Death of the Critic

May 2017

Superpowers and Storytelling

Written by: Tom Blaich

avengers_2


We love our superpowered heroes. Flight, strength, laser beams and more in the hands of people just like us. And the more powerful that they can be, the better. But as our heroes cross the limits of humanity, it adds more and more complications to how the story fits together, and how we, as an audience, can relate. When you start looking at superpowers, the very laws that govern our reality start to break down, and writers have to deal with the way in which this affects the plot. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there are multiple characters capable of warping all of reality to their whim, unkillable monsters, stones that embody pure power, literal gods, and extradimensional entities that rule over time itself. Yet so many of these reality breaking characters play by the rules of our normal universe.

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Why Did I Watch That? - The Three Musketeers

Written by: Tom Blaich

three_musketeers_poster


I watched a bad movie today. It is sort of a guilty pleasure of mine. Watching bad movies that is. I revel in the terrible plots, paper-thin characters, cheesy effects, and wooden acting. It fuels me. I love them in a way that I can’t quite describe, or feel about bad games or music. To me, bad films deserve to be recognized, talked about, and maybe occasionally ridiculed. This one is no exception.

Paul W.S. Anderson movies all kind of look the same at a certain point, no matter the subject matter. Lots of gratuitous slow-mo, lots of unnecessary and poorly implemented CGI, and lots of Mila Jovovich being unnecessarily sexy when it is completely uncalled for, and more than a little badass. So giving him
The Three Musketeers p[property to play with, an iconic story of the heroes of France, is more than a little disappointing to see. What’s more, giving the role of D’Artagnan to the baby-faced Logan Lerman is questionable.

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Product Placement: Realism vs. Marketing

Written by: Tom Blaich

subway-hawaii-five-o.0


It is a familiar experience for anyone who has watched a movie or binged a TV show: the main character will be talking, walking down a busy street and in the background, we will see storefronts plastered with ads for the same few companies, Coke or Taco Bell or some other massive corporation. Often, these ads don’t even stick out, fading to the background much like they do in our everyday life (which might itself serve as some accidental commentary about the massive marketing pushes we are subjected to).

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Anatomy of a Scene - Jarhead

Written by: Tom Blaich

Jarhead_Swofford


This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.

Without me, my rifle is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless.

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Why Did I Watch That? – DOOM

Written by: Tom Blaich

Doom-Gallery-10


I watched a bad movie today. It is sort of a guilty pleasure of mine. Watching bad movies that is. I revel in the terrible plots, paper-thin characters, cheesy effects, and wooden acting. It fuels me.
I love them in a way that I can’t quite describe, or feel about bad games or music. To me, bad films deserve to be recognized, talked about, and maybe occasionally ridiculed. This one is no exception.

DOOM is not a good movie by any means, and I’m not here to argue that fact. What I am here to argue is that you should definitely sit down and watch it, if only for one scene in the near two-hour long feature. Where we hop into the brain of Karl Urban for a first-person shooter-esque sequence that has us gunning down demons and tearing through the demented bowls of the Mars facility. It may look a little less than great, especially more than ten years after its release, but that doesn’t make it any less goddamn cool.

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Why Did I Watch That - Punisher: War Zone

Written by: Tom Blaich

Punisher_Poster


I watched a bad movie today. It is sort of a guilty pleasure of mine. Watching bad movies that is. I revel in the terrible plots, paper-thin characters, cheesy effects, and wooden acting. It fuels me.
I love them in a way that I can’t quite describe, or feel about bad games or music. To me, bad films deserve to be recognized, talked about, and maybe occasionally ridiculed. This one is no exception.

Capturing the feel of a comic book accurately is really the goal of every comic book movie. The first
Punisher didn’t really do a good job at this, but they ended up making what is (in my opinion) a decent action movie. With Warzone, they did a much better job at capturing the dark, violent lunacy of the comic books, but it turns out that it looks really damn weird when translated to action on screen instead of stylized on the pages of a comic book.

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