Harry Potter and the Cursed Child pt. 1 & 2

Harry-Potter-and-the-Cursed-Child-artwork

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child pt. 1 & 2 is the 8th story in the Harry Potter storyline. While this story does continue Harry and Friends story, it is a different format than the previous stories. Book 8 is still in written form, but is in script form instead of novel form. I was wary of reading a 300 page script that was originally written for the stage and how that would play out. After a few minutes of reading it became easier to follow along and see who was speaking and the setting they were in. In some ways it was a quicker read than one of the novels, as due to the format the story couldn’t get bogged down (for better or for worse) in the details of what people were wearing, what the room looked like, etc. It was a quick read that covered a lot of ground in such a few pages.

This book felt like a Harry Potter story from the beginning, it brought me right back into the Potterverse and there was no looking back. That is one thing I liked about the story, is that there wasn’t much time spent on rehashing the past stories. This book added upon what we already knew and expanded the Harry Potter story real well. I’m interested in seeing how the play turns out and if it as entertaining as the book.

Without giving away a major plot point, there were some ‘flash backs’ and some ‘flash forwards’ that could have been long and drawn out. But they weren’t and they added an extra dimension to what we already know about the story. It was good to revisit characters who are no longer with us, but the story wasn’t too reliant on them. This story was able to stand on it’s own and created it’s own history with enjoyable new characters.

I’m not sure where they are going with this book, if it’s a start of a new series or if it’s just a quick visit back to the Wizarding World. I like they J.K. Rowling is willing to try new ways to tell stories in the world she has created, so as to keep the stories and mediums fresh and interesting. I do hope that at least a couple of more stories are told with these new characters and that these characters are allowed to have new adventures.

If you enjoyed reading the Harry Potter novels or watching the movies, but were apprehensive about the new story format, don’t worry as it worked well enough. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a good investment of time to jump back into Harry’s life and see what he’s up to nowadays. I recommend giving it a read.

 

New Dr. Strange Trailer

I’m loving this new trailer from Marvel’s upcoming Dr. Strange movie starring Benedict Cumberbatch! It’s look to add a completely new dimension to the Marvel Universe. I’m hoping that this movie will add some variety to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While the movies are entertaining, I feel that we are seeing a lot of the same thing over and over in the MCU. There’s a very big Inception vibe to this movie which promises some amazing visuals and hopefully, the story will match these visuals. It’ll be interesting to see how this movie fits in to the MCU and what impact this will have on future movies.

Suicide Squad

 

suicidesquad

A black man, a white girl, a latino man, a white dude from Australia, a crocodile, an asian woman, and another white guy walk into a bar. No really, this happens in Suicide Squad, but Suicide Squad is no joke – it’s the real deal!

Suicide Squad provides us with one of the most diverse ensemble casts in a major blockbuster movie ever, interestingly enough I have yet to read any review out there that praises this. I’m sure there are one or two out there, but my point is critics have heavily criticized Hollywood for not casting more diverse actors in big budget movies for quite some time. Now that there is a major blockbuster being released with a strong and diverse cast, all we get are complaints against the movie.

Despite Suicide Squad getting such negative reviews from critics, but curiously enough normal movie goers are giving it high ratings, this movie is worth watching. No, Suicide Squad won’t change your perspective on life, you won’t walk out of the theater wanting to work at the homeless shelter, or you won’t have an epiphany and realize you’re doing everything wrong. What it will do is take you on a wild ride for two hours, as you watch the bad guys kick butt and realize that they actually need to do some good in the world they live in.

The Good, the Bat, and the Ugly

The good things that we get to see right from the start are short backstory’s on the members of the Suicide Squad and how they ended up getting caught and placed in Belle Reve. We get to know the Suicide Squad and who they are. We see the reasons for what motivates the Squad to be able to do what they do in the rest of the film. We see how the world’s best and most hardened assassin, Deadshot, just wants to be a good dad and watch his daughter grow up. We see when Harley Quinzel first meets the Joker at Arkham Asylum and how she falls under his spell. We see a tortured soul, June Moone, possessed by a witch, the Enchantress, and how the man, Rick Flagg, loves her and just wants to ease her pain.

The surprising thing about the Suicide Squad members is that they all have their reasons, emotional and meaningful reasons, for what they do. It’s a welcome relief from the trite, one dimensional (two dimensions, if we’re lucky) villains that we’ve been getting from other films (yeah, Marvel I’m referring to your films). And the great thing about this film is that they are all villains and they all have multiple facets and motivations to them!

Now to the Bat. Yes, the Batman makes his mark in this film too, and it is fun to watch him work. This hearkens back to the Dark Knight trilogy where we see Batman hunting down criminals and locking them up. We see Batman confront Deadshot in what is most likely the most emotional sequence in the film. We see Batman chase down The Joker and Harley Quinn, in what is the funnest sequence of the film to watch. We see a brief cameo of The Flash as he captures Boomerang.

Now, all of this is post Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and pre-Justice League. The film references the Death of Superman, and also shows Bruce Wayne gathering intel on MetaHumans to recruit for a project of his – the beginnings of Justice League!

Since, you can’t have Batman without The Joker, The Joker is also planning and working behind the scenes in this movie. He is the wild card in this movie and every minute he is on screen, The Joker is fun to watch. In my mind, he is to this movie as Wonder Woman was to Dawn of Justice, it just wouldn’t be as entertaining without him. The end of the film leaves it open to a Joker/Harley Quinn stand alone film, which DC and WB better explore sometime soon!

The ugly is ugly in this movie. We meet Killer Croc and boy is he ugly! He was a little hard to understand in the film and had few lines, but he could fight and he was a beast to behold. El Diablo has a dark side to him and is always in the background for the first part of the movie. When he comes into play though, we understand his reticence to come to the battle full throttle and that he is a man who realizes how ugly inside he is and realizes he has a penance to pay.

The woman in charge of this Squad is Amanda Waller, and she too has a dark side to her. This is someone you don’t want to mess with and is the perfect person to manage this ragtag gang of misfits. She is able to keep them in line by coercion, threats, and manipulation. Although she does have a very slight soft side to her that comes out in the end of the film, but I think that is even a means to end for her and her management of Project X.

Suicide Squad has it’s failings and is in no way a perfect movie, but it does more than entertain. It fits nicely in the already established DCCU and furthers the overall narrative of this new Cinematic Universe created by DC. At the time of this posting, the Monday after release, the audience and fans think so too as Suicide Squad is already in the top 10 for domestic earnings for 2016 in it’s first weekend.

In addition to the movie, the official soundtrack and the official score of Suicide Squad are top notch and worth listening to. The film has a hip hop vibe to it (maybe this is what turned off critics) and this is reflected in the soundtrack with artists such as Lil’ Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, Rick Ross, and Eminem. It also has a cover of the classic hit, Bohemian Rhapsody, and includes Credence Clearwater Revivals’ Fortunate Son. The best new song on the album is ‘Heathens’ by Twenty One Pilots. The official score is composed by Academy Award Winner, Steven Price (for composing Gravity), and fits in nicely with the other DC film scores by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard.

Man of Steel II

Wait, I thought he was dead?! Spoiler Alert!!

MoS

TheWrap.com is reporting that Warner Bros is starting development for a Man of Steel sequel. Just when you thought Superman was dead (as shown in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and solidified in Suicide Squad), he’s back! Ok, I don’t think anyone really thought he was dead Dead, but now we know for sure that he isn’t.

Even though it has been speculated and planned previously that DC and WB would eventually do a MoS sequel, I guess it’s now official. I’m glad they are moving forward with this, I’d love to see The Batman (directed by and starring Ben Affleck) and Man of Steel II in theaters in the same calendar year. DC could create some great excitement from releasing them in the same year, months apart, and have the stories be interconnected on some level. I guess we’ll see what DC and WB have in store for us as more details are announced.