The Flash (2023)

Haven’t seen it, thus no review, but it is a topic worth writing about… at least to me.

The Flash movie has been through some …uh… challenges, hasn’t it? It was first announced way back in, I believe, 2014 and went through several different creative teams before finally being made.

Unfortunately, star Ezra Miller went through some challenges of his own, running afoul of the law in different parts of the country and seeming to really -how do I put this kindly?- go out of his mind. There are accusations involving assault, disorderly conduct. He’s had restraining orders filed against him, he…

You know, if you’re curious, People Magazine offers…

A Timeline of Ezra Miller’s Recent Controversies

Either way, in the past year or so before the release of The Flash film, even his most vociferous critics have to admit he’s been keeping a low profile following issuing a public apology and hasn’t gotten himself into any new scrapes with the law.

Between that time and now, the first trailers for The Flash film were released and, I have to admit, they impressed the hell out of me…

It seemed to impress many on the internet as well. I found people who were blown away by the trailer and eager to see it. Then came postings by the likes of James Gunn and Tom Cruise who saw the film early and talked about it being great. It got a little silly, I admit, as people started posting bogus “reviews” by famous people who stated they loved the film.

Still, there was every reason to believe it would do well in spite of Ezra Miller’s controversies. At the very least, people wanted to see Michael Keaton return to the Batman role, no?


To say the film, now two weeks from being released, has underperformed is hardly an exaggeration. Its limping towards maybe making a little north of $90 million in domestic box office during its run (not a great figure at all) and its draw has sharply diminished since its first weak release, falling a precipitous 70 plus percent from week one to two.

I’m still curious to see the film, but I can’t help but wonder what confluence of elements took what seemed like a sure-fire box office success and instead made it look like a failure.

There are likely many elements that came into play, and perhaps one or two or a combination of them all led to this.

The first thing to consider is the most obvious: Perhaps people aren’t that willing to help a movie that stars an actor as controversial as Ezra Miller is. I think that one requires no elaboration.

The second thing is perhaps the DC movies are still viewed far more critically and for a variety of reasons. The Zack Snyder films were mercilessly panned (I’ve noted before my feelings regarding his films, in particular Batman vs. Superman, but suffice it to say there is a history here!). The DC “universe” of characters is about to be rebooted by James Gunn and, perhaps, people aren’t all that interested in seeing stories involving “dead end” versions of characters.

There’s also the reality that on the CW network they’ve had many years of The Flash TV show and, again perhaps, people simply had their fill of the character and weren’t quite as willing to spend another couple of hours with him.

I also feel there is this: The Flash’s trailer gave us so many wonderful surprises, including Micheal Keaton and Ben Affleck and a certain Super character… that perhaps audiences’ anticipation of the film centered on what surprises there were to be found.

Unfortunately, the day the film was released pretty much all those surprises were posted on websites like TikTok or YouTube and suddenly any surprises audiences were going to have were eliminated. While one would hope people would see a film above and beyond what “surprises” it offers, the reality is that maybe a combination of not really wanting to see Ezra Miller or having their hunger sated with the Flash TV show meant the surprises were pretty much all people were interested in and when they were revealed… what was the point of going?

There’s also this potent possible combination: Superhero fatigue and/or the fact that cinemas are still struggling post-COVID to get the audiences back.

I feel superhero fatigue is a very real thing and, frankly, by this point maybe it should be. There are an awful lot of superhero films being released (and that’s not counting the TV shows!) and perhaps people are starting to get bored of these works.

Regarding the later point about cinemas post-COVID, there have been exceptions. The Tom Cruise Top Gun sequel did spectacularly at the box office and there have been films here and there that have performed well. But in general it does appear that Hollywood is struggling to get people back to wanting to see films in theaters.

This has been exasperated by the many streaming services out there. The Black Adam film, for example, didn’t do all that well and it showed up relatively quickly on HBO Max (now called Max). Why bother going to the theater to see a film if you know it will show up very soon in a streaming service? My understanding is The Flash will be released to digital media next month so, again, why bother going to the theater to see it if you just wait a couple of months and see it in the comfort of your home?

Regardless of whether one, two, or all these elements were at play, the bottom line is The Flash movie appears to be a big time underperformer.

Did it deserve this fate?

Since I haven’t yet seen it, I don’t know. But I do worry about the future of cinema.

Nothing is written in stone and what might once have been a tried and true form of entertainment might well disappear with the passage of time and changing tastes.

Dog days of (early) summer…

First, apologies for the dearth of posts.

It’s been an awfully long month for me, being very busy with all kinds of things that have, frankly, been exhausting and trying.

On Saturday, June 24th we had the -incredibly- second year anniversary since Champlain Towers South half-collapsed, taking with it 98 people, including my parents.

It’s both hard to believe that so much time has passed and equally hard to believe we’re still dealing with estate issues and other elements cascading from this tragedy. I can’t help but think the relatives and friends of the others who passed away are likely dealing with similar issues and… my heart goes out to them.

It’s been a rough road and those wounds don’t hurt quite as sharply as they did back then… though they still hurt like hell.

Let’s hope for the best in the remains of this year.

Oh no… Tina Turner (1939-2023)

Just coming in is the very sad news that magnificent singer Tina Turner has passed away at the age of 83.

I recall reading a few years back -not all that long ago- where she said she had been having health issues but felt better and… well, it appears those health issues continued until her passing.

The one song that she seems to be best remembered for is her take on the Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary”, which she very much made her own…

The high energy act she had was second to none…!

She would appear very prominently in the third and last of the Mel Gibson starring Mad Max films, Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985) as the movie’s villain… sorta. It was impossible to present her as totally bad, IMHO!

While I felt this film was the least of the Mad Max films, it was through absolutely no fault of Tina Turner’s as she played the hell out of the character of Aunty Entity. Intriguingly, I always felt the most recent Mad Max film, Fury Road, merged elements from The Road Warrior (aka Mad Max 2) and Beyond Thunderdome in its story. Aunty Entity was a prototype of not only the villainous Immortan Joe but also seemed to have elements of that film’s hero, Imperator Furiosa (played, of course, by Charlize Theron).

Ms. Turner also delivered one of her all time best songs (IMHO, of course!) for the film, “We Don’t Need Another Hero”. Here’s the music video made for the song. It features Tina Turner in her full Aunty Entity get up and has lots of clips from Beyond Thunderdome… clips which may make you realize how much of the visuals from this film found their way into Fury Road!

Such a great showman. Such a great singer. She will be missed.

It’s all politics, all the time…

Truly I don’t like to write about politics. It feels to me its a subject that unfortunately devolves -often- into an “us versus them” mentality, with each side defending their turf while finding things to insult about the other.

But so much has happened in the last few days it’s hard not to mention politics.

First up, Donald Trump and the E. Jean Carroll case. From

Jury finds Donald Trump liable for sexual abuse and defamation in E. Jean Carroll case

I obviously was not in the room with the jurors -who took a grand total of two hours- when they made their decision, but it seems to me what sunk Trump was that old Access Hollywood “grab them by the pussy” bit he was recorded saying… and the fact that Ms. Carroll’s situation sure did seem to follow those words from Trump himself.

Ms. Carroll was awarded some $5 million and, of course, Mr. Trump went quietly into the night…

Yeah right…

So CNN decides to have a “town hall” meeting with Trump and the timing couldn’t have been better/worse. It came yesterday very soon after the jury’s decision and, of course, Trump being Trump he goes off and says a bunch of crap, including again going after Ms. Carroll, who may well be in her rights, should she choose to, to sue Trump yet again.

But that’s not all. Trump again professes the election he clearly lost was somehow “rigged” (he knows better) and again showed himself to have loyalties toward Putin and against Ukraine and…


It really gets to be a little too much after a while, no?

The second big story involves George Santos, freshman in the House of Representative and serial fabricator who was arrested for a host of financial irregularities and fraud (who knew?). From

George Santos pleads not guilty to federal indictment and says he won’t resign

It doesn’t surprise me that he pleaded not guilty and less surprising he says he won’t resign. If nothing else, he has little to no shame at all.

What is depressing, but surely predictable, is the fact that Representative Kevin McCarthy, the Speaker of the House, has avoided saying anything about this situation or Trump’s.

McCarthy’s Speakership exists on the very thinnest of margins, and losing Santos would surely create problems for him in terms of trying to legislate.

But it again makes the entire Republican party look… sleazy.

Not that many of them seem to care at this point.

Mona Lisa bridge… located?

Fascinating story I found this morning written by Barbie Nadeau and Jack Guy and presented on…

Historian claims to have located mystery Mona Lisa bridge

Click on the link for the full story -as I noted, it’s quite fascinating!- but the very famous Leonardo Da Vinci painting Mona Lisa has, in its background, a river and bridge…

The bridge is on the right side of the painting and just above the Mona Lisa’s left shoulder.

As the article states…

(The bridge has been) a source of debate for centuries, the village of Ponte Buriano, a suburb of Arezzo in the Tuscany region of Italy, is so convinced the bridge behind Mona Lisa is the Ponte Buriano that they’ve made it a key feature of their local tourism campaign, even laying claim to the bridge on the village’s welcome sign.

Not so fast, Ponte Buriano!

Historian Silvano Vinceti claims the structure of the bridge suggests it is not the one in Ponte Buriano but instead “the Romito Bridge in the nearby Tuscan town of Laterina.”

He notes the number of arches on the bridge at Laternia more corresponds to what’s in the painting versus that in Ponte Buriano -which has more arches- and…

…it’s all so damn interesting, provided Da Vinci was painting from “real life” regarding the background versus something he simply came up with in his imagination, which I imagine is another possibility!

Either way, a fascinating read!

Greyhound (2020) a (mildly) belated review

If you’ve got the Apple TV+ streaming service, you can see Greyhound, a Tom Hanks starring and written (yes, he was the screenwriter!) film, which was never released to theaters. A victim of COVID, no doubt.

Here’s the pretty damn exciting -to me anyway- trailer:

Watching this once again as I’m typing, I remember my initial excitement upon seeing it and the eagerness I had to see the film proper. The subject matter intrigued me and the effects looked pretty damn good.

Alas, I didn’t have the Apple TV+ service and frankly have enough streaming services as it is. I don’t have the free time to watch so much damn TV nor was I interested in spending yet more money on another streaming service.

Besides, the film was bound to make it to other formats before long, no?


Three years passed and it appears Apple is intent on keeping this movie within its streaming umbrella. I don’t believe either a physical or digital copy of the film is available for purchase.

So it appeared I’d have to wait a while to see the film. However, a few months back I upgraded my cell phone and included in the upgrade was the Apple TV+ streaming service for free.

It would take me a few months from when I got it to finally find the free time but I searched the service and finally got around to watching Greyhound.

Was it as impressive as the trailer made it seem? Was it worth the long wait?


Everything that was good about the film is encapsulated in that trailer. There are good effects and some damn good action sequences which revolve around Hank’s Captain Crause leading the Greyhound, a destroyer escort leading a convoy of supply ships across the Atlantic during World War II while facing off against a “wolfpack” of German submarines.

Here’s the problem, though: That’s pretty much all the film is, one action sequence after another with minimal characterization.

The camera almost exclusively follows Tom Hank’s character and everyone else is relegated to the background. For some reason the film opens with Hank’s character meeting up with Elisabeth Shue’s Evelyn, his wife or girlfriend and then leaving her for the command. Ms. Shue is in the film for something like two minutes, if that.

That and the fact that he’s a religious man who prays before meals and (MILD SPOILERS) prays after everything is over are pretty much all we get in terms of depth (no pun intended) of character.

Otherwise the movie’s dialogue consists of variations of “Hard right rudder!” or “Hard to starboard” while other more minor characters echo Hank’s command.

So while we have minimal characterization and technojargon for dialogue (for the most part), the film does admittedly deliver some thrills with the many battles between Greyhound and the nefarious wolfpack, who very improbably actually radio Greyhound and taunt them while attacking.

I would ultimately recommend this film but with the caveat that it is for those who want to see some exciting high sea action sequences but aren’t put off by a film that has near zero actual characterization.

Greyhound is a decent work but compared to something like Das Boot, it could’a been better.

The collectable market…

I’ve long been fascinated with the market for collectable items, and those which are viewed as valuable.

So when I stumbled upon this article by Zoe Sottile and presented on, I had to give it a look…

A rare “wanted” poster for John Wilkes Booth after he assassinated Lincoln sold for over $160,000

The headline for the most part says it all but I encourage you to click the link and read the details. Seems this particular wanted poster is a rarer version that some that came subsequently but before Booth was found and killed some five days after the assassination of Lincoln.

Because Booth was captured so quickly, there was obviously only a very short period of time these wanted posters with the three chief suspects, including John Surratt and David Herold (who were listed as accomplices), were made and distributed.

This particular wanted poster was handed down through the generation by a single family and they decided it was time to sell it.

Fascinating, fascinating stuff!

Remember those remains found in Lake Mead?

During the very dry period last year and when Lake Mead dropped significantly, human remains were discovered along with a lot of debris.

Welp, from author Treasure Welle and found on…

Lake Mead remains identified as a Las Vegas man who disappeared 25 years ago.

At the risk of spoiling the above article (you should read it!) the man was identified through DNA testing but -and this is key, I suppose- there was no way of telling how he had died and wound up in the lake.

I suppose that makes sense, given the number of years that have passed and the likelihood all they found were his bones…

…yeah, I know, a cheery thought.

One hopes that at least the family of this gentleman get some closure because of this identification.


It genuinely pains me to come back ’round here and seemingly keep returning to the topic of politics but… what can I say? It’s something that’s been front and center with me for a bit.

Ever since the release of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision in June of 2022, the nation has dealt with a post-Roe v. Wade environment.

Those who are strongly against choice have attempted to codify anti-abortion/choice regulations and…

…have found themselves mostly failing to do so.

The latest example happened yesterday when anti-abortion/choice bills failed in both Nebraska and South Carolina (you can read the article about this, by Chandelis Duster and presented on, here).

The first line presented in the above article states:

Measures that would have severely restricted abortion failed Thursday in Nebraska and South Carolina, which both have Republican-controlled legislatures, a reflection of the growing unease among Republicans over the political popularity of strict bans.

The key words, presented above, are at the later parts of that paragraph. Republicans, with good reason, should be uneasy about these stringent attempts at restricting a woman’s choice.

For literally decades there has been this anti-abortion/choice wing of the Republican party that has fought very hard to eliminate abortion/choice completely.

This has allowed many Republicans to use the issue and the fury it creates to get voters to vote for them. The only reason Roe v. Wade was struck by the Supreme Court, based on my reading of the opinions (and I admit in advance to being far from the most knowledgeable person regarding the intricacies of law), is that Trump managed to get several hard right judges into the Supreme Court who very likely lied about their views on Roe v. Wade and its precedence to get themselves voted into the court… then subsequently revealed their true colors when given the opportunity to strike Roe v. Wade down by using lame legal reasoning that seemed designed for them to get their results, even if the logical wasn’t entirely there.

As the saying goes, though, what happens when the proverbial dog catches the car?

So it goes with Republicans and abortion. They have succeeded in negating Roe v. Wade and we’re now seeing that those who were against it were perhaps never more than a minority.

A loud, vocal minority, admittedly, but a minority nonetheless.

And the majority, those who realize the issue of choice and women’s health and their freedom to get the care they need for their bodies without the interference of political bodies… are really annoyed and fighting back.

Based on the last couple of election cycles, they are coming back to bite Republicans -and those trying to further erode a woman’s choice- in their asses.

I don’t know if this will continue into the next few election cycles. Perhaps it won’t. And perhaps there will be deep red states that will manage to adopt more anti-choice legislation.

Given what happened in these two pretty damn red states yesterday, however, I wouldn’t count on it.

The Car (1977) a (boo!) belated review

On the way to my destination I reviewed Shakedown (1988) (you can read that review here) and on the way back I decided to give The Car a return visit.

As with Shakedown, The Car was a film I saw way, waaaaaaaay back when, likely in/around the time it was originally released -likely a few years later- and not since. I recall enjoying the film but it didn’t necessarily stick with me too much.

Here’s the movie’s trailer but, if you haven’t seen the film and are curious to see it, please REFRAIN FROM SEEING IT. Another of those trailers that, IMHO, give away too much of the story.

The film stars James Brolin who, back then, looks a hell of a lot like his son Josh Brolin (No Country For Old Men, The Goonies, The Avengers: Endgame, Deadpool 2, etc. etc.).

The film’s plot is quite simple: In a sleepy desert town somewhere out west, a black sedan suddenly appears and starts killing people in gory ways.

What in tarnation is going on here?

What’s going on is this is a film that falls into that delightful -to me anyway!- movie genre subcategory featuring “homicidal vehicles.” My favorite of them is Steve Spielberg’s first big hit, Duel, but it also includes such films as Killdozer, Maximum Overdrive (Stephen King’s one and only foray into direction), and, if you squint your eyes, Quentin Tarantino’s Deathproof.

The film also, I feel, tries to emulate another Steven Spielberg hit film, the previous year’s release Jaws. In many ways, The Car feels like a land-locked version of Jaws, with the car being the equivalent of the homicidal shark.

As I hadn’t seen the film in so long, several parts of it surprised and delighted me. There are interesting characters littered throughout the film, some nice and others not so nice. You have a character who is fighting alcoholism and, given the events which happen, loses that battle. You have a love interest who’s brave as hell. You also have a climax that truly ratchets up the suspense before giving us a satisfying end.

While I don’t think anyone is going to mistake the artistry of The Car with that present in either Duel or Jaws, The Car nonetheless holds its own as a suspenseful meat-and-potatoes dip into that suspenseful sub-genre.


The Blog of E. R. Torre

%d bloggers like this: