Jabberwocky Review

 

jabberwocky

O Frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

 

Director: Terry Gilliam

Star: Michael Palin

Year Made: 1977

Genre: Comedy/Fantasy

Running Time: 1 Hour, 45 five minutes

 

Jabberwocky is the directorial debut of ex-Monty Python member and probable Indian curse victim (serious, just look up how many problems this guy has when making films) Terry Gilliam. The film is about the misadventures of young peasant Dennis Cooper (Michael Palin) as he seeks his fortune in a land an unspecified medieval land being plagued by a huge monster. In order to woo the heart of the huge (and hugely unpleasant) fish merchant’s daughter, he heads to the city only to bumble his way into a tournament of champions and then a monster hunt. Over the course of his, adventure Dennis comes across crazed wanders, angry innkeepers, cross-dressing nuns, homicidal knights and an airhead princess.

While this isn’t technically a Monty Python movie (only half the troop worked on it) it still feels like one. All the Python elements are here: Deliberate anachronisms (Denis acts like an efficiency-obsessed 20’Th century entrepreneur), Slapstick and over the top gore (Dennis is kicked around like a football, and spectators at a joust end up soaked in blood) and humor blacker that everyone who boycotted the Oscars (after Dennis says his father is fine, we smash cut to his father having a heart attack). It has gotten somewhat of a bad reputation over the years, due to it coming out just a few years before “Monty Python’s Holy Grail”. Still, if I’m being honest I liked Jabberwocky just a little bit more than “Holy Grail”, even though it’s not nearly as quotable.

In Typical Gilliam fashion, the cinematography and camerawork are excellent. When out in the wood’s, even the most hideous shut in will appreciate the beauty of the English countryside. This is of course deliberately contrasted with the horrible squalor of the city and the ugly faces of the peasants and townsfolk. There’s not much to complain about except that Jabberwocky’s shtick, can get a little repetitive at times. Also, the characters are somewhat shallow, but I was ok with this, as most of the characters exist to be living punch lines. Speaking of characters, Dennis himself never really succeeds or fails due to his own skills it’s mainly due to circumstance, but since he’s a chump it’s fitting. If you’re looking for a slow-paced movie, look elsewhere because despite having a 105 minute run time, Jabberwocky almost never slows down. The movies pace is relentless and its gags come fast and frequent. For me, the fun part was seeing what absurd thing would happen next and not necessarily the characters themselves. If you enjoy the Pythons twisted sense of humor you’ll have a blast with Jabberwocky.

F.A.Q’s

Did I like the movie: Yes

Would I watch it again: Yes

Would I buy it: Yes

What’s keeping you off the Street: The Sidewalk

 

03

Dennis pisses away his time

 

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice Review

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More of this: Please

 

 

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice

Director: Zack Snyder

Star: Henry Cavill/Ben Affleck

Year Made: 2016

Genre: Action/Drama

Running Time: 2 Hours, 31 Minutes

Spoilers Ahead:

        Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is the latest big budget superhero block buster from DC comics, and (hopefully) the spring-board for the new DC line of superhero movies. As the title states, the movie centers around the conflict between Superman (Henry Cavill) and Batman (Ben Affleck) due to their different ideas of how to enforce justice. Lurking in the background is billionaire businessman Alexander Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) who plots to manipulate the two into becoming enemies. In a surprisingly good opening, we follow Batman in his civilian identity of Bruce Wayne as he gives us a ground-level perspective of the final battle of the previous Superman movie Man of Steel.

I never watched Man of Steel, but too “Batman V Superman’s” credit it does an excellent Job in filling me in on what I missed. After seeing the destruction that Superman’s battle with General Zod caused and being haunted by both nightmares of an apocalyptic future where superman rules the earth and his own previous failures (implied to be the death of Robin) Batman makes the decision to kill Superman before he goes Insane. On the other hand, Superman is implicated in a number of deaths during a rescue of Lois Lane in the Middle East. As public resentment against him grows, he learns about Batman’s increasingly violent crusade against crime. Superman then decides that batman must be stopped before he goes Insane. Also, while all this is going on the enigmatic Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) is … basically just hanging around and having brief conversations with Batman until she shows up at the final battle.

If all that sounds confusing, it’s because this movie is crammed with plot like a haggis is crammed with sheep parts. Even with all that, footage was cut to get it down to a PG-13 rating. When I first heard about this movie I wanted only one thing from it, I wanted Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman all teaming up to fight a giant monster. While this movie delivers on this (thereby justifying my ticket purchase) everything else is a giant mess. This movie has way too much going on at all times and it’s easy to see how people could get lost. This isn’t helped by Zack Snyder signature visual style, where every background and prop looks computer generated (and probably is). This isn’t to say that the movie is ugly, it’s often extremely beautiful. But the artificial look of everything is distracting and in a movie as fast paced and complicated as this you can’t afford to get distracted. It’s possibly due to stuff that was cut but even with the two and a half hour running time Batman V Superman relies too much on visions, dream sequences and contrived coincidences too move the plot forward.

With all that boring negative technical stuff out-of-the-way let’s talk about something good. Almost all the cast give excellent performances, Ben Affleck surprised everyone (myself included) by nailing the role of Batman. He shifts between the charming playboy and the brutal vigilante with ease and actually makes you feel his mental and physical pain. Gal Gadot, is superb as Wonder Woman despite her limited screen time. She gets both the loving diplomat and warrior goddess sides of the character down perfectly. Jessie Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor has pissed off a lot of people due to how completely different he is from the suave and perfectly controlled version in the comics. I didn’t mind him as much, possibly because I just kept picturing him as an insane Mark Zuckerberg. The one who really pisses the bed is Henry Cavill. While Jesse Eisenberg is at least memorable, Cavill is utterly forgettable. He posses none of the warmth or charisma that you would come to expect from such a kind and beloved character like Superman, he actually seems more comfortable playing Superman’s alter ego, Clark Kent. The supporting cast does a very good job at picking up Cavill’s slack, but his Superman is just too bland to care about and that hurts the movie badly. “Batman V Superman” is an interesting movie and worth seeing for any comic book fan simply for the spectacle of it all. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s nearly as good as it could have been and the ugly effects of studio mismanagement and greed probably hurt it a lot. Wait till this one is out on DVD and rent the director’s cut if only so you can talk about it with your friends, otherwise, skip it.

The one who really pisses the bed is Henry Cavill. While Jesse Eisenberg is at least memorable, Cavill is utterly forgettable. He posses none of the warmth or charisma that you would come to expect from such a kind and beloved character like Superman, he actually seems more comfortable playing Superman’s alter ego, Clark Kent. The supporting cast does a very good job at picking up Cavill’s slack, but his Superman is just too bland to care about and that hurts the movie badly. “Batman V Superman” is an interesting movie and worth seeing for any comic book fan simply for the spectacle of it all. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s nearly as good as it could have been and the ugly effects of studio mismanagement and greed probably hurt it a lot. Wait till this one is out on DVD and rent the director’s cut if only so you can talk about it with your friends, otherwise, skip it.

F.A.Q’s

Did I like the movie: Yes (but only because it had Batman/Wonder Woman/Superman fighting a giant monster)

Would I watch it again: Yes (but only the director’s cut on DVD to see what was taken out)

Would I buy it: No

Pose an existential question: A Gingerbread man sits in a Gingerbread house. Is the house made of him or is he made of house

 

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This is cool and all. But for Fu$% sake Superman crack a smile.