Reviewing one movie at a time…

Sci-Fi

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%

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%

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


Star Trek: Into the Darkness

star-trek-into-darkness-poster

Trailer:

Starring:     – Directed By:

Running Time: 2hr 20min  – Genre:

 

Ran-Dizzle (Host)

Movie Selection Relevance-

I chose this movie mostly cause even though I am not an avid Trekkie, I do like the newer movies.  And I had been wanting to see this movie since in theaters but missed it so now Redbox has it I figured we’d give it a go.

Synopsis:

After exposing themselves to another species the Enterprise is called back for a review once back the discover an unstopable force sending Captain Kirk and his team into a manhunt which leads into war-zone, where it’s a chess game of life or death.

Review:

As much as I was impressed with the first one this one was far more entertaining.

What I loved most about this movie is it follows through with the first one being a worm hole altered time, and as the story continues it’s nice to see the character although have changed basically into an alternate time line still remain very much similar to the previous characters. Spock still remains Spock, but in this movie seeing him expression his emotions when he goes after Harrison (Khan) it is awesome.

Overall the acting remains the same but seems to progress a little. I noticed that Chris Pine has some William Shatner pauses once in a while in the movie. I was originally against Simon Pegg being Scotty…but now seeing him in the roles in both films I’m more the impressed with the way he stays with the character.

The one person whom I did feel kind of mocks his role in the films is Karl Urban. We all know Dr. McCoy has famous lines like “Damnit Jim, I am a Doctor not a _____________” but when he does it maybe it’s just me but it feels a little more like a mockery of the real Dr.McCoy than it is his portrayal. STID5

J.J Abrams impresses me more and more when I watch his stuff, Star Trek will never be the same and I hope he keeps a hand in the projects when the new director comes in, and the cast stays the same because Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto  they have these characters pegged. But going back to J.J. Abrams his ability to morph the new stories into an alternate reality through the worm hole is absolutely amazing, and the fact he’s able to keep Leonard Nimoy makes me happy, even though I am not a trekkie like my dad was.  Like Abrams I am more of a Star Wars fan.

Overall this is a must see for all Trekkies and newer Trekkies to come.

STID1

4.5‘s

Kimmay!

This will probably mostly be a girly take on this movie, because well, I can at times be girly. The reason why I watched the first Star Trek (2009) was because of the actors that played the New Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock. I was more than entertained and fully enjoyed it. I had meant to watch Star Trek: Into the Darkness long before this but kept putting it off. I now regret that decision.

Of course Spock is witty and funny without even meaning too. His comments are dry and to the point in a way that only Spock can manage. Zachary Quinto may not be Leonard Nimoy but I think he makes a decent Spock.  He keeps his face void of emotion even in the scenes that about did me in. His lack of human understanding almost made him more human to me. He tries his best to be Vulcan but at times he does slip and acts a bit more human. Now I have to say that his looks (even with the slanted eyebrows) are still remarkable. (That’s girly moment number one.) But when his emotions do break through and he can not turn them off. Oi, I even had a tear or five to shed. He embraces his friends lack of care for safety to get the mission done.

Now for girly moment number two. Chris Pine..umm…I mean Captain Kirk.. There is hardly anything better than a man with a wild streak a mile wide and a grin to kill. He grows up a bit in this movie while overcoming many challenges and well, life changing events. STID6

The plot seemed to me rather orginal. If I am mistaken and this copies one of the older movies, my bad. While I grew up watching the many different T.V. series, I never did watch the movies. On the note of watching the series, one of the actors, Scott Lawrence, who only had a tiny moment on the Admirals ship, was in one episode of Star Trek: Voyager.

I bet the soundtrack was good but I kept getting caught up in the movie that I forgot to pay attention to. So all I can tell you on that note is that it did not take away from the movie and must have added to the scenes.

So for hottie factor and just plain liking this movie I give Star Trek Into Darkness…

4.0 ‘s

 

BIG JD

As a Star Wars fan I cannot say that I was ever impressed with any of the prior Star Trek films prior to 2009.  So, when I say that I liked this movie is a big step in the right direction.  It also shows that JJ Abrams has not only made a good film but he has made the Star Trek universe interesting and very entertaining to me.

I think the best part of this movie for me (and the franchise for that matter) is that JJ Abrams has kept the original movies canon in tact and still viable and still able to create new exciting stories.  This is a challenge at anytime for any filmmaker building on the success of other movies in a franchise but he succeeded with ONE wormhole in the 2009 movie.  Wormholes solve everything.  I like the fact that they brought back “old” Spock for this movie.  For some reason he gives the movie credibility and a certain emotion attached to the Kahn character.  Although the timeline’s have separated the old Spock knows what kind of man Kahn (Harrison) is because they dealt with him in the movie Star Trek: The Wrath of Kahn.  It makes me want to go back and re-watch that movie.  There are some similarities between the two movies proving that you can’t change fate but, I’ll let you figure those out for yourself.  I’ll give you the first one.  Spock, Kirk, Radiation… nuff said.STID7

I could do without the new timeline relationship of Ohura & Spock.  It just seemed like their banter between each other is forced and really unnecessary.  Plus, it makes me wonder… What “event” would make those two come together?  A wormhole and life threatening situations?  I don’t think so.  And having the Tribble scene be the one thing that saves Kirk’s life is kind of planted in there a bit too obviously.  I’m ok though because… well, you’ll see at the end of the review.

Some small issues I had start with the following:  How did Harrison get a ship that close to Starfleet command war-room without setting off any security red flags in a stolen ship?  You know that Pike will die In that scene.  You know because Cpt. Kirk lost the bridge of his ship, it wasn’t too concerning because you know he’ll have the ship back before the movie ends.  It was just a matter of piecing it together beforehand.  And yes, I figured that out as soon as I saw the first explosion in the war-room.  Also, the new Athletic and Very Agile & Strong Spock.  I’m kinda torn on him.  I like the fact that he’s way more exciting but still I don’t feel it’s in his character to be the way he is now.  And him running is hilarious with his haircut flopping in the breeze.STID4

I like the exploration of new planets/creatures.  Kind of expected in this movie but, It gives the movie visual set pieces that keep you intrigued.  I hope in future movies we see more creatures instead of having random alien officers on the ship spout out unnecessary nonsense.  And I would like to add as a side-note.  Alice Eve in this movie was great.  Even though her character was a total plot device.  She was originally up for the Emma Frost role in X-Men: First Class.  I think she would have nailed that role.  I mean, this movie proves that she looks good in lingerie.

I liked this movie a lot due to some very small issues that I can just attribute to writing.  So if you weren’t a fan before give this movie a shot and I guarantee you’ll love it.  It will in fact make you want to know more about the Star Trek universe and that is very promising for Star War fans come 2015.

Oh, I didn’t forget.  Tribble’s rule.

Comic book Connection:  Zoe Saldana- Guardians of the Galaxy,

Nudity Bonus:  n/a

4.50‘s


Frankenstein (1931)

Trailer: Frankenstein (1931)

Starring:  Colin Clive, Mae Clarke, Boris Karloff  – Directed By:  James Whale

Running Time: 1hr & 10 mins – Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi

 

Big JD (Host)

Movie Selection Relevance

Happy Halloween!  What better time to watch a classic horror film than now.  It was a toss up between Dracula & this movie.  I figured since last week or so the new I, Frankenstein movie trailer premiered than this was an automatic lock.  It is a movie I’ve never seen and “frankly” I’ve always been curious.

Synopsis:

Henry Frankenstein was a very accomplished scientist that his obsession on “creating life”  had taken over his life.  Even when he was engaged to be married he still had to complete his life’s work on creating life with his bare hands from an assembled mess of dead body parts.  When he finally achieves his goal he finds that it is not possible to play god and that happy endings don’t come cheap.

Review:

Disappointing.  My first thoughts rang out during this entire movie.  Knowing that this movie had been made over 80 years ago I was prepared to give it some leeway.   Although, there were some things I couldn’t let slide no matter how much of a classic this movie claims to be.

The acting was very typical of 1930’s cinema.  Overacting in all of its grandeur.  I let this go due to the period of which this film was made.  I felt that Colin Clive did very good with the character of doctor Frankenstein.  (minus the fainting attacks)  Casting was superb with the likes of Boris Karloff playing a classic monster.  Go figure.  He did what hes good at I guess.  The directing was not to my liking although I will be nailing James Whale in the Editing portion so, I don’t want to double ding.  In this category also exists Lighting and Wardrobe.  The lighting gave a fantastic feel to this film, and the wardrobe only helped add to the feel and tone of the movie.  Well done.  I guess you might throw set pieces in there as well.  You could tell they were set pieces but I felt they were done very well and I especially liked the dark skies backdrops.

The editing of the film let much to be desired.  It started with bad cuts before and after the “digging up the grave” scene.  Then the bad editing and smooth transitions were all over the place.  Again, I was going to let it slide until I got to the “Monster meets Maria” scene.  Which I feel had tremendous potential of showing that the Monster had a large heart.  But after he tosses the little girl in the water it goes into a jumble of cut scenes showing the monster freaking out.  But what happened to the little girl?  Oh we see the father carrying her later on and we just have to assume that she’s dead.  I’m guessing the studio didn’t allow James Whale to show Frankenstein killing the little girl.  But if that was the issue he could have cut the film better with additional scenes to stronger convey what happened.

So, the father of Maria carries her lifeless body all the way into town and up to the doorsteps of the town mayor. (I’m guessing he’s the mayor).  And the mayor says why did you bring her?  With his reply being “she was murdered!”.  Now, stop right there.  What in the world makes him assume that she was murdered?  He left his young girl all by herself so that she could play right next to a lake.  He comes home and is surprised that she drowned?  Seriously?  Better parenting might have saved her life.  How could she not know how to swim when she lives right next to a lake?  So, then the town gets all upset and takes to fire & pitchforks after a person they’ve never seen before if he even exists.  Then Frankenstein joins the search in which after his fiancé was attacked he assumes his monster is in town.  But did he tell the mayor at all about this?  Nobody knows.  Quick question:  Was Fritz suppose to be Igor?  Or was Fritz the original character from the Shelley book?  I’m thinking he was.  The soundtrack was hardly there.  Wait, I might have to go check to see if there was a score…

Overall plot to me was very weak.  Man creates monster, monster gets loose, monster kills creator, town kills monster.  Actually that small synopsis felt like it had more depth than what I spent an hour and 10 minutes watching.  They give up on the “monster” after one incident that he was actually provoked into (fire).  That doesn’t seem like the Dr. was actually obsessed with his “experiment”.  Maybe he was just obsessed with the experiment itself and once he finished it he grew tired.  The Monster of Frankenstein was creepy at best.  I’ve seen this character my whole life and I thought he would be scarier than what he actually was.  He was quite agile for a Frankenstein monster.  Ninja-like at times.  I guess I was expecting more of the zombie stiff walking/creeping to show up but we get very little of that.

On the whole, I’m glad I watched it.  I was pretty terrified to start it up but once I did I realized there was nothing to fear.  Seriously, nothing at all to fear.  It’s not that the movie was cheesy, it’s more of the fact that it had so much potential to be more than what it was.

*Sidenote* I think I know where George Lucas got some of his character inspiration for his Yoda character.  Please see Baron Von Frankenstein.

Comic book Connection: n/a

Nudity Bonus:  n/a

 

2.0‘s

Ran-Dizzle

After finally getting a chance to sit down and watch a Halloween Classic video all these years I finally get to see what the fuss is all about.
Boris Karloff the grand-daddy of monsters and playing multiple monsters being type casted just like Lon Channey and Bela Lugosi as the classics of horror, Boris plays the tall lanky giant of a man(or monster if you prefer) who says very little, much like my beloved Chewbacca. In this movie I feel there isn’t much of an acting part however he does bring the monster to life like when he is with the little girl and tosses the flowers to float in the water.
The rest of the cast did well but no one really stood out.
Classics like this for me are slow starters I feel like I am going to be bored but they are great sleepers they eventually grab my attention and keep me involved, for example for me with this movie it was a slow pace at first watching them collect everything for the monster. I know this is an adaptation but I felt they should have explained more about why he was so set on proving his point, who told him he was crazy in the first place ( Obviously the Professor/ Doctor who suddenly jumped on board then wanted to explore more before he “killed” the monster, and then the father Baron von Frankenstein obviously wasn’t too worried about his son because it had been how long then he wants to go get him, and was sure it was another woman “his experiments” Lots of things that would have been good scenes if more was produced.

I am sure we’ve all heard “Time is money” and if figure that is why the movie was a measly 1hr 10min long, to me it just gave me a taste with a chipper happy ending…? I mean the monster is dead right? and the maid staff wanted to bring wine for the recently wounded Young Henry Frankenstien, but I felt that it should have added more scenes that went into more detail, Also why did they call Igor “Fritz” a midget hunchback who looked like he could have been a ginger…even little guy.
Well over all the movie for a classic was ok, I don’t really see myself going out and watching it again, but it does leave me curious to see The Bride of Frankenstein. I was told it was much better, but like always that is one’s opinion.

2.50‘s

 

Kimmay!

In the last post, if you read it, I mentioned that I do not like old horror movies. I guess I should have said that I do not like the ones from the 60’s to the late 80’s. But the classics…I absolutely love them. Actors like Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff really knew how to draw their audience in. The acting was not cheesy and to me, had just the right amount flair to make it fun to watch.

I must say I felt sorry for the monster in Frankenstein. This kind of brings up the question of nature over nurture and which one is more of a factor of how one is in life. Fritz, Doctor Frankenstein’s assistant. tormented the monster as much as he could. It was almost like he was the only child that got replaced by a new baby. He teased and teased even though “daddy” told him not to. The monster wanted to be good, that was shown when we was playing with the little girl. He just wasn’t taught how to be gentle, or the fact that throwing a person in water could kill them in 10 seconds or less.

So it was decided when the little girl was found dead that the monster must be taken care of. Dr. F takes it on himself to find and kill his own creation. But kinda gets his butt kicked in the process.

I really do like this movie. It has drama, romance, death and intrigue. So I give this movie…

4.0‘s


The Incredible Hulk (2008)

Trailer: The Incredible Hulk Trailer

Starring:  Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth  – Directed By:  Louis Leterrier

Running Time: 1hr & 52 mins – Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

 

Big JD (Host)

Movie Selection Relevance

This will be a new section of our reviews where we will tell you why we selected the movie we decided to review.  It may have a social relevance or just plain personal relevance.  I feel that you (the reader) should be aware of why we pick what we pick.  I selected this movie because yes, I’m trying to get all of the Phase 1 Marvel Studio movies reviewed.  Why this one more than the others we haven’t reviewed?  We have reviewed Iron Man 1 & 2.  In the middle was this movie.  It came out the same summer as Iron Man.  That, and I feel that the Hulk has been somewhat overshadowed because his movie failed to hit the mark with audiences like the others did.  And the possibilities this movie had in terms of sequel value is interesting to think about.

Synopsis:

After a failed Gamma Project experiment Bruce Banner has a slight side effect of turning Large Hulking Green beast at the first feeling of anger.  General Ross would like to use that gift to help him win wars and to satisfy a personal vendetta that he has against Banner.  Bruce goes on the lamb leaving his love behind (Betty Ross) all while trying to find a cure.  Although General Ross will stop at nothing to capture this new “weapon” even if it means making a Hulk abomination of his own.

Review:

First of all I would like to clear up one thing.  This movie has NO relation to the 2003 Hulk movie that came out in 2003 directed by Ang Lee.  None whatsoever.  This is a brand new take on The Hulk with brand new actors and it falls within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  With that said I will go out on a limb here and say that this was far superior to that aforementioned movie that donned the screens in 2003.  Superior does not always mean a fantastic movie though.  They did a lot right in this movie but being Marvel Studio’s only second outing I’m sure they learned from their mistakes.  (Yeah, the Hulk is a hard property to make into a movie.)

This movie was heavily influenced by the TV series that aired back in 1978.  There were many scenes that they gave nods to.  Try to find them… I’ll give you the first one.  The opening credits.  Also, we don’t have to sit through an origin story this time around.  The origin takes place in the opening credits which I feel is a breath of fresh air.  The audiences have seen how the Hulk came to be, we didn’t need to see it again and I think Louis Leterrier realized that.

As for the cast and their acting efforts?  I think they all did well.  Edward Norton plays a fine Bruce Banner.  Although I only saw glimpses of Banner in him throughout the movie.  Maybe because, I’ve seen Fight Club a billion times but it was hard to suspend my disbelief on this one.  It’s nothing Norton could fix it’s just me.  Liv Tyler plays a better and more emotional Betty Ross then we’ve seen in prior efforts.  I liked William Hurt as General Ross & Tim Blake Nelson as a very believable Dr. Samuel Sterns.  There were 2 characters I did not like however.  First Ty Burrell as Dr. Leonard Samson I found to be a horrible casting choice.  Not because of his acting because he did the “serious” role well.  It’s just that he looks nothing like a “un-gamma’d” Doc Samson at all.  No spinoff here!  The second was Tim Roth as Emil Blonsky aka The Abomination.  Emil Blonsky is Russian.  Where is the accent?  That was actually my only beef with Roth.  If your cast as a Russian character speak in a Russian accent.  If you don’t know how then maybe you should ask Scarlett Johansson.  Ok, that would be bad.  Go call & meet up with Johansson and both of you go to lingual coaches.  Learn the Russian Accent!!!

The soundtrack is a lackluster uneventful grace on my ears.  It works fine within the movie where you don’t really realize that you are listening to a score.  In that sense it works good.  It helps with tempo and pace all that good stuff.  Memorable?  Not so much.  I’ve seen this movie many, many times and I still cannot hum you the Theme to this movie.  That is important in my book when it comes to Super Hero Comic Book films.

The CGI is far better than any Hulk we have seen up to 2008.  He wasn’t as large but it worked well.  He was still big enough.  My only problem is that many times the Hulk looks like one of those Zombie bad guys from” I Am Legend”.  Maybe because the man that created those creatures in “I Am Legend” also created the Hulk.  Bad choice in my opinion.  Worst moment probably was in Sterns Lab.  It just looked horrible.  It was an Abomination.  Speaking of the whole Brown/Bald Abomination design choice.  I understand The Abomination could not have the “fins”.  Yes that would be a bit too much.  But why couldn’t he have stayed a shade of Green?  Why wasn’t he scaley?  I do not like the bones popping out idea.  His whole head was just way too smooth and humanlike to make me think “scary”.  Nor did it make me feel like I was seeing Abomination on screen.

When Hulk “Breaks” Harlem?  Great cinematic experience.  That final fight is really well done.  You feel the anger and just total loss of control that the Hulk has and the exact moment he realizes that he is “out of control”.  Again, the CGI kinda distracts me a bit but I get over it knowing that we will get a great looking Hulk in the Avengers movie.  This movie definitely falls into last place of the Phase 1 movies.  Sorry Hulk.  Better luck next time.

Comic book Connection: William Hurt – A History of Violence

Nudity Bonus:  Hulk Boobs.

I Am Legend

Incredible Hulk

 

3.50‘s

Ran-Dizzle

 This to me is the best re-make of any Hulk Movie, that has ever been done since Bill Bixby was the Hulk. Over all the casting on this was excellent. Edward Norton does a wonderful job catching the Bruce Banner we all know and love.  Liv Tyler didn’t do so bad but I wondered if they could have found a better Betty Ross? I am not too familiar with Abomination but seeing Tim Roth playing him was kind of cool and listening to him take that needle in the back good lord that made me twinge bad. I think that General Ross would have been played better by Jeff Bridges (instead of him playing Obadiah Stane) but after seeing William Hurt playing the General I think he did an awesome Job as well.

As for the plot, I liked it. It kept to the story fairly well that I know, I thought it followed what I know very well, I liked how they brought in Abomination and explained a little bit about his story, I also loved the hostility captured between General Ross(William Hurt) and Banner (Norton)

The Marvel Studios never ceases to surprise me when it comes to the CGI and Special Effects in the movies. I mean truly these were done well. The Hulk was done well didn’t seem childlike like they made him in the previous movie with Eric Bana.

Overall the best standalone Hulk Movie, I was very sad when Edward Norton didn’t sign on for The Avenger’s but Mark Ruffalo did a great job taking over. This is a must see if you are a Hulk or overall Marvel Fan this is a great Film.

5.0‘s

 

Kimmay!

I had never watched “The Incredible Hulk” before tonight. I’d watched some of the other Marvel movies and I think this one fits in rather well. I must say I don’t know much about the Marvel comics, other than what I have watched in the movies. So if I say something ignorant, please forgive me.

 I really enjoyed the story line between Bruce and Betty. You have the drama of Bruce almost killing Betty when he first changes into the Hulk to her dad being the General who wants to capture Bruce and experiment on him. Liv Tyler did a fantastic job as did Edward Norton in conveying the emotions that two star crossed lovers must of felt. 

Also, I was impressed with all of the CGI and special effects used in this film. When the Hulk and the Abomination were fighting the fire and explosions were spectacular. Plus all of the flying cars.

I can’t say much about the score because nothing really stood out to me. So it was probably bleh at best.

All in all this was a decent movie. I can’t say I would watch it over and over again but I would watch it again if someone asked me to.

So i would give this movie…

3‘s

 


The Host (2013)

Trailer: The Host Trailer

Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Diane Kruger, Max Irons  – Directed By:  Andrew Niccol

Running Time: 2hrs & 5 mins – Genre: Action, Adventure, Romance (& Sci-Fi too)

 

Big JD (Host)

Synopsis:

In the future we are invaded by aliens that inhabit our body and run our world in the quest for a peaceful planet.  We as humans are hosts to our alien invaders.  There are few humans that have been able to escape and are constantly on the run.  Melanie is one of those humans until she is captured and implanted with “The Wanderer”.  Melanie still being alive inside fights the being and the 2 struggle to work together to change their world.

Review:

From the writer of the Twilight series Stephenie Meyer’s novel is adapted into a surprisingly good movie.  I say that I’m surprised for 2 reasons.  1.  I’m not a fan of the Twilight series 2.  The movie domestically grossed 26 million at the box office.  So, it tanked in the theatres.  But, I kept an open mind from start to finish and this movie surprised me.  Like I said.

The story is basically taking the “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” theme and expanded upon it.  It takes an in depth look at the struggle of 2 minds in one body.  Also, the epic scale of a silent alien invasion that has taken most of the planet.  Saoirse Ronan plays the main character Melanie and she proved to be an excellent unknown (to me) actress.  Maybe it’s the eyes but she did very well playing two different personalities.  Diane Kruger plays the “seeker” that is after Melanie.  Although she plays a very good villain I thought she could have been pushed to do a little more to go over the top.  William Hurt plays an old man that is uncle to Melanie.  Hurt can do no wrong in this role.  It’s perfect for a seasoned vet.  Not too long but just enough of a role for you to like his character.  One line that I did not care for actually came from Uncle Jeb (Hurt).  When he asks Wanderer to call her by a shortened name and then names her Wanda..  Like the “errrrr” sound was too difficult to say?  Your already saying a 2 syllabel name “Wan-Da” might as well say “errrr” or at least give me another excuse.  Here I got one.  “Hey Wanderer, I find it difficult calling you by this name.  May I call you Wanda?  It makes you seem more human”.

The side characters were all basic needs.  Meaning that they were there and none of them really stood out.  Nobody did a bad job but nobody else stood out.  There were opportunities to have some bad acting moments but they were avoided and for that I give credit to Director Andrew Niccol for a superb editing job.

The writing, Directing, Special effects were all good.  Even the soundtrack was decent and no not because of the Imagine Dragons song at the ending credits.  The score kept the calmness and Sci-Fi feel of the movie.  I had no problems.  Wait, yes I did.  It was the ending.  The ending felt “tacked on”.  It could have ended prior to the original ending but the ending they showed just had to set up another movie.  If we were going by domestic box office numbers then it will not have a sequel.  The studio wouldn’t risk it.  But, there is something to take note of when you look at Worldwide numbers.  Domestic & Foreign totals to be 48 million dollars and with a 40 million dollar budget it made like 8 million and that’s not counting DVD sales.  So, I think it may be possible to get a sequel out of this.  And although IMDB does not list this as a Sci-Fi genre movie it is ALL Sci-Fi baby!  Somebody at IMDB needs to watch this again.  Very little Romance aspects although they really marketed it as such.

Comic book Connection:  William Hurt – The Incredible Hulk

Nudity Bonus:  Nopers…

 

4.50‘s

Ran-Dizzle

 What would you do if you woke up and had 2 voices in your head? and unable to control your own body? It was an interesting story of Sparkling  Blue Parasites that control your bod,. But when you get a strong willed host that fights you too keep their loved one alive, after an invasion and you start to see their point of existence and that they are not as harmful as you are lead to believe. The story line was for the most part pretty original, it made me think in like a love story mixed with invasion of the body snatchers but for the most part pretty interesting lots of morals to it as well.

Acting was done fairly well, No one really stood out which can be good or bad in this case it was good. Diane Kruger did a good job but for me she didn’t seem very villainous to me but still did well being the seeker with a one track mind of world domination, one mustache twirl away from pure evil….just kidding.  Diane Kruger and William Hurt were probably the 2 biggest stars I saw in the casting, so it really impressed me when this group of “unknowns” were able to keep my attention and act very well. I guess that’s why I prefer actors that are no names because they have a lot more to lose then ones who’ve been in several movies.

Special Effects were done pretty well, I was amazed by the healing spray stuff.  I think the one that got me the most was the huge picture of “The Store” that just said STORE on the front of it, keeping it really simple. Also having the cars the seekers and people had…how can they afford all of this…oh wait if you go to the store and don’t pay, then do you go to the car lot and just drive off the lot with a car? I want to visit the Lamborghini store then 😀

Overall this movie wasn’t horrible, actually sadly it kept my attention. Although I know JD picked it just to hear the Radioactive song from Imagine Dragons.  (Not really….or Did he?) I would say this is a must rent, some people might not like the fact that it was from the Author of “The Twilight Saga” to be honest I told JD if there were Sparkly Aliens making love to humans I was going to hurt him for making me watch it…but it didn’t happen. So that might turn people away, but for you Stephanie Meyer Fans Kudos because this is probably I think way better then Twilight (though haven’t seen it and unless JD has a death wish hopefully never will)


4.0‘s

 


Blade II (2002)

Trailer: Blade II (2002)

Starring: Wesley Snipes, Kris Kristofferson, Ron Perlman  – Directed By: Guillermo del Toro

Running Time: 1 hrs & 57 mins – Genre: Action, Horror, Sci-Fi

 

Big JD (Host)

Synopsis:  Blade is in search of his father figure after he was taken by Vampires.  After finding him he is propositioned by the council of Vampires to help them defeat a New breed of vampire.  This Reaper Vampire is stronger and more deadly but most of all he feeds on Vampires.  So, why would Blade help his enemy?

Review:

I wanted to choose this movie this week with Guillermo Del Toro’s Pacific Rim now in theatres.  Most people would say that Hellboy was his claim to fame but this movie was made just before that.  His first comic book based movie helped him cut his teeth but still shows that his love is first and foremost Monsters.

With better production than the original movie you can definitely tell a difference.  It’s brighter and more visual effects.  Visual effects that come off as very noticeable.  Back in 2002 I’m sure it was top notch but now it’s very Video game’y in places.  I couldn’t be talking about visual effects if I didn’t speak about the fight scenes.  The fight scenes with Wesley Snipes are fantastic.  It’s something that is very much missed in films of today.  His martial arts’ training really shines through.  Probably my favorite part of this movie.  Although his last fight scene with all of the vampire troopers with electric batons gave me serious flashbacks of Snipes in Demolition Man.

I love this movie but still had issues with certain aspects.  I never have liked Kris Kristofferson playing Whistler.  I don’t know.  I think it’s probably just me but, he always seems like a whiny old man that annoys the heck out of me.  Scud played by Norman Reedus is equally annoying in this movie.  Every scene has him smokin’ a cigarette and just being a young annoying kid that thinks he knows everything.  Including betrayal.  But he gets his in the end.  Some of the bloodpack members where just there and didn’t do anything for the story.  Ron Perlman was a joy to see.  I’m curious if this is what sold Del Toro on Perlman playing Hellboy?  His relationship with Blade was fun to watch.

With Vampires being led by Blade to kill these Reaper Vampires is one thing.  But when the Vampires don’t act like vampires at all?  I mean, the special ops team acted more human than superhuman vampire.  They have all of these acrobatic powers and strength but yet they all stayed very well grounded and even had troubles trying to turn a knob on a “bomb”.  With having super speed didn’t really play much into this special lame team.

I’m glad they continued to show different parts of the country (Prague) which stays true to the Blade character.  He’s all over the place.  The reason these movies have really succeeded was because they used a character that didn’t have much comic book history.  Just from the pages of “Tomb of Dracula” and a couple mini series here and there but not much.  This allowed them the freedom to make a really great character.  Some of that is owed to David S. Goyer.  Yes that’s right, the guy that wrote this movie is also famous for penning The Batman Trilogy, Man of Steel, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Blade, Blade III, and finally his worst comic book TV movie was Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.  So, he has had some experience with the source material and its just too bad that he’s finally coming into his own now in 2013 instead of 2002.  I guess you can say that he “cut his teeth” on Blade just as Guillermo did.

 

Comic Book Movie Plus: Wesley Snipes: Blade Franchise – Ron Perlman: Hellboy franchise, Thomas Kretschmann: Wanted – Luke Goss: Hellboy II, Kris Kristofferson: Blade Franchise – Karel Roden: Hellboy

Nudity Bonus:  Not today.

 

3.0‘s

Ran-Dizzle

 This to me is probably the better acting and interesting story of the Blade trilogy.

Acting wise the casting was done rather well, it was nice seeing Norman Reedus in the movie as a Boondock Saints fan he did very well in this role, but his character

actually shocked me in this movie, but no spoilers for me. Wesley Snipes invented Blade…I really can’t see anyone else now play the role of Blade, Ron Pearlman to me his acting never changes he’s just a bad ass that gets to wear prosthetic make up in certain roles (Hell Boy)Kris Kristofferson played his Whistler role, but to me honestly they should have left him out in the first movie.  Danny John-Jules for you Sci-Fi (British) fans would know him as The Cat from Red Dwarf so it’s interesting to see someone from that TV series eventually made a way out and in to Hollywood.

The Story was decent, very much Underworld story style to me so not very original but enjoyable.  The CGI fights were noticeable but for 2002 it wasn’t horrible, X-Men was far worse with the CGI then this was. Not that I don’t mind watching Wesley Snipes kicking some ass but his martial arts in this movie was a little much although for the action scenes they did well..The one liners weren’t overly cheesy but could have been better.

Overall I don’t mind the movie, and again not a Blade comic book fan but what I do know the character stays true to form which is rare anymore in Hollywood Comic Book movies. I enjoyed the movie however it’s not at the top of my list of must watch comic book films. However it is above Green Lantern 😀 *JAB at Ryan Reynolds*


3.0‘s

 


Cloud Atlas (2012)

Trailer: Cloud Atlas (2012)

Starring: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving  – Directed By: Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski & Lana Wachowski

Running Time: 2 hrs & 52 mins – Genre: Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi

 

Big JD (Host)

 

Synopsis:  The Wachowski Siblings & Tom Tykwer take you on a journey that spans across time.  From the very distant past to the very distant future we get a look at what binds us together.  The theory that all people do not live their own lives but coupled together with reincarnation we all are bound together tasked to find one another and to be together forever.  Not just in this life but in future lives to come.

Review:

First and foremost I would like to say that if you are not a fan of having to follow every second of a movie and thinking how it all fits together then this is not the movie for you.  If you enjoy dissecting each scene with the precision of a surgeon and then discussing it in length after the movie is finished then this may be your movie.  I however fall about in the middle of that.  I like to scrutinize movies yet, I finding anything really to discuss here is beyond me.  This movie confused the hell out of me.  From beginning to end I understood everyone’s role, but when it came to fitting them together it left me with extra parts.  Just like putting together a bicycle I refuse to think they just put in the extra filler just because they thought you may lose other parts.

I understand the Adam Ewing/Tilda & Hae-Joo Chang/Sonmi-451 connection played by Jim Sturgess/Doona Bae.  I get the Zachry/Meronym & Dr. Henry Goose/Luisa Rey connection played by Tom Hanks/Halle Berry but what I don’t get is the entire composer sidestory along with the old man that is a story writer storline.  Each character timeline has a character in it that bears a specific birth mark.  Yes, and I even understand that it symbolizes its that one life that repeats itself.  But they don’t even keep the birthmark to actors/storylines or anything relevant.  It seems pretty random.  The only thing I can figure out is the one that bears the birthmark is the lead character in that specific timeline.

As for having the actors play their other period counter pieces, I was fine with that.  What I found unnecessary was that they also played random other characters as well.  It seemed to mess the with underlying “meaning” of what each character meant in the whole scheme of things.  Maybe having Tom Hanks play the Motel owner or Thug meant something more but, it was something that went over my head.  Halle Berry has been disappointing me as of late.  Maybe it was the Catwoman movie or maybe it was Gothika…  could be her lackluster portrayal of Storm that has ruined her for me.  I don’t know.  She was merely “fine” in this movie.  Nothing special.  Sorry Miss Berry.

Subtitles in the most distant future.  Not the future but the “way way” future.  That is definitely True True.  It sounded like the unofficial Jar-Jar Binks Future Timeline.  Very Scary.  I missed half of the dialogue because I couldn’t understand what they were saying.  Couple that with a random figure that only appeared to Zachry that seemed to be from New Orleans?  Very weird and random.  I would like to touch on the makeup artists real quick.  Where they students?  It seemed the makeup/prosthetics were very low class.  I won’t dig too much but very noticeable.  Especially the woman with the dead dog.

In the end the entire movie was “ok” but very confusing.  It had a very original thought behind it.  That we are all connected and that we don’t live our separate lives but destined to repeat our past lives in some way or another.  With 3 director’s though it felt like we were going in many different directions.  That was very distracting.  The Wachowski’s Plus One need to work on their craft and make things that don’t convolute or confuse the audience.  Final thought:  Watch it if you have 3 hours to waste.

Comic Book Movie Plus: Hugo Weaving – Captain America: The First Avenger, Halle Berry – X-men Franchise, Catwoman

Nudity Bonus:  n/a

3.50‘s

Ran-Dizzle

 This is probably the most interesting movie I’ve seen in awhile. To me the most creative way about it, is involving not only different stories being combined but through time from the past to the future. So to me the originality was very impressive. I am not one for much Sci-fi stoies (with the exception of Star Wars of course.)

The acting in this movie was superb, seeing more then one actor/actress playing several roles through time telling the stories, no one really stood out because everyone was that good. With this all-star cast how can you compare the acting and stories.
Although I have my favorite story segments in this movie, you cannot really compare acting by the stories or by the actors as they are all very talented.

The Special effects were done well as was the Music although nothing really to stand out on it’s own but to me when everything blends so well makes a better movie then having bits and pieces stand out.

Overall this movie kept me very entertained, and interesting stories that intertwined the pace of the movie jogged along at a decent speed even though it was a fairly lengthy movie you don’t really notice how much time has passed, however this is a movie you need to keep 100% of your focus on it, or you miss out. A Must see in my book.


5.0‘s