Boyd Kirkland’s “SubZero” stands as not only one of the best animated Batman films of all time, but one of the best Batman films, period. In a time where Warner were handing us goofy films like “Batman Forever,” behind the scenes, Bruce Timm took the material seriously, delivering entertaining mature fare like “SubZero.” Something of a sequel to “Deep Freeze,” Kirkland’s film is also a stark contrast to last year’s “Batman and Harley Quinn,” choosing to expand on the hit episode, rather than repeat the same beats ad nauseum like the latter chose to.
At the end of the day I think “Justice League” is a very—okay movie, with glimmers of greatness. But that’s the problem, sadly. Fans waited and waited, and didn’t want an okay movie. We fans wanted a great movie, and despite bringing in Joss Whedon in the final hour, “Justice League” feels less like the beginning of an epic saga of superheroes, and more like a throwaway episode of a mediocre superhero series. And what with “mustache gate” and the continued controversy over the original cut of the film, “Justice League” will carry a lot of baggage with it forever. Which is sad, because I still didn’t hate it as much as I did “Batman v Superman.”
In an Estonian village, people attempting to survive and love steal from all sources and give their souls away for protection. In a village where werewolves, magic, and disease are everywhere, love is hard to receive and creatures named kratts help and hinder them. What is a soul worth? Does one need a soul to live? To love?
The long overdue cinematic debut of Black Panther is a bold and unique new turn in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with a perfectly cast Chadwick Boseman as King T’Challa. “Black Panther” not only focuses on mostly African cast of characters, but also doesn’t lean too heavily on the Marvel universe to register with audiences. Director Ryan Coogler and Marvel have enough confidence in the clout of Black Panther to allow the film to be its own entity. There are passing references to “Civil War,” and a big supporting role from Agent Ross (a returning Martin Freeman), but this is strictly the movie Black Panther should have had ten years ago.
“Gate 2” has been a rarity for years and finally gets a very good re-release by Scream who treats us to a sequel that’s nothing like the original. That’s both a good and bad aspect for the film as Tibor Takacs returns to direct, and complete his story arc, while also advancing the mythology. With Stephen Dorff on to better pastures, we follow his more reluctant friend Terry, who is now all alone after his friend moved away with his big sister. With no one around to corroborate their adventures in a hell dimension, Terry is now a pariah. Anxious to re-open the gate properly this time, Terry is egged on by two local bullies to let them take part in the summoning, promising them wish fulfillment. Much to their surprise, they manage to trap one of the minions of the gate, and Terry keeps it, hoping to find out its secrets.
2017 was a crazy year for film short and long. I saw 880 feature length films and 131 short films. Of those I chose my favorites have already been posted for the features here and here. The shorts were harder for me to sort through so it took longer to get this out there for you all to read. I decided to use shorts that were part of my festival coverage for the year so a few have creating dates before 2017 and I also decided to not include what I have seen online as those were too numerous. So without any further ado, here are my top 10 Shorts Films for 2017:
At one time One Million BC was considered a real hit at the box office and even earned some Academy Award nominations. Today it’s a pretty clunky albeit ambitious movie that predates Roland Emerich’s “10,000 B.C.” by decades where it tells the tale of a group of cavemen and cavewomen with perfect hair and make up, trying to survive in the wastelands. Said wastelands include dogs dressed as elephants, giant badgers fighting giant snakes, and a lot of stunt animals over a flat screen blown up to look like dinosaurs. Saving the effort of claymation and stop motion, the effect is a major dud most times, as the animals never really look all too menacing.