Review: ‘Justice League’ (flawed escapism is served)

Passable — that’s all you really wanted to know, right?

As the fifth movie considered part of the DC Cinematic Murderverse following Man of Steel, When Batman Met Superman, Suicide Squad, and Wonder Woman, the Justice League at last arrives, unites, and… justices! In a world without an Emo-Man (Henry Cavill), Batfleck (Ben Affleck) risks his Fortune 500 status and his secret identity to recruit warriors for battle with help from WonderGal (Gal Gadot). His dossier includes AquaDrogo (Jason Momoa), String-Art Flash (Ezra Miller), and Phantom of the Iron Man (Ray Fisher). Together they must band together against super-henchman “born to be wild” Steppenwolf — looking like the little brother of Surtur the fire demon while sounding like Liam Neeson — and an army of retrofitted dragonfly-winged Chitauri that survived the Battle for New York in Marvel’s The Avengers. Can DC cut straight to a group film, introduce three new characters with abbreviated origin stories, and still make up for that BvS monstrosity mashup?

It’s no secret DC aka Warner Bros. has been gunning for the Marvel aka Disney’s multi-phase success-story film franchise — not because they want to torpedo it but because they want to make those kinds of bucks, too. While the MCU took a cautious approach starting with Iron Man and building to The Avengers, DC couldn’t wait and rushed head-on into throwing everything at the wall looking for stick-ons. Anyone watching box office numbers and social media the last few years knows it’s been a mixed bag trying to please the DC fanbase and produce must-see tent pole flicks that casual fans will flock to. Under pressure to repeat the surprise hit of Wonder Woman earlier this year and doing damage control over Dawn of Justice’s complaints and missteps — never mind switching directors from Zack Snyder to Joss Whedon — can anything hitting the big screen achieve all of these goals? The last time anything like this was tried, Superman Returns was the result…
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Review: ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ (life not important — only comedy)

The Marvel Cinematic Universe dips a hilarity-ensued toe into the DC Cinematic Murderverse.

After another round of keeping the Marvel universe safe, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) returns to Asgard to unmask Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in the guise of Odin (Anthony Hopkins). After getting directions from Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), the step-brothers learn too late that Odin’s waning power has released Hela (Cate Blanchett) from her exile and unleashed her revenge upon Asgard itself. A clumsy attempt to stop her ascension results in Thor being pushed out of the Bifrost and crash-landing on the planet Sakaar, where he is promptly captured by a local “recruiter” (Tessa Thompson) and delivered to the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) to fight in gladiatorial games for amusement. With only Heimdall (Idris Elba) standing between Hela and the complete destruction of Asgard, can Thor fight his way past Sakaar’s current champion Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) to save his homeland, his people, and himself?

From What We Do in the Shadows actor/director Taika Waititi, the trailers for Thor 3 promises the fun of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and no shortage of epic comic book battles. While the 70s rock soundtrack selections highlights Jack Kirby-influenced imagery — Blanchete’s Hela looks nothing short of incredible — it seems there’s an awful lot of end-of-days destruction going on in these ads to be the rip-roaring comedy adventure they hint at. Should Ragnarök, the Viking apocalypse of legend and “The Doom of the Gods,” be a vehicle for comedy?
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Review: ‘Happy Death Day’ (it’s your birthday)

A potential ripoff crafted into homage horror.

Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe) is a distracted college cliché going through the motions, waking up in the dorm room of nice-enough guy Carter Davis (Israel Broussard) with no memory of how she ended up there. With a telling look hinting this isn’t her post-party black out, Tree makes her way back to her sorority house, a stronghold of superficiality endured long enough to change clothes, show up late for class, and attempting to get some snogging in on one of her married professors before getting back to another night of campus partying… until she’s murdered by a baby-face-masked killer. Tree instantly awakens to find herself back in nice-guy’s dorm room — on the same day. No, it wasn’t a dream… but is there any escape?

The idea of living one day over and over isn’t new; the filmmakers were smart enough not to even try to disguise the main inspiration: Groundhog Day. Unfortunately, this is a horror film about a young woman being murdered repeatedly, essentially being terrorized for the benefit of the viewers. As a perfect vehicle for a Halloween movie, it also runs the gambit of celebrating violence toward women, a hot-button topic these days even when showcasing female empowerment to overcome victimization. Can a reworked Bill Murray vehicle featuring a lady lead manage to entertain while avoiding gratuitous exploitation and a traditional downer ending while still becoming a satisfying October slasher?
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MovieCrypt.com Halloween 2017 Clip Show!

31 videos promised; 31 videos delivered…
even with recycled footage and highlights. See? You don’t have to watch them all — but you really should.

Watch the entire playlist in one sitting! Fun for the entire undead family!

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Grim D. Reaper’s Halloween Highlights: Texas Ren Fest 2017

October 30th & 31st — Halloween-Sized Video!
Lord Randolph was clever enough to negotiate my services this year for a little light Halloween heckling at the Texas Renaissance Festival. Chainmaille Fashions (shoppe #22) was the scene of the crime! Here are about fifteen minutes of highlights and interaction — enjoy! (Note: we’re counting this as *two* due both to a rendering issue and the fact it’s ten times bigger than the rest. We’ll do a bonus video if you’re sore about it).


Watch highlights below!

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Scenes from a Renaissance – Part I

October 29th — Video #29.
Grim D. Reaper hangs out during the month of October at the Texas Renaissance Festival in Todd Mission, Texas.
Let’s be honest: you don’t get many chances to glimpse Death before your one-time meet-and-greet, so take advantage of it whenever you can.

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The Lost Skeleton Gets Plugged

October 28th — Video #28.
Dancing aliens, cheesy monsters, doing science, and of course: lost skeletons.
Watch these classics for Halloween… or any time!

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