6 Random Movie Inconsistencies That Bother Me

“This sucker will stop a knife.”

–  Lucius Fox, when giving Batman his armor

  

1.  Oz: The Great and Powerful—The Psycho Wizard

This Wizard of Oz prequel was solid; I liked it. James Franco played an excellent balloonist.

For those who haven’t seen it (spoilers): The balloonist shows up in Oz and meets this girl who he falls in love with. But then, this girl’s older sister—who happens to be the Wicked Witch of the East—tricks her into thinking the balloonist is playing her. The girl’s rage is so much that she transforms into the Wicked Witch of the West and sets out to destroy the balloonist for his trickery.

That’s all well and good. At the very end of the movie, the balloonist (now the Wizard) speaks with the Witch of the West and tells her he’s sorry for everything, and wants to work things out.

wzdofoz

He says if she should ever stop wanting to kill him, just give him a visit and they can reconcile. The Witch screams “NEVER!” and flies off into the distance while the balloonist watches in sorrow.

But Hold on a Minute There…

The only problem with that scene? In Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy shows up to meet the Wizard, he orders her to kill the Wicked Witch of the West! More specifically, to get her broom, but somehow I don’t think the endgame he had in mind was simple thievery of cleaning equipment.

So in short: how does a Wizard decide to kill a woman who he’s specifically hoping will some day want to work things out and marry him?

Answer: he doesn’t! The screenwriters of the Oz prequel should’ve bridged that gap and ended the movie with James Franco wanting to get rid of the witch, not reconcile with her. Because Wizard of Oz was written first, and now I’m forced to believe the titular character has a severe case of bipolar disorder.

 

 2.  X-Men: First Class—Xavier’s Mobility Miracle

I love the X-Men movies. My least favorite was actually the most recent installment, X-Men: First Class. It was pretty good, but there was one major point of the movie that irked me: in the end, Xavier is confronting Magneto when one of the agents starts shooting at him. Magneto then directs the bullet into Xavier’s back, which causes his paralysis for the rest of the franchise. Pretty cool explanation, right?

x-menpara

But Hold on a Minute There…

First Class is the most recent one to be released in the series, but it’s the very first one chronologically. It takes place in 1962, Origins takes place in the 70’s, and the trilogy is in the “not too distant future.” So, if Xavier gets paralyzed in 1962, why do we see him at the end of Origins

xavierwalk

…walking around?

And for those who don’t like Origins, you can always sample X-Men: The Last Stand, which shows Xavier walking around with Magneto “twenty years ago,” which would be in the 80’s. Conclusion: First Class took Xavier’s legs out of commission way too soon.

 

3.  The Dark Knight Rises—A Speedy Recovery

I’m going to assume we’ve all seen the final Batman movie by now; in any case, if you haven’t, there are minor spoilers here.

There are quite a few plot holes I could pick on here. One of them I already mentioned, that being that Batman’s armor will supposedly “stop a knife,” yet doesn’t do a very good job when he gets stabbed.

btmnstbbd

“This was a horrible lapse of judgment on my part.”

However, I have larger filmography fish to fry. My real issue is with the bit a little before the stabbing, where Batman escapes the prison. After having his back literally snapped, Bruce somehow manages to recover without the help of any trained physicians. He then climbs out of the prison, which is apparently located in Morocco, North Africa.

But Hold on a Minute There…

How in the world is Batman back in Gotham only ten minutes later? Granted, that could be longer in movie time, but there’s a bomb set to go off within hours. That means that it couldn’t have taken Bruce more than an hour or two to get halfway around the world. Unless he has a flying craft stashed somewhere—a distinct possibility, I guess, since he’s Batman—there’s no good reason for his instant transport.

 

 4.  Inception—Why the Whole Movie Was Unnecessary

I promise not to pick on this movie too much, considering how much I liked it.

For anyone not familiar with Inception: Leonardo DiCaprio’s character is on the run and isn’t allowed back in the United States to see his kids. He’s hired to break into a guy’s mind and implant an idea there. If he pulls it off, his boss will tug on enough strings to let DiCaprio back into the United States. The whole movie is based on DiCaprio getting back to his kids. And admittedly (spoiler alert), when he does at the end of the movie, it’s a touching scene.

Plot twist: the entire movie was a dream.

Plot twist: the entire movie was a dream.

But Hold on a Minute There…

Not to be all basic or anything, but…erm, why couldn’t Michael Caine, the kids’ surrogate caretaker who was completely aware of the situation, just fly the kids out to DiCaprio?

Answer: because none of the movie would’ve happened, and this movie is great. But still, that plot line should’ve been tweaked.

 

5.  Iron Man—Actor Replacement Time!

I want to be fair here: sometimes replacing actors is beneficial. I loved Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk in Avengers as opposed to Norton in The Incredible Hulk. There are also times when you literally have no choice but to replace an actor, such as in Harry Potter when Richard Harris (the first Dumbledore) died in October 2002.

Then there are times when Hollywood gets in the way, communication is screwed up on both ends, and the result of the mess is an actor either walks away or is fired. This has happened in many cases I can think of, but the movie franchise I was hurt the most by was Iron Man. In the first (and best) movie, we had Terrence Howard playing Rhodey, Tony Stark’s best friend.

rh1

But Hold on a Minute There…

rh2

You can’t just switch out an actor! Well, obviously you can, but not without guaranteeing the sequel will be worse than the original! I liked Terrence Howard. A lot. And it doesn’t matter how good Don Cheadle is, I think the original actor would’ve been better.

 

6. The Lightning Thief–What’s Up With Annabeth, Seriously?

“She was probably my age, maybe a couple of inches taller, and a whole lot more athletic looking. With her deep tan and her curly blond hair, she was almost exactly what I thought a stereotypical California girl would look like.”

But Hold on a Minute There…

Annabeth

“The camera adds ten years.”

Um.

Movie Review: Iron Man 3

“I’m going to offer a choice. Do you want an empty life…or a meaningful death?”

–  The Mandarin, Iron Man 3 Trailer

 

ironman3posterI think I deserve a round of applause: for the first time since November, I’m reviewing a movie the same weekend it came out! Unfortunately, this review isn’t nearly as positive as most people are probably hoping for. There are spoilers, but I give warning before I get into those.

Dare I say this was the worst movie in the Iron Man series?

Why yes, I dare.

The premise: set after Avengers, this movie features Tony Stark facing anxiety attacks in addition to a terrorist known as the Mandarin, who is threatening to unleash chaos on the world. But at the same time, someone else is manufacturing a virus called Extremis, which creates near-invincible fighters for Iron Man to face.

Oh, the pain it cost me to write that summary. Because that sounds like an awesome movie, right? We’ve got Iron Man from a new point of vulnerability, all the characters really involved now, references to past movies, and best of all, Iron Man’s arch-enemy, played by Sir Ben Kingsley!

In the past, I’ve made the mistake of expecting too much of movies. I did that going into Dark Knight Rises, and despite how brilliant the movie was, I was actually a teensy bit disappointed because of my unreasonably high expectations of it. Only when I watched it for the second or third time did I really love it. 

Unfortunately, I know that won’t be the case here. My list of issues with Iron Man 3 is too long to be whisked away by a second viewing.

First of all, I’ll focus on what I liked. Robert Downey Jr., brilliant as always. I loved all of the action scenes, especially the home attack seen in the trailer.

I liked the barest skeleton of the plot: hero is trying to get by, gets majorly attacked, has to come to terms with who he is, then comes back to save everyone and put things right. Same formula as most finales, including Dark Knight Rises. But this carried out that formula entirely wrong.

I had two overarching issues with the whole thing. Two items on the no-no list that make me strongly dislike the production team. And honestly, I can’t decide which issue is worse.

 

Issue 1: This did not feel in any way, shape or form like an Iron Man film.

Good try, team, but no. You can’t open the film flashing the Marvel logo to the song “Blue [da ba dee]”, catchy as it is, and make it feel like the previous two installments. Nor can you have Tony Stark narrate the whole thing. Maybe some people liked that, but to me, it was a complete change-up. How different would Avengers be if Nick Fury had voiced it over from start to finish?

Minor issues attached to this include the stunning lack of witty dialogue (I didn’t laugh or snort even once, if that puts it in perspective) and the music. The music wasn’t bad by any stretch, it just was the complete opposite of that from the first two movies. Instead of being action-y, guitar-filled rock music, this score was gentle and mellow. That worked for the one or two emotional moments of the movie, but for the rest, it just felt icky.

 

Issue 2: The Mandarin disappointment

Hang on, no spoilers quite yet! 

Alright. Remember that epic part of the trailer where the Mandarin talks about eradicating Iron Man? He delivers awesome lines like the one at the top of this post, and one of my favorites, “Some people call me a terrorist; I prefer to think of myself as a teacher. Lesson one…heroes. There are no such thing.”

None of that is in the movie, because the Mandarin himself is barely in the movie, and never once does he confront Tony Stark.

[And spoilers…NOW! Though I should say this is a spoiler I would’ve liked to know going into the film.]

Lesson two…the Mandarin. There is no such thing.

Sadly, I’m not joking here. I wish I was. Let me explain, to catch up anyone who hasn’t yet seen the movie.

You’re expecting the Mandarin to be like Bane in Batman or Moriarty in Sherlock Holmes, right? The complex, driven villain with their own master plan and their fun ways of carrying it out.

This movie couldn’t have missed the mark more. We see the Mandarin in two or three brief TV broadcasts in which he calls himself a terrorist. The next time we see him is when Tony Stark confronts him about 60% into the movie…and we learn that there is no Mandarin at all. Instead, there’s a drunken British dude who was paid by a terrorist company to dress up in Chinese garb and give threatening speeches on TV.

The movie tries to save its skin when Iron Man confronts the head of this terrorist company, who calls himself the “true Mandarin all along.” Except he’s just a scientist working on a virus. No rings, no complex motivation, no anything that makes him remarkable. And of course, he’s not Ben Kingsley.

If you want an example, then—apologies for all the Batman references—just picture the end of Dark Knight Rises when you learn who Bane is working for. Except, instead of that, add on the tidbit that Bane is just a random dude paid by his boss to dress up and give threatening speeches. Can you imagine how different that would have been?

I was expecting a villain who said things like those bits from the trailer. Someone who broke Iron Man and forced him to come to terms with his very origins. An elaborate backstory wouldn’t have hurt either. Instead, Iron Man’s greatest villain was blown off, Wizard of Oz style (“pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.”)

I want to end this review on a positive note, though: I did like the ending. Very much. The final battle was the most epic of the three Iron Man movies, and the wrap-up after that had a warm and fuzzy feel. I won’t spoil that, since it was actually good, but I’ll just say I loved how everything was neatly tied up to the point where even if this was the last movie with Tony Stark in it, we see him get to the place he’s been trying to get to ever since the first movie.

Also, I liked the post-credits scene. Because yes, there is a post-credits scene, as always.

simplycredits

In Conclusion: this movie has some egregious flaws, in my opinion, and I won’t remember it with extensive fondness. But, its positives are a formidable match for its negatives, and if you go in with low expectations, you just might be impressed.

Rate: 5 out of 10.

Hurricanes and Halloween

“I got a rock.”

 –  Charlie Brown

 

First of all, no, I haven’t dropped off the face of the planet. I can see why you might think so, between my week-and-a-half absence as well as our good friend Sandy slapping the stuffing out of the east coast, but I can assure you I’m perfectly fine and haven’t suffered any injuries other than death by homework.

I realize that going more than a week without posting is normal for some blogs, but I hate being inconsistent and will try to keep my future dry spells under four days. Underscore on ‘try’ and attachment of apologies.

So, then. My first topic…Hurricane Sandy.

First of all, I hope everyone stayed reasonably safe and their possessions/dwellings are relatively intact. I should say upfront that no matter what your situation is, you automatically have the right to complain about it to me. Because I myself didn’t lose power at all, had no trees or damage whatsoever in our yard, and my evening was spent watching The Avengers on our big-screen projector while writing and sipping hot chocolate. So you could say I have very little room to whine.

There were several things about Sandy I found interesting before the storm even hit. The fact that it had not one, two but at least three Twitter accounts was a bit strange, especially to someone like me who doesn’t have Twitter and thus missed the coveted privilege of Retweeting the storm’s updates such as “I’m comin, fools!”

Probably the most notable thing about this whole event was the unending supply of ridiculous names the media whipped up for this storm. ‘Sandy’ itself isn’t a particularly intimidating name by any stretch, and ‘Hurricane Sandy’ almost sounds like it should be the main character of a children’s book detailing how hurricanes form.

And ‘Frankenstorm’ is just stupid.

I apologize to whoever the first person was to coin that term, but couldn’t you have been a *smidge* more original? We understand the humor. This storm is the mixing of two smaller storms. So it’s a new creation, like Frankenstein. And it’s close to Halloween. Tee hee.

Well, let me switch off my cynical side for now and move on to Halloween.

It’s sad, because this is my last Halloween as a kid. Next year I’ll be a legal adult, which is scary, and somehow I don’t think there’s trick-or-treating in college. So this year I hoped to go trick-or-treating—yes, I was prepared to do that—but due to the storm and the business of my friends I’m not sure I’ll be able to. Nonetheless, I helped decorate my house and went to several Halloween parties dressed as Joe Lamb, the main character of Super 8 (which meant dark jeans and a green button-up similar to the one he wore for the first ten minutes or so of the movie).

In addition, I passed the time yesterday afternoon by carving a pumpkin. Luckily I found an Iron Man template online, but I’m still not sure how well it worked.

 

So yeah, I’m hoping my last Halloween will be fun and not too affected by the storm’s damage. I’ll probably sit at home, watching Criminal Minds after finishing homework. I’ll also gorge myself on sweets like most days of the year, except this time I won’t feel too bad about it.

I’ll also write a review of the movie Woman in Black, which I’ll post on here tomorrow night. So in the meantime, Happy Halloween. Don’t be afraid to be six years old again…acting your age on days like this is overrated in my opinion.