Batman: Assault on Arkham

After seeing the animated movie I doubt the live action one would be as good. Assault on Arkham is about the Suicide Squad, a team assembled by Amanda Waller comprised of ex-super villains. Walker wants to assassinate the Riddler who is imprisoned in Arkham.

Deadshot is captured and put in charge of the Squad. All the members are there for their specific skills and knowledge of the situation. Harley Quinn used to work in Arkham and is able to give an entire layout of the prison. Captain Boomerang, Black Spider, Killer Frost and King Shark are brought on help in the escape.

Each member is implanted with a bomb in their neck to insure that Walker is in charge and that no member deviates from the plan. KGBreast is on the team for a short time, but tests Walker and is the first to get their head blown off.

The big question on the whole teams mind is, “What about Batman?”. Walker lets the Squad know that Batman is apparently on another case. The Joker hid a dirty bomb somewhere in Gotham and Batman has been tearing the city apart trying to find it.

The Squads mission and Batman’s search both cross paths when the Squad encounters the Joker in Arkham. Quinn has finally left the Joker after his last beating and is at wits end when she encounters him. Deadshot is a solid leader and does the best he can with the band of rag tag degenerates.

Assault on Arkham is an incredible movie that is well thought out. Better than any of the Christopher Nolan movies. The characters are all out for themselves secretly and all have great personalities. The action is intense and even though this is a cartoon movie, it is in no way intended for children.

There aren’t many plot holes in this movie and very little room for change. The concept is solid and the only problem I had was it wasn’t long enough. I give it a perfect 5/5 and a must see for DC and Batman fans.

Joe Reyes

 

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How To Ruin A Second Season

I want to use the TV show Young Justice as an example for this article. Young Justice is a DC comic’s based show about the Justice League’s sidekicks forming a new team to aid the league. The show started off very well. There was the introduction of a core group of characters that each got their own storylines in some episodes. Robin, Superboy, Kid Flash, Ms. Martian, Artemis and Aqualad were the core group of heroes. There was a main plot that got deeper as the show progressed. Each character evolved and changed as events transpired.

The creators started off the show great. There was a deep enriching storyline. A solid group of characters that all had a big part of screen time. Any filler episodes served to deepen your understanding of the characters. The season ended in a cliff hanger. The final episodes showed the Justice League being controlled by an unknown evil and forced to fight their once sidekicks. You find out that 6 members of the League went into deep space with no knowledge of what happened. Also in the final moments you saw who the main villain was.

They ended the season solving the problem and setting the tone for next season. So what is the problem? I can answer it in 3 words “5 years later”. The new season started off 5 years later from the previous one. Everything changed and the season was mostly trying to answer the questions the audience had.

Robin, a young boy at the time matured quickly and is in charge of the team. He is now known as Nightwing. Superboy and Ms. Martian started a relationship that seemed to abruptly end. Kid Flash and Artemis became a couple and quit the League all together. Aqualad’s one true love died and he became a supervillain and teamed up with Black Manta….who you later find out is Aqualad’s father.

Instead of building to these storyline, the writers decided to ignore all that and just make you accept their idea. You also find out in the first season that the character Red Arrow, who was once team member, was a clone and the real Red Arrow was captured. So the clone Red Arrow set out to find the original. So he has been searching for 5 years and found nothing. Oh yea, he also had a kid with a supervillain that was randomly sprung on him.

There are a huge number of additional team members added to season 2. None of them you learn how they ended up there. The season starts with the new members combating a bad guy. There is no introduction about these characters. It’s just “Here is Blue Beetle and everyone else”.

Not only did each character in the first season get their own episode, you got to learn about their pasts and how they got to where they are now. There is a new Robin and a Batgirl. Along with a handful of other “main characters” to the show that just spring up like they were there all the time.

It the difference between “showing” vs “telling” story writing. One is just “accept it” and that’s it. The other is take it step by step. Show me how Robin became Nightwing. Show me how he took charge and became the leader.

There aren’t simple little changes. These are series changing events that were just sprung on the audience. Good writing is showing not telling. 5 years is 5 seasons worth of material they could’ve put in to the show.

More importantly the second season had a lot of twists and turns, but they were only twists and turns because the audience didn’t know better and you had to just everything as it was presented. That’s not a twist, it’s a lie.

So after a solid core group has been assembled, season 2 diluted it and sometimes you never saw all the heroes. When I write, I make sure all characters are given their proper time in the spot light. One story I wrote had 7 different characters in different parts of the United States.

BUT I cycled through them repeatedly so there wasn’t a long gap between seeing all the characters. More importantly I even had some characters interact with eachother and go on joint storylines. Book 2 I added a lot more characters, but still had the small numbers of storylines because I combined characters and it didn’t spread the story to thin.

Young Justice was a great show, but the writers ruined it by first making the outrageous time gap and then by adding so many new characters without an explanation. Shows can’t that. First of all it’s unfair to the audience and more importantly it is just bad writing. Season 1 was never like that so going off the blue print into season 2 is just an odd idea. This is how you ruin a good show.

Joe Reyes

Interstellar: The Worst Movie of the Decade

 

Yes, you read that correctly. A blockbuster hit that won awards and has been nominated for 5 Oscars, I think is one of the worst movies I have ever seen. This movie was incredibly boring, outrageously long and confusing to the point where I had to research message boards to find out what was going on. Also, the music was entirely too loud. It might’ve been the theater I was at (I doubt it), but the music was so loud it drowned out some of the key dialogue.

When I saw the trailer, I figured it was going to be a bad movie. Because from what I gathered, the movie was about the Earth becoming uninhabitable and Matthew McConaughey going to other planets to find one that can sustain life for humans to travel to. This isn’t a plotline that looks to be filled with many twists and turns. Just seems like McConaughey would go to planet 1 and say “Eh” and go to planet 2 and see how it is.

McConaughey plays Cooper, a former pilot who eventually becomes the savior of the world…sorta. I was surprised that McConaughey wasn’t the writer on this movie, because it seems that Cooper could not die even though there were many times for it to happen.

The human race is dying of starvation I think. Giant sandstorms wipe away crop fields and causing people to suffocate. The only hope is to find another place for humans to live. Luckily, a wormhole has appeared in our solar system put by….aliens they think. The aliens must’ve known that Earth was in trouble and created a wormhole to another galaxy with habitable worlds.

There is a lot going on in this movie. I haven’t even gotten to the backstory of Cooper and his family. Cooper is a farmer now, who lives with his father in law, son Tom and daughter Murph. Yes, Murph, because that’s a girl’s name somehow.

Murph thinks there is a ghost in the house. In her room there is a giant bookshelf, and books seem to fall randomly. Murph decides to write these occurrences. Somehow Murph ends up connecting the dropping of books into Binary and Morse code. Really? Are we just going to pretend that makes sense?

Cooper indulges Murph’s crazy theory and puts the code as coordinates on a map and follows it to a secret military base. Cooper and Murph are captured by robots, tough talking Lincoln Log looking robots.

Skipping ahead, because this review isn’t even half way through. Scientist Professor Brand has discovered the wormhole with a bunch of other scientist and have already been sending exploration groups through and are sending another team consisting of Professors Brand’s daughter Brand….yes Brand is her name, random black guy and another scientist. Cooper is sent along as well. Because apparently they want him to pilot the craft because they are in desperate need and here Cooper randomly is.

Murph cries and tries to convince Cooper to stay. She even says the Morse code spells out STAY, but Cooper leaves anyway. The team goes into cryo sleep and go through the wormhole and land on another planet.

The problem is the time this mission takes. They don’t want to be gone too long because the world is dying, apparently, so taking forever isn’t a good idea. On approaching the planets, the time increases for the amount of time on Earth. 1 hour on the planet amounts to 7 years on Earth. So there is a rush to this mission.

I don’t want to spoil the ending or the 1 twist to it in the middle too much. This movie is about a Temporal Causality Loop. Family Guy had it in an episode. Stewie created the universe and Brian questioned how Stewie could create the universe if he was born in it. Stewie explained it like this “The universe created me so I can create it so it can create me and so on”. That is this movie in a nut shell. Something happens, beyond logical reasoning and TCL is the answer to it.

This movie was awful on all fronts. Worst of all, the ending was “apparently” a tear jerker. I was watching the ending and heard a sniff a few seats over. I see a woman in tears. I turn to tell my girlfriend of the phenomenon and saw another person crying. The whole theater except me was having an emotional reaction to the scene! To quote Lou Costello “Why? I don’t know”.

I give this a 0/5. It was just a disaster in every scene. Nothing made sense and it was just so long. I’ve seen long movies without a ton of action and still thought it was good. But this movie had no redeeming qualities to it. The biggest gasp moment for me was finding out Matt Damon was in the movie.

I do give the movie a smidge of credit. They had a line that was so hysterical that I literally laughed out loud. I highlighted it for you.

Cooper: Dr. Mann there’s a 50/50 chance your gonna kill yourself.

Dr. Mann: Those are the best odds I’ve had in years.

Joe Reyes

Sabotage

The biggest problem with this movie is that it tries too hard to be something else that what it is. The movie changes so drastically in a short amount of time. There are far too many sub plots and hidden agendas for a movie that is predicated as an Action movie.

Sabotage is about a semi-corrupt DEA unit lead by Arnold Swartzenager. The movie stats off with Swartzenager’s unit taking down a major drug cartel. In the cartel’s home, they discover a huge stack of millions of dollars. The unit takes a share of the money for themselves every mission it seems. The problem is the cartel is part of a bigger group and wants revenge on Swartzenager’s unit. Members of the group start getting picked off one by one.

Seems like a good plot so far, right? Then the problems start coming up. We are shown far too much backstory with these characters. There is a “hidden mystery” going on with a member betraying their fellow comrades. There is an FBI investigation going on into the murders and the movie becomes a “whodunit” type of movie that is so out of place.

Swartzenager has his own storyline of revenge that comes out throughout the movie. Personal events that happened to his family months ago now becomes the main storyline at times and that’s all we talk about.

I didn’t go into this movie thinking it was going to be a 5/5. I pictured it to be a relatively average movie that would be entertaining at times. But there were too many other things going on that it was a very below average movie that was boring at times.

I give it a 2/5. There were a few good gun battles and the cast was great. The movie missed the mark and was too complicated towards the midway point. I think it was odd to see Swartzenager back in movies that try too hard to not be action flicks.

With the cast that was assembled and storyline in the beginning, this movie could’ve been Expendables-esk. Probably even better than the Expendables because the cast of characters we much better actors. Sam Worthington is a way better actor than Jason Statham. Joe Manganiello (True Blood), Josh Holloway (Lost) and Mireille Enos (The Killing) were on some of the top rated shows of their years.

Quite simply, they dropped the ball with this movie.

Joe Reyes

Why “Avengers: Infinity War” Could Go Horribly Wrong

It mainly depends on how closely the writers will follow to series The Infinity Gauntlet. The Marvel franchise has been building up to the Infinity Wars after the first Avengers movie showed the villain Thanos at the end.

Thanos is a superpower villain who wants to acquire a gauntlet filled with the Infinity Stones. Each one has immense powers and when combined the wielder is unbeatable. That is the problem right there. I said the wielder is “unbeatable”.

In the comic book series, Thanos wasn’t defeated and he annihilated every hero that challenged him. Thor got turned into glass and was shattered. Wolverine had his bones turned into rubber. Iron Man got his head ripped off. The Hulk only survived because Thanos shot him somewhere else. I think Marvel screwed themselves by creating a gauntlet that can give a single person so much power.

In the movie Guardians of the Galaxy, we see “1” stone in action. There was a flashback that explained how powerful a single stone can be…..it blew up a planet. In the series The Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos made half the people on Earth disappear with a snap of his fingers. Later he yelled and a nearby sun exploded.

So my problem is, there is no way to beat Thanos when he has the gauntlet. In the series they had to try to snatch it from him. The plan to assemble these heroes together wasn’t to beat Thanos; it was to survive long enough to snatch the gauntlet.

But there is more to my complaints than the gauntlet that has literally “infinite” power. The story itself I found to like a therapy session you are witnessing. Thanos, even though he is so powerful, came off as sad in the series.

Thanos was in love with Death herself and did things to try to impress her. He tortured people in front of Death and made half the world vanish just for her approval. Thanos even went as far to build a shrine to her out of a moon.

Death didn’t even speak a word in his direction. It just got sadder and sadder as the story went on because there was nothing he could do to make her happy. It was depressing at times and I wanted to scream “just love him you bitch!” but it didn’t happen.

Most of the series was about Thanos and his failed attempts with Death. Not really the action packed drama that you would hope to see in a Marvel movie, any movie that is about superheroes for that matter.

There is a final 3rd reason why I don’t think this movie will be great if they follow the book series. Thanos didn’t have an army. It was just him battling the heroes, mainly because he didn’t need an army. You’re just watching Thanos get bum rushed by the heroes and then die with little effort on the part of Thanos. In the Avengers movie, Loki brought an army with him that kept the Avengers that were not fighting Loki busy.

I don’t think the writers could follow most of the Infinity Gauntlet series. There is just too much boring dribble that will clutter the bulk of the movie. I would say ways to make the story better, but the fact that the gauntlet is that powerful is too much of a plot point to gloss over. They can’t make the gauntlet less powerful all of a sudden to make it an even playing field, so I think Marvel screwed themselves too early.

Joe Reyes

 

 

Anything But Amazing

The Amazing Spiderman 2 was nothing more than a plot fiasco. This movie was just coincidence after coincidence. I saw this from the last movie and wasn’t surprised that the trend continued into the highly anticipated sequel. The concept of rebooting the series sounded like a great idea, but I have a good feeling that this series will become nothing more than an over hyped disappointment and would make us miss the Tobey Maguire series even more.

For starters this series tries to do entirely too much in a short amount of time. One of the major problems with Spiderman 3, was that the movie tried to do too much. From the storyline of how Sandman killed Peter’s parents, to the creation on Venom, to the symbiote suit affecting Peter’s decisions. Too much to add into one movie.

The reboot sequel adds almost the same amount of plot lines going on, but just like Spiderman 3, this movie does too much. I almost feel the story was too rushed. More importantly, key details were left out. The original comics have Peter as a photojournalist for the Daily Bugle. In the Amazing Spiderman 2, Peter sells photos to the newspaper, but we are giving no more information than a tiny footnote on the bottom page that reads “Photo taken by Peter Parker”.

Peter starts to understand the dangers of his hidden identity to those around him. He fears that his crime fighting days might get his girlfriend Gwen Stacy killed in the crossfire. In the first movie, Peter makes a promise to Gwen’s dying father to stay away from Gwen, because he also fears Peter’s secret life will get her killed.

So at the end of the first movie he breaks up with Gwen, only to get back together with her in the final scenes, then breaking up with her in the beginning of the sequel, then to only confess his love for her and want to be with her. Yes…..confusing. All Peter had to do was let Gwen go. Yes, he loved her, but if his fears are justified then maybe it’s best to do the right thing and let Gwen go forever. That’s a lot better than “Oh Gwen I love you”, then “I’m sorry I can’t be with you”, then “Oh Gwen please don’t go” and then finally “What the hell are you doing here Gwen?”.

I like the direction the movie took with Oscorp. The story alludes to the start of the Sinister 6, a team up of Spiderman’s most dangerous villains. In a scene we get a sneak peek into the inner working of Oscorp and see a Dr. Octopus suit and a flight suit used by the Vulture. I was surprised that the movie used the Green Goblin storyline this early.

Harry Osborn, son of Oscorp founder Norman Osborn, is Peter’s best friend….apparently. I don’t like how Harry wasn’t in the first movie, but seemed to have this strong connection to Peter in the second. A smart idea would’ve been to put flashback sequences into the movie, a few scenes showing Harry and Peter as kids. The Osborn’s have a hereditary illness that slowly each of the members. Harry needs Spiderman’s blood because he thinks it’ll save his life. So Peter does what any good friend would do. He shows up to Harry’s room and tells him to his face that he won’t be giving any of his blood and leaves out the window.

Spiderman is just annoying to listen to in this movie. There are too many one liners the script is trying put in at one time. I understand that he has a joking personality, but this was too over the top. In one of the first scenes a truck is barreling through the streets of New York. Inside are armed robbers that are shooting at police. Spiderman pokes his head though the window and just says joke after joke as the truck obliterates every vehicle in front of it. Pretty sure a lot of people died in the first few scenes.

I thought Aunt May knew that Peter was Spiderman. I remember in the first movie that she was watching Spiderman on television and then when Peter returned home with eggs that she put two and two together. Yes, eggs aren’t a tell tailed sign of Peter being Spiderman, but she seemed to suspect something when he got home.

I had no problem at all with Electro. I thought they did a great job at creating his character and turning him into a super villain. I do think they made him too powerful when he was killing guards with machine guns and not powerful at all when he was fighting Spiderman. I do like to see the villains be consistent in their abilities. At one point Electro engulfed all the electricity in New York City, but that isn’t enough to kill Spiderman.

The movie should’ve ended a half hour before it did. Spiderman defeated Electro, the day was saved, the Harry/Green Goblin storyline was perfectly set up for the next movie, but they got too anxious and added a final act that felt too rushed.

The last movie spent the whole time defying science, but in one of the last scenes accepted it. I don’t want to give it away, but someone dies and I was shocked that the movie didn’t create a loophole or a miracle to keep that person alive. You gotta watch it for yourself because I don’t want to spoil it for you.

In the end, I give it a 1/5. There was just too much going on and created a jumbled mess of a plotline. I don’t like the shadowy organization that is led by a faceless man, but I do like the direction Oscorp plays. The Sinister 6 storyline looks to be the most plausible. The subtle introductions of Alistair Smythe and Felicia Hardy may tie into the following storyline of the franchise. Hardy eventually becomes Black Cat and Smythe becomes a future enemy of Spiderman.

I don’t like how the story perfectly placed Peter in a family who is involved with Oscorp. It’s nice to see some backstory on Peter’s parents, but you can’t have the father be involved in the spider gene splicing that turns Peter into Spiderman years later. I can go on and dissect the whole story and all its perfectly placed coincidences, but I would be just ranting….save that one for when I make a video about this movie.

P.S Oh I forgot! Rhino was in the movie for a brief moment. They should’ve just saved him for the next movie rather than making it just a disappointing ending scene.

Joe Reyes

 

 

 

 

A Complete 180: Guardians Of The Galaxy

I went from not wanting to see this movie to absolutely LOVING IT! I wrote an article about the trailer before the movie came out. I talked about how terrible the movie looked and how unlikable the characters were. I don’t take back what I said, the trailer was terrible, but the movie itself was incredible. Dare I say better than the Avengers?

I think I had more fun watching Guardians of the Galaxy than the Avengers movie. The movie was incredibly funny in a generic way and not just filled with stupid one liners. The comedy flows perfectly from the characters personalities.

The story follows Peter Quill, a self-proclaimed badass who finds treasures and sells them throughout the galaxy. He calls himself Starlord even though nobody does or barely even knows his name.

While on a mission, Quill finds a metal ball containing a very powerful stone called an Infinity Stone. A creature called Ronan the Accuser is after the Infinity Stones as well. Ronan gets word that Quill has found a stone and sends his most trusted warrior, Gamora, to retrieve the stone.

While trying to sell the stone, Quill is attacked by a pair of bounty hunters, Groot and Rocket. Groot is a living tree who can only say the words “I am Groot”. Rocket is a genetically altered raccoon who is a total badass, but has a very touching pair of moments. Gamora finds herself perfectly in the mix right as Quill is being captured by Groot and Rocket.

While in a space prison, the four characters discuss selling the stone and splitting the profits. Rocket comes up with a plan to escape the prison. They meet up with the final member of their group. A vengeful man named Drax who has a personal mission to kill Drax himself for killing his family years ago.

I was completely blown away by this movie. I can’t remember the last time I had this much fun in a theater before. Even though I still think Captain America 2 is the best Marvel movie ever made, Guardians of the Galaxy takes a narrowly close second place with a 5/5.

Joe Reyes