Introducing our newest segment: Quickfire Reviews! This time around, Lee plays catch-up with this year’s “Deadpool” and “Creed”, and takes a look back at Studio Ghibli’s “Spirited Away” and the Coen Brothers’ “The Big Lebowski”.
Sometimes, there’s just no need for a full critique. Maybe the chance to influence cinemagoers has passed. Maybe somebody had the same view on a movie, but said it better. Maybe we’re not getting paid to do this, and so can’t afford the energy to write a whole review for “Deadpool” five months later but still want to get the scores out there for the ‘Year End’ list.
That’s where Quickfire Reviews come in; bite-sized criticism that lets you know how we felt about certain movies, past and relatively present, without having to commit your eyes to reading seven paragraphs dissecting the nature of humour in cinema.
Genuinely funny, with a sense of humour that somewhat seems entirely its own; a fact which should make it one of the greatest breakthroughs of its time. Instead, it’s merely a very good superhero film (how tragic).
While it claims to be above the tropes it repeatedly references, “Deadpool” falls flat in the third act when it merely goes through the giant set-piece motions that every other superhero film goes through.
Still, it’s got one of the greatest on-screen couples of all time, a sympathisable lead that should be utterly detestable, some of the best physical comedy in perhaps the last decade and a surprisingly sweet ending. Here’s hoping the sequel takes all that money and runs to the moon with it; I want this to get weird.
“Rocky VII: Adrian’s Revenge” should have been another tacked on entry in the already flabby Chronicles of Balboa. Instead, we get a grounded story about the various interpretations of legacy. Adonis lives under the legacy of his father and must decide how much he’s willing to trade from his own legacy to do what he wants to do; Bianca is forced to consider crafting a legacy lest she miss the opportunity when she’s older; Rocky lets us peer into the life of a man who has crafted his own legacy and has outlived it. It makes for some great juxtapositioning and fun discussion.
There’s a few odd stylistic choices, a few somewhat unnecessary call-backs to the original Rocky, a slightly rushed love story and while it’s not important to the story that’s trying to be told, it is a little reckless to assume we’d just side along with Adonis the spoilt rich heir simply because his intentions turn out to be pure. He’s arrogant and selfish and we simple must accept that about his character? Not a dealbreaker by any means, but just a consideration.
Really just wanted to throw my five cents in there on the matter: if you haven’t seen Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away, you really must. A modern fairytale in the truest sense, it abides by its own rules of storytelling and takes you for a ride you just could not possibly predict on entry.
Creative beyond parallel, it really presents a world you just want to revisit again and again. There are few greater achievements in my eyes.
But yes, it is a bit on the long side for an animation, so just keep that in mind.
The Big Lebowski
Perhaps the individual elements, out of context, are what people obsess over this film for. It does present a pastiche world for itself, some allegory about 90s living that I’m sure someone really digs. And sure, it’s irreverent in some of the right places, and it gets a few laughs here and there.
Ultimately though, it just wasn’t for me. Some of the most mean-spirited characters ever written bickering back and forth over nothing; sure, that’s the point. Whatever, man. This film deserves to exist, we can all agree on that. Would I recommend you view it? Only if two hour dives into frigid waters appeal.
Granted, I did really like “The Dude”. I just wish we were allowed to like him. But hey, that’s just, like, my opinion, man.