The Hateful Eight

Posted in Action/Adventure, Drama, Movie Reviews, Westerns with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 8, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

In Quentin Tarantino’s stylish Western set in post-Civil War Wyoming, eight travelers stranded at a stagecoach way station — including bounty hunters, outlaws and former soldiers — become enmeshed in a duplicitous plot as a savage blizzard rages outside.

What people are saying:

The Hateful Eight is a parlour-room epic, an entire nation in a single room, a film steeped in its own filminess but at the same time vital, riveting and real. Only Tarantino can do this, and he’s done it again” 4 stars

“The closing scene, amidst harrowing brutality, is poetically powerful and is without a shadow of a doubt, Tarantino’s crowning achievement as an auteur” 5 stars

“While this movie is definitely worth watching, even at nearly three hours in length, I found it too mannered and self-indulgent to give it any more than three stars. I realize that Tarantino likes to pay homage to his favorite old movies, but sometimes he overdoes it. For example, the lighting in the interior scenes is extremely unrealistic, and I’m sure that was done on purpose because it makes it resemble those old movies. But let’s all remember that they lit scenes that way not because they wanted to but because the technology at the time did not allow them to do it in the more realistic way that we are now able to do. Oh, and then there’s the unnecessary narration that jumps in well after the movie has begun. A silly affectation, at best. But if you do watch it, you will certainly enjoy the many fine performances. I especially got a kick out of Jennifer Jason Leigh.” 3 stars

“Pure Trash! Filthy, nasty language-none of it necessary. I don’t believe people talked liked this during this time period. Overuse of the “n” word. Loads of blood and gore which was totally unnecessary as well. It is like the producer is trying to cover up how awful the story is by splashing blood, guts, and gore around. Very slow moving and it looks like the actors/actress cannot deliver timely lines. You are led to believe it is a movie about the Civil War but it turns out to be about a gang out west. Writer definitely wants to deliver a huge negative bias on Southerners by building a belief that these are post-Confederate soldiers gone wild, but in the middle of the film you learn they are an unlawful gang in the West. He leads the viewer to believe the woman had ties to the Confederacy but it turns out she is the sister to the lead gang member who has come to save her from hanging. I was thoroughly insulted and would not recommend this movie to anyone. ” 1 star

“Crossing a Whodunit with a Western, ‘The Hateful Eight’ is full of completely over-the-top violence and profane language, so much so that it is almost laughable – it’s undoubtedly a Tarantino film. With a running time approaching 3 hrs, there are more than a few lulls and an absurd amount of (unnecessary) dialogue, but with its beautiful cinematography and rising tension, there’s always something going on and it’s never truly boring. The biggest problem here is that it’s in need of some serious editing, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t entertaining providing you’re not put off by Tarantino’s ridiculous style.” 3 1/2 stars

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Finding Dory

Posted in Animation, Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 8, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

“Finding Dory” reunites the friendly-but-forgetful blue tang fish with her loved ones, and everyone learns a few things about the true meaning of family along the way. The all-new big-screen adventure dives into theaters in 2016, taking moviegoers back to the extraordinary underwater world from the original film.

What people are saying:

“I never thought I wanted a sequel to Finding Nemo, but here we are and I’m pretty happy it exists. And, for me, it was a more emotional experience than the first film. Finding Dory got me—it made me cry.” 5 stars

“Finding Dory is enjoyable in its own right, even if its powerful sense of déjà vu keeps it from approaching the pinnacle of the Disney/Pixar collaborations.” 4 stars

“Not really a big fan. Made for children should have cut it down it took way too long to wrap up. Also some of what happened was so sad or depressing not sure its a good family friendly/ children’s movie. * SPOILER* It does brings up the fears and dealing with the idea of getting lost and separated from family. Really heartwrenching for a kids movie but as usual the characters and animation were well done. Finding Nemo was much better and a bit more light hearted. ” 2 stars

“I heard all the hype that this film was better than finding Nemo. Wow were the people wrong. We already knew that Dory suffered from short term amnesia, yet they had her repeat it over and over. All that time she was lost and the parents never tried to find her? Believing she would find her way back by following the shells?” 1 star

“With beautiful animation and a rich colour palette, as well as great direction from Stanton, ‘Finding Dory’ is certainly a lovely film to look at. The story is predictable to the max, but what it lacks in originality it makes up for in very sweet and heartfelt moments, humour and poignant messages for all. It may not be quite as fresh as its predecessor, ‘Finding Nemo’, but it’s as good of a sequel as one could hope for, featuring memorable characters — old and new — as well as fantastic voice acting. Overall, it may not blow you away in terms of narrative, but the sheer feel-good factor and popping visuals will leave you feeling satisfied.” 4 1/2 stars

Trailer Thursday 12/7

Posted in Trailer Thursday with tags on December 7, 2017 by Mystery Man

It’s Trailer Thursday!!!

Today is the Pearl Harbor Day, so I thought it fitting that this week’s trailer be something that is at least WWII related. So, I dug around and came up with a non-western John Wayne flick, Operation Pacific. Check it out!

Trailer Thursday 11/30

Posted in Trailer Thursday with tags on November 30, 2017 by Mystery Man

It’s Trailer Thursday!!!

For you fans of comedic horror, I stumbled across this trailer a while back. If the trailer is any indication, this could be pretty interesting. Have a look at the trailer for Nina Forever

Bedazzled (1967)

Posted in Classics, Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on November 23, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Stanley is too shy to admit he’s in love with his co-worker Margaret. He’s ready to give up and take his own life when the devil appears with a bargain. In exchange for his soul, Stanley makes seven wishes aimed at improving his life.

What people are saying:

“Here is a time capsule of ’60s era self-loathing and misogyny captured in brilliant comic form.” 4 stars

“This is one of my all time favorite films. From time to time, scenes and dialog from the film come to mind, and make me smile. To say that this film is a classic in its’ particular genre, Will sound cliche, but it really is. What I love about this film – 1) The acting is great, and Dudley Moore is at his comedic best. 2) The plot, really brings home some important truths about Human aspirations, but in a very humorous way. Lastly, I treasure this film so much, that if I were limited to a library of 20 or 30 films. I would have to include this one.” 4 stars

“…the duo’s best film, Bedazzled brought the spirit of Swinging London plus impudent pokes at religion, politics, and pop culture itself to their new audiences.” 4 stars

“I watched and enjoyed the Brendan Fraser version of this movie and then rented this one once I found out it existed. Ugh. While this old version gets credit for being the original, it is slow and terribly dated. Its clear why people thought they could remake the movie and improve upon it. I’m glad I watched it to know what it was, but while rewatching the Fraser remake is fun at times I would not be able to rewatch the original without thinking it was a chore.” 3 stars

“Despite the feel of a joke too long and a weak ending still a welcome addition to the pantheon of brit comedy. Cook has a roaring good time as George Spiggot, who is supposedly Beezlebub, Mr. Scratch, Mephistopheles, and Legion, (though he comes off as more of a prankster Puck) and he’s trying to get back into heaven with every dirty trick he can pull against lovelorn Dudley Moore a schmuck who sells his soul for the girl of his dreams (Eleanor Bron). Better than the remake, but you’ve heard that saying before, haven’t you?” 3 1/2 stars

Trailer Thursday 11/23

Posted in Trailer Thursday with tags on November 23, 2017 by Mystery Man

It’s Trailer Thursday!!!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

I wanted to share a Thanksgiving movie trailer with you this week, but those are few and far between. However, it turns out that Miracle on 34th Street starts around Thanksgiving, so it qualifies…sort of.

Can you believe I’ve never seen this classic?!?

Thor: Ragnarok

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Superhero Films with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 22, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Two years after the Battle of Sokovia, Thor has been unsuccessfully searching for the Infinity Stones, and is now imprisoned by the fire demon Surtur. Surtur reveals that Thor’s father Odin is no longer on Asgard, and that the realm will soon be destroyed in the prophesied Ragnarök, once Surtur unites his crown with the Eternal Flame that burns in Odin’s vault. Thor defeats Surtur and claims his crown, believing he has prevented Ragnarök.

Thor returns to Asgard to find his brother Loki posing as Odin. Thor forces Loki to help him find their father, and with directions from Stephen Strange on Earth, they locate Odin in Norway. Odin explains that he is dying, and that his passing will allow his firstborn child, Hela, to escape from a prison she was sealed in long ago. Hela had been the leader of Asgard’s armies, and had conquered the Nine Realms with Odin, but had been imprisoned and written out of history after Odin feared that she had become too ambitious. Odin subsequently dies, and Hela, released from her imprisonment, appears. She destroys Thor’s hammer Mjolnir, and when Thor and Loki attempt to flee through the Bifröst Bridge, she pursues them and forces them out into space to die. Hela arrives in Asgard, destroying its army and the Warriors Three; resurrects the ancient dead who once fought with her, including her giant wolf Fenris; and appoints the Asgardian Skurge as her executioner. She plans to use the Bifröst to expand Asgard’s empire, but Heimdall covertly steals the sword that controls the Bridge, and hides away with the rest of Asgard’s citizens.

Thor crash-lands on Sakaar, a garbage planet surrounded by wormholes. He is captured by a bounty hunter named Scrapper 142, and taken to serve as a gladiator for the planet’s ruler, the Grandmaster, with whom Loki has already become ingratiated. Thor recognizes 142 as one of the Valkyrior, a legendary force of female warriors who were killed defending Asgard from Hela long ago. Thor is forced to compete in the Grandmaster’s Contest of Champions, facing his old friend the Hulk. Summoning lightning, Thor almost defeats the Hulk but the Grandmaster sabotages the fight to ensure the Hulk’s victory. Still enslaved, Thor attempts to convince Hulk and 142 to help him save Asgard, but neither is willing. He soon manages to escape the palace and finds the Quinjet that brought Hulk to Sakaar. Hulk follows Thor to the Quinjet, where a recording of Natasha Romanoff makes him transform back into Bruce Banner for the first time since Sokovia.

The Grandmaster orders 142 and Loki to find Thor and Hulk, but the pair come to blows and Loki forces her to relive the deaths of her fellow Valkyrie at the hands of Hela. Deciding to help Thor, she takes Loki captive to prove her goodwill. Unwilling to be left behind, Loki provides the group with the means to steal one of the Grandmaster’s ships. They then liberate the other gladiators who, led by Korg and Miek, stage a rebellion. Loki attempts to betray his brother to gain a reward from the Grandmaster, but Thor anticipates this and leaves him behind, where Korg and the gladiators soon find him. Thor, Banner, and 142 escape through a wormhole to Asgard, where Hela’s forces are attacking Heimdall and Asgard’s citizens. Banner becomes the Hulk again, fighting Fenris, while Thor and 142 battle Skurge and the resurrected warriors. Loki and the gladiators arrive to help, and the citizens board their large ship; a repentant Skurge sacrifices himself to allow their escape. Thor, facing Hela, loses an eye and then has a vision of Odin that helps him realize only Ragnarök can stop Hela. While Hela is distracted, Loki locates Surtur’s crown and places it in the Eternal Flame. Surtur is reborn and destroys Asgard, seemingly killing Hela.

Thor and the others escape with Asgard’s remaining citizens aboard the Grandmaster’s vessel. Thor, crowned king, decides to take his people to Earth. In a mid-credits scene, they are intercepted by a large spacecraft. In a post-credits scene, the Grandmaster encounters a group of his former subjects, who are still rebelling.

REVIEW:

It seems of all the Avengers, aside from Hawkeye, Thor is the biggest butt of all the jokes, mostly on the internet, but a few time in the movies. With his two films, the right tone for the character just could not be locked down. Perhaps Thor: Ragnarok will be the one to solve this dilemma and give us a solid film for such a major Marvel character.

What is this about?

Imprisoned, the almighty Thor finds himself in a lethal gladiatorial contest against the Hulk, his former ally. Thor must fight for survival and race against time to prevent the all-powerful Hela from destroying his home and the Asgardian civilization.

What did I like?

Hela good.

Marvel has been churning out great films, some better than others, since the MCU started. With that said, there is a complaint that seems to be universal among fans and critics. Villains in the Marvel universe just aren’t strong, aside from Loki. Well, Hela has come in and made a name for herself. Not only did she destroy Thor’s hammer, but she took over Asgard, brought and army back from the dead, is pretty much indestructible, and we were given some development to her character. What more could you ask for in an evil, malevolent being…I’m looking at you Ronin the  Accuser (Guardians of the Galaxy)!

Dark World resolution. Thor: The Dark World was not universally loved. It seems as if Marvel wants us to forget about it with as little reference there is to it. Whether you think it was god or bad, the ending of the film needed to be resolved in some way. Loki was masquerading as Odin while the real Odin is apparently on Earth. Thor finds out about this and…well, he’s none to happy. As a matter of fact, this leads to the plot device of this film, now that I think about it. Guess it won’t be forgotten, anymore…at least the final scene.

Individuality. Heimdall has been a pretty badass character in these films…when they give him the chance to do something other than stand guard at the Bifrost. Relieved of his duties, he now saves Asgardian refugees from Hela’s wrath. We also get some interesting individual moments from Thor and Hulk, both of whom have taken a backseat to Iron Man, Captain America, and Black Widow in the Avengers movies.

What didn’t I like?

Surtur. Hela is the big bad of this film (no offense, Grandmaster), but there is another major foe that bookends the film, Surtur. Now, I have a couple of things to say about this guy. First, his design looks like some cheap CGI, but at least its better than Dormammu was in Doctor Strange. Second, as major a force this guy is in the comics, you’d think he would have been more important to the film, perhaps something related to Hela, not counting that “fight” they have at the end. Also, Enchantress could have been brought in and that would have made Skurge’s presence make sense.

New powers. As I mentioned earlier, and you no doubt have seen in the trailers for this film, Hela destroys Thor’s hammer. I was under the impression that Thor’s powers came from his hammer, as was he, apparently. Turns out the hammer was just a way to channel his powers, as Odin tells him. Now, without his hammer, he seems to have developed new powers. The question is, will he keep these new powers, or will they be forgotten come the next film? Also, if he had all this power, why is it just now showing? Seems to me there would have been at least a hint of it before conveniently showing right as Hulk is about to smash his head in.

Hulk. Speaking of Hulk, can we get a definitive decision on his intellect? Sometimes it seems like there is a brain up there and then there are times when he seems like a petulant child. Hulk is a gamma-fueled rage monster with immense strength. Imagine a hyperactive child with that? Oh the horror!

Final verdict on Thor: Ragnarok? Well the lighter tone makes a huge difference! The comedic back and forth between the characters makes a much more entertaining picture than watching them all brood and barely interact. Also, Jeff Goldblum’s over the top Grandmaster would only work in this type of film. The bright colors, bad ass action, and excellent story have many thinking this is one of the best Marvel films of all time. Yes, this is good, but I need to see it again before I can rank it. So, yes, I do recommend this very highly. Perhaps even check it out twice!

4 out of 5 stars