Justified & Ancient
- Mar 10, 2015
In fairness, a lot of them are kids.
Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn): Another DC film, very much in the adult mode of Joker but not quite meeting those standards. Still a good, watchable film though. BoP opens with an animated backstory for Harley Quinn, detailing even how shre smashed nuns with a bat. Harley (Margot Robbie) brings us up to date on how life has been without the Joker, a split which leaves her with conflicted feelings. It has also complicated her life as now many crooks are out to take revenge on her as she is no longer under the Joker's protection. She realises that she must become a force in her own right and along the way she narrates a tale which cuts backwards and forwards in time, relating how Birds of Prey came together and the story of a diamond and a teenage pickpocket (Ella Jay Basco).
The origin story of Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is intriguing, from her childhood days to her emergence as an assassin who will shoot or stab you but prefers to use a crossbow. Black Canary (Jumee Smollett) finds her voice after saving Harley from being kidnapped and working as a driver for Black Mask (Ewan McGregor) a crazed villain even by DC standards, he likes to have his enemies kinned alive by his evil henchman Zsasz (Chris Messina). At this point I should insert a warning that there are some extremely disturbing scenes in this film, certainly not one for the squeamish.
Some great individual fight scenes and mass brawls along the way to a finale at an amusement park which looks positively post-apocalyptic. Harley develops as an character in this film (I loved her pet hyena, Bruce) which (imho)l has been under-rated by some film critics who have little understanding of comic book narratives or how they are translated on to the big screen. Directed by Cathy Yan with the screenplay by Christina Hodson. 7/10.
Unfortunately, Suicide Squad is not very good. The writing and plotting are derisory. Margot Robbie (and others) do the best with what they've got given, but I sprained my eyes rolling them by the end. There is one very good scene in a bar though.I'm actually interested in The Suicide Squad the last DC film I saw was The Dark Knight Rises.
Unfortunately, Suicide Squad is not very good. The writing and plotting are derisory. Margot Robbie (and others) do the best with what they've got given, but I sprained my eyes rolling them by the end. There is one very good scene in a bar though.
ohhhh thank you! Yes, that sounds much more appealing.Suicide Squad sounds appalling on multiple levels, I haven't seen it and won't be doing so. James Gunn is doing a reboot/different take on the same concept entitled The Suicide Squad, which it appears will be an out and out cartoony black comedy, which I am interested in. I don't know if they will change the title to further differentiate it from the other film. There's been multiple "suicide squads" within DC comics with a revolving door of characters.
Joker: Gotham City is a grim place to live in (it's been twinned with Cromer), refuse collectors on strike, social services being cut back, widespread violent crime, a sharp divide between the rich and the poor. The Joker works as a clown at an agency where the clowns have to punch in on a time clock. He gets the worst gigs, beaten up by kids when he's advertising a closing down sale. Loses his psychiatrist and medication due to the cutbacks. He has to look after his crazed invalid mother who writes to billionaire Thomas Wayne begging for help as she worked for him decades ago. Then he loses his job. All of this pushes him to breaking point.
We have a killer clown pursuing his prey along subway trains and platforms. Long corridors in hospitals, apartment buildings, steep sets of steps. A city on the brink of class war. When three of his employees are slain by the Joker Wayne decides to run for mayor, on a 1% platform, calling the poor clowns. He gets his answer as mobs riot while wearing clown masks. They see the Joker as a hero. Some scenes of savage violence as the Jokers break from reality continues and his new villain persona emerges. Great scenes of hordes of clowns travelling by subway trains to protests and riots. Very much an adult version of the Joker with an outstanding performance by Joaquin Phoenix in the title role. Robert De Niro plays Murray Franklin a talk show host originally adored by the Joker. We get to meet Alfred and the young Bruce Wayne but this is the Joker's story. Writer, director and producer Todd Phillips delivers a dark origin tale which likely puts himself and Phoenix in the running for Oscars. 9/10.