Firestarter 2022 Review
By Paul Anthony
I have to admit that I don’t know much about this franchise. I know there was a previous film and it’s based on a book that was written by Stephen King, so there is no judging this from the previous film. So, we know this film is a remake, this film was made from a budget of 12 million dollars and so far, has grossed 6.2 million but keep in mind it is also streaming on Peacock. The film stars Zac Efron as Andrew “Andy” McGee, Ryan Kiera Armstrong as Charlie McGee, Sydney Lemmon as Vicky McGee, Kurtwood Smith as Dr. Joseph Wanless, John Beasley as Irv Manders, Michael Greyeyes as Joh Rainbird and Gloria Reuban as Captain Jane Hollister. Production on the film started last May and ended in July and the score composed by John Carpenter.
Right off the bat the film starts with a baby Charlie in her crib and her parents’ saying goodnight to her but then once they left the room Charlie begins to catch her toys on fire which Andy runs back and saves her from the fire. We then roll to the opening credits which informs us that Andy and Vicky were a part of a trial in which they took an experimental drug called Lot-6 which unknown to them that it would give them supernatural powers. Andy gains telepathy and Vicky obtains Telekinesis though we learn after the credits that Vicky doesn’t use her powers where Andy uses very often, which we learn causes him nosebleeds and we learn later in the film that is a true side effect of the drug. We now move forwarded in time and Charlie is 11 and dealing with bullies at school which is making her having outburst with her powers. Her outbursts cause the agency that gave her parents their powers to take notice and track them down using another superhuman named John Rainbird. But when Rainbird arrives at their house, he only sees Vicky because Andy and Charlie are out because there was a previous argument in which Charlie by accident burned her mother. Vicky tries to overpower Rainbird using her powers that she hasn’t used in years but proved to be no match in the end for Rainbird. Just then Charlie gets home with Andy and Rainbird holds Charlie at Knifepoint which Andy uses his powers to trigger Charlie’s powers which burns Rainbird and allows them to escape. While on the run they encounter a Man named Irv who takes them in but the next Day Irv who called the cops on them after he watched the news, Rainbird shows up and Andy uses his powers to allow Charlie to run away as he battles Rainbird which works but Andy is captured. At this point we know the Agency wants to kill Charlie because she is a byproduct of their drug that they have no clue what she is capable of since she is born with her powers from their drug. Once at the agency Rainbird who is locked up as well tricks Charlie into believing that her father wants her to come to the building and save him and destroy the building. Which she does in full angry mode of sorts, and she leaves a path of destruction in her then she sees her dad who uses his last push which kills him to give Charlie the extra boost she needs to kill everyone in the building. Rainbird who is free now waits for her to kill him which she begins to, but she stops and after she learns that he is just like her and that she is alone in this world now, in the end he carries her off as the agency burns to the ground.
Now at face value this movie wasn’t bad, I did enjoy the sound to it and honestly enjoyed everyone performance in this film. I don’t think this was a weak link, yet I didn’t think anyone stood out of the pack either. I felt they didn’t do enough with the Rainbird story arc to make any child in a fit of rage to spare his life after all just days ago he killed her mom. Another miss for me was Captain Jane Hollister which when she was on camera, she would steal the scene but making her into a coward at the end ruin it for me. In the end I thought this movie was just average and because of that I am giving it a C wasn’t bad just wasn’t good.
Saturday Sequel Presents The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts Of Georgia
By Paul Anthony
I am just going to start from here and let this be clear how do you title a movie with one state as the main title than have it take place in another state as the subtitle suggest. It weird that I start this blog off this way but since I first learned of this sequel, for some odd reason it would just keep bothering me. Like they could have called The Haunting in Georgia and that would have made more sense. Okay I am done ranting about the title. This is the sequel to the 2009 film The Haunting in Connecticut. This film stars Chad Michael Murray, Katee Sackhoff, Abigail Spencer and Emily Alyn Lind. The film had a budget of 1.5 million and had a limited release and was on video on demand because of that it managed to make 5.1 million dollars. Though I am shocked that it made that much. Okay let’s jump right into the plot!!
okay now the film is inspired by the events surrounding the Wyrick house of Ellerslie Georgia. The film takes place in 1993 when Andy and Lisa (Murray, Spencer) move into a house which they got on a great deal because the bank wanted to drop the property and they claimed no one has lived there before, but shortly after they settle in, Lisa’s sister Joyce (Sackhoff) basically moves in with them. At some point their daughter Heidi (Lind) starts to have visons or people that were once on the property and Joyce reveals to her that the women in their family are born with a veil covering their face which allows them to see things that others can’t. Lisa has this ability as well but has been taking medication to suppress the visons. At this point Heidi meets a spirit name Mr. Gordy. After this basically the family starts to deal with paranormal activity, the family brings in a pastor who reveals that their house was once a part of the underground railroad, and it had a stationmaster that lived there and tells them all the good that he did and how they will be getting visitors and they should be nicer to them than Mr. Gordy was to them, which they are, and they learn these people are ancestors of the slaves that came here for freedom but were never seen again. Through more acts the family starts to learn the truth and that is the stationmaster though did good also did bad by killing slaves and keeping some for his personal collections which included a conductor and Mama Kay the visitor ancestors. They learn that Mr. Gordy was a direct ancestor of the stationmaster and tried to cover up the wrong regarding his family name and just have people remember the good. In the end everything works out of course in the end the family no longer have visons and they lived there for another 5 years in peace. The film in the end shows pictures of the real family that the characters were based on.
This movie was 1 hour and 40 minutes long and by the time the film was ending that’s when you realize what the story was actually about. The affects were fine, and I see most of the budget went towards and nothing else including the acting and cheap writing by making Murray truly look like some hillbilly. The scares and jump scares weren’t there as well so if you were looking to be scared than this movie wasn’t it. In the end I do have to give it a D or 60 percent. What saved this film was truly the affects for the low budget film.
Jackass Forever Review
By Paul Anthony
It has been 12 long years since the last film in this series, castmates have gotten order and had moved on and it hasn’t been the same since Ryan Dunn passed away. Just looking at Bam who once was a star and now got kicked out of the franchise that made him a star. From time to time I think we all would decide to turn on a jackass film regardless of it being 1,2 or even 3. There were talks of part four right after three came out. Jackass 4ever had just a budget of 10 million and managed to make 80 million, which makes it the second lowest only to the very first film. This film also introduces to the new cast members or as I like to call them the next generation. Here we have new members Sean “Poopies” Mclnerney, Zach Holmes, Jasper Dolphin, Eric Manaka and Rachel Wolfson. you add them to the original stars minus Bam and of course Dunn and you think you would have something special.
Now usually here is where we usually talk about the plot but there isn’t a plot. The movie is just full of pranks and stunts and celebrities that are fans of the franchise joining for some of the stunts, that’s the simple part but how can we judge this film? Easy by the stunts themselves and the cast. It made sense to have new cast members come in since the old crew were no doubt old and moved on with their lives, But the problem was this felt way too random. I can see maybe introducing a new cast for third film and having them get the torch for this film. Or even doing the show Jackass again first to introduce them. Instead, they are thrown at us and that is it. The stunts are what makes a Jackass film basically a Jackass film but here it seemed like they took a step back with the stunts and that to me hurt the film, now I understand there will be a 4.5 film because they did say they had filmed so much material but maybe that material should have been added to this film. As for the old cast, well no doubt this film was a passing of the torch kind of deal and given their ages the stunts and pranks were weaker than before minus Johnny Knoxville’s stunt with the bull which this time around ended poorly for him because he had suffered some major injuries which pretty much ends his career. The best stunt of the film was the cup test which Danger Ehren had to perform and suffered a rupture in his right testicle.
I am not saying this film was the worse of the bunch but no doubt that this film took a step back but with a younger cast now and maybe add a few more members this franchise can move into the next generation, how do I rate this film? Well, I have to give it an C or just call it an average film in the franchise. I will say knowing that there is a younger cast makes wonder what the future will bring but we have to see what happens next. We do know now that a new Jackass series is coming, that was announced just two days ago on May 3rd and it will be on paramount+
The Northman Movie Review
By: Justin Hopkins
I went into this movie pretty blind. Running mostly off the trailer. Knowing only very little about Vikings. Only time I have heard the word Northman, was in Hellblade. Nevertheless, the trailer did more then enough to go out and see it opening night. Now, multiple days later, since I needed some time to really think about it, and lose track of days, lets dive in and discuss shall we.
(Blogger Note. A lot of names here have accents. I tried to figure out how to type them, but everything I found did not work. So, my apologies for not spelling your names with the necessary accents.)
After a brief bit of narration, the movie gets started with a young boy, Amleth, seeing his Father, The King, and his men returning to the village. After a successful battle. Racing to tell his Mom and they greet him on arrival. After the celebrations, we see the King had been badly injured. Seeing his time is near. Wanting to die in battle, but also needing to prepare his Son to succeed him. Against her wishes, he takes him to perform a ritual. Bottling his last tear, and swearing to avenge him if he were to fall. Which happens the next day, when a band of men, led by his uncle kills him and tries to kill Amleth. Managing to escape when he cuts off the nose of one of his pursuers. Making it back to the village. Witnessing more of his Uncle’s men killing people, and in his perspective; Kidnap his Mom to be his Uncle’s Queen. When the noseless guy returns. Saying the boy died in the sea. Amleth uses that to slip away by boat. Swearing he would return and avenge his Father, kill his Uncle and save his Mother. Years later, we catch up with him. Now, an adult and a member of a Viking group. On there way to Raid a village. Preparing through a ceremony to help them tap into their animalistic natures before hand, and overwhelm the village. Killing the fighters, enslaving the ones they deem fit and burning everyone else in a fire. That night, he stumbles upon the Seeress. Who tells him his time for vengeance is near. His Uncle’s kingdom has been overrun and is starting anew in Iceland. The Slaves they caught today, are heading there. Refueled by this, he slices his hair short, changes his clothes and brands himself. Sneaking onto the boat after it departs and where I will leave it
They did something very interesting, and that was they did not hold back here. They didn’t try to polish and work around how things were like back then. Going with history. Showing the ceremonies, rituals and how vicious the fights were. Especially, when the Vikings raided the village and how they treated those they defeated. It did have a side effect of, you can’t really get behind anyone. All of the guys are kind of terrible. The Queen has been broken and driven mad by what had been done to her. You get the romance between Amleth and Olga, but her goal is to escape slavery and she is a slave because of Amleth and his berserker group. With that said though, still applaud Robert Eggers and Sjon for seeping so much history of how things were and putting together a fantastic story of Tragedy.
This was shot beautifully. Loved the use of fire and torches to light up everything. Making for some shots that look beautiful, such as when they are preparing for the Raid, and the He witch is silhouetted by the campfire and the warriors getting into mindset, with some awesome music topping it off. While others that looked dirty and gritty. We will get into some issues with the music later, but for what it is worth. The soundtrack was great. The fight scenes were choreographed wonderfully. They were not smooth, but they were frantic and brutal. Being just in your face, win by any means, fights to the death that were fun to watch.
The cast was spot on, with the exception of one. Starting with the positive though. Alexander Skarsgard was great as Amleth. Coming off as a walking death machine. Not just ready to take on any treat, but believe that he can. Nicole Kidman was exceptional. Delivering the twist fantastically. Where she reveals that it was her behind the King’s death. That she was a slave who was forced upon and that was how Amleth was born and being kept around because of that and needed to do something to maintain her life and not go back to slavery. Anya Taylor-Joy was great as Olga of The Birch Forest. Bring the fiery spirit of a slave who was having none of their crap to life. Bjork was fun as The Seeress. Claes Bang, Ethan Hawke, Elliot Rose, and Willem Dafoe were all excellent.
On the flipside of that, we got a mixed and a negative. Starting with the mixed, we got Gustav Lindh as Thorir. When he did not really have to show emotion. Just be smug to the slaves, he was good and when he did. When his friend’s were killed. It was bad and it stood out in the scene.
On the negative side, and I am not just getting old. I loved the soundtrack but when you have people talking, in some really good, but thick accents. Turn it down, just a little. So, you know, I can follow what is being said.
So, this is why it is so late. Really wanted to think this over. Let it stew a bit in my head. Definitely a movie that stays with you long after the credits roll. This was not a movie that is for me. Kind of reminding me of when I reviewed The Huntress a few years ago, and how I passed on grading it. Which is not what I am doing now. Very different circumstances and different movies. Personal feelings aside though. It is a beautifully directed movie. Excellent soundtrack. The cast did a wonderful job at bringing the characters and feel of the movie together. Bringing you back to how things were and weaving a sense of history to it. It is not going to be a movie for everyone, but if you can handle a brutal, tragedy tale. Then you will enjoy this, if not, I would pass on it. Final Grade – A
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading!
Saturday Sequel Presents Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
By Paul Anthony
I promise that this isn’t Tom Cruise’s week here, just backed up in assignments here, best way to return to this blog series, I had to start with this film because of the previous blog but here at SmashWriting, we have watched a lot Reacher in the past few weeks. so this blog will end that fetish. Now this film is the sequel to the 2012 film Jack Reacher. Filming on this film started in October of 2015 and the movie was released 1 year later and nearly four years later after the first film. The events in this film are unknown from his last big screen appearance. the film once again stars Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders, Aldis Hodge and Danika Yarosh. The film was produce on a budget that was between 60 and 95 million and only grossed 162 million dollars nearly 60 million dollars less than the first film. The film received mixed reviews and up to this point this series is dead, now thanks to the Amazon hit show, which Justin can’t stop watching to this day.
The film starts with Reacher in a diner when he is busted by the police, who we learn is covering up a human trafficking case in which Reacher solved. Reacher warns the cops what will happen if they arrest him, and they just laugh it off, but they get a phone informing them to let Reacher go and they will be arrested and sure enough they are arrested. At this point we learn that during his travels he has been in contact with Major Susan Turner who is holding his former command post. Then he learns from Colonel Sam Morgan that Turner has been arrested and accused of Espionage. Which forces Reacher to travel to D.C. to see Turner and find out the truth. In the process he learns that he has a daughter that he never knew he had and the people that are framing Turner is now framing Reacher and they learn he might have a daughter which has made weak at times and even more protective. Well, they are on the run he even notices how the girl has some of his traits. Like always Reacher manages to solve the case and clear the innocent of any wrongdoing and Turner is reinstated in her post. Reacher then has dinner with his daughter in which he tells her he remembers everyone he has slept with, and she reveals that he isn’t her father because her mother is the waitress that has been serving them and neither of them recognize each other, Reacher parts ways with her and as he is walking, it is revealed that she slipped phone in his pocket with a text message saying do you miss me yet and the film ends with him smiling at the text message.
Now I have to say from learning what I know regarding Reacher, Tom made him show a lot more emotion than apparently the character normally does, the action was on par with the first film, which I might have been expecting more fight scenes or even better action overall. Adding the daughter element made him weaker or showed his human side, hard to be a judge in this case. The plot did have a lot of twist and turns to try to make it seem more intense but just seems like they got lazy or stupid or both honestly. Overall, I am giving this film a C or 70 percent because in the end this film just seemed averaged and when it seems like that then it will get lost in the shuffle of action movies. And that is exactly what has happened!
Top Gun Review
By Paul Anthony
Next month Top Gun 2 is coming out and I am planning on seeing it, but something occurred to me and that was that I never got to watch the first film and well I have a free moment in the schedule, I wanted to take a day to review this film. Now last few days, I had to think about this because I feel like there are two Tom Cruises. The young Tom and the older Tom, now the older Tom takes movies and make it about him, as to where younger Tom was just a movie star in the 80’s. This film was released in May of 1986 and starred a good cast which included Tom Cruise, Meg Ryan, Val Kilmer, Tim Robbins, and Kelly McGillis. Now this film was produced from a 15 million and managed to make a 357 million dollars. Now In 2015 the United States Library of Congress selected the film the film for preservation in the National Film Registry, because it found it to be culturally, historically or aesthetically significant. The film also won an academy award for best original song for Take My Breath Away which was performed by Berlin. Now before most critics gave this film mixed reviews but praised the performance of Cruise and McGillis. Now Let’s start talking about the plot.
Here in this film, we LT Pete Mitchell AKA Maverick, and his Radar Intercept Officer Nick Bradshaw AKA Goose right off the bat we see Maverick as a cocky but talented fighter pilot but during one mission him and goose and their wingman Cougar have a mission, but Cougar basically chokes, and Maverick saves the day, but Cougar gives up his wings which opens the door for Maverick and Goose to join the TopGun program. Once there, Maverick becomes loved and hated but mostly hated by Tom “Iceman” Kazansky who is the top student of the program. Through the film, we see Maverick fall for TopGun Civilian Instructor, and they develop feelings for each other, at the same time Maverick forms a rival with Iceman and each compete for the top spot until one day an accident happens when Maverick gets in Iceman jet wash and flames out but during the ejection a malfunction happens, and goose hits his head hard and killing him and Maverick is cleared of any wrongdoing but nevertheless he feels the guilt of losing his best friend. Maverick does graduate from the program but doesn’t win the award for the best but shortly after graduating they given a mission which Maverick serves as Iceman wingman. However, during the mission Iceman and Hollywood which is another top pilot are ambushed and Maverick is sent to help at first, he seems like Hes going to abandon the mission but, in the end, saves the day as an award maverick can select his next location and job and he decides to become an instructor for the TopGun program.
Now, we have a young tom cruise which back than he wasn’t making movies that were all him. Which help each character shine in their own right. IceMan Val Kimer took each scene that he was in and he made people know that. Though his screen time wasn’t as much as Tom’s he still took the spotlight when he was on the screen. The story was basic because you knew right off the bat that Maverick in the end was going to come through. Lost of Goose midway through the film was a good touch because it gave us a chance to see how close these characters were. The jet’s were the main source of action and it was a thing of beauty to watch them. The problem is for me, we could have had more jet fighting rather than the love story aspect. Don’t me wrong the movie needed emotions but the love story was a waste when they could have gave us more Goose and Maverick. In the end I am giving this film a B or 80 percent. Its above average but not great!
Jack Reacher Movie Review
By Paul Anthony
Last week, on our podcast we decided to review the first season of Reacher which was on Amazon Prime and we gave it raving reviews and in fact Justin can’t watching it to this day. Now because of that, I thought it was time to take a look at first Jack Reacher film that stars Tom Cruise which came out in 2012. Now I have seen this film before but it has been a long while and I am talking about years here, so in order to do this blog, I know I needed to rewatch the film , so I did! Now prior to this film there was no attempts at making a film based on the novel series, since after all the novel series just started in 1997 and seemed like no studio really wanted to buy the film rights until 2005 when the book One Shot was released and by 2010, the ball started to roll and by 2012 the film was released based on One Shot, but the film was simply called Jack Reacher. Tom Cruise was cast as Reacher, but the fan base didn’t enjoy this casting, mostly because of the height difference, in the books Reacher is 6’4 and Tom Cruise is 5’8. Now he was surrounded by a star studded cast which included Richard Jenkins, Rosamund Pike, David Oyelowo, and Robert Duvall. Now let’s start with the plot!
We first seen the crime take place though we don’t know who it is, and we don’t know why but we do see a person killing 5 people, the police investigate and soon we meet a former sniper James Mark Barr and he is taken into custody, is offered a choice of life in prison or death but all he writes down is Get Jack Reacher. Here we learn Reacher is a drifter but was a major in the Military Police and makes it, Hes not interested in clearing Barr’s name because of their past and what Barr has done before just interested in the truth. So with Barr’s lawyer they begin to start this wild goose chase and break down all the information and deal with the true people involved which is gang led by Zec who was a political prisoner. In the end Reacher gets to the truth but not without taking a few bodies down with him and the film ends with Barr waking up from his coma and admitting to the shootings that he did but is still clear of the charges meanwhile Reach gets on a bus and sets his sights on the road again and the film ends.
Now let me start with Tom Cruise because he seems to be the biggest problem of the film. I do agree that he should never have been cast as Reacher because of his height. Reacher’s height is also one of his best physical defense because no one wants go up against someone with that muscle and height. Now also Reacher doesn’t show much emotions and Tom as big name actor has to act more than the character because he is a big name actor. Going away from the roots did hurt the film. The action and story wasn’t on track with each other just seemed off. Now I am not saying it was a boring film or even a bad film but it wasn’t something that to me was going to stick out and because of that in the end I am giving this film a C for grade or 75 percent!
AVP Aliens vs Predators: Ultimate Prey Audiobook
By: Justin Hopkins
I was thrilled to see this drop on Audible. Was a massive fan of Alien: Bug Hunt and thrilled to see Jonathon Maberry coming back for Aliens vs Predators. I love the Yautja (Predator) and will always take them and the Xenomorphs being brought together. Now, that I have listened to it, multiple times, lets dive in, but just like before. I will do my best to skirt around any major spoilers. Do my nest to talk about the stories within without blowing anything major.
Ultimate Prey brings us Stretching from the old west to current day. On fierce foreign planets and deep space voyage in far away futures. Characters finding themselves caught in a timeless fight between extraterrestrials. One, running solely off of instincts. The other, bound by pride and honor of the hunt. While many, are unsuspecting. Dealing with something much larger then themselves. Others, are aware of the situation, but everyone will be digging down deep within, to find out how far they can push themselves and finding allies in unsuspected places.
Going into it, was most excited for the Yautja and coming out of it, they were my favorite part. How much we got a deep dive into their lifestyles and actions. How much honor and pride they take, in not just the Hunt but their every day lives. the differing opinions they have on humans and how, not only did some of them change based around their encounters, but how they changed the people they were around.
A lot of the writers did something interesting. Which was done in the movies, but did click for me here and that was how different people reacted when dealing with a Yautja vs when they dealt with a Xenomorph. How scared and filled with terror a xenomorph they’d get when encountered by their more animalistic ways. While, their was base level of fear when staring at the Yautja. There was a morbid curiosity, in the foe that more resembles them in a way. More fear would tick in when the mask came off, but by then curiosity had already set in. This was not all the time of course, but was interesting when this did play out.
Loved the callback and references some utilized, such as the Raid on Area 51 event for the basis of their story. Bo’Kui being the ancestor from the Yautja from Drug Wars, in Predator: If it Bleeds anthology. A sequel to Predators and Scott Sigler bringing his world from Aliens: Phalanx back. Fun moments for people who have been following along and great way to get people to go back and enjoy what came before.
I loved the complex character work they bring us throughout. Abuse victim finding the strength to stand up for themselves. A trans character, who had been poisoned and left for dead on a planet in the middle of the battling species. Finding an unlikely ally, who is in a similar situation. On the flip side, you have Yautja’s who are coming to light with issues of their own. Broken pride and honor running deeper then they thought. All of which elevated the stories over just being about the hunt.
Alright, shout out time. Everyone killed it. Standing ovation to Jonathon Maberry and Bryan Thomas Schmidt. Again, can’t imagine how hard it was to narrow this down to fifteen and getting just the right placement. All of the writers did amazing. Pouring so much love and care into their stories and they would be. Even the couple, I was not a fan of, were still good. Just compared to the rest of the lot kind of fell flat. Starting with, Chris Ryall, Steven L. Sears, Delilah S. Dawson, David Barnett, Mira Grant, Susanne L. Lambdin, Jess Landry, Bryan Thomas Schmidt, Yvonne Navarro, Curtis C. Chen, Roshin “Rush” Bhatia, Maurice Broaddus, E.C. Myers, Scott Sigler, Jonathon Maberry and Louis Ozawa. We got to call out the narrators as well, being an audiobook and all, and they did an excellent job breathing life into their characters and stories. Starting with, Bradford Hastings, Nicol Zanzarella, Stephanie Weeks, Feordor Chin, Timothy Andrés Padon, Soneela Nankani, Chelsea Stephens, Hilary Huber, Erica Sullivan, Sura Siu and Shiromi Arserio.
3. Abuse, Interrupted 2. First Hunt 1. Blood and Honor
This was a blast of an anthology. From great character work, deep dives into the Yautja and some terrifying moments with the Xenomorphs and some peeks up their own hierarchy. The pacing was perfect and even the ones I didn’t really take to I would listen to again. Just because I had such a good time in general. Check it out if you haven’t. Final Grade – S
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading!
The Batman Movie Review
By: Justin Hopkins
My intrigue level was rivaling my excitement going into the newest installment of Batman. Beyond the point of getting upset over casting of the Dark Knight. Proving the doubters wrong over and over when it comes to who wears the cape and cowl and willing to see what Robert can do with the character Liked the idea of this being an inexperienced Batman who is learning the ropes. Throw in Riddler, Penguin and Catwoman and they had the making of something good. Now, that it is in the books, let’s discuss.
Movie kicks off, with Riddler watching the Mayor. Who after sees his family off, they are going trick-or-treating, turns on the debate. Talking to someone on the phone. Not happy his opponent is in a dead heap with him. Riddler attacks him when he gets off the phone, and begins to set the scene. From there, we jump to various ongoing crimes and a voice over from Bruce. Talking about how he has been doing this for two years and isn’t sure what kind of impact, if any, he has been having. That when Bat Signal comes on, it is not just a call, but spreads fear in those, that at any moment, he will seep out of the shadows and get them. And we see, most of the criminals flee at the sight. Staying clear of the dark, except for a gang at the train station, and sure enough, Batman comes out of the shadows. Taking the fight to them and putting the fear of god, in the guy they were attacking. Making his way to the Mayors. Being let into the crime scene, by Gordon. To the chagrin of most of the cops on the scene. Evaluating the scene. Seeing that a card had been left behind for him specifically, before the commissioner chases him out. Back at the cave, Bruce has removed the contact with the camera inside. Going back through what he saw at the scene. Printing out images of the riddle and sypher. Writing in his journal everything that transpired during the night. When we met Alfred. Where they get into an argument over Alfred needing Bruce to be Bruce and do things for the company and Bruce having no time for any of that. Telling him he is not his Dad, as he walks away. Catching back up with Alfred after a shower. Who has been working on the sypher. Together they come up with the word drive. With Gordon, they go to the Mayor’s Garage. Finding a thumb drive in one, with the Mayors thumb attached to it. Inside, were pictures of the Mayor, with another woman outside of the Iceberg Lounge. A mafia club run by the Penguin. Batman makes his way over and brawls his way to a conversation. Penguin denies knowing anything about knowing the girl, but the bartender, Selina takes interest in it. Batman noticing her watching and when he recognizes her boots from a pair in the photo. Follows her out of the club and back to her apartment. Finding the girl there. Only he doesn’t go in. Watching Selina get into gear of her own and sneak out. Following her to the Mayor’s where he catches he busting in the safe. Stealing a passport. After a brief scuffle, learns that the Mayor had stolen the women’s passport and she is to traumatized to say what she knows, but he gets her to agree to take her back so he could talk to her. Only, when they get back. Find the apartment is trashed and she is gone. On the TV, the news is reporting the body of Commissioner had been found. Video had gone viral of The Riddler introducing himself, with Commissioner strapped to a rat maze. Adding to the mystery that would only get deeper from here, but where I leave it for now.
I adored the story so much. The mystery was laid out exactly right. Pacing and rising tension was perfect and climax that was well told and seeing the aftermath of everything after, was chef’s kiss. How a mistranslation was able to create so much confusion. Misleading you to consider Penguin, Batman and then finally, Falcone.
Riddler’s motivation was well told. Growing up in dilapidated orphanages with promises never kept. Showing how a corrupt Gotham create this villain and even how from his perspective, Thomas Wayne would appear guilty. Since he never got to explain what happened with the reporter and it was his foundation that was being pillaged by the corrupt officials.
Loved how the Batman was used here. Being early into his Crime Fighting, he had tech and detective abilities, but hasn’t quite put it all together. But did have the reputation, of something to be feared. When the Bat signal came out and everything would get tense and people were afraid. How he would rush into fights and tank damage, but would overwhelm his opponents with overall brutality. Putting the fear into not just bad guys but those he is trying to save as well, and all of this brutality and anger is starting to bleed through to when he was Bruce.
As much as I loved the portrayal as Batman, think Robert Pattinson may have shined his brightest as Bruce Wayne. Spending all his time, as Batman. Being around the violence and misery. All the while not seeing the positive impact he set out for, was making him miserable. Making him want to put on the mask and get back to it, and miserable even having to pretend to care about anything related to Bruce. By the end, learning that he was in fact making an impact just not the one he wanted. That the lesson he was preaching was one of vengeance and people gluing to that. That he would have to change and be better and I am really looking forward to seeing where they go from here on that note.
The fight scenes were great and cinematography was gorgeous. The score they had for batman was interesting in a good way. While The Batmobile was incredible.
Had already droned on about Robert Pattinson, he was great at the role. Lets take a moment to shine a light on the rest. Jeffery Wright was the perfect choice for Gordon. Him and Robert had some really good chemistry together. A lot of fun seeing them working together on the screen. Same with Andy Serkis’s Alfred, who I want to see much more of in the sequel. Paul Dano was incredible as Riddler. Bringing out the arrogance in the highly intelligent villain. Who seemed like someone who you’d encounter in the real world. Collin Farrell was perfect on making Penguin an interesting character. John Turturro was a surprise to see as Falcone, and knocked it out of the park, especially with Zoe Kravitz’s Selina Kyle. Who played a good Catwoman. She had the moves, looked great, and left me wanting to see more of her in this world as well.
This is very much a mixed aspect of the movie. While I loved the cinematography. There were a few rough spots, where things were to dark for their own. Example, is toward the end at Falcone’s, when Batman was fighting through the hall. Only light from gun flashes. Which, is great, but the flashes were so rapid, that I was pretty much blind through most of it. This might have just been a my eyes kind of deal or might not be there when I watch at home, but for now. It’s in the mixed category.
But that is all I got for you. This was a thrilling, psychological ride, with a ton of good action and horror themed moments. Actors and actresses did a ton to flesh their characters out and left them with places to grow and move forward from here. Go forth and check it out. Keep the Joker in the asylum and bring me the Court of Owls. Final Grade – S
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading!
AEW Revolution 2022 Predictions
By: Justin Hopkins
AEW PPV are always hard to try and predict, for the best of reasons. You can make an argument on nearly every match on who should walk away with the win. While at the same time. A spicy story waiting the one who doesn’t at the same time. Revolution is staked with blood feuds, match of the year candidates and overall fun matches on paper. Stifled with potential from top to bottom. So, lets pull out the tin foil hats and try and predict the show shall we.
Hook vs QT Marshall
We will start with the softball choice here. Hook is the man. Riding a wave of momentum that isn’t stopping now.
Winner – Hook
Kings of the Black Throne vs Death Triangle and Erick Redbeard
The reason this didn’t go up yesterday. Had a feeling they weren’t done and they gave us this six man. With the return of Erick Redbeard to sub for the injured Fenix and glad to see him. This will be a fun match on the Buy In and while it could go to Death Triangle and Redbeard. House of Black need it much more.
Winner- Kings of the Black Throne
Leyla Hirsch vs Kris Statlander
Well, easy choices gone now. Kris took the first match, which is what kicked off this rivalry and sent Leyla to the dark side. Both of these two are incredible and could be top of the division in no time. Could have Leyla win to lead to a more brutal rubber match. Kris is teasing showing another side of her. With the orphan comment could be teasing a double turn, but Leyla just turned…. More words to try and stall. Can’t even go with my heart cause I love them both… Screw it..
Winner – Leyla Hirsch
Andrade El Idolo, Isiah Kassidy and Matt Hardy vs Sting Darby Allin and Sammy Guevara
Before Rampage. Believed it was going to be a slam dunk. Win for the good guys and set the table for the Hardy Boy reunion. Now I am not to sure though. They could have Matt Hardy wonder off. Doing the erratic thing still. Make it appear it’ll go the way you think. For Darby and Sammy clash from what happened on Rampage. I am going to go for that actually.
Winner- Andrade El Idolo, Isiah Kassidy and Matt Hardy
Eddie Kingston vs Chris Jericho
There is a universe, where Eddie loses this match. Sending him into a bit of a spiral. Having to regroup and think about what he wants. Finding his motivation and coming back and going on a tear to the belt. Getting the emotional moment of winning the Championship. In this world, Eddie is winning this one, and starting the momentum to the Championship now.
Winner- Eddie Kingston
TBS Championship Match – Tay Conti Vs Jade Cargill (Champion)
While Tay could make for a good choice in giving Jade her first loss. It might be too soon. Jade has continued to improve by leaps and bounds and really making this run just what this belt needs. Not quite the time to pull the plug on it.
Winner and still TBS Champion – Jade Cargill
Face of the Revolution Ladder Match – Keith Lee vs Wardlow vs Ricky Starks vs Will Hobbs vs Orange Cassidy vs Christian Cage
Sweet Death how am I suppose to choose. Match is just going to be awesome. Some much destruction. People are going to be launched left and right. Can never sleep on Orange. Hobbs can make a break at any moment. Twenty Twenty Two can be the year of Starks, Christian is a legend, and how can one not bask in the glory of Keith Lee. Keith Lee is a difficult choice to go against, but We got Wardlow. The wave of momentum is really starting to pick up and story of him and MJF is simmering. Match is going to be insane, but at the end of the day, going with….
Winner – Wardlow
AEW Tag Team Championship Triple Threat Match – reDRagon vs Young Bucks vs Jurassic Express (Champions)
It is coming due for a heel team to collect the tag team belts. That won’t be tonight thought. the reDRagon Young Buck story doesn’t need the belts. Think they are going to cost themselves the match and the belts stay where they are.
Winner – Jurassic Express
Bryan Danielson vs Jon Moxley
Hey, another match that I have no idea where it can go. Think the American Dragon is going to get the win after a hard fought battle. Setting up not just the team, but the fallout later and Mox finally getting the win he has never had after a long drawn out story.
Winner – Bryan Danielson
AEW Women’s Championship – Thunder Rosa vs Dr. Britt Baker (Champion)
This story can go in so many ways. I genuinely have no idea which way they can go. Going to go the way that sets up a rematch at St. Patrick’s Day Slam the easiest and most interesting.
Winner and new Women’s Champion – Thunder Rosa
CM Punk vs MJF Dog Collar Match
What a fucking feud. The promos and interactions have been nothing short of legendary that will be looked back on in, how to set up feuds, for years to come. It doesn’t feel right to go against him, but an MJF loss would send him spiraling against Wardlow and Punk could move on. Tired of the distractions and wanting his title shot.
Winner – CM Punk
AEW Heavyweight Championship Adam Cole vs Hangman Adam Page
I refuse to make the obvious joke. This match has it’s work cut out for it, to follow everything we have seen this far, but if anyone can do it. Think these two can. Don’t see Hangman’s time come to an end just yet and Cole can take his first loss.
Winner – Hangman Adam Page
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading!