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Alien: Covenant (2017)

Alien: Covenant (2017) Trailer

Starring:  Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup

Director:  Ridley Scott

Runtime:  2 Hr 2 Min

Genre(s):  Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Review by:  John Dixon

Spoiler Free Review: (read if you have NOT seen this movie)

Following the outcomes of the movie “Prometheus” Alien: Covenant takes place about 10 years afterward. A colonizing crew with 2,000+ bodies are on their way to colonize a new world still 7 years away. Everyone is trained on what to do, everything is planned on how to do it. When they get a strange transmission from a habitable planet only a few weeks away they decide to consider this their new home. A decent entry into the Alien franchise, definitely ranked towards the top of this franchise. This movie will explore the origin of the “Aliens” we all know.

Spoiler Filled Review: (read only if you HAVE seen it and don’t care about spoilers)

Seeing aliens walk upright always creep me out. Watching a white one walk upright and just stand there? Best scene in the movie. For me, anyway I thought it added a layer to these creatures knowing that they don’t just run around and tear up humans. I liked to see the aliens evolve in a way to see how they reproduce. To us, its the old fashioned way but this movie introduces the actual old fashioned way. By spore, initially evolving to a more efficient “implant eggs in your mouth” method. Which is what we are used to seeing in an Alien movie. Glad to see Ridley Scott back and in the Alien Directors chair. Following up his Prometheus “comeback” to the Alien franchise he keeps it rolling.

The casting is a confusing one for me. I’m ok with their main cast. Although the biggest parts went to Fassbender (2 roles) an unknown, and an unproven in this genre. The unknown being Katherine Waterston (Daniels) and the unproven being Danny McBride (Tennessee) more famous for his roles in anything with James Franco and his “Eastbound & Down” TV comedy series. It was the small roles by bigger named actors. Like Guy Pearce? I get the fact that his character was in Prometheus (much younger) via flashback. How about James Franco? He was in a 10 second video to his “wife” then gets burned up in his stasis pod. Was that even him in there? That was weird. Maybe McBride had him drop him off at work one day and he decided to hang out and act a bit. I’m throwing Billy Crudup’s role in there for a bit role, because honestly his role was shorter than a 2 year olds attention span during an episode of Matlock.

The plot was simple and straight to the point. Colonists that get detained by John Denver and a “rip your face off and then rip your buddies face off” killer species. The simple story-line is not what bothered me the most about the writing. It was the idiotic characters. Apparently in the future we emulate the movie Idiocracy because these people are pretty clumsy and dumb. 1. Why would anyone visit a new planet without wearing face-masks? Did they not learn anything from War of the Worlds? I understand a Quarantine situation. I don’t think these people quite got it. T’s wife lose’s it and goes back to the “quarantined” room to shoot the Alien? But first there’s blood to slip on. Same idiot then loses containment and then has a chance to shoot and slips on some more blood! Seriously, then she decides to shoot explosive containers. Idiot! I guess Tennessee did marry her for her looks. How about lowering the entire ship below “Safety precautions” and then after things calm down, they take another smaller ship to the planets surface. Why didn’t they just do that to start with without using so much time. How about the new captain shooting the alien over David’s shoulder? That was actually a smart move. What was stupid was the fact that he saw David wanting to trust these Aliens, and then he goes all Captain Dumb-ass and bites when the Android David asks him to look into the Alien egg. Idiot! And finally after being attacked by the last crazy android (David) they just assume that the android that is with them is Walter. Don’t they have some sort of Serial Number? I know when the future comes along and my Fassbender Android steps out of his box, I’m checking for a serial number.

I’m all for Ridley Scott being the director here. But honestly I think he did the best for the way it was written. Jack Paglan should have been spot on. Even Michael Green wrote “Logan”. But he does have the credit of writing Green Lantern. So… there’s that. I’m clueless at who to point the finger at. Maybe it was just better from their point of view because Ridley’s believe it or not story was believe it or not not so wonderful. Cohesive story? Well I really dug all of the interactions of the characters and story prior to John Denver. I was invested. Even with the side step to another planet, I was on board. When we met the Android David and he started just spouting off random crap. I lost interest. Seriously the “recorder/flute” scene had me like WTF is this?! Then we went into the events that followed the last movie and from there it was just a spectacle of seeing how Aliens were made. The special effects were grandiose and I appreciated that. But, Ridley was average on this day.

I didn’t think about it. I just watched it. The ending was predictable. C’mon we all knew that it was really David. The movie was sort of easy to watch, I mean, It didn’t piss me off for any real reason… except for the idiots. They upset me. Greatly. Seriously, didn’t they know it is the #1 rule to NOT have shower sex in a horror genre styled movie? That’s like auto-death right there. Nah, kidding. I liked the simplicity and more than anything it was neat to find out how the Aliens were birthed. The next one should tell us how they got to the planet Ripley found them on in the original movie right?

3.0

STARS

Comic Book Connection Michael Fassbender: X-Men Franchise – Billy Crudup: Watchmen, James Franco: Spider-Man 1,2,3 – Guy Pearce: Iron Man 3
Nudity Bonus Amy Seimetz (Faris) during the Shower scene.  Very small but it still counts!  (the scene not the other… c’mon!)
Favorite Moment Any scene with the Black Long Head Alien in it really.  The standing Alien was cool but I’m a sucker for the OG.
Most Hated Moment Tennessee’s Wife with a shotgun.  That’s all I have to say.  I’m getting heated up just thinking about it.
THIS Movie reminded me of THAT Movie This movie reminded of the original, maybe it was Daniels haircut but something took me back to the original.
What did my wife think of this movie? I really liked it.  It was a well told origin story that tied well into the Alien franchise.
Box Office Budget 97 Million
How much it made Domestically $74,213,560.00
Was it a Box office Success? Or Failure? Failure
Did you notice? 1.  The Xenomorph “Alien” was last seen 10 years ago in the Aliens vs. Predator movie.  Before that was 10 years as well.
2.  When Daniels fought the Alien she said the same thing Ripley said in the original.   “I got you, you son of a bitch.”
3.  Even though it only made 74 million domestically it did pull in 232 Million Worldwide.  I guess the world loves Aliens.
Rotten Tomatoes Score
Critics 71%
Audience 59%

Victor Frankenstein (2015)

Trailer: Victor Frankenstein (2015)

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, James McAvoy, Jessica Brown Findlay

Directed by: Paul McGuigan

Runtime: 1 hr 50 mins

Genre(s):  Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

Review by:  John Dixon

Spoiler Free Review: (read if you have NOT seen this movie)

A re-imagining of the classic horror filled tale of Doctor Frankenstein and his assistant? Yes, his assistant (Daniel Radcliffe) takes center stage here not to upstage the obvious side character that actually is the main character. I’m talking about Doctor Frankenstein folks! There are many tales of Frankenstein, this is one of the many lower on the list. Now, if you’re really wanting a movie on Igor, then I think you’ve found your movie!

 

Spoiler Filled Review: (read only if you HAVE seen it and don’t care about spoilers)

Before I get started, I felt that I needed to give you a brief back story of the Igor character. Did you know that his first appearance in Media was not a movie at all? Not even a book. It was the song “Monster Mash”. You know you’ve heard it. Unless you sleep the entire month of October. The first Frankenstein movie did not contain Igor. The Bride of Frankenstein didn’t either. He had an assistant but his name wasn’t Igor. I will get more into his name later. Lets talk about another name real quick. Victor Frankenstein wasn’t in the first film’s either. In those movies his name was Henry. Just so we are straight here, Victor was the original name for the good doctor. It was a total Bruce Banner / David Banner moment. Which is why I’m guessing they threw in the easter egg of Victor’s “older” brother Henry. The best part of this movie came from its originality and the particular path it took as a story.

You can’t get any better than James McAvoy as Doctor Frankenstein. There were times that he took it to a 10 when it should have been a 9 but he melded the Mad Scientist character with the tortured soul character. Brilliant. Daniel Radcliffe was fine as well as anybody else in the movie. I didn’t have any “acting” complaints from him. Now his character? We will touch on that in a bit. The character of Lorelei I had felt was going to be a damsel in distress character. I thought she would mirror the Elizabeth character that was fiance to Henry Frankenstein in ’31 but this time around possibly fiance to Igor since he was getting a major overhaul. The Barnaby character played by Daniel Mays was convincing but again, the writing didn’t help his cause.

The plot was something that I thought was promising. I remember hearing about this movie before it even filmed. I was excited to see what could happen when they took the story from the point of view of Igor, Frankenstein’s trusty assistant. By the time it made it to theaters though the name had changed most likely because Igor wouldn’t pull in audiences like a trustworthy Movie title such as Frankenstein. Maybe it was named that the whole time, I’m not sure but from the way Radcliffe had described the story, you would think the same thing. Igor taking the name of another man? Maybe this was another Easter egg to the fact that Igor really wasn’t Igor in the earlier classic movies. The Name of this movie should not have been Victor Frankenstein yet it was and they tried to throw the brother connection in there to make this movie tilt more towards his salvation. It was more so Igor’s film and rightfully so, since it was his come up. It made more since to have Igor be a savant when it came to medicine. Why else would Frankenstein choose to have him aid? To get dead bodies John. Oh yeah. There’s always that. They may want to reconsider re-classifying this movie. This isn’t a horror film in any sort of way.

I think Doctor Victor Frankenstein… wait. He never graduated. He wasn’t a Doctor. Did they call him doctor? Anyway, maybe he could have become a great chiropractor. Seriously he fixed a 18-year-old back disorder in the matter of minutes. With only a slam to a pillar and a back brace he had lying around. Oh, and he totally could start-up his own YouTube channel siphoning (by mouth) Cyst’s from People’s backs that are so large that they think they are hunchbacked. So much ridiculous writing. The Hunchback gets the Pretty girl to fall in love with him how? How about how young Igor scaled the side of a mountain after being in bed for like a week and he did it all with no problem! Igor the 1st body encased in Ice? What was the purpose of that? Why did he steal the eyes? Was this to make Igor not trust him. I just don’t know. The crazy Religious Police detective was a one note pony. Would he really gather a bunch of Officers and try to break down this guy’s door when he didn’t have a warrant? Nobody thought to check that out? He was more focused on the fact that he felt he was doing god’s job in this thing. I get that, but c’mon give him some proper reasoning. He was not smart. Can we talk about the “Monster”? My, my that thing was hideous. Not hideous as in scary. But hideous as in this is what they put their best foot forward with. Listen, if you make any form of a Frankenstein movie. Your “Monster” has to be good. This thing was a joke. Lasted about 4 minutes of screen time too. Boo! The monkey abomination was cooler than the actual Frankenstein monster. There! I said it!

I didn’t like this movie. James McAvoy carried my torch, but I carried the pitchfork. Mainly because it could have been so much more than what it turned out to be. I went in thinking that it was going to be the Frankenstein story told through the eyes of Igor. Instead it started that way but got confused halfway through and didn’t have enough steam to make up its mind by the end of the film.

 

1.5

STARS

 

Comic Book Connection James McAvoy (Wanted, X-Men: Origins, X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men: Apocalypse, X-Men: Dark Phoenix)
Nudity Bonus That could have helped this movie out a bit.
Favorite Moment Watching Victor work in the castle (lab).  It reminded me of the classic movie.
Most Hated Moment Sucking crap out of Igor’s back.  Disgusting.
THIS Movie reminded me of THAT Movie This movie reminded me of a subpar Sherlock Holmes movie for some reason.  Not as good.  Not even close.
What did my wife think of this movie? She liked it.  She thought it was good.
Box Office Budget $40,000,000.00
How much it made Domestically $5,775,076.00
Was it a Box office Success? Or Failure? Failure
Did you notice? 1.  Igor does actually say “Yes, Master” in the film.  Monkey showcase at the school.
2.  The movie made Worldwide:  $34,227,298.  Which didn’t even make its budget back.
3.  Max Landis wrote this movie.  He wrote movies like Chronicle, American Ultra, and that’s the decent stuff.
Rotten Tomatoes Score
Critics 24%
Audience 35%

To The Bone (2017)

 

Trailer: To The Bone (2017)

Starring: Lily Collins, Keanu Reeves, Leslie Bibb

Directed by: Marti Noxon

Runtime: 1 hr 47 mins

Genre(s):  Comedy, Drama

Review by:  John Dixon

Spoiler Free Review: (read if you have NOT seen this movie)

To the bone is a dreadful glimpse into a young girls struggle with anorexia. Not only how it affects her as a person but everyone that is in her life past, present and future. Will she accept the help that she needs or will she continue walking around in the sack of bones that is her life. I would pass on this romp in depression if you had the chance to. If you’re forced to watch it then, I would just sit back, relax, and appreciate the acting.

 

Spoiler Filled Review: (read only if you HAVE seen it and don’t care about spoilers)

 

This movie in no way will make you understand what it is like to fight anorexia (I’m assuming) but it will make you feel the desolation and hopelessness one would associate with such a disease. The Doctor gave an unconventional view of looking at things. Some would say that the view is a fresh and much-needed approach to most people living in America in 2017. Grow a pair. Find a way through it.

Lily Collins did a fantastic job. I’m most curious though if she actually dropped the immense amount of weight to star in this movie. She was Skinny yo! She provided a dark Queen vibe to her character that in fact dealt with her problems in dry sarcastic way. I related in a way, but couldn’t fully relate because I’ve never had an eating disorder. I do have a weight problem. I can’t weight to eat! OK, that was tasteless. Moving on. The supporting cast was acceptable. Keanu Reeves played a small part but believable while there. Leslie Bibb even smaller and was quick to exit (She lost weight too). Carrie Preston gets my “most annoying” award. I had a feeling that someone would get it, I didn’t think it would be the True Blood alumni but it was. Her stuffy self obsessed with image character drove me nut-balls. I’m just glad that she was the only character to make my blood temp go up.

The plot was probably more deep than I’m giving it credit for. If you are reading this spoiler section I shouldn’t have to warn you again that spoilers do occur in this part of the review. The movie was lacking direction. Throughout the movie we are watching this girl go through pain and suffering. Constantly saying that she’s sorry but never showing it. Never really turning any corners. There was a period of her “getting better” but it was written so obviously I could see a mile away that her and Luke’s relationship would go downhill and in turn the 3rd act would begin. I was truly on board waiting for that turning point or maybe like her doctor had said “that rock bottom point that was necessary for her” to happen but before that happened I fell off the bus when Ellen/Eli’s mom broke out the Rice milk bah bah. It was hard to go forward from that. Having Ellen/Eli then pass out like I’m sure she’d done many a times suddenly realize that she wasn’t dead this time was what made her want to live? I just didn’t buy it.

My first review for a Netflix Original movie! That is a first. I just hoped that it would have lived up to the Netflix quality standard. The side characters were in and out. I would have liked to have seen more from each one. Maybe how they were affected by Ellen/Eli’s life would have been narrative-ly in place. But we didn’t really see that. They were supporting characters to watch this character drown further and further, and did little to actually support.

Once she hit rock bottom, the movie was basically over. She went home and hugged an awful person, said hi to her sister and went and stood in the doorway to the “Threshold”. Did she stay? Did she go back? Did she see Luke? She said that she would be alright but I just sat through an hour and a half can I get some more closure? Nope. I just have to assume that everything worked out for young Eli.

2.5

STARS

 

Comic Book Connection Leslie Bibb (Iron Man, Iron Man 2), Keanu Reeves (Constantine),
Nudity Bonus Ok, yeah I think it was Lily Collins but it was sad seeing her naked body so skinny.  During her fall to rock bottom.
Favorite Moment When Ellen was able to eat a goo goo chocolate nutcluster.  It was monumental for her.
Most Hated Moment Anything 1 second after Susan (Carrie Preston) said anything.
THIS Movie reminded me of THAT Movie This movie reminded of many movies that depresses the shit out of you and then doesn’t give you a strong positive feeling before it ends.  Not saying all movies need to do this but this movie put the character through the ringer with little to no pay off in the end.
What did my wife think of this movie? “It was good.  I thought it was a touching and realistic expression of what people who deal with this go through.”
Box Office Budget This may not count as budget but, Netflix bought the film for 8 million dollars.
How much it made Domestically Netflix doesn’t release these numbers
Was it a Box office Success? Or Failure? Success?  Who knows.
Did you notice? 1.  Lobo was played by “Retta” from Parks and Recreation.  What day is it?  “Treat yo self day!”
2.  Keanu reeves didn’t say “whoa” one time during the entire hour and 47 minutes.  Old joke.  I’m retiring it.
3.  When close-ups of Ellen’s body was shown showing her “skinniness” her head is not shown.  Body double??
Rotten Tomatoes Score
Critics 73%
Audience 71%

The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

 

Trailer:  The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Starring: Boris Karloff, Elsa Lanchester, Colin Clive

Directed by:  James Whale

Runtime:  1 hr & 15 min

Genre(s): Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

Review by: John Dixon

Spoiler Free Review: (read if you have NOT seen this movie)

4 years following the original “Frankenstein” movie we get a direct sequel that starts by having Mary Shelley describe that her characters were not actually killed off in the movie. From there we discover that Frankenstein’s monster had much more living to do, finding friends, more enemies, and a potential mate.

Spoiler Filled Review: (read only if you HAVE seen it and don’t care about spoilers)

The Bride of Frankenstein is a movie that you must see if you are a fan of old monster movies. Much more character building for Frankenstein’s monster and I love that it connects to the 1931 Frankenstein movie seamlessly. We are introduced to a new menacing “mad scientist” in Dr. Pretorius. More evil than his college Dr. Henry Frankenstein and he steals the scenes he is in with his mere presence. If you are worried about being scared though, you have nothing to worry about. There is no fright in this movie.

The over acting is a staple for the 1930’s Hollywood picture. They had to over act like this in silent films so, the acting had carried over well after they started including audio. During the beginning of the film I’m assuming they were going for levity and the inclusion of some comedic elements to make the scarier more horrifying. Instead they made the sillier almost unwatchable. I’m pointing my Frankenstein finger at one character exclusively. Minnie was a distraction. For instance when she is running from the monster it takes away from everything Frankenstein is supposed to be. Several times I expected to hear the Munsters theme music, which made me sad. Because like many, I’m sure I’ve built these classic monster movies up in my head to scarier than they actually are. There isn’t an Igor character here but we do have a “Karl”. Karl is an idiot, Don’t be like Karl. Unless he made it out of there at the end, then I suspect that Karl is smarter than his eyebrows make him look.

 

Frankenstein is a living creature that is made from the bodies of dead people. He just wants to be human and help others. His appearance keeps people from reacting anything close to civil. You attack the monster, you get thrown to the ground. Frankenstein comes across an old blind man to reiterate the fact that if you can’t see him you won’t be afraid of him. They become friends and in a short period of time (I assume) the old man teaches his friend to speak. Good, Bad, Friend, ya know, the basics in everyday speech. Phil Hartman’s portrayal of Frankenstein in SNL came to mind when Frankenstein’s Monster had uttered the words “Fire, Bad!!”. We even saw ole frankie puffin’ away on a stogie! That’s a sight of disappointment let me tell you. Its like walking in on Superman as he is taking his hairpiece off. The friendship of the old man allowed Frankenstein’s monster to open up and be controlled by Dr. Pretorius. Which after some strong arming by the evil doctor he got Dr. Frankenstein to agree to make the monster a mate. Only to realize that this woman saw him as everyone else did. A monster.

The story is lacking in payoff in my opinion. I went into the movie assuming that I would see The Bride of Frankenstein for at least half of the movie. I mean, its her movie! No, that is not the case here folks. The final 4 minutes of the movie is when Frankenstein’s mate is revealed to the world. I really liked her mannerisms and there was so much there to build on. 2 seconds later it was over. It was easy to take note of the famous line spoken by Dr. Frankenstein. “She’s Alive!” which is foreshadowed earlier in the scene. (look for it) As for Dr. Pretorius’ introduction I felt the “tiny” people were over the top unnecessary to the movie and we could have established his crazy mad scientist background another way that had a closer tie to Dr. Frankenstein. Cinematography was pretty cool especially when they would try to make Dr. Pretorious look menacing and mad. Tilting the camera with electricity in the background is always a win.

I felt they could have put so much more into the ending. We were just introduced to the Title character and 4 minutes later the movie ends leaving our characters (minus one Dr. Frankenstein) dead. Frankenstein assuredly dead just as in the first film. The story was put together well, but I must say that the title of the film was completely off. I’m renaming this one to Frankenstein 2: The Blind Friend. Reason being it was the old blind man that moved the Frankenstein’s monster character along to allow him to side with the evil doctor and in turn die again. There was two alternative titles that were used in the USA release. Frankenstein Lives Again! & The Return of Frankenstein which fits the story so much better than what it ended up being known for.

3.5

STARS

 

Comic Book Connection n/a
Nudity Bonus n/a
Favorite Moment When we get to see The Bride of Frankenstein unveiled to the world.  Very cool.
Most Hated Moment Frankenstein smokin’ a stogie while bouncing with joy listening to his friend play the violin.
THIS Movie reminded me of THAT Movie This movie reminded me of the original but with more Frankenstein talking.
What did my wife think of this movie? She didn’t watch this movie.  Could I blame her?
Box Office Budget $397,024.00
How much it made Domestically $2,000,000.00
Was it a Box office Success? Or Failure? Success
Did you notice? 1.  Christian imagery is seen throughout the film.  Ie. Monster on a crucifix?
2.  Dr. Henry Frankenstein is seen in the castle while the building is collapsing, yet he escapes in the end.
3.  When the bride see’s the Monster for the first time she actually smiles.
Rotten Tomatoes Score
Critics 100%
Audience 87%

Minions (2015)

 

Trailer:  Minions (2015)

Starring:  Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton

Directed by:  Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin

Runtime:  1 Hr 31 min

Genre(s):  Animation, Comedy

Review by:  John Dixon

Spoiler Free Review: (read if you have NOT seen this movie)

 

You’ve seen the Despicable Me movies right?  Well, have you ever wondered where the Minions come from and how they long to serve the most evil of villains?  This movie points you in the right direction.  Seriously, there is one goal here and it is to find out that one thing that happened to the minions to bring them to where we know them today.  The kids will love it and you will like it.  How does this movie rank against the Despicable Me movies?  It comes in 3rd.  Lacking that specific touch that Gru has.  Unfortunately, the Minions cannot carry an entire movie by themselves.  Although it made a TON of money in the box office so, millions of people can’t be all wrong… right?

 

Spoiler Filled Review: (read only if you HAVE seen it and don’t care about spoilers)

 

I’ve always thought the Minions were the highlights to the Despicable Me movies.  Like everyone else it made you wonder why they just don’t have their own movie.  I’m glad we get a taste of what that would be like.  Can we go back now?  Even though you singled out 3 Minions and made them stand out as individuals.  It doesn’t help me feel like there are hundreds of minions that could do the same job.  Ok, they aren’t singled out as much but there are some changes made to them to make them more unique.  For example, Bob’s eyes & hair, & Kevin is a different Kevin from the first film.

With Sandra Bullock and Jon Hamm leading the charge you would figure that the acting is top notch.  …and it is.  I have no problems with the acting but I do have to say why use these actors/actress if you’re going to make them so different than what we can expect.  I don’t really find Sandra Bullock to be a great villain-ess, but she hardly sounded like Sandra and I knew Jon Hamm was in this movie but couldn’t peg him until I IMDB’d it.  So, in this case why not pay some cheaper actors for the job that they did anyway?  Why?  because Sandra and Jon put little denim butts in the seats that’s why.  The only casting I was happy with was Steve Carrell as young Gru.  Michael Keaton was in this movie!?  He played Walter somebody?  I didn’t even know that!

How was that plot?  It was interesting to see what the Minions did pre-Gru.  I wished they would have spent more time on the days before Villain-Con.  I thought the evolution of the Minions was super interesting but it went by way too fast.  We basically jumped right into 1968 and they just so happen to meet the Villain just before they meet Gru.  If it were me, I would be looking at this as a series of movies.  Take them way back and track their adventures.  Don’t introduce a young Gru until the final 3rd movie!  Winner!  No, it’s like they felt this movie had no legs.  The minion characters were written pretty plain even though each one of the 3 stood out on purpose.  Nothing new here, same old antics, same old banana.  Scarlett Overkill was a little bit over kill.  She was nice then she was bad, then nice then crazy.  What did she do to earn the spot of top villain?  Nobody knows, its just a title as easily won as grabbing them red gem out of my hand…  I did like Herb.  He was funny.

I want to tell the directors that they forgot something.  If they weren’t planning on making another Minions movie then why didn’t they throw in Dr. Nefario.  He could have been younger and awesome to see what he was doing in the 60’s.  The reason I bring him up is because he has been instrumental in the movies and to not even give him a shout out I think is a missed opportunity.  This movie flows fairly well until the ending.  Its just a flippity floppity here’s the ending because we didn’t know how else to end it type ending.  Although the very ending…

…was my favorite part.  Gru completes these characters.  I think we all know that now.  I was interested in finding the true Hollywood story of the Minions and I get one anecdote about this chick claiming to be all evil tricking them to steal the Queen’s crown.  Weird sloppy story and the end.  We meet Gru.  Don’t get me wrong, My Kids loved this movie!  My son is all about the Minions and he loved it especially.

 

 

3.0

STARS

Comic Book Connection Michael Keaton – Batman, Batman Returns
Nudity Bonus Minion Butt.
Favorite Moment The introduction to Gru
Most Hated Moment I thought the giant Kevin was a bit too much on the side of “ok, lets go big or go home” type movie making.
THIS Movie reminded me of THAT Movie Reminded me of Puss In Boots, or Penguins of Madagascar where the spin-off wasn’t as good as the main movie.
What did my wife think of this movie?
Box Office Budget $74,000,000.00
How much it made Domestically $324,755,670.00
Was it a Box office Success? Or Failure? Success
Did you notice? 1. That Michael Keaton played Walter Nelson in this movie.  Yeah, I had no clue (as I mentioned above)
2. Geoffrey Rush was the Narrator.  Wow they needed to exentuate their voice talent here.
3. This movie ranks #2, just below Despicable Me 2 in terms of Box Office haul in the 3 film series.
Rotten Tomatoes Score  Did not watch the entire movie.  Fell asleep…
Critics 54%
Audience 52%

Trainwreck (2015)

Trailer:  Trainwreck (2015)

Starring:  Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Brie Larson

Directed by:  Judd Apatow

Runtime:  2 hrs & 5 min

Genre(s):  Comedy Romance

Review by: John Dixon

Spoiler Free Review: (read if you have NOT seen this movie)1_natural

Growing up with a father that didn’t believe in monogamy is what sisters Amy & Kim did.  After their mother was out of the picture there was nobody left to raise them but their father.  This spells trouble for Amy (Amy Schumer) when her future shows up right in her face and she doesn’t know how to handle it.  That means she doesn’t date well.  With an all star cast to help out Amy’s first theatrical release written and starring her you will love the relationships, cringe at the self destruction, and then wonder how it all stays together.  If this is considered her freshman effort man, I can’t wait to see what she does next.  Standard practice for Judd Apatow, as his comedies are always good.

 

Spoiler Filled Review: (read only if you HAVE seen it and don’t care about spoilers)

 

I bet you figured that Amy Schumer was funny.  Yeah, you got that from the trailers.  Really, she is a talent.  She is more daring in her comedy than most females and Bill Hader was the perfect combination to make this thing hit.  I’m also glad that Hader finally was substantial this time around.  Most of the time he’s playing a side character that is funny as hell but has no real purpose.  He plays the boyfriend that almost gets away and even though there wasn’t an airport scene with Amy running through it dodging people, bags & babies he played the girl getting on the plane.  …so to speak.  I did enjoy the many appearances from a lot of stars.  Amy really called in the favors for this one.  Check this out:  Colin Quinn, John Cena, Dave Attell, Tilda Swinton, Randall Park, Ezra Miller, Mike Birbiglia, LeBron James, Daniel Radcliffe, Marisa Tomei, Method Man (nice accent), Tim Meadows, Amare Stoudemire, Matthew Broderick, Marv Albert, Chris Evert just to name the ones I recognized.

Which brings me to my next part.  Casting.  Who wasn’t cast in this movie?  I wasn’t.  I thought Colin had a perfect role as well as Amy Schumer & Bill Hader.  Perfect roles.  Mike Birbiglia nailed the “playin it safe” hubby perfectly.  So, I liked the casting a lot.  Brie Larson (sister Kim) could have been played by anyone I feel, but maybe I just missed her “nailed it” part of the movie.  Not only bringing the perfect role selections but acting was on Par for your typical Comedy/Romance film.  Although LeBron is not your typical actor on a scale from Kazamm to He Got Game LeBron scored a slightly better than MJ in Space Jam.  I make it sound like Amy made the movie but I got to give credit to the director Judd Apatow.  With movies like This is 40, Knocked Up, The 40 year-old virgin, this movie falls right in there.

I’m impressed that Amy Schumer wrote and starred in this movie.  But that’s not going to stop me from picking it apart.  My first problem was the non-information about her dad.  If it was briefly mentioned and I didn’t catch it I’m sorry, but I had no idea what was wrong with him.  I wanted to understand why he was the only “Younger” guy in a assisted living facility.  He just didn’t look aged enough to warrant that.  So, my wife had guessed stroke.  Most stroke victims have it affect one side of their body.  He was facially all there.  Expressions all over the place.  So, that wasn’t it.  Then he dies of what?

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alcoholism?  I don’t know, I can’t tell ya.  I wished there was some explanation on that.  I could have felt that loss a bit more if I wasn’t spending that time trying to figure out why he died.  Second problem, LeBron James is besties with a doctor (surgeon)?  I didn’t buy it.  It felt more like a conversation was made “wouldn’t it be cool if you were best friends with King James?  Yeah!  Let’s make THAT happen!  Oh, and Amy next time you write a

movie… give your characters last names.  No biggie just a small thing that makes people human.  Aaron got a last name and the “guest” stars got to keep their names.  My final gripe would be the fact that they were apart for several months before she tried to “win” him back.  I’m sorry but after a girl/guy self destructs a relationship if it isn’t resolved in that week then its over buddy.  Sorry but thats the truth.  The longer you go without that person that bad taste that was left in your mouth grows into a horrible fungus and you learn to not want to be with them.  So, other than that piece being totally fictional once in a lifetime type stuff, I did enjoy how she won him back.  It was very fitting of the character.  The plot was overused and it could have been found in any romantic comedy out there in your local Netflix queue.  That’s why I think everyone did great with a overused plot.  They made it feel new.

It’s not everyday you get a 2 hour comedy.  Most are scheduled for 1 hr and a half.  So, with that being said I didn’t notice the time and they made it as long as it needed to be to tell a great story.  Her destructive bomb towards the end felt forced and annoying because we were all expecting it to happen but the movie recovered fast and kept it going.  The soundtrack was a party soundtrack at times which I enjoyed.  Other than that nothing to write home about.  Actually, it did make me think when is the “y’all ready for this!” anthem at basketball games is going to go away.  Its been around since forever ago and I’m ready to say goodbye.  Anyone else?

Like I said above, it didn’t seem very believable but lets pretend this is a movie and say that this is make believe.  I liked the ending.  Very fitting and well deserved.

4.0

STARS

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Comic Book Connection Tilda Swinton (future role) – Doctor Strange, Ezra Miller (future role) – The Flash, Marisa Tomei (future role) – Untitled Spider-Man (2017)
Nudity Bonus Oh, and all the Man Ass in this movie doesn’t get a Nudity bonus.  Sorry.  Not today!
Favorite Moment Cheerleader Win Back dance with a double flip not-quite-dunk!
Most Hated Moment LeBron James asking Amy what her intentions are.  It was bad yall.
THIS Movie reminded me of THAT Movie Most Rom Coms but with a role reversal.
What did my wife think of this movie? Trainwreck was pretty funny, some of it might have made me a little nostalgic for my younger years.  And no, I will not be more specific on which parts reminded me of my younger self.  Amy Schumer is absolutely hilarious and Bill Hader was amazing as usual.  I am like most other chicks and love the Rom-Coms all day long!  This one was no different, but it was a nice reminder of what would have happened if I hadn’t met my husband at the age of twenty. 🙂
Box Office Budget $35,000,000.00
How much it made Domestically $102,384,000.00
Was it a Box office Success? Or Failure? Success
Did you notice? 1.  Method Man was using an African Accent.  I think it was African?
2.  How much Chris Evert looks like an older Cheri O’Teri.  I was lookin for Will Ferrell to pop out.
3.  Six SNL Alum was in this film:   Bill Hader, Vanessa Bayer, Pete Davidson, Leslie Jones, Tim Meadows and Colin Quinn
Rotten Tomatoes Score
Critics 85%
Audience 75%

 


Ex Machina (2015)

Trailer: Ex Machina

Starring: Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac

Directed by:  Alex Garland

Runtime: 1 hr 48 mins

Genre(s):  Sci-Fi, Drama

Review by:  John Dixon

Spoiler Free Review: (read if you have NOT seen this movie)

Caleb is a programmer (Gleeson) that works for a Search Engine company and is chosen to be a tester of sorts to assist in a project to verify Artificial Intelligence.  Nathan (Isaac) needs a person to come in fresh and go through specialized testing to find out if his created A.I. can be considered 100% believable.  Is anything really alive without flesh and bones?  Is Nathan just using Caleb in his own testing?  Your questions will be answered don’t worry.  Although I wasn’t a fan of the ending, this movie engaged me and wouldn’t let go.  I was thinking on many different levels as this movie was going to try and figure out the end game.  I loved the plot and it did seem predictable at times.  Either that or I got real lucky calling some things.  Oscar Isaac & Domhnall Gleeson prove that they are going to be forces to be reckoned with in the coming years.  Alicia Vikander makes a breakout performance (can I say that with 19 acting credits under her belt prior to this movie already?) as the AI and comes off not robotic and quite human.  Very old school Sci-Fi driven and one heck of a watch!

 

Spoiler Filled Review: (read only if you HAVE seen it and don’t care about spoilers)

I was blown away by this movie.  I love when movies make me think and this movie did no less.  What happens when you create the perfect A.I.?  Do you just move over and let it evolve or do you try to control it and make it better?  Questions are answered here but still leaves you with the question that you pose to yourself.  What would you do? Theoretical Ethics class begins now!  If I could build an AI I would.  But I would definitely put into place Asimov’s 3 Laws of robotics.  1.  A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.  2.  A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings, except when it conflicts with the first law.  3.  A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.  These laws would have resolved any problems Nathan & Caleb had regarding uprising.

Let’s start with the setting.  We start at Isla Nublar aka the Island from “LOST”, aka I’m only kidding.  Really, the location and setting play a huge part in what you end up feeling throughout the movie.  Alone.  You are alone here.  The locking features on the doors and the extreme nature hike you would need to take will make you feel anxious to get out.  One of the many things added to this movie to make you feel anxious in a non-thrilling movie.  Okay, there was some thriller-y parts but it’s not committed to them.  The score added to the intense anxious feeling you get while watching.  A lot of loud crashing sounds in the score.  Reminiscent of 70’s-80’s sci-fi.

The plot itself is written pretty simply.  It is a step up though in terms of what Alex Garland has written thus far in his career.  28 Days Later, Sunshine, Dredd are some of the credits to make your own judgement.  This plot and story line was pretty predictable.  My wife called the “who’s causing the power outages”.  I called the “He is testing the tester” theory.  I also called the “Kyoko is a android” thing way before it was revealed.  I really hope you saw my spoilers declaration above.  I did not call the ending of the movie.  That was one twist I was not expecting.  I like how Nathan explained in detail the level of in depth programming he did while standing in front of the Pollack painting.  In lay-mans terms he said that if he programmed “Love” then it would be a simple emotion.  1 dimensional.  What he did instead was to program everything that surrounded the emotion so that Love would come naturally.  It seems that he got that wrong in the end.  I also like how Garland threw in there the Heterosexuality as not being a choice.  

The overall feel to this movie has a creepy overtone.  The immediate friendship of Nathan is comforting and yet off-putting at the same time.  The special effects were very simplistic and I like the “cost cutting” idea of throwing clothes on the models.  The bodies felt real enough so they did their job there.  Also, I wasn’t 100% on how that skin worked.  I would like to have had a brief discussion on that.

I will probably watch Ex Machina a few more times in the coming years to see what I missed before.  The ending is my beef.  I don’t like that Nathan was murdered by his own creation.  Seemed plausible enough though.  Didn’t Ultron (from Avengers) once say that “Everyone creates the thing they dread”.  I will continue.  I don’t like how Caleb was just left to die.  When did Ava have time to reverse his programming (when the power goes off the doors open).  Shouldn’t they have shown that?  I wanted some closure on him but didn’t get it.  Are we getting a sequel?  Who knows.  Outstanding movie.  Not so outstanding ending.

4.5

STARS

 

Comic Book Connection Oscar Isaac – X-men: Apocalypse
Nudity Bonus Alicia Vikander – Full, Sonoya Mizuno – Full, Gana Bayarsaikhan – Full, Claire Selby – Full
Favorite Moment Any of the sessions.  Each one is good in its own.  I can’t pick one.
Most Hated Moment When Ava leaves Caleb.
THIS Movie reminded me of THAT Movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.  More-so the score and overall creepiness to the film.
What did my wife (Tiffany) think of this movie? I really liked this movie. It was really easy to follow without being over your head smart but still has you thinking what’s going to happen next. And who doesn’t love a movie with a robot?! In all seriousness I would recommend it to anyone looking for an exciting keeps you on your toes drama with a touch of sci-fi.
Box Office Budget $15,000,000.00
How much it made Domestically $25,423,377.00
Was it a Box office Success? Or Failure? Success
Did you notice? 1.  That Gleeson & Isaac are going to be in Star Wars: The Force Awakens together.
2.  Nathan’s Estate is mostly real.  As seen in a Vanity Affair article Here.
3.  Go watch “About Time” for another good movie with Domhnall Gleeson and for Oscar Isaac go watch “Inside Llewyn Davis“.
Rotten Tomatoes Score
Critics 92%
Audience 86%


Horrible Bosses 2 (2014)

Trailer: Horrible Bosses 2 (2014)

Starring: Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day

Directed by:  Sean Anders

Runtime: 1 hr 48 mins

Genre(s):  Comedy, Crime

Spoiler Free Review:

The sequel to the very funny Horrible Bosses movie does more of the same but with a different formula.  Dean, Kurt, and Nick want to live life without having a boss in their life.  They want to be the boss.  So, they come up with an idea that can make them millions.  Just because they have an idea though doesn’t mean that they know how to run a business.  This sequel does not fall into the pitfall of the first formula which is nice but doesn’t have a lot of the laugh out loud moments the first had and it really is less funny all together.  Chris Pine is a welcome but seems to be out of his element here.

Spoiler Filled Review:

Horrible Bosses 2 was supposed to be just as funny if not funnier than the original movie.  It’s hard to have a movie were they try to kill another boss so, they are now the Bosses (in a way) and instead they kidnap Rex (Chris Pine).  There wasn’t much room to move with this movie.  Once the idea was layed out it played out the rest of the movie with 1 twist that I could have done without.  As a comedy it felt it may have been better as a Crime flick.  Because the funny was too forced at times.

I love Charlie Day (plays Dale) normally.  But in this movie he annoyed the heck out of me.  But so did Jason Sudeikis’ (Kurt) character too.  They seemed very shallow as characters and were there only for jokes.  Jokes that didn’t come off as that funny.  I would say 30% of everything they said made me chuckle.  The other 70% had me like Jason Bateman’s character (Nick).  “See, prime illustration that you two are idiots!”.  Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacey, and Jamie Foxx’s characters felt forced a bit but they were additions that helped make it feel like it was a true sequel instead of just another movie with these 3 guys from Horrible Bosses.  Finally, with the addition of Chris Pine & Christoph Waltz it seemed like this movie just got a shot of class.  I said “seemed” like.  Waltz (Bert) had very short scenes but was great and Pine seemed very much out of his element.  I would rather him be in an action flick even though I do believe he got his start in rom coms.  I found his character to be campy and annoying.

The idea that they had in this movie was very nice.  Obviously most of the plotting came from the Rex character because these idiots couldn’t do something that complicated.  I thought it added a nice touch to a new feel of the movie.  The Score/Soundtrack helped freshen this movie up by throwing in some Katie Perry, NWA, Cali Swag District to name a few.

It felt the 3 main actors had a lot of control in this movie.  I felt they used a lot of ad-lib throughout giving the director something to edit in the final process.  I thought the movie followed a very cohesive track until we hit the twist.  After that it felt the movie tried to hurry up and end.  Maybe that’s just me but I wasn’t a fan of the twist.  I wanted to see these guys have it all and beat the “bad” guy in the process.  It was very formulaic until that point and I get thrown a curveball.  It’s fine I guess, just wasn’t my favorite.  As for the director?  Sometimes if everything goes without problems it’s because the director handled everything pretty well and did a fine job editing the final product.

I liked it.  It wasn’t the funniest movie of the year but definitely earns a spot right behind the first film.

3.5

STARS

Comic Book Connection Jamie Foxx – The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Christoph Waltz – The Green Hornet
Nudity Bonus None.
Favorite Moment Riding in the getaway car with MF’r Jones
Most Hated Moment When Rex is trying to convince Nick to not give up and the other 2 guys are over talking him.  It really annoyed me.
THIS Movie reminded me of THAT Movie The Hangover 2 – Not following the exact same formula like this movie but still…
Box Office Budget $42,000,000.00
How much it made Domestically $54,445,357.00
Was it a Box office Success? Or Failure? Success
Did you notice? 1.  That beginning weather guy was the guy from the old Playstation Commercials.  Glad to see him get some work.
2.  Keeley Hazell was Rex’s Assistant in the movie  (Woah!!  Here is a link to show you what I’m talking about)
3.  That the outtakes at the end of the movie were not funny at all.  Most outtakes are hilarious.
Rotten Tomatoes Score
Critics 35%
Audience 49%

Man-Thing (2005)

Trailer: Man-Thing (2005)

Starring:  Jack Thompson, Matthew Le Nevez, Steve Bastoni  – Directed By:  Brett Leonard

Running Time: 1hr & 37 mins – Genre: Action, Horror, Sci-Fi

 

Big JD (Host)

Movie Selection Relevance

This movie is a Marvel comics based character movie.  That’s all I need to say.  But additionally this will be my last chance to pick a bad movie for the crew.  More on that in the coming weeks.

Synopsis:

Murders and citizens gone lost are a major problem in this Louisana swamp town.  Not to mention the local businessman is hard at work pumping oil out of the earth into his pockets and destroying the Swamp environment while doing it.  Enter: New sheriff in town to get down to business.  In this movie Man-Thing doesn’t appreciate people that desecrate his land.  For he is guardian and protector of the Nexus of All Realities.  They all are responsible.  They all must pay.

Review:

Man-Thing had so much potential to be a very interesting and good movie.  You can figure out right away that this movie wasn’t released in theatres in the US but internationally was instead.  Direct to DVD was its purpose here but not before airing on the Sci-Fi network first.   Like any movie though if there is boobs present then I will definitely give it at least a half star rating.  Boob-tacular!  And this movie starts off like an 80’s slasher flick with the two kids running off into the forest (replace with Swamp) to bake some cookies.  Along with his bad hick accent.  And as to be expected you get the boob scene.  It lasts for a couple seconds but has to be the best part of the movie sad enough.  It wouldn’t be so bad but we don’t get a full clear shot of the Title character until 1 hour and 13 minutes into the movie.  He is hinted and teased the whole movie.  Did I mention that this movie runs 1 hour and 37 minutes.  If you are going to have a movie based on a character then have the character in the movie at least 50% of the time.  5% screen time does not work fella’s.

Speaking of the main character lets touch on some points of Source Material.  Man-Thing is from the Florida Everglades and that is where the Nexus of all Realities is located.  For what reason did this need to be changed?  Ted Sallis was not of Indian origin.  He was not an Elder Shaman he was a scientist.  I guess it really doesn’t matter since we never see him.  But that brings in all the Indian lore that I’ll touch on shortly.  Man-Thing did not go on killing sprees.  He is empathetic.  Very much to the point that someone that is expressing Fear disturbs him greatly and freaks out.  Also, Man-thing does not have these Tendrils of destruction that seem to go anywhere in the swamp.  The moving tendrils really bothered me because it takes away from the look of Man-Thing.  Although they did do a good job bringing him to life.  Even though it wasn’t correct.  Quick question to the writer’s.  Where did Man-Thing get the Oil that he made pour out of Schist?  That doesn’t make sense.  The Seminole Reservation was near the fictitious town of Citrusville in the comics.  So it doesn’t seem cliché if source material is kept right?  We don’t know what city this movie takes place in actually.  So, having this “green”, “let’s save the planet” type of feel to this movie you almost expect to see a crying Indian walking across the screen at some point.    Don’t litter or Man-Thing will rip you in half.

The acting at times is over acted and at others under acted.  Over and Under this seems to be bad.  It may be the writing.  Because as an example the teacher Teri Richards in the beginning is protesting and she shoves the Sheriff into the mud.  I don’t care what “reality” you are living in but that is assaulting a police officer which is not excusable.  Even though he takes her to the pokey he lets her go for other reasons so that maybe possibly one day he can…. Pokey.  “I want to see my lawyer!  I have rights!”  Right.  After you assault a sheriff you lose all those rights lady.  There are other times that her acting is good but for the wrong movie.  Way too dramatic when it doesn’t fit the scene.  Like the goodbye save our lives scene for instance.  It just seemed like the perfect time to give the audience a screen kiss because the first one was interrupted.  One comment I would like to clear up for the good Sherriff.  He mentioned that Life magazine went out of business.  Well, maybe when the script was Written but Life magazine started back up in 2004 and went to 2007.  This movie was released in 2005 so at that time He was telling a lie.  Just thought you should know.

If you don’t have anything to do for an hour and a half and you don’t mind wasting your life then check this movie out.  If you are a Marvel Comics fan then you need to check this movie out simply because you’re a fan.  It’s fun to see what they change for no good reason.  For example Ted Sallis wa s the only character kept from the comic books.  Here is a Easter egg for ya.  Ted Sallis’ wife Ellen Brandt is a character in Iron Man 3.  It’s the lady that attacks Tony in the Bar.  Interesting?  Yes, because originally Ted Sallis was working on recreating Erskin’s Super Soldier Serum along with the infamous Curt Conners (The Lizard).  To adapt to the story she is still an agent of AIM and after Man-Thing burns her face off (after she attempts to steal the formula) she goes into the special testing led by Killian.  Ok, Ok… that is a different movie.  Go watch this one now.  …or not.

Comic book Connection:  None.

Nudity Bonus:  Imogen Bailey (T)(4:28, 5:14)

 

2.0‘s

Ran-Dizzle

Well where do I begin…. First of all I didn’t think any Marvel movie could be worse then Elektra…and then I watched this. What fresh hell had Lionsgate Films brought to me this time. Oh they killed a not so popular 70’s-80’s Marvel Character….Man-Thing.

At first it kept my attention, then it kind of faded off…especially when the Sherif Kyle Williams was getting no where in his investigation other then someone or something was in the swamp killing people…the real part where I almost shut this movie off was right after he investigates the girl in the Psyche ward who sits there calm and then screams for no reason…had no real importance other than she witnessed the boy who she was rocking the boat with die. And they didn’t persue anymore…or ask the doctors any questions it was scream in my face move along…I thought WHAT?! nothing?

If I remember right Man-Thing’s role was Ted Sallis was a Scientist that injected a serum into his body and then later during a crash that landed into the swamp where mystical powers take over with the serum and turns him into Man Thing…where in this movie he’s a spiritual being that is ANGRY….and we all know Green Angry things are not good. So I am glad they kept Ted Sallis and the Nexus of All Realities in this movie but seriously I didn’t like how they made Man-Thing more of a avenged killer instead of the “Hero” he’s supposed to be, let alone an angry spiritual defender with a bloodlust.

The story was ok, I think after half way it kind of dragged along as you see people randomly die. I think it had a solid idea but that was all it was, an idea. I kind of half thought this was a thought in the head of the director and fed the actors the lines from his head before the camera.  Like it was all being written while it was in process. I think had the story been more detailed and given a little more depth this could have been better than Ghost Rider. (Of course it wouldn’t have Nicolas Cage but who would stop him from trying?)

For actors I’ve never heard of playing the roles they didn’t do bad but I really don’t see them getting much of a career after this…

Sadly this movie made Elektra worth watching again. Thanks Lionsgate

2.5‘s

 

Kimmay!

So I can’t say that I LOVED this movie but it was rather enjoyable for what it was. In the opening scene all I could think was this is a total B-rated horror film. With boobies and blood galore.

The special effects were, well, rather special. The Man-Thing was scary in it’s own right and if I were ever to meet him in the dark of the swamp, he wouldn’t have to stab me to death with his branches of doom, I would just die of fright. His ruby red eyes from the pits of hell were rather fun to look at whenever they did a close up of the face.

I have to say this movie did not go by the rules I thought Marvel played by. I was sure the creature in the swamp was evil and not just trying to protect all the universes and that the new sheriff was going to become some crazy super hero and save the day. Well that did not happen. The sheriff stayed human and the Man-Thing was just doing what it was meant to do, even if it was a lil extreme.

I have no recollection of the music at all so it couldn’t have been that great.

So for all of its glory I give this movie…

 

2.5‘s


127 Hours (2010)

Trailer:  127 Hours (2010)

Starring:  James Franco, Amber Tamblyn, Kate Mara  – Directed By:  Danny Boyle

Running Time: 1hr & 34 mins – Genre: Adventure, Biography, Drama

 

Big JD (Host)

Movie Selection Relevance

I’ve been really wanting to select this movie for quite awhile.  I’ve told Ran-Dizzle to watch it in the past but did he?  No, so here ya go!  Now you have to.  🙂  More importantly I’ve been on a James Franco kick lately.  He’s been popping up in a bunch of movies I’ve been watching lately.  The Iceman, Lovelace, This is the End and a movie trailer of a movie called As I lay Dying that seems like another winner from Mr. Franco.  It really helps that he’s been working his ass off.  Just in 2013 he was in 11 movies. and 9 movies in 2012.  For 2014 he has on dock 10 movies.  I should call him “James (Brown) Franco: the hardest working-est man in Hollywood”.

Synopsis:

Aron loves his X-treme sports, especially his rock climbing.  One normal day he sets out on some rock climbing excercises when he gets stuck between a rock and a hard place.  Then his survival skills come into question as he awaits rescue.  Will he make it out alive?  He has 127 hours to live so you can find out for yourself.

Review:

James Franco is spectacular in this movie!  He is the only one onscreen for most of the movie.  Sure there are others that appear in this movie but it is Franco that carries the torch.  And he sets the place ablaze!

His (James’) acting ability was never in question.  Kate Mara and the other hitchhiker Amber Tamblyn were recognized right away from TV and another movie I like.  Amber had a reoccurring role in House, M.D. and Kate was in Entourage and played the Subpoena Issuer in Iron Man 2.  Both had short roles in this movie but they did have a point and they did well.  It made you feel like after he got caught you then feel the anxiety of leaving someone waiting.  Your missing a good time.  The anxiety of him hitting it off with a girl.  Instead you then have to stick it through with him to survive.  …and drink some urine.  I just threw up a little.

The soundtrack is pretty melodramatic with exception to the beginning.  Love the intro.  It shows his intensity and his love for everything outdoors.  It basically throws you into his X-treme world immediately and doesn’t let up.  The intro song helps with that.  The directing and editing was done very well.  When this could have been a disaster of a movie Danny Boyle is great.  With so many one on one moments with Franco it had the chance to become boring.  This never happened for me.  It’s all in the editing of scenes and keeping the internal story moving along to NOT make you think about what’s going on in other places.  And when you watch this movie without spoiling it I will say that I enjoyed the ending.

Before I was a married with kids man, I could have really related with Aron’s motivation to stay alive.  He wanted to see his future son.  Who knows when that could be its just the thought that you may die without ever being able to pass on knowledge to your offspring.  That hit home with me, because there were times in my “single” life that I had doubts that I would ever find that special someone and that made me push through it in hopes of one day meeting my kids.  Yeah, I just compared being single to being stuck in crevasse with a boulder on your hand.

My only issue with this movie is that it leaves very little to be desired when talking about re-watch ability.  You can watch it once a year and be fine but, it’s really not a sit down and watch on a Wednesday afternoon just after you watched two Monday’s ago.  Not really the movie’s fault but I cannot give a movie a 5 Star rating unless I can watch it over and over again.

Comic Book Connection:  James Franco – Spider-Man 1-3, Kate Mara – Iron Man 2, Lizzy Caplan – Item 47 (Marvel One-shot), Smallville

Nudity:  No.

 

4.50‘s

Ran-Dizzle

This is one of those movies that brings reality to light, as it is a true event it shows you lots of things to do to survive when the worst happens as well as bring those fears among what could happen when one does something like this. Not many movies especially over rock climbing or any really outdoor activity catches my attention I even procrastinated watching it, and Big JD tells me “Your going to love it.” I wouldn’t say I loved it but I did think it was a good movie.

First of all James Franco did a great job playing Aron Ralston being stuck between a rock and survival for 127 hours. I mean to play that part where you can’t move and all the stuff that Aron had to do even down to *Spoiler* urinating in the Camel Pak to which he had to drink later. The best part besides it’s a true story, is that you see the rock as a symbol of something taking a hold of him and saying LOOK, look at what your choices in life are causing, He hallucinated that he wasn’t going to make it to his sister’s wedding, how if he answered his mom’s call he wouldn’t have been where he was, he could have went and partied with those girls and the inflatable Scooby-Doo. ..but instead he was stuck between the rock and his survival.

The writing was done very well but when you only have basically one scene and quite a few flashbacks you really don’t have to be Shakespeare to make this movie quite dramatic.

The Soundtrack was quite unusual but I liked it, kind of like a burned cd or playlist on an Ipod to Aron’s everyday journey into rock climbing, biking, hiking…

As a movie and a story I think this movie was amazing and tells Aron’s tale well and I think it’s a must see for any wanna-be hikers,rock climbers, or anyone who wants a challenge you should definitely watch this.

And just as important as the message at the end of the movie, if your going to tempt fate by doing things on your own make sure people know where you are because sometimes things don’t always work out like we want them.

4.5‘s

 

Kimmay!

WOW!! That is about all I can say about this movie. It was amazing to watch. I don’t think I could be as calm or collected as Aron if I was in any kind of situation as this. The movie itself was moving and full of hope in a very hopeless situation. There were times when you wanted to yell at the fates for Aron and you kept cheering him on. Halfway through the movie, I had to keep looking away from the screen because it was just to much to take in. 

James Franco did an amazing job in a basically one man show. There were hints of other characters to help keep Aron going but other than the feel good fun scene at the beginning of the film it is him and his own mind.

I remember hearing this was based on a true story when it first came out. If Franco’s portrayal of Aron is anywhere accurate to how Aron really responded then more power to him. He was so calm from beginning to end. He just kept going and doing what he thought needed to be done. I don’t want to tell you how he kept himself going but I will say the mind is a powerful thing.

I would not recommend watching this with small children but older ones yes. Use this as an example of what can happen when no one knows where you are going or when you’ll be back.

It does get a little graphic but the music helped me get through the rougher scenes. it blended well with the movie and kept me going.

So yes, watch this movie! It has a total WOW factor and is super amazing.

4.0‘s