And You Thought It Was Safe(?)


Superman (1978)

Enter the Dragon (1973)
Symbolism...I think...then again, I shouldn't be thinking, should I? I should just be.

Symbolism!…I think…then again, I shouldn’t be thinking, should I? I should be water, which can flow…or crash. So be water, my friends.

Even though this was the last (complete) film Bruce Lee made before his untimely death, it became an introduction to the man’s work for a lot of North Americans, including yours truly.

Which is too bad, really, because Enter the Dragon‘s far from Lee’s strongest work. As a kid, of course, its vibrant, comic strip-inspired color scheme and its Bruce Lee-choreographed fight scenes kept me happy. But now that the film’s pushing forty I can’t help but see the cracks in its foundation. Just goes to show you can never tell what will ultimately become influential, and you don’t have to be a perfect movie to be well-regarded, well-remembered, or perpetually ripped-off. (Hell, look at 2001…Or save yourself two hours and don’t! Ha! Zing!)

You also don’t need me to tell you how influential this film’s been: pick a martial arts movie from the last forty years. Odds are you’ll see St. Bruce’s hand prints somewhere, and in more than a few cases filmmakers intentionally invoke his spirit, hoping to make their film a even a tenth as cool as…ohsayforexample, this one. Allow me to dash those hopes right now, filmmakers of the future, because until the day you really can make Bruce fight back…from the grave… it ain’t gonna happen. Continue reading



Justice League: Doom (2012)
Dutch angles!

Dutch angles!

…is the thirteenth straight-to-video DC animated superhero movie and the last one credited to Eisner Award-winning writer/producer Dwayne McDuffie, who passed beyond the Source Wall to join the fundamental forces of the multiverse on February 21, 2011. He will be sorely missed.

Especially since Doom is far from his best work, that being all those episodes of Cartoon Network’s Justice League show that weren’t written by Stan Berkowitz, Rich Fogel, or Bruce Timm. Together, that team did more to introduce superheroes to “normal” people than the last thirty years of comic book company presidents, all while working withing the constrictions of network television censorship regime. Their movies…I don’t know. They’ve been okay…but I’d only recommend four out of the thirteen to you fine people with any degree of seriousness. Doom could’ve been number five, and it almost was…until I made the mistake of thinking about it for more than two seconds at a stretch. Continue reading



AYTIWS Commentaries: Catwoman

One year ago today (well, one year ago Sunday, but whatever) we posted our first video review. To celebrate, we present this, our first episode-length commentary. Join us as we relive all the fun, excitement and adventure of listening to ourselves bitch about a shitty superhero movie from 2004. Hope you’re all stocked up on catnip.

(And if you’d like me to talk over any of the other episodes, don’t hesitate to ask.)



The Top 5 Dumbest Things in Batman Forever

Because of our obvious love for Batman, we present this video supplement to our review of Batman Forever.

[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/AYLN5kQA.x?p=1 width=”640″ height=”388″]



Inception (2010)
"For everything, turn, turn turn, there is a season, turn, turn..."

“For everything, turn, turn turn, there is a season, turn, turn…”

In the lead up to Inception a lot of the advance press wondered if the movie would prove too complicated for modern audiences, something we should’ve all dismissed as “bullshit.” Then the advance critics started crowing about it being the BEST MOVIE EVAHR, which I dismissed out of hand because advance critics are bullshit artists. Then the print critics who actually matter found out it was something other than the BEST MOVIE EVAHR. So it became “[t]he emperor’s new bed-clothes.”

Such is what this film’s had to deal with, over and above all the ten years of Hell its creator supposedly endured just to get it written in the first place. Either Christopher Nolan wrote the thing right after Momento and needed the Dark Knight‘s billion dollar profit to get a green light or it just took him ten years to write. Either way, I’ll believe it. Paradox, right?

Modern movies are caught in a terrible paradox of their own. Either they’re the BEST MOVIE EVARH or they’re the latest grand scam of Hollywood hacks. It’s a terrible state of affairs, particularly for just-straight-up-good movies that deserve to be appreciated for more than one weekend in July. Just because so many directors are artless assholes who only know how to make commercials doesn’t mean Christopher Nolan is too. It just means he has to compete with them all. So his films are inevitably less than the masterworks they probably should be. Continue reading



Batman Forever (1995)
And is that...Bat-lipstick?

And is that…Bat-lipstick?

This is where I fell off the boat. I was twelve in 1995, when the Batman blitz began again, and from the start, things felt different. For one thing, I’d started paying attention to the news. This new thing called “the internet” was suddenly driving up everyone’s phone bills, an instantaneous worldwide communication network that quickly became the ultimate gossip and pornography distribution system. And the gossip surrounding Batman Forever set all my Red Alerts ringing.

Everyone learned all the wrong lessons from Batman Returns. And I mean everyone. America’s Moral Guardians learned that Tim Burton was a demented genius, something any of Burton fan could’ve told them a decade before, had the assholes bothered to ask. They complained his film was “too dark,” that it had stained the eyes of their precious Children with twisted sexuality and Danny Devito’s idiotic one-liners. Economics compelled Warner Brothers to Think of the Children and consign Burton to a Producer-in-name-only-credit (he was off making Mars Attacks).

Replacing him, Warner Brothers hired the director of 1993s Falling Down and 1994’s smash hit, The Client: Joel…God help us all…Schumacher. And, true to his reputation as an all-around nice guy, not at all deserving of the jokes I’m about to make at his expense, Joel brought along The Client‘s writer: Akiva…fuck me running…Goldsman. Continue reading