On Tuesday I reviewed Shazam! a DC film starring Mark Strong. So, what film could I possibly watch for this Throwback Thursday post? How about a DC film starring Mark Strong? Especially as it’s considered to be one of the worst superhero movies of all time. It even has a lower rating than X-Men Origins. Of course, they both star Ryan Reynolds. Until Deadpool was finally released, it seemed as though that guy just wasn’t going to make the superhero thing work. On the plus side, it isn’t the worst the film in DC history. Catwoman and Jonah Hex will forever beat anything and then there’s Joel Schumacher’s reign of terror. But, certainly, Green Lantern has to be one of the biggest missteps in comic book movie history. It’s just become an easy joke. Something that Ryan Reynolds is more than happy to join in with as evidenced by that line in Deadpool. I guess something good finally did come out of this film.
As I said in my review of Tim Burton’s Dumbo on Tuesday, I mentioned that it’s been a while since I last watched the animated version. It was definitely when I was a child because I didn’t feel weird about the crows. Something I didn’t bring up in my review. Not because I don’t think it’s problematic: I do. But because I didn’t see what more I could say on the issue that hasn’t already been said. Yes, there is a Jim Crow reference in the middle of the film. Yes, it’s clearly bad. But it happened over 40 years before I was born. Of course, it’s going to make me uncomfortable. We should just be grateful that there was no attempt to make that scene fit into the live action remake. There was already a lot about Tim Burton’s film that stressed me out without coming face-to-face with his interpretation of Disney’s racist past.
As you already know, I’ve been trying to get ahead with posts. Tonight I went out for dinner for a friend’s birthday. Tomorrow night I’m going to see Adore Delano after work. I came home already to get an early-ish night feeling quite smug when I remembered. I needed to write this TBT post. I’m already a book review behind so it’s not as if I can even push it back until Friday. I’m devastated. I’ve not slept well the last few nights because I was so obsessed with finishing Daisy Jones & The Six. Sleep didn’t matter when I was so deep in that story. So, the idea of another night being up later than I meant to just fills me with sadness. Thankfully, I no longer work weekends or bank holidays. This means, for the first time in years, I have a four day Easter weekend. What am I doing? Is sleeping an adequate answer? I should probably do stuff so I don’t waste it but my bed and books are calling… but I guess they’re always calling. Just like now so I’d better not put this off any longer.
I’ve been listening to a lot of Podcasts at work lately but I don’t like to listen to the grown-up ones. I tend to listen on my way to and from work and during the quieter times in the office. So, they need to be light and not distract me from what I’m doing. Obviously, film podcasts are up there for my listening pleasure and I’ve just started getting into a new one. I plan on talking about that in-depth later this week but, for now, a recent episode has inspired me for this TBT post. In one episode, Nish Kumar (British comedian interested in politics and social commentary. Also, one of my weird comedy crushes but enough of that) was talking about how he can’t watch Woody Allen movies any more. And I get it. I’ve read Dylan Farrow’s letter and I get it. The allegations prove that Allen is not a nice man but how far do we tie up a person with their art? Do the awful things he’s done suddenly mean that Annie Hall isn’t a good film? It’s a question I’ve continually asked myself and I have no answer. But it came to my mind when I decided to finally watch Carnage this week. I’d forgotten who directed it so when the name Roman Polanski came up on the screen I paused the film. Ultimately, I decided that watching the film wasn’t me letting him off. But I still felt weird about it. But this isn’t the place to get into this.
I vividly remember writing my first review of The Lego Movie back in 2015. It was because I was writing it with a pen and paper. I was on a train going to and from a course at work but, because they’re always held in the middle of nowhere, it meant a 3-hour round trip. So, I decided to try to get my thoughts in order after recently re-watching this film. It was a second watch because I, stupidly, hadn’t been mad keen the first time. I enjoyed it but everyone was raving about it. So I figured I might be missing something. And I’ve never been more happy that I did. I bloody loved it second time round. It was fun and the twist was brilliant. The animation was, obviously, stunning and the voice performances were perfect. I became a firm fan of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller and the pair have only continued to do wonderful wonderful work. I’m sorry I ever doubted them.
I sometimes forget that Robert Rodriguez directed the Spy Kids series. I mean the guy directed Sin City and the Mexico Trilogy so I tend to overlook the fact that his first major Hollywood film was a children’s film about kids who become spies. Although, it’s probably because I never saw it. It came out when I was 13 so I definitely thought I was too cool to see it. I definitely wasn’t too cool to see it but that I was even more of an idiot then than I am now. After finally posting my review of Alita this week (I watched it at the start of the month), I was in need of a TBT post and it seemed like the ideal time to finally watch a film I’ve ignored for so long. How bad could it be?
I feel like I’ve lost a year somewhere along the way. After reviewing If Beale Street Could Talk last week I decided it was a good excuse to revisit Moonlight. In my head it was only last year that Barry Jenkins and his team went through the trauma of hearing the wrong film named Best Picture. Turns out 2018 happened at some point and that momentous occasion was 2 years ago. It’s weird because I loved so many films from last year that I don’t know why I can’t remember them. I guess it’s probably just old age and an awful reminder that I’m no longer the 16-year-old I continue to believe that I am. Really, I need to stop watching films like Moonlight and Boyhood because it is impossible not to feel all introspective. And we know that that’s a dodgy road to walk down. So, let’s get onto the reason we’re here. I never review Moonlight on this blog when it came out so it seems as though the time was right to rectify that.
One of the arguments about Captain Marvel that I’ve seen recently is that it doesn’t try to introduce the new superhero so much as it tries to tie up any loose ends in the MCU. That it is more about Fury’s origin than it is Carol’s. And I kind of get that because, yes, this film goes back to a time before anything else. It shows us a time before S.H.I.E.L.D. knew anything about superheroes or other worlds. It inevitably acts as an intro to the MCU. But, at the same time, those arguments also really do a disservice to the film itself. I like the idea that her presence on Earth kick-started the Avengers programme. I like that it was her who introduced Nick to the wider world. It makes that pager scene in Infinity War all the more tragic. He finally has an emergency that requires her help but he is disintegrated before they can reunite. Imagine how Carol’s going to feel when she finds out she didn’t get here in time to save him? Horrible! But let’s not think about the future because watching Captain Marvel last weekend has put me in a reflective mood. The final moments of the film when Fury realises he needs to put something in place to protect the Earth the defining moment in the MCU. It’s the reason we’re all here. It’s the reason that, in 2008, Phil Coulson turned up on Tony Stark’s doorstop asking questions. So, why not go back to the start this week? See where it all began.
The other day I saw a post on Instagram that made me feel super old. And, considering I turned 31 on Tuesday, that’s saying something. Turns out that Cruel Intentions turns 20 years old this week. I don’t remember how old I was but I do recall first watching this film at a sleepover. And I’m pretty certain I wasn’t a teenager yet but, with my memory for this kind of thing, I’ve no way of knowing for sure. What I do remember is that my twin sister became kind of obsessed with the band Counting Crows afterwards. For years she would play the piano part for the song ‘Colorblind’ on repeat. Our piano lives in the room directly underneath my childhood bedroom so, it’s safe to say, that I quickly became sick of that song. But. obviously, it always reminded me of this film. Cruel Intentions is one of those films you probably first watched at a young and impressionable age. As such, it has the effect of seeming really sexy and dark. The Sarah Michelle Gellar/Selma Blair kiss was much talked about at the time for being either controversial or groundbreaking. At whatever age I first watched it, I can say that it felt like a very grown-up film. So, would rewatching it 20 years after its release change things? I already know younger me was massively embarrassing so I’m expecting this to go badly.
Whenever anyone asked me what I thought of Vice in the last few weeks my go to answer would always be “it wasn’t as good as The Big Short“. It’s something I said because I truly thought it was my opinion. But when I looked back at my review of Adam McKay’s previous Oscar nominated film, I discovered that I’d been more scathing of it than my memory lead me to believe. I guess I do remember feeling a bit weird at the end of it because the people who gained from so much misery were being portrayed as heroic. Still, I decided it was important to rewatch The Big Short to really answer the question “is it better than Vice?” Or have I just been lying to everyone for ages? I don’t know why I’m pretending there’s any suspense here because you can see from my above rating that, yes, I preferred this film to Vice. But, why?