Favorite Movie Fights of All Time – Part 1

Hey, look a non-review/podcast post!

No, in all seriousness, I have been wanting to do some sort of series on here for a while now. While ideas ran rampant in my head, fight scenes always stuck out. So that’s what I’m doing here. This won’t be the only series coming – I’ve got some others stored away – but for now, fight scenes are were its at.

Everyone loves a good fight scene, right? I know I do. Hell, I LOVE a good fight scene. There’s something about a fight scene that just gets me going. Not to the extent that I’m going to start picking fights with strangers – at least not anymore – but seeing the hard work of training and filming for months and weeks just for our enjoyment is awesome to watch. So here is where I’m going to shout out some of my favorite fight scenes of all time. Obviously, this is my list and purely my opinion, so if there is a fight that I missed, it’s probably because I simply forgot. This is also, most likely, the first installment of many articles to come.

However, before we get to the list I want to say how I will approach this, at least fight wise. I’m not including battle scenes, which pretty much excludes anything from The Lord of the Rings or the great opening from Saving Private Ryan (another post maybe?). The fights will range from one-on-one or one-on-two, or something along those lines. Also, despite the order, I’m not ranking them. Finally, some of these fights, could be final fights so SPOILER WARNING!

Alright, let’s get cracking…bones…too much? Too much.

 

SPL/Kill Zone – Ma Kwan vs. Jack

You will see Donnie Yen a lot in this series, and I might as well start with one of my favorite fight scenes he’s been in. SPL (Sha po lang) or Killzone as it was re-titled here in America – sometimes even SPL: Kill Zone – we see Yen’s Ma Kwan going one-on-one against newcomer (at the time) Jing Wu’s Jack. The scene itself leads into the final fight between Yen and Sammo Hung, but we’re here to talk about Yen vs. Wu. The fight itself was treated almost like a sparring match between the two martial artists, and was even a “last minute” addition to production once Yen joined the film.

I honestly love this fight ever since I saw it for the first time. The whole movie did a great job of building up the threat that Jing Wu’s Jack is, and to see Ma go toe-to-toe with him with the music and the moves these two make is a sight to see.

 

The Raid 2: Berndal – Rama vs. The Assassin

The Raid, or The Raid: Redemption in some places, was a ground-breaking and breakthrough action film. Sure the story was simple, but it was the action and fight scenes that put the movie over the top with fans. So when the sequel was announced, we immediately knew that we were in for a fun ride, and oh boy, were we. The Raid 2: Berndal upped the ante with the action, and it was the final two fights that really showed director Gareth Evans was not messing around. That said, I’m just going to focus on the last fight between Iko Uwais’ Rama and Cecep Arif Rahman’s The Assassin.

The scene itself took a reported eight days to shoot, and it shows because this thing is brutal, long and completely worth the wait.

 

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon – Yu Shun Lien vs. Jiao Long

I doubt there isn’t a list of Favorite Fights Scenes of All Time that doesn’t have the epic sword fight between Michelle Yeoh’s Yu Shu Lien versus Ziyi Zhang’s Jiao Long (or Jen Yu in the Mandarin version). The fight between the experienced veteran fighter against a less experience younger warrior was the perfect mirror in real life with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon being Zhang’s breakout role – and second feature film. Seeing the two different styles, and just a tad bit of humor, definitely makes this one of the best fight scenes in cinema.

 

Hero – Nameless vs. Sky

Like mentioned above, the sword “fight” between Jet Li’s Nameless versus Donnie Yen’s Sky is one of the best fight scenes in cinema – for me at least. I say “fight” because the fight doesn’t really happen, but is instead played out in the minds of Nameless and Sky, while an excellent score plays in the background. The scene itself is only the second on-screen fight scene between Li and Yen – the first being Once Upon a Time in China II – which is odd to think considering how well they work together in the scene itself.

 

The Bourne Ultimatum – Bourne vs. Desh 

The Bourne Ultimatum is, by far, one of my favorite spy action thrillers. What Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon were able to do in the short amount of time they had together – Greengrass didn’t direct the first Bourne movie – was pretty damn great. That said, Ultimatum was the very best of the series on all accounts, and when it came to the action sequences, Ultimatum has them beat by miles. While, the Waterloo Station scene is probably one of my favorite scenes of all time, the fight between Damon’s Jason Bourne and CIA asset Desh, played by Joey Ansah, arguably began the hard-hitting, no score fight scenes in the Americana cinema (that statement could be wrong, but at the time of writing this, the only other movie that pops in my head for fight scenes with no score in them is Haywire. Will correct if I find out, or feel free to tell me). I mean, Bourne beats him with a book, A BOOK!

 

Kingsman: The Secret Service – Harry vs. The Church

No, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this fight is on my list – or any list for that matter. I mean, look at it! Not only does the fight feel like a one take – it wasn’t but that’s fine, one take fight scenes are really hard to make – but it’s got Colin Firth kicking ass to Free Bird. COLIN FIRTH AND FREE BIRD!

 

Banshee – Burton vs. Nola

The last fight in this first installment of Favorites Fight Scenes of All Time comes from a TV series. Cinemax had a great series called Banshee. The show itself didn’t rely on the action its first season, but the characters and the story it was trying to tell – the action was just a nice touch and welcomed. As the series went on the action became more prominent, and awesome to watch. The highlight of that came in the third season of the show – unfortunately the series only last four seasons – where there is an amazing feature film quality fight scene between Burton (Matthew Rauch), the main series villain’s henchman and Nola (Odette Annable), a character who was only in six episodes, including this one, but left an impression.

When I first watched the series, I wasn’t really expecting the fight at all, and fans of the show went crazy when they saw it, because it’s really – from what I can remember – the only fight scene like this. Every other fight is more like a brawl, but this was two fights going toe-to-toe, and man was it great to watch. Warning, not for the squeamish.

 

Like I said, this is only part one of a series, so which one of these are your favorite? What are you looking forward to me possibly talking about? Do you like this new series? What more do you want to see? How many more questions can I ask here??

Spoiler Review Preview for The Movie Pit Podcast

The Movie Pit Podcast Spoiler Reviews is a new feature to The Movie Pit Podcast umbrella, where I – and eventually others (hopefully) – will do SPOILER-filled reviews to some of the bigger films that have been released. I’ve already done spoiler-filled reviews for Snatched, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, Wonder Woman, It Comes At Night and The Mummy. While I won’t be reviewing every film I see, I will do a good chunk of them – again, hopefully. So here I’ll be giving you a brief preview of what I’ll be reviewing and give a little bit of my hopes for the films.

I do want to mention that limited release films, aka indie films, are not included on the list due to, well, their limited release schedule. However, I will review some of the indie/limited released movies I do watch.

Finally, you can see the list only runs until the end of August. I’ll do another list for the rest of the year when we get to that point. Of course, this won’t affect the written non-spoiler reviews, as they will come out as well.

 

The Rest of June

Confirmed Reviews:

Transformers: The Last Knight

To be honest, I’m not looking forward toward The Last Knight. At this point, I couldn’t care less about Transformers anymore. This is a shame, because these movies should have been good, but instead they have transformed (no pun intended) into utter nonsense that I can’t bare with anymore. To be honest, the only reason I continue to torture myself with these movies is because I feel like I have to, and because my sister still loves these movies and drags us out to watch them. Finally, let’s face it, I started a podcast reviewing big films – I’ll torture myself for you guys.

 

Baby Driver

I love Edgar Wright. Everything he’s done I’ve either liked or loved, and Baby Driver looks like a different beast although, with Wright’s signature touch. It also has an incredible cast, looks damn good, and has been getting nothing but awesome reviews from fans – and celebrities – lucky enough to watch it already.

 

Potential Reviews

Despicable Me 3

The House

 

 

July

Confirmed Reviews

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Let’s face it, this was always going to get reviewed. Spider-Man became an instant with his short appearance in Captain America: Civil War, but now we get to see him in his own film and stretch his legs out a bit more with the character. I like Tom Holland, so far, as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, and the fact that we get to see Michael Keaton play the villain – Vulture – is pretty damn awesome and worth the price of the ticket alone.

 

War for the Planets of the Apes

I’ve really enjoyed the two rebooted Planet of the Apes’ films. I think what Andy Serkis has done with Caesar is nothing short of incredible and I can’t wait to see what the potential last chapter of his story has in store for us.

 

Dunkirk

Christopher Nolan is back with this war drama that jumped to my must-watch list when I saw five minutes of the film in front of the IMAX screening of Rogue One. Everything about this movie, based on a real event, looks tension-filled, dramatic and an all around great film. You really can’t go wrong with Nolan.

 

Atomic Blonde

I was already looking forward toward Atomic Blonde when the cast came together. However, what sold me on the film was that first trailer that showed Charlize Theron kicking everyone’s ass John Wick style – the film is directed by one of the John Wick directors David Leitch. Oh, were you expecting me to write more? Well, I won’t, because that’s it. I want to see Theron kick people’s asses John Wick style.

 

Potential Reviews

Wish Upon

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

 

 

August

Confirmed Reviews

The Dark Tower

This has been a project I’ve always read about on the movie news cycle since I started keeping up with the movies news (circa 2005). So finally seeing it become a real thing is great, and with a great lead in Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey playing the villain, The Man in Black, I can’t wait to finally see The Dark Tower on the big screen.

 

Detroit

Kathryn Bigelow returns to the big screen and is tackling the notorious Detroit Riots. Although the film itself won’t be about the actual riots, it does set interconnected stories during those dangerous days.

 

Annabelle: Creation

While Annabelle lacked a certain punch, the sequel – which is a prequel – looks like it will make up for that. The film will see the titled creation of the Annabelle doll as it begins to terrorize a family and children from an orphanage. Oh, and the trailer is scary as shit.

 

The Hitman’s Bodyguard

The quintessential Samuel L. Jackson movie where it seems like he’ll be saying “mother fucker” every two seconds, this looks pretty damn hilarious. And you can’t go wrong with Jackson and Ryan Reynolds together.

 

Logan Lucky

Steven Soderbergh returns to the big screen with this pretty funny looking heist film. I’m sure seeing Daniel Craig play this goofball will be worth the price of admission alone.

 

Potential Reviews

The Glass Castle

Kidnap

 

So what are you looking forward toward the most this month?

Justice League Trailer Thoughts

The long-awaited trailer for Justice League came out this weekend, and I’ve been sitting on my reaction to it because, well, the DC Extended Universe hasn’t been the best. This isn’t me being a Marvel fanboy or a DC hater. I liked Man of Steel, and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad were both disappointments in their own way, and I’m hoping Wonder Woman is great. Justice League on the other hand has a massive uphill battle for me. The movie can’t be okay, fine, good or alright – it has to be great. Because I’ll be honest, if Justice League is another disappointment, bad or god forbid horrible, then I will lose all hope in the DCEU and no longer care about the DC Comics property at Warner Bros.

 

Is that too much? Maybe. But for me as a fan of these characters, and a fan who has been waiting to see them all together on the big screen, that statement couldn’t be any more true. So let’s move on to my thoughts on the trailer shall we.

 

For a teaser trailer, and for fans of the characters/our inner child, the teaser is pretty effective and cool. However, the teaser almost feels like Warner Bros. and DC is trying to pander to those that are starting to lose faith in the films. It’s almost like their saying “See, we put Aquaman on top of the Batmoblie before flying off to fight Parademons! Just like you probably did as a kid!” Okay, let’s get serious.

 

The Humor: Obviously, one of the things that has plagued the DC films is that some people think the films take themselves too seriously, and the films need to inject some humor into them. Of course, the Marvel films are filled with humor, but are also injected with serious moments. The DC films so far have some moments, but to be fair, they are more serious films than their Marvel counterparts. The trailer clearly shows that the film will have humor in it, whether it be dry humor like Bruce telling Barry “I’m rich” or Aquaman’s lines like “it’s on him” or “I dig it” when he sees Batman in full costume. Either way, the humor works on some extent here so points for them.

 

Cyborg: Cyborg has been a much-talked about character in Justice League. I’ve been holding my judgment on him until the film comes out, but the trailer finally shows him off a little more. Honestly, still not sold. The character still looks too CG. Now before everyone gets ready to shout at me. Marvel of course has characters created completed out of CGI, but at least they look better than Cyborg does. He literally just look like floating head at times, and I’m hoping they do some more touch ups in his CG to make him look better because right now, not looking too great for me.

 

The Small Cameos: The teaser actually showed some people I didn’t think we’d see. For one, we see J.K. Simmons’ Jim Gordon, which is one of the most perfect casting calls WB and DC have done. We also get our first – almost – official look at Atlantis with Amber Heard’s Mera getting the highlight. Then there’s Billy Crudup’s Henry Allen in prison. I don’t remember reading he was going to be in the film, but it was a pleasant surprise to see him in the teaser, even if it’s going to be one scene in the film itself. Although this isn’t actually a person, seeing The Crawler in the trailer as Batman rides it up along a wall to save Wonder Woman was kinda cool.

 

The Battle: It’s been revealed that the battle scene we see in the trailer is part of the prologue of the film. It involves the alliance of three armies: The Atlanteans, The Amazons and mankind going up against and stopping one of the invasions by the Parademons and whoever is leading them, whether it’s Darkseid or Steppenwolf is yet to be seen. It also looks like the invasion will continue again with the Justice League having to stop them either here on Earth, or on some version of Apokolips. Also, Mother Boxes will play a role here as well. Hopefully the next trailer helps solve that without spoiling the whole film.

 

The Flash and Aquaman: Almost like Cyborg, I’m not sold on Ezra Miller as The Flash. Miller hasn’t impressed me in anything too much, he’s a fine actor with the right material and his attitude will probably make sense once we see him in action, but he almost looks like the goofy younger brother who finally gets to hangout with his older siblings and do cool stuff with them. When it comes to Aquaman, Jason Momoa is definitely a different pick for the character, but its almost like he’s not playing Aquaman, it felt like he’s playing Jason Momoa playing Aquaman.

Now whether that matters at the end of the day is a different story, but seeing Momoa give that cheer and yelling “yeah” when he jumps on top of the Batmoblie and jumps off to attack Parademons was kind of cool – even though I made fun of it at the beginning.

 

Final Thoughts

Look, inner kid in me liked the trailer, because I mean come on, it’s the freaking Justice League teaming up and fighting on the big screen. Realistic side of me knows we’ve been burned by good looking trailers in the DCEU – and other films too, just to be fair – so I’m not holding my breath for the film. Then again, that’s a trailers job isn’t? Make the movie look appealing and great so that you get out and watch it. Justice League is no different. We all know this movie is going to make a lot of money. Whether it’s the amount of money the studio is ultimately looking for is another question.

 

However, the ultimate question is whether it will good at all. The fate of the DCEU hangs in the balance with this, and at first look I’ll give you what I actually did when I saw the teaser for the first time — sigh.

 

Spoiler-Filled ‘Suicide Squad’ Overlook

Let’s talk about Suicide Squad shall we? I already wrote my spoiler-free review (go check that out first), so let’s get down to the juicy bits: spoilers. I’m just going to jump into it to save you some of the fluff. Let’s start out with what I liked.
PROS
Most of the Cast
WILL SMITH’S DEADSHOT
I had my doubts about Will Smith playing Deadshot, and not because I don’t like Will Smith, it’s just because I didn’t see Deadshot as a Will Smith character, but he did prove me wrong. Of course, it’s a Will Smith Deadshot, but it still worked. I did like that they did a little bit of an origin story for him too. I know some people want to see a solo Deadshot movie, but I personally don’t know how that would work. I think having Deadshot in the Suicide Squad potential franchise is better. Maybe have him pop up in other films – like that solo Batman film? I mean we did see him with Batman in the film, so it makes sense. Even his dream that Enchantress gives him near the end of the film is killing Batman. Nonetheless, I don’t mind seeing more Smith as Deadshot.
will-smith-aims-for-something-new-as-suicide-squad-s-deadshot-1052666
MARGOT ROBBIE’S HARLEY QUINN
Arguably, one of the (many) reasons people will go watch Suicide Squad is the first big-screen appearance of Harley Quinn, played by the lovely and great Margot Robbie. Harley has a good chunk of great moments in the film, even having that solo fight sequences in the elevator, but I liked that they actually gave her space away from The Joker (which I’ll get to later). Of course, we see flashbacks, although not all of them since scenes were cut from the film but that’s fine. Robbie does really channel Harley from beginning to end, but there were times where I thought they may have taken it just a little over. Some have already said the film is over sexualizing her, which you can’t really disagree with, but at the same time, it’s who the character is. That’s not a valid answer, but it is what it is.
harley-quinn-suicide-squad
VIOLA DAVIS’ AMANDA WALLER
I think this was one of the most perfect casting the film made. Davis has a demanding presence onscreen that you believe she’s this cut-throat, no nonsense government agent that is willing – as she does – to kill her own people to serve her own purpose. Although, the mid-credit scene sort of strips that away somewhat, as she makes a bargain with Bruce Wayne to protect her from the fallout of Midway City – also knowing that Wayne is Batman is a nice touch. It’s in that scene that she’s actually seems scared, something we don’t see from with the exception when her chopper goes down and is taken, of course not before killing some of Enchantress’ monsters. Waller isn’t someone who scares easy, hell she calls Enchantress a bitch before Enchantress taps into her mind to take defensive weapons. That might be a bit nitpicky, but it should be noted, either way Davis was great as Waller.
MV5BMTc2NDQwMzU4OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDYxNzA0OTE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1497,1000_AL_
JAY HERNANDEZ’S DIABLO
I know many will probably be talking about Harley Quinn and The Joker, but for me, one of the character standouts was Jay Hernandez as Diablo. Probably the biggest wildcard of the group since we didn’t really know what to expect from him, but did he deliver. Also, he’s the only member of the Squad that wasn’t captured, he turned himself in after accidently killing his family. The scene where he talks about that, I wish they bought it up sooner because just that scene alone makes him, arguably, one of the most well-rounded characters in the film. He actually feels remorse, not like everyone else, especially Deadshot who tells Harley you can’t feel love and do what we do. Diablo is also, really, the only meta-human on the team, but doesn’t see his powers as a blessing, but a curse. Ultimately, Diablo makes the sacrifice for the team taking Incubus – Enchantress brother and other villain of the film – to the bomb site taking both of them out.
suicide-squad-breakdown-who-is-el-diablo-892764
The Action
Once the action starts in the film it hardly lets up. While it would have been nice to see the Suicide Squad go at it with each other a little, having them come together as a group right away to fight off Enchantress’ literally faceless monsters was pretty cool to see. Especially in the first attack on the streets, where Deadshot literally takes over the situation, and mows all of them down with his weapons with a pretty great score behind it. The last act, while sloppy, does have that pretty cool sequence of the Suicide Squad coming together and taking on Enchantress head-on. Speaking of that final act Diablo vs. Incubus? That came out of nowhere.
Some of the Humor
The humor of Suicide Squad was something that was going to make or break the film, okay, maybe not the only thing, but one of them for sure. Thankfully, some of the humor is spot on and works. Captain Boomerang is essentially the comic relief with his light moment with Diablo, his random pink unicorn doll rightfully called Pinky, and his “exit” from bar after getting his freedom from Flag. Then of course there’s Killer Croc’s “I’m beautiful” line.
CONS
The Editing & Thin Story
Suicide Squad unfortunately suffers from Dawn of Justice problems in editing. The film literally has two different openings with one being the introductions to Deadshot and Harley, and Waller walking into the restaurant to meet with the government officials to pitch Task Force X – again in the film’s timeline – and reintroduces Deadshot and Harley, along with Killer Croc, Diablo, Captain Boomerang and June Moone/Enchantress. Sure it works for fans that don’t know these characters, but reintroducing characters is always a bit dumb, and sometimes it’s good to see characters introduced the old fashion way, by their actions. Also, the random Joker flashback with throwing Harley in the vat of chemicals kills the pacing the film had going for it. I didn’t mind the flashback, since it’s important to Harley’s story and transformation, but it’s really out of place. Then there’s the sloppy third act, although that has to do more with the underdeveloped villains and “story.”
Speaking of story, that third act really felt like Warner Bros. told Ayer, we want to up the stakes for the hell of it. I don’t think the film needed the Squad to stop Enchantress from releasing her “weapon,” it could have been about them forcefully being put together and learning to work together, or having the rug pulled from them after realizing that their plan all along was to save Waller and getting thrown back into prison.
The “Villains”
Let’s go back to the villains in Enchantress and her brother Incubus. Their plan is kind of dumb. Enchantress says the humans worship machines now, so her plan is to build a machine and destroy them. Not only that, we don’t get enough time with Enchantress to really view her as a big threat. Sure she can pop in and out of anywhere she pleases – which she doesn’t use when she’s weakened at the end – and can make anyone her faceless monster slave by kissing them, but that isn’t really enough to warrant a good villain. She’s also not that threatening. Her design in off with too much CG, and again, we don’t get too much screen time with her. Neither is Incubus, whose design was terrible. I don’t like comparing designs, but Incubus looks like a knock-off Destroyer from Thor, but not even a good knock-off. Also, Incubus really doesn’t do anything worthwhile throughout the movie. He just stands there shooting tentacles out of his hands, and his only highlight moment is fighting Diablo.
MV5BNDAwMDQ4NjI0MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODQxNzA0OTE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1497,1000_AL_
Waller’s Plan
Part one of her plan is to have meta-humans on Task Force X aka the Suicide Squad, but she only gets two – three if you count Killer Croc – meta-humans on the team: Diablo and Enchantress. That kind of defeats the purpose doesn’t it?
Second, and this one really hit me afterwards. Waller’s plan for the Suicide Squad is to send them into Midway City to secure an unknown person. Not you know, THE GIANT PORTAL IN THE SKY. I’ve already mentioned that Waller is hardcore and ruthless. Again, she kills her own people because they weren’t cleared for the situation. But her plan is to put the team together to go save her in the middle of a warzone, with two gigantic threats in the same city? What the hell was the point? And why was she even in the city to being with? What if the Squad failed? She’s stuck in the city, and probably would have been caught by Enchantress anyway – who she undoubtedly mishandles and lets loose – I mean, did she really think she could handle an ancient witch? Or worse, when her plan goes down she could have got killed by The Joker. Speaking of which…
Jared Leto’s The Joker
Probably the other reason why many fans were looking forward to Suicide Squad was Jared Leto as The Joker. One of the problems with this was that no matter what, and no matter what anyone said, it was going to be compared to Heath Ledger’s Joker only because that was the last Joker on the big-screen. Which is unfair, but Leto knew that. Then came that picture that showed Joker radically different with him being all tatted up and with a grill. That wasn’t a good start for me. But, I did the right thing and put all that aside. Then I watched the film and… I didn’t like this performance. I wanted to –and I’m not a huge fan of Leto’s like others – but his performance of the Joker left a lot to be desired , much like the movie itself, and his nuances and ticks didn’t fit and it felt like he was going over-the-top when he didn’t need to.
The scene with him and Griggs (Ike Barinholtz) – the security guard – was what lost me. Joker literally purrs, at least what I assume was a purr, at him. I don’t know about you, but Joker doesn’t purr. At all. I literally thought it was the guy that was snoring before the trailers started, and fell asleep again. I know a lot of scenes where cut from the film – some are in the trailers – and some were even altered. One example was originally Joker pushes Harley off the chopper – after he saves her – to kill her, and in the film, they reworked it so he pushes her to save her.
I know Leto went all in to nail The Joker, and I applaud him for it I really do. I also appreciate that they went with the fact that Joker may actually care about Harley, which is why he goes through everything he does to get her back, but it just wasn’t enough for me.
MV5BMTgzODEwMTY1NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDk3NDY1OTE@._V1_SX1777_CR0,0,1777,744_AL_
MISC.
Harley and Joker Painting Comes to Life
In what was a nice surprise, we see Harley in her jester outfit briefly in what can only be described as a fan service moment. The famous painting by Alex Ross was brought to life showing Harley in the outfit and Joker wearing the black suit. Nice little moment, but somewhat out of place too.
Batman and The Flash Cameos
Let’s start off with the quick one, The Flash. The scene was actually shot by Zack Snyder as Ezra Miller was already in his Flash outfit since they are currently filming Justice League, and Snyder just sent the scene over to Ayer to put it in the film.
When it comes to Batman, we already knew that Batman was going to show up, and he actually pops in more than once. His first appearance is when he takes down Deadshot. Of course, he doesn’t do it in the typical Batman way, because he doesn’t want to hurt Deadshot in front of his daughter. Then he appears when he takes down Joker and Harley. The plus here is that Ben Affleck actually plays Batman, and it’s not some guy Ayer tried to pass off as Batman – well, probably expect when Batman was on top of Joker’s car.
Common and Scott Eastwood
Everyone thought they figured out who Scott Eastwood was playing in the film. People said he was playing Nightwing, a descendant of Steve Trevor (played by Chris Pine in Wonder Woman), I think even Deathstroke was a possibility. NOPE. He plays a random soldier in Flag’s company, and his most memorable moment is when he sacrifices himself by detonating the bomb that kills Incubus and Diablo.
Then there’s Common. Common was already assumed to be playing a small role, and he does as he plays Monster T – a variation of the character Tattoo Man – who has literally about two minutes of screen time and then DIES when Joker shoots him after rejected Harley as “his gift.”
Enchantress’ “Dancing”
What the hell was that? It didn’t come off as creepy or part of the character, it came out off as she was having some sort of seizure or had to really use the bathroom in her skin tight dress. I actually somewhat cringed when I saw it.
Killer Croc and Katana On the Backburner
It was actually kind of a shame that Killer Croc and Katana didn’t get to do more. You can arguably put Captain Boomerang on the list too, but he acts the comedic relief for the film, next to Harley. Sure Killer Croc and Katana have their moments, especially Killer Croc who literally man handles, or Croc handles, Enchantress by slamming her into some pillars. But it would have been nice to see them do a little more. Kudos go to Katana actress Karen Fukuhara since this is her first movie and she does a pretty great job in the limited capacity she had.
Slipknot
*Sigh* someone needed to die right? Also, I literally felt how uncomfortable people when he was introduced and hit the woman then saying “she had a mouth.”
June Moone Lives
This is one that I mauled over. We didn’t get any screen time with Rick Flag and June Moone as a couple, so we have no real connection to them as a couple. We’re just told they are a couple that was brought together by Waller so June has something to hold on to and come back. But with Enchantress about to die, after having her heart literally ripped out, Flag pleads with her to return June. When she doesn’t, Flag does what he promised June, kill them both. Then, somehow, June peels away Enchantress’ skin and embraces Flag. That would have been a greater emotional moment if we saw them as a couple. Instead it’s just a moment that happens. And since June herself isn’t in the film enough we don’t really care.
The Post-Credit Scene
I briefly mentioned the post-credit scene earlier, but another thing about the scene was the Bruce asks Waller for the folder of meta-humans, and shows Barry Allen and Arthur Curry aka Aquaman. This leads directly to what we saw in the Comic Con Justice League trailer, where Bruce goes to them. The only reason I bring it up, is because Bruce already has this information! He got it from Lex’s computer. Why would he need Waller to give him a file if he already had their names, and probably where to find them? Nitpicky I know, but it does need to be mentioned. Moreover, we can assume that Waller thinks anyone with powers is probably dangerous, but why does she files on people like The Flash and Aquaman? They haven’t done anything wrong?
I don’t want to bash on the whole scene though. It was cool to see Waller and Wayne have a bit of a war of words. Waller knows Bruce is Batman, and Wayne tells her to shut down the Suicide Squad or his “new friends will.”
Relies on a Bit Too Much on Fan Service/Knowledge
Like other comic book movies, if you know a bit about the characters before hand it helps. It’s true on two occasions: Joker and Harley’s relationship and Katana. With Katana, it’s mentioned in passing that her sword holds the souls of people she kills with it, but there’s a lot more to her character that the film doesn’t touch upon. It’s kind of a shame considering this is also Katana’s first big-onscreen appearance, and she’s a great character.
With Joker and Harley, it helps if you know a little from the comics and a little from the animated TV show. Their scenes are okay together, but again, with the scenes that were cut it could have been established their on screen relationship even better.
FINAL THOUGHTS
Okay, I know I probably missed something that I wanted to talk about, but these are the big ones that come to mind. Suicide Squad wasn’t a bad movie, but it wasn’t a great movie either. I think some of the hate is a bit harsh, but not without merit. Suicide Squad won’t kill you, it will just hurt you really, really bad. However, I do say you go watch it to make your own opinion.

Spoiler-Filled Discussion/Thoughts/Mini-Review of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’

MV5BMjEyMjQyODc5MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODU0Nzg0NzE@._V1__SX1217_SY578_

AGAIN, SPOILERS AHEAD! 

LAST WARNING!!

MV5BODc1NjQwMTAyNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjU5ODEzNzE@._V1__SX1217_SY534_

 

Okay, so obviously Star Wars: The Force Awakens came out last weekend, and it was a huge hit with a great opening box office haul. The film has, and to some extent still is, shadowed by secrecy. No good fan of the series and of movies wants to ruin it for anyone. I already did a spoiler-free review, and a friend asked if I was going to do a spoiler-filled review. If you’ve been following the blog, you know that all my reviews are spoiler-free, because I never want to ruin an experience for someone watching a movie.

In fact, I don’t like spoilers – at all. I don’t know why anyone wants to everything about a movie before they watch it. Why ruin the experience for yourself? Why bother watching the movie at all if you know everything? I don’t see a reasonable logical explanation behind that. Spoiler Rumors are a tad different. I’m indifferent to them because they are rumors first and foremost. Look at all the rumors going around for The Force Awakens, a lot of them were way off. But I digress.

So this post will be a SPOILER-FILLED Star Wars: The Force Awakens discussion/mini-review. I’m going to mostly focus on some of the big things that happened and some cool things that I liked. So let’s get starting shall we. Oh, and I’m avoiding all canonical Expanded Universe material – for the most part – because this is the movies, not the comic and novels.

So, let’s start off with the beginning. Luke Skywalker has disappeared and has been for awhile apparently, how long? We don’t know, but it seems like whatever The First Order has planned, it apparently means Luke Skywalker has to go…or does he? All we know is that The First Order wants the map that leads to Luke, we are just assuming that they want to kill him because they’re the bad guys. Even General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) tells Kylo Ren, or should I say, Han Solo’s son(!), who was trained by Luke and went to the Dark Side, that he shouldn’t let his personal agenda get in the way. So does The First Order/Kylo Ren want Luke dead, or do they need him for something? Nonetheless, it looks like Luke will play a key factor in the new trilogy as well…maybe.

But instead the focus will be on a new patch of characters. There’s the now former Stormtrooper in Finn, who is rather interesting character himself, since there hasn’t been a character like this in the movies. Finn, despite doing heroic deeds: like helping Poe escape and trying to help Rey and BB-8 on Jakku, is for all intent-and-purposes is a hero. He did grow up under The First Order and was trained by them. It’s not until the end that he finally becomes the hero when he stands up and fights Kylo Ren. Speaking of Kylo Ren, what a character huh? Not only is he the son of Han Solo and trained by his uncle Luke Skywalker, he’s turned to the Dark Side and follows new trilogy villain Supreme Leader Snoke (voiced and motion captured by Andy Serkis). He’s also got a weird Darth Vader thing going on as he keeps his grandfather’s burnt helmet in his room like a shrine, and wears a (heavy ass) helmet that looks like a knockoff of Vader’s.

MV5BMTYxOTk4MDkxMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNzU0ODUzNTE@._V1__SX1217_SY581_

Of course, the big moment for Ren was the scene with this father. What a bittersweet scene it was. Harrison Ford finally got his wish: Han Solo dies. The bad thing, Han Solo is dead. The scene works for a few reasons in that it finally shows Kylo Ren has chosen the Dark Side. Despite the “pull” to the Light Side, Ren has made his choice and sealed it by killing his father, who wanted to help him. However, it also sounds like his training isn’t complete when Snoke tells Hux to bring Ren to him to “finish his training.” Now it looks like Ren is going to be an all powerful Sith? I ask that as a question because The Sith are gone remember? And no one refers to Kylo Ren as a Sith. I thought Adam Driver did a fine job and I think he’ll be a force (no pun intended) to be reckoned with, especially with his cool ass lightsaber. But let’s talk about Harrison Ford. Did he show up! It looked like he was having fun all over again. However, with Han Solo dead, what does that do to the series? Sure Han Solo is a lot of people’s favorite character, but the series can survive without him, despite not having him around could be a bummer. Was killing Han the right move? At first glance, yes, because it helps elevate the character of Kylo Ren and was a fitting end to the Han Solo character. However, the question will be how does it change the characters going forward?

Finally, there’s Rey, a scavenger from Jakku who is waiting for her potential family to come back for her, hence the markings on the wall, which could easily be overlooked on first viewing. However, that fact that she’s wide-eyed, vulnerable, and badass all at the same time makes her character so much cooler and much more relatable. However, the biggest thing about Rey is that we still don’t know who the hell she is! We know she has the Force, but is that it? Is she just Force sensitive or is she Luke’s daughter as it’s somewhat hinted at? Or someone else’s daughter? You could have made the argument that she was Han’s daughter, but he or Leia – even though Rey and Leia have only two scenes that the end together – never mention or hint at having a daughter, but you can tell that Han knows who she is by the way he acts and looks at her. Also, she’s been apparently training her whole life for any situation she’s thrown into. She knows how to pilot a ship and make adjustments on them, she also apparently knows how to really use her Force powers as she uses the Jedi Mind Trick on the Stormtrooper (played by Daniel Craig), or has she heard the stories of the Jedi for long enough that she took a shot in the dark to see if she could do it? She also knows how to speak droid and, well, Chewbacca. Not everyone knows how to do that.

Whatever the case, Rey is undoubtedly the main hero of the trilogy. Unless, they pull a massive swerve on us but I doubt it. Rey, like Finn, has her own journey. The only difference is that Rey doesn’t want to acceptable her heroic deeds, until the end, when she also fights Kylo Ren and has no choice. It isn’t until she touches Luke’s lightsaber that she starts to be able to use the Force (hence the title perhaps). And she gets visions? What’s the deal with that? The vision seem pretty damning themselves too. We see Luke with R2-D2, looking possibly defeated and we see Kylo Ren with what we can assume are The Knights of Ren, which are only mentioned but never seen (what’s up with that!). Anyway, you can see she’s a little scared about using the lighsaber against Kylo Ren. The main thing however is that we never find out who she really is, which I can see why people would hate that, and if fact after watching the movie the second time, I felt that way too. Then I realized, why should I feel that way? We didn’t find out that Vader was Luke’s father until Empire Strikes Back. Now, I’m not saying this new trilogy has to do something big like that, but not finding out who Rey was could be – and is to some – a sour issue. Personally, I don’t mind not knowing who Rey is just yet. I like the mystery, but as long as they give us enough, or answer, who she is in the sequels, then let her character continue to grow and be the badass she was in The Force Awakens.

MV5BMjM1NjUyNTE5OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjk0ODUzNTE@._V1__SX1217_SY537_

Speaking of growth, let’s talk about the new characters that didn’t get a ton of screen time, I’m looking at you Captain Phasma! Seriously, the costume is so cool looking and the character has less than ten minutes of screen time. Hell, the Stormtrooper that Finn fights with the lighsaber had a cooler moment than Captain Phasma. Although, J.J. Abrams admitted that he cut a descent chuck of stuff out, maybe Captain Phasma is one of them since she is the most noticeable. There is also Poe Dameron, played by Oscar Isaac, and shares the first scene with the great Max von Sydow who play Lor San Tekka. Which is a bit odd, because Sydow seems like an important character because its assumed that he’s known Leia since the original trilogy AND he has the map to Luke, yet he has about five minutes of screen time and gets killed by Ren, who he apparently has known since a child since Ren knocks how old Tekka has gotten, maybe we’ll find out later or not. Anyway, Isaac is always great and his character had a lot of charm and swagger, I mean come on, “So who talks first you or me?” That was awesome, but I do wish there was more of him in the film. Again, just another thing of begin the first of a trilogy: characters are going to get put on the backburner until the sequels.

Then there is Lupita Nyong’o’s character Maz Kanata, who for some reason, has Luke’s lightsaber. Why? Who the hell knows, or according to her “a story for another time.” I don’t know where they will go with the character, but I hope it’s somewhere good. Let’s go to the villain side, Domhnall Gleeson’s General Hux. There’s something off and simple about his character. Hux has a General ranking amongst The First Order, but he seems a bit too young, is he related to someone powerful or high up in The First Order or the now fallen Empire? He certainly gave a powerful speech to his army of Stromtroopers when they fired their new weapon. Maybe I’m over thinking it, but Hux is still a wild card on the villain side for me. Finally, there is Supreme Leader Snoke. Who some fans believe is really the character named Darth Plagueis. He was actually mentioned in the prequels by Palpatine saying that he was a powerful Sith that could cheat death. George Lucas even described the character in the past and his descriptions sound a lot like Plagueis. Will Snoke be Plagueis? Again, who knows, but Snoke does look to be the big bad in the new trilogy, despite only seeing him as a hologram.

Look, I loved The Force Awakens, but I also see the big burning Starkiller Base issues with the movie. The big one being we got very few answers to questions we’ve wanted, but in return we got more questions and get sidetracked on some which usually would have been a bad thing, but in this case, it’s actually kind of cool. Just remember this is the beginning of a new trilogy. It will take time to find out these answers. I’ll go back to my example of the original trilogy. We didn’t find out about Vader until the second film, and even then we still loved the series for what they did. I’m not going to compare the original trilogy to The Force Awakens because one, it wouldn’t be fair since IT’S ONLY THE FIRST MOVIE, and two, The Force Awakens really is the beginning of the this new story, with new characters and their own story and adventure to tell and explore.

Is the Force strong with this new trilogy? Let’s wait until we see episode eight to make that decision. For now, just enjoy the fact that we have more Star Wars movies, and spinoffs, on the way.

star_wars_episode_vii__the_force_awakens_ver2

“Off Topic”: Logic

Welcome to a new series of posts I’ll be putting up that aren’t reviews. “Off Topic” (I couldn’t think of another way) will still focus on movies – for the most part – but it will focus on things I notice, dislike, and like about everything surrounding a movie or audience. This series isn’t meant to bash, annoy, or target anybody and although it sounds like it I just wanted to bring something new to the page that refreshing and gives you a little more of me. Also, if you like this feel free to put suggestion or things you want me to talk about in the comments. So let’s start shall we

 

Why do you watch a movie?

Sounds like a simple question right? Well, that’s because it is. I’ll tell you my answer. I watch movies because I want to be entertained! I like the escapism that a director, writer and actor/actress gives me. I like getting drawn into the story and feeling like I know the character and care about what happens to him or her. But again, I like being entertained. If you know personally (or even read my reviews) you know that I enjoy a lot of movies more than other people, hence the high-ish scores you see.

But why am I writing this? Because I’ve gradually started to hear more and more people walking out of the theater after a movie start to complain and talk about something that I really think people should stop brining into a watching a movie, logic.

Yes, logic. The thing we use everyday in our lives that may or may not be exciting. I’m all for using logic but once you bring logic into a conversation about a movie or a characters decision in that movie you have lost me.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve caught myself thinking “why is the character doing that” and “why can’t he/she do this?” But then I think to myself “oh that’s right, I’m watching a movie. He/she probably has a reason in their head for doing and might be explained later on.” However, those thoughts go away pretty quickly because I’m drawn into whatever is happening in front of me (if the movie is good that is).

Now I know movies are not perfect. They all have their mistakes and unfortunately we can’t change that. But I don’t think we, the audience, should really put logic on the table when we’re watching a movie. Why? Because it’s a FREAKING MOVIE!

Like I stated before, movies for me are about escapism and entertainment. We watch them because of that and putting logic into actions from the movie defeats the purpose. Yes, if the situations in the movie where real then you can do that but don’t add logic to scene or situation that already has a conclusion. Everybody acts differently in different situations put in front of them, whether it is the right or wrong one it’s not really up to us to decide. Also the reasoning behind that decision – wise or not – it makes us the viewer unease at what will happen next or mad with a character and it makes us feel something!

If you do this than that’s fine! Everybody has their own opinions on movies and how they should be done. I know I do sometimes as well. I’m just saying that I think all of us need to suspend more disbelief when we watch movies and ENJOY them!

And if you still disagree with me, that’s okay. But, if you think I am COMPLETELY wrong, please describe to me how the logical choice in a movie will give you any sort of suspense and put you in the “edge of your seat.”

While you’re at it explain the logic behind transforming alien robots coming to Earth and disguising themselves as cars. Or, as much as I love zombies, how they can exist or even better how can a fake character do that another fake character.