John Carter (2012)

John Carter (2012)

(spoilers!)

John Carter is a decent, messy movie that throws too many things at the audience while offering too few really appealing aspects to make it worthwhile. It wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be but it certainly wasn’t really anything special either. The effects move from interesting to obvious, the acting is okay at best as no one really stands out, the plot is convoluted and the movie’s mood also alternates between pathos, comedy, action brawl and sci-fi standard. It is amazing yet again how a movie can be made for hundreds of millions of dollars, developed over decades and still leave such a little mark, not only in film history (besides being seen as a disastrous flop), but also for the audience. I can hardly imagine remembering much of this movie in a year or two.

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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

(spoilers!)

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has an appropriately silly title for a movie that is so bad, it could easily work as an unintentional comedy or a drinking game or a thesis on how not to make a comic book movie. It is that bad, one of the worst movies I’ve seen in a cinema in a long time. Granted, I expected not to like it but had to see it anyway, mainly because its predecessor Man of Steel was one of the kickstarters for this blog. I’m not sure BvS:DoJ can solicit as deep an analysis as Man of Steel did, but there is plenty to discuss anyway. But let me stress one more time: this movie is really, really bad, worse than Man of Steel, incompetently bad and a really bad sign for DC’s attempt at creating a movie universe. And I say that as a confessing comic book and superhero fan. This movie is stupid, incoherent, annoying, laughable and boring. I’ll keep my bets on Civil War and X-Men: Apocalypse even more than before.

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You Belong on the Radio - UK Music Charts (2)

You Belong on the Radio - UK Music Charts (2)

I haven’t discussed new music since November and I’ve only looked at the British music charts once, all the way back in August 2014, so it’s time to do both again as these songs seem ripe to be analyzed. Let’s listen to some fresh tunes then, shall we?

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Trailing Tropes: When Angela Bassett Cries

Trailing Tropes: When Angela Bassett Cries

I’ve been wanting to write about trailers a while now, but when I was sitting in the cinema recently, it again occurred to me how strongly trailers rely on certain tropes. It doesn’t mean that the movies they are advertising do things wrong because a trailer is never really as representative as we are supposed to believe. But what fascinates me is how trailers use certain images to promote their movies, how the reduction to a couple of images leads to images that have clear connotations audiences should respond to. I don’t know if this will become a recurring feature, but for now, let’s take a look at some trailers and the tropes they market besides their actual product.

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Behind These Castle Walls, Part III: Fantasia (1940)

Behind These Castle Walls, Part III: Fantasia (1940)

It’s been clearly too long since the last installment and I blame today’s movie for it. Fantasia is a difficult movie to approach because it has no larger story and is also not as well known today as all the other movies. Yet again, it is clearly a technological achievement with astonishing visuals and an unusual concept for its time, mixing animation, classical music and live action footage for what must have been really confusing to audiences in 1940. I had never seen it before but only the Fantasia 2000 sequel. I thought about talking about the original version that includes the racist scenes that have been removed since 1960 and while this is interesting, I decided not to because a) this problem is obvious and has been dealt with by Disney (with only a 20 year-delay) and b) I’m doing this to discuss the effects these movies still have today, so I might as well go with the current version. There are still enough issues to look at in this one and I can’t wait to move on to get to the next ones (of which there are still officially 53 left).

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Divergent (2014)

Divergent (2014)

(spoilers!)

Divergent is exactly what you think it is: a second-rate Hunger Games with a similar story that’s less appealing and actors that are less interesting. It’s an incredibly silly movie that is still somewhat entertaining but filmed with a great lack of skill (other than its sequel Insurgent which is still silly, less entertaining but better filmed), especially in the last third where action sequences almost seem amateurish as the editing mostly renders them incoherent (can this movie really be edited by Se7en's Richard Francis-Bruce?). Only Kate Winslet somewhat elevates the material, if maybe only because it is refreshing to see her as a (spoiler!) villain. Still, it’s mostly a forgettable film where it is hard to believe that is stretched to another four movie series.

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Honig im Kopf (2014)

Honig im Kopf (2014)

Honig im Kopf, the most successful German movie of 2014, is a bit of a mess, trying to mix the trademarks of Til Schweiger’s other successes with a “serious” topic like dementia. One of the many problems of this movie is that few of these trademarks really work outside a pure comedy, neither the over-the-top slapstick nor the exaggerated characters nor his daughter’s weak acting nor the misogyny. Sure, Dieter Hallervorden’s acting is a pleasant surprise but the movie is working against him wherever it can. From the toilet jokes to the showcasing of guest actors to the insistence on songs with charts potential. But there is nothing that compares with the editing. The movie is easily one of the worst edited movies I have ever seen, coming close to real trash like Birdemic. How this happened is a total mystery to me. How anyone could have approved that and what the purpose was supposed to be, to have conversations with 1-second-takes, is totally baffling. It is a movie that annoys me the more I think about it.

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Poster of a Girl: The Joy of Jen

Poster of a Girl: The Joy of Jen

Wow, I haven’t taken a current look at movie posters since March (outside of theme weeks that is). Considering that this is one of the simplest articles to write for me, this is kind of surprising. Anyway, here we go again.

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3 Months of Movies (VI)

3 Months of Movies (VI)

It’s that time of the year again, the time for reflecting upon the movies I’ve watched in the last three months. It was a weird time because it also covers the summer holidays during which I watched a crazy amount of movies at home and at the cinema, but since the holidays are over and school has started I barely watched anything. I’m not sure how this will pan out in the statistics but I remember that I was thinking during summer that I might break a record for watching the most movies in that timespan and now I know this will definitely not be the case. But who cares about records anyway? I only care about statistics.

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Modern Problems at the Zombie Lake: The Movies of 1981, Part 1 [1981 Week]

Modern Problems at the Zombie Lake: The Movies of 1981, Part 1 [1981 Week]

So, I watched 15 movies for this theme week and write about two of them separately. What about the 13 others? Will they just vanish and be forgotten? I decided to write one article about all of them instead and focus on different aspects. After I was done, it was too much for one article, so I decided to split it in two articles.

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Poster of a Girl: 1981 Edition [1981 Week]

Poster of a Girl: 1981 Edition [1981 Week]

I just love movie poster analysis too much to not do it in a theme week. I know things often repeat themselves, but to me, instead of getting boring, drives the points just home even more. So here we go again, 1981 style!

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