The Badger On: Doctor Strange (Movie)

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I am going to admit right from the beginning that I was a bit ambivalent about seeing this movie. I am not one to avoid spoilers and with this one I didn’t seek out anything like I might have done with any of the other comic book movies or any other movie that I had been planning on seeing.

I saw this one because my bf wanted to see it as he has a bit of a man-crush on Benedict Cumberbatch. Even my niece who is always eager to come see a comic-book movie or any movie with us for that matter was not super eager to see. They both came out of it liking it better than I did but then I guess being a DC girl I am getting tired of the Marvel/Disney team getting it ‘right’ while DC/Warner Brothers are not so much. Maybe also I am trying my best to find fault with it just because I want to.

I am not saying that I didn’t like the movie, because like all Marvel movies it was well made, written well, acted well and the effects were great. A little background maybe. I am not overly familiar with the character so what I know comes this and cartoon movie that I had seen.

Doctor Strange is an arrogant, ego driven neurosurgeon who has a car crash and damages his hands. After spending all his money on trying to fix his hands so that he could perform surgery again he ends up in Nepal where he is taught magic by the Ancient One and eventually becomes a sorcerer supreme and a protector of the Sanctums, three building found in London, New York and Hong Kong, from Dormammu of the Dark Dimension who wants to take over the earth.

Now back to the movie. The whole movie Benedict Cumberbatch reminded me of someone else with his well-done but fake American accent and it wasn’t until the last third of the movie that I finally figured it out who and it made me a little disappointed not only in him but the movie as well. I don’t know if it his choice or he was directed to do so but his accent and performance to an extent reminded me of Robert Downey Jr and in particular his portrayal of Tony Stark/Iron Man. Even his appearance kind of reminded me of him. The characters do have things in common with their arrogance and egoism but still I am sure that Benedict could have found a way to portray that. Merlin knows that his version of Sherlock Holmes has enough of those characteristics  to pull it off.

All other performances were great. Though there was a lot of uproar in relation to Tilda Swinton playing the Ancient One because in the comic books it is a Tibetan male. Changing the character to a white female was seen as white-washing and also changing the sex for the change itself. Despite this she did do a really good job as did Benedict Wong as Wong, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Karl Mordo, Mads Mikkelsen as Kaecilius and Rachel McAdams as Christine Palmer. The stand out character however was Benedict Cumberbatch Cloak of Levitation as it was truly amusing along with Wong.

The movie despite have two female characters will not pass the Bechdel test as they don’t interact, I don’t consider the Ancient One’s death scene to be an interaction, let alone have a discussion to talk about a man. Of course if they did they would most likely talk about Strange and his arrogance and egoism.

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The Badger On: Suicide Squad (Movie)

 

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First of all I would like to say that I was suffering from a horrible head cold when I saw this movie and I don’t remember a lot of it due to it. My judgement might not be as good as a fully clearheaded badger would be (we were also in the second row from the front so the seats were not the best despite it being in reclining chairs).

I would also like to say that in preparation for this movie and also because it is my birthday at the end of the month I got a tattoo, a Harley Quinn inspired tattoo at that.

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Since I have already brought her up let’s start with Miss Quinn and the marvellous (am I even allowed to use the word marvellous considering this is a DC movie) Margot Robbie. She was absolutely brilliant and pretty much stole the movie. Look, I am not being biased because she is an Australian and a Queenslander to boot (though admittedly I am not a Queenslander, I just live there). Jai Courtney who played Captain Boomerang is also Australian was also in the movie and he didn’t make as much of an impression as Margot did but then he wasn’t given the screen time or scenes to steal, or even dialogue for that matter. The most interesting thing about him was his pink unicorn.

Now I could go on about the sexualisation of Harley in the movie; the fact that she gets changed in front of the squad and crew and the constant butt shots of her with the skimpy shorts. But considering that this is the way she is in the comics these days and being a sexy siren is part of her character I choose not to mainly cause I am not really that big of a feminist. I do, however, prefer classic Harley and I am just glad that they alluded to her origin when she pulled out the outfit from her box of stuff. They also recreated the Alex Ross Joker and Harley cover.

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Now enough about Harley, there were other characters in the movie that were not her and not Australian. There is a dude that goes by the name of Will who was a Man in Black and played an assassin called Deadshot. Now considering his run of failures of late a lot of people were worried about his casting not only due to the failures but also because he might overwhelm the picture with his star power and his style. Thanks to Margot though this did not happen but he did play the part well and was very compelling. It would have been the Will and Margot show if a two other characters didn’t try to stand them up.

The first person being Viola Davis as Amanda Waller. Ms Waller the only person that could be considered worse than the criminals she is trying to wrangle. Viola was Ms Waller at her manipulating  and domineering best. I have to admit Viola plays that kind of role well as she plays a similar role in How To Get Away With Murder. The other person to make their presence known was Jay Hernandez as El-Diablo. Though a member of the Squad he holds back his abilities due to his past and not wanting to kill anyone. After revealing his backstory to the crew he eventually starts to use his powers and ends up sacrificing himself for the team.

Speaking of a backstories one of the things they did at the beginning when Ms Waller was pitching the idea they gave us a little backstory/bio on each of the crims in question. This was a good idea and was done well.

Maybe I should talk a little about the plot. According to my boyfriend it didn’t really have one but he said the same thing about Guardians of the Galaxy and actually I see a few similarities between the two. Both have teams of what we can call criminals (though the Squads are much worse than the Guardians) who end up working together and essentially save the world/galaxy. The only difference is that the Guardians come together semi-willingly while the Squad are forced into it for reduced time of their sentences or their heads will be blown off.

OK the plot, from what I can tell and remember I had a head cold, Ms Waller assembles the team in the off chance that someone like a Superman comes in and kidnaps the President from the White House. She uses the former model come actress with the strange eyebrows as an example. Cara Delavigne as June Moone/Enchantress is an archaeologist who finds a totem of a witch and gets possessed by it. All she has to do is say Enchantress and the witch appears.

Ms Waller manipulates the very gullible and kinda boring soldier Rick Flagg to watch over Ms Moone and they end falling in love. One night Ms Moone says the name while asleep and disappears breaks into Ms Waller home find a totem that contains her brother Incubus and releases him. They then decide that because the humans don’t worship them as they should that they, like most bad guys do, remove most of them from the world and change the rest into stone like soldiers for their army.

The Squad is assembled, Harley, Deadshot, Boomerang, Diablo, Killer Croc and Slipknot (for about two seconds) though they are told that they have to rescue a very important official and head to Midway City with Rick Flagg acting as their handler and Katana as his body guards. All of them bar Katana have a bomb implanted in their neck which Boomerang manipulates Slipknot into activating.

Harley who is in contact with the Joker the whole time, had I mentioned that the Joker was in this as well as Batman and a small cameo from the Flash. Well he is and is planning on rescuing her. Well he get a hold of the person that helped with the bombs and is able to disable Harley’s. After the Squads first battle and rescue of Ms Waller who was the person they needed to retrieve, the Joker has hijacked the rescue chopper and takes Harley. After a brief reunion the chopper is blown up but Harley is able to jump out before it crashes.

Deadshot finds the info in relation to Enchantress that they were not told about and in disgust the team go their separate ways but all end up in a bar where Diablo tells them what he accidentally did to his family and why he does not use his abilities. Rick Flagg joins them and they go and defeat Enchantress, who is doing a very strange dance, and Incubus and in the process save Ms Moone.

For their participation they all get 10 years off their prison sentences and Deadshot gets to see his daughter, Harley gets an expresso machine, Killer Croc gets a big screen TV and Boomerang gets nothing because ten years off 3 life sentences was nothing at all to him.

At the end Joker, who is alive because why would you kill him, saves Harley.

This movie also has a kickass soundtrack with the music corresponding really well with the characters themselves and also with what is going on within the movie.

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Trailer

 

 

The Hateful Eight (Movie)

There is just something about Quentin Tarantino that I like. I think it is just his passion and the obvious enjoyment he gets out of what he does. Kevin Smith is very much like that as well. He has a way of telling a story and you can always tell a Quentin Tarantino movie when you watch it.

 

Despite that I can’t say that the Hateful Eight is his best work, I still think that honour goes to Pulp Fiction but that could be debated at a later date. It was way too long for my liking and location wise it really only takes place in two places a carriage travelling in a snow storm that will turn into a blizzard and a roadhouse called Minnie’s Haberdashery on the way to Red Rock, Wyoming. In the initial carriage scenes we meet O.B the driver of John Ruth (Kurt Russell) who is a bounty hunter known as the Hangman and his prisoner who he is handcuffed to, Daisy Domague (Jennifer Jason Leigh).

 

On the road they pick up another bounty hunter and former war hero Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L Jackson) who is heading the same way with his own dead bounties. Ruth lets him on mainly due to the letter from Lincoln that Warren has in his pocket. They then encounter Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins) who claims to be a new Sherriff of Red Rock. They arrive a Minnie’s where they have to nail the door shut every time. The owners of the roadhouse have apparently gone to visit Minnie’s mother, and is left in the charge of Bob (Demian Bichir) a Mexican whom Warren is very suspicious of.

 

Within the roadhouse is an old southern General Sandy Smithers (Bruce Dern), the hangman of the region Oswaldo Mobray (Tim Roth) and a cowpuncher by the name of Joe Gage (Michael Madsen). From the get go Ruth is suspicious of everyone thinking that there is someone in the roadhouse that wishes to set Domague free, with only Warren that he trusts.

 

Naturally as it is a Tarantino movie there is a lot of violence and general bad language and by the end just about everyone is dead. There is only one thing that I will be a little nit-picky about and that is Zoe Bell. Now she did not play a huge part in the story admittedly but I just thought a Kiwi and a female driving a team of horses in post-civil war Wyoming seemed unlikely and it bothered me so much so that I had to research to see if it was possible. It was but still….

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Jenni