Was supposed to watch Star Wars last Sunday, but a friend who lives elsewhere wanted to see it with us later so we saw Joker instead. It’s really well done in a lot of ways, but I can’t help but think it would have been a much better movie if it had nothing to do with the Batman universe. The social commentary is already super heavy handed and when it’s set in a comic book world that’s otherwise quite cartoony it all feels a bit off. Maybe it’s my fault for not being able to disassociate it from all the Batman stuff I’ve seen and read over nearly 40 years, but I would’ve liked it more as a character study of just some guy separate from anything else. Joaquin Phoenix is really good though.
John Wick Chapter 3 is more John Wick with the criminal underworld stuff ramped up another notch. Some of the stuff in it went over the dumb-fun line and ended up just plain dumb, and unlike the previous ones I started getting tired of some of the action scenes that went on forever, but these movies are just enjoyable nonsense and it mostly does a fine job of that.
Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse. I loved this and I have no idea why I haven’t seen it sooner. Looks great, has a fun story and characters and a good sense of humour throughout. I can’t think of anything bad to say about it. I guess the plot was pretty predictable once all the pieces were in place, but who cares, it was lovely.
Ready Player One. I probably would have liked this a lot when I was 12 or so, but it’s pretty bad. There was cool stuff in it (I really liked the Shining scenes) but mostly it was surprisingly dark and dreary for a science-fantasy movie for kids, and a lot of the big setpiece scenes just had way too much crammed in at the expense of anything standing out. Some of the dialogue was absolutely terrible and often over-expository as well. As for the game challenges that all the plot and action was built around, I found myself thinking they should have watched some AGDQ speed runs to get an idea of the crazy stuff people actually get up to when they’re breaking games. I’m supposed to believe ages went by without anyone trying to drive backwards?
Oh and it does the dumb thing where Love Interest Girl is super cute but has some minor defect (or glasses) and that’s treated as if it’d make her totally undesirable (or at least she thinks so). Super tired and stupid cliché, and it’s not going to move me an inch towards liking the protagonist more that he can “see past it”. If anything he’s taking advantage of her poor self esteem, which isn’t sympathetic at all.
I also think this might have worked a lot better as a more pure kid’s/YA movie with younger protagonists and an overall friendlier tone and more references someone under 30 would know/care about. As it is the tone is kind of all over the place and I’m not sure who the target audience is.