Rev

Rev: “Star Trek: Discovery” Ep. 1 & 2

The most intimate Star Trek pilot, yet.

Grade: A- to B+

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Rev: The Entire Harry Potter Film Series

Films Watched:

  1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
  2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows—Part 1
  8. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows—Part 2
  9. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Ratings:

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Grading the X-Men films

I grew up with comic books and with the X-Men animated series, but I’ve never cared for the X-Men film series. Like many of my contemporaries, like YouTuber Comic Book Girl 19, Bryan Singer’s X-Men don’t look like the X-Men and they don’t act like the X-Men. The films are also generally boring and they mostly insult the fan-base through the disrespect for and the ruination of several beloved characters and storylines, e.g. Scott Summers, Jubilee, the Phoenix Force, the Phoenix Saga, and the Dark Phoenix Saga. However, before the release of X-Men: Apocalypse, which I was also not enthused for, I re-watched every single X-Men film on DVD and graded them.

  1. X-Men –> C
  2. X2 –> B-
  3. X-Men: The Last Stand –> D
  4. X-Men Origins: Wolverine –> F
  5. X-Men: First Class –-> B
  6. The Wolverine –> B- [1]
  7. X-Men: Days of Future Past –> B- [2]
  8. Deadpool –> A [3]
  9. X-Men: Apocalypse –> C

Notes:

  1. Decent, until the last third, which was just too silly.
  2. Decent, except for some miscasting and that it was just too much like the TNG episode “Yesterday’s Enterprise.”
  3. The greatest X-Men film so far because it hewed most closely to the source material, to the MCU, and to the fundamentals. Also, it had the best film Colossus, so far. Unquestionably, greatness wears red and not black leather.

Rev: Star Trek Beyond

A short review:

B+

IMHO as a veteran Trekker, despite the limited character development of the villain and perhaps being a bit too short, Beyond is one of the top five Star Trek films, ever. Beyond is also among my five favourite 2016 movies, along with Spotlight, Deadpool, Zootopia, and Captain America: Civil War.

This film is best experienced in IMAX and D-BOX.

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Rev: Luther – Season 1 (2010)

A-

There’s something interesting about a man plummeting down to earth. Will he survive? Where will his body land? What kind of person was he? Was he competent at his job? Who were his loved ones?

To be honest, I’m more accustomed to TV detectives who were methodical, unemotional, and high functioning sociopaths—Sherlock—than emotionally raw detectives for whom life unravels completely during every single episode. But that’s why Luther was so good for it wasn’t really a show about crime solving but a psychological profile about a man who is a breathing and moving target.

Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) John Luther, played well by Idris Elba, had just spent months in the psychiatric ward after he allowed a serial killer to plummet from a factory walkway. The guy didn’t die though and his possible recovery and testimony hung over Luther’s career like the Sword of Damocles. But, back from the shrinks, because he’s so good at his job, Luther again threw himself back into the fray with his questionable—end justify the means—methods, along with the people around him.

Now, would any of the loved ones in detective Luther’s life have come to harm if he wasn’t a cop, a man who throws himself into the sights of danger? No. In the real world, Spider-Man sans the super powers, technology, and secret identity would have just been Peter Parker and he probably would’ve been killed alongside Uncle Ben and Aunt May would’ve have died alone in grief. And for most of us, the greatest danger in our little lives is whether or not we will be punished for being late for work or school. However, dead man walking, Luther survived… Luther persisted and earned but a pyrrhic victory.

There are several other tropes to gleam from Luther that I don’t have the time to cover here: tall-poppy syndrome, the explosive time bomb that is Alice Morgan (Luther’s new best friend), psychological relapse, PTSD, police cover ups, police corruption, how low can you get, warrantless methods, and obsessive compulsive disorder.

There were two things that I didn’t like about Luther, one that I hope the subsequent seasons rectified.

  1. First, was its seemingly limited scope. London is a huge canvass to present a show and I felt like the first season didn’t do enough with it and its denizens.
  2. Second, somewhat dumb plot holes or failures of reasoning that led to Zoe and Mark being constantly victimized.

Watching season two, now.

Rev: my last two rentals

Spotlight (2015)

  • Grade: A
  • Measured, intimate, and systemic portrayal of the investigation by the Boston Globe‘s Spotlight team on the system child sexual abuse scandal and cover-up by the Catholic Church in Boston.
  • Favourite Moment: that moment when Robby finally gets his inside source.
  • Yes, as a former journalist I can say that the majority of the work consists of leg work. Staring in front of the computer crunching numbers and grinding out the writing is the second biggest slice of the pie.
  • Bonus Point: juxtapositioned Toyota Camrys’ and their idiosyncratic drivers.

Zootopia (2016)

  • Grade: A
  • Hilarious … with a deep message.
  • Rewatching may be necessary given the brisk pace of the film.
  • Favourite Moment: entrapment.
  • This film might have been advertised for kids but like The Simpsons it was not necessarily meant for them.

Rev: Batman v Superman [2016]

[Warner Bros.]

Grade B/B-

I finally watched this film after the night shift at work and, despite being a critic of it for a long time, I can now conclude that I’m just neutral about it. While this is not the worst superhero film that I have ever seen, it is a notch lower than Man of Steel when it didn’t need to be. Deadpool is still the film to beat.

If you’re into big explosions, watch it. If you want a story, don’t watch it. If you’re a comics fan, watch it, but only once.

(Spoilers Below)

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