Lucien’s Unpopular Opinion: This Trans Actor Debate is Stupid

I am getting so tired of how every stupid thing these days is some big cultural issue that for some reason, people believe I need to feel strongly about.  I remember when the Ghostbusters reboot was coming out, and everyone was screaming about “woman power!” and I couldn’t have cared less.  It was all such bullshit in my eyes.  Then there was Black Panther, where the Internet was all in arms about how this was some huge breakthrough for black people and it was a revolution in Hollywood.  Never mind that the actual film was generic and boring, while another film starring a black cast talking about a much stickier issue came out and these people were dead silent.  Don’t know what I’m talking about?  It’s called Moonlight.  A movie talking about being black and being gay.  Given the homophobia in the black community, that film was much more audacious piece of work.

But as is always the case, when it’s some big Hollywood film, it’s a huge cultural battlefield.  When it’s a smaller film that is made 1000X better, it gets totally ignored.  That’s the fate of the aforementioned film.  And speaking of woman power, there was the film in February, Annihilation.  Starring five interesting women and being a smart science fiction film.  Not to mention having a scene that scared the living shit out of me.  It’s good stuff.  Nobody said a word about that.

Which brings us to now.  It was recently announced that there would a biopic about a transgender activist with Scarlett Johansson in the starring role.  Of course, the Internet busy-bodies are all over yelling.  Why?  Because she’s not trans.  And they think only a trans actress should play this role.  For fuck’s sake.  I’m gonna need a specific example for the point I’m about to make, and thankfully, I have one.

How many of you have seen the film Boys Don’t Cry?  It starred Hilary Swank and was a story about a trans man who was beaten, raped, and eventually murdered because of their transgender identity.  It was a really good movie.  Swank brought that character to life for all of the good sides of him and the bad ones.  Brandon Teena was not a perfect person, and the film didn’t shy away from that.  It was good that they didn’t, because it makes his inevitable murder all the more tragic.

I’ve heard this song and dance before.  I forget what the movie was, but there was some film about gay people that starred a straight person, and all of them were up in arms about the whole thing.  Everybody lost their collective shit, and I didn’t care then just like I don’t care now.  Because my point in all of this is simple – I would rather have a good actor/actress play a role than a bad one.  There is a vast plethora of movies that show that Johansson is an extremely talented actress.  Can you find me a trans actress who has the same chops?  If so, fantastic.  If not, shut the fuck up.

And for those who say “this is erasing the trans identity from this role,” please fuck off.  Why is it that you would be just fine with a film made worse by a mediocre or outright bad actress instead of a film that shows you all in a light that looks better because of a proven performer?  I genuinely don’t get this.  I mean, it’s not like some crap has been made that markets a trans actress as their headliner only for what they created the fucking suck, right…?

Instead of seeing this as an opportunity to bring a community to life in a good way with a proven actress, the way Sean Penn did with Milk, you all have to bitch and moan about stupid bullshit.  You have a chance to be noticed in a bigger way, to a wider audience, maybe help people empathize with your community more.  But no!  Let’s complain about who is in the fucking movie.  Because that’s the way to get things done.

I am getting so tired of the SJW community bitching and complaining about every stupid fucking thing, all so they can get their good-boy/girl brownie points and have everyone knowing how “woke” they are.  What they fail to understand is that all of this bitching won’t help their community get represented.  In fact, it’s likely to have the opposite effect.  Why?  Because if all they are going to do is berate and complain and moan at creators who are trying to get them noticed, you know what those creators are going to do?  Stop making films about them.  Because they won’t want to deal with the backlash.

See, Hollywood doesn’t actually give a shit about you and your community.  Actors and actresses and even some directors might, but the industry itself doesn’t.  They care about money.  They will preach the SJW line as long as it makes them money.  But it’s not anymore.  People are getting tired of it.  It’s why The Last Jedi and Solo were such flops.  Films with bad writing, piss-poor characters, and needing to shoe-horn in SJW preaching.  People are starting to get bored with this, and I can’t blame them.  It’s tiresome.  All of the hand-wringing and everyone arguing.  It’s why I have been unsubscribing from more and more anti-SJW YouTubers I followed.  I just don’t give a shit anymore.

To trans people, if you can’t see why your hand-wringing on this bullshit is not doing you any favors, then when my eventuality comes to pass, you will have no one but yourselves to blame.  Good luck with that.

Until next time, a quote,

“Welcome to the new age – Gen Zed.  Where we hustle people.  Where we blind-side them with bullshit, and use inclusivity and diversity as a smokescreen, while we sell them $25 t-shirts.  Where we hype up that we have a trans actress, like that means anything.  Like that’s important.  Like the show is better or worse because of it.” – Mister Metokur

Peace out,

Maverick

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Lucien’s Review (Sort of): God’s Not Dead and God’s Not Dead 2

I am not feeling very good today, and a friend of mine has these two films on bootlegged DVDs because he has religious family who gave him this stuff.  And I can safely say that I have seen the worst, the absolute worst in Christian propaganda films.  This is more going to be a discussion of what about these films annoys me, rather than the films themselves, because that’s a wash.  Both of them suck.  I will have a Final Verdict for them and justify it, but I really am just looking to talk about Christian propaganda films and how these two movies are exemplary of what is so wrong with them.  What an awful use of my time today.

First we have God’s Not Dead.  This was Pure Flix’s claim to fame, and they have never forgotten that.  Every chance they can they will shove that in your face.  In it was have Josh Wheadon, which always makes me think of Wil Wheaton (Shut up, Wesley!).  He has an philosophy class with the EVIL philosophy teacher played by Kevin Sorbo.  We also have a dozen other characters because that film has more subplots than Carter has little pills.  It’s really bad.

Here are the tropes in this film that exemplify themselves in other Christian movies.  First, we have Kevin Sorbo as the EVIL philosophy teacher who comes right out in the very first class and, instead of doing what an actual teacher in college would do at the start of class, like go over the syllabus or give some basic rundown for how things will work with that class, he has to make very clear the film’s forced message – God is Dead!  The quote by Nietzsche that religious people take such umbrage with without understanding it at all.

When Nietzsche said that “god is dead”, he didn’t mean there is a literal God and he is literally dead.  What he meant was that religion’s roll in society was coming to a close.  But the religious crowd have been touting that as the great heresy against their respective belief structures and how it must be destroyed.  One of the many stupid points in this film.

Since our good boy Josh is too good to do what the strawman philosophy professor tells him to do and write “god is dead” for that day’s only assignment.  Another sign that this is not even a real college course in any way.  Strawman course with a strawman teacher.  Christian films don’t set the bar very high.  He can’t write that, so the professor challenges him to a debate about the nature of God’s existence.  Another thing that philosophy isn’t exclusively about, but this film really makes it out to be.  In fact, this whole damn movie paints college as the act of EVIL secular society and people in there are snobbish assholes.

We then get to suffer through the debate, and this is just amazing.  The debate between our hero Josh and the EVIL professor is basically watching the absolute paragon virtue fighting it out with Ray Comfort’s vision of an atheist.  All of the terrible arguments that Josh makes are ones that I, a pseudo-intellectual asshole who got my degree in journalism could handily refute.  It’s terrible.  No atheist argues the way that the EVIL professor does, and Josh’s points are never refuted in a way that any atheist would.  It’s a stereotype beating a strawman.

Naturally, the whole film is really just a Christian circle-jerk.  All the Christians who feel so downtrodden in a country where 80% of the population identifies as Christian can sit there and feel so validated by what’s on the screen.

Overall, the film is terrible, but to stupid to be frustrating.  It’s almost kind of fun to watch Kevin Sorbo’s terrible acting.  That guy has always sucked.  But the next film absolutely takes the cake for Christian circle-jerk factor.

God’s Not Dead 2 came out and now we have Sabrina the former Teenage Witch and now reborn Mega Christian (no joke, the actress is very, very Christian now) starring as the teacher who is being trampled down by the EVIL secular society and their EVIL secular values as the EVIL ACLU is brought in to try and destroy her.  This film is made to have fundamentalist, conservative Christians cumming in their pants because their absurd sense of siege can be blasted all over the screen.

This film is the worst.  The absolute worst.  None of what happens in this movie would have happened.  If a teacher at a public school went into religion with a student, would they get talked to?  Maybe.  But this whole insane thing about her nearly being fired would never have happened.  It would have been just “yo, don’t get too crazy into the religious stuff, we don’t want to upset anyone, so just tone it down, will ya?”  And then any sensible person who gets the separation of church and state would be like “sure.”  That’s where this would end.

But no, they have to get the EVIL ACLU involved to try and destroy this woman’s life.  Because the ACLU is so awful, right?  Fighting for the constitutional rights of citizens to be upheld.  Those bastards!  Oh, and the film tries to head off the argument about separation of church and state by saying that nowhere does it say that anywhere in our law.  Here’s the thing this movie doesn’t get – part of the job of the Supreme Court is to interpret the laws as they are written.  It’s the reason that Roe v Wade gave women the rights to their own bodies, or Obergefell v Hodges granted gays and lesbians the right to marry in all 50 states even though that isn’t in the Constitution either.  It’s that branch’s job to interpret the laws in respect to other issues.  So in the case of Everson v Board of Education, it was strictly laid out the separation of church and state in respect to public schools.

You can’t explain that to conservative Christians, though.  For whatever reason, these fucking morons have this inexplicable sense of siege in this country, and I will never understand.  I know so many people in atheist groups I have been a part of online who are teenagers and say that they can’t say who they are to their parents because they would disown them, or even fear for their physical safety.  But nope!  It’s all Christians who have it so hard.  Hand to Groj.  Ugh.

This film has court scenes that are so bafflingly stupid.  From characters being questioned and the ACLU representative never objecting even though it is so obvious that this has nothing to do with anything.  Like when Lee Strobel is on the stand.  Hell the ACLU has no cross-examination then, and you can bet your ass that I’d be all over that guy if I had him in a courtroom to testify under oath.  Trust and believe.  Then we get this teenage girl running in and not only does the bailiff not do anything, but they allow this girl to take the stand.  Then, when it is patently obvious how much this case has been a breach of legal rules and how it would so obviously get destroyed in appeal, the film doesn’t do that.  Because after all, they have to suck the religious cock and make all the religious people blow their metaphysical load all over these films.  It’s the worst.

Unlike the other film, there was nothing to enjoy there.  That film is the worst, the absolute worst.  It’s religious propaganda at its worst and I hate that I devoted time to actually taking it in.  I don’t get how religious people aren’t offended by how their religion is made to look in films like this.  It’s terrible.

These films suck.  Don’t watch them.  Ever.  Oh, and the Newsboys fucking suck!  They are the worst group ever.  Brings to mind that great quote by Hank Hill – you’re not making Christianity better, you’re making rock worse.

Final Verdict:
God’s Not Dead:
4 out of 10

God’s Not Dead 2:
2 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s Review: Avengers: Infinity War

The MCU was lightning in a bottle for Disney.  It was a perfect vision of Kevin Feige that was seen to fruition through dedication and some missteps.  Not every film is great.  Hell, not all of them are good.  In fact, some suck.  But they don’t suck so hard that they ruin what the franchise has been shooting for.  Since the Internet exists, you are able to ignore the missteps and keep track of the good ones.  After this saga is over, I will be compiling my list of favorite films in the MCU.  Why then?  Because after having seen this film, I genuinely believe the only place they can go after this is someplace stupid.  There will never be another height that can be reached beyond this.  This is as high as the franchise will ever go.  And let me tell you, that is high praise indeed.

This film is the culmination of everything that the MCU has been shooting for.  When I heard about a series of films in a shared universe, this is what I figured it would all build up to.  And let me tell you, it panned out so perfectly.  I was so afraid that this film was going to suck, but so much love and dedication was put in to making everything about this film work.  This is the best film in the MCU to date, and the stakes for the final film couldn’t possibly be higher.  We have a lot to talk about, so let’s get down to it.

I don’t really wanna talk about the plot, because the Internet already knows that.  What I want to talk about are the performances.  As I said, this is a culmination of everything that the films have been building up to.  That means that every performance is symbolic of everything that has been building up.  What does that mean?  It means that like Civil War, it has to have every character staying in character with who they have been up to now.

And since there is convergence, we get to see those personalities playing off one-another.  So we get to see Tony Stark, an ego that is utterly massive, playing off Doctor Strange, who is also such an ego.  Their banter is just amazing.  What’s more, the parental bond between Stark and Spider-Man is just fantastic.  It leads to a truly heart-wrenching moment toward the end once plot stuff happens.  It is the most emotional climax of the entire franchise thus far.

Who are my favorite performances?  I will list them now – First, Tony Stark.  This guy is just the best.  His ego has really toned down since the beginning.  This isn’t the totally egotistical asshole from the first Iron Man film.  He’s had time to learn, and when the moment he has been fearing for all this time finally arrives, you can see that fear all over his face.  Next up is Parker.  Having fallen in love with this character even more after Homecoming, seeing him now in the thick of such a massive dilemma is pretty great.

Then we have Doctor Strange.  I actually really liked his film, and think he’s an interesting character.  He accepts that there are things more powerful than he can understand, and now he is working to make himself a better man.  Benedict Cumberbatch has such presence with this character.

I also really loved Rocket.  I am also going to be making a list of my top 10 MCU characters, and to be honest, he’s going to be very, very high on that list.  It’s really great that they paired him up with Thor throughout the bulk of the film.  I have always hated Thor as a character.  He’s boring.  He’s arrogant, but not in the fun snarky way like Stark.  But in this film we see him very, very emotional.  The film opens with him being utterly destroyed emotionally by Thanos kicking his ass and destroying his people’s only hope for survival.

Which brings me to my favorite performance of the entire film – Thanos.  One thing that people can rightly accuse the MCU of is having really boring villains.  That’s a totally fair statement, given how I can barely remember the names of some of these people.  We’ve had film after film leading up to this guy coming into play, and Groj-dammit is his performance the thing that steals the show!  This guy is a really complicated villain.  He has motivations that are not always easy to understand.  He appears cold and insane, but then you see other sides of him.  Sides that are almost sympathetic.  You actually feel for this guy when you realize that, as horrible a person as he is, there is some part of him that does have emotional attachments and is able to rationalize what he’s doing.  What’s more, despite his violence and genocide, he is engaging.  The film takes several scenes to just have him talking to people, and getting to know his back-story.  It’s pretty great stuff.  Every character thinks they got him figured out, but they really don’t.

That leads me to the best part of this whole movie – it’s darkness.  You have the DCEU trying (and failing, horribly.  It’s dead to me) to be dark and gritty, but Marvel is kicking their ass even at that.  They can’t even get the dark and gritty shit down right.  This film has a giant purple monster as a villain and they make him more human and malevolent than any of DCEU’s boring-ass villains who are supposed to be “realistic” could ever hope to be.  Ironic, I think that the purple-haired monster is more of a human villain than the ones in ANY of DC’s live-action films.  Go fucking figure.  Not including Chris Nolan’s movies, of course.

What is the biggest drawback?  For me, it’s the fact that Disney films have a bad habit of human that is when you have some character doing something, and then you have the “awkward…” moment.  I was told the previous Thor film was dripping in it.  The Last Jedi was too, and it sucked the film down.  That’s not to say that all the comedy in this film was bad.  Some of it was pretty on point.  But Disney could stand to do less of the “character does something weird/silly and everyone is awkward” humor.  You didn’t need it in Guardians 2, and you don’t need it all the time here.  Don’t get me wrong, totally glad you have humorous moments.  It makes the really ugly moments hit that much harder.  Though I can’t possibly see how the next film can have anything happy when this film ends on such an ugly note that it will blow your fucking mind.

I’ve already heard so many of the people who defend The Last Jedi saying that this film subverting expectations and people loving it is bullshit because they did that in that film and everybody hated it.  Here’s the thing – subverting expectation is easy to do, but it has to feel like it has meaning to the story you are trying to tell.  In this film it does.  Every time they do it, it feels like it has a point.  In that OTHER movie it doesn’t.  It feels like them trying to make some political point, or having some SJW-approved element to shove in there.  Subversion doesn’t make a great work, if it’s not used well.  In this film, it was used perfectly.

Another thing that got my attention, and this is a bit of a spoiler, is that since the film ends with Thanos winning and the Avengers being mostly killed of, it made me think about something.  See, as adults we realize that they aren’t going to be dead forever.  We know that the Infinity Gauntlet will be used to bring them back.  But how many 9 year olds are sitting the theater bawling watching Spider-Man turn to ash?  Or Groot die, again.  That’s some pretty dark shit.

Overall, this is one of the greatest, if not the greatest superhero film I have ever seen.  It shows what a masterful work the MCU was, and since Kevin Feige is leaving after the sequel to this, I am going to tune out then.  There is nowhere this franchise can go but down.  I loved this movie, and I think all of you should see it if you haven’t already.  It shows that even the MCU can be a mature, grim place.

Final Verdict
9 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s First Take: The Meg

I’ve been saying for a LONG time that Hollywood is out of ideas.  That’s obvious to anyone who is paying attention at this point.  From all the remakes, reboots, Disney’s TERRIBLE live-action remakes of their classic cartoons (all, without a single exception, suck), and let’s not even get started over how everything is either that or a sequel, it’s abundantly clear that Hollywood is totally out of ideas.  The fact that the Disney live-action remakes of their films make a shit-ton of money blows my mind.  What retards are going to see that crap for entertainment purposes?  Will never know.

But then we get shit like this.  A film that was scraped right down from the very bottom of the barrel.  I mean we’re talking about the caked-on sludge of old ideas that have been done to death.  This isn’t beating a dead horse.  This is going the Freddy Got Fingered route with its skin.  Actually fitting, if you think about it.  Retarded studio executives got together and said “what’s going to make a ton of money?  I know, let’s make a giant shark movie!”  They got some hack writer to come up with the script, and then found some washed-up action star to sell it.  Thus, The Meg was born.  Don’t worry, we’ll get to the title in a minute.  First, let’s take a look at the trailer.

Why is the Like ratio on this so high?!  Have I taken fucking crazy pills?!  Either I am the only sane person on the Internet, or the rest of this country is so intellectually dead that they are actually calling for this garbage.  I cannot believe it.  Sometimes I think that this country is filled with absolute retards.

First, the title.  I cannot take The Meg seriously.  This is the stupidest title I have ever seen on any film, ever.  I’ve seen porn movies with titles that aren’t this cringe-worthy.  All I can hear when I see a title like this is –

So yeah.  This is so stupid right off the bat.  But let’s keep going.  Alright, so we got cute little Asian girl with her ball that rolls around going through a really fake-CG underwater area.  The ball is suddenly stopped, when what do we find?  A REALLY fake CG shark!  And it’s big!  Wait, hasn’t The Asylum done dozens of these kinds of films already?  Is this literally just an Asylum picture with a higher budget?  Why are there so many likes on this?!  What is it that the people of the Internet wouldn’t like?  SevenLet the Right One InAkira?  The Internet has such phenomenally-bad taste that it blows my mind.  Uh-oh!  Really fake CG shark tries to bite the tiny Asian girl!  And for some reason fails.  What I’m sure is a fuck-ton of biting power, and it couldn’t bite through that glass.  Weird.

Then we cut to them exploring really fake CG…everything!  Are they even in water?!  There wasn’t a single shot in any of the stuff that followed that I didn’t think – CG was used.  I may think that Titanic is overrated crap, but at least James Cameron went out in the actual ocean.  Ugh!  The CG on everything in the environments is so distractingly terrible.  Why is this so bad?

Next, it cuts to Bobby Darin doing “Beyond the Sea,” with a happy wedding scene?  Their tiny dog jumps into the water, and sees the giant shark, which causes it to swim back.  The song keeps going!  What tone are they trying to set with this?  Because it sure as hell isn’t intimidating.  Not to mention, how big is this thing?  There are multiple shots that paint the size of this monster very differently.  The opening has it pretty damn big, but then we have shot after shot where the size seems to change, depending on what it’s going after.  In one scene, it’s so big that it looks like it can swallow a boat whole.  In another, it’s small enough to be having trouble with a submarine.  There are real discrepancies with the size of this creature who is supposed to be intimidating.  Though, after a while, you realize that it’s so big that it might as well be a kaiju and we can get Godzilla to fight it.  Would probably be a better movie.

All of this is besides the point.  This movie is basically Jaws, except the shark is WAY bigger, and WAY more fake.  Nothing about this is realistic.  It’s stupid.  The fact that the Internet has seen fit to give this so many likes hurts me inside.  Fuck this movie.

Initial Verdict:
A complete waste of time

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s Review: Annihilation (and the death of cinema)

I got to see Annihilation, and it was pretty great.  It wasn’t perfect.  It does have some flaws, but it is genuinely smart science fiction that does what the SJWs are saying film doesn’t ever do.  A movie starring five smart, capable women who are in STEM and who have a ton of personality without all being bland stereotypes.  The type of thing that every social justice moron should be singing from the hills about it being an accomplishment in film, but not only is nobody talking about it, but nobody has seen it either.  A fact that depresses me to no end.  Let’s talk about it.

The film follows Natalie Portman as a ex-Army, current researching at Johns Hopkins.  Her husband has gone missing in a very poorly paced opening, but then shows up again, very different.  After he has some hardcore organ failure, she is brought into a mysterious event where a meteorite had crashed into Earth and now there is a weird effect called The Shimmer.  Desperate to get answers to save her husband, she embarks on what is understood to be a suicide mission with four other women, all of whom are aware of just how precarious their situation is.  Each has their own motivation and as they get closer to the source of The Shimmer, it becomes clear that they are going to be tested as people, scientists, and the bonds they can make with each other.

It’s so nice to see smart science fiction.  It really is.  We have so much absolute garbage like Life, which is just a rip-off of Alien.  We have the endless amount of big-budget blockbuster dreck that is either very generic like Black Panther, or outright terrible like Justice League.  But just like Blade Runner 2049, we have a film that is genuinely great and nobody is going to see it.  This film’s numbers are in the tank.  It will add its name to the pantheon of films that are smart, well-crafted, and nobody fucking saw.  It pisses me off to no end.

The things this film got right – the slow-burn pace, the fantastic science elements that they explore, and the atmosphere.  Not to mention the really smart use of theme.  This film is able to do visual story-telling to such great extent, and only a few times does it feel like it is overplaying its hand, and one of those times is in the very end and it does damage this film to me a little just because it feels like the film thinks it is WAY smarter than it actually is in that moment.  But there was so much great stuff leading up to that which hooked me from beginning to end.

We also have the performances.  I loved almost every character in this movie.  This film is proof that Natalie Portman is a very good actress if she just has the right director.  Give her the right person and she can turn in a truly fantastic performance.  But the cast with her was pretty great too.  Everyone had their own reasons, and you learn more and more about those reasons as you go along.  The film doesn’t just tell the audience why they are the way they are.  You have to learn it as you go along.  Well-written, well-acted female characters, all of whom are leads, all of whom play characters who are capable.  The fact that the social justice community is radio silent about this while screaming the praises of yet-another cookie-cutter Marvel film is beyond me.

But the science was the highlight of the film.  The Shimmer has this effect on all of the life inside of it that is both fascinating, and terrifying.  Part of the effect of this place led to one of the most terrifying scenes in any film I have ever seen.  Bar none, it scared the shit out of me.  It has such perfect build-up, and when it happens you are left feeling trapped with the characters.  Listening to the characters talk about their observations of The Shimmer and the effect it is having on everything inside is genuinely interesting and it makes me sad that it only goes for so long.

Then there’s the fact that this may be the first film about alien life that I think feels like an alien life since I saw Arrival.  You have the story being told cut in with scenes in the present asking Natalie Portman’s character what the meaning of it all is, and she has the same response over and over again – I don’t know.  Throughout it all, the designs of this alien entity and what it was trying to do is a complete mystery.  Right up to the climax of the film you still don’t get what it was trying to do.  I love that.  So many films hold your hand and feel the need to explain everything to you because they think you’re stupid, but not this one.  It’s great.  Gee, maybe that’s why it’s failing at the box office.  Because America is stupid.

As I said, though, there are problems.  One of which is the fact that there are a couple scenes where you can tell that characters are aiming at things that aren’t really there.  A trailer scene about the crocodile attack is a really good scene, but when Natalie Portman’s character is shooting at it, you can see her weapon going off not pointing at where the target is supposed to be.  It’s almost Starship Troopers levels of off.  I will say that it’s nice to have a scene where people are shooting guns and you have casings hitting the floor.  It’s such a pet peeve for me in films when people are shooting and you don’t see or hear any bullet casings.  Next, the very, very end of the film is nowhere near as smart as it thinks it is.  I’ve heard so many people saying that it’s so mysterious, but it’s not.  And the discourse bugs me.

I’ve talk about how this film is basically dead at the box office, and it bugs me.  I hate that we have these films that are dumb blockbusters that are making huge money.  We’ve seen that blockbusters don’t always have to be stupid.  We’ve seen that not all Marvel films have to be stupid.  But they are.  It’s a bummer how much dumb cinema has taken over, and you have all this direct-to-Netflix stuff that runs the gamut from smart that nobody will see to shit that they knew wouldn’t get a release anywhere else.  The days of smart cinema are number, and it hurts me inside.

Overall, this is a really good movie that I cannot recommend enough.  If you are like me and are tired of the same rehashed shit, over and over again, you owe it to yourself to see this film.  You really do.  That’s all I got for you.  Now you make your choice.

Final Verdict
8 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s Review: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

What garbage.  What absolute, unmitigated trash.  I have never hated a film as much as I hate this one.  I found Rogue One boring.  I thought The Force Awakens was stupid and derivative.  But this?  This movie is the death knell of Star Wars!  I hate this film more than I will ANY of the prequels.  I can enjoy those on some level of being so bad they can occasionally be funny.  And Episode III was at least TRYING to be good.  This?  This was every horrible cliche about modern film-making I have ever seen.  It took all of the things that were bad about The Force Awakens and cranks them up to 11, while adding NOTHING good.  Not one fucking thing.  I am DONE with this franchise.  Just done.  Gonna spoil the fuck out of this movie, because I need to rage.  Let’s get started.

This entire movie was basically side-plots.  There was NO central plot in the entire fucking thing.  None.  Even at the end, it felt like nothing happened.  So, we have Rey the Mary Sue giving Luke back his lightsaber (the film picks up literal seconds from where the previous film left off), and him taking it and literally throwing it over his shoulder.  Apparently Luke became the biggest curmudgeon in the universe between films.  So, all of that effort he took give clues to find him, as if he was meaning to be found?  Yeah, it’s never addressed.  Just like a lot of loose plot threads from the previous film.

Plot threads like – who Rey’s parents are.  It was a big plot point that was teased and everyone wanted an answer to.  Yeah, that’s out.  Oh, and what about the Knights of Ren?  Who were they?  Nope!  That never comes up.  What about Snoke?  What is his deal?  How did he end up meeting Darth Angst?  Oh, this film goes out of its way to not care about this character that they make into the big bad villain.  Not even a little concern.

And that’s just the start of how stupid this movie is.  We have some new characters!  Like Rose!  She’s overweight, and Asian.  That’s it.  Her entire personality is in those two points.  This woman has no personality.  Neither does Finn.  Neither does Rey.  Darth Angst gets himself a little more of a personality, but it isn’t enough.  This movie has a bad habit of believing that if we give these people character traits outside of their skin color or gender, then we suddenly wouldn’t be able to relate to them.  Can’t have that!  Speaking of, we have a purple-haired Tumblrina in this film!  She’s another character who is boring.  Except this woman is so frustratingly stupid.  She makes horrible decisions all over the film.  And when Po RIGHTFULLY calls her on that, Leia decides to literally shoot him in the back.  Because woman power!  Who cares that this stupid bitch is making horrible decisions that are getting a TON of people killed!  She’s a woman, so naturally she’s right.

Let’s talk about Leia for a minute.  I don’t get how people in the theater weren’t laughing so fucking hard with me when I saw the scene where she is thrown out into space, and yet somehow turns into Mary fucking Poppins and flies back into the ship.  The singles stupidest thing I have ever seen.  Nowhere, in any Star Wars material, has it been shown that you can do that.  That the Force can magically make you immune from the effects of being sucked out into the vacuum of space.  It’s retarded with a capital R.

Oh, but don’t think she’s the only character this film decides to shit on.  Remember Luke?  Remember his character from the original films?  Remember how he came from a rather boring kid on Tattoine, to having his faith in what he was told by people to the test and losing a hand for his trouble, only to grow from the experience and become a true Jedi Knight like his father before him?  Yeah, this film decided to throw all of that out the fucking window and turn him into a curmudgeon who made a really stupid decision to attempt to murder a fucking child all because he saw a vision that told him he might be evil.  Remember how far he went to bring his father back to the light side because he could see there was the potential for good in him?  This film wants me to believe that he would just decide that trying to save the child of his best friend and sister is not worth it because of a vision of what might be.  That’s fucking stupid!

But he isn’t the last of the original cast that this film decided to fuck over.  Yoda’s back!  Hey, remember how Yoda was a wise-cracking hermit who put on airs of being a crazy swamp man, until Luke realized who he is, and then his attitude changed and he became a very serious mentor?  Yeah, well I guess this film decided to forget that, because now he’s a wise-cracking idiot here.  All the stoic wisdom?  Nope!  This film has the same habit that most of Marvel’s latest films do in that every time there is a serious moment happening, they have humor that is cringe-worthy at best and just makes me roll my eyes the rest of the time.

Then we got the cute little animal helpers!  Because if this film can’t have interesting characters, it can be cute.  That’s totally how that works, right?  And we get to see Luke Curmudgeon milk a space cow.  Because why the fuck not?!

Oh, and Superman Leia isn’t the only time this film decided to just spit in the face of all reality.  Like at the very beginning we have these Resistance…fuck it, I’m just calling the Rebel, because that’s what they fucking are…bombers going after Imperial (they aren’t the First Order.  That’s stupid) ships and they open up the bottom of their ships to drop payloads like they are in fucking World War II fighters.  Are you kidding me?!  Did Rian Johnson just forget what movie he was making and wanted to make a scene from a The Sky Crawlers with bombs falling out of the bottom of these fighters?!  Ugh!

Let’s talk about Rey.  She’s back!  And she’s just as bland, boring, and completely uninteresting.  Her complete lack of a character is even more noticeable here, because at no point do I ever believe that she’s being pushed to her limit.  Oh, and she also just happens to be better at the Force in every way than Luke Skywalker.  That’s right, this character who has only known about the force for two weeks (at most!  This film picks up seconds after where the last film left off and it had her knowing about the Force for a day or two) is suddenly so good at the Force that she is better than her teacher.  Was there a scene where she gets to see the true power of the Force, as Luke had when Yoda moved the X-Wing out of the swamp?  Nope.  She’s pretty much moving mountains after a couple scenes because if she isn’t a complete Mary Sue then how can the Tumblrinas like her?

Finn served no purpose in this film.  You could cut his entire story from it and NOTHING would change.  Nothing.  Not one fucking thing.  His arc is being teamed up with Asian woman.  Oh, and killing off the female stormtrooper who was just as pointless and stupid as she was in the last film.

Then we have Luke Skywalker, who is supposed to be this great hero who has become a Jedi Master, being killed off in the stupidest way ever!  It should have been Leia they killed off in this movie.  And not just because Carrie Fisher is dead, although there is that.  But also because she did nothing to move the story along.  Except shoot Po in the back when he makes a very valid point that the Tumblrina can’t command and is doing nothing but getting people killed.

I hate this movie.  I am done with this franchise.  Thankfully, I am not alone.  The person who dragged me to see this with him, who loved The Force Awakens and is a die-hard fan of the franchise, hated this movie more than I did.  Now that I know what kind of director Rian Johnson is, I know that I get to ignore the trilogy he is helming.  The ONLY nice thing I can say about this film is that the cinematography was pretty great.  That’s it.  Fuck this movie.  Fuck this franchise.  Star Wars should have been left to die 30 years ago.  Thanks to Disney we’re never going to see the ACTUAL Star Wars story we wanted to see – 1313.

Final Verdict
4 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

My Romantic Movie Night

Just got done watching Garden of Words.  The animation in that film is absolutely stunning.  It is a visual masterpiece.  Thought about doing a review of it, but I figured that I haven’t written anything of substance on this page in a while.  Honestly haven’t had much that inspires me to write about.  I could write about Trump’s latest idiocy, but that’s done by the entire fucking media.  To be fair, he doesn’t make it hard.  How are people saying that America didn’t elect its first female President?  Sure looks that way to me.  We elected an oversized teenage girl into the Presidency.  The glass ceiling has been broken!

But back to the film, it may have been a visual masterpiece, but I kind of hate it.  Hear me out – it all comes down to the ending.  There’s no resolution!  You have this scene where the underage kid reveals to the woman who he has bonded with when he finally figures out who she is that he’s in love with her.  She totally shoots him down.  It’s a harsh scene.  I felt so hard for that kid.  Throwing your heart out and then getting it thrown in your face is hard.  Then the adult woman who he admitted his feelings for realizes that she has feelings for him too and goes after the kid.  It’s a truly fantastic scene when they meet and the kid is all sad and angry and rails on her, only for her to run into his arms.  I love that scene.  It’s some truly amazing payoff and the voice acting is phenomenal.  It’s a testament to the people who made it.

Then she leaves!  The two are apart and that’s it.  Come on!  Now, I get that this would be a little weird, considering the fact that she’s 27 years old and he’s 15.  But better films have made this work.  Why have her leave?  Maybe have the two admitting how they feel but also acknowledging that they can’t be together because of the age gap and have them realizing that they will have to wait a little bit.  That’s an acknowledgement of reality while still having them looking to keep their feelings alive.  It would have been much more fulfilling if the film ended with her finding a life close to the person she loves, and having him giving her the shoes he had been making the whole film to her at the end.  Like a kind of promise.  Wouldn’t that have been more fulfilling?

See, here’s the thing about me – I’m a hardcore closet romantic.  When I watch FLCL, I feel a genuine tinge for the kid when he is falling for an older woman.  It’s funny, American media bitches about how the idea of a younger man dating an older woman is so frowned upon.  Japan certainly doesn’t shy away from an age difference with boys and women.  What’s more, they also make it respectable.  Sure, there is plenty of fan service for busty older women that young horny boys are into, but in both Garden of Words and FLCL, they play it as these women being genuine people with the boys discovering their romantic identity with them.  In both cases, it makes for some great scenes.  But while FLCL played it off that the kid falling for the older girl was a metaphor for him growing up and accepting who he is, Garden of Words played the romantic angle straight.  Which makes it that much more frustrating when the film ends on a sour note for no good fucking reason.

I really am bad about it.  When I watch the scene in Stein’s Gate when Christina and Okarin admit their feelings for each other, I judge that scene harshly as well.  It’s a great scene, but it could have been better.  For starters, the music in there is terrible.  It’s distractingly bad.  The scene would have been better served if there was no music at all.  Would have added to the emotional gravity as well, considering the fact that Okarin was about to let the woman he just admitted that he loves die.  Genuinely would have loved that scene more.  Also, get rid of the narration by Christina.  It added nothing.  Just quiet.  Have the rain be the biggest sound, with a few seconds for the audience to take in the cruel irony of what was happening with these two characters.

Anytime I see romantic scenes in stuff I like, I typically get all butterflies, while secretly seeing ways the scene could be better and really make me all warm and buttery about it.  Am I the only one?  No joke, someone in the comments, tell me if I am fucking crazy here.  So many great romantic scenes in movies are ruined because of bad details.  Used a lot of anime references.  What can I say, they tend to play romance a lot better than sappy love stories in American cinema.  That’s not to say that it isn’t done well in other mediums.  In the French film Blue is the Warmest Color, I feel genuine heartbreak as Adele is first introduced to the truth about her sexuality with a classmate, only for her feelings to be totally crushed when she realizes it was just a one-off thing and not a sign of true attraction.  The tears on her face seemed genuine.

I guess it’s a sign of me getting older.  As the years on my birthday cake grow, and my time having been single grows, I feel more and more of it.  But no one who sees me in person will know that.  My cynicism is well-known to those who speak to me.  Groj knows, I’ve made no secret of it here.  Deep down, though, there is that part of me that secretly longs to have that moment where I meet a girl at a place I regularly go and then strike up a conversation and something grows between us.  A man can dream, right?  Granted, everyone goes to bars to meet people these days.  I go to bookstores and walks around my home.  Not a lot of places for romance.  But hey, it can happen, right?

What about all of you?  What romantic scenes from stuff (I swear, if someone says The Notebook I’m gonna virtually smack you.  That movie is fucking terrible) have made you all warm and buttery inside?  Let me know in the Comments.

Until next time, a quote,

“I love you.  I can’t help it.  Yukino, I think I’ve fallen in love with you.” – Takao Akizuki, The Garden of Words

Peace out,

Maverick