Archive for the ‘Sci-Fi’ Category

ghostbustersI was one of those people who not only had no desire to see this movie but was actually pissed that they would even think about remaking one of the classic movies of my childhood. I freely admit that I wasn’t wild about an all-female cast because I believed that it was just another attempt by Hollywood to force some social justice bullsh*t down my throat and maybe that’s my bad.  I just didn’t see any other reason to remake a Ghostbusters film.  I will also say that even if it was four dudes in this movie I would have the same feelings about it but I would just be disgusted for different reasons.  Well I saw this movie just because I wanted to give it a shot because I have been wrong before about movies.  After watching it I will say that this movie did still very much suck but it was not as horrible as I thought it would be and it didn’t come across as the social justice piece I was worried about.

Dr. Erin Gilbert, played by Kristen Wiig (Zoolander 2,) is a college professor getting ready to apply for tenure when her old friend and fellow professor Dr. Abby Yates, played by Melissa McCarthy (The Boss,) publishes the book they wrote together about ghosts and the paranormal which is read by the owner of an old museum house that is haunted by a ghost.  Erin is forced to hunt down Abby to ask her to take it off Amazon and Abby agrees if Erin agrees to take Abby and her co-worker and engineer Jillian Holtzmann, played by Kate McKinnon (TV Saturday Night Live,) to the owner of the museum so they can hunt for the ghost.  Once inside the three women come across the ghost and record it.  Abby puts it out on the web which cause Erin to lose her job but none the less the three women get together to form a company to study and capture ghosts.  The girls add a fourth to their team when Patty Tolan, played by Leslie Jones (TV Saturday Night Live,) asks for help about her ghost sighting in the subway.  During their hunting they discover that someone is opening up portals between this world and the ghost plane in attempt to have the ghosts take over New York.

I can say that even though they were not helped by what can only be called an unfunny script, at least to me anyway, more on that later, both Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy did an admirable job at trying to bring laughs to the film.  This is the third film I have seen this year, that has McCarthy in it, fourth overall, and I have to say that I am starting to warm to her and her comedy.  My biggest issue has been that the comedy written for her seems to make fun of her size and that always bothered me.  One of my favorite comedic actors was John Candy and his classic movies never really used his weight as the constant running joke.  But this movie she was just a weird smart girl that almost ignored her size which pleased me.  In fact I love that she seems to play smart ladies in her film.  She was a plus for this film.  Another plus in the film was Wiig.  She played the straight man…er…woman in the film to McCarthy and I thought she was perfect for it.  One of the few, and I mean very few, things in the film that caused me to laugh was how Wiig played Gilbert in regards to their male secretary Kevin, played by Chris Hemsworth (Avengers: Age of Ultron.)  Gilbert is smitten with the rugged good looks of Kevin and does so many entertaining things around him that I thought that was very entertaining.  These two ladies were really the only reason why this movie wasn’t as horrible as I thought it would be and kept me from walking out of the theater.

I am going to start off with the things I don’t like about this film by talking about the unfunniest character in the film and that was Jillian Holtzmann played by McKinnon. My issue was that McKinnon played this character so over the top that it was borderline ridiculous and definitely not funny. She was so over the top with this character it reminded me of Jim Carrey’s performance as The Riddler in Batman Forever.  The problem is that unlike The Riddler character, which is a comic book character in a movie that made him over the top, Holtzmann is supposed to be a brilliant engineer and I don’t see how a brilliant engineer would act anywhere close to what McKinnon was doing as this character.  I know a couple of brilliant female engineers and at no point does their personality resemble anything close to Holtzmann.    Every scene she was in was similar to the ones shown in the trailer that had her licking her guns (Who does that???) and wearing the wig and hat.  She was so annoying that I was actually pissed when I saw her on screen.  She just wasn’t funny and nothing she could do in this film could change my mind.


She wasn’t the only character that I thought was unfunny although it was for a different reason.  I was not a fan of the character Patty played by Leslie Jones.  The reason why I didn’t like her character is that she was poorly written and I am not sure if she had any funny lines to deliver.  The character was the winner of the absolutely worst line in the film that is also seen on the trailer when she slaps Abby’s character and says the line, “The power of pain compels you.”  F*cking horrible.  It’s curious for me that the two characters I liked the least are both members of Saturday Night Live which is a TV show that I believe has been laugh free since the mid 1990’s.  I will also say that perhaps the worst written character was Kevin.  I get that he was male version of the dumb blonde but one scene is enough to show how dumb he was but instead we were given all the scenes he was in so as per the rest of the parts of the film that were supposed to be funny,  it wasn’t.

As you can guess above I thought this movie was humorless from beginning to end.  The one thing that bothers me is that I was in a movie theater that had about 50 people in it and 5 of us were dudes.  With the exception of the one dude who was two rows in front of me with his girlfriend, I didn’t hear any of the other guys laughing and we were all close enough to hear each other.  What I did hear was almost the entire female audience laugh their tiny to large asses off at most of the film.   In fact they seemed to laugh the hardest when Holtzmann was on screen and I was shocked by that because as I stated above that character just pissed me off.  So I guess my question is do I find humor in things that most women don’t or vice versa?  Since most of the guys in the audience was not laughing like me were the jokes written for women in mind and if that’s the case why would you alienate the crowd who would come to see this out of nostalgia for the original?  I am confused by these questions.

The final disgrace in this bad movie is that the final act was so very anti climatic that I sat through the last 20 plus minutes thinking to myself WTF.   In the final act we have the bad guy’s ghost open up the portal which unleashes the hordes of ghosts on NY.  (Side note: This film required a living being to be the bad guy in the film, a bullied guy named Rowan, played by Neil Casey (TV Saturday Night Live,) seeking revenge, and not just the mystical forces creating all of the issues.  I like the creativity of this story line but the delivery wasn’t so hot.) So we have the ladies running around using their guns as actually guns that destroy the ghosts as opposed to machines that help capture them.  The final act was filled with the girls taking on the ghosts in a one on one combat using guns or other things and I didn’t like it.  Of course the worst part of this final disgrace is when the ghost of Rowan becomes a huge Stay Puft Marshmallow man wannabe but instead of the Marshmallow Man it is a large supposed to be scary version of the Ghost on the Ghostbusters symbol.    Way to take an Iconic scene from the original Ghostbusters and possible one of the most iconic of all time and turn it to complete garbage.  But that is the story of this entire film.

I will lastly say that it was nice to see cameo appearances by thee of the four original Ghostbusters in the film.  Bill Murry, Dan Aykroyd, and Ernie Hudson all had small parts of the film.  Harold Ramis passed away before filming began which in itself is sad that he is gone.  But at least he didn’t have to witness this film.  There were also brief cameos from Sigourney Weaver and Annie Pots which was nice as well.  However, when you mention that the second best thing in a film is the cameo appearances of famous actors, which should tell you how truly bad the film is.  Ghostbusters isn’t the worst film I have seen in 2016 but it is in the bottom 5.

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battlelaIn the 1960’s and 1970’s Hollywood was making lots of World War II movies to tell the stories that needed to be told as well as dig up a little patriotism and American pride during the never ending Vietnam War. In the 1980’s World War II movies almost completely stopped and we started getting Vietnam War movies but unlike the earlier movies that want to show patriotism these Vietnam War movies were almost the exact opposite to reflect the views of those in Hollywood who grew up in the anti-war movement.  In the 1990’s Saving Private Ryan somewhat kick started interest about the war again.  But Hollywood still embraces the anti-patriotism anti-American exceptionalism and so unless your name is Spielberg your WW II movie is either going to be largely ignored or be a block buster but a bad film, ala Pearl Harbor.  Now you are asking yourself what the hell does this have to do with a review for Battle Los Angeles. Well the reason why I bring this up is because Hollywood has made a few movies that show that American spirit and patriotism when the planet earth is at war with aliens like in Independence Day and this movie Battle Los Angeles.  This movie is a by the numbers World War II patriotic movie but instead of the Americans fighting Germans or Japanese, they are going after aliens that have invaded Earth.

Ssgt. Nantz, played by Aaron Eckhart (I, Frankenstein) has one foot out of the door on his way to retiring from the marines with a storied yet checkered past when he is forced to stay active duty because of the beginnings of what becomes an alien invasion.  He is assigned to a unit of men whose 2nd Lieutenant, named Martinez, played by Ramon Rodriguez (Transformers Revenge of the Fallen,)  who has been active for one month.  What started off as an evacuation mission becomes an all-out battle as the Marines are sent to an overrun police station to get civilians out and back across the line before the Air Force bombs the area.

There are lots of plots holes and standard Hollywood clichés in the film.  We have the hero with a checkered past and to one up other clichés one of the members of his unit, Cpl. Lockett, played by Cory Hardrict (Gran Torino,) is the younger brother of a soldier killed under Nantz’s command in Iraq.  We have the gung ho Lt. who is woefully inexperienced and gets his men killed because of it.  Then of course there is the ability for all of these soldiers to be expert marksmen when they need to be for dramatic affect.  The biggest plot hole is that the command and control ship is underground yet the area has building built on top of it yet these ships weren’t planted there before like in the movie War of the Worlds.  These are just a few of the things wrong with the movie.

But that being said there are constant acts of heroism in the film that show what men in the military will do for one another.  The action is very entertaining and while it is a Hollywood version of the military, the unit’s actions appear to be at least somewhat realistic so the producers took the time to train the actors to carry a gun.  I also though they took the time to come up with some realist smart aliens that were not just alien animals like in the movie Aliens.  They were smart and that added to the enjoyment of the film.  Most of the critics said that the movie was boring unless you were a war nut but I would think that most of those people thought Saving Private Ryan was to Patriotic to be realistic and would probably want to watch an Oliver Stone film that shows us how it’s the Earthlings fault for the invasion.  Oh and Eckhart’s character gives a short speech that is more uplifting then the speech given by the President in Independence Day.

Battle: Los Angeles has its flaws but it is definitely a throwback to those old school patriotic war films from the 60’s and 70’s.  I own the film because its entertaining and I guess I am a war nut.  My only wish is that instead of an alien invasion the producers would have grabbed a book on a unit in World War II.  But now a days I will take what patriotism I can get.

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independence day 2So after a 20 year wait we finally get the sequel to the 1997 motion picture giant that was Independence Day. The original film has grown on me as I have gotten older and more tolerable of certain things.  Both movies are Roland Emmerich films and usually his disaster films are not my favorite with the first Independence Day being probably my favorite of his disaster films.  As I was looking up the cast as the sequel approached I was shocked to see that there is no Will Smith in the movie to save the world.  However we do have Jeff Goldblum so I am no longer worried and am quite sure we will be victorious in the end.  Now my only question is will the movie be as victorious as the first one?

Its been 20 years since the first alien attack and not only is the United Earth Defense Force ready to defend, they are ready to kick ass, or so they think.    Before the celebration an alien probe enters around the orbit of the moon but it has none of the same features as the first alien.  Even though the some in the government, including David Levinson, played once again by Jeff Goldblum (Mortdecai,) ask that they wait to determine the origin of the probe, the defense attack it and destroy the probe. During the celebration of the anniversary of the victory of the first attack a new space ship shows up and it is much larger than the original ship and lands over the entire Atlantic Ocean.  It starts a drill that Levinson believes is designed to reach the core of the Earth.  The Defense Force has to find a way to destroy the ship or at least stop the drill or the planet will be destroyed.

The best parts of the film for me was basically my since of nostalgia.  I loved seeing Goldblum reprised his role as Levinson, who is now the head scientist of the Defense Force, and Bill Pullman (Independence Day,) who plays former President Whitmore.  I loved him much more in this film then I did in the original, and in this one he plays a man that is afflicted from being in direct contact with the aliens 20 years earlier.  Another one who is also afflicted is the old scientist in charge of the old Area 51 Dr. Okun, played by  Brent Spiner (Independence Day,) who has been in a coma since he was attacked 20 years ago.  Even Levinson’s father Julius, played by Judd Hirsch (Independence Day,) is in the film reprising his roll as the most Jewish parent since the mom of South Park character Kyle Broslofski.

However the movie did nothing to really advance any of their characters from the original film.  All of the character development is left to the next generation of fighters, which includes Jake Morrison, played by Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games,) who lost his parents in the original attack and joined the Defense Force who is also somewhat of a loose cannon, Dylan Hiller, played by Jessie T. Usher (When The Game Stands Tall,) who is the adopted son of the hero of the last war Steven Hiller, played by Will Smith in the first film, who is killed in a test flight, and Patricia Whitmore, played by Maika Monroe (It Follows,) who is the daughter of former President Whitmore who left the Defense Force to take care of him.  I have now spent as much time on the backstory as the writers did in the movie.  In fact this entire film seems rushed as if they had 18 months to come up with a story and not 20 years.

Another issue is that with a few pieces and they are important, the story is almost a carbon copy of the original movie.  Aliens come and land, we attack first, which is different, but we still get our ass kicked, the same, the aliens head to Area 51, we set up a trap, it works, sort of , and after a close call, we win.  Just like in the original movie.  So much like people complaining about the new Star Wars movie, we waited 20 years to see the old story told anew with a few changes.  I also felt nothing for any of the deaths in this film which would include the new President Lanford, played by Sela Ward (Gone Girl,) and Hiller’s mother, once again played by Vivica A. Fox (Independence Day.)  I did feel a little bad about her death but only because of the nostalgia of seeing her in the first film.  There is another death that made me feel a little sad but I won’t spoil that for you.

The biggest thing that was missed from this movie that made the other movie fun was the humor that was mostly provided by Will Smith.  I have no idea why Will Smith decided not to do this film or if he wasn’t even asked, but he needed to be in it.  The humor replacements Charlie Miller who is Morrison’s co-pilot, played by Travis Tope (The Town that Dreaded Sundown,) and the governments accounting person, who I don’t remember his name, were both very poor substitutes, especially the guy whose name  I don’t know.  Judd Hirsch played the same roll that provided some humor, same as last movie, and Brent Spiner was the same and did the same, but not nearly enough to make up for the huge absence that was Will Smith.

The special effects are awesome and are better than the first although I am not sure if the Earth would even survive the landing of a ship the size greater than the Atlantic Ocean but I suspend disbelief on that.  The aliens look much better than the first time too.

Just like the first movie, I will probably own this because it is fun and we are going to get sequels.  The one thing that is better than the first movie is that I am the only one on the planet who hated President Whitmore’s speech.  He gives a much better one the second time around but to a much smaller group.  It’s not the worst movie this year, but its nothing special.


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dayearthI remember watching surfer dude’s (Keanu Reeves) version of this movie and it was absolutely horrible. At the time I had no desire to see the original because I have never been a fan of the 1950’s Science Fiction movies.  But as I have become a little older I have been more open to seeing most movies.  So needing a classic review and this being Disaster Movie month I opened up my Amazon Prime and picked this Sci Fi classic.

A Flying Saucer comes from an unknown destination and lands at a park near the National Mall in Washington DC.  An alien named Klaatu, played by Michael Rennie (The Devil’s Brigade,) walks out of the spaceship and is almost immediately shot by a jittery American Soldier.  Klaatu is taken to Walter Reed hospital where he is treated and he meets a representative of the US government.  Klaatu states that he has a message for the world and will only say the message to all of the world leaders at once.  Quickly he discovers that the paranoia and distrust of the world’s leaders makes this impossible so he sneaks out of the hospital and explores the area so he can determine if he should continue to with the message or leave and destroy the Earth.

It’s almost silly to say that this movie is dated but for a lack of better words, this movie is dated.  The movie is a statement on the fears of the time at the beginning cold war and the development of atomic weapons.  It’s impossible for any kid after 1980 to imagine living in a world where information only comes in TV and Radio news and the newspaper the next day.  But that is the world in the 1950’s and the movie also plays that up that fact.  The people don’t have enough information about what is going on so in gathering places they are gossiping and they are constantly going to the worst possible place instead of keeping an open mind.  In this movie the only person who is the example of an open mind is Helen Benson, played by Patricia Neal (Breakfast at Tiffany’s.)  The point is being made that just because you don’t know what’s going on doesn’t mean that the unknown is bad.

The constant usage of establishing shots in the film is very common in 1950’s films and highly annoying for the modern viewer.  Nothing is more exciting than watching a bunch of police cars leave a police station and lots of military vehicles leave a military base, including a couple of tanks turning so hard and fast that they almost skid out, when just before we had a scene where we watch a radio journalist read that the police and military are mobilizing to the area where the spaceship is located.  There is another scene where Klaatu is an elevator with Helen and the power goes out and Klaatu explains that this is an orchestrated event worldwide by him.  So the movie then goes to show a half dozen places worldwide where the power is out as if to confirm what he says.  I would love to have seen more conversation between Klaatu and Helen in the elevator but we don’t get that.  Which is the second time when the movie decided to go with establishing shots or voice over instead of showing us what its talking about.  The first was when we see Klaatu and Walter Reed and a soldier locks him in his room and we see Klaatu smile.  The next scene we see a nurse try to bring food to him and we see the room is empty.  We then get to see a montage of newspapers and newsmen saying he escaped with parents bringing their children indoors and policemen scatter to their cars and finally seeing Klaatu walk down the street observing thing.  Instead I would have loved to have seen how he got out of the secured room but that is a mystery that we will never know.

The special effects were typical for the 1950’s which isn’t horrible considering the era but they do a horrible job of the suit for the robot Gort.  Its way to obvious that it’s a fabric suit even though they say its metallic and you can see the seams where the zippers are located.  But to give them credit the appearing and disappearing doors and steps on the flying saucer were done well I thought.  Oh and while the music helped inspire Danny Elfman to become a composer the use of the Theremins in the film was beyond annoying for me.

Despite all of these issues the movie did keep me hooked until the end because I wanted to see what Klaatu had to say to the world.  So after an hour and twenty minutes of film we finally get the final scene where he finally gets to talk to the world and instead of giving us an Academy Award like acceptance speech on the dangers the plane Earth with have if it pursues its atomic militarization he gives us a short POW trained response message to being held captive by basically saying that if the people of Earth bring atomic weapons to outer space the rest of the universe will come destroy the planet to keep interstellar safety intact.  He then gets in his spaceship and leaves, the end, and very anticlimactic and unrewarding for 80 minutes of buildup.

I can see why this is a classic and for me it’s a decent film that did have me interested in the outcome, as unfulfilling as it was.  This film is 1000 times better than the remake 50+ years later so if you are stuck seeing one or the other I say watch this one and try to imagine a time when there were only 3 TV stations that were off the air by midnight every night and the only place to get information was the library.  It makes you think how lucky, and in some aspects, unlucky we are to live in the world we live in now.



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5thwaveWhen this movie hit the theaters I had it on my list of movies to see but for reasons I missed it. I guess I was worried that movies that come out in January usually are lacking in all things story, plot, acting, and special effects.  I can say that for the most part that statement is true but I do like the film.

The 5th Wave centers on high school teenager Cassie Sullivan, played by Chloe Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass,) as she and her family deal with an alien invasion that comes in five stages with the plan of harvesting the ample resources this planet has to offer.  After the death of her parents in different stages Cassie is on the hunt for her little brother who was supposedly taken away by the US Military for safety but is actually kidnapped by aliens to help with the execution of the final wave and dominance of the Earth.

The biggest reason I like this movie is its main star Chloe Grace Moretz.  I remember liking her as a very young actress in the remake of The Amityville Horror and I have proof because you can see the review here where I say that she was great. I also was a fan of her as Hit Girl in Kick-Ass.  In this movie she goes from being typical smart teenage girl to a girl who is scared to death but determined to save her little brother from the aliens.  Since the entire premise of this movie is ridiculous the fact that she goes from teenage girl to badass with a gun isn’t completely over the top.  And that is more on the writer and director not her.  She did a fine job of what she was asked to do.

The special effects in this film, with one exception, were largely lacking from beginning to end.  I did like the scene that you can see in the trailer that shows the slow fall of a jetliner hit the ground.  That I thought was very nicely done.  They also did an ok job with the explosions at the military base.  What I didn’t like was the many tsunami scenes that were depicted during the 2nd wave.  The one that Cassie (Moretz) and her brother were running from in the forest was, for me, borderline Sci-Fi Channel-esque in how bad it looked.  I almost expected to see some form of sharks swimming in it.  The others that showed the large views of cities getting wiped out were one step below the one I saw in the disaster flick The Day After Tomorrow, so not horrible but definitely could be done better.  The other big special effects disaster in this film was the portrayal of alien hosts inside the brains of the humans.  I don’t know if the plot and the story were designed to make it look like the aliens were in a video game display so the kids would believe it looked real.  I guess I don’t know how they could have made the aliens look more real but I didn’t like what they did.

I believe this movie is based on a book and I am guessing that they followed the storyline of how Evan Walker, played by Alex Roe (The Calling,) basically explains everything to Cassie about how the aliens are in the adults and they are using the children as their army because they are more innocent and naïve.  I just wish that Cassie would have found out a different way, it would have made the story more interesting.  Also I had a hard time believing that this alien plan would have worked.  I can buy it if you want to tell me a bunch of 15-17 year olds can be trained to be a military unit, provided they are basically cannon fodder, but there is no way that you are going to have an 8 year old fighting in combat, at least an 8 year old from any first world country like the US or Europe.  Now if this was taking place in Central Africa or the Middle East we can talk about 8 year olds, but not anywhere else really.  I will say that I did like the start of the movie showing Cassie making a choice and killing what looked like an innocent person.  A Good way to start the film but it’s also all downhill from there.

Before I finish I would like to give a shout out to two actors, Ron Livingstone (Office Space,) who played Cassie’s father, and Liev Schrieber (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) who played the US Army Colonel, that I was happy to see get dusted off and put on film.  I know that Livingstone was recently in The Conjuring but I don’t remember the last time I saw Schrieber.  I see Livingstone enough but that is just because I enjoy Office Space as much as possible.  They both did a fine job of acting as did most of the actors in the film.  My biggest issue with any of the acting would be that of Cassie’s little brother Sam, played by Zackary Arthur, (Amazon TV Transparent.)  He is young so there is room for improvement but in what little he did he was very Jake Lloyd like in Star Wars Episode one.  That is never good for a young actor.

I do have more but my movie review partner, Benn Farrell, did a review for this movie earlier and we have many of the same issues.  You can read his review here.  I will see that while I liked this film I wish it was better.  If there is a sequel and Chloe Grace Moretz is in it the film then I will probably watch it.  If she isn’t then I can’t guarantee I will willingly see it.

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capamericacwUnpopular opinion: Not only did I like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice more than Civil War but I think, even though Civil War is a great movie, it is a better movie. The movie committed one sin that the last didn’t which I am sure I am in the minority in and it committed another sin the Batman did commit which means that we could be seeing a new trend that really, really bothers me and that is the sin of too many damn trailers giving up the action. That is a disturbing trend that I hope goes away real soon.  That being said this is an entertaining movie but left me wanting more.

****Spoilers below…duh****

The movie picks up with most of the Avengers taking part in hunting down the surviving Hydra strike team warrior Brock Rumlow who is now Crossbones, once again played by Frank Grillo (The Purge: Anarchy.)  As Captain America, played by Chris Evans (Fantastic Four,) Crossbones attempts to blow himself and Cap up.  Cap is saved by Wanda a.k.a. the Scarlet Witch, played by Elizabeth Olson (Avengers: Age of Ultron,) but in the process takes out half a building and killing dozens of people.  This being the last straw the United Nations tries to force the Avengers to fall under the jurisdiction of a committee of the UN head by US Secretary of State Ross, played by William Hurt, (The Incredible Hulk,) with one of the original Avengers Tony Stark, once again played by Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man 2,) not only on board but supporting the idea which Cap does not agree too.  Things get worse when at the UN signing a bomb goes off and it appears that The Winter Soldier, played by Sebastian Stan (The Covenant,) Captain America and Iron Man break against each other as Iron Man goes in search of him while Cap tries to protect them.  Neither of them knows that there is a man in the background pulling all the stings with revenge on the mind with the goal of destroying The Avengers from within using a closely guarded secret not only involving the Winter Soldier but Iron Man as well.

Let me kill off the two things I didn’t like about the film.  First and foremost, this was at least a two and half hour long film and there were parts during the film that, to me, it felt like it.  Especially in the beginning with the build up to the Soldier blowing up the UN and discovering parts of Starks past as well as the minutia that was the build up to the spilt of the group.  I looked at my cell phone three times thinking this was really long.  I know I am probably the only one who thinks this but I never once thought Batman v Superman was slow.  Now the last half of the film was better and the last 45 minutes were great but I am still surprised how slow the pacing was for the film.  The other thing I didn’t like about this film, which is the same complaint I had about Batman vs Superman, is that all of the damn trailers leading up to the film basically gave away all of the fight scenes in the movie.  The only thing that is different and better about Civil war and its trailers is that the trailers really don’t show the context of the action scenes and in some cases make the context the trailers do give in them being false.  But basically the sin of giving all of the action away still took place with all of the damn trailers out there and that pisses me off.  I will say again what I said in my Batman v Superman review, do what Disney did with the new Star Wars movie and release very little with almost no context in the film, even if that means releasing the same trailer over and over.  The Star Wars trailers did not give away the fact that Luke Skywalker had about 15 seconds of screen time which was brilliant.  So movie studios need to copy Disney and not these two films when it comes to trailers.


One of the things I loved about this film is probably the same reason why most of the people are going to see this film.  We get to see people with super powers fight each other in an orgy of action.  We get everyone too, with the exception of Thor and The Hulk, we get everyone together from the bulk of the MCU movies fighting amongst themselves.  We also get two new heroes, well one new one and the rebirth of another one.  This movie introduces Black Panther, played by Chadwick Boseman (Get on Up,) and we get a new rebooted Peter Parker, aka Spider Man, played by Tom Holland (In the Heart of the Sea,) both of them will have a new movie coming to us in the future.  And like I said, with the exception of Thor and Hulk, everyone from the Avengers movies plus the most recent Ant-Man, played by Paul Rudd (Ant-Man,) is in the film.  When the concept of these movies first started getting thrown around by hope was that we would eventually see a bunch of good super heroes go against a bunch of bad ones all at once.  All we have gotten so far is a bunch of super heroes going against faceless armies.  That’s ok, but at this point it looks like this movie will have to fulfill my dreams, at least in the MCU.

The action is awesome, with the caveat of when we get some in the movie, and the special effects are indeed special.  The beginning we get to see a CGI Robert Downey Jr. as he would of looked in my 1991 and it is a 1000 times better then the young Professor X version from X-Man III.  It really looked like a young Robert Downey Jr. well the non-coked version of 1991 of Robert Downey Jr.  I can’t tell you why but the special effects regarding the Scarlet Witch just fascinate me.  Maybe its Elizabeth Olson in her skin tight suits but when she is on screen, I can’t not watch her movement and …well her.  Oh and on a side note Cap finally gets a love interest and no it’s not the gorgeous Black Widow, once again Scarlett Johansson (Hail, Caesar!,) but his babysitter from the 2nd film who was named Kate in that film but was actually named Sharon, played by Emily VanCamp (The Girl In the Book.)  It’s nice to see Cap find love.


My last mini complaint, and what left me wanting more, is that I kept seeing stuff written on the internet, so it must be true, that a super hero, or maybe two, would by the farm in this movie so the MCU could take a mildly serious turn and tone.  Well, spoiler alert, that didn’t happen.  One character did get maimed pretty badly but that’s it.  So two movies into the DCU we have killed off more heroes than in the 12 in the MCU.  Now sure Super-Man will be coming back to life but still it is something I was expecting in this film and it wasn’t delivered.

This movie is still good and entertaining.  In fact the scene where Stark meets Peter Parker is quite hilarious as is the introduction of Ant-Man to Team Cap which would have been 100% funnier if we hadn’t already seen it in a trailer!  At any rate, not sure this movie cracks my top 5 comic book super hero movie list but it would be in the honorable mention list.  It’s fun and that’s what counts in these movies.  Oh and it’s nice to see that they have finally brought in a character from the MCU’s most forgotten movie The Incredible Hulk.

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terminatorgenisysI was excited to see this film, at least I thought I was, when I saw the trailers for this film. It had the great one in the film and in a typical roll for him as the terminator.  It had Khaleesi herself Emilia Clarke as Sarah Connor.  Yet the Terminator franchise has become so mediocre to poor since Terminator 2 I chose discretion as the better part of valor and decided to wait.  So I waited, and waited and waited.  I waited over a year and finally I decided to watch as Benn and I have chosen April 2016 to be Arnold Schwarzenegger month.  Well I chose it because he lost the monthly challenge so I made him watch a bunch of Arnold films.  As for this film I am a fan of it even though the story and plot make no sense but the action was fun and I hope they finally put to bed this once great franchise.

Terminator Genisys begins right before the events of the original Terminator movie from 1984 but starts in the future with John Conner, played by Jason Clarke (Everest,) once again sends back in time Kyle Reese, played by Jai Courtney (I, Frankenstein,) to protect John’s mother Sarah Conner, played by Emilia Clarke (TV’s Game of Thrones,) from the terminator sent back to kill her.  However, just as Kyle is getting zapped to the past, he witnesses John get attacked by a terminator.  (This is where the timeline gets all crazy.)  Kyle is sent back to 1984 but is attacked by a T-1000 terminator sent for him and he is saved by Sarah and her guardian the Terminator T-800, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger (Maggie.)  Her guardian was sent to protect her as a child when Skynet sent a T-1000 to kill her as a child.  The three of them destroy the new T-1000 and are sent to the future to destroy Skynet but not to the year 1997 when Judgement Day happened but in the year 2017 when the computer program Genisys goes live.  In 2017 Kyle and Sarah run into some unexpected complications when they try to destroy Skynet and will have to fight and kill an even more powerful terminator in order to survive.

The biggest weakness for this film is the story and how it destroys the timeline and does so while making no sense what so ever.  Stories involving time travel are always dicey and especially the Terminator franchise because there are a lot of which came first the chicken or the egg scenarios.    But this movie really doesn’t explain how Skynet sends another Terminator to kill Sarah as a child and only explains who sent the guardian Terminator by saying its memory was wiped in order to prevent the person who does it from being hunted.  Then in the new 1984 if both the T-1000 is destroyed as is the original T-800 with the young Arnold is destroyed then why do we still have to worry about the 1997 Judgement Day because they destroyed the technology that Cyberdyne used to create … see my point?  The story of wiping the old timeline and creating new one gets bogged down in questions that go beyond the realm of being answered.  It definitely brings the movie down.

emiliaclarkeThe biggest enjoyment I had in watching this film was watching actress Emilia Clarke.  While Linda Hamilton will always be THE Sarah Connor, Emilia was a joy to watch taking on the iconic gritty roll of Connor.  Maybe it has been her years as Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones that has given her practice as a tough as nails yet still feminine beauty that she portrays in Terminator Genisys but whatever it is she has become a favorite of mine.  I can only hope that she continues to do films and that she will continue to refine her craft and start getting some larger roles, after G.O.T. is over of course.

Arnold is approaching 70 years old and that is hard for me to fathom.  I mean I know I get older every year but that doesn’t mean I want my child hood heroes to do the same.  Much like Bruce Willis doing John McClane, Arnold doing Terminator is as natural for him as breathing is too us.  He never gives a bad performance as the Terminator, even if the films are God awful, so he is never the weak link in these films.  Sometimes its hard to imagine that he has been doing this character in one form or another for 32 years.  I have no issues with him in this film either but I am biased.   He may be almost 70 but I would argue that he is still in the top 5 or 6 action film stars still today, which says more about the state of non-comic book action movies and stars than it says about Arnold.  Speaking of other action stars I have no real issue with either Jai Courtney or Jason Clarke’s performances in this film.  I can’t put my finger on it but there was something unnerving about Jason Clarke’s look in this film.  I haven’t really seen any of his other films but there is something just odd about him.

There is some humor spread throughout the film because this is an Arnold Schwarzenegger action film and that happens a lot.  Most of it is standard Arnold as the Terminator trying to act human and not being good at pulling it off with his awkward full teeth smile and his politeness.  There is a scene that is downright hilarious and that is when Sarah, Kyle and the guardian are arrested and have their mugshot taken.   Unfortunately I can’t find a good set of pictures or the scene on the internet but it’s funny to watch them go from the 6’1 Jai Courtney to the maybe 5’2 Emilia Clarke and then back up to 6’2 Arnold.  Emilia’s expression is priceless as if she knows how silly the three of them will look in the scene.arnold emilia

I am a fan of this film although I will say it isn’t the best.  Doesn’t come close to the first two Terminator movies but is miles ahead of the rest of the Terminator movies.  I will own this movie I have decided which says more about me and my fanboy attitude about Arnold than anything else.  If you haven’t seen it don’t be afraid to rent it on Netflix, you can do a lot worse.

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ifrankensteinI went with a co-worker to see this in the movie theater completely blind having no idea what this movie was about other then what I saw in the trailers. I had no idea it was based, like all movies now a days, on a graphic novel.  Had I known this when I was in the theater it would having given me better context of the film and I may have enjoyed it more than I did.  Now if I was thirteen years old again I think I would have loved this movie as I believe that is the target audience for the film.

In this movie world, Frankenstein’s monster, played by Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight,) is roaming around the countryside after killing Frankenstein’s wife and witnessing his death as the good doctor hunted down the monster for revenge.  The monster discovers that he is being hunted by demons and is saved by gargoyles that were created by an Archangel to defend the humans from the demons.  Frankenstein discovers that the demons are trying to recreate the work done by Victor Frankenstein with the help of a medical doctor named Terra, played by Yvonne Strahovski (The Killer Elite,) to created thousands of vessels for the demons that are stuck in hell.  When Terra refuses to continue the work a demon prince named Naberius, Played by Bill Nighy (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,) captures her and forces her to do so.  The monster must then bring the Gargoyle army to the demon’s hideout, save Terra, and have a final confrontation with Naberius.

The movie was written by Kevin Grevioux and Stuart Beattie who gave us the Underworld movies.  While those capitalized on the Vampire craze that happened in the early 2000’s, this movie was nowhere near as successful.  I would say that it was due to the writing because the tone of the movie was much lighter than that of the Underworld saga.  I would also say the content of the story, gargoyles (angels) versus demons, just isn’t as exciting as the whole werewolves vs. vampires shtick.  With all of the exorcist type movies a fantasy movie involving the same just doesn’t carry the weight that these characters should carry.  Also I felt that this movie was much more special effects driven then Underworld and that was to the detriment of this movie.  The gargoyles were pretty poor in design and at no time looked real with maybe the one exception of the Gargoyle Queen Leonore, played by Miranda Otto (Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.)  The demon designs had better special effects quality.  Not that was saying much.

The 13 year old me would have loved this movie because I would have looked past all of the poor designs and just enjoyed the ride that this move tried to give, which as a 13 year old I would have liked. The story was a basic revenge and save the pretty girl plot which I like those.  And while the Underworld movies could be considered a little jump scary for young kids, this movie was all action and no scares what so ever, which again the teenage me would have liked.

All of the actors I have mentioned did an admirable job with what was given to them. I have been a big fan of Aaron Eckhart even before his Dark Knight appearance.  Bill Nighy does a great bad guy.  I didn’t mention one of the gargoyles, Gideon, was played by Jai Courtney (Divergent,) and I don’t know what to think because there was nothing exciting about his performance but I didn’t think it was horrible.  This is the first movie I have seen him in and I know that I will get to watch him this summer when Suicide Squad comes out.  I only mention it because I believe the guys at Screen Junkies are not a fan because of their Honest Trailer of Divergent: Insurgent.  It’s quite humorous and I will link it here.

I really can’t recommend this movie for anyone over the age of 15 unless you have created a very sheltered home, and then you can bump it up to 18.  But while I don’t have a problem with the film its hard for me to tell anyone to watch it.  I won’t buy it but as long as I get to watch it for free with my Amazon prime account, I may let it roll on TV while clean or play a video game, if there aren’t any sports on, and I’m tired of my other movies, and TV shows…maybe.

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Xmen3Boy do I love a blood bath. This is the kind of movie where no star, hero or villain, is exempt from a beating or worse, death.  However, this is not a violent action movie.  Much like its two predecessors’, X-Men III has a story and develops different characters which makes the X-Men sequels more enjoyable than other sequels.  X-Men III is hopefully the last movie because it ends nicely and is highly recommended.

This third installment of the franchise finds the United States government has found a supposed cure for mutants.  Magneto, played by Ian McKellen (The DaVinci Code,) rounds up a large force of mutants to attack the compound that holds the cure and the mutant that is basis for the cure.  Professor Xavier, played by Patrick Stewart (X2,) leads his band of X-Men, including Storm, played by Halle Berry (Catwoman,) and Wolverine, played by Hugh Jackman (Van Helsing,) and the remaining team against him.  Meanwhile Cyclops, played by James Marsden (The Notebook,) is haunted by the death of Jean Grey, played by Famke Janssen (Eulogy) and travels out to the lake where she dies.  However, once there Cyclops discovers that Jean is alive but not the same that she was and much more deadly than any one dreamed.

Like I said in the beginning, people get dropped quickly.  In the first 30 minutes of the film two important characters get erased and that set a wonderful tone for the movie.  After that point you never knew who was going to buy it next and it made me want to see more.

I also like how the writer brought the character of Magneto full circle.  In the first X-Men movie we see that Magneto’s whole belief structure is created by being in a WWII Nazi concentration camp and watching his parent’s death.  In this installment, Magneto has become a Hitler type leader.  He uses the power of his subordinates around him until the loss their power or become useless to him and Magneto’s leaves them without little though to what he means to them.  There is even a classic scene where he is speaking to the masses of mutants and his speech and his mannerisms are very similar to movement that would be that of a dictator type leader.  However, director Brett Ratner does go too far by having Magneto place his hand over his chest at the end of the speech which is close to a salute.  I felt that the speech and McKellens performance was able to convey the transformation without the use of the salute.

Another thing that made me happy in this movie is that Rogue’s character was almost non-existent and I did not have to listen to Anna Paquin’s (The Squid and the Whale) annoying southern accent.  Her character had conflict in this movie because the mutant cure gave her the opportunity to be able to touch people with her skin without killing them.  She has that conflict but nothing really develops from it and is, I thought, really inconsequential to the movie.

The special effects are great in the movie and we see it right away.  The director takes us back twenty years and we see a young Professor X and Magneto and they actually used the computer to make both Stewart and McKellen look younger.  I can’t explain how they did it, but it did look like I was watching a Patrick Stewart that had just finished shooting Excalibur, so however they did it worked wonderfully.

I remember reading after the last X-Men movie that Halle Berry said that she wasn’t sure if she would do another X-Men movie unless she was given more screen time.  Normally when an actor or actress ask for this and get it, they are terrible.  However, in Halle’s case she did a fine job and proved that she could carry an important role and I think she has put the debacle that was the Catwoman movie behind her.

The last thing I will say is that unfortunately Ratner could not help but leave open the possibility that there will be a sequel and that is annoying.  He made the ending happy which it really shouldn’t have been considering the carnage in the movie but if I had to take an educated guess, they had a sad ending and it probably did not go over very well with the test audience so they had to add the happiness.  I just hope that they don’t make another sequel because they ended this one wonderfully and it is a good ending to a great trilogy.

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Stealth***This is an old review transferred from the old website to the blog***

In our continuing series on bad action movies, we now move on to this weeks disgrace, Stealth. An action movie that has so many bad plot points that no amount of action of hot babes can make up for a crappy story.

Stealth stars Josh Lucas (Sweet Home Alabama), Jessica Biel (Texas Chainsaw Massacre,) and Jamie Foxx (Jarhead) who are three ace navy pilots who are apart of a top secret government project that uses stealth planes to fight terrorism.  They are forced to take on a new wingman that is a computerized fighter.  Then the story goes into this fantasy land where the computer learns from its fellow pilots and then it gets struck by lightning and becomes evil.  But all of this is a big shame because the real story is about the evil military conspiracy.

Trying to find the good qualities of this movie is like trying to find the good things about discovering you have in-operable brain cancer, not possible.  Not wanting to compare this movie to brain cancer because eventually over time a cure will be discovered for brain cancer and unfortunately this movie will be with us forever.  The only bright spot of this movie is that Jessica Biel is in her bikini for about five minutes, that’s it.  There is nothing else that can be said about this movie that can possibly be good.

The real genius of the movie is that the directors and producers decided to kill off the only Academy Award winner in this movie within the first hour of the movie.  Now they were probably done filming by the time they discovered that Foxx had won an Academy Award, but they way he was killed off just didn’t make since and even though I was paying attention to the movie anyway, at that point the only decent actor left in the movie was Joe Morton (Ali) and he had only a supporting role.

The script is not the only weak link but it is the worst link in the movie.  I don’t know what W.D. Richter has been doing in his ten years off since his last script, Home for the Holidays, but the time off didn’t help him in the script writing department.  The focus of the script goes from this rogue plane to a tale about military conspiracy and a rogue captain in the Navy.  The last part really didn’t make since because you don’t imagine that the leader of a top secret project would be so morally immoral and unstable.  Then there is the whole war scenario.  The script called for the pilots to blow up a building in Myanmar, to bomb stolen nuclear weapons in Turkmenistan, and here is the kicker, shoot down 3 Russian planes in Russian airspace and basically destroy the North Korean side of the DMZ just to save the life of a pilot.  Umm, no.  Ignoring the first two situations, there is NO WAY an American Pilot would be involved in shooting down Russian Fighters, even in self defense over Russian airspace.  If we were not at war by the time the Russians found out we shot down their planes, we would certainly be in a war with the North Koreans after we totally wiped out their border just to find ONE pilot.  None of that is realistic and makes the movie horrible.  Plus I have to wonder why the producers would want an action movie script from a guy whose last big action movie was Big Trouble in Little China, 20 years ago.  This is just setting yourself up for failure.

This movie isn’t worth the film its printed on.  I would expect that Mr. Richter would disappear for another 10 years and I hope that Jessica Biel starts choosing better movies or she will end up being known for all sorts of jiggling instead of acting.  Don’t waste two hours of your life like I did.

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