Deadpool

Though we haven’t posted in a while, here’s our take on the very popular Deadpool. Directed by Tim Miller and starring Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, and T.J. Miller, it is Rated R for strong violence and language throughout, sexual content and graphic nudity

From IMDB: This is the origin story of former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson, who after being subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopts the alter ego Deadpool. Armed with his new abilities and a dark, twisted sense of humor, Deadpool hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life.

9 out of 10

Comic book movies has never been popular. But with this slew of both solo and team up superhero films in the past few years as well as in the future has brought in an oversaturation of the genre. So seeing a film like Deadpool that flips the cliches of this genre on its, similarly like in Guardians of the Galaxy a few years ago, feels very refreshing even to the most die hard comic book fans. Deadpool stars Ryan Reynolds as the titular anti­hero character Wade Wilson who becomes the “merc with a mouth” after a set of crazy experiments on him that gives him a healing factor. He then sets on a revenge plot on the man who did these experiments on him and save his fiancee, played by Morena Baccarin. The film has gotten a lot of buzz because of its R rating and its hilarious marketing campaign that included marketing the film has a romantic comedy.

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Firstly, Reynolds is outstanding as both Wade Wilson and Deadpool. He had technically played the character before in X­-Men Origins: Wolverine, a film with so much studio involvement that they really butchered the character of Deadpool. So ever since, Reynolds has been fighting to get his own solo movie made alongside first time director Tim Miller because of their love for the character. And it shows in Reynolds quick wit and constant fourth wall breaks. Deadpool, in the comics, knows that he’s in a comic book and so will talk directly to the audience about what is happening. So it is only fitting that in this movie, Wade Wilson knows he’s in a movie and constantly makes references to the events of the film as well as the superhero genre as a whole, which is flat out hilarious. The comedy in this film is so fast and frequent that it took me multiple viewings to pick up on all of it, including the dialogue between Reynolds and his best friend Weasel, played by T.J. Miller. It is easily the funniest comic book movie I can remember in a long time.

The action and direction is also very well done. This movie is a hard R in its rating with much blood and hilarious gore as well as some great use of swears. The film only had a budget of $58 million, small compared to other superhero films, but forced the filmmaker to use practical effects and a smaller scale over a CGI­fest, which makes the film more condensed and tight that doesn’t overshadow its story. This is for good reason because the story smartly weaves in his origin and the present day rather than giving the character’s backstory all at once. It also is able to create an honest relationship between Wilson and Baccarin’s characters that makes you care about how the two will end up, which is pretty surprising from a comic book movie.

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But this does lead into one of my criticisms in that the story separates the two for contrived reasons that seemed more necessarily for the plot than anything. Also, the section of Wade going through the experiments felt a little long and self­serious for the rest of the film. But these are really just nitpicks because Deadpool is a much needed new take on the comic book genre and a very well executed film as well from both sides of the camera.
~Seth

8 out of 10

Are you sick of the superhero setup? Does the endless franchise-building and table-setting nauseate you? Are you quite literally one Samuel L. Jackson post-credits scene away from spewing? What about those formulaic plots driven by characters whose action figures have more personality?

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If you just nodded at your screen and fumed over the latest $11 you gave to Warner Brothers or Buena Vista, have I got the film for you. What if I told you there is a feature out there that’s gleefully dark and profane enough to make Tarantino blush a little? What if I told you that it lampoons its own genre with expert precision while still managing to be a totally exemplary comic book film? My jaded friends, the voice of your cynicism has arrived and its name is Deadpool. It’s f—-ing hilarious.

Deadpool expertly targets the tropes and cliches present in every superhero film today and fires at will, dropping several meta references and regularly taking digs at itself. Even the opening credits for example find a way to attack the all too common casting cliches we audiences have mercilessly been bombarded with. Yet, at the same time, Deadpool is a labor of love for the comic book antics it sets its sights on; no film would lunge at a genre this hard without being a bit of a romantic letter for the category.

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With this following the spectacularly mindbending X-Men retcon Days of Futures Past, Fox has proven it can self-evaluate and clean up its own series as the studio reintroduces Ryan Reynolds’s portrayal of the Merc with a Mouth with all the umph it was sorely missing the first round (Don’t remember it? Neither do I.). Reynolds is given more than enough rollicking dialogue to chew on and, boy, does he do it justice, nailing every cue, snatching the screen every second and making the extremely well-designed (props to the wardrobe department here) scarlet suit work for him.

But it’s not only our namesake hero who gets a touchup with the reboot, the steel goliath Colossus breaks back into film, this time sporting his original design and bonafide Russian accent (If you read X-Men, either of those additions is enough to make you swoon a little). Colossus’s role in the film actually cements that Deadpool is actually a bit of an effective X-Men movie in and of itself: the mutants may not get boatloads of screentime but they actually play their part well as punch-clock, dispatched heroes.

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Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) pauses from a life-and-death battle to break the fourth wall, much to the dismay of his comrades Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) and Colossus (voiced by Stefan Kapicic).

Deadpool’s plot is relatively standard and predictable but there’s enough humor and subversion to carry one through. As far as my desire for a sequel goes, I honestly do think this would work best as a one-shot satire but, obviously, Hollywood moguls probably won’t agree. Whether there’s enough fun fodder for a few more installments is anyone’s guess but, hey, we’ll probably get a few good sequel jokes in at the very least. For now, let’s just enjoy Deadpool for the beautiful project it is (And lament that there was no Wolverine cameo).
~Zach

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Hail, Caesar!

Our first review post-Oscars is the Coen Brother’s newest feature film, Hail, Caeser! Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, and Alden Ehrenreich, it is rated PG-13 for some suggestive content and smoking.

From IMDB: Hail, Caesar! follows a day in the life of Eddie Mannix (Brolin), a Hollywood fixer for Capitol Pictures in the 1950s, who cleans up and solves problems for big names and stars in the industry. But when studio star Baird Whitlock  (Clooney) disappears, Mannix has to deal with more than just the fix.

6 out of 10

I knew something was up when this movie was set for release in February. We all knows what happens when movies are released in February. They either suck or are rom-coms. Or Deadpool (more on that next week!). Unfortunately for Hail, Caesar!, it fell into the first category. Suck may be a rather strong word, so for a Coen Brothers film with a slew of stars— Brolin, Clooney, Fiennes, Johansson, Tatum, Hill, Swinton, McDormand, to go through pretty much the entire cast— disappointing might be the most appropriate adjective. 

I will say, there are plenty of really funny moments, largely due to the commitment from the cast to the period. The period style is maintained throughout, buoyed by great costumes and production design but solidified by some really solid performances all around.The entire cast does a very good job; there is no true weak point. Everyone does a fantastic job of staying in the era and dramatizing the time period. Clooney and Fiennes were both hilarious, poking fun of the 1950s Hollywood with perfection. Tatum’s musical number was a sight to behold. Even newcomer Alden Ehrenreich, playing young movie star Hobie Doyle, holds his ground and is pretty funny in what ends up being a sizable role.

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But the acting can only get it so far; the screenplay was relatively weak, incorporating many characters who ended up being useless (namely Johansson and Hill). I kept expecting them to have something to do with the conclusion of the film, but they literally just disappeared. The plot was very scattered; there were a lot of characters without a purpose and a climax that made absolutely no sense and was uninteresting. What was the deal with communism? I still don’t understand. Hail, Caeser!’s primary issue was its failure to amount to anything as a film; the ending was not satisfying nor did it make any sense. A movie with a great cast and so much potential was ruined by its failed storyline, a shame because the Coen Brother’s are usually so good with that.

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The Coen Brothers style is prevalent, from the quirky dialogue to the signature Roger Deakins cinematography. And I personally am a huge fan of them, so the eccentric nature of the film was not unexpected. In fact, I think without that signature style, the film would have lacked any charm at all. Hail, Ceaser! is a Coen Brother’s film that is funny and decent entertainment for six dollar movie Tuesday, but not a movie that I’ll remember years from now.
~Vig

8 out of 10

The Coen Brothers are some of my favorite directors making movies today. With films like Fargo and The Big Lebowski, they make some of the most wonderfully strange and critically­ acclaimed movies in the last thirty years. Now there latest film is Hail, Caesar!, takes place in 1950s Hollywood, focusing on Josh Brolin’s character, who is the head of the fictional Capitol Pictures and his adventures. The trailers focused on the production of the film “Hail, Caesar” and their troubles as their leading man, played by George Clooney, is kidnapped by a odd group of people.

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But the film is more about a day in the life of Brolin’s character in its craziness, and moreover, the Coen Brothers’ love letter to this interesting period of cinema. Brolin links us in between incredible set pieces like Scarlett Johansson in a fantastical swimming dance and Channing Tatum in a sailor’s’ musical number. And it is quite interesting to watch. The film has been getting some mixed reviews from fans who are confused about what the movie is and its unsatisfying ending. And I did walk out wanting closure, with a few plot elements that are picked up and put down before being fully explored, but it made me thinking about the film in a way that I wouldn’t have before.

I also found myself laughing consistently throughout the film. It isn’t like normal comedy with big over the top gags, but is more understated and happens in the really quick dialogue. Many well known actors, like Frances McDormand and Tilda Swinton, come in for little scenes and are hilarious in the simplicity of these characters in the overall world of the film. It also appears like really famous actors, like Brolin and Clooney, are genuinely having a really great time acting in this film.

The film is lensed by great cinematographer Roger Deakins, who once again knocks it out of the park by putting real vibrancy in the world and making the set pieces actually feel like you are watching a film in the 1950s, which is truly incredible.

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Overall, the film is definitely not the Coen Brothers best in its meandering through 1950s Hollywood, but I found myself incredibly engaged until the abrupt ending. It is another strangely structured and plotted Coen Brothers film that may have some audiences feeling sour when they leave, but is definitely not one to fully dismiss in its ambition. And being a huge fan of their offbeat style, I fully enjoyed it.
~Seth