Blood movies: Stripes; Dr. Strangelove; Justice League

“lots of subtext-as-text where the characters literally talk about what they all represent”

At least thrice so far this year, I have donated platelets at the Red Cross Center on Everett Road in Albany. Since it takes a couple hours, and I can’t do anything that uses my arms, such as reading, I’ve opted to watch movies that I had never seen before.

The late Roger Ebert said of Stripes (1981): “An anarchic slob movie, a celebration of all that is irreverent, reckless, foolhardy, undisciplined, and occasionally scatological. It’s a lot of fun.”

That’s largely true, though it also seems a bit dated. It works in large part because of the established relation between the Bill Murray and Harold Ramis characters before they join the army. I also especially liked seeing the late John Candy.

Whereas Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) is oddly, even uncomfortably, relevant. It epitomized the military-derived acronym, SNAFU.

It stars George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden, Keenan Wynn, James Earl Jones, and of course, Slim Pickens, whose famous last scene was almost all I knew of the film. Oh, yeah, and Peter Sellers in several roles, including the title character, in a a war room trying avoid a nuclear holocaust.

I can’t remember the last DC comics movie I saw, but it was not in this century. I managed to miss Wonder Woman, alas.

At the start of Justice League (2017), Superman is dead, I gathered. This event took place, I discovered later, in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2017). Yet, Henry Cavil, who has played the Man of Steel, appears in the opening credits; make of that what you will.

Amy Adams is crying. Diane Lane is too. I wonder if they’re Lois Lane and Martha Kent; thy are. Diana Prince/Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) and Bruce Wayne/Batman (Ben Affleck) are trying get other metahumans to fight an existential threat to the planet.

As my blogger buddy SamuraiFrog put it: “It’s…in the DC movie house style with all of the attendant weaknesses (lots of subtext-as-text where the characters literally talk about what they all represent, tension-killing slow motion, single characters getting multiple introductions, feeling like it takes place in an under-populated dome)…”

Justice League featured THREE origin stories; well, not exactly, since they all appeared in Batman v Superman. Jason Momoa played Arthur Curry / Aquaman, but basically Thor, as Frog noted. He WAS fun. Victor Stone / Cyborg (Ray Fisher) was also enjoyable. The verdict’s out on Ezra Miller as Barry Allen / The Flash.

I don’t regret seeing it, but it probably won’t inspire me to catch more DCU pics.

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