The Cat Returns Review!
Let’s go through this one frame by friend…. well, close enough.
0:04: Yes! Watson is back! Sorry, I mean Martin Freeman. Wow. It’s been so long since I last saw Captain America: Civil War that I forgot that Freeman was in this franchise. He’s playing a kind of state department bureaucrat, who’s been a thorn in the side of the Avengers a few times in the comics. We see him here interviewing Andy Serkis, Mister Klaue (Claw) from Age of Ultron. Serkis is playing is a Black Panther villain, but in this case, he’s no where near the final villain form that we see in the comics. I doubt they’ll use that form in the films, but we’ll see.
0:14: Some nice CGI as Freeman begins to explain that Wakanda is a “3rd world country.” Which, to everyone’s knowledge, is BS. The audience knows this from the Comics, as well as the post-credits Civil War scene, that Wakanda is a highly advanced country. I guess they’ve decided that it’s a secret only known to the super hero community. Or Freeman is playing dumb to see what Serkis tells him — which is entirely possible, as we’ll see T’Challa outside the interrogation world.
0:23: And here’s where we explain in the trailer that the 3rd world country bit is a front, and we see some of the high tech stuff kicking around. Please don’t say aliens. Please don’t say aliens….
0:27: Ooh, shiny.
0:30: And here’s the high tech shuttle.
0:35: Gee. Hunters in a dark jungle. I’m getting a Jurassic Park feeling. Anyone else?
0:47: That costume looks snazzy. From here, we see what comic readers should expect from Black Panther: he’s an awesome martial artist, and his costume is bullet proof.
1:02: I think Serkis has lost his mind. Again. Are we sure he’s not playing Gollum again?
1:05: Remember when I said Wakanda were advanced? Now I really am starting to wonder about aliens. They could make this another infinity gem storyline, if only to power Wakanda.
1:07: Interesting facial markings. I understand these are usually tribal.
1:10: Andy Serkis may have a staring role in this one! There’s a break out.
1:12: I wonder if this is Black Panther’s sister.
1:17: One, NO. NO HIP HOP. T’Challa is as far from Black America as you can get without going to another planet. Hell, I’d sooner look up Afro-Celt and play some of that! Yes, Afro Celt, it’s a thing. Two? Andy Serkis might be the villain here. He was a weapons dealer in Age of Ultron, it looks like he’s keeping up his business. So it could be T’Challa versus techno thieves.
1:18: The UN? really?
1:18-1:32. Micellanous images. I’m getting the impression we might have some political gaming here along the way. Game of Thrones, Wakanda edition? Serkis may just be a subplot.
1:32 T’Challa stopping an SUV with his body. Okay, that’s cool. Nice imagery. Nice slow motion.
Okay, I’ll confess, this generally looks good. Marvel, this is your movie to screw up. Make it about their native culture, and their city, and a lot of action, and we’ll be good. This is your chance to world build. Build it. If you make it about racial politics, you’ll have problems.
Also, more Martin Freeman. Because he’s awesome.
I have fallen in love with this story. I want to tell you all about it, so prepare yourselves.
It all started one night on YouTube. I’m not sure why, but in the suggestions next to the video I was watching, was a movie called 17 again. I’ve seen a movie by this title starring Zac Efron, but the thumbnail of this video was of a Chinese woman….. Definitely not the same movie.
So, it was already close to midnight and the question is: do I click on it and risk some loss of sleep?
The answer: Yes! (Curiosity is a cruel master.)
I’m not sure if I was expecting to watch the entire hour-and-a-half movie, but I soon found I had no choice. And boy, was I glad I did! Here are just a few reasons why:
It was funny.
It was entertaining.
You never knew what would happen next.
There was chocolate!!
It was strong girl story, without discounting the men.
It left me inspired.
It was superverise.
It fascinates me, and so I simply must talk about it! But I like to talk a lot, and there’s a lot I have to say. So my review/analysis of this story will be broken up into parts. But I suggest you watch the movie first if you can. There will be many spoilers ahead.
It starts off following the morning of this prim and proper house not-wife, Liang. Because even though she has been with her guy for 10 years and seems to act just like a housewife, they are not married. We find out today is the day she expects her boyfriend to finally propose to her. However, to the boyfriend Mao, today is just another day. He has work to get to, things on his mind, and he doesn’t pick up on the dreamy gaze of his girlfriend.
The breaking point comes when Liang plucks something out from his suit pocket, a case with a diamond in it, and holds it up in triumph – much to Mao’s confusion and annoyance. With a sigh, and a bit of hesitation, Mao explains, “Mr. Geo’s wife likes diamonds. So, when I was in Dubai last week, I brought one back for her. As you know, it’s a critical stage for my company. Mr Geo is important.”
In that moment, we see Liang flash back to the moment when Mao asked her to be his girlfriend. He is bright and energetic, promising that he loved her, and in 10 years they’d be married and have lots of kids. Back in the present, Liang’s face turns from bright and flirtatious, to lost, to completely crushed; until she is reduced to nibbling on a piece of bread and staring at the table, as her not-husband leaves for work.
From there, I had to keep watching. What would become of Liang? Would she get her guy to propose? Or would she leave him? Would it all be for naught, and 10 years would have been lost on being the perfect woman and trying to get this guy to commit to her?
She does what any heartbroken girl would do in this situation. She sits on the couch eating junk food, watching TV, and crying. And in this dark and lonely place, a TV infomercial comes on, advertising this amazing chocolate that makes you feel young and revived again. Being the heartbroken, crying girl that she is, Liang orders the chocolate. Then promptly forgets about it.
Meanwhile, the plot moves on as Liang and her best friend, Ning, make a plan to get Mao to propose at Ning’s wedding reception. This gives Liang some hope, and she agrees to it. Unfortunately, the plan ends in embarrassment instead of a ring. Mao is hesitant when pulled up on stage. Liang tells Mao he is her one and only prince, but Mao is freaked out in front of the crowd of people chanting “Propose! Propose! Propose!” He says instead, “This is Ning and her husband’s special day, we should not intrude.” Again, we see Liang’s face crumpled by rejection. Mao then receives a business call and takes that as his cue to run away.
Liang can’t believe what is happening and chases after Mao. During the intense little car chase that follows, Liang finally gets Mao to pick up his phone. She tries to apologize, but she is cut off by Mao informing her that he thinks they should break up. Right at that moment, Liang is stopped by a traffic light, and when her cars slams to a stop, so does her whole world. Liang stares in shock as she watches Mao’s car drive away. And, at last, she completely breaks.
It starts raining, of course, as Liang sobs uncontrollably. And after noticing the chocolate on the seat next to her, she picks one up and eats it. That’s when things start going crazy.
Now, I forgot the mention one small, but very important detail. Where did the chocolate come from? Well, if you rewind just a little bit, to right as Liang arrives at the wedding, there is a very short scene in which a man steps in front of her car. He then delivers the box of chocolates she ordered from the commercial. Liang sets them on the seat next to her, and promptly forgets about them.
But in that moment in the car, because of those chocolates, something surreal happens. Liang is no longer the heartbroken, stale, and lost 28 year old. She is suddenly the wild, mischievous, and passionate 17 year old Liang.
And thus adventures and chaos ensues!
This opening is pretty well done. It sets up a character, makes you like her, then crushes all her dreams and throws her into an adventure. It starts out good, and only gets better. I can’t wait to tell you more about it!
A fun little short film about the uses and dangers of time travel
Six to seven years ago we reported on news that Warner Bros. was in talks with J. Michael Straczynski about bringing back one of his most notable creations, Babylon 5, in the form of a “big budget” feature film. We haven’t talked about it since and even back then, we didn’t know how big the budget estimate actually was. Nothing happened and the project was seemingly dead.
Straczynski however, is reviving hope once again for a return of the franchise – or better yet, a fresh beginning. At Comic-Con last month, according to TVWise, the writer and creator of Babylon 5, Jeremiah and the upcoming Netflix series Sense8 (which Straczynski co-created with the Wachowskis), revealed that he’s working on a screenplay for a Babylon 5 feature film and aiming to have it completed in 2015 for a 2016 production start.
I have seen quite a few of these, but it has given me some more to take a look at. It did have the magnificent Safety Not Guaranteed and you should definitely see that if you never have. They also left off the equally awesome Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel.
Do you have a favorite Time Travel movie?
Petapixel has an interesting article up, What a Movie’s Scenes Look Like Straight Out of the Camera Versus In Theaters. I always find these “behind the scenes” looks at movie effects fascinating. The article goes into the detail of what is going on in the video but the TLDR version is, the raw version is as unprocessed as possible to make it as flexible as possible later.