Tag Archives: Zoe Saldana

REVIEW: “THE BATMAN” (2022) Warner Bros

Sitting down to write this review, reminding myself that there is really only three comic book characters I have ever truly cared about. The X-Men, which I devoutly every Saturday morning at 11am; Superman, along with having a weird connection to a few of the films – which is another story entirely, and you guessed it, Batman. Batman defied logic for me as he didn’t need a super power, his super power was being Bruce Wayne as well, as he fought off The Penguin, The Riddler, or The Joker, whichever villain you pick. And he always did it with the help of Alfred, who not only took the role of the dad figure in his life, but helped him become The Batman in every way. Sometimes there was Robin by his side, sometimes there wasn’t, but even from the beginning in order for Batman to be, there must be Bruce Wayne as well. And while there have been many actors portraying him, numerous takes and variations of him as well during the years, this time we have Robert Pattinson picking up the baton here in dual role of The Batman/Bruce Wayne.

This 2022 version of the film is directed by Matt Reeves and as noted, stars Robert Pattinson (The Batman) and features quite a few villains, bringing back The Riddler (Paul Dano), and The Penguin as his true self here, Oswald Cobblepot (Colin Farrell), in two very different plot arcs. The Riddler here as well, brings a very different look to what we normally see as his costume as revealed in the trailer. Dano wears what basically looks like a full head cover with goggle type eyes looking more Unabomber-ish than what we expect and know The Riddler to be, with his identity not being fully revealed for some time. And Farrell as The Penguin/Cobblespot is completely unrecognizable as himself with some incredible makeup/prothesis done here. As well, helping defend Gotham City on the law and order side is James Gordon (Jeffrey Wright), who seems to be the only law enforcement that is on Batman’s side, but alas still with the inevitable mustache.

And yes, the story line is very much the usual fare of villains courting danger in the city of Gotham and one of our most prominent ones here is Carmine Falcone (John Turturro), who is running an underground club, and may or may not have connections to The Penguin as well. As always trusty Alfred Pennyworth (Andy Serkis), is there to help The Batman through all the ups and downs of dealing with a city that has a love hate relationship with him. Speaking of a love/hate relationship, back again as well is Catwoman (Zoe Kravitz), and one of the true highlights of the film. And how can you not love that they take it back old school somewhat, as even in the cheesy TV show, Batman & Catwoman had constant love/hate relationship and here, that story line features again. As well Kravitz gives it back to the old school ‘exotic’ as well, heralding back to the days of Eartha Kitt, Julie Newmar and Michelle Pfeiffer, bringing back to the role something essential that had been sorely missed.

To delve into this entire movie after you see it is like unpacking after a long vacation, and I mean really long vacation as this is a very long movie with a lot to unpack. You won’t find me giving away any storyline spoilers here but there are moments to love, from the dark gritty mood of it all, to the set pieces, to the cinematography, and the remarkable film score are all simply wonderful. The action is good throughout most of the film, but slows itself down at times almost a second to much with making this Batman into more ‘detective’ versus a Caped Crusader who just gets summoned by the infamous bat signal to help whatever crime is occurring in the Gotham City. It also felt like it could’ve ended at least three different points in times before it did and left us with a bit of hanging suspense for what’s to come. The ending as is, plus the post-credits scene almost betrays the fact and leaves one to realize this is definitely not a one off Batman like they have professed it to be.

And then we come down down to performance as we all have our favourite Batman and on everyone’s mind is how Robert Pattinson will fare as The Caped Crusader himself, The Batman. For me your Batman is only as good as your Bruce Wayne, it’s a fine line and both have to be equally as good for a true Batman to be. But Pattinson doesn’t connect here at all with the Bruce Wayne aspect of the character, to the point where I had flashbacks to him reminiscent of his Twilight character days. His Bruce Wayne portrayal here is not done in the usual classy, almost elegant manner of the billionaire who hides behind his mask. Now, on the better point is his Batman isn’t bad, not great mind you, but definitely not bad enough to distract through the movie as a whole, but enough to distract when being Bruce Wayne. In other words, he is good, but not great. Farrell however is very good as Cobblepot and again, you wouldn’t know it was him had we not known in advance who was under that look. And Paul Dano, while not the best Riddler look, his performance of the character, especially at the end was nothing short of spectacular. But there is also one huge standout here and that my friends is John Turturo as Falcone. He is a perfect villain and gives everyone on the screen a go for their money with his role being as decadent as it is. And lastly we have Catwomen who with her eyes made up, brilliant and beautiful as Selina Kyle, add her cat mask and ‘adventures’ on her motorcycle, and again, the love/hate relationship with Batman done with some very real chemistry, here she is a big meow in all the right ways.

(Photo by MEGA/GC Images)

All in all as you unwrap it all in your head to process it, and it will take a more than a moment to do so, you can’t help but come to the conclusion that it was good, just maybe not great. But as well it’s probably, no it’s most definitely too long and it’s a bit unclear on the direction they will go next, but it’s a solid, entertaining time in the seemingly never ending line of Caped Crusader contenders. Where it rates for each person, will be just that, up to each individual person.

Grade: B

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Review Screening: Thursday, February 24, 2022 ~ Courtesy of Warner Bros.

“THE BATMAN” FROM WARNER BRO. PICTURES WILL BE OUT IN THEATERS FRIDAY, MARCH 4, 2022

REVIEW: “STAR TREK: BEYOND” (2016) Paramount Pictures

The storyline… well let’s face it.. you know the story line. We all do as it is after all, a Star Trek movie. In case you don’t, bascially a Space ship is roaming the galaxy, runs into problems, has battles, etc etc.. BUT it is how well done these same plots can be that can make all the difference in the world.

While starting off on a bit slower pace, it picks right up with our usual crew: Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto), Bones McCoy (Karl Urban), Lt. Urhua (Zoe Saldana), Scotty (Simon Pegg), Sulu (John Cho), & Chekov (Anton Yelchin).
Add in a minor villian in Kalara (Lydia Wilson) who then of course, leads them to a major villian, Krall (Idris Elba). Throw in the requisie new character ‘star fleet member’ Jaylah (Sofia Boutella) and you have rounded out the cast all of whom work well enough together. As I’ve stated before, an important part of these films are the villians and for me, you are only as good as your villian. While neither one excels here, it’s mainly because I think it’s hard to really come off as a villian you love to hate with such dramatic costuming & make-up, so taking that into note, I will say both Elba & Wilson did well.

Ostar trek 1n a technical level, the film is stunning visually with brilliant CG and I didn’t mind the 3D as much as I usually do, though I will say, there are a lot of shaky-cam moments, which I was not expecting and which is not very appealing to me motion-wise. One of my favourite personal highlights is the Enterprise fighting scene with Beastie Boys – Sabotage underlaid. An amazing score once again composed by the brilliant Michael Giacchino does bring some brilliant moments back.
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Two things to finish this up as first: I simply loved the fact they went ‘old school here and brought it all back around to what we all remember was just a simpler time in space!! hahahaha
Second: My guest hadn’t seen any previous Star Trek films, though knows the jist of it and whom the characters are. He did like it and noted that he felt that wasn’t necessary for someone to watch or enjoy the film. Good thing! though he did question the doubles of each character when they went ‘old school. Ahh..well..you can’t explain it all to them. 😀

Grade: B-
@pegsatthemovies

This review is dedicated to Anton Yelchin..one of our best and brightest young actors..one of my personal favourites, who passed all too soon. Rest in Peace Anton.

Review Screening: Wednesday, July 20, 2016 ~ Courtesy of Paramount Pictures
Release Date: Completely worldwide ~ Friday, July 22, 2016

REVIEW – “GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY” (2014)

 

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“I AM GROOT” – ha!  It’s truly the perfect way to start a review of this fun fun movie!! I seriously wanted to just say this and leave it at that.. Because that’s how fun it is and no one wants to ruin this movie with a long boring synopsis and all …riiigghhtt??!!!  Well, okay, I will also mention Chris Pratt.. no..seriously, when did Chris Pratt get this hott??!! 😀   He’s always been the cute, funny guy in the back ground, but here he takes center-stage as “Peter Quill” aka “STARLORD” and he not only looks great at doing it as it’s clear they made him get in some amazing shape for this movie, but it’s like this role was truly meant for his type of comedic chops.  starlord

As with all comic book quasi-superhero movies like this one, there has to be a reason at the beginning of why/how everything becomes as it is and this one is no different.  We see a young Peter Quill being brought to his dying mothers bedside where she gives him a last gift before she passes. As he runs screaming, crying out of her room into a big grassy field, he stumbles & falls, a blinding light shines on him and POOF!!! you got it… he is taken away by a spaceship.  26 years later we see Quill as an intergalactic outlaw who attempts to go by the name “Starlord”.  He is part of a clan who call themselves ‘Ravagers’ and while on a paid mission to collect an ‘orb’ he runs into “Korath” (played nicely in a supporting comedic turn by Djimon Hounsou) who works for “Ronan” (another fav. actor of mine playing a bad guy *sigh* ~ Lee Pace :)) an evil Warlord who wants the orb to do what else..control the Galaxy, specifically the planet Xandar, where his arch enemies live & it’s ran by none other than “Nova Prime” (Glenn Close).

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Peter of course gets the orb, but not before he double crosses the very people who took him to this intergalactic wonderland, “Yondu Odonta” (played wonderfully by TWD’s Michael Rooker) who then does what all double-crossed outlaws do and puts a bounty on Peter’s head.  Now the fun starts as everyone starts hunting Peter including, the oh-so-green assassin who is actually working for Ronan, “Gamora” (Zoe Saldana), “Rocket” a genetically engineered hysterically funny, raccoon (voice of Bradley Cooper) & his partner “Groot” his walking & regenerating tree friend (voice of Vin Diesel). who only can say 3 words..annndd you already know what those are..”I am Groot” ~ in other words..hello huge payday for Vin Diesel for yes, uttering 3 words. ha!  Well to cut to the chase, in the land of all things comic books they all get caught..sent to a maximum security prison where they all start to of course, work together along with a new ‘friend’ “Drax” (pro-wrestler Dave Bautista) who really only just wants revenge on Ronan for killing his family.  All this comes together as they make an oh-so-fun escape and get to the town of ‘Knowhere’ so they can sell the orb to “The Collector” (Benicio del Toro).  But when they find out what the orb can really do and why Ronan wants it so badly..and what should really be done with it..well…what will the now-appointed “Guardians of the Galaxy” do??!!  Well, you will have to see the movie for that, because I don’t want to spoil all the fun here…really, YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS MOVIE.. as from moment one it’s truly one of the most humourous, action-packed, visually stunning, and just plain damn FUN Sci-Fi fantasy movies I’ve ever had the pleasure to see so you should too.  Oh and it wouldn’t be right if I  forgot to mention the freaking fantastic soundtrack to this movie!! From the open-sequence on you will be rocking in your seat and just plain laughing.. Who doesn’t want to do that during a movie and be totally entertained??!!  Well, if you are one of the few, then yeah..don’t see it..for everyone else.. go get your groove and laughs on I say!!!

Grade: B+

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Grading Scale: A = Oscarworthy;  B = Above average~must see;  C = Average~should see;  D = Don’t waste your time or money;  F= Yeah, no, just don’t see it  (+ or – give it a bit up or down)