Thursday, October 20, 2016

Trailer Time: Logan Teaser

One of my favorite comic book character performances has been Hugh Jackman as Wolverine.  When I heard he was planning to retire the character I was incredibly sad.

So this is apparently his swan song.  And it looks heart-breaking.

The use of the Johnny Cash version of the Nine Inch Nails is my favorite version of that song.  And this film looks like it is saying a hard goodbye to this world.

I'm hoping for a riveting and emotional send off.  I want it to be as sad and moving as Deadpool was silly and funny.

Jackman looks to be at his best here as the character.  And Patrick Stewart is breaking my heart as an ailing Professor X.



Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Trailer Time: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 - Teaser

"There are only two types of beings in the universe: those who dance and those who do not."

Not a lot shown in this teaser, but I love what I do see and I am very intrigued.

This second film is going to have a lot to live up to.

And that last shot makes me happier than most things I've seen on the internet.

Click the link for the youtube video


Sunday, October 16, 2016

Sunday Best: Top 25 Superhero Movies of All Time - Why Superheroes Endure

Welcome to the CatholicSkywalker list of the Top 25 Superhero Movies of All Time.

I am not an expert on much, but if there is one area where I think I have some insight and competency it should be in the synergistic fusion of the superhero genre and the art of film.

In other words, I am a certified comic book nerd and film geek.

Critics keep talking about "Superhero movie fatigue," where the glut of films in this genre will eventually lead to the general public losing interest.  While this is something that may eventually happen, I do not see it occurring any time soon.  The reason why is that super hero films capture a purely cinematic experience.

Here are some reasons why since 2000, superhero movies continue to dominate.

1.  Spectacle.
Most superheroes are lifted from comic books, which is a genre which has to create strong, dynamic visuals without the advantage of motion.  In that sense, the characters and stories come pre-charged with a kinetic energy that works well in cinema.  The characters are already iconic.  They also lend themselves to the visual spectacle that has defined the modern blockbuster.  Twenty years ago, characters like the Hulk or Iron Man would just look silly.  Now the technology matches the imagination of the genre.

2.  Traditional Morality.
In a world that is increasingly slipping down the hole of moral relativism, the superhero genre stands in the breach.  No, not every superhero is a paragon of virtue.  But for the most part the genre is about a person understanding that there is good and evil in the world and that in order to prevent evil from spreading, good people must stand and sometimes fight.  There are exceptions like the deconstructionist Watchmen.  But I would even argue that Captain America: Civil War, with its hero-on-hero violence, is ultimately about people doing their best to follow their conscience.  These movies don't have to espouse a bland black-and-white morality with no ambiguity.  But the genre tends to point to the universal trait of heroism: self-sacrifice for the good of the other.

3.  Taking the Genre Seriously.
Before Bryan Singer's X-Men, Hollywood didn't take superheroes seriously.  There were, of course, exceptions.  But most studios considered the genre either juvenile or based merely on dumb shows of brightly colored special effects.  This isn't to say that superhero film should be devoid of humor.  But even the incredibly funny Guardians of the Galaxy still took the internal drama of its characters seriously so that we were invested in the steaks and heartache of the characters.  Watch Batman and Robin or the Shaquille O'Neil classic Steel and you will find filmmakers who treat their properties with pandering kid-gloves.  By taking the genre seriously, it opens the audience to greater investment in the characters and allows them to follow on the journey.

4.  Cinematic Universes
Many critics decry the creation of the myriad crossover films that constitute a cinematic universe.  But there is a reason why these franchises spawn so much success.  One of the reason Soap Operas endure is because people become attached to characters and desire to spend more time with them in their stories.  By taking the genre seriously, audiences connect to the characters.  This creates a desire to see them in more and more stories.  And by interweaving them with other stories, the sum becomes greater than the parts.  Each movie can begin to feel like a window into a large, epic story.  How great is it that you could be watching a movie not staring Batman, but have him appear for a few awesome scenes?  Cinematic Universes are born primarily in the superhero genre.

5.  Great Talent
Even though most movie critics do not take the genre seriously (how many have been nominated for Best Picture), there is still an amazing talent pool involved.  Even leaving out the outliers like Christopher Nolan, some fantastic visual storytellers have been chosen to bring superheroes to life: Richard Donner, Zack Snyder, Jon Favreau, Joss Whedon, The Russo Brothers, Sam Raimi, Brad Bird, Kenneth Bragnagh, Tim Burton, Ben Affleck, and many others.  And the casting has also been superb in many cases.  I could not imagine another actor taking some of these iconic roles: Hugh Jackman's Wolverine, Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man, and Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool.  And even when a character has been played by multiple people they often choose excellent actors.  As long as they keep making the investment in talent, the superhero movie should be around for a long time.

All of the movies chosen on this list will be about superheroes.  Not all will have their origins in comic books.  Conversely, this is not a list of greatest comic book movies because there are many comics that are not superhero based.  And many of these have their own film adaptations.  Also, these movies will based on characters created during and after the 20th century, so classic heroes like Hercules and Sinbad will not be included.

Also, this list will ultimately be fluid as more and more films are being added to this genre every year.

Tune in next week as we begin our countdown to the top 25 Superhero movies of all time.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Film Flash: The Accountant

The Accountant (2016 film).png
15 words or less film review (full review to follow soon)

Enjoyable action/thriller.  Like A Beautiful Mind meets Leon: The Professional.  (Could use more action)

4 out of 5 stars.

Trailer Time: John Wick Chapter 2

I was late to the John Wick train.

I remember hearing the title and thinking it was terrible.  And then I heard the premise: someone kills Keanu Reeves' dog and he goes on a bloody rampage of revenge.  Again, not impressed.

But people whose judgment I respect said it was good.  So I finally saw it.


I always tell people that the movie doesn't try to be anything other than it is: a bloody, violent romp.  And it does it amazingly.

I have a feeling that a lot of people missed out on John Wick in the theaters but discovered it on DVD.  As a result, I think John Wick Chapter 2 will have a bigger box office opening.  At the very least, I will be there opening night.


(click link here to see trailer)

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Film Flash: Shin Godzilla.

Godzilla Resurgence Theatrical Poster.jpg
15 words or less film review (full review to follow soon)

They got the first word in the title wrong by one letter.

1 and 1/2 out of 5 stars.

99th Anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima

Bl. Jacinta Marto, Lucia Santos, and Bl. Francesco Marto

99 years ago today, the sun danced at Fatima.

One of the reasons that the apparition of Mary at Fatima is so famous is that Our Blessed Mother predicted the miracle five months in advance and tens of thousands of witnesses saw it.  In a world where people constantly demand for signs from God like a message in the sky... I can't think of a better sign to point them towards than that of Fatima.

Next year it will be the centennial of that great event.  I pray that in the last 100 years we have moved closer to living her message: pray the rosary daily, wear the brown scapular, go to mass on the first Saturday of the month, offer up your daily duty to God, pray for the conversion of the world (especially Russia), and unite your sacrifices to Christ.

Those three children (Lucia, Jacinta, and Francesco) lived out their calling and are now with their Lady in Heaven.

May we follow their example and be so blessed.