Cinema Dispatch: Thor: Love and Thunder

Thor: Love and Thunder and all the images you see in this review are owned by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Directed by Taika Waititi

Much like Thor himself, I find myself in something of a slump recently with a few different roads to get out of it. I won’t go into details, but I’m definitely taking a few steps in some sort of direction and we’ll see how things shake out in the next few weeks. For now though, I’m working on these reviews on my schedule and no one else’s which means that unfortunately, this is coming out long after everyone else has said their piece on it. Still, no harm in throwing my opinion out into the void and seeing if the void spews anything back up! Does this latest entry in the Marvel Forever-verse shock a few more minutes of life into the franchise, or will this be just fine and watchable to the consternation of those who are waiting for a big enough disaster to finally topple Disney’s firm grip on the genre? Let’s find out!!

With everything that happened in that whole Thanos kerfuffle, which included the death of his brother and the near extinction of the Asgardians, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) really needed a break to try and figure things out. To that end, he’s been bumming around with the Guardians of the Galaxy, as well as his friend Korg (Taika Waititi), until they run out of Big Lebowski jokes and convince him to go on some wild goose chase for some sort of God Butcher in a bid to get away from his mopey Asgardian butt. Turns out the threat is real, however, as a humble alien named Gorr (Christian Bale) loses his faith in the Gods and is rewarded with the Necrosword; a weapon so dark and powerful that it can kill these selfish Gods while slowly draining him of his life and seemingly his sanity. Well, we’ve got a new Marvel villain to dispatch of which can only mean it’s time for another team-up, and since the Guardians of the Galaxy aren’t returning his calls he returns to the last Asgardian colony on Earth to see if a few warriors are still bumming around. Turns out that Thor’s hammer has been restored and there’s a new Thor in the form of Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) who is called Mighty Thor to distinguish from the guy whose name is Thor but lost the title of Thor some time ago… or something like that. Needless to say, there are some mixed feelings there as their relationship didn’t end on the best of terms, but they need to work together, along with Korg and King Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) to stop Gorr who, in classic villain fashion, has stolen a bunch of Asgardian children for seemingly no reason other than spite. Can Thor and Mighty Thor set aside their past difference and come together to stop this threat to the universe? What are the rest of the Gods doing while Gorr is carving his way through their ranks, and what is Gorr truly hoping to accomplish by stringing the two Thors along on this rescue mission? Seriously, are Jane and Thor gonna talk or will they just keep things awkward for the whole trip?

“Maybe you should tell her you miss her?” “Quiet! I’m busy! Doing… superhero stuff.”
Continue reading “Cinema Dispatch: Thor: Love and Thunder”

Cinema Dispatch: Ford v Ferrari

FORDVFERRARICD0

Ford v Ferrari and all the images you see in this review are owned by 20th Century Fox

Directed by James Mangold

With the Disney/Fox merger, there were bound to be a few films lost in the shuffle with at least one that seems to have INTENTIONALLY been shelved for the foreseeable future (*cough* New Mutants *cough*).  This film was originally scheduled for earlier in the year but instead they pushed it to Oscar season which frankly seems like a solid move considering this ticks off a lot of awards bait boxes; it being a period piece relying heavily on Americana and nostalgia for the non-hippie version of the sixties while also starring two big name actors to lend a bit of clout and respectability to the proceedings.  Does this movie about cars going fast manage to be about something much more, or is this yet another movie destined for heavy rotation on TNT and nowhere else?  Let’s find out!!

Carroll Shelby and Ken Miles (Matt Damon and Christian Bale) don’t get along all that well but they both seem to respect the other with Shelby being a great car designer and former racer and Miles being the best racer alive with a flawless instinct for driving as well as the inner workings of the car itself.  These two have been given something of a golden opportunity as Henry Ford II (Tracy Letts) is determined to have one of his cars beat Ferrari at the biggest race in the world; the La Mans.  With his vice president (Jon Berenthal) leading the charge, Shelby comes on board with the project and convinces Miles to go along with it as well despite his hot head and distrust of corporations; a mistrust that may be well founded as interference from the higher ups constantly gets in their way of doing what needs to be done in order to beat Ferrari and prove that Ford cars can be just as powerful and sexy as European models!  Can Shelby thread the needle of the Ford Company’s misguided directives with Miles’s inability to get along with others?  What kind of new tricks and technology will they need to develop in order to claim a victory that has eluded Ford for so long?  Is it just me or is a movie with Batman and Jason Borne that’s being directed by the guy who made Logan somehow as cool as that description would imply despite the film ACTUALLY being about regular cars?

FORDVFERRARICD1
“Do you know how much weight I have to lose and then gain back between every single role I take?”     “Gee, have you tried acting?”     “Hey, watch it or else I won’t let you be in the Batman reboot they make me do in ten years.”     “Screw you, I’m technically in the MCU.”

Continue reading “Cinema Dispatch: Ford v Ferrari”

Cinema Dispatch: Hostiles

HOSTILESCD0

Hostiles and all the images you see in this review are owned by Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures

Directed by Scott Cooper

Okay, so MAYBE I jumped the gun a bit when I declared Phantom Thread to be the last of the 2017  hold overs as apparently THIS film (as well as Molly’s Game apparently) is was similarly hoping for some award buzz before reaching the general public.  The difference HERE though (and probably why I hadn’t heard about it until 2018) is that it DIDN’T get the recognition it was looking for as it hasn’t been nominated for any Oscar, nor is it really showing up on critic associations’ BEST OF lists.  Still, that doesn’t mean it’s BAD, right?  I mean did Wonder Woman or Ingrid Goes West get any Oscar nods?  Did Happy Death Day even get a Teen Choice Award!?  There are never enough awards to go around for all the great films that come out in a year, so MAYBE this one will turn out to be the sleeper hit of the season!  We can only hope, right?  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows Captain Joseph J Blocker (Christina Bale) who is not just any US solider at the turn of the nineteenth century, but one who seems to SPECIALIZE in  hunting down Indigenous people.  His job description is starting to go out of style however as the US government is starting to make token efforts to give back to the people they’ve committed genocide against, and their latest effort is to take one of Blocker’s prisoners, Chief Yellow Hawk (Wes Studi), along with his family (Adam Beach, Q’orianka Kilcher, Tanaya Beatty, and Xavier Horsechief) back to their tribal lands in Montana.  Now you’d think that a long trek from his holding cell in New Mexico ALL the way to Montana would benefit from an escort that ISN’T led up by not only the guy who has killed SO many Indigenous people but ALSO the guy who put Yellow Hawk there in the first place, but I guess it only adds to the symbolic nature of this token gesture.  So with only a handful of soldiers (Jonathan Majors, Jesse Plemons, and Timothée Chalamet) and his best buddy Thomas (Rory Cochrane), the party sets off to deliver these people back to their homeland and will hopefully everyone won’t kill each other in the process!  Things get messy right away though as they come across a home decimated by a band of Indigenous Bandits where the only survivor is Rosalie (Rosamund Pike) whose entire family was slaughtered in the massacre by the bandits who are still out there somewhere.  Will the soldiers have to put aside their prejudices just to survive against this new threat?  Will Captain Blocker learn the error of his ways and come to respect his former enemies?  What hardships will they be forced to endure before they reach their destination!?

HOSTILESCD1
“Captain!  We have to pee again!”     “WE JUST STOPPED AN HOUR AGO!  HOLD IT IN!!”

Continue reading “Cinema Dispatch: Hostiles”

Cinema Dispatch: The Big Short

TBSCD0

The Big Short and all the images you see in this review are owned by Paramount Pictures

Directed by Adam McKay

So the guy who directed both Anchorman Movies, Step Brothers, and The Other Guys is gonna sit here and try to tell us about the housing crisis?  Yeah right!  Who’s gonna take THAT seriously!?  Wait, they’ve got Christian Bale, Brad Pitt, AND Ryan Gosling?  It’s also written by the writer of Moneyball?  Well I certainly didn’t see THAT coming. Then again, it’s not like he hasn’t taken on relevant targets in the past.  Just look at Anchorman 2!  That took a lot of pot shots at Fox News and the media in general, even if it was surrounded by a lot of stupid.  So can the guy who brought us four Will Farrell man-child movies manage to make something a bit more mature while still giving it a proper sense of humor, or will this be just another painful example of someone who is WAY out of his depth and has no idea what the hell their doing and go back to his old shtick to give us Step Brothers 2: Now There’s Three of Them or Something?  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows several people in the years leading up to the big financial crisis of 2008 brought about by the crash of the housing market.  As we interweave between these stories of people who saw it coming, it’s slowly dawns on them (and the audience) just how absolutely unattainable the market was at the time and just how corrupt the system got which is what led to everything going to hell.  That’s really about it as most of the characters serve as either audience avatars or exposition machines to keep the audience in the loop as to what’s going on.  It’s definitely more about giving the us an idea of the scope of the problem rather than telling personal stories within them, but a couple of the character eek out an arc here and there like the young investors Charlie Geller and Jamie Shipley (John Magaro and Finn Wittrock) who are new to all this and get caught right in the god damn middle or even Mark Baum (Steve Carell) who’s already got it out for the big banks and at first sees this as just another thing to call them out on until he realizes how dep the rabbit hole goes in all of this.

TBSCD1
“You ever see that movie Basket Case?  Imagine that America is Duane Bradley and everyone in this room is fucking Belial.”

Continue reading “Cinema Dispatch: The Big Short”