alert) The twist is that the cartel hires some “bad” Judges to come in and kill Dredd and his partner.  Three guesses: which judges win? who gets out of the building alive? and, does the rookie pass her evaluation?
The movie is about a dystopian future where there is very little value placed on human life.  Still, I found it mildly off-putting there was so much emphasis on the carnage and blood-letting and so little on a plot which made more sense.  Maybe it’s me.  Maybe I’m just getting old.  Yes, the F/X are better in the remake, but I can’t help feeling the first version had more story.  I’m definitely NOT saying it was a great movie – or even a better than good movie.  I just feel the first was better than the second as a story if not as a movie.  The one exceptional thing about this movie was the decision that Dredd would not take off his helmet for the entire movie.  I can’t think of many actors who can convey emotional content – for an entire movie – without the use of their eyes, but Urban carries it off.  (Like I said, I am a Karl Urban fan.)
Final recommendation: low to moderate recommendation with the qualification that although the title character is based on a “comic-book” character, this is not a child appropriate film due to language, violence and adult content.
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On This Day In:
2013 Enemy Mine
2012 Strengthen Me
2011 Service, Please
2010 The Church In Crisis…

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