Blue Beetle is taking center stage in DC Comics’ continuous battle to create a cinematic universe that can compete with Marvel’s.
That blue one, you know, a beetle, too.
I kid you not.
I know exactly who Blue Beetle is since I’m one of those sophisticated, gorgeous, literary types who reads a lot of comic books.
However, I suppose that others would be in a different situation, therefore here is a justification.
In this iteration of the role, Blue Beetle is a 20-something man named Jaime Reyes who has been fused with an alien artifact called the scarab, which grants him superhuman strength, dexterity, durability, armament, and the ability to fly, among other powers.
Yes, he is blue when wearing his amazo-suit.
He does resemble a beetle in appearance.
But in a way, his last name—Reyes—might be the most important thing about him.
In a universe where Kryptonian superheroes outnumber Mexican ones, Blue Beetle is a Mexican superhero.
Jaime and his family spontaneously move between speaking in English and Spanish when he comes home from college at the opening of the movie, with subtitles phasing in and out in time.
It shouldn’t have been one of the most unexpected things to occur in a superhero movie.
Though it is.
The central theme of the film is the bond between Reyes and his family, who is portrayed by Xolo Mariduena with easy charisma.
His mother, father, and sister are introduced to us, but Nana Reyes (Adriana Barraza) and adorable paranoid Uncle Rudy (George Lopez) stand out — even if they do so occasionally a bit too loudly.
They’ve all taken a beating from society, but they’re all handling it well — Uncle Rudy yells, “Batman is a fascist!” — until the scarab rattles into their life.
The security state then decides to punish them as well through Kord Industries.
They desire the alien technology so that, you know, yada, yadda, yadda. viewing an old movie on TV Mr. Elephant Starring John Hurt, Anthony Hopkins, and Anne Bancroft is David Lynch’s touching 1980 picture about John Merrick, the “sideshow freak” with the disfigured face and the kind heart.
When that yadda, yadda, yadda bothers Reyes and his family, it is quite unfortunate.
At this point, Blue Beetle begins to resemble all other superhero films.
There is a vapid romantic attraction, a villain whose evil scheme isn’t quite as horrifying as Susan Sarandon’s gawping, gurning portrayal of the same villain.
And a sidekick that transforms into a large robotic creature that can nearly match Blue Beetle’s leaps, beams, and grunts.
Naturally, the whole affair concludes in a massive CGI brawl with punches that break walls but nevertheless feel pointless.
A fascist, Batman? Maybe.
What does that make all these imitators, though? I apologize, copy-beetles.
Ruh-roh, as Scooby-Doo would say.
Warning: The tone of the dog movie Strays is more akin to Reservoir Dogs than Lady And The Tramp.
An offensive, profane comedy that, based on its trailer, not only seems terribly unfunny but also like another step toward the abolition of civilization.
Strays isn’t as horrible as all that, though, now that I’ve actually seen it.
Parts of it are even… good? Its delights couldn’t possibly be captured in a three-minute trailer.
To understand these dogs’ point of view and get used to their crude sense of humor, you need to spend some time with them.
And my goodness, it’s incredibly basic.
A dog named Reggie (voiced by Will Ferrell) believes that his heavy drinker and self-indulgent owner Doug (Will Forte) genuinely loves about him in the story.
Up until Doug abandons Reggie far from his house, leaving him with Bug (Jamie Foxx’s superb voice), along with a number of other stray dogs.
Together, they come up with a scheme for Reggie to avenge himself by biting off Doug’s… wotsit.
The jokes never stop.
And the name gag is quite appropriate given how frequently they accompany bodily excretions like sickness.
However, there are a few highlights among them, such as a frantic, drug-induced scene where our stray animals tear apart a collection of bunny plush toys, or do they? Strangely, however, what strikes me most about Strays is how seriously you treat these mixed-breed animals.
It’s a miracle that modern technology has managed to combine real canines with moving jaws and computer-drawn gymnastics.
You’ll think that a dog can swear.
In actuality, Strays’ true issues don’t surface until the cursing ends.
In keeping with most contemporary American comedies, it intersperses its many gags about the penis with a lot of emotion and moralizing.
It turns out that friendship and being genuine to yourself are positive traits.
No one knew.
Strays does, however, contain at least one worthwhile lesson, so maybe we can overlook it: occasionally in life, you really do have to bite a guy in the… attitude problem.
Lie With Me
So far, so commonplace. very, very French, too.
However, Lie With Me has a twist of sorts.
The novelist Stephane Belcourt and his boyfriend had a gay encounter when they were both 17 years old.
About 35 years later, the former lover’s son works for the Cognac company where Belcourt is giving a speech.
There are two timelines in the movie.
The younger Belcourt makes adoring eyes at his father (Julien De Saint Jean) in the past.
And then there is the present, when the older Belcourt appears to make googly eyes toward the son (Victor Belmondo) at first.
Guillaume de Tonquedec (the older) and Jeremy Gillet (the younger), two Belcourt actors, extract endearing performances from what would otherwise be forgiving material.
But you can’t help but wonder: for what purpose? The majority of Lie With Me makes you think of a little more sophisticated version of a soap opera, despite having some biting things to say about homophobia and expectations in rural France.
Finally, it’s difficult to refrain from responding as they might in Cognac itself with a shrug a la Galle.
The Idiots by Larsvon Trier shocked audiences when it initially debuted in 1998.
If it is released again in 2023, it might be much more surprising.
The faux-documentary aesthetic of von Trier is very typical today.
However, his topic—a commune of people who pose as being mentally ill—is—er—not.
Why do those individuals do it? Money, advocacy, friendship, simple and infamously unsimulated sex, or all of the above? or any combination of the aforementioned? The Idiots prefer to smudge every boundary possible rather than confirm or deny anything.
The end effect is a film that is shocking, but not in the sense that shocks us into seeing things differently, as much of Von Trier’s later work did.
Serpico, a 1973 Sidney Lumet masterpiece, is being restored and released this week for those who like their classics a little more classical.
Al Pacino is certainly terrific in Dog Day Afternoon and The Godfather, but in my opinion, his performance as Frank Serpico, a real-life crusading cop with a soft, hippy façade, is his best.Share on Facebook «||» Share on Twitter «||» Share on Reddit «||» Share on LinkedIn