DC Universe and Me

Wow, it has been a loooooooooooong time since I posted on here. Makes you curious how many online blogs/websites are left to fetter, I’m sure I have at least four other pages I have abandoned over the years and simply can’t remember how to login to them/remove them….

Anyway – hey, I’m back.

And NO I have not seen Star Wars yet and if I see a spoiler I will cry. Like awful blubbery tears with snot raging.

So instead I am going to post about DC movies/TV, which have surprised me in 2017 by me *actually* liking them.

To take you through my potted history with DC, I have never really been a fan of the serious/darker version of a comic book. I like my superheroes with humour thank you very much, and yes it can have it’s serious side but please, no rape or murder.

When I saw Man of Steel I thoroughly enjoyed it, story seemed good, the action was brilliant, and I thought “yay, I don’t have to take sides anymore!”. Then Batman Vs Superman came out and a colleague told me not to see it. And he was the biggest DC/Batman fan around. Like he lent me the cartoon films and we would discuss Arrow/The Flash rather than work. As the reviews weren’t great, and I wasn’t overly bothered with spending £10 to see it I didn’t bother. So I have still, yet to watch it.

In hindsight would have been good to have watched it before Suicide Squad – which was the *biggest* let down of my movie going life so far. I mean maybe SS wouldn’t have seemed so bad if I had? I at least would have known Superman was dead. DC was losing grace in my eyes, and because of that I really couldn’t be arsed to go see Wonder Woman – despite the amazing reviews and a friend telling me it was her favourite superhero movie ever.

So I waited, and then I realised I needed to watch it before I went to see Justice League.

(I wouldn’t ordinarily have bothered but Jason Mamoa is hot and a friend wanted to see it)

I think had I seen Wonder Woman in the cinema my opinion would have been raised, but I found it OK. 3 Stars. Worth a watch. Gal Gadot was fabulous, but it was a woman surrounded by men who needs the man to ignite her god-destroying ability. And come on, who in their right mind can believe David Thewlis as Ares? F*** off.

(I did a Classics degree, Ares should have been a dumb schmuck who just likes hitting things)

My expectations of Justice League were suitably low, I had a couple of cocktails beforehand and we went to see it in the IMAX.

I really *really* enjoyed this movie. DC you had redeemed yourself in the movie world! It was funny, good action, decent enough plot (although an awful lot of Marvel and DC storylines are markedly similar) – I think without The Flash it would have suffered from being too serious and boring but they used him well.

Speaking of The Flash, I know I said I used to discuss it and Arrow with my colleague, but I gave up on them all. Supergirl was OK for a bit, Arrow I blooming loved, and I was a fan of The Flash – but I think I got comic book adaptation fatigue. I’ve even not seen a couple of Marvel movies because it’s just too much, too many characters and storylines.

That being said, the surprise love of my TV life last year was Gotham. I was using it as a ‘something to knit by’ TV show (oh yeah, I’m a 30 year old knitter, deal with my coolness). I wasn’t keen when I first started and gave up after 2 episodes. Then Netflix got the show and it kept recommending it to me cos I watch all the Daredevil etc (Love DD, JJ, LC – tolerate IF and TP). So I gave in, I carried on where I left off, and then Fish Mooney (who I despised at first) ripped out her own eye (yes that took a while to happen) and it was like DAMN! This is why darker material is a GOOD THING in comic books!

Also, I came to accept the theatricality of it all – super grumpy James Gordon, overblown acting from all involved. The Penguin who used to haunt my nightmares as a child has now come to be one of my favourite villains, purely based on the performance of Robin Lord Taylor.

With Gotham and Justice League, I’m liking DC. Lego Batman is by far the best thing affiliated with it but that is based on the pure joy that is Lego.

I have to say though, no matter how much I dig the new movies or Gotham, it ain’t never gonna be Thor.

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Star Trek Beyond ☆☆☆☆

Story: The gang are back, three years after Into Darkness, sans Alice Eve but with a little more experience under their belts and a weariness of being in deep space. This fatigue of exploring leads them to Yorktown, a space station, where respite leads them to their next adventure – a supposed rescue mission which turns out to be a plot to find a destructive weapon to destroy the Federation.

Cast: The regulars are back with weary gusto, this time Simon Pegg writing the script as well as starring, but doesn’t give himself as big a part as he probably could have. Instead he and fellow writer Doug Jung do justice to all characters, create a new and scary villain, introduce a rather fabulous female alien who helps them, and creates Spock and Bones – buddy team extraordinaire.

Director: Justin Lin tackles the heady world of deep space as though he’s done it a thousand times before, pacing Pegg and Jung’s script with some rather exciting action scenes and beautiful scenery from green screen.

Verdict: Thoroughly enjoyable sci-fi romp that was made with love, opened up the Star Trek universe to wider themes of LGBT without screaming about it, whilst having some rather spectacular fight scenes and action. My only peeve is part of the ending, felt a little bit flat with the final battle.

Though I have loved every one of these remakes, I hope they don’t make anymore Star Trek movies. Without Anton, its just not right.

RIP Mr Yelchin, you will be sorely missed.

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Suicide Squad ☆☆½

Honestly, I tried to like this film, I tried to love it. I watched it and looked for ANY positives I could, which is why it gets 2 and a half stars when really, it could have gotten nothing from me.

The premise of the film is so exciting – a group of baddies rounded up to fight even bigger bad guys. The original comics are dark, psychotic, funny and black. I have read very few of them, being more a Marvel girl if I ever have the inclination to read a comic, but the ones I read were so much better than this film.

OK so lets do a positivity sandwich on this thing.


I cannot fault the acting. Actually can’t. Everyone was very good at acting, no particular hammy aspects, just coped with the script they were given and fleshed out the roles as best they could.

The soundtrack was excellent. Loved the songs, bounced my feet along and they seemed to work in the scenes they were given, ONCE the scene got going….

What they could have done better

…following on from above. The flow of the movie was jarring, as emphasised by the soundtrack. Songs blared on screen in what felt like an effort to say HEY SOMETHING EXCITING IS GONNA HAPPEN.

Equally the film felt poorly edited, characters seemed to jump from one position on screen to another, while the tone shifted from dark violence to super sappy in a heartbeat, making me laugh from the stupidity and not from anything the director did on purpose.

Writer/director David Ayer – I was so disappointed in you. You made Fury. Fury is one of the best war movies I have seen. However from looking at your back catalogue maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised that the film jumped about so much, and that the comedic element I was hankering for was missing, something that should have lifted this film from dark action movie to something more pitch black, funny and disturbing at the same time.

OK so yes, there was some form of light relief but it was almost ALWAYS Harley Quinn, and when you rely on a characters insanity to bring comedy practically every time you are in need of a lift, it makes the character less interesting. They did not utlilize Captain Boomerang enough, or his fluffy pink Unicorn. All those fantasies the weird witch woman made them go through? Why the hell did we not see Boomerang running through a field with a Unicorn?!

Which brings me to the weird witch woman. Oh lord it was poorly done. The movie could have been framed so differently, I would have shown the earth six thousand years ago when the Enchantress was worshipped, show the audience what happened when the humans turned against her, THEN show how a naive young anthropologist (Cara Delevigne, who if you want to see a fabulous acting turn from you should go watch Paper Towns) opens up the trap and becomes the living embodiment of a power hungry witch.

But maybe I’m getting to the root of the bad. The poor editing done because there was so much to cram in. The lack of humour because all too much of this is serious and the studios want to see a helluva lot more bang for their bucks rather than back story. Too many characters. Too little time.


Right, gonna finish off this sandwich with the positive bit of underneath bread.

I liked Will Smith a lot as Deadshot. I liked Margot Robbie a lot as Harley Quinn. Jared Leto made the joker his own incarnation that is more like the cartoons than there has been previously in film. I wanted a Harley Quinn/Joker movie actually, perhaps with Deadshot as a sideline character.

The action scenes were also very good, especially Deadshot shooting everything in sight.


That’s it, that’s all I’ve got. Come on I gave it 2 and a half stars you couldn’t have expected much more positive?


OK what I am going to say is that seeing this film so shortly after watching Deadpool for the 2nd time was probably a very bad idea. Deadpool was funny, violent, dark, and had a charisma that none of the bad guys had in this movie. But the point is that he is a lone bad/good guy. Only a few extra characters. Too many egos in this film too early on, not enough time to get to know them or hate them.

There should have been a Batman movie before this one, one with the Joker and Harley Quinn. There should have been a Flash movie before this, one with Captain Boomerang and his Unicorn.

Too many egos, not enough time to get to know them all.

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Ghostbusters ☆☆☆☆

The 2016 version, not the original. The original gets the same rating though.

This is the all new, all female casting of Ghostbusters, that does NOT deserve all the misogynistic vitriol that has been spewing since the film was even announced.

Director/writer Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, Spy) along with co-writer Katie Dippold (Parks & Recreation) have honoured the original film whilst also creating a fantastic story of their own, complete with awesome special effects and some really quite scary moments (so scary a young girl in the audience screamed lots).

The cast too are their own people – you can’t compare Kate McKinnon’s half crazy scientist (Holtzmann) with Harold Ramis’s Dr Egon – Holtzmann brings a new bag of cats to the crazy party along with being the most clever person in the room. Yes they exhibit slight characteristic similarities – Kristen Wiig’s lust for Chris Hemsworth is reminiscent of Bill Murray chasing many a skirt in the original, but you honestly cannot blame the woman – have you seen Chris Hemsworth? And her only crime is not being able to speak properly around him and some slightly inappropriate comments/dance moves.

All four ladies are excellent: Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids) is more serious, despite, you know, the ghosts; Wiig (Skeleton Twins) is always brilliant and her behaviour around Hemsworth was probably what every straight woman and gay man on set was internally doing; Leslie Jones (Saturday Night Live) was loud and brash and exactly what the group needed – common sense and confidence; while Kate McKinnon was hands down my favourite character/actor in the whole thing – super weird, very funny, and rattled off the science as though she actually understood it.

Now what the naysayers were freaking out over, I don’t know. The fact that every one of the original cast comes back for a cameo shows they were happy with the product. They even worked in a way for you to know this isn’t just a reboot, not them saying the original never happened, but actually has some quite astute commentary on the fact that people forget events if they don’t come up in every day conversation or are on the TVs all the time.

The plot is good – serious scientists cast out for seeing a ghost, work on proving existence and capturing one, all the while a mysterious baddie sets off exploding machines throughout the city in order to open vortex into ghost world to unleash, quite literally, hell on earth. Government tries to stop them, government inevitably fails. Government is run by Andy Garcia who is determined the Ghostbusters will be kept quiet as they have ‘in the past…’.

I was also super impressed by the special effects, they are incredible in this movie. It felt like no expense spared, the ghosts were ethereal and almost cartoon like, but also really quite scary (to the small people, and my friend). The weapons used against the ghosts were cool. I can’t describe them any other way. They were just cool.

And finally, Chris Hemsworth. One of the most beautiful men on the planet, in this movie playing a man as dumb as a box of rocks. I didn’t know he could be so funny.

Yay for reversing stereotypes and making a really good movie!

For everyone else refusing to see this movie because it will ‘ruin their childhood’ ‘won’t be as good as the original’ ‘women can’t fight ghosts’ let me tell you, go find a paper bag and put it over your head, no one wants to hear what you have to say.


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The Age of Adaline ☆☆☆

Story: Adaline (Blake Lively, Gossip Girl), a 29 year old woman who cannot age after a combination car accident/drowning/lightning strike, lives a solitary life for over eight decades until she meets Ellis (Michiel Huisman, Game of Thrones), whose father (Harrison Ford) turns out to have a curious connection with Adaline…

Cast: I was impressed by Lively’s maturity in the role and am always happy to look at Huisman. Was also good to see a less-cheesy Harrison Ford. Though you have to admit, the plot is as cheesy as a Camembert in hell.

Direction: I very much enjoyed Lee Toland Krieger’s Celeste and Jesse Forever, and I think he can handle personal films with emotional-depth pretty well. The supernatural element to this film felt a little convenient and phoned in, but hey, it was a sweet story of love through the ages.

Verdict: Enjoyed it far more than I thought I would. Not exactly a classic, but not a waste of your time to watch, rainy afternoon with some snacks and its ideal.

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Jupiter Ascending ☆

Story: Jupiter (Mila Kunis), a cleaner from Chicago, discovers she is ‘alien’ royalty who is set to inherit Earth, is attacked by her ‘family’, rescued by Wolfy Channing Tatum (the least pretty I have ever seen him) and goes on a long, fairly boring journey to become who she really is…

Cast: Everyone was passable. Eddie Redmayne should have known better.

Direction: Honestly the Wachowskis need to not write their own movies, if they had had someone with a better understanding of the genre, say JJ Abrahms, or someone who has history of creating a fluid narrative with a rounded story, say Fran Walsh, they could have nailed this original movie. Instead it went BANG!-flop.

Verdict: I called this a long and boring journey, which is a shame because there are so many battles and epic fights with excellent special effects. They were just neither engaging nor exciting enough to make me sit for over two hours without getting up, moving around, playing with my phone or checking my emails.

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Me and Earl and the Dying Girl ☆☆☆☆

We’ve long established how much I love these kinds of movies – Restless, Now is Good, The Fault in Our Stars, Should I Go?…OK the last one was pretty appalling, but if you tell me there is someone dying in the film I will watch it. Girl with cancer and a boy who goes through turmoil alongside her? I’m in. Girl with cancer falls in love with boy with cancer? OH MY GOD MOVE OUT THE WAY LET ME AT IT.

I’m a fan of being made to cry without preamble.

Don’t get me wrong; a shocking death is as enjoyable as a long-drawn out one, but there is something magical about the final months of a teenager that filmmakers have managed to create such a hold on me. Authors too, damn you John Green…

This one I had particular interest in, as it stars a young man who I have liked for a while for being not quite the typical leading teen, called Thomas Mann, who starred alongside the new Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) in Beautiful Creatures – an underrated YA movie imho.

Unbeknown to me it also starred the amazing Nick Offerman (Ron from Parks & Rec), Connie Britton (Nashville) and Jon Bernthal (Daredevil/Walking Dead). Super happy when I saw those three on screen as Mann’s parents and favourite teacher respectively.

The story then, Me = Greg (Mann) who is pushed into becoming friends with the Dying Girl = Rachel (Brit Olivia Cooke who is currently filming Ready Player One) who is introduced to Earl = RJ Cyler (the next Blue Power Ranger!). Greg and Earl make terrible versions of art house cinema, including such wonderful titles as ‘A Sock Work Orange’ where a group of socks stand around a glass of orange juice.

Greg, ever on the periphery, finds his world turned around by this ‘friendship’, becoming more visible to the student body, falling behind on school work, and struggling to make a film for Rachel to keep her spirits up.

It wasn’t a typical version of one of these movies. Romance is very much lacking. But it is oddly more romantic because of that. Greg is pushed beyond his comfort zone in a touching and funny performance by Mann, while Rachel quietly goes through hell, which is etched on Cooke’s face.

The style of the film reminded me of a Wes Anderson in its chapters and quirky cinematography, but with these crazy animations to either show how girls have the ability to unknowingly stomp on boys like a moose and a rodent, or just one of the boys strange films. I loved it, but then I’m a massive fan of quirky films.

This is probably the least tied to the genre ‘dying girl movie’, if that makes any kind of sense. Even TFiOS with its brilliance fits into a pattern in romantic dying girl movies. This is like Beautiful Creatures – though I know that isn’t a dying girl movie – because it shows the perspective of the teenage boy, which is actually quite rare compared to the girl-centric teen films out there.

The performances all round were excellent, from the kids to the adults. I think Molly Shannon as Rachel’s mother is brilliant – constant glass of wine to take the edge off her reality, while Jon Bernthal was unexpected as a teacher covered in tattoos who pushed the idea of respecting research. Amen brother.

Hugely enjoyed this movie, so much so I came out of hibernation and actually reviewed a movie on here.

Sorry for the long absence guys, hope this ramshackle review was worth the wait!

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