Category Archives: movies

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ZACK SYNDER’S JUSTICE LEAGUE

A film much better than its original with amazing character development, a fantastic heart and some of the best cinematography. You can tell that this film is Snyder ‘s baby. The action is grand, the characters are compelling and I can honestly say the Snyder fans are proud.

When Zack Snyder was shooting Justice League, and he reportedly shot a four-hour epic film, though I’m not sure whether it was going to be one film split into two. The point is, it’s a four-hour tale that he had to abandon due to his daughter’s tragic death. Warner Brothers, on the other hand, decided to bring in Joss Whedon, who came in and cut a 4-hour film into a 2-hour film, and even rewrote several scenes, refilmed others, and replaced them with Joss Whedon humour, which evidently involves the Flash falling on Wonder Woman’s breasts, which Gal Gadot declined to perform and was replaced with a stunt double. That was what we got in 2017, but now, thanks to a large movement of hashtags and debates, as well as plane carrying a ‘Release the Snyder Cut’ banner flying around Comic Con, Zack Snyder was able to finish postproduction on his version of the film and release his original vision Titled “Zack Snyder’s Justice League”, which was indeed a better film than the 2017 theatrical release. There’s a difference between having a movie thrown together very quickly for the sake of moving on because he had to make this movie as short as humanly possible and there is storytelling. You see deeper character relations and development among the Justice League, which makes you feel like this theme of them coming together isn’t just stopping the bad guy for the sake of stopping the bad guy.

        For the last act of the movie everyone had a purpose, everyone had a reason to be there. It also seems like a lot of scenes that I wasn’t sure what to make of before now have more context to them.

    And yes, it is a 4:3 ratio, your screen isn’t messing up that is how its suppose to be. It might feel a bit weird in the beginning but you’ll get used to it. I, for one, enjoyed it.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League is not only vastly superior to the version released in theaters, but also one of the most genuinely epic WB films to ever grace the superhero genre. It is both the champion of the DC Extended Universe and the magnum opus of its director’s filmography, from Fabian Wagner’s absolutely stunning visuals, Tom Holkenborg’s majestic musical score, marvelously crafted action set-pieces, fast but smooth pacing, wonderfully formed characters, and a grand but intimate and profoundly heartfelt tale.

Also, Zack Snyder wasn’t kidding when he said Ray Fisher was the heart of the movie. I also want to mention how wonderful it was to see more of JK Simmons’ Commissioner Gordon, and how fantastic Batman and the Joker’s interaction and dialogue were in the film. Mera’s random British and Australian accent that comes and goes is one problem I have with the film.

Zack Snyder says he won’t give up hope for a Justice League sequel. After the success of HBO Max’s Synder Cut, which had one of two outcomes; become a resounding success and set a tantalizing precedent, or be a huge flop, potentially dooming all future fan campaigns.

Anyway, after some analysis, it was assumed that this is what Zack Snyder’s sequel and Kightmare sequence will look like;

Darkseid comes to Earth. Superman says to Batman, “Guard Lois. This is a war between me and Darkseid. If you can help me as a friend, keep Lois safe.” In the midst of these alien attacks, Luther aligns himself with the invader. “Lex tells Darkseid that the key to Superman’s weaknesses is killing Lois Lane”.

Darkseid comes back and kills Lois. Batman fails, he hesitates. They were in an argument.

“The truth is that the ‘Kightmare Sequence’ in this movie, it was my idea that all of that would eventually be explained -is that a surprise?” the director said. “And that we would end up in the distant future where Darkseid has taken over Earth, and where Superman has succumbed to the Anti-life equation. And there were few members of the Justice League that survive to that world, and that they were fighting, Batman and a broken half of cyborg -there’s only half of him because of whatever happened- they were working on an equation to jump back to tell Bruce…those were the things that we were dealing with. And the studio, they were still sort of into the big look, but the deep depth about how and why everyone was mad at each other…

I was right here, and Barry Allen came to me and he said ‘Lois Lane is the key.’ And then Wonder woman goes, ‘She is to Superman; every heart has one.’ And he goes, ‘I think it’s something more, something darker.’ And what it means is that thing is that was darker was all about if Lois died, Superman would succumb to the Anti-life right? And Superman knew that somehow it was Bruce’s responsibility to protect Lois, he would’ve been mad at him in this movie, and that’s why he says, ‘She was my world, and you took her from me. Then he, Bruce, had to jump back right before Darkseid Boom Tubes into the Batcave to murder Lois.”

Darkseid and Steppenwolf story was strong and great. Steppenwolf for one, was a much more interesting bad guy, with a lot more personality than he did in the 2017 version. You understand that Steppenwolf has fallen out of favour with Darkseid and wishes to reclaim his place in his good graces.

I loved the Flash; the character, his story, the actor and his character development in the movie was good but it felt closer to a Spiderman – Ironman relationship instead of a Flash – Batman relationship.

The new Joker is quite interesting, not a favourite but a new approach to the same product…but I loved his lines. The signature line, ‘We live in a world…’ was all Jared Leto’s idea and I must say a smart one at that. It’s unfortunate cut was staggering, I was waiting for him to say it, but the Joker and Batman had a mature conversation that included something about Harley and the Boy Wonder’s death. Brillant!

The movie had many unnecessary scenes, maybe a three-and-a-half-hour movie would have been enough but I felt Snyder wanted to give us as much as he could without making it too much at the same time, we’ve waited for this longer after all, might as well get as much footage as we can.

The final battle scene was awesome. The moment when they walked out of the plane as a united team was awesome!

The movie didn’t feature 6 promised scene that I was kind of looking forward to;

  1. The Tanagarians
  2. The Real Doomsday
  3. The Deathstroke fight scene in Arkham
  4. Zack said the movie would explore Robin’s death and give us new info on that.
  5. Desaad’s history lesson.
  6. Ryan Reynold’s return as Green Lantern.

I’m not complaining; I just wanted to point it out. Nevertheless, I understand how difficult it was for Zack Snyder to make it without receiving any money from WB, and he did it solely for the fans. Since not all of the actors returned for reshoots and such, he made do with what he had.

I’m hoping this isn’t a one-off and that WB isn’t finished with that universe, or at least Snyder’s version of it, because it seems to be building toward bigger things, and I believe now is a good time for DC to reveal those bigger things. Initially, they were attempting to catch up to Marvel, but now that the MCU has completed their Thanos epic, I believe there is a strange power vacuum, and it is now DC’s turn to show us what they have. And I hope for sequels because it’s set up for them, and I’m looking forward to seeing Zack Snyder’s Justice League part 2.

COMING TO AMERICA – WHERE HAS THE CAST BEEN?

Before Chadwick Boseman (RIP) took us to Wakanda to see Africa in a new light, Eddie Murphy took us to Zamunda in a search for true love and happiness.

Coming to America, released in 1988, is a celebrated and beloved comedy movie that show Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall at the top of their game.

It tells the tale of Prince Akeem and Semmi, his friend and aide, as they travel to New York in search of a bride for the prince.

The movie featured a lot of a great actors, some before they truly ascended to stardom.

So, in honor of the release of the 2021 sequel, Coming 2 America, we’d like to take a look back to see how the cast was doing in between these two movies.

EDDIE MURPHY

The 1980’s were the peak of Eddie Murphy’s acting career and no other movie exemplified this than Coming to America.

He continued to act, appearing in box office hits like Boomerang and Another 48 Hrs. and less successful fare like Beverly Hills Cop III.

Many black actors gained recognition by playing parts in his movies during that period. The likes of Cuba Gooding Jr., Halle Berry, Martin Lawrence, Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, and Samuel L. Jackson got their breaks from Eddie Murphy movies.

Eddie Murphy also voiced Mushu in beloved Disney movie Mulan (1998) and Donkey in the animated Shrek franchise. However, most of his movies in the 2000’s were critical and commercial failures, most notably Norbit and The Adventures of Pluto Nash.

The 2010’s saw a resurgence of the comedic star as he appeared in Tower Heist (2011) alongside Ben Stiller, Mathew Broderick and Casey Affleck. He would also go on to star in Dolemite Is My Name (2019) which received critical acclaim (97% on Rotten Tomatoes).

ARSENIO HALL

Arsenio Hall didn’t slow down either after Coming to America.

His acting gave way to his late-night stardom in The Arsenio Hall Show. It was a breakout success that also managed to influence pop culture significantly.

The show ran from January 1989 and ended on May 1994. A revival premiered in September 2013 but that ended after one season.

After the initial run of his late-night show ended, Hall made smaller appearances in movies and series, mostly playing himself.

He also starred in Martial Law alongside Sammo Hung from 1998 to 2000.

Arsenio Hall appeared on the fifth edition of The Celebrity Apprentice where he represented The Magic Johnson Foundation, a charity dedicated to helping minorities with economic and social challenges. That season ended with his victory, earning him a $250,000 grand prize plus any other funds he received during his time on the show.

JAMES EARL JONES

A well-established pop culture icon before Coming to America, James Earl Jones still brought it afterwards.

His movie credits following Coming to America include The Hunt for Red October (1990), Patriot Games (1992), and Clear and Present Danger (1994).

The iconic voice of Darth Vader then became the iconic voice of Mufasa in Disney’s The Lion King (1994).

James Earl Jones also put in work on the small screen. He received two Primetime Emmys for his work in Gabriel’s Fire and Heat Wave, both in 1991. Jones also starred in An American Moment, replacing Charles Kuralt after his death.

He also made appearances in Law & Order, Frasier, Will & Grace, and Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.

In 2002, James Earl Jones was presented with Kennedy Center Honors alongside Paul Simon and Elizabeth Taylor. At the event, then-President George Bush joked “People say that the voice of the president is the most easily recognized voice in America. Well, I’m not going to make that claim in the presence of James Earl Jones.”

His iconic role as the voice of Darth Vader continued as well. Jones reprised his role for animated TV series Star Wars Rebels on Disney XD, in the live action film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016), and for a cameo in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019).

Jones also did some time on Broadway where he starred in productions like On Golden Pond, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Driving Miss Daisy, The Best Man, etc.

In 2019, James Earl Jones was the only one of the original cast to reprise his role in the CGI remake of The Lion King.

SHARI HEADLEY

Coming to America was her first acting role in a movie and Shari Headley has pushed forward steadily since.

After some smaller roles in Gideon Oliver, Quantum Leap, and Matlock, Headley picked up a main role in All My Children as Detective Mimi Reed. The role earned her a nomination for NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series.

She went on to guest star in other shows like New York Undercover, Walker, Texas Ranger, and Cosby before landing recurring roles in Guiding Light and The Bold and the Beautiful.

Headley then joined the cast of The Haves and Have Nots, created by Tyler Perry for the Oprah Winfrey Network, as Jennifer Sallison where she became a regular in the fourth season.

JOHN AMOS

After the poignant role he played in Roots, John Amos also kept working beyond his role in Coming to America.

His film credits following Coming to America include Lock Up (1989), Die Hard 2 (1990) Ricochet (1991).

Amos also made television appearances in Police Story, The A-Team, The Cosby Show, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Psych, Murder She Wrote, etc.

More recently he appeared in a cameo role as himself in Uncut Gems (2019) and on Netflix series The Ranch.

In 2009, Amos released an album of original country music.

MADGE SINCLAIR

Madge Sinclair had a few roles after Coming to America.

After playing a nurse in 1990’s The End of Innocence, Sinclair reunited with her Coming to America co-star James Earl Jones as Sarabi and Mufasa, Queen and King once again, for the Disney animated film The Lion King (1994). This would be her last film role.

The pair again reunited for Gabriel’s Fire, a role that won Sinclair an Emmy in 1991 for Best Supporting Actress in a Dramatic Series.

After a critically acclaimed role in Jonathan: The Boy Nobody Wanted, Sinclair moved to London where she starred in a stage production of The Lion. She followed that with a supporting role in Me and the Boys and a brief appearance as the first female Starfleet captain in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. On 20th December 1995, Madge Sinclair died from leukemia. She was cremated and her ashes taken to her hometown in Jamaica.

WHY OTTO OCTAVIUS IS PERFECT IN SPIDER-MAN 2

Spider-Man 2, directed by Sam Raimi and released in 2004, is still lauded as one of the greatest superhero movies ever made.

An amazing story with great emotional heft, tense action sequences and special effects that are still very impressive, Spider-Man 2 was an improvement over the previous entry in almost every way and couldn’t be surpassed by its sequel.

At the heart of all of the movie’s acclaim lies the villain, Otto Octavius.

Played brilliantly by Alfred Molina, Dr. Octavius was a complex villain who was as sympathetic as he was ruthless and as driven as he was broken.

But why exactly was Octavius so perfect in the movie?

The Promise of What Could Be

Parker… Now I remember you. You’re Dr. Connor’s student. He tells me you’re brilliant. He also tells me you’re lazy.

Some of the greatest antagonists are a mirror reflection of the protagonists they oppose, examining the hero’s flaws and weaknesses by holding those traits and magnifying them.

Otto Octavius is interesting in his introduction because he is the opposite…he is the embodiment of Peter Parker’s positive attributes and they are enhanced even further in him.

He is a smart scientist at the top of his field and on the verge of making a breakthrough that would put him in league with the likes of Newton and Einstein.

He is married to the love of his life and they are happy in every way that matters to them.

Otto Octavius is basically what Peter Parker could have been…if he hadn’t been bitten by the spider.

Intelligence is not a privilege, it’s a gift. And you use it for the good of mankind

The Uncle Ben Moment

In the movie’s inciting incident, Otto Octavius is at the peak of his achievement; his experiment is going well and his wife is there to witness his success.

And in one fell swoop, he loses it all.

When the experiment goes awry, the malfunction kills his wife and fuses the mechanical limbs he was using to control the experiment to his spine.

A moment that resembles Spider-Man’s tragic origin.

My Rosie’s dead. My dream is dead. And these… monstrous things should be at the bottom of the river… along with me.

But Peter Parker had the lessons he had learned from his wise uncle, Octavius had no such fallback to strengthen him in his lowest moment.

So, he turns back to his dream in a vain attempt to prove his theory right, no matter who he has to hurt or kill when they get in his way.

The power of the sun in the palm of my hand. Nothing will stand in our way! NOTHING!

The Redemption

In the film’s climax, Octavius builds and activates a larger version of his experiment and once again it goes awry.

But when Spider-Man is unable to stop it, he turns to the only person who can and confronts him as the only person who he will listen to.

You once spoke to me about intelligence…you said it was a gift to be used for the greater good…

The good that was in Octavius resonated in Peter Parker…that good returned to Octavius to make him see the error of his ways.

And he accepts the death of his dream, a sacrifice to make right all the wrong he had done.

It was my dream…

Sometimes…to do what’s right…we must be steady… and give up the things we desire the most…even our dreams.

In that moment, Octavius takes control of his life again and becomes a hero, fulfilling the promise what could be in the beginning.

Conclusion

Alfred Molina’s Dr. Octavius still ranks high in the pantheon of comic book movie villains. Complex in his humanity and his villainy, he elevates Spider-Man 2 from merely good to unforgettably great.

Reportedly, Alfred Molina has been tapped to reprise his role in the third Spider-Man movie for the MCU.

If this is true, then we cannot wait to see this brilliant villain rendition brought to new life.

MULAN: WHY THE ANIMATION SPOKE BETTER TO FEMINISM

For a traditionally highly patriarchal country, Mulan is an important legacy left behind not only to give girls in China an important representation but a sense of empowerment.

And, in the year 2020, Mulan came at the perfect time when feminism is a hot topic in China. It was the perfect time for Mulan to inspire so many people.

Unfortunately, it was…divisive, to put it mildy.

To understand Mulan the live-action, we must first understand Mulan the 1998 animation as well as the ballad of Mulan.

THE ANIMATED TALE

The story of Mulan was set in a Northern Wei era in ancient China, a time when the greatest honor a woman could bring to her family or herself, was to get married and bear children, to which Mulan was terrible.

During this time, the Huns began to attack China, leading the emperor to order the conscription of one son from each family. Having no sons, Mulan’s disabled father was the only one who could take on that mantle. Desperate to save her father’s life, Mulan dressed up in his armor and joined the emperor’s army.

Mulan starts off as a total amateur but so does everyone. All the men around her lacked the skills required for battle. This presented an opportunity for the soldiers to train in any and all relevant aspects required and also allowed Mulan to show her capabilities by keeping up with them. As the other soldiers grow, so did she.

Here, the animated film made a statement. Women in any practical situation can be just as capable as any other man. Mulan learns to be masculine, despite not being manly. She is capable of harnessing strength and power, traits that, traditionally, are valued by men. But what’s interesting is the way the animated film empowers women by empowering femininity.

Now, this sounds strange at first glance because Mulan isn’t very feminine, she proved that by failing to be lady enough for the marriage-matching. She is a tomboy and a failed bride. But she is also not good at masculinity, being extremely awkward at pretending to be a man. That’s because those are extreme versions of gender expression. Femininity means submission, masculinity means aggression.

In a sense, Mulan’s journey is to embrace her own gender expression, she succeeds in doing traditionally masculine tasks but refuses to engage in hypermasculinity. Rejecting the value of brute strength. Instead, she is able to overcome various trails by using clever solutions on multiple occasions.

And her fellow solders learn from her as well. A bond is formed, through codependency, because no war is won with single solder but a codependent army. They start off as hyper-angry hyper-masculine men, but by the end are willing to be in drag to save the emperor. We see both sides learn to embrace each other. Girls can be manly and men can be girly without it necessarily being a bad thing. There is strength on both sides and there is strength in not limiting one with either extreme.

 The animated film climaxes with her trying to save the emperor the man, not the emperor, Lord over China, or even China itself. Mulan doesn’t save the emperor out of loyalty; she merely sees the emperor as a fellow human in need of help.

After saving the emperor, Mulan is offered a position on the emperor counsel, as a reward for her intelligence and wit. Mulan declines the offer, rejecting the value in upholding the patriarchy, she returns home, to the only patriarchy she recognizes, her father. She presents him with a sword and a medal, bring symbolic honor to her father and family as a whole. Her father drops everything and embraces his daughter, breaking the final patriarchal relationship.

THE LIVE-ACTION TALE

Mulan, the 2020 live-action, follows the same basic plot. She completely fails at being a bride, China conscripts men, the father is too feeble to fight, Mulan leaves in his place. Despite the same basic plot, the two couldn’t be any more different.

Right of the bat, Mulan is a naturally gifted fighter. Instead of seeing Mulan grow alongside her comrades, building character, and a true sense of connection among them, now the message conveyed is only the select few are blessed by the gods to have the privilege of catching up with men. Those who aren’t so gifted like Mulan’s unnecessary sister character get married or “matched” off. Instead of a message of perseverance, we get a special case of “Qi”.

In the animation, Mulan was a problem solver, she finds her way to the top using her wits instead of brute strength. Mulan is able to solve problems without involving hyper-masculinity, clearly stating that there is value outside of the hypermasculine way of thinking.

Unfortunately, live-action Mulan had other plans. Mulan has to climb a mountain with two buckets of water, now how does she solve this problem? Mulan just does the manly thing better than men. Through sheer strength and Qi, indulging in the traditional masculine value of strength, and that a woman is good only if she can man up. Mulan’s experience and perspective as a woman are not valued.

The biggest let down for me, besides the absence of Mushu, was how they trivialized the rabbit scene despite its importance to the ballad. It takes one of the most iconic and powerful lines from the poem and turns it into a throwaway fan service moment, that ended up as a pointless scene.

THE BALLAD’S TALE

In the Ballad, Mulan went to war for ten years and was promoted by twelve ranks and yet no one ever discovered she was a woman. She was that much of a badass in the poem.

After rejecting the governing position offered to her, she chooses to return home. It was then when her fellow soldiers came to visit and saw her in a dress, wearing make-up did they realize the truth. Confounded, they asked her why they never realized she was a girl, to which Mulan replies,

“The male hare’s feet go hop and skip
The female hare’s eyes are muddled and fuddled
But when two hares running side by side
How can you tell the female from male”?

Mulan’s answer was poignant. Men and women may look different, but when living amongst each other, when fighting side by side, what difference do the differences make?

RANKED: THE STAR WARS MOVIES FROM BEST TO WORST

The galaxy far far away has given us one of the most successful and recognizable franchises in history. Eleven movies in and we still can’t help but get excited when that famous theme song plays.

Of course there is always debate about how good each movie in the franchise is when compared to one another so, here to throw more fuel on the fire, is the objective and honest ranking of the Star Wars movies from best to worst.

1. Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

“Do or do not…there is no try.”

The sequel to the very first Star Wars movie, The Empire Strikes Back had the unenviable task of following up the smash hit that Star Wars was. George Lucas chose to tell a story of struggle, loss, and terrible truth as the tyrannical Empire hunted down the Rebel Alliance and forced them to flee at every turn.

Initial reception to this movie was mixed but the Force was strong with this one as time proved this movie’s story and themes to be truly ahead of its time. Now it ranks in the lists of greatest movies ever made and greatest sequels ever made.

2. Episode IV: A New Hope

“Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.”

The movie that started it all, A New Hope (or Star Wars, for the purists) created a galaxy far far away and gave us an inspiring story of an unlikely hero and a ragtag rebellion that fought for freedom against an Empire that strangled its citizens. We were also introduced to the Force and the eternal struggle between light and dark.

As the first Star Wars movie, the critical and financial success of A New Hope laid the foundation for this universe to become the juggernaut that it is now.

3. Episode VII: The Force Awakens

“Luke Skywalker? I thought he was a myth.”

32 years after the release of Episode VI we finally got a Star Wars movie that continued the stories George Lucas had started with Luke, Han, Leia, and the Rebellion. Anticipation for this movie was high and the risk of disappointment (given the Prequel Trilogy before) was just as high.

The Force Awakens followed a new band of heroes (Rey, Finn, and Poe) as they team up with Han Solo and Chewbacca to find Luke Skywalker and restore the Jedi Order. Pursuing them relentlessly was the First Order, led by the mysterious Snoke and the powerful but emotional Kylo Ren.

Despite the derivative story elements; stellar acting, cinematography, and top-notch special effects made The Force Awakens another smash hit. It still stands as the highest-grossing addition to the franchise (even when inflation adjustments are accounted for).

4. Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

“Impressive…every word in that sentence was wrong.”

A new Star Wars movie just a year after the last one (Rogue One) seemed too good to be true. The hype surrounding Episode VIII in the Sequel Trilogy was, somehow, even higher than that of The Force Awakens.

Set in the immediate aftermath of Episode VII, The Last Jedi follows Rey, as she seeks guidance in the ways of the Force from Luke Skywalker, Kylo Ren, as he struggles to come to terms with his actions in the previous films, and Poe and Finn, as they try to protect the Rebellion from the First Order.

To say this movie was divisive…would be an understatement.

However, the actors and effects are still on top of their game. Some of the best action set pieces in Star Wars are set in The Last Jedi. The thematic elements are also grounded in genuine character motivations that do not feel farfetched or contrived.

Worthy of special note are the performances of Adam Driver and Mark Hamill as the conflicted Kylo Ren and the burdened Luke Skywalker. The Last Jedi may have divided the fandom but it is still a great Star Wars movie.

5. Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

“The Force is strong in my family. My father has it. I have it. My sister has it. You have that power, too.”

Return of the Jedi is the concluding chapter in the original trilogy of Star Wars movies. Set a year after Episode V, the Rebel Alliance seeks to strike at the Emperor during his inspection of the second Death Star as Luke Skywalker struggles to redeem Darth Vader and defeat Emperor Palpatine.

Return of the Jedi may not be the achievement that was the first two Star Wars movies but it managed to wrap up the trilogy in satisfying fashion without being dragged down by Ewoks and the reuse of the Death Star. Concluding the storyline of Darth Vader with his redemption was a fantastic representation of the central theme of Star Wars.

6. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

“I’m one with the Force and the Force is with me.”

Star Wars is an expansive universe with many stories falling between the cracks of exposition and conjecture. Rogue One was set to be the first of many movies dedicated to giving these moments and unsung heroes their more than deserved time in the spotlight.

The movie follows a hastily formed crew led by Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor as they search for a way to defeat the Empire’s newest weapon, the Death Star.

Even though the movie is filled with underdeveloped characters, it balances an engaging storyline with more mature themes and some much-needed grit and struggles as ground and aerial wars are actually fought in a Star Wars movie.

Also, it has the best Darth Vader action scene in any Star Wars movie.

7. Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

“So…this is how liberty dies…with thunderous applause.”

The final chapter of the Prequel Trilogy, Revenge of the Sith tells the story of the end of the Clone Wars and the events of Order 66. It follows Obi-Wan Kenobi, who is tasked with killing the last leader of the Separatists, and Anakin Skywalker, as his fear of losing his wife allows Palpatine to manipulate him and turn him to the Dark Side.

Unarguably the best movie in the Prequel Trilogy, Revenge of the Sith manages an engaging storyline with some genuine moments of character emotion and mature themes. Ewan McGregor is on top of his game as are the likes of Jimmy Smits, Ian McDiarmid and Frank Oz.

Some incredibly stilted dialogue and Hayden Christensen’s performance do drag this movie down as does the CGI heavy effects but it is a watchable and enjoyable Star Wars movie.

8. Episode I: The Phantom Menace

“Fear leads to anger; anger leads to hate; hate leads to suffering”

The Prequel Trilogy began with this Star Wars movie, beginning the journey that takes Anakin Skywalker from an orphan living in slavery to a powerful Jedi and ends in the ruthless Sith Lord, Darth Vader.

Unfortunately, the mature themes and storytelling that filled the Original Trilogy were replaced with more…kid-friendly fare and ultimately boring storylines. The overuse of CGI thrusts this movie into the uncanny valley with way too many characters and effects using CGI that hadn’t advanced far enough yet.

Thankfully, there are still some good performances, particularly from our Jedi and Sith warriors that culminates in a great lightsaber battle.

But we can’t forget Jar Jar Binks…ugh.

9. Episode II: Attack of the Clones

“I’m just a simple man, trying to make my way in the universe.”

The second chapter of the Prequel Trilogy, Attack of the Clones followed Obi-Wan Kenobi and his Padawan, Anakin Skywalker, as they protected Padme and fought the Separatists led by Count Dooku.

Despite the increased action sequences, the storylines, acting and CG effects make this movie a cumbersome task to get through. It’s not without its enjoyable moments, like Yoda fighting Count Dooku and Ewan McGregor’s performance as Obi-Wan but they aren’t enough to save the movie.

One of the biggest complaints about this movie is the lackluster love story of Anakin and Padme, which was especially disappointing after the romance of Han and Leia.

And don’t forget the immortal “I hate sand” line…priceless.

10. Solo: A Star Wars Story

“Everything you’ve heard about me is true.”

The second (and probably last for a long while) Star Wars movie in the anthology collection, Solo chronicles the early days of Han Solo, everyone’s favorite scoundrel and con artist. With the likes of Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, and Donald Glover, to say the least, this had all the makings of a great addition to the Star Wars movies.

But, what we got was a movie more concerned with equipping Han Solo with his accessories, his sidekick, and even his last name than it was with showing us actual character development. Try as it might, it just couldn’t escape from the shadow cast by Harrison Ford’s previous portrayal and, after the events of The Force Awakens, Solo comes off as too little, too late.

More forgettable than truly awful, it still ranks this low because even the prequels are still talked about. Solo just seems to have disappeared into the Star Wars Legends continuum.

11. Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker

“The force will be with you, always”

The final Star Wars movie of the Sequel Trilogy, The Rise of Skywalker follows the Rebellion as they contend with return of Sheev Palpatine as he forms an alliance with Kylo Ren to conquer the rest of the galaxy. Rey, Finn and Poe lead a final stand against the Final Order as they search for the stronghold of Palpatine.

Even though it earned over a billion dollars, Rise of Skywalker acts more like a sequel to The Force Awakens, not The Last Jedi. It feels like a movie made in response to fan backlash that still fails to please them in any substantial way.

The conclusion works well enough but the uninspired storytelling, revisited plot points, lack of any kind of nuance, almost desperate attempts at fan service, and overuse of nostalgia drag everything down. The movie does succeed in one regard, it took a fandom split on The Last Jedi and united them into one common consensus…this movie sucks.

CONCLUSION

And that’s our list of Star Wars movies from the very best to the very worst. If you have very strong feelings about any of this, feel free to drop comment below.

CHADWICK BOSEMAN PASSES AWAY AT 43

… because 2020 wasn’t bad enough already.

The African-American actor died after a long battle with colon cancer.

A statement posted on his Twitter feed confirmed the sad news. “It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the passing of Chadwick Boseman. It was the honor of his life to bring King T’Challa to life in ‘Black Panther.’”

Chadwick Boseman is renowned for portraying many iconic African Americans like Jackie Robinson(42), James Brown (Get On Up), and Thurgood Marshall (Marshall).

He was also beloved for his role as T’Challa, the Black Panther, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame.

Social media has been flooded with messages of sadness at his passing and of sympathy for his family.

Chadwick Boseman passed away on the same day as Jackie Robinson Day, a day that celebrates the iconic baseball player that he portrayed.

RIP CHADWICK BOSEMAN (NOVEMBER 29, 1976 – AUGUST 28, 2020)

HAMILTON: THE LEGACY LEFT BEHIND

Currently available on Disney+ is a filmed version of the Broadway sensation that took the world by storm. Created by Lin Manuel Miranda, Hamilton is a musical that tells the story of the first Treasury Secretary of the USA, Alexander Hamilton.

The musical details much of his early life as he fought in the Revolutionary War and his later years as he created the basis of the modern financial system currently in use today. By blending classic Broadway music with hip hop and other contemporary music forms, Lin Manuel Miranda created a truly transcendent experience that everyone can now enjoy.

Hamilton is rife with motifs and themes as every significant character has a recurring element to them that makes them unique. From Alexander Hamilton (My Shot) to Aaron Burr (Wait for It) and even the likes of George Washington (History Has Its Eyes on You), Eliza Hamilton (Helpless) and Angelica Schuyler (Satisfied), each of these recurring motifs denote what drives these characters forward.

The most significant of Hamilton’s themes is that of legacy…what the character leaves behind after he dies.

The Fight for Freedom

After the opening number that quickly runs through Hamilton’s childhood, the audience is immediately thrust into seeing how Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr differ in the pursuit of their goals.

Hamilton is an orphaned bastard immigrant who has absolutely nothing he didn’t struggle for. He comes to America looking to create something that will outlive him and sustain his name for years after he is dead. The war between America and the British Empire provides his hunger for more ample sustenance as he seeks to prove his worth in any way he can.

Burr, on the other hand, has a significant legacy to live up to. His grandfather, father and mother were very important people who commanded a lot of respect. He cannot afford to just pursue any course of action because what he has been left with is significant. Hence, Burr is more cautious and unwilling to risk his legacy in ventures that might prove unsuccessful.

These separate courses of action come to a head when George Washington bursts onto the scene, searching for a “Right Hand Man.” Burr immediately throws his hat into the ring but Washington has his eyes on Hamilton, the daring risk-taker who manages to come through.

Ironically, Hamilton is unsatisfied in his role as Washington’s aide de camp, preferring to be in the thick of the war and coveting Aaron Burr’s position as Lieutenant Colonel.

Washington, looking to the future of the nation after the war is won, holds Hamilton from the war until he can’t afford to anymore and opens up about how a previous mistake in his youth will forever haunt him and his legacy. In this way, he implores Hamilton to remember that “History Has Its Eyes on You.”

After the War

After the war is won, Hamilton and Burr start building lives their new country, pursuing their dreams just as they did before the war.

However, Aaron Burr quickly finds himself left behind as Hamilton quickly climbs up in his career, working “Non-Stop” to build a great America.

Alexander Hamilton, on the other hand, finds that his methods, while great for war, makes him many enemies who view his ideas distastefully.

A great example is his initial clash with Thomas Jefferson in the “Cabinet Battle.” Jefferson comes in to counter Hamilton’s financial plan and does so with a few playful digs at Hamilton. Hamilton goes way overboard when defending his plan. He points out how slavery contributed to South’s financial stability and personally calls out Jefferson on that regard. After he mocks Madison’s ill health doing so, Hamilton effectively makes two opponents with one speech.

Despite all the enemies he makes, Hamilton manages to negotiate a deal that gives him everything he needs and Burr can only watch enviously from the outside as deals are made in “The Room Where It Happens.”

This envy pushes him to take risky action to cement his legacy as he switches political parties and uses some of the groundswell against Hamilton to get elected to office. Burr also teams up with Jefferson and Madison to dig up dirt on Hamilton in an effort to completely shut him down.

Hamilton proves them wrong by revealing his infidelity and goes even further by publishing “The Reynolds Pamphlet” exposing his affair to the public and destroying his political career.

Now, Burr is the rising star in line to have everything he wanted while Hamilton is an unsuccessful outsider.

However, Burr’s hopes of ultimate political glory (the Presidency) are shot down when Hamilton endorses Jefferson who quickly turns on Burr.

Enraged by the actions of someone he considered an ally, Burr challenges Hamilton to a duel where, in an ironic twist of fate, Burr becomes the impulsive one and shoots, while Hamilton chooses otherwise and points his gun in the sky.

In the end, Hamilton’s legacy ends with an honorable death and Burr’s legacy is marred as he becomes the villain of the story, realizing too late that “The World Was Wide Enough” for the two of them.

“Who Lives Who Dies Who Tells Your Story”

Eliza, Hamilton’s wife, also has her own dreams of legacy but hers are more reserved.

She prefers a simpler life, unlike the ambitious Hamilton, and would rather he spend time with her and his children but she is “Helpless” to stop him from pursuing his dream and wrecking his life.

Distraught when she learns about the affair and how Alexander reveals it, Eliza chooses to “Burn” herself out of the narrative and Hamilton’s legacy.

However, after Hamilton’s death, Eliza finds that she is the only one who can fully tell Hamilton’s tale and pushes herself to ensure that her husband isn’t completely forgotten by history. She tells the story of his fellow soldiers (John Laurens, Marquis de Lafayette and Hercules Mulligan), George Washington and much more.

She realizes that, even though Hamilton worked like he was running out of time, he still left much behind that was unfinished and questions if she’ll have enough time to fully cement his legacy.

Conclusion

Hamilton is a groundbreaking musical not just for its structure, use of hip hop, or its historical setting but because of how it uses its themes to create meaningful moments with the audience and it cements its legacy as one of the greatest Broadway productions of all time.

Hamilton is currently streaming on Disney+.

MARVEL’S THE ETERNALS: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

When it comes to giving the best on-screen superhero experience, the Marvel Cinematic Universe does just that. They have made success stories out of even obscure superhero characters. The likes of the Guardians of the Galaxy; Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, Groot, and even Mantis have become household names.

                And now heralding the launch of Marvel’s phase 4 is The Eternals. An immortal group of cosmic superheroes created by the legendary Jack Kirby, one of Marvel’s most prolific and influential comic book creators.

                  Once upon a time, he said: “Once we’ve learned enough about the universe, we will admit to ourselves that we will never know everything.” And this encompasses The Eternals and why Kevin Feige dedicated the movie to him.

                   Originally set to be released in November 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic, The Eternals has been delayed to February 12, 2021. Fortunately, we are set to receive The Eternals’ trailer in the virtual Comic-Con@Home on July 22-26 of 2020.

THE ETERNALS CAST

               Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige confirmed The Eternals director Chloe Zhao, best known for Sundance Film Festival’s hit The Rider and cast members including;

              Bodyguard’s Richard Madden, playing The Eternal Ikarus, Silicon Valley’s Kumail Nanjiani, playing master swordsman and Bollywood star Kingo. The Walking Dead’s Lauren Ridloff, playing Eternals speedster Makkari; Atlanta’s Brian Tyree Henry, playing super-intelligent Eternal Phastos; Grown Ups’ Salma Hayek, playing wise and powerful Eternal leader Ajak; Newcomer Lia McHugh, playing ancient child-like Eternal Sprite; Train to Busan’s Don Lee, playing superstrong Eternal Gilgamesh; Maleficent’s Angelina Jolie, playing warrior Eternal Thena and Gemma Chan playing powerful matter manipulating Eternal, Sersi.

             Three Eternals from the Marvel comics have been gender-swapped, making The Eternals not only the most racially diverse superhero movie but the most gender-balanced casting of any MCU movie.

             Besides the Eternals, Game of Thrones’ Kit Harington, plays Dane Whitman, Black Knight.

              New cast members will be announced as production continues.

Spoiler Alert: The following content might be considered a spoiler.

Who Are The Eternals And What Direction Will Marvel’s Take With The Movie?

            During the Infinity saga, we learned of the origin of the Infinity Stones from The Collector, which transpired on the colossal head of a dead Celestial, Nowhere.

             The Celestials, considered to be the biggest and oldest beings to be shown in the MCU so far upon the release of Marvel’s phase 4, The Eternals.

                You might be wondering why I speak of the Celestials when the movie is based on The Eternals, but to know The Eternals you must first understand their origin and not just how they came to be but the origin of the Marvel Universe. Yes, I said universe, not Multiverse.

                  According to Marvel lore, at the beginning before the multiverse existed, “…there was one cosmos. One universe. One reality. One totality…

                  Yes, at the beginning of the Marvel universe the was only one universe and its name was the First Firmament.

             The First Firmament was basically a sentient universe and in itself, it created the Aspirants. The Aspirants were powerful beings that worshipped the First Firmament, seeking his approval in all life that they created. But some decided to rebel. These groups of rebels became known as the Celestials.

             The two groups battled and the Celestials won, banishing their parent, the First Firmament to the outer reaches of the universe using weapons so powerful it created the Multiverse. Within this multiverse, the Celestials dedicated themselves to creating new life forms including the Eternals.

              Millions of years after the multiverse, the Celestials visited Earth and began carrying out experiments on early humans. These experimentations resulted in subdivisions of the ape-man, like the Eternals (Homo immortalis). These were hairless, upright beings that tapped into cosmic power and were god-like to humans as well as the embodiment of perfection and immortality.

              But the Celestials’ experiments were also responsible for the creation of the Deviants (Homo descendus), deformed humanoid creatures burdened with a genetic mutation.

             The Eternals, as perfect as they may be, they have their faults in not just character but in health. There exists a genetic predisposition known as the Deviant Syndrome which mutates the genetic construct of an Eternal, fortunately, this is rare and has only appeared in one Eternal. Thanos. This is the reason for this appearance.

            When the Celestials experimented on Earth, they left traces of their cosmic power in the soil that over time eventually modified the human genome to create the X-gene. This gene has been dormant until the cosmic surge of energy in Endgame was released, activating the gene in humans and further creating mutates.

             Moving into the Eternals movie, many would wonder where these cosmic beings were when the Avengers were battling for the fate of the universe in the highly acclaimed Avengers Endgame?

           The answer is more interesting than you’d think. The Eternals did not show during Endgame because their memories had been altered by one other Eternal, Sprite. She can manipulate and control the minds of almost any form of life.

              So, in The Eternals movie, the Eternals would be living normal human lives without knowing who they truly are pre-Endgame. Afterward, their memories return and it is due to the Gauntlet snap that had occurred.

               As explained in Endgame, just a single snap from the Infinity Gauntlet releases cosmic energy at an immeasurable scale.

Now imagine this powerful burst of cosmic energy released not once, not twice but three times during the 5 years and besides that, two bursts where released on the same day. For me, I would think that had to be enough to break the mind control held over beings whose power originates from cosmic energy.

                As for Kit Harrington’s Black Knight character, he would not start as the Black Knight but rather as Dayne Whitman, an archaeologist from a long lineage of Black Knights and later progress during the story into a Black Knight himself. As for Dayne Whitman, he travels around the world in search of the tombs of the space gods and learns of their existence.

                Gemma Chan’s Seri character as an Eternal would try to stop him because the tomb of the space gods (The Celestials) can be used to summon them and unfortunately, they are not the good guys. As seen in Guardians of the Galaxy, they are the destroyer of worlds not just creators. This makes them the main villains of the story rather than the Deviants.

                  No details have been given about Dayne Whitman’s transition into the Black Knight but it would have some to do with embracing his family lineage and obtaining the Ebony blade to defend the world.

                  The Ebony blade was a powerful weapon created by Merlin and handed to Sir Percy of Scandia, the first Black Knight. The blade was said to be nearly indestructible and powerful enough to teleport its user to wherever it was, even across planets. It’s strong enough to cut through vibranium and adamantium and is also able to deflect magic attacks.

The Ebony Blade also stores the Black Knight suit of armor, it is said to be able to appear on his body like Ironman’s suit in Endgame. Handling the Ebony Blade also pretty much makes you immortal, but even though the Black Knight may sound awesome and overpowered, there is a downside to it, a curse.

                   Unfortunately, Marvel balances out his power, with a curse that has been in his family for generations. The more he kills, the more he would succumb to bloodlust until he is tainted with so much evil, he turns into a monster.

                To Conclude, just as Guardians of the Galaxy was made into a phenomenal hit in not only box office but in rating and reviews of critic and fans alike, I’m sure The Eternals would make just as much of an impact or more.

As Kumail Nanjiani said at Comic-Con, Marvel knows how to balance out entire genres into one whether it be a comedy, action, romance, fantasy, science fiction, adventure, and so on, despite it being a superhero movie it is always so much more. And The Eternals is the beginning of a new phase for the MCU and we are prepared for another journey.

Captain Marvel: The Importance of a Good Backstory

Captain Marvel is, for all intents and purposes, another MCU success story. It raked in big bucks at the box office and critics raved about its story, setting, and characters.

Audience reviews were a bit more…mixed.

That is unsurprising, given the amount of controversy that enveloped the film before it was even released. Review bombing based on nothing but prejudice is a possible reason that the audience reviews weren’t glowing in the majority.

There is another aspect about Captain Marvel that also wasn’t well-received…the mystery that was the titular character’s past was also reviewed quite poorly.

The Mystery of Carol Danvers

Vers, as the Kree call her, is haunted by a past that she cannot understand because it has been taken from her. It always lurks in her subconscious but when she comes to Earth, it comes out in full force. As she searches for answers to the mystery surrounding her, Carol becomes the warrior she always knew she could be.

All that is technically covered in the movie, but it doesn’t inform her character.

Despite the fact that she is haunted by things she cannot understand or remember, Carol does absolutely nothing to look into her past during her time on Hala. It obviously bothers but the movie chooses to ignore in favor of moving forward with the main plot.

Her history, or lack thereof, does nothing for her character.

Vers is told to forget the past and move on into the future but it is also established that she has a rebellious streak and will pursue what she thinks is right, no matter what her superior officers think or order her to do. And, given the advanced technology the Kree have at their disposal, some investigation could have at least been attempted.

And, when the mystery is uncovered, it wasn’t worth the wait.

Carol Danvers fought prejudice every day of her life as she grew up. It’s as straightforward, strait-laced and predictable as stories go. Her history isn’t checkered or questionable, there is no doubt that she has always been the heroic protagonist.

Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow) does have moments of villainy in her back story but she is a compelling character because of her redemption and how the red in her ledger pushes her to be better than who she used to be.

Captain Marvel doesn’t have an intriguing history to uncover and its uncovering is woefully mishandled.

It is unfortunate because such stories are great when done properly…and Marvel already did a similar story and did it properly.

The Mystery of Daisy Johnson

During the first season of a little-known show called Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, we are introduced to a character called Skye.

Skye also has a past that is mysterious and she wishes to uncover it every day. To that end, Skye becomes a hacker, invested in uncovering and exposing all kinds of secrets.

Skye’s desire to discover her past motivates her dislike of secret government organizations like S.H.I.E.L.D and she goes as far as joining a hacktivist group that is manipulated by the villains of the story.

Skye initially joins S.H.I.E.L.D to use their resources to learn more about her past and, when she is exposed, must work to regain the trust she lost.

Her history, or lack thereof, informs her character.

Then, Skye finds her father, a gruesome killer and amazing doctor rolled up into one man.

She unlocks her latent Inhuman abilities in a powerful but sorrowful scene and struggles to come to terms with those powers and the guilt she feels with her discovery.

The story of how Skye becomes Daisy Johnson (Quake) is compelling and intriguing as it makes you wonder if this mysterious girl could become a powerful ally or a menacing villain.

And that was how Captain Marvel needed to tell the story of Carol Danvers.

Conclusion

When you shroud your main character in mystery, the plot must treat that shroud carefully and not just rip it off with all the subtlety of a rhino in a china shop. But the mystery must also be worth that kind of reverence or it isn’t worth the audience’s time and money.

Captain Marvel is an ok movie but a properly handled backstory could have been the difference between ok and great.

The Eastrail 177 Trilogy

In the year 2000, right around the time comic books and comic book movies became cultural icons, a promising director named M. Night Shyamalan released a movie called Unbreakable.

A movie that was far ahead of its time and wore its influences from comic books on its sleeves. It left an impact on the comic book movie industry and is still relevant in this age.

It gave us a unique take on superpowers and the journey of a hero whilst and served as an indication of the true consequences of being special in a world where no one is.

Fans have clamored for a sequel ever since its release, but M Night Shyamalan entered a low point of his career with major flops like The Last Airbender and After Earth killing all hopes of a competent sequel.

Then, the director surprised audiences with The Visit in 2015. A lot of people assumed it was a fluke.

Then, in 2016, M Night released Split; a psychological thriller about a kidnapper with multiple personalities, the last one having superpowered abilities.

A scene in the movie closing moments changed the entire movie’s perspective when audiences realized that they had been watching a stealth sequel to Unbreakable.

2016 was the height of the cinematic universe craze. The DCEU released Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (and broke the internet with “Martha!”), The Mummy starring Tom Cruise and set to launch the Monsters Universe of Universal studios was in development and Captain America: Civil War shattered the Avengers and brought Spider-Man to the MCU.

To realize that an entirely original universe was growing without our knowledge was incredible and the next movie, set to release in 2019, was a highly anticipated event.

Then…Glass was released.

The closing chapter to the Eastrail 177 trilogy was an underwhelming finale that only hinted at the greatness that could have been.

The main characters were portrayed brilliantly, and the first act was fantastic. However, the second act contained elements that dragged down the plot and the third act’s attempt to pick up the movie ended in an underwhelming fashion.

But it must be said that M Night’s attempt to create this new story inspired by the comic book medium but not beholden to it in anyway was a remarkable undertaking that only failed in its landing.

Unbreakable – The Hero’s Struggle

David Dunn (played by Bruce Willis) at first glance is everything you don’t want in a hero.

The most relatable heroes are always those who are beleaguered with problems, internal and external. A great example is how Peter Parker’s life always interferes with Spider-Man’s life and vice versa. But he always tries his best to overcome the obstacles in his life.

David Dunn…is decidedly not that.

We first meet David Dunn on a train attempting to cheat on his wife and the look the little child gives him says it all. Then comes the train accident and afterwards we meet his family. He and his wife couldn’t even pretend to like each other in the hospital as they left. David is stuck in a dead-end job and a failing marriage but doesn’t want or try to do anything to fix his situation.

Then comes the invitation from Elijah Price.

Elijah (played by Samuel L. Jackson) is the true believer we all would wish superpowers on. Born with brittle bone disease, Elijah spends his life exploring comic books as a record of historical events. He is disgusted by the commercial nature his passion has become and seeks to expose the truth and art that comic books truly are.

Elijah challenges David on his miraculous survival and other incidents throughout his life. David is initially dismissive but his curiosity forces him to explore and develop the abilities he has ignored his entire life. As he comes to terms with himself, David also begins to fix his marriage and his relationship with his son.

This journey of self-discovery peaks when David pursues a murderous janitor and saves two children.

Elijah, the ostensible sidekick, is thrilled with the vindication of his theory and drops a bombshell – he was responsible for the accident and many others like it. Elijah was so devoted to proving himself right that he caused so much death and destruction to find David. He becomes the supervillain to David’s hero, the yin to his yang.

Split – The Origin of A Supervillain

Kevin Wendell Crumb (played by James McAvoy) is a complex character, to say the least.

Afflicted by DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder), Kevin has 24 different personalities that formed as a result of his mother’s abuse when he was a child. The dominant personality “Barry” is careful to prevent two other personalities “Dennis” and “Patricia” from taking control. But “Hedwig” steals control of Kevin from Barry and allows the Dennis and Patricia to carry out a plan that unleashes the 24th personality known only as “The Beast.”

To that end, Dennis kidnaps Casey Cooke (played by Anya Taylor-Joy) and two other girls to serve as sacrifices to the Beast.

The other personalities struggle to maintain the façade of Kevin’s normal life and come to grips with the trauma that created them.

The movie also takes us through the life of Casey, a moody and withdrawn teenage orphan who is abused by her legal guardian.

Casey and the other girls attempt to escape many times but, with the help of Kevin’s therapist, only Casey is able to escape her confinement but The Beast catches up to her eventually. Seeing the scars on her body, The Beast spares her because she is “broken” and more evolved.

Split was a genre game changer as it was solely devoted to telling the origin of a villain. It showed struggles, shortcomings and the eventual triumph of The Beast emerging.

It also didn’t hurt that James McAvoy gave a fantastic performance as he seamlessly switched between personalities and character defining traits.

The final scene that firmly set this movie in the Eastrail 177 universe was just icing on the cake.

Glass – The Problematic Finale

Glass starts out strongly, showing us how David Dunn and his son had developed a comfortable rhythm with their crime-fighting and how they searched for the Horde (the collective that exists in Kevin Wendell Crumb) who was up to his old tricks.

The first act is engaging, riddled with tension and has an amazing fight between David and the Beast.

Then comes the hospital where Mr. Glass has been contained all these years.

Despite some interesting situations, the contained nature the film adopts doesn’t work in its favor.

Unbreakable worked because we got to see David and Elijah Price encounter and react to various scenarios in their homes, at works and in between.

Split was a contained movie for the most part, but the impending doom of the Beast’s appearance and the multiple attempts the girls made to escape stopped the movie from dragging its feet.

In Glass, the threesome (and audience) are forced to contend with Dr. Ellie Staple, a psychiatrist out to convince these superhuman characters that they are just ordinary people…something we all know is patently false.

It’s a static situation with almost zero chance of external factors influencing the plot. Unbreakable had the advantage of not being contained but Split solved that with the interactions between Kevin and his psychiatrist.

Dr. Staple tries to explain away David Dunn’s gifts as fantastic observational skills combined with trauma from a brain injury he sustained during the train accident…and we are to assume that the doctors at the hospital he was admitted to did absolutely no tests on him.

She then challenges Kevin (actually “Patricia”) on the bars the Beast was able to bend barehandedly and the walls he scaled with no equipment. Dr Staple presents these occurrences as a result of aging and obsessive research…and again we should just take her word for it.

That she manages to put doubt in their minds about these personal experiences is a mind-boggling leap of faith, but not the biggest problem.

The biggest problem with Glass is that the titular character is actually the hero of the story.

Elijah Price, the man responsible for so many deaths in Unbreakable and the traumatic childhood of Kevin Wendell Crumb, cannot be the hero of the story without a redemption arc.

It would mean that all his actions were justified…and right.

The final twist that was meant to shift our perspective the way it did in Unbreakable and Split fails here because the intrigue it reveals is ultimately uninspiring…as is its ending.

Conclusion

I would still consider the Eastrail 177 trilogy to be a success for the most part. The worldbuilding and themes it visited are top-notch and the actors all brought great performances to the trilogy.

Its characters and treatment of the comic book genre are unmatched even in the face of other masterful undertakings like The Dark Knight and Black Panther. It’s just too bad that the finale wasn’t as great as everything that came before it.