Colossal Review

Colossal is not what you expect. If you saw the trailer and went into this thinking it’s a low fantasy, summertime romp as Anne Hathaway controls a monster and saves the world, then you’d be stupendously wrong. But if you can look past the 30-story romcom monster, then you’ll find a surprising, funny, and pointed message about gender relations (and several meandering ones about a bunch of other things).

The setup is fairly benign, Garden State-level stuff. Gloria (Hathaway) is kicked out of her New York apartment by her boyfriend Tim (Dan Stevens) not specifically for being perennially unemployed but more for getting hammered every night and being hungover every day and shirking every responsibility and obligation. Her only course of action is to move back to her Middle America hometown, where she immediately runs into her childhood friend Oscar (Jason Sudeikis) and begins her pattern of drinking and passing out anew.

Bonus for moving back, though: a monster is now terrorizing Seoul, South Korea. Unfortunately for you and me, we already know that it’s Gloria. The movie takes a bit longer to get there, and while writer/director Nacho Vigalondo is effective at making it suspenseful, the first act of the movie is lethargic. It feels like a rehash of a lot of different movies all put into one, and none of it is working particularly well.

To be fair, everyone involved does a bang-up job of selling it all. Hathaway is charming while being believably shiftless, though her general discombobulation can come across as saccharine every so often, especially as she tries to schmooze the various people in her life. And Sudeikis continues to be maximum Sudeikis, which says a lot when he has to sell the idea that being the owner of a barely profitable bar is the Daddy Warbucks dream compared to failing to inflate an air mattress.

Once the film does it’s critical turn, however, it reaaaally starts to get up and go. And it super not in the direction you would expect. Even as it first shows it’s colors of being a deep and fairly dark relationship drama, it’s hard to believe that’s the turn it takes. Between Tim, Oscar, and Oscar’s friend Joel (Austin Stowell), there are a lot of relationships to pick from to make it complicated.

This compounds in a beautiful if grotesque contrast of Gloria finally finding some semblance of meaningful control in being this ephemeral Godzilla-like amongst a blackout lifestyle where she loses her stability in New York and somehow is beset on all sides by home furnishing from an overly generous man. It pushes and pulls her in interesting ways as her emotional culpability finally catches up to her desire to live devoid of consequences with monstrous enormity.

Colossal

It all centers around the idea that whether purposefully or incidentally, the men of Gloria’s life try to puppet her around. Get her to stop drinking, push her into the “right” career, tell her what to remember and what to forget. It’s a sobering simulacrum of many women’s lives. Well, up until the kaiju get involved, but even then, what could be more a manifestation of the emotional and societal response than to become a force of nature the world must reckon with.

One of the men then turns maliciously and intentionally abusive, forcing her intimacy in ways that recalls the disturbing and unflinching story of the first season of Jessica Jones. I won’t say who because it’s rather incredible and honestly a villainous turn that won’t be forgotten, but as Gloria ends up pulled between two manipulative relationships, you know you want to root for her but you don’t know what it is you want her to do, and it’s an impeccable and imprecise sensation that lends great emotional heft to the conclusion.

And that’s a damn good thing because the ending doesn’t make a lot of logical sense. If the emotional payoff wasn’t there, it would be 30 minutes of rock solid eye-rolling. And that’s as it sheds off several other ancillary and perfunctory threads like Joel and Garth (Tim Blake Nelson) and some vague theme about how humans in general are monsters and something else about perseverance, I guess? But the hour of investment you put into it gets you some damn fine returns by the end.

Colossal

Characterizations are sometimes a mess where no one is all that likable or learns all that much, and there’s an irresponsible disregard for human life by the film itself that crops up too often when it eventually becomes a large plot point. But Vigalondo nails the relationship drama, and the actors—including the support from Nelson, Stowell, and Stevens—deliver everything their characters need and more to make it all work. If you can deal with some kaiju-level disorientation, then you will find something of a treat in Colossal.

Final Score: 8 out of 10

Nice Assortment of Funny #BATMAN Humor Memes



This post is basically an “image dump” where I share some funny “Batman” memes I have come across lately. Well, a couple of them are not actually funny but “interesting”. Hey, you get the idea! Enjoy.


Also, Please remember to share them with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, etc… While you’re at it, please tell people about the BAT-BLOG website as I am trying to build it back-up again, thanks!


Oh yeah, the baby doing “Armored Batman” Cosplay from the new BATMAN V SUPERMAN movie is totally cracking me UP!




Hot Toys 2017 Toy Fair Exclusive: BvS 1/6th scale Armored Batman (Battle Damaged Version)

“It’s time you learned what it means to be a man.”

With the release of DC Comics’ Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, superhero fans around the world has witnessed the tense battle between Batman and Superman where Batman uses his skills and intelligence in order to fight the god-like Superman. Today, Hot Toys is excited to introduce the new 1/6th scale collectible figure of the Armored Batman (Battle Damaged Version) as a Toy Fair Exclusive item only available in selected markets!

Inspired by the fierce battle between the Bat of Gotham and Son of Krypton in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the collectible figure is fastidiously crafted based on Ben Affleck’s image as Batman in his battle damaged armored suit, featuring a newly developed battle damage armored head sculpt with single LED light-up eye, meticulously sculpted armor with battle damaged parts, muscular body with improved articulation, a LED light-up Kryptonite spear, a grapple gun, a grenade gun, and a specially designed Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice themed figure stand.

Scroll down to the rest of the pictures.
Click on them for bigger and better view.

Related posts:
Incoming: Hot Toys Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice 1/6th Superman Collectible Figure posted on my toy blog HERE
Hot Toys Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice 1/6th scale Armored Batman Collectible Figure (pics HERE)
November 2016 Haul: Hot Toys Dawn of Justice Superman, Batman & Rogue One Death Trooper posted HERE

Scott Wilkowski x Kidrobot Code Blue 5 Infected Dunny

The contagion continues to spread. Kidrobot has just released the new Code Blue 5” Infected Dunny by Scott Wilkowski. Limited to 100 pieces, the double cast resin Dunny features a translucent blue exterior and Scott’s crazy infected skull on the interior. Available now exclusively from Kidrobot for $200 (+ s/h).

DST returns to C2E2; plans to celebrate two 15th anniversaries

Diamond Select Toys will once again be at C2E2 this year, but this year is a little more special than most since it marks the 15th anniversary for two of DST’s biggest lines: the always-impressive Select figures and Minimates.

Feel free to join the historic celebration at Booth #817 during C2E2 (April 21-23) where you’ll be able to meet members of the DST staff, check out upcoming items, and buy some collectibles you may have missed.

And, if you have the time, you may consider joining DST’s Zach Oats for a panel (“Diamond Select Toys: 15 Years of Minimates and Select Figures”) on Friday evening, April 21, from 6:45 PM to 7:45 PM in Room S402.

Can’t make it to Chicago? Then be sure to check out Zach’s Twitch stream on Friday afternoon at 3:30.

Personally, I’d like to with the Select line a happy 15th birthday. Here’s hoping to 15 more years!

DC COMICS SUPERHERO WOMEN New Rock Candy Figures by #FUNKO





Everybody’s favorite toy company, Funko, has plans later in the year to release a brand-new toy line called “Rock Candy”. These will be highly stylized versions of the “girl” superhero characters from the world of DC Comics. These figures are about 5″ tall.


In the first wave it looks like they’re gonna make two versions of Batgirl (I love the “Silver Age” one on the right), one Harley Quinn, one Supergirl, and two versions of Wonder Woman (Yes, the one on the left is the “Batman V Superman” movie version). 


Knowing Funko, I’m sure they’re gonna go totally crazy with this and there will be MANY more characters. Stay tuned to the BAT-BLOG for more information once Funko releases it.




Free Fire Review

Free Fire is in the same stroke an absurdist presentation of the longest gunfight you’ll ever see and one grounded in an odd hyperrealism you don’t see much in action films. What starts as a funny and loose character study with an improbable amount of bullets ends the same way. And while that may sound like a one-note movie, that one note tends to be slick, sassy, and worth your time.

The premise to Free Fire sounds like the answer to the question of what is the least reliable combination of people to enter into a midnight gun deal. Two no-nonsense IRA members with two knucklehead henchmen are attempting to buy several crates of automatic rifles from a slimy South African arms dealer and his commensurate crew of muscle while a couple of (mostly) independent intermediaries grease the wheels in an abandoned factory.

Like I said, a recipe for trouble, and a somewhat overflowing one at that. There may just be three parties involved, but there are a lot of moving parts within each one and as a whole. Writer/director Ben Wheatley (co-writing with Amy Jump), however, manages to condense the entire thing into the base components. By mostly coincidence, one henchmen from each of the two main parties recognize each other after having gotten into a brawl the night before. And slowly but surely, the match inches closer and closer to the powder keg until the shooting starts and doesn’t stop.

This quick introduction performs admirably at setting up exactly what you should expect from the rest of the movie. Everyone—seriously everyone—is there to chew the scenery. The debilitatingly stupid Stevo (Sam Riley), for instance, plays the shady underling who tries to get out from under his rightful retribution with a slithering that Kevin Corrigan would be proud of.

He is the perfect foil to the marginally sharper but equally hotheaded and selfish Harry (Jack Reynor) so when the punches between the two escalate to bullets, it plays believably in a vaudevillian kind of way. And then the bullets start flying, seemingly randomly piercing appendages with little to no consequence, and the movie becomes a delicious pit of absurdity where A-list celebrities crawl around the dirty-covered floor for 90 minutes.

The more recognizable faces rip into their roles with an unfettered savagery that looks like they’ve been wanting for years. Brie Larson as Justine explodes into over-the-top rage at whim while shooting off Liz Lemon-level eye rolls. Cilian Murphy takes his Peaky Blinders Irishness with Chris up to the realm of caricature, stoic and cold for all the worst/best reasons.

Free Fire

And then you throw in Armie Hammer’s Ord, a character that looks like Hammer having the best time of his life in three acts. Ord is like a cherry-picked gestalt of all his favorite parts of his past roles with a little bit Winklevoss propriety, a dash of Illya Kuryakin’s consummate composure, and maybe a sprinkle of the oozing charm of Gabriel Edwards. And showing this against Sharlto Copley’s skeevy and overly, almost inexplicably South African Vernon is like a comedy duo where neither one knows if they’re the straight man or the banana man.

The characters, in fact, are really the only reason any of this works. There’s very little in the way of explosive, eye-catching action, though Wheatley does an admirable job keeping everyone and everything digestible. And as everyone starts taking lead in the legs, there’s even less in the way of standing action, everyone crawling around behind conveniently placed cement blocks like bugs avoiding the light.

With such a robust cast, it’s only natural some would take the lead while others bolster them. But some of them feel a bit like a waste, as the jokes the more prominent characters fall flat. Larson is especially underutilized with her motivations and her principles so clearly defined and immediately appreciable. And the relationship between Vernon and his cohort Martin (Babou Ceesay) would have been fun to play with had Martin not spent most of the movie pretty well removed from the action.

Free Fire

As it is, though, Free Fire knows pretty much exactly what it is, and it doesn’t outstay its welcome. At a lean 90 minutes, it gets in and gets out in a way these hapless underworld criminals just couldn’t manage. It doesn’t have anything new to say or anything extraordinary to hand you, but it does have a lot of fun showing you what it is. And that is a rare thing to find.

Final Score: 7 out of 10

“8 ‘Till Late” Plush Bodega by Lucy Sparrow in The Standard (June 5-30)

Currently launched and open at The Standard (High Line) is a concept solo show titled “8 ‘Till Late” – which features the plush-art of UK-artist Lucy Sparrow, whose “Convenience Store” features EVERYTHING on the shelves made of PLUSH! Exhibiting thru June 30th, all pieces are as well listed online for your purchasing pleasures!

Check out the videos and images featured here, and score yourselves