The Invisible Man
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SUPERMAN: RED SON
DIRECTED BY: Sam Liu
BASED OFF: Superman Red Son Comic Book
After the success of their first Elseworlds adaptation in Batman: Gotham by Gaslight, DC achieves the same result with the Cold War themed take on the Man of Steel in Superman: Red Son.
The story plays with the idea of: What the world would be like if Superman had landed in Soviet Russia rather than America? This, in turn, introduces many creative twists on beloved characters, such as Batman and Wonder Woman. More importantly, however; it adds layers to Superman's character by showing him as a dictator of sorts, but with good intent at heart. The film is a condensed adaptation of the film, but to a great degree; certain characters are either cut or heavily simplified, for the sake of meeting a run time which usually causes issues but works rather well here.
The original comic book is a much more expansive story that includes characters and scenes that weren't present on the screen. Some of these scenes felt like a missed opportunity to better refine the plot, in the end result however; certain scenes simply just happen. This in turn, brings up questions that should never have been brought up. In addition, there are a number of time jumps which played with the pacing more than needed. It doesn't cause any issue but feels odd for a film with such a short run time.
Like the previous Elseworlds adaptation, Superman Red Son is an excellent twisted tale on the Man of Steel. It's a compelling "what-if" scenario that introduces key dynamics while still managing to stay true to the source material. The changes that are made are much welcomed as they condense the story into a more digestible form. And while a few extra minutes could have helped greatly with the pacing and plot holes, there's enough content for fans of the comic and other Elseworlds stories to enjoy.
STUDIO: Warner Bros.
DIRECTED BY: Todd Phillips
The comic book film genre has become over-saturated with the release of several big-budget blockbusters over the past few years. And while these films do have their merits, very few whole-heartedly step outside the box and transcend out of the genre into something greater, Joker is undoubtedly one of these films.
Joker falls into this category of thought-provoking films with its general tones (thanks to the gorgeous cinematography) and overarching themes of the actions taken when a person reaches their breaking point. Philips and Phoenix have managed to craft a tragic character who we sympathize with, but also understand his reasons for turning to a life of crime. It's not to say that those actions should be praised (controversies aside), but rather as an example of an unfortunate transformation. Philips also doesn't look to be bound by any source material from the comics, which, in turn, changes the origin of the character. If anything, this film acts as an Elseworlds alternate universe of sorts with an origin that fits well with a concept that doesn't rely on any superheroes.
The film may come in at a digestible runtime, but certain scenes provide a slow burn. I found this to drag out slightly at times, but never in a fashion which hurt my overall experience; the film always kept me engaged throughout.
Pacing issues aside, Joker pushes the boundaries of what the comic book genre has long-established. It's a gripping, next-level masterclass piece of cinema that reinvents the character for a modern age. No heroes to save the day, no crazy special effects, just damn good drama.
JOKER- "Superheroic." (97/100)
After the massive success of the first film, IT: Chapter 2 continues in the same terrifying spirit with plenty of heart, emotion and humor all dragged a bit down by pacing and a questionable final showdown.
From start to finish, the one aspect audiences will remember is the incredible performance of the younger and older casts. It's their charm and chemistry that add plenty of heart to the film, especially the younger cast. There's a stronger presence of emotion and tension that comes with being a kid that has to deal with the never-ending terror of Pennywise, who like the younger cast, stole the show. The film also dives deeper into the cosmic mythology of Pennywise, but in a more condensed manner compared to the book; This version fits well within the collective confines of the films.
But coming in at 2 hours and 49 minutes brings about several pacing issues, in the second act in particular. There are key points that must be touched on for each individual character and at times those scenes while sometimes genuinely scary lost the full effect it was trying to achieve. Audiences may instead just be waiting for those scenes to pass by so we can reach the third act. The final act was enjoyable, to say the least. The way it all ends felt a bit forced and comparatively basic to the cosmic concept. It would've been much more satisfying to see a more complex and clever approach to the ending even if said ending was a sensible approach. And like other horror icons, Pennywise also suffers from becoming too visible to the audience making him lose his full effect by the end.
IT: Chapter 2 is a decent successor to the first. It may suffer from its monstrous runtime and a simplified finale, but it's the cast's performances and chemistry that helps the film earn its satisfying conclusion.
IT: CHAPTER 2- "Decent Horror Experience." (83/100)
Better than first two but tied with avengers
A must see!!