A flying Hall of Justice?! I want one! I want two! “Attack of the Legion of Doom!” is pretty much one of the more endearing glorified LEGO commercials Warner has released this year. Surely, it’s an ad for all their neato DC Comics toys, but it also is a fun and really funny comic book animated movie that has a blast with its characters. While these movies may not be for the more hardcore DC fanatics, they’re definitely wonderful entrance points for young aspiring comic buffs that want to figure out who among the Justice League is their favorite.
Sue me but it’s pretty cool to be seeing a Hispanic man playing Superman for once; if only for one time in an Elseworlds tale. “Gods and Monsters” is set in an alternate DC Universe that has its own Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, and damn it they’re not the clean cut superheroes and titans we know them as. Imagine an alternate fate for the trio of titans. What if Zod programmed his DNA in to Superman and Superman was taken in by a Mexican farming couple rather than Kansas farmers. Imagine if Wonder Woman was from the new gods, and Batman was actually a bat like man who sucked people’s blood.
“Jurassic World” is the “Gremlins 2” of the “Jurassic Park” franchise. It’s filled with call backs to the original film, and garners a tongue in cheek attitude about itself, while commenting on the ills and woes of consumerism, the media, and theme park spectacles. And the very spectacle that became of “Jurassic Park.” There’s one instance where the technicians groan at Verizon sponsoring an animal exhibit, and there’s constant talk about how consumers always want bigger, better, and toothier. And that’s what “Jurassic World” is. It’s bigger, toothier, yet not exactly better.
Director Clint Eastwood has to work with one of the most popular stage musicals in a long time and really has no vision for bringing it to the big screen. I love Frank Valli and his music, and on film his work is still stunning. But “Jersey Boys” is only a mediocre adaptation of the stage musical. Eastwood doesn’t seem to want to give the movie a wider scale at any point, and then in the closing credits just tacks on a final number that recreates the musical. For all intents and purposes, “Jersey Boys” gives Frankie Valli a much deserved nod to his fans and legendary music, but director Clint Eastwood simply has no idea how to work it in to a dynamic biographical drama with its own unique flavor.
The highlight of “Jodorowsky’s Dune” is the sheer enthusiasm of Alejandro Jodorowsky who viewed his acquisition of Frank Herbert’s Dune as less of a film project and more as a life changing event. He is very excited and joyous whenever he discusses how he wanted to change the world, and even insisted on changing the cast he recruited for his adaptation. He refers to his cast and crew as “spiritual warriors,” and is never afraid to admit that he was intent on giving audiences something to take away beyond a mere science fiction space opera. He wanted to build a world, and he was willing to do whatever he could to achieve what he considered a master mold of cinema. He’s a very likable and charming personality who more or less became a burden on his “spiritual warriors,” managing to travel the world in search of the perfect crew to bring his vision to life.
Interesting enough, fans of Truffaut seem to still compare Frank Whaley’s “Joe the King” to the former director’s “The 400 Blows.” It becomes very clear time and again that Whaley doesn’t just love the movie, he expresses it by cribbing from many moments in said film, and uses this semi-autobiographical film as an opportunity to stage many scenes in the vein of “The 400 Blows.” The only difference is that while Truffaut staged some moments of hope and whimsy that could at least offer his character a glimmer of hope, “Joe the King” is a sour and bitter film from beginning to end, with no idea how to finish its arc.
I really enjoy Roddy Piper as an action star. The man had screen presence, charisma, an could turn any clunky role in to a bonafide winner. The 1995 cheapie “Jungle Ground” is a two pronged vehicle for Piper, acting as his own custom tailored “Escape from New York” and “Die Hard.” It’s Piper as an average cop stuck behind enemy lines in a lawless gang warzone who has to fight his way out and save his wife. He even gets to shoot down a criminal declaring “Hi Ho, Silver.” Too bad “Yippee Ki Yay, Motherfucker” was taken.
I’m surprised that a documentary titled “Jedi Junkies” about many fans that have a passion for “Star Wars” really seems to hold up its nose at the fandom. There are moments when the documentary wants to idolize the franchise that George Lucas molded, and then veers in to segments where we’re forced to explore the pitfalls of the fandom. There are even moments that seem to revel in exploring how much of a drag being a “Star Wars” fan can be, and how it’s consumed the lives of the people that follow the fandom so devoutly.