March Movie Madness: WHAT ON GOD’S GREEN EARTH WENT WRONG? #MarchMovieMadness #movies #GreenLantern #RyanReynolds #RemyFlagg #News #comics

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This post originally appeared here: http://remyflagg.com/what-on-gods-green-earth-went-wrong/

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Relationship: We know my affinity for Marvel, but if DC has produced anything to rival my dedication to mutants, its Green Lantern. Contained in a tiny object, a man is given ring with the ability to create anything he can imagine, and only his willpower can sustain these creations. My knowledge of the mythos is scarce, but the many incarnations of this protector of the sector has captivated me.

Ryan Reynolds however, did not.

Review: I am glad I watched this movie again. The ratings decimated any hope of this becoming a franchise opener, but I may actually defend Ryan Reynolds. From Wolverine to Green Lantern, I thought Reynolds would be the actor to kill any superhero movie. His halfwit humor, bad puns, and annoying chipper half-smile seemed to spell certain doom for his career. If Ryan’s abs can’t save a movie, then really, what chance did he have? But Deadpool showed us, he isn’t a bad actor, but he can only act within the limitations given to him. Green Lantern must have set a lot of limitations.

“Ryry, you did a great job with that take, I lol’d. Let’s try it again and less lol and try it more laugh out inside.”

“Ryry, your abs are looking fabulous. This time, can you have more of a blank look on your face? Like you’re at a spelling bee and asked to spell quiche.”

“Ryry, did you just ask for motivation? Does your paycheck need more 0’s?”

“Ryry, put your shirt on. Your abs aren’t abby enough. We’ll fix that in post production.”

We spend the first part of the film trying to prove he has no fear. If we haven’t figured out from his flight abilities, every character makes references toward his bravado. They chide him for it. They worship him for it. It’s literally beaten into us. Then when he winds up on Oa with the other Lanterns, he does everything but throw a hissy fit. I think he threatens to quit? I fell asleep. The special effects were so outlandish I figure I’d wake up when something exploded later.

I wake up to some bad puns about his mask.

This movie suffers from the superhero pitfall of needing too many enemies and then splitting film time between them. When you have an entire planet full of amazing looking aliens, we spend more time with a crazed scientist with a severe receding hairline. I fell asleep again, but I think he got beaten. I mean, I assume he did? Did it really matter? And then there is Parallax, the bad guy only beatable by the most valiant Lantern. The baddie even manages to smoke a whole squad of the most elite Lanterns. Don’t worry, Ryry has no fear, so he’ll be safe and capable of stopping Galact….I mean Parallax. But no worries, the guy who just picked up the ring happens to be able to master these new abilities without even the slightest of montages! I can’t believe he’s this capable without a montage, has nobody ever seen a superhero movie?

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So the script, yeah, a third grader with refrigerator magnets could have come up with a more convincing script. So let’s talk about the giant, green, rippling, elephant in the room. Never have I been so flabbergasted by the horrible use of CGI as I was in this movie. I would have been happier if they just slapped him in spandex and hung him from the end of the rope. But okay, they wanted to have no limitations so the CGI was used to show the powers of the ring. So, you can imagine anything, and this is what you come up with? A race car? A sword? A machine gun? And somehow you manage to beat the most dangerous evil in the universe? I started rooting for the villain. At least his scary cloud looked like it might be hard to breathe in? Perhaps it could win with lung cancer. But even with an amazing post-credit scene promising us the villain we really wanted, the franchise died. Dead. Like really dead.

So yeah. I went to bed after that. That was the most exciting part of the night!

Grade:
Plot – D-
Script – D-
SFX – C
Comicness – C

Have you seen Green Latern? Was is as bad as Jeremy said? Tell us in the comments!

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March Movie Madness: Victor Frankenstein by Catherine Lundoff #MarchMovieMadness #Frankenstein #movie @clundoff

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I managed to miss Victor Frankenstein when it was in theaters for a nanosecond and managed to ignore its release on video, right up until I was on a 14 hour long plane flight to New Zealand. I was restless and couldn’t sleep so in went the earbuds and I thought, “Why not?” Why not, indeed. That in was May of 2016 and I have seen Victor Frankenstein three four more times since then. I own a copy. I compel friends to watch it because it is, as my friend Matt put it, it is “The most remarkable hymn to wretched excess I’ve seen in the last couple of years.”

Oh, and it is! Steampunk, homoerotic horror that breaks the fourth wall and embraces all of the more ludicrous possibilities to be found in that combination? Yep. Movie featuring the talents of James MacAvoy (as Victor), Daniel Radcliff (as Ygor!), a metric crap-ton of actors who play coded bisexual or gay characters on various BBC historical productions (the guy who plays Moriarty on Sherlock! The blonde dude who is an uppercrust villain in almost everything), all here. Lady Sybil Crawley from Downton Abbey, reborn here as a circus acrobat/courtesan (which there should be more of, just saying). Charles Dance stopping by the set for the sole purpose of smacking James MacAvoy around? Got you covered on that too. Weird, maggot-filled homunculus monkey and rat-face circus dude with a gun? Yeppers! All these delights and more await you.

Some plot highpoints:

  1. Ygor gets rescued from the horrible Victorian circus by James MacAvoy. Why is he horribly mistreated even though the circus performers trust the nameless hunchback (Frankenstein names him “Ygor” after his mysteriously missing flat mate) as their doctor? Because random evil. And an excuse for Frankenstein to find and rescue him. In slow motion, while the circus is performing. Also, Victorian steampunk dudes must communicate with many meaningful glances and with no sense of personal space.
  2. More on personal space. Ygot gets “dehunchbacked” in Victor’s palatial industrial loft, located atop a steampunky soap factory. The combination of the spiffy sets, the purty CGI and the dehunchbacking process itself are totally worth the price of admission. Victor mugs, Ygor suffers nobly and the audience can have a delightful time with the subtext on this one. I have said of this film that it “ships itself while you watch” and this would be one of those moments.
  3. Watch Inspector Roderick Turpin (actor Andrew Scott/Moriarty) have an inordinate amount of free time to develop a religious (or something) obsession with Victor and his activities! Because if there was one thing that the Victorian police force in late 1800s London had, it was a lack of crimes to investigate. So there was lots of time to worry about a cute, upper class dude collecting dead animal parts and making homunculi from them. Really. No wonder they couldn’t find the Ripper.
  4. The big climatic scene in which everyone goes to the castle in Scotland, somehow conquering cliffs and a drawbridge, only to display really poor judgment about early electricity, rain and monsters.
  5. Random things I love about this movie:
  • The way that Victor and Ygor can see anatomy illustrations of organs and skeletal structure when they look at people and animals.
  • The Lazarus Fork. Just watch it. You can thank me later.
  • MacAvoy’s demonic smile
  • The rotting homunculous monkey chase scene.
  • Turpin’s phantom eye patch that comes and goes.
  • Really, everything.

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Victor Frankenstein is one of those films on that thin line between brilliant and ludicrous. It got terrible reviews when it opened and closed in a blink, but every person I have shown it to or persuaded to watch it has loved it. It is the perfect example of a film that needs to find its people. If you like Penny Dreadful, Dracula (the recent TV series) and/or Crimson Peak, this is definitely a film for you. It’s stylish and weirdly hilarious and just plain fun to watch, in ways that are similar to these shows and movies. It’s also silly and completely over the top and I can see why there were mixed responses to it. But my advice is to give it a shot and see if you’re one of its people. If nothing else, you’ll get a few good laughs.

https://youtu.be/7pxZxY_Siyc

About Catherine Lundoff:

11145001_10152550320863039_1591593274824853367_nCatherine is originally from Brooklyn, NYC, and currently lives in Minneapolis with her wife Jana, an amazingly talented book artist, and a couple of cats. When not writing, she works as a professional computer geek. In former lives, Catherine owned a feminist bookstore (Grassroots Books in Iowa City) and has lived in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Mexico. She was once a professional archaeologist and before that, worked at a bar in St. Louis that that claimed to have the world’s largest collection of Elvis memorabilia outside Memphis. Catherine started writing professionally in 1996 while in law school. She sold the first story she ever wrote and quit law school a week or two later.

Catherine is a member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), Broad Universe, GCLS and the Erotic Authors Association (EAA)—useful organizations to belong to at any stage of a writing career.

Catherine was also a member of the Arise! Bookstore Collective (now defunct). Arise! was one of a shrinking number of independent bookstores. As a former bookstore owner and frequent bookstore visitor, the survival of indies is near and dear to Catherine’s heart. She asks that you please support your remaining local independent bookstores; their survival is essential for new writers and nonmainstream voices to be heard.

To find out more about Catherine, please visit her blog, friend her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter and MySpace, or email her directly.

 

March Movie Madness, Episode 1: Transformers #MarchMovieMadness #movie #moviereview #Transformers

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We’re gathered here today to talk about our favorite bad movies; some call these sort of films “cheeseburger movies”. You know, those movies that the critics panned and all your friends laugh at, but you inexplicable love. I’m talking about films like The Mummy (or worse, The Scorpion King), Van Helsing, or that Batman with the rubber nipples. (Eew.)

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“I bought a car. It turned out to be an alien robot. Who knew?”

TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION

For me, nothing encapsulates the concept of a cheeseburger movie more than Transformers. What, you haven’t seen the epic saga of robots in disguise? Here’s the trailer for your viewing pleasure:

Transformers (2007) trailer

Why is this movie so cheesetastic? For starters, it’s based on a Hasbro toy line from the 80s, which in turn was based on a Japanese line. There is also the 80s cartoon, to consider, as well as an animated film of questionable quality. (The robots swore in the movie. I guess that made it grown up?)

But the live action film, which started the current franchise, is in a class by itself. It features the noble Autobots and villainous Decepticons-sentient robots who can transform themselves into everyday objects, like Camaros and boom boxes-searching for the semi-mythical AllSpark, which has somehow ended up on Earth. Because of course it did.  With the help of the US Armed forces and a couple teenagers, the Autobots recover the AllSpark and save the day.

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And yet, in spite of the film’s flaws, I adore this movie. It’s full of gleaming fast cars, spectacular explosions, and truly awesome battle scenes. I’ve watched it at least one hundred times, mainly because HBO had it on heavy rotation one summer. Based on hos much I loved the movie, I’ll probably watch it one hundred more times.

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There’s something about a movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously (I mean, it’s about giant space robots!) that makes it appealing in no other way. The basic good vs. evil trope is visited, along with the plucky teen who holds the key to saving the world AND gets the girl. Movies like this are entertainment at its finest, where you can tune in, turn off your brain, and enjoy yourself for a few hours. The awesome CGI effects sure don’t hurt, either.

What are some of your favorite cheeseburger movies? Tell us in the comments!