Archive for the Sci-Fi/Fantasy Category

Black Panther

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Superhero Films with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 20, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Centuries ago, five African tribes warred over a meteorite containing vibranium. A warrior ingested a “heart-shaped herb” that was affected by the metal and gained superhuman abilities. He became the first “Black Panther”, and united all tribes (except the Jabari Tribe who declined) to form the nation of Wakanda. Over time, the Wakandans used the vibranium to develop advanced technology and isolated themselves from the world by posing as a Third World country.

In 1992, King T’Chaka visits his undercover brother N’Jobu in Oakland, California. T’Chaka accuses N’Jobu of assisting black market arms dealer Ulysses Klaue with stealing vibranium from Wakanda. N’Jobu’s partner reveals himself to be Zuri, another undercover Wakandan, and confirms T’Chaka’s suspicions.

In the present day, following T’Chaka’s death at the hands of Helmut Zemo,[N 1] his son T’Challa returns to Wakanda to assume the throne. He and Okoye, the leader of the Dora Milaje regiment, extract his ex-lover Nakia from an undercover assignment so she can attend his coronation ceremony, along with his mother Ramonda and younger sister Shuri. At the ceremony, the Jabari Tribe’s leader M’Baku challenges T’Challa for the crown in ritual combat. T’Challa defeats M’Baku and convinces him to surrender rather than die.

Klaue and Erik Stevens steal a Wakandan artifact from a museum. T’Challa learns that Klaue plans to sell the artifact in an underground casino in Busan, South Korea. W’Kabi, T’Challa’s friend and Okoye’s lover, urges him to either kill Klaue or return with him. T’Challa, Okoye, and Nakia travel to the casino where T’Challa learns CIA agent Everett K. Ross is the intended buyer. A firefight breaks out, Klaue escapes, and Okoye, Nakia and Ross pursue. With Shuri’s help, T’Challa captures Klaue.

While Ross interrogates Klaue, Klaue reveals that Wakanda’s international image is just a front for a technologically advanced civilization. They are ambushed by Erik, who extracts Klaue; Ross is severely injured intercepting a bullet for Nakia. T’Challa notices Erik is wearing a ring identical to his own. T’Challa decides to take Ross to Wakanda, where their technology can save him, rather than pursue Klaue.

While Shuri heals Ross, T’Challa confronts Zuri about what happened to N’Jobu. Zuri explains that N’Jobu planned to share Wakanda’s technology with people of African descent around the world to help them conquer their oppressors. As T’Chaka arrested N’Jobu, N’Jobu attacked Zuri, forcing T’Chaka to kill him. They left behind N’Jobu’s son, Erik, as returning with him would complicate their lie that N’Jobu had disappeared. Erik would eventually grow into a U.S. black ops soldier, earning the name “Killmonger”.

Killmonger kills Klaue, then takes his body to Wakanda. He is brought before the tribal elders, revealing his identity and claim to the throne. He challenges T’Challa to ritual combat; after killing Zuri, he defeats T’Challa and hurls him over a waterfall. Nakia extracts one of the heart-shaped herbs before Killmonger orders the rest incinerated. Killmonger, supported by W’Kabi and his army, prepares to distribute shipments of Wakandan weapons to operatives around the world. Nakia, Shuri, Ramonda and Ross flee to the Jabari Tribe for aid, where they find a comatose T’Challa, rescued by the Jabari in repayment for sparing M’Baku’s life. Healed by Nakia’s herb, T’Challa requests aid from M’Baku, who declines.

T’Challa returns to fight Killmonger, who commands W’Kabi and his army to attack T’Challa. The Dora Milaje, joined by Shuri and Nakia, battle Killmonger, who dons his own Black Panther suit. Shuri instructs Ross to remotely pilot a jet to shoot down the planes carrying the vibranium weapons. M’Baku and the Jabari eventually arrive to assist T’Challa. When confronted by Okoye, W’Kabi and his army stand down. Fighting in Wakanda’s vibranium mine, T’Challa disrupts Killmonger’s suit and fatally stabs him. Fearing imprisonment, Killmonger declines an offer to be healed, instead choosing to die a free man.

T’Challa establishes an outreach center at the building where N’Jobu died to be run by Nakia and Shuri. In a mid-credits scene, T’Challa appears before the United Nations to reveal Wakanda’s true nature to the world. In a post-credits scene, Shuri continues to help Bucky Barnes with his recuperation.

REVIEW:

Perhaps the most anticipated film to come out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the past few years, Black Panther has finally arrived! Much like Iron Man, was when his first film was released, the Black Panther isn’t a household name when it comes to superheroes, but perhaps this will do something to change that. There is so much riding on this film. Will it live up to the hype? Will it show that an almost exclusive African-American cast can have success at the box office? Will there be a sequel? Most importantly, though, is this worth watching?

What is this about?

After the events of Captain America: Civil War, King T’Challa returns home to the reclusive, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to serve as his country’s new leader. However, T’Challa soon finds that he is challenged for the throne from factions within his own country. When two foes conspire to destroy Wakanda, the hero known as Black Panther must team up with C.I.A. agent Everett K. Ross and members of the Dora Milaje, Wakandan special forces, to prevent Wakanda from being dragged into a world war.

What did I like?

His time. Black Panther is the first African-American superhero to appear in comics. He is revered as one of the smartest beings alive, alongside Tony Stark and Reed Richards. In other media, he has been featured prominently as a member of the Avengers and was even given his own animated series, Marvel Knights: Black Panther. It seems like the only thing that was missing was for T’Challa to appear in the MCU, which he finally did in Captain America: Civil War. Since then, we have been patiently counting down the days until the release of this film to see more of Chadwick Boseman’s take on this important character. A friend posted a video on facebook over the weekend showing a couple of boys playing as Black Panther and Killmonger. The caption she put on it was something to the effect of “This! Not pretending to be hard gangstas!” That is all you need to know about how needed this film was.

Technology. Wakanda is known for mining vibranium. What isn’t known is how much vibranium is used in everything from their clothing, to medicine, to advancements far beyond the rest of the world. The best example of this happens fairly early on in the film as we see Black Panther and his companions go on a high speed car chase through a city in South Korea. One of the gadgets used allows Shuri, T’Challa’s genius little sister and tech guru, to drive the car from her lab in Wakanda. The use of this and all the other gadgets and gizmos we see in the film will just wow the audience! Q has nothing on these people!

Balance. A few film critic friends that I have were under the impression that this would be a very dark, serious film, akin to the Daniel Craig James Bond films. Having not reached those Bond films, yet, I have no basis for comparison. However, I can say that this is not as serious as you would think. There are jokes and moments of levity, serious moments that will make you think, and of course, kick-ass action. There is a perfect blend and balance amongst these differing tones, that it creates an interesting cacophony that is a welcome change from the norm.

Humanism. Of all the heroes in the MCU, I can’t think of one that we really have had the chance to get to know on a human level. I guess Captain America, given his origin in Captain America: The First Avenger, but other than the opening scene in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, we haven’t had the chance to see him do much other than lead the Avengers and defeat evil. Spider-Man, perhaps, but I still feel like something is missing there. Ant-Man? Perhaps, but the thing that we don’t get from those three is a genuine sense of they are actual human beings. T’Challa, for all his royal riches, stoic demeanor, and enhanced abilities, still gets nervous around his ex-girlfriend. He bickers with his little sister, but also shows his love for her. The pain in eyes when he learns of a dark family secret was clearly there. These are things that make this character relatable and I applaud the director for giving us that extra little insight into this man.

What didn’t I like?

Hype. The hype for this film has been unprecedented. I’ve seen people show-up to screenings dressed like they were going to a formal African shindig. This causes me to wonder, where was this support for the other African-American superheroes that have had cinematic releases? Meteor Man? Blankman? Spawn? Steel? Or how about this little film that many say is responsible for kicking off the superhero craze, Blade? As I was telling my best friend the other day, people are treating Black Panther like cured cancer and freed the slaves! When this film was released Friday, I know there were a few high schools that took field trips to see it for Black History Month. Man, I wish I could have gone to see a superhero film when I was in high school for Black History Month! Don’t get me wrong, the hype is more than deserved, but isn’t it a bit much?

Politics. A couple of weeks ago, I read an article about how T’Challa is like Trump. W…T…F?!? As I was watching, I was careful to see if there were any similarities, which there weren’t. T’challa is kind,  respectful, cares about his people, and isn’t a petulant child. If anyone is like Trump, it would be Killmonger, at least in his beliefs and the way he insisted that he run things. Politics are laced all through this film and, in the world we live in it is needed, but don’t accuse the film of leaning one or the other when it does no such thing. Just enjoy badassery!

Step aside, ladies. Last I checked, this was supposed to be a movie about Black Panther. However, like almost everything else these days, the females take over. Nothing against Lupita Nyong’o, Letitia Wright, Danai Gurira, or the other ladies, but we finally get a Black Panther movie, can he have his moment in the spotlight before ya’ll take it away? The overuse of these women didn’t make T’Challa weak or anything of that nature, but rather at times he felt as if he were a secondary character in his own movie.

Copy-paste. Kilmonger has been praised as one of the best Marvel villains to date. Some even have compared him to Heath Ledger’s Joker from The Dark Knight. Admittedly, Michael B. Jordan gives a great performance as the film’s antagonist. My issue doesn’t rest with him, but rather this cut and paste formula that Marvel seems to keep using. Iron Monger, Abomination, Yellow Jacket, all are reverse copies, to some extent, of their adversary. Kilmonger is the same, what with his gold jaguar suit. I don’t even know where that came from because Kilmonger in the comics has his own style; a style that is hinted at in the film with the African mask. They should have gone with that, but instead they ruined a perfectly good villain, by making him a close of the hero.

What is my final verdict on Black Panther? This is a film that people in the African-American community have been looking for. It shows a strong, educated black man with no ties to drugs, pimping, alcohol, or any of those things. There are no negative stereotypes in this picture, only positive images. Can those who aren’t African-American relate to this film? By all means, yes. There is something for everyone here. As I sat in the theater this afternoon, when I really should have been at work, I was awestruck by how well-crafted this film was. The script, the visuals, the attention to detail. It truly is a work of art with very few flaws. Do I recommend it? Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! Stop reading this and go see this again and again!!!

5 out of 5 stars

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Meet the Robinsons

Posted in Animation, Disney, Family, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

An orphan who dreams of someday finding a family to call his own finds his fate taking an unexpected turn when a mysterious stranger named Wilbur Robinson transports him into the future. Based on the book A Day With Wilbur Robinson by William Joyce, Meet the Robinsons tells the story of a boy with a lifelong wish to belong, and shows what happens when he meets an incredible collection of characters who just might have the power to make his wildest fantasies come true.

What people are saying:

“…a snappy plot that demands close attention as it whizzes back and forth in the space-time continuum, touching on serious ideas and proposing some rather disturbing alternate realities. And the witty story twists are handled with rare subtlety and intelligence. In the end it may get a little weepy and inspirational. But it’s so charming that we don’t mind at all.” 4 stars

“…the movie possesses an unusually bright and colorful sense of style that immediately sets it apart from its increasingly plentiful brethren.” 4 stars

“Kids will no doubt be entertained but for everyone else this will just be a rather rough watch I think. Characters and plot are simple and the story is full of holes. More interested in trying to pound its message home then telling an interesting story. Too predictable and silly to be interesting so I can’t rank this as a “family” film really, give this to shut your kid up for 90 minutes while you take a breather.” 2 1/2 stars

“The Robinsons are amusing and likable enough for an hour and a half, but a lengthier exposure to any one of them would have any level-headed person desperately seeking out the number of a facility for the clinically insane. The film’s childishly envisioned ‘future’ will likely appeal only to those without a nostalgic attachment to better bygone eras, and will seem nightmarish to anyone else-especially being home to loonies like the Robinsons. On the plus side, the main antagonist’s background gives him more depth than that of the traditional born-to-be-wicked Disney villain, even if he remains ten times more pathetic than the worst of them. The film’s more emotional aspects, particularly at the start of the film, show potential, but as the story progresses, one has to decide whether or not that potential was entirely wasted.” 2 1/2 stars

“With a Mickey Mouse cartoon at the beginning and a quote from Walt Disney at the end, this shiny, dazzling movie will still charm you with its traditional Disney goodness. The voice talents are great, the textures rich, and the story solid and engaging. The Danny Elfman music is award-worthy. Youll want the t-rex, frogs, villain and Caffeine Patch Lady to have their own movies! There were kids from 4 to 14 in the theater when we thirty-somethings saw this movie; no one was bored, everyone laughed and rooted for the underdogs. If its in theaters when you read this, GO NOW, because its wonderful to see on the big screen” 4 stars

Chappie

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 27, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

In the near future, crime is patrolled by an oppressive mechanized police force. But now, the people are fighting back. When one police droid, Chappie, is stolen and given new programming, he becomes the first robot with the ability to think and feel for himself. As powerful, destructive forces start to see Chappie as a danger to mankind and order, they will stop at nothing to maintain the status quo and ensure that Chappie is the last of his kind.

What people are saying:

Chappie boasts more of the big ideas and visual panache that director Neill Blomkamp has become known for — and, sadly, more of the narrative shortcomings” 3 stars

“It is rare that I find a movie so bad that I turn it off in the first 20 minutes, but this movie had no redeeming qualities at all. The acting was terrible. Middle school students could’ve written a more interesting plot line. There are just too many things wrong with this movie in just the first 20 minutes to even list them here. I don’t normally write reviews like this but this movie was so bad, it’s insulting that they’d expect consumers to pay for this.” 1 star

“There’s material in Chappie for a worthwhile motion picture but too little is explored by Blomkamp to make this worth a trip to a theater.” 3 stars

District 9 redux. This movie could have been about 1/3 shorter, and without all of the faux, hip-hop, “Souse Offrika” gangsta stuff, mon. Plot line was just fair. Hugh Jackman was really slumming and phoning it in during this movie, as was Sigourney Weaver. Dev Patel was just okay. No more Neill Blomkamp movies until he grows up.” 2 stars

“Neill Blomkamp always does a good job blending sci-fi elements with social commentary in all of the films he has made so far. I feel that Chappie does this well for the most part. I enjoyed the action scenes in this movie and for the most part, had a good time with it. That being said, it is definitely the weakest of Blomkamp’s entries so far. It lacks focus at times and has some ridiculous plot elements. I also thought the inclusion of Die Antwoord in this movie was completely uncalled for and their performances did not come off as authentic. Their delivery of dialogue came off as a bit silly at times, but to be fair, this is probably why they don’t typically act in movies. I still think this is ultimately a fun, fast-paced, and creative movie that definitely has some big ideas. I feel it had the potential to be a great one, but instead, it is a good movie that I would still say is very underrated.” 3 1/2 stars

Sharknado 5: Global Swarming

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 16, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

The pop culture phenomenon SHARKNADO blows into town this summer… and this time, the shark-infested storms pick up wind as the world braces for the inevitable – a global shark takeover. Will our chainsaw-wielding hero Fin Shepard (Ian Ziering) and partner in crime April Wexler (Tara Reid) save the world from this jaw snapping-nado…again?

What people are saying:

“The basic premise has remained resolutely the same: scenes of C-grade actors getting chomped to bits by D-grade CGI sharks mixed together with enough jokey references to other, generally better movies to allow film buffs to distract themselves.” 1 1/2 stars

“Somehow, Sharknado 5: Global Swarming pulls the franchise back from the brink and returns it to what it’s supposed to be: fun to watch.” 4 stars

“Long time Sharknado fan. Give to Ian for committing to his character. But each one gets worse than the last. Robot April is beyond silly, right wing leaning comments, the utter lack of chemistry between the family members, and cringe worthy one liners. One saving grace are the landmarks becoming weapons. At least that was well done. Loved Sharknado 1-2. Somebody should’ve suggested stopping after Sharknado 3-4.” 1 1/2 stars

“A welcome surprise after the previous 2; It manages to be much better paced, and, similarly to the second one, it embraces total constant absurdity and manages to be one of the more entertaining of the series.” 3 stars

“This movie continues further into be so horrible, ridiculous, and stupid that is entertaining, enjoyable, creative, and glorious. Not the best, but great. Sharknado was originally a cheesy shark movie with a tornado, but this franchise has gone berserk. All hell breaks lose in this movie, but I love how this ends and cant wait for Sharknado 6, this movie honestly seems like a set up for sharknado the final chapter or something. This movie was hilarious and great with all it’s bad movie elements, but it is obvious they acknowledge that and go for it. I still like the story somewhat and the characters even though it is mostly ridiculous.” 3 stars

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Thrust into an all-new adventure, a down-on-his luck Captain Jack Sparrow finds the winds of ill fortune blowing even more strongly when a crew of deadly ghost pirates led by an old rival, the terrifying Captain Salazar, escape from the Devil’s Triangle, determined to kill every pirate at sea…including him. His only hope of survival lies in finding the legendary Trident of Poseidon, a powerful artifact that gives its possessor total control of the seas.

What people are saying:

“Dead Men Tell No Tales isn’t as good as the first three films, but it’s better than the fourth film…it has mostly good performances, and a couple of great ones. It has fantastic visual effects, lots of humor that works, a lighthearted feel and sense of fun, and many terrific action set pieces to make your eyeballs pop out.” 4 stars

“Is this really only the fifth entry in the Pirates film franchise? It feels like the 50th. Except for Javier Bardem, who brings a dollop of fresh mischief to this paycheck party, Dead Men has all the flavor of rotting leftovers.” 1 star

“Dead Men Tell No Tales found its way back to the original Pirates movie, but lacked anything fresh. Jack was back (mostly), but the movie’s two new protagonists (Carina and Henry) feel like the B-team compared to Will and Elizabeth. The plot and finale also struggled to live up to the quality of the original’s. A fun movie that is better than Pirates 3 and 4 for sure.” 4 stars

“I’m a fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. But even with that bias, I have to admit this is a pretty mediocre movie. There’s no plot, really: the whole movie is basically a couple of groups of people chasing each other to get to the Trident of Poseidon first, which will allow its possessor to rule the seas. Since a slow chase on the oceans is not enough to fill 2+ hours, we get a bunch of throwaway exposition on irrelevant backstory stuff related to bad blood between Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem) and Jack Sparrow. There’s not much humor, no real plot twists or surprises, and certainly no creativity or depth to the dialogue. There are some large-scale fights/battles, but since it’s CGI, it’s all rather sterile and uninvolving. Bardem and Depp do make the most of their scenes, but that’s about it. Let’s hope the next installment brings more of the fun and inventive storytelling that made earlier POTC films so much fun.” 3 stars

“What else can be said about the latest movie in the long in the tooth Pirates of the Caribbean movie series. In this installment: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Feminist Diaries, a never before mentioned undead pirate is trying to kill Johnny Depp (in his return to Captain Jack to pay his alimony) . Jack needs to find a never before mentioned artifact to save himself. Luckily he encounters a belligerent sharped tongue shrew of a woman, who woman-splains for two hours. Along the way we meet yet another of Jack’s relatives , and get cameos and supporting roles from various cast members. Jack Bardem as Jack new nemesis was quite good. The new couple was trash. The effects, as always were spectacular. The undead shark scene was something the Sci-Fi channel wishes it could do during shark week. Unfortunately the movie is weighed down by more ‘disney diversity’. As usual all the men are dumb, and the women are smart. All the men (almost) are bad, the women are good. The men are weak, the women strong. Men are coward, women brave. Plus the movie is far two violent for younger kids. Summer trash.” 2 stars

Logan

Posted in Action/Adventure, Drama, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 21, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

In 2029, no mutants have been born in 25 years. Logan’s healing ability has weakened and he has aged; he spends his days drinking and working as a limo driver in El Paso, Texas. In an abandoned smelting plant in northern Mexico, he and mutant tracker Caliban care for nonagenarian Charles Xavier, Logan’s mentor and founder of the X-Men. Charles, a psychic, suffers from a brain disease that causes him to have destructive seizures unless controlled with medication; a seizure a year earlier killed seven mutants, leaving Logan, Caliban and Xavier as the last of the X-Men.

Gabriela Lopez, a former nurse for biotechnology corporation Alkali-Transigen, tries to hire Logan to escort her and an 11-year-old girl, Laura, to Eden, a refuge in North Dakota. Logan reluctantly accepts, but finds Gabriela killed. He is confronted at his hideout by Gabriela’s killer, Donald Pierce, Transigen’s cyborg chief of security, who is looking for Laura. Laura has stowed away in Logan’s limo, and has powers like Logan’s. She, Logan and Charles escape Pierce and his Reavers, but Caliban is captured and tortured by Pierce into tracking Laura.

A video on Gabriela’s cellphone shows that Transigen created Laura and other children from mutant DNA samples to turn into weapons; Laura was created from Logan’s DNA. As they proved difficult to control and Transigen had found an alternative, the children were to be killed, but Gabriela and other nurses helped some of them escape.

In Oklahoma City, Logan discovers that Eden appears in an X-Men comic in Laura’s possession, and assumes it is fictional. The Reavers arrive, but Charles has a seizure and incapacitates everyone in the vicinity, except for Logan and Laura, who kill the attackers and inject Charles with medication, and they flee. Dr. Zander Rice, head of Transigen, arrives to help Pierce.

Logan, Laura, and Charles help farmer Will Munson and his family after a traffic incident and accept an offer of dinner at their home. Logan drives off enforcers from a corporate farm harassing Will. Rice unleashes X-24, a Transigen clone of Logan, who murders Charles and Will’s family, stabs Will, and captures Laura. Caliban sets off grenades, killing himself and several Reavers while injuring Pierce. Logan fights X-24, but is outmatched. Will pins X-24 with his truck, but dies from his injuries. Logan and Laura escape with Charles’ body.

After burying Charles, Logan passes out. Laura takes him to a doctor and persuades him to take her to Eden, where they find Rictor and other Transigen children preparing to cross to Canada. Laura finds an adamantium bullet Logan has kept since his escape from Weapon X, which he once considered using to commit suicide. Logan decides his job is done and chooses not to accompany them, much to Laura’s dismay.

The children are captured by the Reavers. Logan takes an overdose of a serum given to him by Rictor that temporarily strengthens his physical and healing abilities. With Laura’s help, he slaughters most of the Reavers, but the serum wears off. As Pierce holds Rictor at gunpoint, Rice tells Logan, who killed Rice’s father years ago while escaping from Weapon X, that no new mutants were born due to a Transigen virus that Rice created. Logan shoots Rice dead and attacks Pierce. X-24, enraged by Rice’s death, fights Logan. With their guards distracted, the children kill Pierce and the remaining Reavers. Rictor uses his seismic powers to flip a truck onto X-24. X-24 frees himself and impales Logan on a tree branch, but Laura shoots X-24 dead with the adamantium bullet. Before he dies, Logan tells Laura not to become the weapon she was made to be, and Laura finally tearfully acknowledges him as her father. After his burial, Laura turns the cross on his grave on its side to create an X, to honor him as the last X-Man and then departs with the other children.

REVIEW:

Ever since he first appeared on the big screen, way back in X-Men, fans worldwide have longed to get that raw, uncut Wolverine that is more akin to what we see in the comics, rather than what we’ve seen in shows like X-Men: The Animated Series. Logan looks to be the film to finally accomplish this. Let us find out if the goal was achieved.

What is this about?

In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X, somewhere on the Mexican border. However, Logan’s attempts to hide from the world, and his legacy, are upended when a young mutant arrives, pursued by dark forces.

What did I like?

What’s old is new again. Many years ago, Charles Xavier and Logan first met. While their relationship hasn’t always been the best, you can tell from the beginning that there was a mutual respect between them. That respect is perhaps why we find Logan as a sort of caregiver for Xavier. Sure, some may say this is done just to give Stewart one last shot at being the professor, which may have been rue before Disney bought the rights last week, but that’s a whole different post altogether. As we watch these two in their old age, severely slowed down due to the passage of time, wear and tear on their bodies, and various ailments, it is good to see their friendship last all these years, even when one has to change the other’s adult diaper!

Bloodsport. Go read a Wolverine comic, especially one released in this day and age. Logan does not hold back with the spillage of blood. As a matter of fact, I remember when I was growing up, I had to hide my Wolverine comics because my parents thought they were too violent and that I would turn into some mass murderer or something. Unless you count the endless lives I’ve ended in video games, I haven’t hurt a fly! Back on topic, though, we finally get to see Wolverine kill people with blood squirting out. This seems like a small thing to non-comic fans, but if you know truly know the character, its a huge thing, tbh. Also, we are privy to a bit more of the berserker rage that made Wolverine such an unstoppable force. Such a shame we had to wait for the last film to get all this.

Comic relief. This is a dark and serious film. As such, it was nice to get a few moments of levity to lighten the mood. Most of these came from Caliban, played by comedian Stephen Merchant. When I saw this casting,  I questioned it, but it makes sense now. Not only does the guy fit the character’s description, but he also provides a few much needed jokes in dire situations.

What didn’t I like?

Sabretooth? One of the antagonists is a clone of Logan, a younger, more powerful version of Logan, with a healing factor that hasn’t been slowed down. He actually makes for an interesting enemy. What I wonder is if he was originally supposed to have been Sabretooth. Wearing all black and with his hair cut the way it is, I was reminded of Liev Shrieber’s Sabretooth from X-Men Origins: Wolverine, you know that movie that everyone seems to hate for whatever reason.

Another family. At a point in the film, Logan says something along the lines of “bad things happen to good people who get attached to me.” A few scenes later, a family that has taken him, X-23, and Professor X in for the night is under attack. What is my problem with this? I guess it just feels a bit like the old couple in the first Wolverine film. They were just doing what was right, being good human beings, and found themselves 6 ft under. I guess the writers just wanted to take the bloodlust R-rating as far as they could and kill everyone just because they could.

Like father, like daughter. Ever daughter has certain mannerisms that they take from their parents, that’s just nature. X-23 is a clone of Logan, though, so she really takes after him. I don’t know much about her in the comics, but I do know she has a violent temper and is a bit of a loner, just like her “father”. What’s wrong with this? I guess I just expected something more from the film version. Not necessarily a sassy teen with attitude, we got that in X-Men: Evolution, just something other than a silent assassin type that speaks very little, broken English.

Final verdict on Logan. People have been praising this film as the best superhero film since The Dark Knight and that it is sure to be a game changer for the genre. I can see why people would think this, but for me, this was just a very well made conclusion to Wolverine’s story and, with the Disney acquisition of the X-Men rights, sets up perfectly for a reboot of the character, whether through X-23 or bringing someone else in as Logan. That said, this is a beautiful, powerful film that will tug on your heartstrings in a couple of places. You feel the consequences in this picture more than any of its predecessors, perhaps because we’ve known these characters for so long. Do I recommend it? Yes, very much so! If for no other reason than to see Stewart and Jackman play these characters for what they have said is the final time.

4 1/2 out of 5 stars

Innerspace

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , on December 20, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

A hell-raising Navy test pilot (Dennis Quaid) is miniaturized for a top-secret exploratory journey inside a laboratory rabbit — but is instead injected into the body of a high-strung nebbish (Martin Short) who works as a supermarket clerk. Co-starring Meg Ryan, Innerspace is like The Fantastic Voyage with a laugh track. Short’s twitchy physical comedy is a marvel to behold.

What people are saying:

“A manic, overstuffed blend of sci-fi, comedy and romance, Innerspace nonetheless charms, thanks to Martin Short’s fine performance and the insistent zaniness of the plot” 3 1/2 stars

“Though the film plays like a mix of exhilarating adventure and smart comedy, it’s deepened by the notion that little Quaid is floating around inside Short’s body sinking hooks into things, ripping open veins, triggering stomach acid, and the like.” 4 1/2 stars

“Have I seen better movies…yes but not by much. For what was available at the time the visual effects are amazing (CGI wasn’t a big thing when this was made). And it has enough comedy to keep everyone interested. Basically Short and Ryan steal the show was they try to get a chip back that Quaid needs to reenlarge before his air supply run out. Just rent this and thank me later. ” 4 stars

“A fast-paced pastiche of ‘shrinking’ in scifi, an alcoholic Navy pilot gets trapped in the body of a loser Safeway clerk. More of an action-adventure comedy than anything else, it’s entertaining without being much more.” 3 1/2 stars

“I was sort of hoping to give this five stars, since it was one of my favorite movies as a kid. Looking at it as an adult, I think the first act is very strong, it has a lot of good jokes and action scenes (and really fantastic special effects), and Martin Short actually does quite well at both being funny and playing an actual character instead of a walking gag (sorry, Martin Short, but you tend to do the latter). The movie gets kind of directionless in the second act, though. Tuck and Jack are in the middle of a crisis, so they escape back to Tuck’s apartment and…get drunk and dance around. What? Also, Tuck’s pod seems to teleport to whatever part of Jack’s body would be most useful to the story and/or a gag; the story’s climax for him happens in Jack’s stomach, but then he’s somehow in Jack’s lungs a minute later. That sort of thing happens over and over; there’s very little concern in the script for the amount of time it would take him to get from one place to another. After meandering a good bit, the movie picks back up as the final act comes around. It’s still all very silly, of course, but it’s hard not to root for the heroes. It’s not a favorite of mine anymore, but it’s still a fun way to pass two hours.” 4 stars