GONE GIRL (David Fincher, 2014)

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“Friends see most of each other’s flaws. Spouses see every awful last bit.”

Gone Girl was great as a murder-mystery-thriller. It was even more brilliant as a commentary on the absurdity of marriage. Watch now.

Ben Affleck was so good in making us doubt him, seeth with anger, and yet sympathize with his amoral character. Probably his best work in years.

The real star though was Rosamund Pike, cooing her lines like the most twisted angel. She was just brilliant. An Oscar nod please!!

Rating: ★★★★★

(Originally published October 16, 2014.)

JUSTICE LEAGUE (Zack Snyder, 2017)

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Poor Amy Adams! I had not seen her this lost since Princess Giselle got magically transported to modern day New York. She was in full “gunning for a sixth Oscar nomination” mode in a DC movie that suddenly wanted to be a lighter, funnier version of its recently dreary efforts.

For the record, I was one of thirteen people that actually liked Batman v Superman AND Suicide Squad. This one just took forever for the superheroes to assemble and I felt as sad as Ben Affleck’s Batman when I couldn’t really understand all that Mother Box story (wait, didn’t we see these cubes as well in The Avengers?).

At least Ezra Miller was funny as Flash even if he had the exact same sequences that were previously done by Evan Peters as Quicksilver (and none of them even close to that awesome Time in a Bottle in Days of Future Past). I wouldn’t mind just a Flash and Wonder Woman road trip movie ala Thelma and Louise (or even Crossroads). Hopefully, without any boxes this time.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE (Zack Snyder, 2016)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice:

1. I entered the cinema with incredibly low expectations because of brutal reviews from critics and terrible feedback from friends that camped out to watch the very first screening. I was also never fascinated with this match-up and saw it more like Alien vs Predator, a lame cash cow that pitted two popular characters for the sake of seeing which one had the bigger balls (or mandibles). Besides, when it was a battle between good vs good (or evil vs evil), would there even be a winner? When the movie was over, all I could think of was that it wasn’t bad at all. (Even better, it was no Man of Steel.)

2. If I was clueless on the Marvel Universe, I was even more lost in this DC Universe. I would not be geeking out and pointing various differences between the comic books and the movie because I really didn’t know anything, except from what I had seen in previous Superman and Batman movies. I was even puzzled because my idea of Wonder Woman was the red, white, and blue clad Lynda Carter with her magic lasso. Seriously, how many more times would we see another version of Bruce Wayne’s parents getting killed? Remember when Deadpool mentioned that he was getting confused with the timelines of X-Men (“McAvoy or Stewart?”), I felt the exact same way as soon as the flashback started.

3. At least the promised showdown didn’t disappoint. It clearly showed a battle between god and man, one with superhero powers and a major weakness and the other a rich mortal armed with hi-tech gadgets. When they started fighting and destroying buildings, I finally understood why the people hated these two. They were just major nuisances that disturbed the peace of their city.

4. There were two scenes where characters went for a dip even with their shoes on and it really bothered me. It would only take a minute to remove them. Why subject yourselves to super kachichas?

5. A lot of people hated Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor and called him the movie’s Jar Jar Binks. I think the biggest difference was that he was really meant to be an annoying man-child (I loved the scene where he was giving a speech and completely forgot his entire point) while JJB was George Lucas’ failed attempt to create another Ewok. Eisenberg was good here and in one scene even proved that he could out-snot Viola Davis. I did not see him growing up as Kevin Spacey, though.

6. When Jeremy Irons showed up as Alfred, I actually thought that he was an old Robert Downey, Jr. I swear I thought it was an unprecedented crossover.

7. I didn’t know the rest of the characters shown for the future Justice League but I was excited to see Ezra Miller playing the Flash (although this character would always be Dawson’s father to me, you know John Wesley Shipp that was rumored to have a romantic relationship with James Van der Beek). I also recognized Silas Stone (his name was on the computer screen) as the brilliant Joe Morton. Olivia Pope should be proud.

8. Regardless of the ending, Zack Snyder obviously favored Superman more. Now I really understood those sad Ben Affleck memes and videos. His Batman was just depressed and didn’t have the necessary angst for the role (like he was still suffering from a tortured relationship with J.Lo or carrying a guilt for possibly cheating on Jennifer Garner). For a rich guy, he couldn’t even ask his butler to remove his car cover.

Henry Cavill, on the other hand, could still barely act, but was shown as the real hero even if he had enough time to bask in the glory of his billowing cape while the people on the roof were close to drowning. He even had a scene where people surrounded him and touched him like a god (although I was sure that even James Reid would be treated that way if he stood in the middle of the activity center in ATC).

9. Wonder Woman clearly knew how to accentuate her assets (considering that she was played by a previous Miss Universe candidate). All of Gal Gadot’s dresses showed her cleavage and/or back. But nothing beats the beauty of Lois Lane (Amy Adams) who always came first in terms of saving, regardless if people were dying everywhere. She took “ganda mo gurl” to a whole new level.

10. Here are some questions from a self-confessed comic book idiot:

a) How could Superman not hear that there was a bomb in the court room? He couldn’t be that distracted, right?

b) What were the flying taong insekto?

c) Was Wonder Woman a witch if she lived way back in 1918?

d) If Batman knew that Superman’s weakness was kryptonite, why couldn’t he have made a simple bracelet that he could attach to him? (I saw one used in the Supergirl TV series.)

e) Speaking of, how could even Superman fly carrying the kryptonite spear when Lois even had to throw it away because it was seeping his strength?

f) Was Superman the first person to show up in court wearing his underwear outside?

g) Did people hate the movie because “people hate what they don’t understand” or because it had a bummer of an ending (giving Star Cinema another reason to have a requisite happy ending)?

11. No mid-/post-credits sequence. Now that was even more sad than the funeral.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

THE FINEST HOURS (Craig Gillespie, 2016)

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My notes on The Finest Hours:

1. One of the characters here mentioned that her fiancé’s scared of the water because one couldn’t see what was underneath, and this couldn’t be more true. Call it the Jaws Effect, but I would never ever touch the surface of any body of water while on a boat. I’d be too scared that something would jump out and just bite my arm off. Another excuse for me not to go to the beach.

2. I usually cry whenever I see a romantic public proposal, one that was done out of pure love and not as a showcase for potential famewhores. There was a scene here where it was the woman that bravely asked for the man’s hand in marriage. I would love to witness that in real life. It’s already 2016. Why couldn’t men be on the receiving end of marriage proposals, right?

3. Titanic had a running time of over three hours and I didn’t even feel any minute of it. This one had several scenes that reminded me of that great film, but overall it was just too damn slow. How could a disaster movie feel so boring? Not even The Perfect Storm was this tedious. This should have been called The Dullest HourzZzZz.

4. I laughed really loud when one crew member said “There’s no other wave” and a few seconds later screamed “WAVE!!” before being hit by rampaging waters. I never really felt the urgency and danger in this movie. For a true story, most of the scenes felt like a joke.

5. Seriously, people were falling everywhere but nobody was dying. If I remembered correctly, only one minor character drowned and his death didn’t really have any emotional impact. A lot of time was used to build up the back stories of the major characters but this being a Disney movie, we were all but guaranteed a happy ending.

6. I adore Ben Affleck’s directorial work, but I really think that Casey Affleck is the better actor in the family. He was impressive in To Die For, the Ocean’s movies, Gone Baby Gone, and the only reason to watch the sleep-inducing The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.

7. The slow motion water droplets special effects reminded me of a Pond’s Facial Wash commercial. I immediately had the itch to wash my oily face.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆