Category Archives: Cody’s Reviews

Cody Clarke v ‘Batman v Superman’

batsuptop

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
Directed by Zack Snyder
Written by Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer
182 min. (‘Ultimate Edition’)
151 min. (Theatrical)

Very mild spoilers ahead.

I had no interest in this movie until the bad reviews started rolling in, and rolling in hard. My favorite Batman movie has an 11% on Rotten Tomatoes, so a new one sitting comfortably at 27% with critics seemed like it could be way up my alley.

But then, audiences started digging it. (To date, it currently sits at 65% with them.) And that didn’t bode well. ‘Divisive’ is not what I look for in a superhero movie—‘universally-panned’ is. This formula doesn’t always work out—Catwoman really is that bad—but it has lead me to some gems, such as the modern body horror masterpiece Fantastic Four from last year; Shaquille O’Neal’s charming, homegrown-vibed Steel; and of course, the afore-alluded to Batman & Robin, which I loved when I saw as a kid, then instantly hated on after I left the theater because everyone else was hating on it, then finally re-watched a year ago and realized that my initial assessment of it as great was spot-on and I never should’ve kowtowed to something as philistinic as popular opinion.

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Love ‘The Room’? Then ‘Room Full of Spoons’ is Required Viewing.

rickharperroom

Room Full of Spoons (2016)
Written & Directed by Rick Harper
114 min.

Spoiler-free.

There’s nothing more nerve-wracking when it comes to watching movies than sitting down to watch a movie made by a friend of yours. I don’t ever pray harder for a movie to be good than in that moment before it starts.

And there’s nothing more exciting than when a movie made by a friend of yours is great.

By that dramatic paragraph break, I guess you can tell that I enjoyed this film. And if you have any interest in The Room, you will too.

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Cody Clarke Reviews ‘The Night Before’

The Night Before (2015) Dir. Jonathan Levine Written by Jonathan Levine, Kyle Hunter, Ariel Shaffir, and Evan Goldberg 101 min. Spoiler-free. Caught a free advance screening of this last night. Just made it, in fact—the two people behind me were … Continue reading

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‘Whiplash’ is Anime

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Whiplash (2014)
Written and Directed by Damien Chazelle
107 min.

Finally saw Whiplash, last year’s little-engine-that-could (and did—four Oscars). Can’t say I’m surprised at all that it was so well-received by critics and audiences alike—it’s a visceral, exciting film, one that, given its mundane subject matter, takes you by surprise with its intensity. An artificial, superimposed intensity, sure (a realistic film about getting good at drums would be more the vibe of Jeanne Dielman, but louder) but an intensity that is undeniably effective. At certain moments, I was quite literally on the edge of my seat.

My praise for the film ends there though, other than to say that J.K. Simmons delivers a phenomenal performance, his career best. And, there’s a few genuinely funny parts when you least expect them. In general though, the film is a shallow one. More specifically, it’s two-dimensional—so two-dimensional it’s damn near cel-based.

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That Hercules Movie with The Rock in it is The Greatest Movie Ever Made

hercules

Hercules (2014)
Directed by Brett Ratner
Screenplay by Ryan Condal & Evan Spiliotopoulos
98 min.

Trust me, I’m as surprised as you are. I mean, I thought I’d like it—The Scorpion King is serviceable, cheesy fun and I figured this one would be up that same alley—but holy shit, this thing is a masterpiece. Easily the best film I’ve seen all year long. And while yes, the title of this piece is hyperbolic, it’s not as hyperbolic as you might think. There is true brilliance in this film. It is a singular work with something truly unique to say, just waiting to be discovered.

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