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Doom Patrol: Ezekiel Patrol (2019)
Season 1, Episode 15
This is the best timeline EVER!
29 May 2019
Diane Guerrero deserves an Emmy nomination at the least!

Monologuing Mr Nobody keeps a tight grip on the plot and leads us down the proverbial garden path. His EEEEVIL narration recaps the series: Buddy would be proud.

You thought you already had the origin story? HAH! Like Ogres and Onions, the Patrol has LAYERS. Niles is forced to admit ulterior motives and to get deeper into the reason he brought them all together. Admiral Whiskers and Booger's Roach wreak havoc on Danny the Street while Morden runs around drinking straight from the bottle, as terrified as nobody can be.

So, why don't we wait for Super-duper Dude, BatMa'am and Mr Running Shoes to save the plot? Fuggedaboutit. This is the Patrol's show. The bad guys are DOOMED!
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Doom Patrol: Penultimate Patrol (2019)
Season 1, Episode 14
Brotherhood of Evil Threatens City
18 May 2019
It turns out that Eric Morden got fired from the Brotherhood, none of his ideas are any good. Not even the giant killer robot. He's just a nobody who isn't worth the bother of getting rid of.

So, he rags on about the Patrol, standing beside a large poster of them in the White Space where he has torn out Victor's face because after all, he's not a member of the Team.

Welcome back, Danny -- the street that keeps on giving. While there, Flex Mentallo flexes a muscle or two, the first giving unexpected results and the second sends the Patrol into the White Space. Of course, Mr Nobody sees what they have planned and puts them into a preliminary pre-Hell, where they haven't yet been transformed with their powers. Cliff is banging the nanny, Rita preparing for her scene on the dock, Larry having breakfast with his family before his flight, and Jane is stacking furniture to block her tormenters. Their only escape comes from Rita, who out-narrates Mr Nobody and gets everyone into the White Space where they are reunited with the Chief.

Vic does a "deus ex-machina" arriving just at the right moment to vapourize the Monologuing Nobody. Mission accomplished! Or is it?
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Doom Patrol: Cyborg Patrol (2019)
Season 1, Episode 12
Trapped by a Magnet, Dammit!
13 May 2019
Last week as you may remember, Vic got caught looking at an elbow and was taken to the Ant Farm run by the Bureau of Normalcy. Jane escaped capture by being herself, a Bipolar Individual with Terrible Character Hangups or a B.I.T... you get it. She broke the guy's arm!

Meanwhile Vic's dad Silas comes over to the mansion to let everyone know that Cyborg is in trouble and being held. So they come up with a plan. And Rita is the lynch-pin.

The scenes inside the Ant Farm are reminiscent of BRAZIL, Terry Gilliam's incredible dystopian future with Jonathan Pryce. You'd almost expect to hear strains of the soundtrack coming through. No fresnel screens, though.

There's a reference to a certain Wookie scene which may give you a chuckle. But the most scream-worthy is when Rita makes her appearance! The accompanying dialogue is classic.

There are so many satisfying moments in Cyborg Patrol that it definitely deserves a vote of 11. You know how hard it is to write all that action and dialogue and still fit inside 41 minutes, less titles and credits?!
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Doom Patrol: Flex Patrol (2019)
Season 1, Episode 13
You'd think that after 13 episodes of character driven drama...
11 May 2019
The Berlanti team keeps hitting it out of the park!

That EEEVIL monologuing Mr Nobody has been instrumental in making DOOM PATROL a top of the line, profanity-laced DC property that is not just a delight to see, but has a fascinating story arc that makes me come back for more every week.

This week we see Muscles of Mystery bring out the candles at Doom Mansion with a seemingly docile Flex Mentallo recovering his abilities after being subjected to decades of the boob tube which has sucked away his heroic being. Cliff and Jane continue to bond, although she resents his having been to the Underground.

Meanwhile a shuffling octogenarian at the hospital where Silas is recovering from Vic's vicious assault, keeps Rita engaged. She tells him of her awful secret which has her paralyzed, but in the end, she is able to break free and bring the Patrol together to search for the Chief.
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The Orville: The Road Not Taken (2019)
Season 2, Episode 14
Let our last meal be a Twinkie
3 May 2019
I could be mean and dock the show a couple of points for total scientific BS, like the broken up planet near the black hole: there's no way that density of rubble could occur without aggregation. And as for going past the event horizon in a black hole? Totally impossible. But the thing is, it's a TV show and it's entertainment. Damned good entertainment, at that.

It's a "What if?" story inside an entirely "what if?" series where anything can be possible, even the most improbable events could occur, like a guy who had to keep his shirt on while swimming until he was twenty could save the galaxy. And that remarkable event depended on the love between a pair of humans.

Yeah, time travel. It'll bite you on your ass. Step off the path and you might wind up having velociraptors as the top level predators in present day, while you and your monkey woman shudder in darkness. Not having a second date leads the Galaxy to fall to psychotic mechanical constructs eliminating all life.

Brownian motion may save us all, but intelligence can at least keep us on the path.
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Doom Patrol: Frances Patrol (2019)
Season 1, Episode 11
Let's have a basket of chicken, darlin'
2 May 2019
Can you imagine Jane in that bar instead of Rita? I'm sure that Cliff would wind up stinking of a lot more than just swamp water if Rita's sensibilities weren't keeping everything in check.

In the meantime, N-man is allowing Larry a little fantasy by directing him to situations with his former lover. Not to everyone's taste, but it's sincere.

And Jane and Vic are left to figure why GRID is giving him grief. Vic literally rips himself apart to get anwers and finds himself held, but for what?

Not as good as the last few, but still a very watchable episode.
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First Man (2018)
Here's to Roger, Ed and Gus.
30 April 2019
I was a nut for spaceflight in the sixties. I had a model Gemini capsule, before that a model X15. I clipped missions from the newspaper. My dad sat with me as we watched Armstrong descend the ladder, live. I knew about the Westinghouse television cameras and I knew about using pure oxygen in a capsule.

It's not an historical document. It's not even close. Sure, there are some visual elements and snippets of dialogue that mimic the facts, but it is, after all a movie for entertainment.

I was entertained. But it was like watching a movie you had already seen. There is no drama. When the date (January 27) showed up I knew what was going to happen.

There are no surprises.
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Backtrace (2018)
You look familiar
24 April 2019
HOLEY UNDERWEAR! What a crapfest! Matthew Modine has had a headache for the last seven years and he needs to pay the mortgage on his house. Sylvester Stallone is still suffering from bad business decisions and Chris MacDonald hasn't had anything worthwhile since Happy Gilmore. But at least MacDonald gets to do STAR TREK conventions for being in one of the more popular episodes but that was Yesterday's Enterprise.

What's the solution to waning fame and lost wages? Go down to Georgia and make a movie! After all, it looks like Canada and it's got all the tax breaks! Add in shakey-cam and strident soundtrack and it might seem like an action flick. But it's not. It's all fake bullets and shiny jeep wranglers that don't get fake hit by phony automatic weapons, and then you get talked to death. And then the plot kicks in. I was a nurse in another life...
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Getting from point A to point B
22 April 2019
I like George Eads. He was entertaining as MacGyver's partner in the reboot. His connection to CSI has given him a lot of experience, so naturally a film set in Las Vegas seems a natural for him.

So why is this movie not rated higher? No explosions. No car chases. No blazing gun battles. Nope. None of that stuff. Just Jack. He wanders from point A to point B, getting along. Sometimes his crappy Volvo starts. He plays cards. He has a few friends. He needs a shave. Sometimes he gets punched in the face. He can take it. He's looking for money. Duffy gets to him. And then life happens.

Supporting characters are pretty strong. Vinnie Jones and Steven Seagal are underworld types that Jack orbits. Steven Lang (the colonel in Avatar) and Ted Levine (Jame Gumb in Silence of the Lambs) are psychopath brothers who unfortunately don't share screen time. Tia Carrera (schwing!) is forgettable as a barfly.

This could have been a more powerful movie if it were a little tighter on the direction. Other than that, it was fun to watch.
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Chewing Broken Glass
20 April 2019
The Aronov Time Cone passing through an abrupt gravity gradient creates an unusual situation: quantum entanglement draws an earlier version of Kelly into the present.

"We're going to have tiresome split screen effects, just like we've seen on other shows!", you moan.

Except for the fact that Adrianne Palicki is such a good actress that from the moment Kelly-2 came on screen, I was saying to myself -- that's who? Is that Kelly? It kind of looks like her, is it her? It wasn't until the two versions were on screen together that I accepted her as Kelly.

Other than the visual cues as to who was who, Kelly-2 always looked younger, she seemed lighter, she was definitely more fun.

And then there's Ed. Poor emotionally crippled Ed. Poor relationship roadkill Ed. Is there a second chance for Kelly and Ed? He wants to, she wants to and it looks like it could happen when an incoming plot complication shows up on ship's sensors before insertion can be accomplished.

Decisions have to be made about Kelly-2 and they arrive at a plan. Will it solve their glass-crunching problem?
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Spock's Beard: Since 1992
20 April 2019

That's the progressive rock band from Los Angeles named after Mirror Spock's facial hair.

It's what finally brings season 2 of the series that was a seriously diseased version of Star Trek that had millions of fans upset. into continuity again, and quite possibly into the hearts of Trekdom.

As soon as he touched it, I knew.

Star Trek was back.

And if I say it is, you better believe it, it's back to what it should have been, loose ends tied, continuity restored, watchable and enjoyable television.
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Doom Patrol: Hair Patrol (2019)
Season 1, Episode 10
After all, you fell in love with a Canadian!
20 April 2019
One thing most comic book adaptations have lacked is a very important aspect of the genre. It is, after all A COMIC BOOK.

Those movies about the guy dressing up like a bat, no sense of the absurd. The grand-daddy of wearing your underwear on the outside: he's all truth and justice. And Mr Speed: he's about chasing after people.

The DOOM PATROL just introduced us to the Beard Hunter. He lives in his mom's basement. He claims the Bureau of Normalcy -a government agency I've never heard of- recruited him to hunt down Dr Niles Caulder. A likely story for a loser if I ever heard one.

This overweight hemorrhoid sufferer makes his way into Niles' bathroom in the mansion and performs one of the most horrific investigative techniques ever seen on television. NOOOOOO! You'll scream when you see it.

Enjoy this episode: it speaks volumes of what went on while Cliff was in Jane's head a week ago.
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Do you need a friend?
14 April 2019
Extinction Level Event

Dinosaur Killing Asteroids have periodically dug out chunks of our planet. Look at a map: see Hudson's Bay? Yeah, that was a killer. Meteorite Crater? Tiny one. How's about Veracruz? Biggie. To the east, see how the Antilles form a lazy curve? And another. Doesn't take much and it happens more often that you want to believe. Idiots who want to distract you and give you stupid "global climate change" hoaxes that aren't real think that spending time cataloguing hunks of rock that can end life FOREVER are useless.

What If?

The scenario opens the movie. Mankind's last big hope exploded. That feeling of dread becomes deadly. Dodge's wife immediately takes off, never to be seen again. It looks like everyone is going to die in a matter of less than a month. They'll try to keep the lights going until then.

Life Goes On

An insurance salesman still goes to work. What else is there to do? Stomach wrenching reality makes Dodge heave into his wastebasket while phonelines go unanswered. An end of days party is given by his best friends played by Rob Corddry and Connie Britton. Corddry is drinking his way through the party, Patton Oswalt claims new found sexual meaning in screwing everyone, beautiful Britton consoles Dodge in the bathroom, hoping to inflame a final fling with him. But it is all meaningless. There is nothing for him there. Even his cleaning lady Elsa keeps coming every Thursday. He puts up a flyer next to ones that promise Virginity for the taking, Murder for Hire: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.

Quirky Road Trip

Penny appears in Dodge's life, after her #luser cucked boyfriend joins a riot in progress. She wants to be able to see her parents before the end, Dodge mentions he knows someone with a plane. They meet up with William Peterson who takes them a while, but a former promise cuts his ride short. They stop at a fun restaurant that is still operating and continue on their trip. They meet up with Speck eventually who offers Penny "survival". Eventually, they come home. A little bit of help is given and a favour returned.

The End

There's never enough time at the End. What endures? Music on vinyl records? A final meal together? What will become of Dodge and Penny? Will they ever ge-- !
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Doom Patrol: Jane Patrol (2019)
Season 1, Episode 9
Sweet Jane
13 April 2019
Cliff's relationship with Jane is hammered home: is it because his daughter's death is his fault?

It appears the former man now mechanical freak feels for her and is very protective of her. The energy being inside Larry acts as a bridge between them both, facilitating Cliff's search for Jane inside her head.

There's no unnecessary dialogue from the others: it's just Cliff trying to bring back Jane from the Underworld. It's a heartbreaking journey for her, and selfless support from someone who can only love her as a friend.
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The Orville: Sanctuary (2019)
Season 2, Episode 12
Service and Devotion
12 April 2019
People are getting a little too negative about the Moclan culture.

Sure, Klyden is a REAL JERK. Yeah, we know it. He's a reactionary typical Moclan macho male moron who is insensitive to others not like himself. Yeah, we get it. WE HATE HIS GUTS. The actor is probably a nice guy, but the character is HATEFUL.

So you see, this is why we get these narratives about them, they are antithetical to our own Humanity.

This is a show about Human values, not about Moclan failings. We may soon see a breakthrough for Moclas. The social schism that has ripped apart their race and raped their planet tells us the morality tale of being whole, the advantage of having both sides seen and heard.

This is an episode that made me DREAM after seeing it.
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Star Trek: Discovery: Such Sweet Sorrow (2019)
Season 2, Episode 13
Short for PO
12 April 2019
It's Disgustery's Po' Epidose. (That's EPIC+DOSE.)

This is Half & Half: in one sense, fans finally get the kind of Trekery they've been waiting for since the 60s. In another sense, more STD less Trek.

From the moment those classic sound effects started, from the BATHWEEP of the door to the bridge, to that loud BLEEP that sounds very occasionally. Number One with her beautiful black hair and blondie Yeoman Colt. This is the Trek we always craved.

We don't want to see thirty minutes of contrived good-byes. Good-byes that are repeated again and again, and then negated because everyone wants to come along. HOLEY UNDERWEAR!

We want to see more VISIONS from minty fresh time crystals, that we got to see already from Pike & the girl with a boy's name, as well as a stern looking lesbian. We want those visions from EVERYBODY! We want THOSE conflicts and freak-outs. We don't give a RAT'S ASS about feeeeelings.

We really want ST:P, as in STAR TREK: PIKE! But the morons at STD decided to name the show after the ship in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
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CRIPES! Who is the MORON who wrote the story summary?
10 April 2019
You heard me. "Pike has to make a life changing choice." Right. None of us EVER saw the original series. So we have NO IDEA about this "choice". SARCASM slashed and dotted.

And yet they'll tell you that if you say that Hipster-Spock shaves his beard in the episode, you'll get "Spoiler Alerted" into the Alternate IMDb Universe. For ever. Never to return.

Non-spoiler alert: H-Spock doesn't shave his beard. But we all know that he does eventually. So, there's that.

Yeah, those minty fresh time crystals: they showed up in SUPERMAN back in 78, and that was even before ST:TMP, slowest-moving motion picture EVAR. I figured out why when Klingons have dialogue in Klingonese, those Time Crystals fluxinate their capacity for getting to the point, having a 10 second bit turn into 10 pages of script.

OK, here's the two good points in the show: the attacking green (gray?) goo. The Vision and the Chair. Other than that, big chunks of the show were highly predictable.
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Doom Patrol: Danny Patrol (2019)
Season 1, Episode 8
I don't sing
8 April 2019
Yeah, several days after my last review, somebody finally picked up on the Princess Bride reference in my title and put in the CONNECTION trivia. Yeah, well, sometimes YOU PEOPLE -- and you know who you are -- have to PAY ATTENTION.

So, again we got the A story and the B story. Which is which, you ask? I have no idea, but a Blonde totally 90s rom-com version of Jane is delightfully maniacal. Danny the Street versus the Bureau of Normalcy story with a time out for a musical number is also nice to see, even if Larry "doesn't sing".

Thank Dog! they got the rat that was gnawing on Cliffie. I don't know if I could have stood another week with a screeching robotic psychotic. Instead we get an outside companion for Rita --who doesn't seem to ooze anything but girlfriend support to killer "Katie"

Oh, and I'm in agreement with Brainphreeze, fellow reviewer here on IMDb. Please, Berlanti. Don't preach to us. I don't know about BPh but I've spent my adult life throwing toast metaphorically at the telescreen musing about Dr X building a creature. IN THE BACK ROW. Don't tell me I'm insensitive to the Dr Frank'n'furters of the world who just. want. to. be. ACCEPTED.

Yeah. OK. Good episode. Keep 'em coming.
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Doom Patrol: Therapy Patrol (2019)
Season 1, Episode 7
My name is Inigo Montoya: you killed my father. Prepare to DIE
31 March 2019
Really interesting backgrounder on the Patrol. It fleshes out the characters in a way that wouldn't have been available to us except snippets over a season of episodes.

Rita is far more accessible as a once ruthless actress oozing talent. Larry somehow corrals his negativity in memories of his paramour. Vic confesses a dark secret and shows a shallow nature his mother would disapprove of. Crazy Jane isn't quite so crazy, just an abused childhood leading to a fracture in her personality. And Cliff. He's shrill and over the top as something seems to be constantly gnawing at him. Is it Clara or is it Bump?

Yeah, they need therapy. They're a mere whisker from falling apart.
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We are just passing through
30 March 2019
The two prior installments I rated 10 and 9. Although not as romantic as the first and as redeeming as the second, this is how real life is reflected in the silver screen of cinema.

Jesse has become successful after having written yet another novel about his and Celine's relationship, as well as others that have been well received, so much so that he has been invited to pass some time with his family at the house of an english author in Greece. He has just left his son at the airport to return home as Celine and her daughters await in the car.

Much as with Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, we have long takes of very natural dialogue, with some sequences around a meal with the others at the house.

Later we are led by the couple to the hotel where a room has been arranged for them. Tempers are tested and voices raised.

At the time this movie came out, Viviana and I had an argument: I didn't go after her. As I watched this movie and came closer to the end, I wondered if it would parallel the events in my own life. There are things that are said that if you are not careful, you could be haunted by them for the rest of your life, and never have another chance to make things right.

There are no time machines. There is only regret.
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Before Sunset (2004)
Were you there in Vienna?
30 March 2019
The action scenes were astounding! Bullets fly everywhere as Jesse tries to get Celine to her apartment before he must leave to catch his flight back to the US! Celine's grandmother died exactly six months after they last saw each other and there must have been *some* reason. Jean Reno plays a key role as their driver, Phillippe.

Oh wait. That never happened. Jean Reno isn't in this film.

There is talk of a gun, yes. But no bullets were fired. And yes, Celine's grandmother died six months (less a day) in 1995. And yes, Jesse has to catch his plane. And yes, she has an apartment.

But it is a leisurely walk they take through Paris as they effortlessly converse as though they have known each other for a decade. Life has gone on for the both of them. Or did it really stop for them? Are they trapped in the moment after a passionate kiss, a promise at the entrance to a train coach, a declaration of love? Can they pick it up again? Is there time enough?

Is love waiting? Is the city of Light also a city of Love?

You'll have to see the movie to find out. Be sure to wear Kevlar.
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Rod Taylor should have slapped Guy Pearce in the face
29 March 2019
I like Guy Pearce, I really do. But he's an idiot for having taken this role.

First thing about this movie, it is not true to the source material. The director it appears, wanted to have car chases and machine gun slaughters. Thankfully (or not) someone overruled him.

Let's see. The plot is as follows:

Scientist blah blah blah blah something something time machine. Blah blablah buhblabbity future. Eloi blah. Blabbity Morlock. Scientist blah blah. Roll credits.

Yeah sure, that's true to the book, which you can download from Gutenberg. Even an audio version is available for free. Too bad nobody associated with the movie wanted to waste their time with it. It's a quick read.

When we first see the time traveller in the far future, that's when I said finally that this is total BS. The Eloi settlement makes no sense. If you actually watch this turkey you'll see why. After that when you see the Morlock appear, it makes you wonder, "Why don't the Eloi do something to stop it?" Of course you can't make sense of it, because on the one hand, they seem to have the means to do it, but an unwillingness. I guess they're all cucks in the future.

I've already seen other reviews that say the 1960 version is superior. This is very true. The Pearce version is a crapfest. It is unsatisfying and a waste of time.

Are you looking for a good time travel movie? Try Primer. Or FAQ About Time Travel. Try Bill and Ted. Leave this one when you're feeling masochistic.
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The Cow can smoke a Cigarette
29 March 2019
Here's proof that you don't need automobiles blowing up or people being ordered into trains or hellfire raining down to have a great movie.

Linklater does a fine job of putting this movie together. He got the right people and the right locations. He got the situations and the eventual closeness of his couple right.

They hit it off. Their chemistry was perfect. Awkward silences and unabashed laughter. It was unacknowledged love-at-first-sight.

Have you walked the streets? Have you seen the people and talked to them? Have you looked at your new-found lover and just known they were as lost in love as you? Did you kiss?

At first you count the days. Then you miss a day. And another. Then you realize too late, you can't make it. You won't. You missed. You lost.
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I've got a cool theme song
28 March 2019
Look out! Here's comes the Spider-man!

I've been waiting since 1967 for something like this, when Spidey's Toronto-based cartoon came out. For me, it just sounded like home --because it was!

I was so pleasantly surprised; I enjoyed 'Spider-verse' immensely: Jake Johnson, Chris Pine, Nick Cage, Liev Schreiber, Hailey Steinfeld and of course, Shameik Moore were all outstanding in their roles.

The animators (180!) finally got over the fake look of modern movement which pervades other films. It looks so natural. Yeah, you know what I'm talking about: the uncanny valley. You see it in Pixar films, you see it in Brad Bird's films. They get close, 'Spider-verse' gets spot on.

You'll enjoy this film.

He's got radioactive blood!
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Aquaman (2018)
Are you that Fish-Boy?
26 March 2019
I wasn't a great fan back in the sixties. Not like I was for the rest of DC pantheon. The TV cartoon was part of the Superman Hour (with that guitar dahh-ranggg! sound effect). On the Big Bang Theory, poor Raj was left being Aquaman because everyone else had their hero choice first. The character was a real #luser when it came to popularity. Then came Justice League.

"I hear you can talk to fish."

Everything changed. HOLEY UNDERWEAR! It turns out that Aquaman is a BAD ASS!

This movie delivers on all points. Aquaman is human, not just some strange Prince Namor Submariner. He likes drinking beer, partying with tough guys, getting tattoos and hangs with his dad. He cracks wise while he cracks heads. He's intensely loyal. And he's very powerful.

Visually, it's brilliant with incredible action scenes. Patrick Wilson plays an arrogant leader who rules the Kingdom of Atlantis and has a plan to unite the Undersea against the surface dwellers. Amber Heard is the beautiful daughter of an allied Kingdom. Temuera Morrison and Nicole Kidman play Arthur Curry's parents. Willem Dafoe, Dolph Lundgren round out a name cast lead by Jason Momoa. And yes, CGI is used. And the CGI is extremely effective. It gives a dreamlike appearance to underwater sequences which would be impossible to do as practical effects.

The story is top notch: it follows a path that at times makes effective use of flashbacks while advancing the plot. It's very satisfying and concludes heroically. Yes, it's a fairy tale ending, but what did you expect? IT'S A COMIC BOOK-SUPERHERO MOVIE!
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