The Big Short

A new review from the desk of The Movie Snob.

The Big Short  (B+).  This movie is entertaining and infuriating and unnerving at the same time.  It’s sort of an educational movie in that it tries to explain, at least in broad outline, what caused the housing bubble and the following economic crash in 2007.  (Greed, stupidity, and lack of oversight all seem to have played large roles.)  When the jargon starts to get too complicated, director Adam McKay lightens the mood by pausing and bringing in Margot Robbie (Z for Zachariah) and Selena Gomez (Spring Breakers) to explain and simplify things for us.  But the movie is mainly entertaining because it focuses on a handful of financial outsiders and oddballs who figured out not only that the bubble was bound to burst (and even roughly when it would happen) but also how to cash in when it did.  These characters are well played by Christian Bale (American Hustle), Ryan Gosling (Blue Valentine), Brad Pitt (Troy), and especially Steve Carell (Seeking a Friend for the End of the World) as a tightly wound money guy who starts out thinking that the whole world is full of crooks and frauds and eventually realizes he still wasn’t cynical enough.  It’s not at all what I would have expected from McKay, director of Talladega Nights and Anchorman 2.  All in all, it’s a solid movie, but one that left me a little angry and a little nervous about the future.

American Hustle; Philomena

Mom Under Cover sets the record straight.

I liked American Hustle more than The Movie Snob.  I would give it an A and totally understand why it won the Golden Globe for best comedy/musical.  I found the opening scene a microcosm of the entire movie and a comment about life.  Christian Bale (who underwent quite a physical transformation from his Batman days) is putting the finishing touches on his elaborate comb-over as he prepares to leave for the day.  The things we do to feel comfortable going out in the world are a little bit of a con job.  How much of it do we believe?  How much are we really fooling others?  In some ways, we are all conning each other and ourselves—just as these characters do.  Sometimes we want to believe the façade we see even though clues abound.  Bradley Cooper’s complete and utter confusion when he realizes Amy Adams’ character is not British is a good example.  Cooper has the finesse to be totally believable as the FBI agent who thinks slightly higher of himself than he ought. J. Law rocks the ‘70s hair and makeup.  The crazy schemes are a wacky laugh-out-loud romp.

Another good movie I saw recently was Philomena. B+.  Judi Dench and Steve Coogan bring life to a real woman’s story about being forced by nuns to give her son up for adoption as an unwed, teenager mother.  Stephen Frears (The Queen; High Fidelity) directed a well-paced, heartwarming tale in the style of an odd-couple buddy movie.  The Catholic Church is scrutinized and found wanting for its treatment of young girls and their fatherless infants.  You will leave the theater googling to find out how much is true (hint:  all of it).  Seeing the real Philomena at the Golden Globes was a kick.

 

American Hustle

From the desk of The Movie Snob.

American Hustle (B).  Here’s the much-anticipated new movie from director David O. Russell, whose films The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook I liked a lot.  He unites four of the main cast members from those movies for this fictionalized tale about the “Abscam” scandal of the late 1970s–Christian Bale and Amy Adams plays a couple of small-time con artists, and Bradley Cooper plays a loose-cannon FBI agent who traps them into helping him set up a sting operation that gets increasingly crazy as it goes along.  Current It Girl Jennifer Lawrence plays Bale’s wife, and she’s more than a bit of a loose cannon herself.  There’s a lot to like about the film.  It’s got a lot of energy, and the actors and actresses are at the top of their games.  But I didn’t love it, or like it as much as Russell’s last two films.  I think I just don’t like movies about con games.  Most of the time I get totally confused and have no idea what’s going on.  The con games going on in American Hustle aren’t as complicated as some, so I think I basically followed what was going on, but the movie just didn’t grab me.  Still, it’s a decent flick, and it apparently got seven Golden Globe nominations, so by all means, check it out and see what you think.

The Dark Knight Rises

From the desk of The Movie Snob.

The Dark Knight Rises  (C).  I think I may be just about over the whole superhero thing.  I remember liking the two previous Batman movies well enough, but for some reason it felt like a chore to drag myself to this two-hour-and-forty-five-minute spectacle.  I finally got around to it yesterday, and, as my grade reflects, I wasn’t blown away.  When the movie begins, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale, Reign of Fire) has been in virtual seclusion for eight years, and Gotham City has enjoyed a long period of respite from supervillainy.  That vacation from reality ends when the city is conquered and sealed off from the outside world by a muscle-bound freak named Bane (Tom Hardy, Inception) and his band of thugs.  Secondary villain Catwoman (Anne Hathaway, Get Smart) is much less destructive but much nicer to look at.  For me, the whole thing was too much.  Subplots involving congressmen and control of Wayne Enterprises were too complicated for me to want to try to follow.  The film drags for a while after Bane conquers the city and seems to defeat Batman, and we get umpteen different versions of a particular bit of backstory that I could not have cared less about.  Some parts were quite unbelievable, even for a comic-book movie.   I hope they let Batman enjoy a lengthy retirement before the next reboot, but I’m not counting on it….

The Movie Snob’s 2010 Year in Review!

Welcome to The Movie Snob’s annual list of the best movies of the year. As usual, if I saw a movie in the theater in 2010, I may include it in this column even if it was technically a 2009 release. For the record, I saw 58 movies at the theater in 2010, and these are the ones you should try to see if you haven’t seen them yet.

Movie of the Year. This was not a tough decision — the year’s highlight for me was The Social Network, the popular and critically acclaimed dramatization of the invention of Facebook. It’s an engrossing story about how a bunch of greedy nerds built an empire — and then sued the pants off each other. I just saw a news item that the Winklevoss twins are trying to undo their $65 million settlement because they think they’re entitled to even more. Or maybe they’re just trying to lay the groundwork for a sequel.

Runner Up. It didn’t do so well at the box office, but I thought Never Let Me Go was an excellent adaption of a phenomenal book. I can’t say much about the plot, but it’s a sad tale set in a dystopian alternative reality. Thought-provoking without being (in my opinion) preachy. Put it in your Netflix queue. Wait — read the book first. Then put it in your Netflix queue.

Best Action/Adventure Flick. Will I lose my license to critique if I pick the remake of Clash of the Titans? As a kid, I loved the original, and I enjoyed the remake enough to see it twice in the theater — NOT the 3D version, which was brutally panned by the critics. It’s just good, stupid fun with mythology. Oh, I should mention Inception, because it was a fun, roller-coaster ride of a movie, even though I didn’t know what was going on half the time. And even though I’ll look like an idiot for preferring Clash of the Titans. Alice in Wonderland was pretty good too, and Alice’s duel with the Jabberwocky at the end was pretty action-y, so I’ll mention it in this category too.

Best Animated Movie. Unlike 2009, 2010 featured a bumper crop in this category. I’d give top honors to Toy Story 3, which had more exciting action and adventure than anything in the preceding category. But the quirky Fantastic Mr. Fox was also excellent, if a little offbeat. I also liked The Princess and the Frog quite a bit. But in addition to those films, I’d also recommend Megamind, Despicable Me, and How to Train Your Dragon as being well worth your time.

Best Comedy. I’m always hard-pressed to label any comedy “good,” much less recommend it as worth seeing. But I really, really liked a little-seen movie called City Island, starring Andy Garcia as an ordinary, blue-collar guy — a prison guard no less — who starts taking acting lessons on the sly. His wife thinks he’s having an affair; his teenage kids are complete mysteries to him; and then he inexplicably volunteers to take an ex-convict into his home. The plot clicks along very nicely, and I just enjoyed the heck out of it. The few other comedies I saw were wretched and don’t deserve a mention.

Best Documentary. I’ll go with the Johnny Depp-narrated When You’re Strange, which is about the short, strange career of the rock band The Doors. Nipping at its heels are the space documentary Hubble 3D (narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, I believe), and nature documentary Oceans (narrated by Pierce Brosnan).

Best Drama. Lots of strong contenders in this category this year. Maybe it’s just because I saw it very recently, but I’ll pick The Fighter, starring Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, and Amy Adams. It’s just a solid boxing movie with an underdog hero you can’t help rooting for. Too cliched for your taste? I understand. Turn the clock back and go with An Education, a dark tale about a bright but naive British girl on the verge of womanhood who gets seduced by a sleazy cad. Or stay closer to home with the even darker Winter’s Bone, about a courageous teenage girl (Jennifer Lawrence, in her breakout performance) who has to stand up to her seriously dangerous, meth-cooking relatives in the Missouri Ozarks if she wants to save her family’s farm. One last honorable mention: I really liked The Young Victoria. You don’t have to be an Anglophile to empathize with a spirited young woman born into the straitjacket of royalty.

Best Foreign Film. I would like to pick The Concert, a moving melodrama about a blacklisted Soviet music conductor who schemes his way into a comeback concert. I really enjoyed it at the time. But it did resort to an unpleasant Jewish stereotype to get a cheap laugh once or twice, and I have a hard time recommending it unreservedly. I also really enjoyed Kisses, an Irish movie about a couple of poor kids with bad home situations who decide to empty their piggy banks and run away from home. Honorable mention to the Italian movie Mid-August Lunch, which is a short, sweet little movie about a basically decent guy who is strapped for cash and agrees to take in a few elderly women for the weekend while their own children go away on holiday.

Honorable Mentions. I’ve already mentioned most of the worthwhile films of the year as honorable mentions in the specific categories above, but I can rattle off a few more that are worth a look. Michael Douglas turns in a good performance in Solitary Man. He plays a shallow, Gordon Gekko-like character, but on a much smaller scale. I didn’t see the Wall Street sequel, but this movie had to be much better than that. I liked The Kids Are All Right, about a very unusual family situation that develops when a couple of kids being raised by lesbians look for and find their sperm-donor father. Although it’s not the action movie it was purported to be, I liked The American, starring George Clooney as a world-weary hit man. (Be warned, it’s got some pretty graphic sex scenes in it.) Ben Affleck’s latest movie, The Town, is an entertaining film about a gang of Boston bank robbers. And still in current release you can catch Natalie Portman as a ballerina who’s not-so-slowly losing her marbles in Black Swan.

First Seen on Video This Year. Just one movie I simply must mention: The Big Lebowski. How did I miss seeing this movie? I found it completely ludicrous and utterly hilarious. OK, one more — The King of Kong, about a nice guy who just wants to compete fair and square for the title of Donkey Kong champion of the universe. I defy you not to get hooked on this movie.

So that’s my 2010 in a nutshell. Thanks for reading, and please post a comment!

The Fighter

New review from The Movie Snob

The Fighter (B+). Mark Wahlberg (I Heart Huckabees) stars in this based-on-a-true-story movie about Mickey Ward, a boxer from the blue-collar Boston suburb of Lowell, Mass. Ward has grown up in the shadow of his older brother, Dickey (Christian Bale, Reign of Fire), who never fulfilled his potential as a boxer and has now descended into crack addiction. Worse, Dickey and the boys’ mother Alice (Melissa Leo, Everybody’s Fine) are terrible managers for Mickey and get him into fights he can’t possibly win. But then Mickey starts dating a tough bargirl named Charlene (Amy Adams, redeeming herself from Leap Year) who teaches him to stand up for himself, and he has a shot at building a real boxing career. It’s not the most original story, but the plot does throw a couple of minor curveballs to keep it interesting. And the acting is fine all the way around, especially Bale as the drug-addled and semi-crazy Dickey.

Public Enemies

Movie Man Mike provides a new movie review

Public Enemies (B). For a two-and-a-half-hour film, I wouldn’t expect to find myself wanting more when it was over, but I did want more. Maybe not more footage, but more story. Backstory, to be precise. This is the story of John Dillinger, who is played by Johnny Depp. The action in this film is solid. The film is loaded with big-name actors, but it’s the background of the characters depicted that’s missing. You don’t get much of a sense of the characters’ history, motivation, or personality from the portions of the stories told. Also, I didn’t get a good feel for how much time the story occurred over, whether it was a matter of months or years. One weakness in my view was Christian Bale’s character. Bale plays FBI Agent Melvin Purvis, whose job it is to hunt down Dillinger. Unfortunately, Bale seems to be stuck in “Batman” mode. He’s still got that whispered growl he used as the caped crusader. I’m not sure what’s up with that. Anyway, the film was entertaining, but one that I wished I had waited to see as a rental.

Equilibrium

Video review from Movie Man Mike

Equilibrium. (B-) This film was broadcast on the Sci-Fi channel this past weekend. I was a little surprised that I had not seen it or heard of it before, as it stars Christian Bale. But the film was made before Bale debuted in Batman Begins and attained superstar status. It’s probably a good thing that the film wasn’t widely released because it might have hurt the debut of Batman Begins. Despite these observations, I enjoyed the film. If you like a film with lots of action-fighting and shooting–then this film will entertain you. The storyline is a little weak. The film is set sometime after the Third World War wherein mankind has determined that it can eradicate all further wars with a simple drug that suppresses all emotion. (Taking all emotion out of a film has a tendency to make it a little slow.) Removal of emotions also means removal of art and personal memorabilia that evoke feelings. In any event, there is a resistance force and Christian Bale is part of a special force of trained clerics whose job it is to eradicate the resistance. This film has shades of The Matrix, Gattica, and Blade Runner.

Terminator Salvation

New movie review from The Movie Snob

Terminator Salvation (C-). I was no huge Terminator fan to begin with, but I thought they were at least above-average action fare–even T3: Rise of the Machines. This one, however, didn’t work for me. There’s an opening flashback in which a condemned murderer named Marcus Wright agrees to donate his body to science after his execution. Then we flash forward to 2018, when the world is a post-apocalyptic wasteland and the war rages on between Skynet (the machines) and the Resistance (the humans). John Connor (Christian Bale, Laurel Canyon) is a charismatic leader within the Resistance, although he is not part of the high command. Wright suddenly turns up, looking none the worse for having been executed a couple of decades earlier, so he sets out to try to discover who has brought him back to life and why. Lots of stuff gets blown up as killer robots pop up every so often. The attractive Bryce Dallas Howard (The Village), plays Connor’s very pregnant wife and is given nothing in particular to do. Helena Bonham Carter (Fight Club) surprisingly pops up in a small role.

For me this movie had some problems rather like Christian Bale’s early bomb Reign of Fire, in which dragons(!) are roused from hibernation and lay waste the Earth. One big problem is how the humans are able to keep a decently functioning military intact, despite the robots’ awesome power and firepower. How do the humans manufacture all their jets, helicopters, weapons, and other technological wonders? And pump and refine all the oil necessary to make them go? For that matter, what do these people eat? There’s not a crop or herd animal in sight, and if there were the machines would presumably terminate them. Finally, how do these people (John Connor in particular) survive getting pummeled and tossed by the Terminators? Seems like one punch from these metallic behemoths ought to crush your organs to jelly. I can suspend disbelief as to a military computer system becoming self-aware and attacking humanity. But when a virtually unstoppable robot throws a human being across a room and into a metal girder, I can’t believe that person is getting right back up to continue the fight.

The Dark Knight

New review from The Movie Snob

The Dark Knight (B). As they say, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Sure there are exceptions for stuff like love, a baby’s smile, or Nicole Kidman. But most good things pall if you get too much of them, and this movie falls into that category. To be sure, Heath Ledger (Monster’s Ball) is riveting as The Joker. Christian Bale (American Hustle) is fine as the caped crusader. The action sequences are terrific, and some characters meet surprising fates. But at 152 minutes, it is just too much. For the last 20 or 30 minutes, I started wondering just where The Joker could possibly get that much dynamite and that many hired goons. My friend, CBG, once opined that the increasing length of action movies can be traced to The Return of the King, but it seems to go back much further to me. From that first Batman with Michael Keaton (Birdman), it seems to me that the trend has been more of everything–more villains, more explosions, and more minutes. The Dark Knight is like two very good action movies, played back-to-back and only slightly compressed. I emerged from the theater feeling good and pummeled. Less would have been more.

TMNT, The Prestige

New reviews from Nick at Nite

TMNT

My two and half year old son was such a trooper on Sunday that when he asked to see a movie we relented. He couldn’t sit still or even close to still during Happy Feet and so we were concerned that a movie would be a bad idea, but we didn’t want to disappoint him. So, recognizing that the only thing near family friendly was the animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, we set aside our better parental judgment, loaded the family wagon, and headed to the theater. I thought about giving the movie two reviews, one as if I had gone by myself and one as I went, with my little buddy. I decided that was not fair to the movie or my son. Honestly, if you are over the age of twelve and you go to this movie, by yourself, on a date, or in another group of adults … you need to put away the Dungeon and Dragons set and move out of your mom’s basement. My son loved this movie. When he was not staring at the screen munching away at popcorn, he was asking us to look at the movie, clapping, and cheering on the Ninja Turtles. He stood for a good portion of the movie, leaning over the seat in front of him, and desperately trying to get close to the action. Watching him enjoy the movie was worth the price of admission. As for the plot, something about a 3000 year old curse and bad guys with Ninja skills fighting against the Ninja Turtles who are trying to remember that they are brothers and really need each other to accomplish their goals. I give it a “B.” My son would give it an “A,” assuming he realized “A” meant really good.

The Prestige

Huh? It is a little hard to follow. Is it a flash forward, a flashback, or something different altogether? Or was it simply hard to follow because Christian Bale’s accent is thicker than anything dealt with in My Fair Lady? All in all not a bad movie. It is not as good as the other illusionist inspired flick, The Illusionist, but it is worth a view. The movie stars Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale who as magicians and illusionists become rivals following a terrible accident that kills Hugh Jackman’s wife. There are many twists and turns as these rivals try and out do each other and sabotage one another’s magic tricks. I had no idea where the movie was headed until the very end. So, I give it an “A” for originality, but a “C” for not being as good as The Illusionist, which gives the movie a “B” average.

Zathura; Shopgirl; Laurel Canyon

From the desk of The Movie Snob:

Zathura: A Space Adventure (B). I never saw Jumanji, but I get the idea that there is more than a passing resemblance between these two movies (based on books by the same author, I believe). Here, the protagonists are 10-year-old Walter (Josh Hutcherson, The Disaster Artist) and his 6-year-old brother Danny (Jonah Bobo, Crazy, Stupid, Love). Their parents are divorced, and they fight incessantly. When their dad leaves them alone in the house for a few minutes, Danny finds a beat-up old board game in the basement called “Zathura: A Space Adventure.” When he and Walter start to play the game, they are more than a little surprised to discover that their house has been ripped from the Earth and has become some sort of spaceship, orbiting a Saturnlike planet. Every time one of them takes his turn in the game, new dangers—or opportunities—arise, and it becomes apparent that they have to successfully finish the game in order to get back home. There are heart-warming (some might say treacly) messages about the importance of family and working together and stuff like that, and on the whole it’s a pretty good family-oriented movie. It is a little too long (113 minutes) and a little too scary for younger kids, and there is a little bad language that should have been excised. But it has some funny moments and generally keeps moving along at a nice adventuresome pace. I say check it out.  P.S. In my original review I didn’t note Kristen Stewart’s performance as the boys’ older sister, but since she’s famous now (in 2019) (see, e.g., New Moon) I guess I will.)

Shopgirl (C). Screenplay-writer Steve Martin (The Muppet Movie) swings and misses with this slight movie about a romance between young Mirabelle Buttersfield (Claire Danes, Stardust) and much older man Ray Porter (played by — what do you know? — Steve Martin). Mirabelle spends her days looking forlorn behind the glove counter at Saks Fifth Avenue in Los Angeles, and we are told up front that she is a lost and lonely soul from Vermont, anonymous and adrift in the big city, with a boatload of student debt to boot. She meets a friendly but eccentric (and not very clean-looking) fellow named Jeremy (Jason Schwartzman, The Overnight) in a laundromat, and he is immediately smitten. But then she meets Ray, a computer tycoon who jets back and forth from Seattle, and soon Jeremy is out of the picture. Or is he? All three characters in this romantic triangle have issues, and Ray’s in particular remain opaque throughout. I just never felt invested in any of the characters, which spells doom for a romantic drama like this. Also, the Puritan in me can’t help objecting to how quickly and easily these people jump into bed together. O tempora! O mores!

Laurel Canyon (B-). I saw this movie on DVD and liked it a little better than I liked Shopgirl. Sam (Christian Bale, pre-Batman Begins) and his girlfriend Alex (Kate Beckinsale, Everybody’s Fine) are freshly minted Harvard M.D.’s, and she’s writing a dissertation on fruit flies to get a Ph.D. as well. Sam takes a residency in L.A., and they plan to stay in his mother’s house, which is supposed to be empty. To Sam’s great dismay, it is not. His mother Jane (Frances McDormand, Moonrise Kingdom) is a record producer, and she and the band are in the house, working, drinking, and smoking pot. Nevertheless, Sam and Alex move in, and soon enough the sheltered Alex is forgetting all about her fruit flies and experimenting with all sorts of bad behavior. Meanwhile, Sam is tempted to stray by a second-year resident at the hospital where he is working. The message I took away from the movie is, “Don’t move to L.A.; you’ll go crazy and mess up your life.”

Batman Begins

Woo-Hoo! Today we had our 10,000th hit!

And now a new review from The Movie Snob:

Batman Begins (A-). I thought this movie was just about as good as a comic-book-superhero movie can be. The director takes the first third of the movie to tell us the backstory of how Bruce Wayne became the Dark Knight, and it is a great ride. Then it’s back to the seething cesspool of Gotham, where young Bruce gropes his way towards the familiar cowl and costume. Unlike the previous Batman movies (at least the two I saw), the focus here is squarely on the hero; there is no scene-stealing ubervillain to divert our attention from Wayne’s struggle to come to grips with his parents’ deaths and his tremendous appetite for vigilante-style justice. I didn’t see the George Clooney incarnation of the Caped Crusader, but I thought Christian Bale buried Michael Keaton and Val Kilmer with his outstanding performance. The film’s one weakness is Katie Holmes, who is pretty much a cipher. And why is her smile so lop-sided? It’s like half her face is paralyzed or something. For the sequel, bring back the love interest from Batman Forever, and we’ll have an A movie for sure.

Batman Begins; The Final Cut

New reviews from Movie Man Mike:

Batman Begins. B+ (for this genre of movies)
I went to this movie as a skeptic. While prior Batman movies have been mixed in their success, I didn’t like the idea of yet another Batman movie being made with yet another actor playing Batman. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. Christian Bale makes a pretty good Batman. And, it’s hard to criticize the all-star cast, including Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson, Tom Wilkinson, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, and Kate Holmes. The psychological background on Batman is intriguing and includes a sketch of his early training. Some of the stunts are a little hard to believe and I found my self questioning how he did some of them even though he had state-of-the-art technology to assist him, but by suspending reality and enjoying the moment and the action, I found the movie really quite entertaining. In fact, I think it is my favorite of the Batman movies.

The Final Cut. B-
This is a 2004 film starring Robin Williams. It’s out on DVD and I decided to check it out because it got some pretty good reviews. This film reminded me a great deal of a film from the early 1980’s called Brainstorm, which starred Christopher Walken and Natalie Wood. The premise of The Final Cut is that technology has been developed to allow people to implant a chip in their head that will record everything the person sees or hears during his whole life. After the implanted person dies, the chip can be retrieved and surviving family members can relive the person’s life to help them to remember their dearly departed. The most interesting thing about the movie is that it makes you think about your own life and how you would feel to know that after you are gone, anyone could look back on all the things you did, good or bad. In the movie, Robin Williams plays the role of a “cutter” who’s job it is to take the implant chip and creates a “rememory” or condensed video of the deceased’s life for the benefit of his family. Williams’ character is pitted against a group of opponents to the technology who believe that cutters are distorting the truth and memories of the deceased. The ending of the film is a bit abrupt and leaves questions–as the director probably intended, but I am not really sure the questions are all that relevant to our every day lives. I enjoyed this film as a concept, but not immensely.

Batman Begins

A View From Mars:

Batman Begins (B+)

A little history . . . I liked Tim Burton’s gimmicky dark Batman back then, although I’m not sure it stands the test of time now. The second one had its moments, but I wasn’t too particularly fond of its villians, The Penguin and Catwoman. As for the last two, let’s just say Joel Schumacher killed the franchise then chopped it into little pieces and fed it to the sharks, etc. . . you get my point. I’m rather tired of the “franchise has been resurrected” label, but it is very fitting indeed. A fine step 1 was hiring independent minded Christopher Nolan (Memento) and letting him cast a very independent minded actor in Christian Bale to play the lead. Surround him with some A listers to play Alfred (Michael Cain), Lt. Gordan (Gary Oldman), Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman) and Henri Ducard (Liam Neeson) and you just might have something beyond decent here. I won’t go much into plot as there’s an origin story and some villians and personal demons to overcome, but I will say that more attention was given to the characters than to the special effects and the spectacles that they could have become. I’d almost go out on that limb and say that this was about as realistic as you can get for a comic book movie, but there were moments in the film in which that comment just doesn’t belong. Some just aren’t into comic book adaptations, but for the rest, this movie is a must see and definitely better than the Spidermans and X-Men of the movie comic book world.