I finally saw Avengers: Infinity War

There will be spoilers here. Don’t read it if you don’t want to see spoilers. They won’t be major because I’m not going to tell you who dies, but they will give away plot details.

So I finally took my son to watch the new Avengers movie this past Saturday. “Finally” after it was only released a week ago may seem like an odd word to use, but I’ve been seeing spoilers everywhere so it felt like a long time. Firstly, I can not understand why it has a 13 age restriction. Josh is 10. Fortunately nobody looked at him too closely so they let us in.

Overall, I liked the movie. It was better than Thor Ragnarok, which I hated. The acting was good. The chemistry between the various actors worked. The comedy was not too excessive and was effective. The script was good. No complaints about any of those…

It was the plot I didn’t like. Thanos is the big bad guy, literally, and really all he does is get all the infinity stones for his gauntlet. In other words he does Big Bad Guy Stuff. He wins, of course, because there’s a second movie coming. His objective is to bring balance and “mercy” by wiping out half of all intelligent beings, which is similar to what he achieved with force a while back, as shown in a flashback. Having achieved his goal, he then sits around. He could just as well go fishing.

Thanos’s plan is to eliminate half of all life so that we do not have limited resources. In his mind that is mercy and ensuring that there is plenty for all. But why would he want to do so on Earth? It’s a place he’s never been. The same goes for most other places. Is he doing this because he loves everyone? It doesn’t make sense. It isn’t really much of a plan. It works in a comic of limited panels of rich colour drawn beautifully, but for me this doesn’t translate well to a movie plot. I want more. I want a villain who has more than two dimensions.

Although there are some deaths in the movie, the “shocker” comes at the end when Thanos uses the Infinity Gauntlet to snuff out half of all existence. In other words, people simply vanish in a puff of CGI smoke. But among those who vanish are some new Marvel characters who have movie sequels confirmed. (As far as I know, they do.) So to me, it feels kind of cheap and tacky.

Furthermore, there’s a clue in the post-credits scene that Captain Marvel is coming. Who exactly is she and how will she undo the work of the Gauntlet? I don’t know… sorry about that. But I do recognize a deus ex machina when I see one. For those who don’t know, deus ex machina, Latin for “God from the machine”, is a plot device where some unresolvable situation is lazily resolved from outside of the narrative.

Overall, I liked the movie. My ten year old son did too. And I know it’s based on a comic book, but still… The flaws in the plot could have been ironed out. Maybe a standalone Captain Marvel movie and some minor changes could have saved us from the cheap ending, but that would have meant doing away with the cliffhanger. And movie studios love their cliffhangers…

There were other issues I had with the plot. I can’t reveal them without writing greater spoilers, and I don’t want to do that, since the movie has only been playing for one week here. I do recommend seeing the movie.

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We had a good day yesterday.

Yesterday was a public holiday here. As usual, I didn’t know what day it was… I think maybe Human Rights day. And although I wanted to write something about it, I am stuck on being quite unable to come up with a title. Not sure why that is…

The day started off with me playing Diablo 3, and now my characters are up to Paragon Level 508. I was disappointed when my Monk character died for the first time… while playing a greater rift that was only level 20. It sucks as I was hoping to have one character that has never died, but that’s not meant to be… I have a demon hunter that can play level 37 greater rifts, and a mage that can play level 30, but the demon hunter has gotten frustrating to play. She does too little damage but her armor is ridiculously high. (Around 266 million while using her main Vengeance skill, which she uses constantly.) So playing her is a slog and higher level rifts have a time limit that gets difficult to make if you don’t do enough damage. My mage does millions of damage but can’t play those high levels because he can be wiped out at any time. Enough about that…

After that, my son and I spent most of the day at Johannesburg zoo. It’s a lot of walking, but he had a good time and took plenty of photos of the animals. I’m writing little about it, but that was most of the day.

Then, I went to check if Justice league and Thor: Ragnarok are out on Blu-Ray. (They are.) So even though I already watched Justice league twice, we watched both of those, starting with Thor.

I have to admit, I was sorely disappointed with the third Thor movie. I knew it had good reviews, so I was expecting a good movie. Instead, we got a slapstick comedy with mostly bad dialog and some terrible dialog. The movie is campy. And if anyone doesn’t know what I mean (someone always doesn’t), I mean the comedy is overdone to the point of it mocking itself. Possibly not intentionally. Kind of like the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, which bore me to a deathlike slumber… But I did watch to the end because Josh asked me to. (I’ve never watched to the end of any of the Snorefest of the Caribbean movies.)

But anyway, it was a good day. We were in especially good spirits and didn’t let anything get us down… There were a few things that might ordinarily have left me angry, and they are worth mentioning… While we stood in the queue at the zoo for nearly an hour, a stupid girl near the front of one of the queues (not my queue fortunately) lit a cigarette and proceeded to smoke right there in the crowd. There are no signs indicating you can’t smoke, but still, that’s just not something you do. It hasn’t been for many years. Then, the woman in front of us was on the phone to friends the whole time we waited, and just before we got to the front of the queue, her friends joined her in the line. With their ten children. (I saw the tickets. It was ten.) So two adults and ten children pushed in front of us right before we could pay. They were not with the woman they spoke to on the phone; she and her family didn’t wait for them and they paid separately, so they should not have been allowed to push in. I didn’t speak up, because they were black and I’m white, and I could see they might make it about race. I almost commented though, because I saw them argue and try to get a ticket for one of the children for free. I almost sarcastically said that the type of people who push in would typically be the same type who try to con their way into getting free tickets. Anyway, it was good to find myself not getting angry and enjoying the day despite a few annoying things along the way.

I finally watched the remake of It

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Of all the movies we went to see in 2017, the remake of Stephen King’s It was not an option, because of the age restriction which would have prevented me taking my nine year old son along. Ever since then, he nagged me to get it. So when it finally became available, I did.

He could not watch it to the end – in fact he didn’t even make it halfway and I had to send him out the room. He was too scared and covering his eyes most of the time anyway.

Here’s the thing… He’s watched many horror movies, including Evil Dead 2013, the Insidious movies, The Purge movies (which really get more B grade and lower in quality with each sequel), the Conjuring movies, and the spinoffs Annabelle (boring) as well as Annabelle Creations (not too bad), and Silent Hill Revelations. Obviously there were others I’ve left out. The point is, none of those movies scared him, but It did.

I was thinking about why that might be… Modern horror has become quite a predictable genre. The movies are like memes, copying tropes and trends from each other. Many of them remind me of jigsaw puzzles the way they glue their cheesy repetitive plots and jump scares together. All their characters are even carbon copies of one another. (With the exception of Silent Hill from the movies I mentioned.)

What made It so much better? Well, for me it brought back so many memories of reading the book, even though I only read it once in my late teen years and I’m 46 now. They changed a lot, and as far as I remember, the children grew up to defeat the antagonist as adults, but that was left out to make way for a possible sequel. They also turned up the gore, but the movie felt like a Stephen King story, more so than the dreadful It miniseries from years back – which everybody besides myself loved.

The characters are all believable. They’re deep, and the relationships between them are familiar. They’re all a little larger than life, but that’s OK because it is fiction. You have children coming of age, bullies, abusive parents, overprotective parents, romance, a child overcoming his stutter, and other bits I’ve left out… all taking place in a town where people go missing and things are clearly wrong, but the adults are indifferent and have learned to carry on like nothing is amiss. And let’s not forget the killer clown. That is a recipe for terror for a child because he identifies with the characters and feels their fear.

I shouldn’t  have considered letting my son watch It yet, and now we will wait until he’s a little older. But it’s a good movie, worth getting the Blu-ray or downloading if you haven’t seen it yet. It isn’t a horror movie, not in the sense of others in this genre, but for some it may well be scarier than the horror movies on circuit for the last ten years.

I watched Justice League twice and loved it both times

This is not a review but rather my opinion of the state of super hero movies in general…

My son is with his cousins at my brother’s place this weekend, and after taking him to watch Justice league last week, I decided to watch it again, so yesterday I took my mother to watch it. We both enjoyed it.

And yet I’ve heard that there are bad reviews out there, criticizing it for bad editing of all things. For the record, there are no major plot holes, at least nothing that jumps out at you. There is also no lack of continuity between the DC movies, and nothing jumps out as being complete nonsense. My only slight criticism could be that Wonderwoman knows who Steppenwolf is, despite starting out believing that she was crafted from clay in her own movie. It’s implied that she learned this from the Amazons, and that doesn’t exactly fit with the way she was when she left their island. Still, she had a hundred years and maybe she learned some shit in between…

If we compare the DC movies to the Marvel ones… The foundation of the Marvel heroes is Iron Man. And let’s face it – there was one good Iron Man movie: the first one. The second one was stupid, what with hundreds of Iron Man suits flying around and looking fake as porn orgasms. As for the third Iron Man movie – let’s just forget that existed at all. Captain America Civil War… had characters acting out of character to further the plot. Spider-man Homecoming… had a watered down Spider-Man with no spider-sense and a stupid costume that did everything for him, in some ways redefining the laws of physics to do so. Even my son called it Iron-Spider-man. That movie sucked. All in all, the Marvel movies have been a mixed bag of some movies that were alright, and some that were really bad. And yet they all received good reviews.

There’s a bias in the media… People diss DC like they diss Microsoft while writing their negative reviews in Microsoft Word.

And if I think back about the older movies… The Superman movies with Christopher Reeve are the yardstick for all superhero movies… There were two good Superman movies… And even then, the second one featured some strange mistakes that wouldn’t be tolerated nowadays. It starts with the villains Zod and friends being resentenced to imprisonment in the Phantom Zone, by technology that no longer exists from a planet that is gone. Presumably it was supposed to repeat how they got there for anyone who missed the first movie, but without Marlon Brando’s Jorel. In retrospect it made no sense. Then after they were freed, the flew through space, chatting despite there being no atmosphere, and commenting that their powers seemed to be coming from “that blue planet over there”. Firstly that’s not how the Kryptonian mythos works, and secondly they would have known about Earth and their powers from a yellow sun. I’m not going to get in to Superman 3 and I’ll pretend that Superman 4 was never made…

The point is, Justice League is a good movie, and the DC movie universe makes a lot more sense to me than the Marvel movie universe. Batman versus Superman was a bit too dark, but they didn’t make the same mistake again, and all in all, the DC movies are better than the Marvel ones for this comic book movie fan…

There’s also good chemistry between the characters in the movie, and I must comment that Ezra Miller’s Flash is so much better than that annoying whining guy who wears the costume in the TV series. So if you haven’t watched Justice League yet, check it out. But don’t pay any attention to the biased reviews with their anti-DC agenda.

Who needs spider-sense anyway?

Last weekend I took my son to see Spider-Man Homecoming. My take on the movie: It was OK. Spoilers ahead. Don’t read this if you haven’t seen the movie.

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Full disclosure: I stopped reading comics in 1984, when I was 12 years old and started reading Stephen King.

…But until that time, I grew up on comics, and Spider-Man was one of my favourites. I can’t comment on fan favourite villains like Venom because he was created after I stopped reading comics, but I did love my Spider-Man comics, most of which were from the 1970’s, and of course I had some from the early 80’s. So I went into the movie with high expectations. (Don’t do that.) Vulture was always one of my favourite villains.

Don’t get me wrong – I liked the movie. I didn’t love it though.

Another disclosure: I fucking hate Iron Man. I enjoyed the first movie, but found the sequel stupid. And the third one? Well, that didn’t even qualify as stupid, what with hundreds of CGI Iron Man suits flying all over the show. So for Spider-Man to have a costume made by Tony Stark, a costume that talks to him with an AI more advanced than anything we will have in the next hundred years or so, it felt more than a little cheesy.

The movie had some good points.

  1. Michael Keaton is always great. I don’t think I’ve seen a movie where I didn’t like him. He has a certain charisma that always shines, and he plays a villain particularly well. You even get to sympathize with him, despite him being the bad guy, and he kind of redeems himself in the end.
  2. Some realism in situations I always wondered about, even as a child. Like, when Spider-Man is in the middle of suburbia, he can’t be swinging his way anywhere. Also, if he climbs a really tall building, it’s going to take a mighty long time to reach the top.
  3. Tom Holland was excellent in the role; I’ve no complaints there. He’s playing a character the right age, and it’s set in high school.

And it has some bad points… My issues are mostly with the plot, and with the character of Spider-Man himself. No amount of good acting can fix these issues.

  1. That stupid fucking costume. He’s supposed to get fucked up, and I expect his costume to be in tatters by the end of the movie. But he always bounces back.
  2. He operates alone; in fact it’s his isolation and guilt at the death of his uncle, and his loneliness, that makes him so loved. Fuck this Uncle Tony shit. (OK, they don’t call him “uncle”, but still.) In so many comics, the end would be a large panel… lonely Peter sitting atop some monument or gargoyle and feeling abandoned. That’s what makes Spider-Man great – that’s why we identify with him because he’s just an ordinary guy who gained amazing powers, who doesn’t quite fit in. And although he triumphs anyway, his life is a struggle. The Spider-Man I knew was isolated, his personal life a mess due to his devotion to an unreasonable and unforgiving, punishing aunt, and nobody knew his secret. With his great powers came not only great responsibilities, but also depressing isolation.
  3. His snarky attitude is another facet of his character. They got that right in Captain America: Civil War. It’s missing in this movie.
  4. Two love interests. Why? I’m just gonna put this out there… If Zendaya was obsessed with me, I would not even see other girls. They’d be fucking invisible. But somehow he doesn’t notice her. She’s beautiful and smart and he doesn’t really see her. I’m watching it and going, “What the fuck is wrong with you, Peter?”
  5. Liz’s father just so happens to be Vulture, and he figures out Peter is Spider-Man while driving them to the homecoming dance. Oh, for fuck’s sake! And don’t tell me about the Osborns in previous movies… Yah, it’s a similar problem, but that shit was straight from the comics. It wasn’t a twist but was something every fan knew and so the fun was about finding out how that happened.
  6. Tony Stark offers him a position in the Avengers at the end of the movie. It makes no sense because he’s still in school. It also doesn’t follow that Stark would do this. Of course he doesn’t take the offer, but it felt like the whole scene was just there to add in a so-called “Easter Egg” – the costume he turns down in the process. I don’t know what costume it is but I’m guessing it’s something from after 1984 in one of the many comics I never read. And they put that scene in despite the fact that it didn’t make sense in the plot.
  7. No spider-sense. Maybe they’ll include it in a sequel, and +1 to the director for not trying to one-up previous spider-sense sequences from the other Spider-man movies, but this is a part of the character that’s always been there. They kind of used the senses of his magic costume instead, but yeah… that stupid fucking costume again…

Overall, I did like the movie. And my son who is nine years old liked it too. But he didn’t love it either. He loved the older ones, and when I got home from work yesterday, he’d just finished watching my DVD of the Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Also worth mentioning is that the poster hanging up outside the movie theatre featured the same image I used in this post, and Josh commented on it before we went in. He said it “looks animated”. And that’s a problem.

On the unrealism of dreams, and the problems with their depiction in fiction

Something has always struck me as being wrong with the oft-used narratives in science fiction and fantasy, where a protagonist for some reason, and it’s generally a noble one, gets to enter the dream of another person.

I’m thinking of movies like Inception, and the much better movie that I liked far more in my youth, Deamscape… In both movies, it is possible to enter into the dream of another person and interact both with them and their “dream world”. Inception tried to be too clever about it, and entered into the realm of contrived complexity, what with dreams within dreams and ambiguity regarding what was real and what was not – and impressed people much like pseudo profound statements do, because bullshit baffles brains. (If you don’t understand something, it is a common error to assume that the the thing is too complex for you or that the thing is “smart”, when it might be the case that the thing is just nonsense that appears to be complex. This is why some people are impressed by, for example, the word salad of Deepak Chopra.) But I digress; reviewing a movie with a plot that was fundamentally flawed and hid its flaws with contrived complexity, that most people thought was good, is not my aim for today.

As real as dreams may be to us when we experience them, they are not as realistic as they might seem. We know that we forget details of our dreams within seconds of waking from them, and I don’t dispute this… But what I think most people don’t realize, is that some of those details are not forgotten – they were never there in the first place.

To illustrate my point, I’ll invent a hypothetical dream… Let’s say I dreamed of making my breakfast this morning. I might find myself in the kitchen, with bowls for me and my son Josh, already containing cereal and sugar. Then I’d pour water from the kettle, already boiled, into those bowls. I wouldn’t remember adding cereal to the bowls, or putting the kettle on, or even walking to the kitchen, because that never happened. Anything outside of the dream experience is not constructed by the subconscious brain. It is assumed to have happened, and in our dreams, we accept that the setup for whatever situation we find ourselves in, has already taken place. In fact, if I didn’t turn around to the door and passage, there’s be no need for my brain to construct that either. There is no “dream world”… everything in the dream that isn’t in my field of vision or a part of my emotions in the dream… does not exist. I’ll get back to this, and how it relates to the dream narratives in fiction (although that should be obvious by now).

Last night I dreamed of my father. He died seventeen years ago, but as usual for me when dreaming, I forgot that he was dead. I was a passenger in his car, and he was driving me around despite being busy himself, with several errands to run. (That’s what he used to do. My dad always had time for me.) Maybe I got to this because my car is still at the panel beaters, so this seemed to make sense. Then we parted ways, and I was to meet him later, and found myself in a local computer store… I have been meaning to check the prices of keyboards, and find out if I can get a keyboard with backlit keys for my PC. The reason is that I sometimes play games at night, with the room lights off because Josh sleeps in the same room, and in the dark I can’t easily find some of the shortcut keys I use in my favourite game.

The technician was explaining to me that such backlit keyboards don’t exist, and giving me some very technical reasons for it, when my father entered the store. He was impatient and left, expecting me to follow him. As I watched him walking away, through the glass storefront, the dream broke down. I realized that the technician talking to me was still there, but had faded away because he was no longer important, no longer the subject of my attention. He’d become a ghost in my dream, while my dead father was a “real” person and the focus of my attention. I wouldn’t be able to find my father’s car if he got out of sight, because I didn’t remember where he’d parked. My father was walking to a car that didn’t exist, in a parking lot that didn’t exist, to run errands, the details of which I had no clue because my brain had only invented the fact that there were errands, but not the details themselves. And I’d been listening to a voice that was simply a construction in my own mind, of the voice of a real technician I’d heard before, talking absolute nonsense that sounded technical. (I’ll remember to check what keyboards they have though.) So I had a chuckle and woke up.

The point that breaks the plot in all those movies and books where you can enter the dream of another person, is that the dream world does not exist. When you dream, your lazy brain only fabricates that which is necessary for the dream to feel real, at the time. You might dream of solving a problem, and use problem-solving skills that you acquired with experience, without knowing what the problem is. You might dream that something happened to make you happy, or sad, or angry, but likewise not know what that something is. And you don’t need to know. Your brain can take a shortcut to happiness or anger or any other emotion because it knows how to feel them. The details are unimportant.

So, a movie like Inception where some people enter the dream of another and drive a van towards the building he’s in, makes no sense at all. If he’s dreaming, none of those things they interact with would exist, because they are not within his field of vision or within the scope of his emotions that form part of his dream reality. So maybe the protagonists could project their own details into the dream? I suppose that’s what you’re meant to assume. But that doesn’t really make sense either, if you think about it.

This doesn’t spoil such movies for me. I can still watch them and enjoy them for that they are – entertainment through fantasy and escapism. Knowing that the narratives of entering the dreams of others is flawed to an extent that it could never happen doesn’t really change anything, when all movies contain scientific impossibilities. But I enjoy thinking about these things anyway. Dreams fascinate me, as does the realization that the realities we construct in our dreams can fool us at the time, despite how flimsy they actually are. The brain is an amazing organ.

A surprisingly good horror movie – It follows

Forenote: The introduction is longer than intended. Excuse me. Maybe I’m getting verbose as I get older, but I like it as written so I won’t redact any of it… I hope you enjoy this review as well as my introduction that explains why I love horror movies.

I’m always on the lookout for good horror movies. My fascination with them began many years ago… I had nightmares as a child and believed that I lived in a haunted house, so I was interested in all things supernatural as well as fantasy and magic. I started with horror comics, and read hundreds of them. I used to look at the pictures before I was old enough to read the words. I started reading books early too, as soon as I was able to do so, and children’s books soon gave way to horror as part of my staple reading diet. When I was eight years old, my school teacher read Enid Blyton’s Faraway Tree stories to the class, so I naturally started with Enid Blyton. (Fantasy and magic was what I wanted, but I was disappointed by her other books.) At nine years old I’d read all Blyton’s Secret Seven and Famous Five books, and moved onto Franklin W. Dixon’s The Hardy Boys. But those books soon bored me and I never finished them. After reading a few classics (which was difficult for a child), I discovered Roald Dahl. By age eleven I’d found his darker stories and loved them. At age twelve I moved onto Stephen King, starting with Carrie and never really stopping. He’s still my favourite writer.

Good horror movies remind me of my childhood fears. Both good quality horror and fantasy movies bring back the magic, the sense of wonder I felt as an eight-year old child when the teacher read The Faraway Tree. They allow me to escape and take me to a faraway place of enchantment and sometimes horror. I think that’s where my love for the horror (and fantasy) genres is rooted, although it’s not something I think about so much as I simply love good horror. My introduction to horror movies came early as well. An older cousin had hundreds of them, so I got into horror movies before my teen years thanks to parents who allowed me to watch such movies in spite of the age restriction, and did a great job of explaining that it’s not real to both my brother and myself – I think many parents don’t do this adequately. By the age of sixteen I was well past any kind of fear while watching those movies. I’d invite friends over to watch them and laugh at their reactions.

This means that the bar needs to be set a little higher for me to enjoy a horror movie, because I don’t feel any fear, but do still love the atmosphere in well-crafted horror. This past weekend I found one that was far better than I expected it to be: It Follows. Here’s the trailer:

 

I found a torrent and downloaded it from here. (I use uTorrent for all my movie and music downloads.) It’s great quality, only 1.44GB at a resolution of 1920×800.

It’s a slow moving movie, but a good kind of slow, in that it builds up suspense and a sense of dread and despair way better than many higher-budget over-hyped movies. It plays on some of our primal fears, such that the protagonist is not safe anywhere because it follows. She has sex with a new boyfriend, then finds out that he chose her merely to pass it along. Call it an STD – sexually transmitted demon. It can look like anyone, and it walks towards you with single-minded determination… When it gets you, you die. Then it will return to everyone else up the chain, starting with the one who passed it to you.

What makes the movie great is the acting, and the overall atmosphere and tone achieved by the music, the lighting of the ordinary suburban town that somehow becomes a gloomy place of foreboding, the isolation of the characters and a sense of hopelessness and helplessness that comes across throughout the movie, as the monster slowly, steadily and relentlessly approaches its victim.

The movie has some problems, which I’ll mention briefly without saying enough for a spoiler, because I fucking hate spoilers and wouldn’t want to do that to anyone:

  1. Redundant scenes. There are two scenes that totally don’t belong in the movie. In the first few minutes, the protagonist is walking with her sister, who lights a cigarette. The conversation commences with “Mom knows you smoke”. She doesn’t smoke again for the rest of the movie, and it’s plain to see that the dialogue and cigarette were simply a narrative device used to state that this is her sister. What they should have done is either be consistent, and show her smoking again at other points where it would have made sense (like when the friends are lounging together at the beach), or remove the scene entirely. It really didn’t belong there because there’s some dialogue a few minutes later which reiterates that they are sisters. (Teen smoking is politically incorrect now anyway. Movie portrayal of smoking has become a movie trope that’s generally used to reinforce stereotypes, whether it be a badass good guy, a villain, or a promiscuous “bad” girl. Showing an innocent, good girl smoking, can confuse a viewer who subconsciously associates smoking in movies with the usual stereotypes. It’s like somebody didn’t get the memo.)
  2. The second redundant scene was most of the way through the movie. The protagonist has driven away from the monster, parked her car in front of the beach, and falls into an exhausted sleep on the bonnet. Then she wakes up in the morning, and as we see a boat with two strangers in it, she strips and goes for a swim. The scene sets up an expectation that goes nowhere. Why is she doing this? Does she want to commit suicide? What has the boat to do with anything? But then it cuts to something else. Sure, we know now she is a swimmer, but that scene was a waste of time. And it could have gone somewhere. The monster could have walked out from under the trees as she approached the water, or while she was in the water, or something along those lines to build suspense and further the sense of hopelessness in her plight.
  3. Here I will not go into any details… The movie narrative sets up some rules about the monster. It follows. It only follows; it’s not smart or fast but it is persistent and stares directly at you while walking towards you, always knowing where you are and never stopping but doggedly following you no matter where you go or what you do. It doesn’t do anything magical like disappear and then reappear somewhere else, and we wouldn’t expect it to get anywhere that isn’t in a direct line towards the victim. Then it breaks those rules a few times, in terms of the behaviour of the monster. Not too big a deal and those moments do improve the creepiness factor, but they really should have stuck to their own rules.
  4. Again, details would spoil too much so I will spare you… Even after you’ve passed it on, you can still see the monster. Towards the end of the movie when they try to deal with the monster in a group, where only she can see the monster, it would have made sense to ensure that she was not the only one to see it. Maybe… considering that this is not something you’d want to wish on your worst enemy, let alone someone you love. But maybe anyway. (I watched the movie with my mother, and she thought it was funny when I suggested to her that they have an orgy. One guy and three girls… If I were that guy, I would’ve at least tried my luck.)
  5. The plan they come up with to try dealing with the monster makes no sense. I won’t tell you what it is or how it turns out because I’m not including spoilers, but I know what I would’ve done: The monster is some sort of supernatural curse, sure, but it is also physical, though invisible to everyone besides the victims. So the monster can’t be stopped or killed, but surely it could be trapped? For example, a cemetery scene where the monster is trapped in a tomb or buried in a coffin? But that’s just my idea – it didn’t happen.

I found a review that quotes Quentin Tarantino, who watched the film, enjoyed it, and pointed out what he would’ve done differently. (He seems to agree with me, although he didn’t mention the unnecessary scenes.) Spoiler alert; don’t read that unless you have already watched the movie.

So it wasn’t exactly an instant classic, but it was more than just a good movie; unlike Tarantino I’d say that it is a great movie, and certainly the best horror movie I’ve seen in several years. In fact it’s hard to believe this is an indie movie. Director/writer David Robert Mitchell is someone we should watch closely for future projects. This was only his second movie and I predict great things to come.

I should have known. Batman versus Superman: Kryptonite confirmed

It was just confirmed on this site that Kryptonite will feature in the plot of the upcoming Dawn of Justice movie.

I’ve been a Superman fan since quite early childhood. I had hundreds of comics and I used to look at the pictures before I learned to read. So I really loved the Man of Steel movie when it came out. But I have mixed feelings about the upcoming sequel. I stopped reading comics back in 1984 when I was 12 years old, and in the comics I knew and loved, Superman and Batman were best friends. I haven’t read any of the newer comics where they are enemies, and I do get it – the plot I mean. The idea that absolute power corrupts and Superman could be a threat. But I foresee the movie having major plot holes and potentially being one huge fuck-up. It could all go so wrong, after all, he saved the entire planet in the first movie. To turn all that around may lead to an entertaining movie, but one with a story that’s just too weak.

Maybe it’s just me, but I like a movie to convince the child within me; I like to suspend my disbelief for a couple of hours. I have a bad feeling that like the third instalment of the Dark Knight saga, which was nearly three hours of tedium in which I predicted everything that would follow in the first fifteen minutes – then sat bored waiting for the inevitable to happen, this new Batman versus Superman movie will disappoint. (Actually I must find my review I wrote of that movie on my old blog… It was titled “The Dark Shite Rises – Eventually”.)

I hope I’m wrong. But Kryptonite? One of the cleverest parts of bringing the Superman story up to date in the recent movie was the exclusion of Kryptonite, which is the worst part of the Superman story. (Why would a bit of rock from his exploded home planet be his weakness? It’s the weakest part of the story.) As a commenter pointed out on the site I linked to, it’s the “worst part of the Superman mythology in all it’s ugly green glory”. It’s going to feel like a cheesy add-on, included too late in the game, only because it’s the last card to play after inadvertently creating a character that’s invincible.