My wife wants me to watch BATMAN V SUPERMAN with her tonight. Do I liveblog the whole sorry mess of a movie while I’m watching?
…go see Logan. I know, I’m behind on this one and a lot of you probably have seen it already, but… man. Yeah. When my biggest gripe is “I don’t think Charles Xavier would say ‘Fuck’ that many times,” but I really kinda got off on hearing Patrick Stewart say “fuck” a bunch of times… that is not very much of a gripe.
Go see it. Let’s not let this lead to a whole shitton of unnecessary R’s for superhero movies, mind you, but go see it.
Posts involving my thinkybrain delayed until there’s some room in there. I’m working on the sexism one alluded to yesterday, though.
I’ve said before that I regret not being able to see as many movies as I used to; there was a time in my life when I was seeing at least a movie a week and very frequently more than that. I don’t think I saw a single one of the Best Picture nominees (I say “I don’t think” because I can’t name more than two) and so therefore I haven’t seen Moonlight. Honestly I can’t even tell you what it’s about. I know nothing about the film other than it had a black director (who I can’t name) and at least a majority-black cast.
I wish to hell I had at least watched the Academy Awards last night, because Twitter’s reaction to the fuck-up with the Best Picture winner would likely have been the entertainment highlight of the month. It would have required me to be up later than I like to be nowadays, though. Unfortunately.
It’s pretty clearly tax refund time, leading to a couple of different fun phenomena over the weekend. First is people walking in, picking something out and then dropping a big stack of cash on the table to pay for it. That’s not exactly uncommon to begin with but it’s been increasing a lot lately. The second is people who deposit a check on Friday that is four or five times the size of their existing bank account and then come in on Saturday and are angry and startled that their debit cards aren’t working. And then they want to fight about it, which I suppose I sorta get, because it’s embarrassing, but goddammit I get paid for this shit and I’m not about to fuck with you so that you don’t get to have any furniture. So quit goddamn yelling at me.
There was something else but I don’t remember it. Oh well.
Last night I reviewed a movie that I consider sort of unreviewable because the act of discussing it will make it impossible to properly enjoy it. Tonight my wife and son and I went to a movie that doesn’t need a review: the Lego Batman movie. You already know what you’ll think of the Lego Batman movie. You already know whether you’re going to see it. Chances are you know what I thought of the Lego Batman movie, and could write this review for me. And chances are you’re right about all those things.
After leaving the movie, I was thinking about what I’m always thinking about when I leave a Batman movie, which is that I will never get the Batman movie that I want. Batman has been the star of a comic book called Detective Comics since nineteen thirty goddamn nine. That was a really long time ago. There have been approximately three hundred Hollywood films with the word “Batman” or some variant thereof in the title since then, and some of them actually had Batman in them.
Can we get a damn mystery Batman movie, please? One where he has to actually solve a crime and act like a detective? I mean, hell, they’re basically making one of these things every two or three years and seem likely to be planning to continue that until I die. Can I get one of those to be a detective movie? Bonus points (this will never ever happen) if it’s a noirish piece and actually set in the 1930s or 1940s. You can still end the movie with a slam-bang action sequence, just make all the stuff before that be quieter and give me a Batman who uses his brains and not his gadgets and ninja skills. Yes, Batman Begins, the movie about black-wearing-ninja-sword-fighting-not-Batman-angry-guy, I’m looking at you.
Don’t take this as a criticism of Lego Batman, by the way. There’s nothing wrong with it; as I said, it’s exactly the movie I thought it would be (perhaps a bit more clever) and is probably exactly the movie you think it’ll be. But gimme just one dark, shadowy, film-noir Batman crime movie where he has to slink around and detect some shit and doesn’t do a lot of punching. I promise it’ll still make money. Please?
So, I’d call myself an M. Night Shyamalan fan, right? I’ve seen most of his movies, or at least his adult thrillers (I haven’t seen The Happening or The Visit, and from what I’ve seen that’s at least 50% good news) and I’ve liked damn near all of what I’ve seen. I will defend Signs to the death, for example, and I remember really liking Lady in the Water although if I’m being honest I can’t tell you a damn thing about it now.
(There’s gonna be some minor spoilers about a paragraph down. Don’t panic, no big deal. But just FYI.)
Here’s the thing about Split. You should see this movie if you’ve ever liked anything by Shyamalan. All of the things that he’s good at are on full display in this film, along with an incredible performance– set of performances, maybe?– by James McAvoy.
There is– brace yourself for this– not a twist ending on this one. Sort of. I guess. But what’s getting frustrating about Shyamalan is that he’s done the twist ending so many times at this point that his movies have this weird metatextual thing going on that rather than watching the movie you’re trying to figure out the twist. There is a thing at the end of this movie, and the more of a Shyamalan fan you are, the more likely you are to walk out of the theater with a huge smile on your face. If you are not a Shyamalan fan than the ending of the film– which is more of a Marvel-style stinger than anything else– will likely leave you more than a little bit confused. But there’s not a twist, so don’t go looking for it. Bask in the good performances and the creepiness and enjoy the film. Because the performances are great and the film’s excellently creepy and Shyamalan’s directing skills are used to their fullest effect.
All that said:
I feel like I ought to warn you that this film is going to be triggery as fuck for a lot of people, and there are about to be a couple more spoilers. It’s about three high-school aged girls getting kidnapped by a maniac with MPD, right? Which is a problem on a couple of levels: one, you spend the whole movie playing the “when are they gonna get raped?” game, which is always horrible. The answer: there is one scene of implied molestation in this film and it will come at you sideways and not the way you expect it to be. There is a lot of implied child abuse. There is not actually any sexual violence between the kidnapper and his victims. There are also a lot of angry disability advocates out there who are upset that once again dissociative identity disorder is being used as a crutch for a villain. I’m… a little more sympathetic toward the folks who will be triggered by the film than the disability advocates, if only because McAvoy’s character’s therapist is also part of the film and she has some very interesting comic-booky theories about DID that… well, probably won’t make anything better for those bothered by the disorder being featured in the film but it certainly makes it more interesting for the rest of us. That’s probably not entirely fair of me but it’s how I’ve reacted.