This is another long one with a couple spoilers thrown in. Better read it when you have some time and after you’ve seen the film for yourself.
Not often has it been this difficult to judge whether a film is worth watching in the cinema or not. I’ve got a soft spot for most of director Zack Snyder’s output (I even like SUCKER PUNCH) but MAN OF STEEL left me cold. The things I appreciate most about Snyder are his eye for visuals – that feeling you could take any random screenshot from one of his films and it would look good enough to hang on your wall – and his knack for delivering exhilarating, beautifully shot action scenes. Both these qualities were lacking in the Superman reboot from 2013. It felt like Snyder was holding himself back on purpose and trying to be more like Christopher Nolan instead, who was a producer on the film. So instead of high-octane fun we got somber dialogue and grey dreariness. Instead of visually arresting, crystal-clear punch-ups we got ugly, blurry CGI and enough lens flares to give J.J. Abrams an involuntary orgasm. So the promise of a sequel already wasn’t getting me too excited… and then that extended trailer hit in December. It looked even worse than expected. Was this going to be a failure on the level of THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2?
Warning: this review is long, and full of spoilers.
About a year and a half ago I was browsing through the comments on a random movie website, when suddenly I found myself in the middle of a heated debate. If there was ever going to be another Punisher reboot, who should be cast as the lead? It was a question that appealed to me, as The Punisher might very well be my favorite comic book character of all time, plus I enjoyed all three movies released between 1989 and 2008. So I threw myself into the debate and made sure my suggestion was heard loud and clear. If they do another Punisher, I said, I know of only one actor who’d be the perfect choice to play him. Then I changed my mind and said no, scratch that, David Hasselhoff would be too sexy and distracting, let’s give it to Frank Grillo instead. Or Jon Bernthal, maybe? He was pretty cool in that show with the zombies. He’d probably do a decent job.
And you know what, motherfuckers? I was right!
I’ll be honest, the first season of DAREDEVIL didn’t do much for me. I liked Charlie Cox (who would’ve thought the dorky British guy from STARDUST would be so effective as an American tough guy superhero?) and I enjoyed the gritty tone of the thing. The violence was hard-hitting and made the show feel much more dangerous and edgy than the big family-friendly blockbusters we’d been used to seeing from Marvel. Occasionally they would even throw in a well done action scene, like that single take hallway fight from the second episode. It made you sit up and take notice. Holy shit, we all said to ourselves. This might turn out to be something really special.
Everyone’s favorite character from X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE finally gets his own stand-alone film. They did retcon a lot of stuff though; except for a few cute references they ignore pretty much everything that happened in the first film. Must be a blow for all the ORIGINS fans out there…
By now it’s clear that DEADPOOL, the superhero movie Ryan Reynolds has been dying to make for 11 years and which has now finally been released to the public, is a resounding success. While the marketing campaign was a joy and the online buzz seemed to be mostly positive, I don’t think anyone was expecting it to make this much money. After all, this is not the type of big, safe blockbuster that today’s audiences expect their superheroes to appear in. Instead, DEADPOOL is a weird little film, made on a fraction of the budget and proudly wearing its R rating on its sleeve. We get blood, naughty words, men getting ass-fucked with a strap-on – basically all the things you and I love to see in our entertainment, but that movie studios generally consider to be bad for box office.