Hacksaw Ridge – Review Mar04

Hacksaw Ridge – Review...

Hacksaw Ridge has two things really going for it: It brings to light the true story of a World War II hero. It will make a pacifist out of you by really driving home the brutality of war. I’m going to go into both in detail, so consider this your SPOILER WARNING. Hacksaw Ridge is the story of Desmond Doss, an American medic who served in the Pacific during World War II. Doss was ridiculed by his fellow soldiers and commanding officers for being a conscientious objector. Doss was a Seventh Day Adventist. Their faith believes that taking another human life is the worst sin a person can make. Following that tennet, Doss refused to pick up a gun, even during target practice. But wow, Doss definitely impresses in the end. After both sides on Hacksaw Ridge are being shelled by the US Navy, the US troops retreat, abandoning many injured men on top of the ridge. Doss stays behind and rescues his brothers in arms, carrying each to the edge of the ridge and lowering them down by rope one by one, all the while evading Japanese soldiers trying to kill him. How Doss lowered down more than two soldiers this way is beyond me. My forearms started aching just watching those scenes. Doss is a true hero. He’s a pacifist, but definitely not a coward. When everyone was running away, he was running into danger. Watching his story reminded me of the brave heroes who rushed towards the Boston Marathon bombing to save people as everyone else was scattering. It’s an inspiring story. Regarding my second point, I don’t see how anyone could watch this movie and walk away thinking war is a good idea. Hacksaw Ridge presents war in all its brutality and barbarism. I...

Lion – Review Feb28

Lion – Review

Are you someone who misses getting a good cry in at the end of an episode of Parenthood each week? This is Us not getting your tear ducts working properly anymore? You need to watch Lion. If you saw Lion and didn’t have a hard time reading the credits through your welled-up eyes, then please remember to plug yourself into your USB port and recharge during the remainder of this review, you robot. This review contains spoilers. If you didn’t have Lion’s plot spoiled for you by Google’s Oscar night commercial, please stop reading and come back after you’ve seen the film. Also, Google, I’m still a bit annoyed about that commercial spoiling the movie for me. Every year before the Oscars, I have a mad dash to see as many Best Picture nominees as I can before the ceremony. This year, I only managed to see four of the eight movies nominated for Best Picture before the Oscars ceremony aired. Usually what happens each year is I’m hyper-invested in seeing these movies pre-Oscars, and unless I missed the Best Picture winner, they fade from my mind just as quickly so that I can focus on more fun fare, like say, Lego Batman. Lion is a movie that would usually fall off my radar after the Oscars. It didn’t take home any awards and was completely overlooked despite all its nominations on a night that focused mainly on La La Land vs. Moonlight. Ignoring Lion would be a mistake. It is a great movie. I found it to be genuinely enjoyable from beginning to end. I usually do not get on board with children being nominated for Oscars, but I truly believe that Sunny Pawar deserved a Best Actor or Best Supporting Actor nomination. His pre-Tasmania scenes were not in English and not subtitled, and I had no issue understanding what...

Justice League: Dark – Review Feb27

Justice League: Dark – Review...

Are you a fanboy or fangirl who misses NBC’s short lived series about DC’s magical bad boy John Constantine? Then you need to get your hands on the recently released Justice League: Dark, DC’s latest offering from their animated film division. Constantine lead Matt Ryan returns to voice the character, who is the focal point of a new group of magic-based heroes brought together by Batman to deal with a problem out of the Justice League’s wheelhouse. Ryan brings all the charm that he brought to the live action series to this voiceover work. He is definitely the standout in this movie and I am hoping this is not the last time we find him voicing Constantine. The movie borrows from the early issues of the New 52 comics series Justice League: Dark. The team includes fan favorites like Zatanna, Deadman and Etrigan the Demon, and more obscure heroes like Black Orchid too. The screenplay was written by legendary Justice League writer J.M. DeMatteis, and directed by DC Animation all-star Jay Oliva. Right there, you know DeMatteis is bringing both great humor and great drama to the script and Oliva is bringing the insanely well choreographed fight scenes that he’s known for. Neither gentleman disappointed. It’s interesting watching this movie with its more mystical fight scenes. I feel like this is out of Jay Oliva’s usual domain, which usually leans heavily on martial arts. Producer James Tucker continues to prove why he was Bruce Timm’s rightful heir to the DC Animation throne. The worldbuilding that started in Justice League: War continues here, with a huge leap in characters this time. Most Justice League movies give us one or two new characters, but this movie gives us a whole squad (and brings in John Stewart briefly too!). Characters like Zatanna...

Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders – Review Jan08

Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders – Review...

Almost as if in answer to the darkness of Batman: The Killing Joke, on the heels of that movie comes the much more lighthearted Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders. Have you missed Adam West as Batman, Julie Newmar as Catwoman and Burt Ward as Robin? Then Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders is the movie for you! I was hesitant about Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders when I first heard of it. Often when someone tries to recapture the magic of something that worked in a bygone era, it doesn’t translate well. There’s a fine balance between kitsch and schlock. But I really should not have been worried. At the helm of this movie is DC Animation head James Tucker, who has been producing quality animated movies ever since he took over the group from Bruce Timm and produced the excellent Justice League: War. Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders captures all of the camp and magic that made the 1966 Batman TV series work so well. Tucker, who cowrote the screenplay, definitely captures the voices of Batman, Robin and their rogues very, very well. Thankfully, Adam West, Burt Ward and Julie Newmar are all still around to add some extra magic to the movie. All three actors came on board to play Batman, Robin and Catwoman respectively. What really helps Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders work is that the movie pokes fun at itself too. Aunt Harriet’s musings about Bruce and Dick’s relationships seem like they could have been taken directly from an Ambiguously Gay Duo sketch from SNL. It’s interesting to think of the original Batman TV series inspiring that series of sketches, whose jokes seem to have inspired some of the bits in this movie. <blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-captioned...

NYCC’16: Sitting Down With Matt Ryan and the Team Behind Justice League: Dark Jan07

NYCC’16: Sitting Down With Matt Ryan and the Team Behind Justice League: Dark...

This January, DC Animation is spotlighting the occult heroes of the DC universe in Justice League: Dark. Like the team in the comics, this team deals with cases in the magical realm, cases that the main Justice League team isn’t adept at handling. Executive Producer James Tucker, Director Jay Oliva, Batman voice actor Jason O’Mara, Constantine voice actor Matt Ryan and character designer Phil Bourassa held a panel on Saturday on NYCC’s Main Stage and also sat down with The Beat beforehand to talk about the upcoming animated movie. If there is anything about Justice League: Dark that people are talking about, it’s that Constantine TV series star Matt Ryan was cast to play Constantine in Justice League: Dark. When asked if it was difficult to play Constantine as a voice actor as opposed to live action, Matt Ryan replied, “Ultimately the DNA of the character is the same. I love the character so much. There is so much more to explore with him. With a character like that, I just feel lucky that I had the opportunity to play him. I thought about taking a trenchcoat with me to wear in the booth. I feel blessed to play him again.” If Matt Ryan could play any other DC character? “Wonder Woman.” That’s right. Wonder Woman. You heard it here first. Director Jay Oliva felt very lucky to get Matt Ryan cast as Constantine. He elaborated, “I never know what I’m going to be working on until they drop a script on my desk. They said you’re going to do Dark, and I asked if Swamp Thing was in it, and they said yes, and I asked is Constantine in it, and they said yes, and I asked if I could get Matt Ryan, and...

All Hail Megatron Sep13

All Hail Megatron

This happened earlier today. INT. ELEVATOR – DAY BILLY and VIOLET are riding the elevator with a MOM and her 8-year old SON. The son notices Billy’s shirt. SON MOM! That man is wearing a DECEPTICON shirt! MOM Don’t yell, dear. You’re going to scare the baby. Violet is unfazed, as usual. SON But Mom, the Decepticons are the bad guys! (To Billy) Do you know you’re wearing a Decepticon shirt?! BILLY Yes. SON Did Megatron trick you into wearing that? BILLY No. SON But the Decepticons are the bad guys! BILLY I work for Megatron. SON He’s going to kill you. The Decepticons are the bad guys! You should switch to the Autobots! The elevator door opens. Billy and Violet get off. BILLY The Decepticons are heroes. Optimus Prime and his Autobots are the real bad guys. SON No! MOM I think you just blew his mind. BILLY All hail Megatron. The elevator door closes. Did this make you laugh? If so, please support Tuesday Night movies by shopping at through our Amazon link. You can even buy your own Decepticon shirt...

Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice – Review Sep13

Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice – Review...

Going into Superman vs. Batman: Dawn of Justice, I had no time for the haters. I wrote off the detractors as people either still upset about Man of Steel or who haven’t seen anything Ben Affleck has been in since Daredevil. As an unapologetic Ben Affleck fan, I was psyched for Batfleck! You can keep your 15 year-old “You were da bomb in Phantoms!” joke. I love Ben Affleck. I love Batman. Get me to this movie. I still remember seeing the trailer for Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice and being legitimately excited. The commercial made the movie look awesome. But I guess if you show only the 30 most exciting seconds of a movie, you can make the most boring movie look awesome. And that’s just what they did. Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice commits the most heinous crime that an action movie can commit: It is boring. I’m talking seriously boring. Fall asleep on your couch watching it boring. When I was watching the movie, I turned to a friend and said, “I feel like we’re just watching wheels spin.” He turned back to me and said, “That would mean the wheels were moving.” So much of the movie is expository, and it’s not even interesting exposition. The most disappointing thing is how much potential the movie had to be good. At its core, Batman Vs. Superman can be described as Batman doesn’t think too highly of Superman after the climatic battle in Man of Steel. Lex Luthor uses this to get Superman and Batman to fight each other. But Wonder Woman gets the heroes to unite, because they need to stop a bigger threat down the road in the name of Darkseid. I would pay to see this movie. This is the...

Tuesday Night Comics Podcast 120 – Wytches vs Outcast Apr29

Tuesday Night Comics Podcast 120 – Wytches vs Outcast...

A little late this week, but here it is, the 120th episode of the Tuesday Night Comics podcast! Did you not make it to comic book store yet this week? Good, because we have our picks for the best books that came out on Wednesday, 4/27/16. Do you read Scott Snyder and Jock’s Wytches from Image Comics? If so, you’ll want to listen to this episode. Billy and Dave both read Wytches Volume 1 this week and discuss it in depth in the Tuesday Night Book Club. How does it compare to our other favorite horror comic, Outcast? Listen and find out! Happy Tuesday/Friday! http://ia801502.us.archive.org/14/items/TuesdayNightComics120/Tuesday%20Night%20Comics%20120.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: iTunes | Android |...

Lego Justice League: Cosmic Clash – Review Mar25

Lego Justice League: Cosmic Clash – Review...

While everyone is working themselves up into a frenzy over how bad a movie Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice may be, a VERY entertaining movie starring Batman and Superman was quietly released on DVD and Blu Ray recently, Lego Justice League: Cosmic Clash. The Superman and Batman rivalry plays a big part in Cosmic Clash. Sure, maybe not so much that they’d name the movie after their rivalry, but it’s mentioned often and clearly drives Batman’s relationship with Superman and the rest of the Justice League. I have to hand it to screenwriter James Krieg, the guy knows his DC superheroes. This shouldn’t be a surprise, as he penned the screenplays for Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox and the previous Lego Justice League movie, Attack of the Legion of Doom. He also wrote episodes of Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Green Lantern: The Animated Series and Beware the Batman. There are a lot of Easter eggs and in-jokes sprinkled throughout this movie that were a nice wink and nod to longtime DC comics fans. My favorite was the incorporation of Batman’s outfits from Grant Morrison’s time-travel epic, Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne. Can we please get a Lego minifig of Caveman Batman?! The movie does come with an exclusive Lego minifig of Cosmic Boy. Spoiler alert: The Legion of Superheroes are in this time-spanning adventure. The Cosmic Boy minifig is done right, even including Lego pieces representing his magnetic powers. While it was cool to get a Cosmic Boy minifig, I really wish that the minifig was one of Batman’s time-traveling guises. Again, can we please have a Caveman Batman minifig?! Lex Luthor and the Legion of Doom don’t make it into this movie. The bad guys are Brainiac and to a lesser extent,...

Attack on Titan: Part One – Review Nov11

Attack on Titan: Part One – Review...

Attack on Titan is a mega-successful hit anime and manga which I have never watched or read. So when a friend asked who wanted to see the live action adaptation of the property, of course I said yes.   A group of about eight of us went to see Attack on Titan: Part One in the theater. Out of everyone, I was the one least familiar with the series. I have intended to dive into Attack on Titan for some time now, but just kept finding other books to read, movies to watch, and TV series to get lost in. Before the movie started, there was already a palpable feeling of dread in the audience, and with good reason. Early reviews had not been kind, and beloved characters had been dropped from the live action version. The names of these characters were meaningless to me. The most I had read and watched of Attack on Titan before this was flipping through a few pages of this year’s Free Comic Book Day offering and watching @ilikecomictoo’s video of the Attack on Titan-themed Escape the Room event that took place at the Staten Island Yankees game over the summer. But imagine if the Harry Potter movies had dropped Dumbledore. From talking to people at the theater, it was this big a change. In a way, I was lucky to not be familiar with the characters or story. Any changes, big or small, would be lost on me. That said, as I was watching the movie, I couldn’t tell if some of the not great bits were or weren’t just created for the movie. Judging the movie strictly on its own merits as a standalone film, it’s not very good…and that’s being generous. If I was giving it a letter...