Solo was fun! A terrific addition to the Star Wars movie catalogue.

We just watched Solo for the first time. I really enjoyed it. It may not have the same tone as the core Star Wars movies, but it’s a fun background story for Han Solo and Chewbacca.

Featured image source: DasWortgewand on Pixabay

Batman Ninja holiday viewing

Batman Ninja

Today is our kids’ first day of their (very) long school Summer vacation. Neither of our kids are going to the summer program we booked them into today, so we finished watching Batman Ninja before I started working this morning. This DC Comics movie is filmed in a Japanese Anime style (or several styles), and it’s really good.

If you’re interested in an authentic experience of the movie, you can watch it in the original Japanese too! We opted for the English. 😁

Getting to know yourself Inside Out

I just watched Inside Out with our daughter. It’s a fun movie and I hadn’t seen it before today. If you haven’t seen it, it is very much one of those layered animated movies that kids can enjoy and that also contain a remarkable depth.

The idea of the movie is to represent a young girl’s emotions as she and her family relocate from the American Mid-West to San Francisco as five characters with their distinct personalities.

I knew what the movie was about before we watched it. What I really enjoyed about it was how the movie represented how our emotions interact and challenged common assumptions about which emotions have value and which don’t.

I’m not sure how much of the message our daughter took away from the movie but this is the sort of movie that you can watch again and again. I suspect that each time you watch it, you will take away a little more and, in the process, come to understand yourself a little better, inside out.

Spectacular new King Arthur movie in 2017

King Arthur

Guy Ritchie has directed a really interesting take on the King Arthur story with his new movie titled “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword“. The trailer looks like a typical Guy Ritchie movie and the effects look absolutely incredible.

This is also due to be released in 2017 and it definitely looks like a movie to see on a really big screen.

The last King Arthur movie I saw was the version based on a theory that King Arthur was a Roman soldier who joined forces with the wild locals who lived in Britain at the time. Clive Owen and Keira Knightley made that movie for me.

This new movie looks like a return to a more classic interpretation of the story complete with magic and fantastic creatures. Not exactly a demystification of the story as the 2004 movie promised but I’m ok with that.

Justice League and Wonder Woman trailers – oh boy!

Justice League poster

Warner Bros has released preview trailers of the Wonder Woman and Justice League movies and, wow, I am excited! Wonder Woman looks awesome. I’m really looking forward to seeing Gal Gadot in this movie, I really liked her in Batman v Superman:

I have mixed feelings about Justice League for a couple reasons. First, I’m still a little put off by the cinematic version of Batman v Superman. Second, I really like Grant Gustin’s TV Flash and I’m not sure yet about Ezra Miller in that role. Still, he looks interesting.

On the other hand, Jason Momoa is an inspired choice for Aquaman and I liked Ben Affleck’s Batman. Also, it’s the Justice League!!

And, of course, let’s not forget the early poster releases for these two movies.

There was some controversy about the Wonder Woman trailer because Gadot’s face is in shadow and this isn’t the case in posters for superhero movies about male stars. I’m convinced. I think this poster is dramatic and I like it.

Besides, isn’t one of the themes about Wonder Woman from the Batman v Superman movie a degree of mystery about her and who she is? Her movie is an origin movie so a little mystery isn’t really a problem, is it?

Featured image from Warner Bros

Could Batman v Superman Ultimate Edition Be Better?

Batman v Superman with Wonder Woman

Update (2016-08-06): I have an answer for you. Keep reading, I have some thoughts to share at the end.

Batman v Superman received really bad reviews, for the most part. I enjoyed the movie even though I felt something was lacking. I resisted the urge to write something about it afterwards because my first instinct was to defend the movie even though I felt a little disappointed.

I think what bothered me most about the cinematic release was that it felt abbreviated. I know that sounds a little crazy given that the movie ran to about two and a half hours. It felt as if important story arcs weren’t developed enough and it seemed as if it was all just thrown together for a spectacular finale.

The Ultimate Edition looks like it might be a better version of the movie that the cinematic release. It apparently contains another 30 minutes of “story and action not seen in theaters” and I think that might make a big difference. Just take a look at the trailer for this release:

I really wanted to love the movie. I had been looking forward to it for a long time. Hopefully, this extended release will present a more complete story that does this prelude to a Justice League movie justice (sorry!).

Postscript: We just watched the extended version of the movie and my answer to my original question is “Definitely!”. The Ultimate Edition really fills out the main storylines and brings the whole thing together so much better.

Where the theatrical release felt like there were big gaps in the storylines, this extended version offers a more complete story and much more dimension to the main characters, with the exception of Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman’s story is going to be explored more in the upcoming Wonder Woman movie next year (which looks awesome).

If you were on the fence because the theatrical release felt like a really long action trailer, watch this version. I am much more impressed with this version of the film. Hopefully Zack Snyder will release a more complete version of Justice League and not a similarly hobbled movie.

Star Wars obliterated box office records!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens didn’t just break box office records for 2015, it obliterated them.

If there’s one thing that J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been great at — aside from reminding everyone how much they liked the original movie — it’s been breaking box office recordsLots of them. So it shouldn’t come as a shock that there’s another one rolling in just a few days before the end of the year: Star Wars has helped 2015 become the highest grossing year in US box office history. Deadline reports that North American box office totals for the year have topped $11 billion, with the tally estimated to hit $11.1 billion by the end of the year.

Wow, just wow!

Source: The Verge’s article titled “Star Wars just made 2015 the biggest year in US box office history

The Buddhist photographer

Monk with a Camera” looks like a really interesting documentary about an unusual subject. I’m looking forward to watching it:

MONK WITH A CAMERA chronicles the life and spiritual quest of Nicholas (Nicky) Vreeland, who for the past twenty-eight years has been a Tibetan Buddhist monk. The son of a United States Ambassador, grandson of legendary Vogue editor Diana Vreeland, and a photographer by trade, Nicky left his privileged life behind to follow his true calling. He moved to India, cutting his ties with society, photography, and his pleasure-filled world, to live in a monastery with no running water or electricity. There he would spend the next 14 years studying to become a monk. Then in one of life’s beautiful twists, Nicky went back to the worldly pursuit of photography in order to help his fellow monks rebuild their monastery, one of the most important of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. His journey from being a photographer to becoming a monk and, most recently, to being appointed as the abbot of the monastery he helped to rebuild, are the core of the story.

Here is the trailer, looks fascinating: