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SUICIDE SQUAD (2016)

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joker-scolds-harley-uncropped-196377Dear Suicide Squad marketing team: What was with all the neon splattered, eye-popping publicity? The bells, the whistles and the jokey trailers and bubblegum sizzle reels?

Because once the ‘Worst. Heroes. Ever.’ were finally unleashed upon the planet, it was clear that Suicide Squad was no raucous super-villain caper. Instead, it shared the same murky tone as Warner Bros’ previous DC laughfest, Batman v Superman.

And it shared something else with BvS – the critics hated it.

It’s as if every hack raced out of a screening to try and outdo each other with their witty take on how soul-crushingly awful it was.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been so bored by summer sequels and reboots, but I enjoyed Suicide Squad’s messy two hours. The standout for me? Actress-of-the-moment Margot Robbie’s acrobatic, demented performance as Harley Quinn:

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Robbie’s Harley is one of a crew of criminals handpicked by brutal government agent Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) to fight future non-human threats.

Recruited from the same maximum security hellhole are Will Smith as lethal assassin/caring father Deadshot; El Diablo (Jay Hernandez), who has a fiery Aztec god inside him; Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje); and Aussie Tom Hardy lookalike Jai Courtney, whose thing is to throw boomerangs. If they step out of line – boom! A mini-explosive has been injected near their brain stems.

Trying to command the squad is soldier Rick Flagg (Joel Kinnaman), who is in love with squad member and archaeologist Dr June Moone (Cara Delevingne). She is possessed by a powerful entity named Enchantress, who goes rogue and becomes the metahuman threat Waller feared. Along with her magical brother Incubus, Enchantress starts turning people into zombies that look like walking blobs of caviar.

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Out of the talented cast, only Delevingne has received near-unanimous criticism. But it’s not her fault she gets stuck in a bikini and made to gyrate around in front of a CGI light show, or that her naturally deep, smoky voice is manipulated to sound, as one reviewer put it: ‘like Vanessa Redgrave on rhinoceros tranquilizer.’

Will Smith brings high-wattage star power, while Davis gives a masterclass on what an actor can do with a really thinly drawn character. As for Robbie – she may be in the squad, but she’s in a league of her own. Robbie’s superpower is almost to be super-engaging, to the point that articles have again and again tried to analyze her appeal.

Meanwhile, Jared Leto’s Joker doesn’t want to watch the world burn so much as rule the world with his ‘queen’ Harley by his side.

While some people felt cheated that Leto only gets about 15 minutes of screentime, others – perhaps already repulsed by the fortysomething alleged method actor’s reported on-set antics – will argue that 15 minutes of Leto goes a long way.

But it certainly means the Joker’s relationship with Harley is under-served.


Fans may be familiar with reports of the profound difficulties the production faced, and the movie does have plenty of problems with plot, structure, etc.

But as Brandon wrote about BvS, audiences don’t turn to comic books movies for intricate stories or well-developed romantic sub-plots.

The dominant genre in our time, comic book movies are about seeing characters like Harley Quinn and the Joker come to life, seeing how they are portrayed and how they interact with each other.

The Verdict

Suicide Squad’s greatest strength is its charismatic and gifted actors. They are all deeply committed to genuinely intriguing characters – both iconic and more obscure. It’s a shame the rushed script doesn’t give them room to breathe.

3/5

I live by the sea near my original hometown Portsmouth – the UK’s only island city! (That makes it sound way better than it really is.) When I say I’m ‘near Portsmouth’, I’m actually over the water on the Isle of Wight. My parents moved here when I was three. They took me with them. I loved books and wanted to be a writer or an actress. When I was ten my dad told my mother to stop buying me books because he didn’t want me to get “big-headed”. I left school at 13 (I have something in common with Jennifer Lawrence!) and then shortly after I went back to The Mainland. Amazingly, I went to university, where I acted in plays. I wanted to be an actress but stage fright nixed that. I’m currently stranded back on the Isle of Wight. After university, I went to live with my dad again. I was his caretaker through his depression, cancer and pulmonary fibrosis. He died October 2018. Slow to the Party was born the following year. I’d blogged on and off for a bit, but it helped me after his death to dedicate myself to it, while I rebuild (hopefully) my new life. I’m always a little slow to the party. Stuff just gets in the way.

Batman

Director Matt Reeves Drops Our Fist Look At The New Batmobile

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“It’s going to allow his character to have an arc so that he can go through a transformation”

In the modern era of cinema, the internet is no stranger to leaks and set photos. Most Directors are faced with the difficult challenge of deciding when and when not to release official photos. Recently, an onslaught of set photos have hit the web, showing the newly re-designed batman look, along with a glimpse of the “Batcycle” and possibly a look at catwoman.

Today, Matt Reeves decided to break the internet, giving us our first look at the new batmobile. Reeves describes ‘The Batman’ as a noir style film, told squarely on the shoulders of the dark knight. It would appear that Reeves is going with a truly grounded approach to the character. A “Year two” Batman, taking on Gotham’s criminal underworld, with a rogues gallery of villains.

“It’s very much a point of view-driven, noir Batman tale,” he said. “It’s told very squarely on his shoulders, and I hope it’s going to be a story that will be thrilling but also emotional. It’s more Batman in his detective mode than we’ve seen in the films. The comics have a history of that. He’s supposed to be the world’s greatest detective, and that’s not necessarily been a part of what the movies have been. I’d love this to be one where when we go on that journey of tracking down the criminals and trying to solve a crime, it’s going to allow his character to have an arc so that he can go through a transformation.”

‘The Batman’ hits theaters June 25, 2021 | Stars: Robert Pattinson, Zoe Kravitz, Colin Farrell, Andy Serkis, Paul Dano, Peter Sarsgaard, Jeffrey Wright 

 

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Action

Justice League Dark: Apokolips War | Official Trailer – HD

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Genre:

Animation

Release Date:

2020 (Video)

Director:

Matt Peters and Christina Sotta

Cast:

Tony Todd, Rebecca Romijn, Rosario Dawson, Rainn Wilson, Jason O’Mara, Hynden Walch, Jerry O’Connell, Shemar Moore

Plot Summary:

A Sequel to Justice League Dark (2017) involving Jack Kirby’s New Gods.

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Batman

Matt Reeves Drops First Look | Batsuit Test From ‘The Batman’

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Fans have been waiting weeks since filming began for Matt Reeves’ ‘The Batman,’ for a quick glance at the new batsuit. Now we have our first official look at what Robert Pattinson will look like dawning the cape and cowl of the dark knight. We also get our first listen at the musical tone we can expect from the upcoming film, which to no surprise, is dark and ominous. Pattinson would like to see Batman receive an R-Rating saying that it would free his character up to do more:

“The only thing that’s more complicated is the rating. As soon as you make something an R-rated movie, you’re freed up to do so much stuff. In terms of the character itself, I want to push it as far as it possibly can go. And I think Matt Reeves does as well. You can do crazy stuff with that part.”

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