As with TV, I didn’t see too many movies this year. The nature of some movies is such that release dates can be tricky to track in Australia if the movie isn’t a blockbuster title. Hence, I saw mostly tent-pole movies this year and mostly Disney properties at that. Chances are I’ll rarely go to a movie unless the buzz is quite high or it’s a movie series that I’ve been following for a while. My understanding is that most tent-pole releases have been pretty bland this year. However, this year did contain some great gems.
So that new Robin Hood movie came out. The one that has been described as a second-rate Batman Begins. The one where knights carry riot shield and the Crusades play out like Zero Dark Thirty. That one. One thing that intrigued me about the new film was the use of Robin’s dual identity as Robin of Locksley to make the Batman parallels even clearer. I just have one question throughout this mess. Why are we expecting the rich to save us? Batman is a billionaire who plays dress up to beat up the poor and disenfranchised. Robin Hood robs from the rich and gives to the poor while remaining a feudal lord. Green Arrow … has a goatee? I’m sure we’ll get to Green Arrow. At least he jumped into politics, although looking at recent blondes millionaires in politics, maybe not so good. So, let’s talk about the myth of the benevolent billionaire.
So, the trailer for the CGI remake of the Lion King came out recently. I’m not fond of it. The original film was perhaps one of my favourite films growing up. However, this string of ‘live-action’ remakes isn’t particularly compelling to me. However, there is one exception. The film that started this trend, 2016’s Jungle Book. I think that the changes made in this film are interesting when compared to the original source material. So, I’m about to explore the differences between the 2016 remake and its fifty-one (as of writing) year old predecessor to see how adapting something can transform both texts.
So recently, I went back and watched Avengers: Age of Ultron. It might be a strange choice but I was doing some research. Anyway, there was something fascinating about rewatching the film as some kind of inkblot test for the MCU as a whole. After two films and three years of evolution for the Avengers and the MCU, what can Age of Ultron illuminate? It’s all a bit said and done about this film, one might think.
Now, here’s the obvious. There are a couple cracks in the form that resulted from the intense pressure of a follow-up to the pillar of the MCU to that point, The Avengers. There was conversation at the time centred around a few points of the film’s development. Whedon was bowing out after this film due to the pressure of an Avenger’s film. Studio mandates called for the cave scene or to lose the farmhouse. Finally, there was lots of disgruntlement with Natasha’s romance with Bruce. I’ll discuss all of these and offer a perspective based on how things feel on the other side of Phase 3 as it were.
So, a while back I went to see the Incredibles 2. Unlike other corners of the Internet, I hadn’t been clamouring for a new instalment in the series. However, I like a Pixar movie as much as the next guy and it had potential. Generally, I enjoyed the movie. Shifting the focus to Elastigirl was an enjoyable turn. However, when it got to the villain’s revelation of their grand master plan, I was thoroughly whelmed. It wasn’t bad, however, there was potential for so much more.
So, there’s this trope in apocalyptic fiction. Stop me if you’ve seen it. A lonely man walks a lonely road with a gun. This is the beating heart of the zombie genre, especially in video games. It’s a simple engine for tension and morally clear murder. You might have guessed by my tone that I take issue with this. I get that some people like zombie movies. Those people aren’t me but they exist. At the end of the day, I think that a zombie is a very boring enemy. A zombie is weaker than a human. A zombie is dumber than a human. Now, one might argue, that zombies are most effective in chaotic shambling hordes. Well, let’s get into this.
[Spoilers for Infinity War]
So, you might recall the news story from the past few weeks about those Thai boys stuck in a cave. The world watched as qualified professionals led a dangerous mission to rescue them. Tragically one of the divers lost his life. However, all twelve boys managed to get out alive. What a heartwarming story! Then Elon Musk. Musk began to insert himself in the news story by building a submarine that no-one asked him to build and travelling to the already-crowded rescue site. Now, you might be thinking that there’s nothing wrong with a wealthy individual using their money to try and help. Sure, if that were the end of the story Musk would come out of this smelling no worse than he did before. Oh. Oh no. Following some comments made on social media, Musk has taken a Twitter-sized beating. Now, how does this relate to the menacing villain of Infinity War, Space Grimace?