Scott's Thoughts

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Jason Bourne

It was a little fun to revisit the franchise, but at the end of the day, this movie didn’t do anything new or novel, nor did it move the character forward in any meaningful way. Worse, Director Paul Greengrass decided to take his shaky-cam style to a new extreme: it feels like you’re never able to focus on anything for two hours, because the goddamn camera won’t stop wobbling. At one pivotal point, my wife was actually unable to tell what happened in the scene and I had to explain it to her. She simply couldn’t see it.

C-

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Star Trek Beyond

Bottom line: It’s the best of the new movies.

Its frenetic, wild, rotating camera moves can be disconcerting—especially in IMAX 3D—but this is the first of the J.J. Abrams universe stories that actually feels like a Star Trek story. It captures the relationships and humor of the Enterprise’s crew without seeming to try too hard and tells a new story, rather than re-treading the tales of the original universe. It takes some moments to look sweetly back on the original cast, particularly Leonard Nimoy’s Spock, and even manages to bridge the end of the Enterprise’s 5-year mission with the next step for the crew. There’s some nice ties to the Enterprise TV show, with an NX-class vessel making at least as much hay as the NCC-1701 does.

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Why So Serious?

A brief review of Batman v. Superman:

Pro:

  • Wonder Woman! (Should I be surprised that WW is one of the best things about a movie that isn’t about her?) They shouldn’t have shown as much of her, if any, in the previews.
  • Superman seemed a little more human, if too brooding.
  • Batman’s costume (one of them, anyway) was more flexible than in previous movies, allowing him to move like a person.
  • Batman’s fights in the flexible outfits were fun to watch.
  • Direction was good in many spots.
  • Took advantage of the wanton destruction of Metropolis in Man of Steel to establish a fear of Superman. (Probably not enough fear, to be honest. Also, Metropolis looked pretty good after just a couple of years. Oops, sorry we have to destroy those just-rebuilt skyscrapers.)

Con:

  • Too freaking long, and served too many masters.
    • We didn’t need to see other to-be-Leaguers, let alone briefly glimpse Cyborg’s origin.
    • As good as Wonder Woman was, all of her scenes could have been cut. The movie established her, but she didn’t really move any plot forward. In fact, she added unnecessary complications.
    • Did we need another re-telling of Batman’s origin, even if to establish his mother’s first name? Come on, everyone knows how it went!
    • It took so long to get to Doomsday that I was looking forward to the fight being over before it really got going. Doomsday didn’t really get to be an interesting threat.
  • Too brooding. Superman and Batman spend the whole movie being somber, angry, or aloof. Superman gets to be happy in a scene with Lois, and is otherwise two-dimensional. I think if he’s going to be down, he should have been apoplectic about the destruction of Metropolis. He doesn’t get too upset about some of the big destruction in this movie, either.
  • On top of brooding, Batman isn’t smart enough. He should always be a step ahead of everyone else, but he’s always just angry or paranoid in this movie.
  • Jesse Eisenberg over-acts the hell out of Lex Luthor, but I guess he’s entertaining enough. Other than just being crazy, there’s not a lot to show why he’d do some of the things he does.
  • The color palette of the movie remains drab and gloomy, like Man of Steel. I don’t know why someone would want a comic book movie to lack color or vibrance, and it adds to the somber, overly serious tone of the movie.

Overall grade: C+. DC’s animated series has been so good that they really should tap those guys to run the live-action stuff and get out of the way.

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