Monthly Archives: March 2016

Movie Review: 10 Cloverfield Lane

10 Cloverfield Lane is an adaptation loosely connected to its source material, an installment that mimics tonal shifts and arpeggios similar to 2008’s Cloverfield directed by Matt Reeves. J.J. Abrams has called 10 Cloverfield Lane a “blood relative” and that is as apt a comment as ever.

10 Cloverfield Lane is not a lavish extravaganza for horror or science fiction fanatics, nor is it a blockbuster. A modest $15 million budget and 103-minute running time doesn’t jump out at you as something that’s a must-see.

10 Cloverfield Lane reminds me of old-time horror—horror that is trying to be rejuvenated and captivated again, such as in 2014’s The Babadook. Jump scares have outlived their usefulness and so have over-the-top special effects. What truly scares us is our own thoughts. The brain is more qualified to scare us than anything a master designer can create or a cameraman can capture. We scare ourselves. We just need a push in the right direction.

Nerve-grating tension and chilling dialogue can be the tools to give us that little push, and they’re the ones director Dan Trachtenberg best utilizes in 2016’s first horror hit. Trachtenberg’s weaknesses as a first-time director are overshadowed by the lead roles of Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Goodman, who ultimately steal the spotlight with an iron fist.

This film’s main course is not its plot, but its moving pieces, those pieces being its stars. Winstead, who’s made a name for herself as a scream queen, feels right at home in this role, as Goodman delivers a character that’s just awkward enough to make you feel like you’re teetering off a cliff.

I have to applaud this film, even if I do so half-heartedly.

To demonstrate: I loved sledding as a kid and there was a big hill near our house at a local baseball park. I would climb that hill in a foot of snow and sometimes it took me a full five minutes to make my way up. When I finally did and pushed myself off the top, I felt a freeing sense of euphoria. The moment would only last 30 seconds at most, but it was worth it. I got what I came for and I would turn around and begin the cycle all again.

10 Cloverfield Lane felt like I was going through that same cycle except for a few key differences. The climb up felt like a full hour, the incline increasing at a moderate pace. I don’t want to oversell this film. It’s not a thriller of thrillers, but it does its work fairly well when all is said and done.

When I finally got to the top of the movie’s plot, the clock winding down, I expected vivacity, a gut punch. The third act doesn’t provide either of those. It has a spark, but with all that the film accomplishes in its first two thirds, one expects more and the critics have echoed my sentiments. The third act does not do this film justice. It feels like a parent bought the perfect present for their child for Christmas and then put a sticky note on it that said, “Sorry, son. Santa’s not real.”

However, the film’s third act isn’t a deal breaker. It has potential, but I also can’t deny that the phrase, “Soiled it, soiled it” in SpongeBob’s voice echoes in my head when I think about the film’s conclusion.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (DeadpoolAvengers: Age of UltronThe AvengersThe BabadookInterstellar)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (Olympus Has FallenThe Cable GuyThe Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of Tomorrow)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (CreedScouts Guide to the Zombie ApocalypseCrimson PeakThe MartianBlack Mass)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Batman v Superman: Dawn of JusticePride and Prejudice and ZombiesThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2Beasts of No NationTerminator: Genisys)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (RaceEverestHerculesThe SentinelMad Max: Fury Road)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (War, The Ridiculous 6The Lost BoysZombeaversCrank)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (CenturionPlanet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (CatwomanThe GunmanThe VisitThe Fantastic FourThe Boy Next Door)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (The Coed and the Zombie StonerThe Forbidden DimensionsCyborgOutcastSabotage)

My score for 10 Cloverfield Land: 78.

If you’re a fan of horror, 10 Cloverfield Lane is a must-see for its cast’s ability to impact the story. If you’re not, I still give a light recommendation. 10 Cloverfield Lane is a should-see, not a must-see.

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Movie Review: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is the dawn of DC Comics. This is the film that’s starting off a legacy in comic book film lore. It is the inevitable rise of the sun coming over the horizon, the light in darkest night.

That amazing, soul-wrenching and emphatic fist pump you’re expecting to come over the distant landscape of the film strip never comes. Batman v Superman, to sum it up in one word, is disappointing. I feel like a parent who has given his child chance after chance and can’t help but feel disappointment as I continue to watch him fall on his face again and again. I don’t want to feel it, no parent does, but after a never-ending cycle of atrophy, there’s no other emotion to feel.

Batman v Superman is the firstborn child of the universe that is supposed to rival Marvel and this child feels like it came out of the womb and promptly ran out the hospital doors, failing all the expectations set before it. It feels like it didn’t even try.

I think everyone was skeptical from the very beginning, from the idea of the film to the casting of Ben Affleck as Batman. It’s also true that redemption is a powerful emotion, one that people are more than willing to feed into. No one likes to be proven wrong, but sometimes you’re praying you are. Amazement is just as powerful an emotion. Suddenly all ill content you once had towards a person or thing can be dashed into the deep recesses of your memory as you prioritize all your thoughts on the matter of how you could have ever doubted said person or thing. Batman v Superman was granted a pedestal, a chance to leap over the wall of denial, doubt and discouragement. It had the chance to subjugate the masses and make DC feel like a juggernaut that could compete with Marvel. Batman v Superman squandered that opportunity.

Its greatest fault is its writing. The film’s kryptonite is that it wants to talk about everything in a two-and-a-half hour movie. There is no true artery in this movie, no true heart. Snyder’s work is a colony of veins with no artery to latch onto. The veins have nothing directing them where to pump the blood and rather than go to the heart of the piece, the veins branch in a vast web of subplots that take up so much space it’s hard to see through the lens of the camera. Batman v Superman is a kid going crazy with a large supply of silly string in a matter of hours or a Halloween enthusiast who’s really overdone it with the fog machines. At first you pity him, then you get bored with him and then he’s just plain annoying and you want him to leave for wasting your time.

There are a few strong story lines in Snyder’s blockbuster here but none get enough screen time. Snyder gives his audience a 2-by-4 with a bunch of nails hanging in it. They’re not nailed in because he never took the time to fully develop his points.

Snyder and his writers don’t fully convey anything in this movie until the action sequences finally arrive in the final third and even then we have some problems. 2016’s first major blockbuster feels like a live look-in at a brainstorm session. Everyone has some great ideas, but none were developed beyond that. It was like a professional thought of a truly grand concept but wasn’t driven enough to see it through. The aftermath reveals a film with so much promise and yet so little evidence of said promise, the means but not the results.

There’s also the story’s incessant need to market itself again, again and again like a toddler who doesn’t understand that when daddy’s on the phone, you leave him alone. Warner Bros. takes time out of its master thesis in film to advertise its future movie slate. There is a two-minute commercial in the film saying, “Hey guys, don’t forget that Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg are coming!” This segment should have been cut after the first draft. It does nothing, absolutely nothing, except advertise. If President Obama took a two-minute break from his State of the Union address to advertise his future endeavors, such as purchasing a brewery and becoming a part-owner of the Chicago Bulls, you’d be pretty pissed.

This is laziness at its finest and in my opinion, it’s disrespectful to the audiences that have paid and will end up paying for this shenanigan. To quote a Marvel movie, it felt like Warner Bros. was saying, “I’m distracting ya, ya big turdblossom” to which my response was, “Considering all your box-office bombs and superhero flops, I’m surprised you still have a sense of humor. Please, continue to defecate on all of our hopes and dreams as you continue to stuff your fat cat wallets.”

The nerve of DC has enraged more than a few critics. Browse the internet for a few minutes and you’ll find them.

Despite DC’s fatal failings, Batman v Superman isn’t a complete waste of time and one can find some small solace in that fact. Ben Affleck makes a good Batman, albeit a far darker one then any we’ve seen before. Batman’s moral dilemmas are wiped from existence in this installment, which while I applaud a new angle to the character, I question how far Warner Bros. can take this new version. Cavill continues to shine as Superman and offers some questions that are thought-provoking but never expanded upon.

Thanks to the writing, however, the philosophical conflict between Batman and Superman is never completely served and we’re left with some small portions but nothing that can be described as a full-fledged meal. While each actor feels right in their respective roles, neither is given the opportunity to expand on their characters. Even Jesse Eisenberg, who has some of the film’s best dialogue, can’t put together a complete Lex Luthor. The writing of the character, as I saw one critic put it, feels like they mashed the Joker and Lex Luthor into one person. Eisenberg does all he can with the role and makes a fair villain but nothing more. Both Wonder Woman and Doomsday have short appearances and don’t make anywhere near the impact that one would expect.

The things that really make this film watchable are Snyder’s tone and aesthetic focus. Batman v Superman‘s darkness serves as a sharp contract to the general brightness to the Marvel legacies and leads to some original themes. Snyder, who has proved himself a director obsessed with the eye, directs action scenes like few others and if you can make it through the moribund first two hours, you’ll find some entertainment.

The fight that comic book aficionados have been waiting decades for is intense, but not life-changing like it should have be.

Dawn of Justice delivers the best Batman fight scene you’ll ever see, but beyond that, nothing life-altering. It’s fun to look at and critically productive, but comes nowhere close to righting all the wrongs it commits during its first two hours.

The true dagger of Warner Bros. attempted masterpiece is when you leave the theater. It’s when you realize the question you’re asking isn’t, “What superhero films is Dawn of Justice better than?” but “What superhero films are better than Dawn of Justice?” Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy is untouchable. The Avengers would win a game of baseball with Dawn of Justice by mercy rule in the first inning. All the Iron Man films, both Captain America films, Ant-Man, Deadpool, Man of Steel and yes, even Spider-Man 3, the last and only other film I’ve ever seen on opening night, is better than this.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (DeadpoolAvengers: Age of UltronThe AvengersThe BabadookInterstellar)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (Olympus Has FallenThe Cable GuyThe Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of Tomorrow)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (CreedScouts Guide to the Zombie ApocalypseCrimson PeakThe MartianBlack Mass)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Pride and Prejudice and ZombiesThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2Beasts of No NationTerminator: GenisysBlack Sheep)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (RaceEverestHerculesThe SentinelMad Max: Fury Road)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (War, The Ridiculous 6The Lost BoysZombeaversCrank)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (CenturionPlanet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (CatwomanThe GunmanThe VisitThe Fantastic FourThe Boy Next Door)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (The Coed and the Zombie StonerThe Forbidden DimensionsCyborgOutcastSabotage)

My score for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: 64.

Snyder’s work should explode off the screen like a cascade of fireworks, like a volcanic explosion of awesomeness. It should be monumental in size and stature. It should have silenced the critics and stunned audiences. Instead, Batman v Superman feels like an average action film that doesn’t leave the impact crater that it most certainly should have.

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Movie Review: Olympus Has Fallen

America. The world’s best and brightest. The land of the free and home of the brave, the stars and stripes, the metropolitans that scrape the sky and the country towns that remind us all of our roots. America the beautiful.

I will admit to having never traveled internationally, nor do I think there is a way to measure patriotism, but as an American, I acknowledge that Americans have a strong sense of nationalism. People here believe in this country more than they believe in themselves. We believe in the American dream.

So when I watch a film like Olympus Has Fallen that screams America, it’s incredibly hard not to enjoy it. I tabbed Olympus Has Fallen as my third favorite film from 2013, but had not reviewed it.

Olympus Has Fallen made it into my top five because of the emotion and patriotic parade it unveils in front of its audiences. Pittsburgh product Antoine Fuqua is known for his ability to convey polarizing emotion, such as in Tears of the Sun and his best work, Training Day, which earned Denzel Washington an Oscar for Best Actor. He puts emotion in a box and let’s it grow naturally. His plot work is often absurd, with Olympus Has Fallen being yet another example, but his dedication to the feel element is noticeable and worth some credit.

Olympus Has Fallen‘s plot is waiting to get put under the knife for dissection. It’s waiting for you to laugh at it, but I don’t think Fuqua cares about any of this. The opening sequences, as frivolous as they are, serve to set the stage, introduce some characters that probably won’t matter later and introduce our hero, Mike Banning (Gerard Butler). Fuqua builds his pieces like a chess amateur. He sets the board and rather than try to confuse or distract his opponent from the moves he’s making, he simply tries to outsmart him. He meets him head-on and dares him to outmuscle him. Audiences have a field day with this approach, especially when the plot is as easy to laugh at as it is here. There are plenty who can watch Olympus Has Fallen and believe this is an all-too-real possibility and others will point out the inaccuracies and implausibilities in the story’s opening frames. It gets to the point of lunacy real quick, but if you stick with it and you wait for the rally that’s bound to happen with Butler at the head, it’ll manage to echo out all of the outside noise shouting how false this movie is.

Olympus Has Fallen seeks to bring America down to show Americans’ strongest attribute: determination. America is unrelenting in its pursuit for justice, freedom and peace. If we take a minute to take Olympus Has Fallen seriously, it seems like an impossible feat. One man against a hundred North Korean terrorists in the most secure building in the world. Against impossible odds, however, America has always overcome. Whether it be international conflict, turmoil here at home, or feats on the stages of sports, America is never out.

I’ve talked about America so much in this review because that’s what Fuqua is going for here. There isn’t a lot of reasons why things go down as they do. You can question it if you want to, as well you should at some points, or you can live it. I know how the saying goes about assuming, but assume for a minute that this happened. You are one man, against a hundred. (Not one of 300 against thousands this go-around, Gerard.) The country’s foundation as we know it rests on your shoulders.

The action and the ‘Merica moments aside, there’s not a lot going on here. Butler’s Banning has some great one-liners that you like to see come out of your action heroes, but in terms of character, it’s superficial. The same can be said for the majority of the cast here. Olympus Has Fallen has little draw to anyone outside of its U.S-intended audience and the lack of personality here subdues it in the end from a critical standpoint. It’s mindless action, but has emotion entangled with it, and that emotion makes all the difference in the world.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (DeadpoolAvengers: Age of UltronThe AvengersThe BabadookInterstellar)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (The Cable GuyThe Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of TomorrowThe Amazing Spider-Man 2)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (CreedScouts Guide to the Zombie ApocalypseCrimson PeakThe MartianBlack Mass)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Pride and Prejudice and ZombiesThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2Beasts of No NationTerminator: GenisysBlack Sheep)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (RaceEverestHerculesThe SentinelMad Max: Fury Road)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (War, The Ridiculous 6The Lost BoysZombeaversCrank)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (CenturionPlanet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (CatwomanThe GunmanThe VisitThe Fantastic FourThe Boy Next Door)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (The Coed and the Zombie StonerThe Forbidden DimensionsCyborgOutcastSabotage)

My score for Olympus Has Fallen: 84.

Did Olympus Has Fallen deserve to make my top five in 2013? Probably not. With that said, I can see why I ranked it that way. Fuqua’s piece is ready to lead the charge. All you have to do is follow his lead.

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Movie Review: Race

The phrase, “incredible true story” has been overused for decades now and audiences aren’t too surprised when a trailer’s story pitch ends up to be fleeting. Adjectives like incredible should be used sparingly because if everything’s incredible, then nothing is. Incredible is not meant to be used often.

The story of Jesse Owens? Now, that’s an incredible one. An African-American living in a time of segregation and blatant racism who against all odds changed the world. An African-American who said all that needed to be said by his actions and pure athleticism. That’s a story worth telling and a story worth listening to. Jesse Owens was dealt a bad hand in life, but was given a gift that no one on the planet could match. He was hated for the color of his skin but left those who doubted his talent in the dust, literally. It’s Jesse Owens, a man hated by many of his countrymen who went to Nazi Germany and ruined the Third Reich’s vision of a German-dominated Olympic Games. Whether he meant to or not, Owens’ dominance of the Olympics was the perfect statement to rebuke the Nazi’s propaganda and a huge win for America.

Yet, his story isn’t here. Race, like all of the other Hollywood biopics of late, struggles to tell a story that should be able to write itself. There are quite a few inherent themes in Owens’ story and yet rather than hit them on the head with a sledgehammer and ram the points home, director Stephen Hopkins gives it a little tip-tap like he’s an elf in Santa’s workshop putting a model train together, afraid that if he hits it too hard it’ll break. Racism is not a tip-tap issue. It’s not an issue you can wrap up in blankets and put to bed like a young child. No, racism, especially during Owens’ time, was a never-ending minefield that went on for miles and miles and Owens had to keep his legs high like he did on the track to avoid all the hurdles and landmines and boobie traps that tried to stop him.

Instead of that story, Race is a story that moves the camera to one topic for a little bit, hovers over it for a minute portion of screen time and then drifts to the next headline without any afterthought for what has just transpired.

“Wait a second here? The NAACP asked Owens not to compete? Man, I wonder what was going through Owens’ head here. He talks to his trainer and his wife, no significant dialogue and oh, he’s on the boat to the Olympics. Well, I’m happy that was resolved so quickly.”

Moments like these should frustrate any moviegoer and especially in January and February when the flaws are as easy to point out as a third grader’s mistakes in his addition, except that third grader was given the steering wheel to a $5 million biopic about one of the greatest athletes to ever live.

What should frustrate audiences more than anything though is the disservice it does to Owens. Once again, Hollywood let a really great story fall to the wayside and not only that, but they released it in February, which believe it or not, demonstrates how much they really cared about this project.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (DeadpoolAvengers: Age of UltronThe AvengersThe BabadookInterstellar)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (The Cable GuyThe Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of TomorrowThe Amazing Spider-Man 2)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (CreedScouts Guide to the Zombie ApocalypseCrimson PeakThe MartianBlack Mass)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Pride and Prejudice and ZombiesThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2Beasts of No NationTerminator: GenisysBlack Sheep)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (EverestHerculesThe SentinelMad Max: Fury RoadBlitz)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (War, The Ridiculous 6The Lost BoysZombeaversCrank)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (CenturionPlanet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (CatwomanThe GunmanThe VisitThe Fantastic FourThe Boy Next Door)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (The Coed and the Zombie StonerThe Forbidden DimensionsCyborgOutcastSabotage)

My score for Race: 54.

There’s some admirable efforts here from the acting department but at curtain call, Race is a stagnant piece that serves as the polar opposite of Owens. With no restrictions or racism in its way, it still couldn’t get its feet off the ground.

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Movie Review: Deadpool

I saw this on Valentine’s Day, wrote this review a few days later. I’m posting a review of Race that I wrote a few days ago. From here on out, what I write will get posted as soon I’m finished with it. Let’s go.

I went into Deadpool with cautious optimism. After all, 20th Century Fox had the reigns to this prima donna, the same studio that has flopped not one, not two, but three Fantastic Four films with flying colors, tarnished Daredevil for over a decade and gave Elektra a stench that studios are still afraid to go near. Let’s not forget X-Men: The Last Stand either.

Add in Fox’s reluctance to give a director sole control of his own film, as evidenced by 2015’s Fantastic Four debacle and you start to lose a lot of respect for Fox and become suspicious of everything they produce.

In comes Deadpool, a script that Fox managed to sit on for seven long years and you start to wonder if Fox has the guts or the decency to let the character run his course the way only Deadpool can: unabated and unlimited.

My cautious optimism was not ill-founded but for this specific Fox feature, you can rest easy. Deadpool is everything he should be, played all too effortlessly by a Ryan Reynolds that I’ve never seen before. Not only is Reynolds flowing with confidence, one can safely use the description talented. With bombs like Green Lantern and R.I.P.D on his resume, I wasn’t sure Reynolds had any cards left to play. In Deadpool alone, Reynolds proves millions wrong, not just those who doubted his acting ability, but those who doubted that Deadpool could be a box office success. In a weekend, Deadpool had already blown away the record for best opening weekend for an R-rated movie handedly. In less than two weeks, Deadpool has become the highest-grossing X-Men movie in the United States. Imagine what Deadpool still has to offer.

Imagine what it still has to offer to those who haven’t seen it, to those who are still doubting one of the best marketing efforts Hollywood has offered in a long time. Imagine what those who doubted a movie this big releasing in February are saying.

Deadpool wasn’t supposed to succeed, no matter how much money was thrown at this. If January post-Oscar buzz is the cemetery of Hollywood projects, February is the morbid funeral gatherings that follow. Neither holds enjoyment and everyone has the same expectations for them.

Deadpool has taken a gambit and won the golden ticket. There’s nothing to see in theaters in January and there’s nothing to see in February. That’s a lot of itchy wallets ready to spring on a decent attraction. Throw a movie like Deadpool in the ring and people charge for the theater entrance like it’s Black Friday.

Deadpool has no competition in theaters right now. Desperate studios that threw a project together for a February release hoping for a quick buck are getting shellacked by a movie that decided to buck the system and do what it wanted when it wanted, R-rating or February release be damned.

It’s admirable, but more importantly, it works. Deadpool is a lovable character for so many reasons and always has been. Watching Deadpool is like watching a rebellious and unashamed comedian spout off whatever he wants and doesn’t give a flower petal what anyone thinks about it. His will is impenetrable and unbending. He’ll catch bullets with his torso if he has to, but he will not quit. Deadpool is the guy that will continue to run himself into a brick wall until he breaks through just to prove to you that he can. He’s unrepenting and unrelenting. If you don’t like him, there’s the door. Deadpool’s gonna Deadpool and if I were him, I’d Deadpool, too.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Avengers: Age of UltronThe AvengersThe BabadookInterstellarChappie)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (The Cable GuyThe Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of TomorrowThe Amazing Spider-Man 2)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (CreedScouts Guide to the Zombie ApocalypseCrimson PeakThe MartianBlack Mass)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Pride and Prejudice and ZombiesThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2Beasts of No NationTerminator: GenisysBlack Sheep)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (EverestHerculesThe SentinelMad Max: Fury RoadBlitz)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (War, The Ridiculous 6The Lost BoysZombeaversCrank)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (CenturionPlanet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (CatwomanThe GunmanThe VisitThe Fantastic FourThe Boy Next Door)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (The Coed and the Zombie StonerThe Forbidden DimensionsCyborgOutcastSabotage)

My score for Deadpool: 93.

Deadpool is still setting records and is a huge success for Marvel and the R-rated superhero genre. If you haven’t seen it yet, get going. You’re missing a phenomenon.

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