Suicide Squad review

Suicide_Squad_(film)_PosterI’ll be honest.  My first draft of this opening was far more combative than what you’re going to read now.  And had I published this article shortly after seeing the movie last Sunday, you would have seen that first draft.  I was prepared to come out, guns blazing, shooting down decently reviewed movies that I didn’t believe were all that better than Suicide Squad.  But as the days passed, I decided that that wasn’t the type of article that I wanted to publish.  So, you’ll see none of it.  Instead, I’ll stick with my thoughts on Suicide Squad.

In short, I enjoyed the movie.  Yes, I do believe it has some pacing issues.  And there are some rough transitions cutting between present day scenes and flashbacks, and also going from action to exposition.  But the characters really make this movie. So, let’s jump right into it.  Spoilers after the break.

Suicide Squad is the story of several villains being coerced into doing the government’s dirty work.  And I think with that first detail is where some misplaced expectations began.  Suicide Squad isn’t immensely known outside of comic readers, but that’s not that big of deal.  There have been unknown properties succeed fairly recently.  Unfortunately, I feel people tried to lump Suicide Squad in with those other movies, that I’ll leave nameless.  I have faith that you can figure out which two movies I’m talking about.  But there’s a major difference.  Those characters, deep down, are actually good guys.  Sure, they may be a band of lovable losers or make nothing but crude jokes, but they are in fact good guys trying to take down bad guys.  Here we have a group of undeniably bad guys trying to take out other bad guys.  There isn’t really anything current that you can compare it to.  Maybe The Expendables, if all of them were horrible people.

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New Doctor Strange trailer

Apparently, this came out a couple weeks ago, but I just saw it while watching the Olympics last night.  I’m going to be honest, I’m still having some trouble getting hyped for this movie.  I don’t think I have superhero fatigue, but rather origin story fatigue.  They all really end up being the same basic movie, just with different characters.  I’d much rather see the established hero take care of business, so I’m not asking at the end how a character that just started training is able to take out this major threat.  Or asking, don’t these heroes have any villains that are really different from them? But I may just be grumpy right now.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition review

Batman_v_Superman_posterWhen the wife and I initially saw the movie in theaters, we both enjoyed yet.  Yes, I understood problems people had with the movie, but they were not problems for me.  Due to some life issues, I was delayed in writing a review for that version of the film, and when they announced the Ultimate Edition, I just decided to wait for it.  So, I bought the Ultimate Edition on blu-ray, and watched it with a friend that had not seen it in theaters.

As we’re watching the movie, every now and then I’d point out some scenes that weren’t in the theatrical release.  And as we got further along in the movie, these “extra” scenes actually started to upset me.  I wasn’t upset that I was watching an even longer version of this movie with unnecessary fluff scenes added back in.  No, I was upset because these were scenes that had no business being cut out of the movie in the first place.

These scenes would have greatly helped the story to those that complained that the story didn’t make sense.  Well, in this extra 30 minutes, the story does make sense.  There are entire sub-plots that are vital to leading us to the point where Batman and Superman would be fighting.  Spoilers after the break. (more…)

“This thing sucks.”

Recently, I’ve become a bit more involved in a couple online communities.  They are Facebook groups centered around a couple IGN podcasts, Podcast Beyond and Nintendo Voice Chat.  Beyond is a Playstation focused podcast.  They both have been wonderful forums to get ideas on new games to try, and a place to discuss not only games, but really anything that catches your interest.  The vast majority of the people participating in these forums are nice, civil people.  But like any online community, there are the trolls.  But, I don’t think the most of these people know that they are trolls.

I had always made the assumption that trolls knew they were trolling, and did it because they were having fun.  But, I now don’t think that’s the case.  Or at least, not in as large of numbers as I had originally thought.  The most popular form of this is the phrase, “does anyone else think that [insert generally loved game] isn’t that good.”  And this isn’t malicious, but it’s still trolling.  I generally think that the poster isn’t usually trying to start any online arguments, and in their minds, are asking a simple question.  However, the answer to the question is always “of course,” because not everyone is going to like the same games.  But it’s trolling because nothing is really added to the conversation with this question.  You’re essentially saying, “this thing sucks.  Who’s with me?”

It does nothing to add to the conversation about the game, or other subject matter.  The poster isn’t looking for a discussion on the merits of something.  Rather, they want confirmation that their opinion is shared by others, as if they’re too fragile to hold an opinion on their own.  And it’s a question that they should already know the answer to.  Of course there are people that will share their opinions.  There always are.  Hell, there are multiple critics that didn’t like Toy Story 3, so of course there is at least 1 among the thousands of members that are going to share your opinion.

So keep in mind that if you want to criticize something, think about it first.  If you don’t like it, discuss what it is about the thing you don’t like.  “It sucks,” is never a valid critique.  Why does it suck?  Also, “because it’s stupid” is not a valid response.  Think about why you have your opinion.  Just because people may have any opinion they want, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use reason to get to it.  Keeping this in mind will make you look better and people will be more receptive to your ideas in a discussion if they know that they can have reasonable discussions with you.

Star Trek Beyond review

Star_Trek_Beyond_posterStar Trek Beyond is a really good movie with a really silly name.  There, I’ve said it.  The title is ridiculous.  Of course, Star Trek Into Darkness was a ridiculous title as well.  Is it that difficult to just stick with the Star Trek: Vague Story Description titles?  This may seem like a pointless complaint, but it’s not.  The title is the first thing people see.  It is the first impression.  If people think a movie title is silly sounding or uninteresting, then they won’t even bother with watching the trailer.  Sure, it may not matter to Star Trek fans, but you’re going to have dwindling returns if you only go after already established fans.

But now that that is out of the way, let’s talk about the movie.  Actually first, close your eyes.  Now, I want you to…crap, I told you to close your eyes.  How are you supposed to keep reading this if your eyes are closed?  Guess I’ll just have to wait for you to come to this realization as well and open your eyes.

You’re back?  Good.  Let’s try this.  Just imagine what you think the critical reception to Star Trek Into Darkness was.  I know from what social interaction I have with some people, the talk was could Beyond return quality to the franchise after the disappointment of Into Darkness.  I never had any big issues with Into Darkness, but I thought the larger reception, audience and critical, was somewhat negative towards this film.  I was so confident in this memory that I went to RottenTomatoes.com just to see how much better Beyond was received than Into Darkness.  And boy was I surprised.  (more…)