Archive for May, 2018

Trailer Thursday 5/31

Posted in Trailer Thursday with tags on May 31, 2018 by Mystery Man

It’s Trailer Thursday!!!

Earlier this month, it was brought to my attention that The Craft turns 20 this year. Can you believe that?!? Even more surprising is that one of the actresses, Rachel True, looks exactly like she did back then! Is she practicing witchcraft for real?

Enjoy the trailer

Martian Child

Posted in Drama, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on May 26, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

A recently widowed sci-fi writer adopts a 6-year-old boy to quell his loneliness. The catch? The kid claims to be from Mars. Dad’s dubious at first, but an odd series of events prompts him to wonder whether his son could be telling the truth.

What people are saying:

“Despite some charms, overt emotional manipulation and an inconsistent tone prevents Martian Child from being the heartfelt dramedy it aspires to be” 3 stars

“It’s off in many directions — false in its details, false in its relationships, false in its emotions — but probably the first and worst thing that needs to be said about it is that it’s also overlong and dull.” 2 stars

“A lot of critics and reviewers are putting this movie down because it is sentimental and predictable. Ok so this movie wasn’t edge of your seat thrilling – it wasn’t supposed to be. This is a sweet drama that will make you laugh and make you cry. The Cusaks are great as always and the little boy is adorable. If you like this type of movie, ignore the critics.” 4 stars

“As an adoptive parent I see so much truth in this movie. Bringing him into reality slowly was an awesome description of how to help a child from a traumatic background. Maybe it wasn’t a box office hit, but it definitely gives a picture of the difficulty of bonding with a kid who has been hurt by his birth parents.” 4 1/2 stars

“John Cusack continues his late-’00s slide in this spacey, whitewashed translation of a semi-fictional novella. Cusack, who never seems to make a film without his sister, plays a moody, depressed sci-fi writer who adopts a similarly introverted six-year-old as a way to move on from an intense personal loss. Following the formula to a tee, the two then struggle to understand each other for the rest of the picture before feeling their way to a generic happy ending, complete with montage. The film halfheartedly drops sporadic hints that the child might be from outer space as he so boldly proclaims, but never seems to completely commit to that direction. Instead, it’s content to just lean back into an easy, overplayed routine and let the chips fall where they may. Really, the narration is so passive it’s hard to imagine what it does stand for – even the shoehorned introduction of a love interest for Cusack (a heavily criticized change from the novella, in which the narrator is gay) is just lightly dangled across the screen before being tossed aside and forgotten. Bland, faceless and safe, it’s family-friendly to a fault.” 2 stars

Fullmetal Alchemist

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 26, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

In the country of Ametris, Edward Elric and his younger brother Alphonse live in the rural town of Resembool with their mother Trisha while self-learning alchemy at a young age. When the brothers commit the taboo act of Human Transmutation to resurrect Trisha after she dies of illness, it backfires and they suffer the consequences via the Law of Equivalent Exchange: Edward loses his left leg, while Alphonse is dragged into the Gate of Truth. Edward then sacrifices his right arm to save his brother’s soul and bind it to a suit of armor via a blood seal, later replacing his missing limbs with “automail” prosthetics. Edward later receives an invitation by Colonel Roy Mustang to join the military so he can research a means of restoring Alphonse’s body. After becoming a State Alchemist with the title “Fullmetal Alchemist”, accompanied by their childhood friend and Automail mechanic Winry Rockwell, Edward begins his quest with Alphonse to find the legendary philosopher’s stone which could repair their bodies.

Years later, Edward and Alphonse confront a cultist named Father Cornello, whom they believe is using a philosopher’s stone to recruit the people of Liore. As Mustang arrives to personally handle the situation, Edward exposes Cornello while the stone is revealed to be a fake. After reaching East City and spending the night at the home of Major Maes Hughes and his pregnant wife, the brothers are provided with lodging when Major General Hakuro introduces them to Shou Tucker, a bio-alchemy authority who obtained his State Alchemist credentials by creating a talking chimera. As the brothers become fast friends with the man’s young daughter Nina and their dog Alexander, Tucker suggests Edward to find Dr. Tim Marcoh as he created a philosopher’s stone prior to going into hiding. Alphonse remains behind to be examined by Tucker, who causes Alphonse to question his existence, while Edward and Winry head to Marcoh’s last known whereabouts.

Though Marcoh was murdered by Cornello’s benefactor Lust as he and Winry find him, Edward acquires the man’s notes and asks Hughes to decipher them while unknowingly alienating Alphonse to keep him safe. Hughes later makes a horrific discovery from his investigation and ends up being killed by Lust’s associate Envy, who assumes Mustang’s form to frame the colonel for the murder. Edward manages to escape being interrogated with help from Mustang’s aide Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye, using what he could deduce from the notes to investigate the clandestine Fifth Laboratory. At the same time, after revealing the new talking chimera that he created from Nina and Alexander, Tucker forces Alphonse and Winry to accompany him to the Fifth Laboratory, where they find Edward as he verbally realizes that the Philosopher’s Stone is created from humans.

Tucker confirms Edward’s realization, justifying their respective actions of selfishly manipulating life before Lust kills him while revealing herself as a homunculus. After Lust cryptically hints of her group’s reach in the government and an upcoming event that Edward has a vital role in, Hakuro reveals the Mannequin Soldier homunculi and gets killed when he prematurely activates them. Mustang has Riza and their men keep the Mannequin Soldiers from flooding out of the laboratory while he confronts Lust and Envy, killing the former while ripping her philosopher’s stone core from her body. While Mustang gives Edward the stone so he can restore Alphonse, Edward instead uses it to appear before his brother’s body and promises to find another way to restore him. Edward then returns to his reality to reaffirm Alphonse’s existence to him. Sometime after, as Gluttony mourns Lust’s death, Envy is revealed to have survived Mustang’s attack but has been diminished to its true parasitic form as a result.

REVIEW:

I can imagine that if you are reading this you have at least some knowledge of the adventures of the Elric Brothers. if you aren’t familiar with these boys, well, i can tell you that this film doesn’t necessarily need prior knowledge going in, unlike the other Fullmetal Alchemist (animated) films did. With this being the first foray into live-action, let us delve into what works and what didn’t with Fullmetal Alchemist, shall we?

What is this about?

The plot takes place at the beginning of the 20th century, in a reality where alchemy is real, extremely developed and respected. The plot features brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric who, after attempting the forbidden technique of human transmutation, suffer the consequences. Alphonse loses his entire body while Edward loses his left leg. Edward then sacrifices his right arm to save his brother’s soul by attaching it to a metal suit of armor. Edward is then given mechanical prosthetics known as “automail” in place of his missing arm and leg. Upon acceptance into the State Alchemists, he is given the nickname “Fullmetal Alchemist”, all while searching with Alphonse for the legendary philosopher’s stone, that will repair their bodies.

What did I like?

Bring me to life. As someone who watched both iterations of the anime, it was a real treat to see that the filmmakers didn’t try to change anything to the general audience, but rather stayed as close as possible to the source material. Perhaps this is a Japanese thing, because other films like this have employed similar tactics, unlike here in the US where filmmakers feel they have to change so much of a character and/or story just to make it “grounded”. Some reviews I have read called this a living cartoon, as if that is a bad thing!

Familiarity. Not only does this feel like the anime brought to real life, but the costume and character design are something to take note of. For instance, Ed’s iconic red coat is unmistakably there. Al’s armor, Lust’s nails, Gluttony’s rotund physique, the military’s uniforms’ etc. Anyone who has watched even 5 minutes of the anime will be able to recognize what this is, and that’s a major plus in my book, especially for a film that is probably not going to reach a mainstream audience very easily.

Action. Two things always stood out in the anime, especially the first iteration, comedy and action. Now, i would have liked for there to have been more comedic scenes, the action is pretty nice. The feel of Ed, Al, and even Col. Mustang doing their alchemy whilst fighting off hundreds of mindless mannequins is def a climactic fight to be seen. There are other places where the action scenes are done nicely, as well.

What didn’t I like?

Asian-washing. Here in America, there is a long history of whitewashing. I think the most recent instance came with Scarlett Johansson in Ghost in the Shell. Why do i bring this up? Well, every actor in this film is Asian, much like every actor in the Harry Potter films is British. This isn’t a problem, per se, but when i look at the manga and anime versions of these characters, i don’t see Asians (except maybe some mix in Mustang’s genealogy). Ed and Winry are supposed to be blonde, almost to the point of being the perfect specimens for Hitler’s “supreme race”. Most everyone else in the cast is your usual dark-haired variety. I may just being too picky, but as much as they brought this straight from animation cells to the big screen, i would have liked to have seen more accurate casting, but i respect that they went with an all-Asian cast.

Cliff notes. This seems to be more in line with Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood than the original anime, though there are a few times it switches back and forth. What i found interesting is how they tried to fit some 6 seasons, give or take, into a 2 hr movie. What we ended up with is i think 3 or 4 major storylines and they were cliff notes versions of those, meaning we got the main parts, but characters, subplots, etc, were taken out for time purposes. I personally think the Shou Tucker/Nina saga could have been given more time, also more time should have been given to Maj. Hughes. These are 2 storylines that are a gut punch to viewers in the anime, but not so much in live action. Then again, i felt the same way when i watched them in Brotherhood, as opposed to the original, so it may have something to do with the source material they used. Either way, i feel as if too much was crammed in to this film for its own good.

Ouorboros. The homunculi have been a major part of FMA lore since the beginning. However, I didn’t feel the actress cast as Lust was a good choice. I wasn’t lusting after her! They needed to enhance her curves somehow to really make that character what she needed to be, looks-wise. Don’t get me wrong, the woman is gorgeous, but when i think of Lust, i see more of a Jessica Rabbit type, rather than Victoria’s Secret model. The other homunculi, we only get Envy and Gluttony for this one, are acceptable, though i wish we would have had a chance to see more than just a tease of Gluttony’s true self and not even a trace of the annoyance that is Envy.

Final verdict on Fullmetal Alchemist? As i stated in the opening, i don’t think many non-FMA fans are going to be interested in this, especially with is being made overseas (the threat of subtitles scares Americans!) That said, it is obvious this was made for the fans…the people that will actually enjoy it. Yes, there are plenty of flaws with this film, from casting, to over reliance on CG, to blah, blah, blah. However, if you put that aside, turn your brain off and just sit back and watch, one can enjoy the pleasure that the filmmakers put into making this, and it is sure to increase your enjoyment…then you can bitch about all the things that are wrong. Also, in the English dubbed version we get the original voices of Ed and Winry, so that’s a bonus! Do i recommend this? For fans of the series, yes, but to the casual or non-fan, meh…you probably won’t appreciate it as much as the rest of us.

3 1/4 out of 5 stars

Trailer Thursday 5/24

Posted in Trailer Thursday with tags on May 24, 2018 by Mystery Man

It’s Trailer Thursday!!!

It may be hard to tell from the scope of films I’ve been reviewing lately, but i am a big fan of classic sci-fi films. One that i came across last night, and that i will be checking out in the next couple of weeks (hopefully), is The 27th Day.

Just check out the trailer for this one. The plot is…well, just watch

The Jungle Book (2016)

Posted in Action/Adventure, Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 24, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Inspired by the animated Disney classic, this live-action adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s beloved novel follows young Mowgli as he navigates a jungle full of wonder and peril with his animal allies Bagheera the panther and Baloo the bear.

What people are saying:

“Exceptionally beautiful to behold and bolstered by a stellar vocal cast, this umpteenth film rendition of Rudyard Kipling’s tales of young Mowgli’s adventures amongst the creatures of the Indian jungle proves entirely engaging, even if it’s ultimately lacking in subtext and thematic heft” 5 stars

“It’s not like we don’t all already know this story backward and forward, but that shouldn’t stop anyone from giving this remake a chance. It’s visually beautiful, and I loved that they kept some of the music from the original animated Disney version. Neel Sethi is a perfect Mowgli and the casting of the voice actors is pretty much spot on. ” 4 stars

“By the time its evolution is complete, The Jungle Book has proven itself a minor Darwinian miracle, perhaps the oddest of all species: a movie nearly devoid of human beings, yet one bursting with humanity.” 4 1/2 stars

“Meh. While I was pretty impressed by this film on a technical and visual level, this film didn’t work nearly as well for me as it did for other people. The writing was lazy and there was no connection between the characters. Nothing was better done here than the book or even the animated one.Some will disagree with me but while Christopher Walken as King Louie was better than I thought, I still can’t get into Bill Murray as Baloo. Bill Murray is a very funny guy but I never saw a character in his performance, I just heard Bill Murray’s voice out of this bear and I found it quite distracting. Personally, I would’ve asked for a movie that had the Disney spirit but kept some of the brilliant themes and ideas from the book by Rudyard Kipling. I guess if I’ll give this 2016 version anything…….at least its not the 1994 Stephen Sommer’s version?” 2 1/2 stars

“Amazing! Where reality laves off and fantasy takes over is seamlessly executed and the movie transports you through an unforgettable journey. We watched this as established fans of Kipling, appreciating the tragedies of his life along with the magnificence of his writing; while the movie is an art form unto its own, it captures Kipling and wrings your heart as it unfolds. We watched it twice, the second time leaving no lesser impression. A film for all ages.” 5 stars

The Three Musketeers (1948)

Posted in Action/Adventure, Classics, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 23, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

The third talkie version of Dumas’ The Three Musketeers, this splashy MGM adaptation is also the first version in Technicolor. Gene Kelly romps his way through the role of D’Artagnan, the upstart cadet who joins veteran Musketeers Athos (Van Heflin), Porthos (Gig Young) and Aramis (Robert Coote) in their efforts to save their beloved Queen Anne (Angela Lansbury) from disgrace. They are aided in their efforts by the lovely and loyal Constance (June Allyson), while the villainy is in the capable hands of Milady De Winter (Lana Turner) and Richelieu (Vincent Price).

What people are saying:

“…enjoyable corn in the ‘Classics Illustrated’ tradition. You can’t believe a minute of it, but neither can you ignore its rollicking bygone Hollywood charms.” 3 stars

“It starts out as a broad slapstick comedy, and when Gene Kelly has the opportunity to showcase his acrobatic skills, it’s good old-fashioned swashbuckling fun. But after the first 20 minutes it turns into mostly heavy drama, and the swordfights are actually few and far between. The problem with the script is that, trying to cover all the characters and subplots of the book, it has no time to develop them enough, and the story lacks a strong central focus. At times you wonder exactly what each person is trying to achieve, and where some of the characters you know are basic have gone (the main example: Richelieu, excellently played by Vincent Price, has only about three of four scenes in the entire film). Still, it’s a good-looking, entertaining production.” 3 1/2 stars

“Of all versions of this movie this is my second favorite, my favorite is the 70’s version. While the overall quality of the cast is much greater in this one it is missing one key component, Rachel Welch. June Allyson is a very attractive woman but she is not the stuff dreams are made of and as such this movie dips in regards of pure lust. The cast of Kelly, Turner, Price, Heflin, Lansbury are stellar, in fact Price is the penultimate Richelieu and wipes the floor over Hestons take. As a period piece the costumes and sets are fun and colorful, which is what films of this time were like, unlike present day versions which equate drab with realistic. It’s a great timeless story and this is a very good version, done very well in all phases of film.” 4 stars

“June Allyson as Constance Bonacieux?? What were they thinking? Were it not for this painful miscasting and surprisingly slow pacing, this movie would be one of the great swashbucklers. Kelly is everything D’Artangan should be, Turner matches any Lady DeWinter the movies have ever supplied, and only Heflin approaches the standard for Athos which Oliver Reed later set. And Price as Richelieu… that says it all. Sparkling 40’s Hollywood production values finish the film off nicely. But June Allyson as Constance Bonacieux??” 3 stars

“The Three Musketeers (1948)” is an extremely simple tale of a man (D’Artagnan) who comes as a peasant to seek war with the three musketeers who run the village. Athos, Porthos, and Aramis are in shock to believe that young D’Artagnan is able to take them on in dual, but he seems persistent enough to give him a chance. This film may have been original during the reading of the original novel/play, but this film is just a great representation, even if it is extremely cheesy, towards the origin story of the three musketeers. I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed this film, but through some action and romance sequences, it becomes a bit laughable and lazily written. It reminded me of early shakespeare at times, which I thoroughly admired for the risk that the director took. To conclude, I truly believe that they could have had a little more background of the characters instead of beginning with the journey of all four men from the start. This is an all around great film with cheese lurking around every corner!” 4 stars

Avengers: Infinity War

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Superhero Films with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 19, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Having acquired the Power Stone from the planet Xandar, Thanos and his lieutenants—Ebony Maw, Cull Obsidian, Proxima Midnight, and Corvus Glaive—intercept the spaceship carrying the survivors of Asgard’s destruction. As they extract the Space Stone from the Tesseract, Thanos subdues Thor, overpowers Hulk, and kills Loki. Heimdall sends Hulk to Earth using the Bifröst before being killed. Thanos departs with his lieutenants and obliterates the spaceship.

Hulk crash-lands at the Sanctum Sanctorum in New York City, reverting to Bruce Banner. He warns Stephen Strange and Wong about Thanos’ plan to kill half of all life in the universe; in response, Strange recruits Tony Stark. Maw and Obsidian arrive to retrieve the Time Stone from Strange, drawing the attention of Peter Parker. Maw captures Strange, but fails to take the Time Stone due to an enchantment. Stark and Parker pursue Maw’s spaceship, Banner contacts Steve Rogers, and Wong stays behind to guard the Sanctum.

In Scotland, Midnight and Glaive ambush Wanda Maximoff and Vision in order to retrieve the Mind Stone in Vision’s forehead. Rogers, Natasha Romanoff, and Sam Wilson rescue them and take shelter with James Rhodes and Banner at the Avengers Compound. Vision offers to sacrifice himself by having Maximoff destroy the Mind Stone to keep Thanos from retrieving it. Rogers suggests they travel to Wakanda, which he believes has the resources to remove the stone without destroying Vision.

The Guardians of the Galaxy respond to a distress call from the Asgardian ship and rescue Thor, who surmises Thanos seeks the Reality Stone, which is in the possession of the Collector on Knowhere. Rocket and Groot accompany Thor to Nidavellir, where they and Eitri create an enchanted battle-axe capable of killing Thanos. On Knowhere, Peter Quill, Gamora, Drax, and Mantis find Thanos with the Reality Stone already in his possession. Thanos kidnaps Gamora, his adoptive daughter, who reveals the location of the Soul Stone to save her captive adoptive sister Nebula from torture. Thanos and Gamora travel to Vormir, where Red Skull, keeper of the Soul Stone, informs him the stone can only be retrieved by sacrificing someone he loves. Thanos reluctantly kills Gamora, earning the Stone.

Nebula escapes captivity and asks the remaining Guardians to meet her on Thanos’ destroyed homeworld, Titan. Stark and Parker kill Maw and rescue Strange. Landing on Titan, they meet Quill, Drax, and Mantis. The group forms a plan to remove Thanos’ Infinity Gauntlet after Strange uses the Time Stone to view millions of possible futures, seeing only one in which Thanos loses. Thanos arrives, justifying his plans as necessary to ensure the survival of a universe threatened by overpopulation. The group subdues him until Nebula deduces that Thanos has killed Gamora. Enraged, Quill retaliates, allowing Thanos to break the group’s hold and overpower them. After Stark is seriously wounded by Thanos, Strange surrenders the Time Stone in exchange for Thanos sparing Stark. Thanos departs for Earth.

In Wakanda, Rogers reunites with Bucky Barnes before Thanos’ army invades. The Avengers, alongside T’Challa and the Wakandan forces, mount a defense while Shuri works to extract the Mind Stone from Vision. Banner, unable to transform into the Hulk, fights in Stark’s Hulkbuster armor. Thor, Rocket, and Groot arrive to reinforce the Avengers; Midnight, Obsidian, and Glaive are killed and their army is routed. Thanos arrives and despite Maximoff’s attempt to destroy the Mind Stone, removes it from Vision, killing him.

Thor severely wounds Thanos, but Thanos activates the completed Infinity Gauntlet and teleports away. Half of all life across the universe disintegrates, including Barnes, T’Challa, Groot, Maximoff, Wilson, Mantis, Drax, Quill, Strange, and Parker. Stark and Nebula remain on Titan while Banner, M’Baku, Okoye, Rhodes, Rocket, Rogers, Romanoff, and Thor are left on the Wakandan battlefield. Meanwhile, Thanos recovers on another planet.

In a post-credits scene, Nick Fury transmits a signal as he, Maria Hill, and others disintegrate. The transmitter displays a star insignia on a red-and-blue background

REVIEW:

The moment has come! The big payoff! The reason we have sat through seemingly endless Marvel Cinematic Universe films, though they have all been enjoyable to varying degrees. 10 years in the making, complete with developing an entire universe, setting up some high stakes, and teasing us with the big bad, Avengers: Infinity War has arrived! Will it be the payoff all of us comic nerds, as well as the general public have been expecting?

What is this about?

As the Avengers and their allies have continued to protect the world from threats too large for any one hero to handle, a new danger has emerged from the cosmic shadows: Thanos. A despot of intergalactic infamy, his goal is to collect all six Infinity Stones, artifacts of unimaginable power, and use them to inflict his twisted will on all of reality. Everything the Avengers have fought for has led up to this moment – the fate of Earth and existence itself has never been more uncertain.

What did I like?

Spread the wealth. From the moment this film was announced, it was clear that the cast was going to be huge. What we didn’t know was how the balance of screentime would play out. Would we get a heavy dose of Iron Man and Captain America, while Hulk and Dr. Strange are relegated to what amounts to glorified cameos? I can assure you that is not the case. Every character that we have been introduced to in the MCU to this point, with the exception of Hawkeye, Ant-Man (who has his own sequel coming later this summer, which takes place before this film, apparently), and a couple of others who i can’t think of at the moment, is included in this film. While not all time on screen is equal, each character is allowed to show their strengths and why we have grown to care about them over this time.

Mad Titan. Yesterday, I saw Josh Brolin as Cable in Deadpool 2 and, while he was good as that character, he feels more at home as Thanos. That’s not to say Brolin can’t play a cyborg mutant from the future, or that he should always seek out roles where he is a delusional psychopath with delusions of grandeur who has a strange misconception of what kind of balance the universe needs. Rather, he just seemed to have more fun as Thanos. I think he even said so himself. I can’t blame him. One the one hand, he could be a really strong time traveling cyborg who has to listen to Deadpool all day or be a universal titan that is nigh unstoppable. The latter seems to be the better option. As far as his plot is concerned, i think this is one of Marvel’s stronger villains. I won’t spoil it for you, but he does lay out and execute his plans with precision, rather than dawdle and monologue the way some earlier MCU villains have done (some in his employ).

Impact. The impact of the MCU has been felt ever since the first Avengers was released and other studios started taking notice of universe building. Now, if you notice there are many duplicators and imitators. DC has come the closest to recreating the formula, but something just isn’t right with them. When all is said and done with this film, though, the way it ends is sure to make a lasting impact on fans and probably moreso on those that aren’t fans. I can’t go into much detail about it without dabbling into spoiler territory, but i can say that something happens that will send shock waves through the audience, as it is something no one saw coming.

What didn’t I like?

Short end of the stick. Earlier, i mentioned the enormous cast and how not everyone was given equal screentime. For some reason *COUGH* ego*COUGH*, Iron Man gets the majority of the screentime. Meanwhile characters such as Bucky (Winter Soldier), Black Widow, Nebula, etc. have maybe 5 min on screen. In Nebula’s defense, she was a prisoner being tortured by Thanos for most of her time. This brings me to Black Panther. He, and the nation of Wakanda, play an important role later in the film, but that is all we get. Some have speculated that since this was filmed before the release of Black Panther, the studio had no idea of the impact that film would have and thus didn’t give T’Challa much to do in this film. There is an argument to made there, but my point is many characters, both major and minor didn’t receive as much time as they could have because of the amount of characters in this film. I’m not saying there were too many, just that, and I’m going to sound like Thanos here, ironically, more balance needs to be brought.

Offspring. Unless you are a fan of the comics, then you probably have no idea who Thanos’ “children” were. Myself, not being up to date on Thanos’ history, didn’t know who they were, either. Apparently, they are, much like Nebula and Gamora, the last children from worlds Thanos has conquered and destroyed who now serve him. That little bit of history doesn’t mean much, other than explain why they are fighting so hard for this big purple guy. They view him as their father and will do anything  for him. The way they seem to be portrayed in the film is equivalent to Stormtroopers, mindless clones who only serve one purpose.

Ground support. Granted, there isn’t much they could do and i just went on about too many characters, but i can’t help but think that the Defenders (Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones), the Punisher, Ghost Rider, and the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. , along with anyone else that could help out with this (Inhumans, Deathlok, etc.) The world is in danger! I find it hard to believe that these heroes/anti-heroes would just sit idly by, especially Coulson and S.H.I.E.L.D. (note…i have not been watching this season). Real talk…the only reason none of these guys are making an appearance is because Marvel is desperately wanting to keep the MCU away from the Netflix universe. Don’t ask me why. It makes no sense!

Spoiler alert. This isn’t a complaint against the film, but rather internet culture. As you know, i am nearly a month late getting to see this. Life/work kept me away from the theater. In this day and age, spoilers are very hard to avoid, especially when you are in a Facebook group for comic book and movie nerds. However, i believe it was the Sunday after the film’s release that i was checking out the Venom trailer and had the film spoiled for me. How was it spoiled? Well, right as the trailer is about to end, some @#%$!^ inserted a 10 second clip of himself telling the world what happened. I ask you…who does that?!?

Final thoughts on Avengers: Infinity War? Man, what a ride! The emotional roller coaster this film takes you on from the opening beat down of the Asgardians, to the triumphant return of Steve Rogers (that entrance was…wow!), all the way to the events that happen in the second half of the film are sure to keep one on the edge of their seat. There are some things that could be cut as well as some scenes that probably should not have been cut. All in all, though, i had a great time watching this and can’t wait for the next one. Do i recommend it? Yes, very highly!

4 1/2 out of 5 stars

Deadpool 2

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Superhero Films with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 18, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

After successfully working as the mercenary Deadpool for two years, Wade Wilson fails to kill one of his targets on his anniversary with girlfriend Vanessa. That night, after the pair decide to start a family together, the target tracks Wilson down and kills Vanessa. Wilson kills the man in revenge, but blames himself for her death, and attempts to commit suicide six weeks later by blowing himself up. Wilson has a vision of Vanessa in the afterlife, but the pieces of his body remain alive and are put back together by Colossus.

Recovering at the X-Mansion, Wilson agrees to join the X-Men as a form of healing. He, Colossus, and Negasonic Teenage Warhead respond to a standoff between authorities and the unstable young mutant Russell Collins / Firefist at an orphanage, labeled a “Mutant Reeducation Center”. Wilson realizes that Collins has been abused by the orphanage staff, and kills one of the staff members. Colossus stops him from killing anyone else, and both Wilson and Collins are arrested. Restrained with collars that negate their powers, they are taken to the “Icebox”, an isolated prison for mutant criminals. Meanwhile, the cybernetic soldier Cable finds his family murdered by Collins in the future, and travels back in time to kill the boy before he ever becomes a murderer.

Cable breaks into the Icebox and attacks Collins. Wilson attempts to defend Collins, but is defeated by Cable who takes the Skee-Ball token that was a final gift from Vanessa. Wilson is able to force himself and Cable out of the prison, but not before Collins overhears Wilson deny that he cares for the young mutant. Near to death again, Wilson has another vision of Vanessa in which she convinces him to help Collins. Wilson organizes a team of mutants to break Collins out of a prison transfer convoy and defend him from Cable, whom he calls X-Force. The team launches their assault on the convoy by parachuting from a plane, but all of the team’s members except for Wilson and the lucky Domino die in the landing. While the pair fight Cable, Collins frees fellow inmate Juggernaut who repays Collins by agreeing to help him kill the abusive headmaster. Juggernaut destroys the truck they are in and they escape.

Cable offers to work with Wilson and Domino to stop Collins’s first kill, and agrees to give Wilson a chance to talk Collins down before attempting to kill the boy again. They arrive at the orphanage to be overpowered by Juggernaut while Collins attacks the headmaster. Colossus, who had at first refused to help Wilson due to his murderous ways, arrives and distracts Juggernaut long enough for Wilson and Cable to confront Collins. After Wilson appears to fail in talking down Collins, Cable shoots at the young mutant. Wilson leaps in front of the bullet and dies, reuniting with Vanessa in the afterlife. Seeing this sacrifice, Collins’s future is changed and Cable’s family now survives. Cable uses the last charge on his time-travelling device, which he needed for returning to his family in the future, to strap Vanessa’s token in front of Wilson’s heart before they arrive at the orphanage. This time, when Wilson leaps in front of the bullet it is stopped by the token and he survives. Collins still has his change of heart.

The headmaster is run over by Wilson’s taxi driver friend Dopinder, and Wilson accepts that he and his friends have formed their own strange family. In a mid credits sequence, Wilson has Negasonic Teenage Warhead and her girlfriend Yukio secretly repair Cable’s time-traveling device to allow him to: save the lives of Vanessa and X-Force member Peter; visit the events of X-Men Origins: Wolverine and kill that film’s version of Deadpool; and kill actor Ryan Reynolds while he is considering acting in the film Green Lantern

REVIEW:

Well, here we are getting ready to go guns blazing into the summer movie season. Avengers: Infinity War got us kicked off, Solo: A Star Wars Story is waiting in the wings, but the one that people are really wondering about is Deadpool 2. After the surprise success of the original, some are wondering if there will be a sophomore slump or, perhaps this will be an even better flick. That is something each individual must decide for themselves, but these are my thoughts on the matter.

What is this about?

Foul-mouthed mutant mercenary Wade Wilson (AKA. Deadpool), brings together a team of fellow mutant rogues to protect a young boy of supernatural abilities from the brutal, time-traveling mutant, Cable.

What did I like?

Action. Some films, like Logan, can get away with having very few action scenes. Those that it does have really count, though. The Deadpool franchise, however, needs these scenes if for no other reason than to keep us from having too much of his mouth. Funny enough, the best action scene in the film doesn’t even involve our titular character, but rather a couple of big guys, one of which would be a spoiler if I said his name. Aside from that, though, there really isn’t much to say other than Deadpool kicks ass and takes names.

Domino. When it comes to the character of Domino and how she was portrayed on the screen, I’m torn. On the one hand, this is the first time she’d appeared on the big screen, so kudos to that. Her powers aren’t exactly easy to show to John Q. Public. Unlike having optic blasts, blue fur, metal bone claws, etc., being lucky isn’t a run of the mill power. I feel the film did a good job of showing her pull off the, pardon the phrase, “Domino effect”. On the other hand, and this is nothing against Zazie Beetz, I feel the race switching was pointless. Making it even worse is that she comes off as the opposite of her comic counterpart. Instead of being white, she’s African-American. The black spot on her eye? It’s a white spot on her other eye. As a matter of fact, everytime I look at it, I can’t help but think of Barf from Spaceballs! Still, having a badass chick that can handle Deadpool, and even throw some quips back at him is awesome!

No one is safe! Deadpool went after everyone, starting with Ryan Reynolds and just kept going from there. This film does the same, but ups the ante a bit. I hear there was a joke about the Disney/Fox merger, but they were advised to cut it. Instead we get jokes about the DC Universe being dark, Josh Brolin being Thanos and, of course Ryan Reynolds failed “Deadpool” in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and his bad decision to make Green Lantern (both films I am a fan of, btw). The jokes all land and I felt as if Reynolds himself had a hand in writing, or possibly ad-libbing, some of these.

What didn’t I like?

Pick on the little guy. You’d think with this topic, I’d be referring to the kid, Firefist, and how seemed to be picked on through the whole movie, resulting in the climax, but that isn’t where im going with this. I want to mention how T.J. Miller was just laying into Dopinder in the scenes where they were working together. Dopinder has become on of those characters, I think he actually does exist in the comics, that has taken on a life of his own after the first film and was a welcome bit of comic relief (in a comedy). Miller’s picking on him came out of nowhere, though. Perhaps there is some deleted scene that can explain why he was doing this?

It worked once. Many of the jokes in the film are rehashes from the first film, if I’m being honest. Some are the exact same joke! Others are just an extended version of the same joke, just done a different way. For instance, in the first film, Deadpool cuts his arm off and a baby hand replaces it (while it is growing back). This go around, he gets ripped in half, and there is a rather long sequence where he is sitting on the couch  with baby legs (and no pants/diaper). This goes on even when Cable enters the scene and attempts to bring some sanity to the proceedings. Should there be a third film, let’s hope we don’t get more of the same jokes again.

Low budget CG. It is no secret that these Deadpool movies aren’t as flush with cash as say, The Avengers franchise, but one would expect that there would be at least enough cash flowing to get some decent CG. There are two times that this really came off as bad to me. First was anytime Colossus was talking. Maybe I didn’t notice it in the first film, but there was something off about how his face moved when he was speaking. While I’m on this note and before I go on…why doesn’t he go back to his human form in these movies?!? The second was in the aforementioned big guy fight. I was taken back to the really bad Gateway 2000 CG in The Matrix Reloaded watching what should have been an awesome fight. Maybe they’ll fix this before it comes out on DVD/Blu-ray.

Final thoughts on Deadpool 2? There really isn’t much to say, honestly. If you liked the first one, then you’re going to like this one. Nothing about this flick is going to suddenly make you a Deadpool fan, though I’m sure google searches on Cable, Black Tom Cassidy, and Firefist went up this weekend (I looked up Firefist, myself, so don’t feel bad). Josh Brolin as Cable works, but I think they should have gone with Stephen Lang, a guy that literally looks the part. The X-Force scene(s)…well, you’ll be entertained, I’ll put it that way. Morena Baccarin is still gorgeous! Long story short, this is a solid film worth watching in the theater. More than likely, if you’re reading this than you’re a fan and have already seen it, so I don’t need to tell you to rush out and check it out, now do I?

4 out of 5 stars

Trailer Thursday 5/17

Posted in Trailer Thursday with tags on May 17, 2018 by Mystery Man

It’s Trailer Thursday!!!

This week, i bring you a trailer for an underrated film from the 80s. Please enjoy the trailer for Teen Witch

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie

Posted in Animation, Comedy, Family, Movie Reviews, Superhero Films with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 13, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Based on the worldwide sensation and bestselling book series, and boasting an A-list cast of comedy superstars headed by Kevin Hart and Ed Helms, DreamWorks Animation brings audiences the long-awaited global movie event, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie. This raucously subversive comedy for the entire family tells the story of two overly imaginative pranksters named George and Harold, who hypnotize their principal into thinking he’s a ridiculously enthusiastic, incredibly dimwitted superhero named Captain Underpants.

What people are saying:

“With a tidy plot, clean animation, and humor that fits its source material snugly, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is entertainment that won’t drive a wedge between family members” 4 stars

“Captain Underpants is an homage to the funny high jinks of The Kids Next Door series that aired on Cartoon Network. Unfortunately it doesn’t capture the fun and wonderment of childhood like The KND. Instead, the movie proves beyond a doubt to NEVER believe any of the professional critics reviews on Rotten Tomatoes! This is the most disappointing movie to come out of Dreamworks who is known for their excellence in family entertainment.”

“As superhero films shift more in the direction of mature themes (even the PG-13 offerings are starting to push the envelope), a specifically child-friendly hopeful franchise starter such as Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is an appreciated gift” 3 stars

“One of the best surprises of 2017. Captain Underpants has no shame in all the right ways. As a fan of the books when I was a kid, this movie was an absolute love letter to me. It’s faithful, over the top and very self-aware. But from humor that is pulled off with care, the genuine connection between the two main characters and animation that is bright and whimsical, even non-book fans can find a certain joy in this movie.” 4 1/2 stars

“My family really enjoyed this movie and it passed the “six laugh test”. Now, if you do not like puerile humor and pee and poop and fart jokes, then this movie may not be for you. However, there is plenty in this movie that does make it quite funny. George and Harold have been terrorized by their principal for years and have tried to fight back with various pranks to buck up their fellow students. Principal Krupp has never been able to prove their culpability in the pranks. When he finally gets evidence on them, the duo are forced to try hypnotizing Krupp with a cheap toy from a cereal box. Of course, they are amazed when it works and he becomes their comic book creation Captain Underpants. This movie is quite conscious of its puerile nature and uses that to its self-deprecatory advantage. When it comes down to it, this movie is about kids and friendships and just how deep those friendships forged in early years can be. The movie stays pretty true to the tone of the book and is completely insane.” 5 stars

Trailer Thursday 5/10

Posted in Trailer Thursday with tags on May 10, 2018 by Mystery Man

It’s Trailer Thursday!!!

If you have kept up with this space since its inception, than you are no doubt aware of my love for musicals. What you may not be aware of is that there is a series of films (4 i believe) that honor film musicals. It is my understanding that only the first two are worth watching, notably for the on-screen pairing of Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. Trust me, these are scenes not to be missed.

Please, take a minute and enjoy the trailer for That’s Entertainment. Surely, some of the clips shown in the trailer will put a smile on your face. Imagine what would happen if you watched the whole film!

War for the Planet of the Apes

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , on May 10, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

In War for the Planet of the Apes, the third chapter of the critically acclaimed blockbuster franchise, Caesar and his apes are forced into a deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a ruthless Colonel. After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind. As the journey finally brings them face to face, Caesar and the Colonel are pitted against each other in an epic battle that will determine the fate of both their species and the future of the planet.

What people are saying:

War for the Planet of the Apes is an excellent closing act to this rebooted trilogy, but also one that does enough world-building that the series can potentially continue from here – and it’s a rare case where, after three movies, we’re left wanting more” 4 1/2 stars

“With its allusions to Shakespeare, Joseph Conrad, the Bible, American slavery and the civil-rights movement, “War” may not be subtle but it’s ultimate proof that summer sequels and blockbusters don’t have to be brain-dead bottom-feeders either.” 4 stars

“Let me start by saying I have seen all the Apes movies, and enjoyed most of them. Sitting in the theater, it didn’t take me long to realize I had been betrayed by the critics who were apparently enthralled by some progressive message or other. The movie was not complete rubbish; the effects and acting were good. The script, however, was miserable; the most improbable series of unlikely events…each one telegraphed, each one somehow coming to pass despite it being the easiest most lazily written way. The musical score was supposed to make me sad, and indeed I mourned my wasted afternoon. The worse thing about War of the Planet of the Apes was it was nearly joyless. I didn’t care if any of the characters would die, didn’t care when they did die. The best thing about this movie was it finally ended. I considered booing. ” 2 stars

“Goes on and on and on and on and ….well you get the point. Then about 15 mins from the end it thinks how do we rid the Earth of mankind? Oh I know there’s that leaking fuel bowser that if it explodes will surely set of a chain of explosions that will destroy one human army. Oh and its been pretty snowy lately so lets let a biblical avalanche destroy the other human army whilst the apes shimmy up the trees for safety. And after that we’ll have a quick trek over a mountain until we find Centerparcs. Masterpiece ? Yeah sure.” 2 1/2 stars

“It’s frustrating to see the diminishing box office return on the third installment in this series. It’s hard to get studios to invest large amounts in original works; understandably so, when considering the amount of risk involved in blockbuster movies. What the audience often receives, then, is a cookie-cutter, generally enjoyable movie that lacks the passion and punch of the director. The Apes trilogy was in my opinion, the spiritual successor to the Dark Knight trilogy, in which enormously talented and creative directors found a way to combat this trend from within, pouring their identity into a previously campy franchise, taking a serious look at a silly premise to explore new and interesting themes. Much like Dark Knight Rises, War is the weakest entry in the trilogy, but brings the same high standard overall quality of product between effects, script, atmosphere, themes, and acting. I enjoyed that War introduced more humor than I remember in the previous entry, and once I got over the initial surprise of the inaccurate title, I appreciated that the final entry went big by going small.” 4 1/2 stars

Trailer Thursday 5/3

Posted in Trailer Thursday with tags on May 3, 2018 by Mystery Man

It’s Trailer Thursday!!!

It would appear that tomorrow a remake of Overboard is coming to theaters. Surprisingly, this is the first i’ve heard of it, and from what ive seen, that is probably a good thing (no offense to Anna Faris).

While you avoid that flick like the flu, enjoy the trailer for the original 80s version