Archive for T.J. Miller

Goon: The Last Enforcer

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 14, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

After one too many injuries, hockey enforcer Doug Glatt (Seann William Scott) is forced to give up his aspirations of going to the big show and settle into a buttoned down career as an insurance salesman at the urging of his pregnant wife Eva (Alison Pill). However, Doug can’t resist the siren call of the Highlanders, so he sets course to reclaim his former glory.

What people are saying:

“Baruchel’s sequel is everything Dowse’s original film was, amped up a degree or three: The fights involving dim-bulb hero Doug (Seann William Scott) and his various rivals are bloodier, the locker-room talk is dirtier and the on-ice action is slicker. The unlikely project – how many made-in-Canada films spark a franchise? – doesn’t quite reach the heights of the original film, which found surprising pathos in Doug’s tale of sweet good guy to brutal goon. But it delivers on nearly every other scale, including standout performances from returning players Scott, Alison Pill and Liev Schreiber, as well as some bits of comic gold courtesy of series rookies Wyatt Russell, T.J. Miller and Jason Jones” 4 stars

Goon was a keeper. The perhaps prophetically named “Last” isn’t exactly 101 minutes in the penalty box, but it’s a disappointing throwaway.” 2 stars

“It was okay ehh? Lots of good one-liner’s and even more fights. E Cuthbert was funny in her bit part. If you liked the first one then this one will not disappoint. The Sports Desk segments were funny yet sometimes monotonous. We could have done with a little less vulgar language. Don’t over-analyze it – just watch and enjoy. ” 3 stars

“Pretty funny with a decent story. it is a step below from the first movie in basically every aspect (like how you could really feel the hits in the fights in the first one, these fights were forgettable), but it was still enjoyable overall. i wasn’t a fan of some of the additions. the new hockey player that gives out candy is really annoying, and is an example of why this movie went over the line into goofy territory. the first movie was really funny without being goofy. i liked the team owner and new antagonist. he was pretty intimidating and looked like a medieval warrior in some of the scenes” 3 stars

“Six years later, the follow-up arrives. Not totally awful, in fact the skating action by the stars and mostly pros, stuntmen-standins, is very good. Credit the camera work for the excitement on ice. But off-ice the film is draggy in places and not very interesting. I prefer the wackier Sean William Scott from yonder years. Not really a lot to laugh at here. I know they are all older but that doesn’t mean they have to be duller. The ever-present fight scenes are brutal, and the language is what you would expect. Nice to see them all again, though. ” 3 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

The Emoji Movie

Posted in Animation, Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 11, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

This animated comedy takes place in Textopolis, a world inside a smartphone that’s inhabited by various emojis. There, an emoji named Gene (voiced by T.J. Miller) is ashamed that he has multiple facial expressions while his colleagues only have one each, and he embarks on a quest to be like everyone else.

What people are saying:

“Make no mistake, The Emoji Movie is very, very, very bad (we’re talking about a hyperactive piece of corporate propaganda in which Spotify saves the world and Sir Patrick Stewart voices a living turd), but real life is just too hard to compete with right now.” 2 stars

“The Problem most people had with The Emoji Movie but didn’t know how to explain it was how the movie was advertised. For some, I think the advertisement of The Emoji Movie meant one thing and to others something totally different. Also what age bracket this movie should have been marketed too. I like Jean’scharacter because the movie for him was about growing up and being yourself in a society that makes everyone conform to what they want you to be. Hi-Five issue was one minute your on top, the next minute your at the bottom. How do you define success for your self? How you accept yourself no matter if you are on the top or the bottom. Jailbreak was the also very unique, How do you be yourself and also fit in with society and learn to deal with stereotypes” 4 stars

“There’s a justifiable self-loathing running through The Emoji Movie, a fragile attempt to (sigh) deconstruct the meaning of Emojis while also (sigh) demonstrating the profound possibility that Emojis are the language of the future.” 1/2 star

“I really enjoyed this movie. i did not think i would like it as much as i did. it’s funny and very entertaining. the animation is great, voice acting is great and the characters are great. the story is good as well. the music is awesome i love the just dance scene that was cool. my favorite character is hi 5 i think he stole the movie. the villain was kind of weak but still entertaining at the same time. i loved how they built the world of the emojis and the rest of the apps that was pretty creative. all in for a movie that sounds dumb it’s pretty darn good. don’t judge a book by it’s cover right. this movie is cenimatastic. if you have not seen this movie then i recommend you do.” 5 stars

“I’m disappointed in myself that I followed the herd on this one. Get off the band wagon – so easy to berate a movie that’s based on something so trivial as emojis and easy to believe it’s just one long advert. I wonder how many of those reviewers have actually seen the film? I saw much more blatant product placement in Wreck It Ralph, but then I guess it’s not very popular to bad mouth that one, right? This movie is not the best, it won’t win awards (mainly due to popularism, thanks for that) – but it’s a kid’s film. Did we forget that? I wouldn’t expect a kid to give a decent rating to Schindler’s List, the film isn’t for them, so why such bad press for this one, which is a kid’s film?” 4 stars

Hell and Back

Posted in Animation, Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 2, 2016 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

At a rundown pier carnival, idealistic promoter Remy (Nick Swardson) is desperate to bring in business. He is friends with the overweight and odd carnival repairman Augie (T.J. Miller) and the insolent assistant manager Curt Myers (Rob Riggle). After Curt discovers that the bank has foreclosed the carnival, a frustrated Remy heads down to the boat of a fortune-teller named Madame Zonar (Kerri Kenney-Silver), who is in possession of a crying Devil book. Seeing an opportunity to bring in business, Remy tells his friends that people would come around to see the Devil crying and sets the book up at The Gates of Hell, the park’s main ride attraction. When Curt requests a mint Remy has in his possession, Remy forces Curt to take a blood oath so he can pay Remy back with a mint only for Curt to callously admit that he doesn’t have a mint. While Remy and Curt argue, Augie sees strange weather and soon, Curt is sucked into Hell itself through the ride and Remy and Augie take a car from the ride into the portal to rescue Curt.

After landing in Hell, they discover that it is full of green lost souls and aggressive demons. After being discovered, they are taken to the Devil (Bob Odenkirk) himself, who reveals to be an aggressive, if comical being, who is just coming from a meeting. He encounters the duo and while speaking with them, mentions the Greek legend Orpheus who has a reputation for bringing mortals out of Hell. He forces the duo to hide while meeting with an angel from Heaven named Barb (Susan Sarandon) who he is infatuated with. When Barb mentions that she is aware of the mortals in his domain, he tries to show them to her, but discovers that they have escaped and calls out a search for them. Remy and Augie try to use a contraption to escape, but are discovered and are about to be apprehended by demons. Just then, a ship appears and captures them and a demon. On the ship, a mysterious figure disposes of the demon. When the duo tell the figure why they’re here, the figure reveals herself to be a female demon named Deema (Mila Kunis) who Augie becomes infatuated with. She agrees to take them to Curt if they take her to Orpheus They track him using the Devil’s cell phone (which Remy and Augie snagged from his office).

Meanwhile, Curt meets the Devil and hits it off with him pretty swell, but when mentioned that he is being sacrificed for not living up to his blood oath, he persuades the Devil to not sacrifice him via a contract if he puts on a show to win the favor of Barb who had a fling with him while she was dating God. It was God sent the Devil to Hell for this. Remy, Augie, and Demma locate the way to Orpheus which is guarded by Deema’s mother Durmessa (Jennifer Coolidge), but they manage to make it past her. Before Deema passes through, Durmessa warns her that Orpheus isn’t what she expects him to be. They use a submarine to find Orpheus and eventually locate him when he finds them through a giant robot. They discover that Durmessa was right about him as Orpheus (Danny McBride) reveals to be an eccentric slacker who is retired from bringing people out of the Underworld. Remy is the only one who seems to enjoy his lifestyle. After passing 2/3 of Orpheus’s ridiculous tests, he reveals himself to be Deema’s father, as he had a fling with Durmessa, but never came home. Annoyed with Orpheus, Deema leaves and Augie decides to go with her upon being fed up with Remy’s selfishness. After sharing a romantic moment, they discover from the Devil’s cellphone that Curt is being sacrificed at the crossroads and head out to save him.

When Remy finds out where Curt is via Orpheus’s TV, he leaves to find him and uses a Purgatory boat to catch up with his friends and reconciles with them. The Devil goes back on his deal with Curt and decides to sacrifice him anyway. After the Devil retires to the bathroom after he ate Curt’s contract, Remy, Augie, and Deema manage to make it past the Demons guarding Curt and reunite with him. They find themselves at the mercy of the demons and the Devil who decides to sacrifice them all. Having a change of heart, Orpheus attempts to rescue them while disguised as the leader of a demon band, but is also captured. Barb, who the Devil called and showed her the mortals, comes to Hell via a stripper’s pole and she becomes attracted to Orpheus because of his song when he disguised himself. A jealous Devil tries to use a bazooka cannon full of T-shirts to kill Orpheus. When they are escaping, a T-shirt hits Barb, knocking her unconscious. While they are falling, Remy slaps Barb awake, but the group find themselves in the lower regions of hell full of living sex-offender trees. One sex-offender tree (H. Jon Benjamin) had raped Orpheus (which he mentioned multiple times earlier). Orpheus will forgive him if he rapes the Devil, which he does later on.

Remy, Augie, Curt, and Deema are caught and bounded by the trees and when Remy is eventually held down by roots, Curt, while hanging upside down from a tree, drops a mint onto Remy. Although upset at first about Curt keeping this from him, Remy is told that if he eats the mint, the blood oath will be paid. The Devil and a demon try to stop him, but Remy eats it reopening the portal that brought the mortals to hell, sending them back to the land of the living with Deema going with them. When the Devil asks them where Barb is, she eventually appears with Orpheus flying on her, telling him about their relationship, much to his distress. On the surface, the group discovers that Remy’s idea to keep the park open is actually successful as people are lining up with coins in their hands to watch the Devil cry.

6 months later, Remy uses the money to renovate the carnival with attractions that are similar to what is seen in Hell, including an attraction called the “Gates of Heaven” with Orpheus and Barb in it.

The ending credits show a lost soul in Hell and a Demon who keeps misleading him (as he does this many times in the film) with the occurrences ending with the demon saying “Welcome to Hell.”

REVIEW:

Back in the fall, I heard a few things about Hell and Back, a small animated film that most definitely is not for kids. Once it left the theater, though, that was the last I heard anyone speak of it, until it popped up on Netflix a couple of weeks ago. Curiosity finally got the better of me and I caved this evening. Hopefully, this won’t be a mistake.

What is this about?

After their buddy is accidentally sucked into hell, two friends set off on a wild quest to rescue him. In the process, the duo encounters more than a few strange spirits, including an alluring angel and the devil himself

What did I like?

Theology meets mythology. Mixing Greek mythology with the theological notion of hell is not something that is done often. When was the last time you heard of Charon ferrying people to the gates of hell, or Orpheus and the devil fighting over an angel? That is what you get here and, while I thought the filmmakers were just trying to cram all character associated with the Underworld, somehow it works!

Location. Everyone has their own personal idea of hell. These filmmakers decided that the portal to hell is located in an amusement park ride called “The Gates of Hell”. Interesting place to have it, right? I actually liked that it was there and didn’t just pop up in some random abandoned warehouse, some unsuspecting person’s house, restaurant, etc.

Creativity. Maybe this was done so that we could tell lost souls from the demons and our mortal stars, but it was a nice touch to have said souls looks like some sort of ghost-type shadow. I wonder if that is what our souls actually look like, since I doubt we will bare any resemblance to these mortal coils in the afterlife. Also, the one soul that was being tortured by the most mundane things, such as no pizza at a Pizza Hut/Taco Bell.

What didn’t I like?

Douche cast. I don’t know if it is how these characters are written or if it is the people voicing them, but I found it hard to like anyone. T.J. Miller’s character may have been the most likable, but that was only because he was often targeted for being a bit on the chubby side. Have we, as a society, reached the point where these are the kind of characters that will populate every film from now on? Who wants to see sarcastic douchebags in everything, as opposed to normal people?

Devil. At first, we see the devil as we all imagine him, a big red, scary guy. Then he changes into something that resembles Fred Astaire, in my opinion, but he’s also pink and one of his horns is bigger than the other. All this to impress the angel, Barb. I get the changing your look and all, even if you are the devil, but pink, seriously?!?

Sex offender forest. This is hell, and every evil thing imaginable is supposed to be down here, but was it really necessary to have an entire forest of rape trees? What’s worse is that we nearly see a rape happen! It was one thing to mention this place in passing and all, but to actually show it seemed a bit much for my taste. Maybe I’m alone in thinking this way, though.

Final verdict on Hell and Back? Not knowing what to expect when I started this film, my expectations were low. As the film went on, I didn’t become anymore enamored with this flick. I believe this was made just as a satire on everyone’s concept of hell, or maybe it was counter programming to all these conservative Christian films that are being released right now. Who knows? If you were to ask me, though, if I would recommend this flick, my answer is no. There just isn’t anything here worth watching. If you want to see a modern take on hell, check out Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell, Lucy Daughter of the Devil, or even go back and watch George Burns’ Oh, God! You Devil franchise or either Bedazzled films.

2 out of 5 stars

Deadpool

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Superhero Films with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 19, 2016 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Wade Wilson is a former special forces operative who works as a mercenary in New York City. He meets escort Vanessa Carlysle at a local bar and they become romantically attached. One year later, Wade proposes to her and she accepts, but he suddenly collapses. Wade is diagnosed with terminal cancer and though Vanessa remains by his side, he fears losing her.

A recruiter from a secret program approaches Wade and offers him an experimental cure for his cancer. Although Wade initially refuses, he later decides to leave Vanessa and undergo the procedure. At a laboratory, Wade meets Ajax and Angel Dust, whom he instantly resents. Ajax injects Wade with a serum designed to awaken latent mutant genes, then have him subjected to weeks of torture to trigger the mutation without success. Wade discovers Ajax’s real name, Francis Freeman, and mocks him. In response, Ajax straps Wade into an airtight chamber which raises and lowers the oxygen level to keep Wade constantly on the verge of asphyxiation. Ajax reveals to Wade their true purpose: to make super-powered slaves to be sold to wealthy customers. Several days later, Wade develops a healing factor which cures his cancer, but severely disfigures his face and skin. He escapes from the chamber and attacks Ajax, but relents when told that his disfigurement can be cured. Ajax subdues Wade, impales him with a rebar and leaves him in the burning laboratory.

Wade attempts to reconnect with Vanessa, but is unable to come to terms with his appearance, and keeps himself away from her. After consulting his best friend Weasel, Wade decides to hunt down Ajax and have his disfigurement cured. He becomes a masked vigilante, takes the alias “Deadpool”, and moves into the home of an elderly blind woman named Al. Following a string of leads, Deadpool tracks down Ajax to a convoy of cars on an expressway. He kills all the escorts, corners Ajax and demands a cure to his disfigurement. The confrontation is interrupted by two X-Men, Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead, who have been trying to recruit Deadpool. Taking advantage of the distraction, Ajax escapes. Colossus handcuffs himself to Deadpool and begins dragging him away. Deadpool cuts off his own hand and escapes. His hand regenerates overnight.

Now knowing Wade is alive, Ajax goes to Weasel’s bar and learns of Vanessa. Weasel calls Wade and tells him Vanessa is in danger. Wade goes to the strip club she works at but, unable to face her, psyches himself up in the bathroom first. However, when he comes out, she is already kidnapped. Ajax and Angel Dust tell Deadpool to meet up with them on a decommissioned helicarrier in a scrapyard.

Deadpool convinces Colossus and Negasonic to help him, and the trio take a cab to the scrapyard. While Colossus and Negasonic battle Angel Dust, Deadpool fights his way through Ajax’s henchmen, and eventually engages him in close combat. After Angel Dust knocks out Colossus, Negasonic uses her power to repel her, but accidentally destroys the equipment holding the helicarrier upright. As the helicarrier tips over, Colossus wakes up and takes Negasonic and Angel Dust to safety, while Deadpool successfully saves Vanessa. Ajax, still alive, attacks Deadpool, but is subdued and reveals there is no cure for Wade’s disfigurement.

Colossus begins urging Deadpool to be a true hero and spare his enemy, but Deadpool kills Ajax. Wade turns to Vanessa, who removes his mask revealing his face. Vanessa is angered that Wade left her, but still loves him. She accepts him, and they reconcile by kissing.

In a post-credits scene parodying Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Wade teases a sequel featuring Cable and tells the audience to clean up their trash.

REVIEW:

One of the most highly anticipated films of this young year has got to be Deadpool. Ryan Reynolds is in desperate need of a hit and the superhero genre is in need of something different. Could this be the film to do all of those things? Let’s find out, shall we?

What is this about?

The origin story of former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson, who after being subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopts the alter ego Deadpool. Armed with his new abilities and a dark, twisted sense of humor, Deadpool hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life.

What did I like?

Humor. Recently, I’ve been watching Daredevil and Jessica Jones on Netflix, two Marvel superhero shows that are about as devoid of humor as they come, save for a couple of wisecracks by the comic relief here and there. In contrast, films such as Ant-Man, The Avengers, and the like have some humor in them, but audiences are lukewarm in response to them for some reason. Enter Deadpool, a character known for his wisecracks and pointing out things as he sees them. The filmmakers did a great job translating thing, including his breaking the 4th wall, to the big screen. Not only that, but they poke fun at any and everything in the superhero genre and then some. I haven’t laughed this hard at some actual comedies!!!!

Rated R superstar. What was the last rated R comic book/superhero movie? I want to say it was Punisher: War Zone, bu don’t quote me on that. Everything else has been either PG or PG-13, including some properties that shouldn’t have been. Hopefully this, combined with the success of the Netflix shows, will open up the R rating for superhero film. Now, this R rating is not to be taken lightly. Deadpool constantly drops the F-bomb, decapitates heads, blows brains out, goes to a strip club, and there is even a scene of male nudity (I’ll touch on this in little bit). Some feminazi on Youtube actually tried to start a petition to get the studio to release a PG-13 version because some little boy cried to her about wanting to see it. Whatever! There are more than enough PG-13 superheroes out there, kid. Get over it! Chances are he’ll but a ticket for Kung Fu Panda 3 and sneak in, anyway.

Marketing. I have to believe that the biggest chunk of this film’s budget went to marketing, and with good reason. From just after Halloween, I believe, up until the film’s release, we were treated to vignettes, videos, and other various clips and whatnot that gave us an idea of the kind of humor and the tone this film would have. For a character as niche and cult as Deadpool, this was a smart move, as it brought him to the mainstream conscious before the film came out. Had they not done this, I fear this film would have gone the way of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, a hit only to fans of the book and forgotten by everyone else (even though it is a really good movie!)

Damsel. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Morena Baccarin’s character, Vanessa, better known as Copycat in the comics. What I mostly like about her is that the filmmakers didn’t make her some strong female character just to please the femists out there. For the most part, she is just short of a damsel in distress, as it were. With all this girl power all over the place and unrelenting string of feminists taking over the world, it was nice change of pace to get a character that could go toe to toe with Wade Wilson, but also could use a rescue.

Reynolds. As we know, Ryan Reynolds is an extremely likable and charismatic guy, but he has been on a bit of a cold streak when it comes to these big budget films. Green Lantern was meant to be the next big superhero franchise, but it did so bad that DC was forced to go back to Superman. X-Men Origins: Wolverine is constantly ripped to shreds by fans, but I actually liked it, mainly because of what they did to Reynolds and “Deadpool”. How do you take a character known as “the merc with the mouth” and sew his mouth shut?!? Still, if not for that, we wouldn’t have gotten this film, so in a way, we should be grateful! It cannot be said enough, Ryan Reynolds was born to play this character. Not only that, but he stayed fairly true to the source material and threw out a few jabs at his former attempts at superhero glory. “Don’t make the supersuit green…or animated!” I’m wondering now that I’ve been speaking of Reynolds’ flops, what was his last hit, excluding The Croods.

What didn’t I like?

Colossus. When it was announced Colossus would be included in this picture, I didn’t know what to think. I am somewhat a fan of the character, but when you consider the way he’s been shown, or not shown, in the movies so far, it is hard to get excited. My main issue with this version of Colossus is that he was in his metal form the whole time, even when we first see him and he is sitting down for breakfast, eating a bowl of cereal. I find it extremely hard to believe that Colossus would not be in his “human” state when doing something like that. Of course, I also find it hard to believe that we only see 2 people in the X-mansion. As Deadpool said, “it’s like they couldn’t afford anymore…[sic]” The CG on the big guy wasn’t too bad. I found it to be very similar to the Hulk, I just wish he didn’t look as CG and fake, though.

Naked Wade. Is Ryan Reynolds a nudist and we just don’t know about it? In Green Lantern, he gets naked and in this one he gets even more nude! I guess if I had that body, I’d want to show it off, too. I doubt the ladies (and some men) don’t mind. For the scene he gets naked in, it sort of fits, though, I don’t really think he needed to take off the gown. Now, did we need to see his penis? No, but I guess he felt the need to show the audience what he was packing.

Masked man. The problem with getting a big name actor to play a superhero that wears a mask is that they always want to show their face. Toby Maguire was always ripping his mask off in the Spider-Man franchise, even though Spider-Man never takes his off. The studio was creative with Robert Downey, Jr. and we were instead of him always taking it off, we just go inside the suit with him. On the flip side, there are actors like Karl Urban in Dredd want to stay true to the character and don’t take the mask off. I feel as if Reynolds would fall more into the latter category, but the studio and the story wanted more of his face (even if it was what they called disfigured).

Was Deadpool worth the wait and all the hype? Yes, and then some! Everything that you think this film is going to do, as far as what we’ve seen from its contemporaries, it does something totally different. We are introduced to a niche character that could very well be the spark that ignites a genre that is starting to get a little stale. There really isn’t much else to say about this film, other than make sure you pay attention to the opening credits. You’ll thank me later! So, do I recommend this film? If you need to ask me that, I seriously wonder about your mental well-being. Of course I recommend this, very highly! So stop reading my ramblings and go see this film…multiple times!!!

5 out of 5 stars

Big Hero 6

Posted in Animation, Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 15, 2014 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

The film is set in a fictional futuristic metropolis called San Fransokyo (a portmanteau of San Francisco and Tokyo). Hiro Hamada is a 14-year-old robotics genius who spends his time participating in back alley robot fights. His older brother, Tadashi, worried that Hiro is wasting his potential, takes Hiro to the robotics lab at his university, where Hiro meets Tadashi’s friends, GoGo Tomago, Wasabi, Honey Lemon and Fred, as well as Baymax, a personal healthcare robot Tadashi created. Amazed, Hiro decides to apply to the school. He presents his project–microbots, swarms of tiny robots that can link together in any arrangement imaginable–at an annual exhibition to gain admission. Professor Callaghan, the head of the program, is impressed, and Hiro gets in. When a fire breaks out at the university, Tadashi rushes in to rescue Callaghan, but the building explodes and both are killed. As a result of losing his brother, Hiro secludes himself from others.

One day, Hiro accidentally activates Baymax and discovers a single microbot left in his jacket. Baymax believes the bot is trying to go somewhere and follows it to an abandoned warehouse, where he and Hiro discover that someone has been mass-producing Hiro’s microbots. They are attacked by a masked man controlling the bots telepathically. Realizing this man has stolen his project, Hiro decides to catch him and upgrades Baymax with armor and a battle chip. After the masked man attacks Hiro, Baymax, Gogo, Wasabi, Honey and Fred, the group joins Hiro in the fight, and the six form a superhero team.

Baymax locates the masked man on a quarantined island. There, the group discovers a former lab of Krei Tech, a prestigious robotics company, that was experimenting with teleportation technology. The test went awry when the human test pilot vanished inside an unstable portal. The masked man is revealed to be Callaghan, who explains he started the fire so he could steal Hiro’s microbots. Realizing that Tadashi died for nothing, Hiro angrily removes Baymax’s healthcare chip, leaving him with only the battle chip, and orders him to kill Callaghan. Baymax almost does so until Honey manages to insert his healthcare chip back in. Angry at the group for preventing his revenge, Hiro goes home but breaks down when Baymax asks him if killing Callaghan will make him feel better. To soften Hiro’s loss, Baymax plays humorous clips of Tadashi running tests on him during Baymax’s development. Hiro realizes that killing Callaghan is not what Tadashi would have wanted and makes amends with his friends.

The group discovers that the test pilot was Callaghan’s daughter Abigail and realize that Callaghan is seeking revenge on Alistair Krei, the president of Krei Tech, whom he blames for her death. They save Krei and destroy the microbots, but the portal remains active, becoming increasingly unstable. Baymax detects Abigail from inside the portal and he and Hiro rush in to save her. On their way out, Baymax’s armor is damaged and he realizes the only way to save Hiro and Abigail is to stay behind to propel them forward with his rocket fist. Hiro refuses to leave Baymax behind, but Baymax insists until Hiro tearfully deactivates him. Hiro and Abigail make it back, and Callaghan is arrested.

Some time later, as Hiro is finally moving on, he discovers Baymax’s healthcare chip, which contains his entire personality, in his rocket fist. Delighted, Hiro rebuilds Baymax and they happily reunite. The six friends continue their exploits through the city, fulfilling Tadashi’s dream of helping those in need.

In a post-credits scene, Fred talks to a photo of his father in the family mansion, telling him he would be proud of him. Fred accidentally opens a secret door and, upon entering, finds superhero gear. His father arrives and states they have a lot to talk about before the two embrace.

REVIEW:

Well, here we are again, with an animated feature from Disney that  some have said is another that is better than what Pixar has put out lately. Personally, I can’t challenge that statement, but I cannot defend it, either. Big Hero 6 is interesting in that it actually is part of the Marvel Universe. Yes, this was a comic and I think it may still be in print. I may have to swing across town and find an issue or two at the comic book store. In the meantime, how was the film?

What is this about?

In this animated adventure, genius robotics engineer Hiro Hamada finds himself enmeshed in a nefarious scheme to wipe out the city of San Fransokyo. Accompanied by his robot best friend, Hero joins a ragtag team intent on saving the City by the Bay.

What did I like?

Appeal. So, the last film Disney released, Frozen, while wickedly popular, it was aimed for more of a female audience. That’s fine, but you can’t leave the boys out in the cold, as it were. This film not only brings in the boys, but by the sheer fact it is an actual comic book, opens up all sorts of avenues for merchandising, franchising, and maybe…and this is a longshot…appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe!

Marshmallow fun. Think back to Ghostbusters. Remember how that even though Stay Puffed Marshmallow Man was the harbinger of doom, we all just wanted to play with the big guy? Well, there co-protagonist in this film, a robot named Baymax, is sweet, innocent, helpful, and an overall fun character. In this dark, cynical world we live in, it is good to see a simple character such as this, especially in contrast to the mood swings of his human counterpart, Hiro.

Stan the Man. Being a Marvel property, you know there has to be a Stan Lee cameo somewhere, right? Well, I won’t spoil anything about it, other than to say stick around after the credits. This is perhaps the most interesting of Lee’s cameos, not to mention, other than his character as a janitor in Ultimate Spider-Man (or whatever it is currently called), I don’t think he has ever been animated. The animators outdid themselves with Stan, though. I got chills when I saw him, it was so perfect!

What didn’t I like?

Angry robot. So, the innocent robot, who obviously has the strength and power to level and entire city is turned into a killing machine for a bit. Big surprise, right? I fail to see why this had to be done, other than to give some emotional depth to Hiro, who was still suffering because of the loss of his brother. For me, I understand it from a filmmaking standpoint, but I still think it was a waste. At least he didn’t stay in that angry mode for very long. So there is that.

City is at war. From the opening shot of this film, you can tell that is nothing more than hybrid of San Francisco and Tokyo. They show what I imagine is the equivalent of the Golden Gate Bridge, and it has Japanese architecture, for lack of a better term, holding it up, instead of the usual structures. The entire city is just like Tokyo. So, what is it that I have a problem with? With such an expansive location, why not use it all? Instead, everything seems to be centralized. I compare it to whenever battles happen on film in places like New York or Washington, D.C. They tend to gravitate toward Times Square or the White House, just because those are the most recognizable places, and stay there, even though the cities have much more real estate. I may just be nitpicking, but I just felt that the battle could have gone elsewhere in the city.

Portal. One of the most beautiful scenes in the film takes place inside this portal. It truly shows how far computer animation has come. However, this little burst of psychedelic color was enough to have the audience wanting more. However, by the time we get to this point in the film, it is already running a bit long in the tooth. Still, it would have been nice to get an excursion and explore the portal some more, if for no other reason than to show off the brilliant animation that took place in there. Sadly, everything from the final moments of the climax to the final act felt rushed.

Big Hero 6 could be the start of an Avengers style film for kids. Time will tell on that one, though. Even though I had a miserable time at the theater today (late getting there, place was nearly packed, had to sit in the front row), I really enjoyed this film. It has heart, action, comedy. For those that insist on every race being represented, it even has that. How violent is it? Not very. Remember that this is an action film, so there are fights and whatnot, but nothing too horrible. If you shy away from this film because of the “violence”, then you really need to examine your life. Do I recommend this flick? Yes, very highly! So, stop reading and go see it!

4 1/2 out of 5 stars

Extract

Posted in Comedy, Independent, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 15, 2012 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Joel Reynolds is the owner and founder of Reynold’s Extract, a flavor-extract company. Although his business is successful, his marriage is now completely sexless. His best friend Dean, a bartender and pothead, offers to ease his mind with Xanax and various other drugs, but the straight-laced Joel refuses.

One day, a series of mishaps occurs at the extract factory, resulting in an employee, Step, losing a testicle. Cindy, a con artist and drifter, reads a news story about the accident and gets a job at the factory, flirting with Joel in order to find out more information about Step. Although Step initially decides not to sue the company, he changes his mind after a “chance meeting” with Cindy, and hires ambulance-chasing lawyer Joe Adler.

Joel entertains the idea of an affair with Cindy, but still loves Suzie and would not want to have any regrets. At the bar, Dean suggests hiring a gigolo to seduce his wife, so that Joel can then have a guilt-free affair of his own. Joel initially balks at the idea, but—after his judgment is impaired by an accidentally administered dose of ketamine—eventually accepts and the two hire Brad to pose as a pool cleaner and have an affair with Suzie. The next morning, Joel sobers up and realizes what he has done and tries to stop Brad from going to his house, but he is too late; Brad and Suzie have begun an affair. Brad falls in love with Suzie and wants to run away with her. After smoking marijuana with Dean and his friend Willie, Joel attempts to call Cindy, but soon realizes that he is calling Willie’s number. Just then, Cindy walks into the apartment. Willie realizes Joel is trying to make time with her [she’s living with Willie, they’re a couple] and Willie furiously punches Joel in the face.

Joel meets with Adler and his associates in the factory office to discuss the terms of the settlement. The workers, believing that the meeting is about a buy-out of the factory by General Mills, organize a strike. Frustrated by Adler’s unflinching negotiations and the disrespect from his employees, Joel storms out and goes home, where Suzie admits that she had an affair with Brad. Joel admits he hired Brad to do so, and leaves the house to escape her wrath.

Joel moves into a motel, where he spots Cindy staying in another room. When he goes to her room, he notices a purse stolen from one of his employees, along with other stolen items, and realizes that she is not only a thief, but behind a lot of the problems at the company. He begins to leave and call the police, but softens when Cindy breaks down in tears, and the two spend the night together. The next morning, Cindy disappears, but leaves the stolen items behind.

Step meets with Joel at the factory to tell him he is dropping the lawsuit on the condition that Joel promotes him to floor manager. Meanwhile, while cleaning the pool herself, Suzie loses her temper with her annoying, overly talkative neighbor Nathan and tells him what she really thinks of him; just as she is finishing her tirade, he collapses and dies. Feeling that she may have caused his death, Suzie attends the funeral, where she runs into Joel. After a few awkward moments, the two share a ride home, hinting at a possible reconciliation. It is revealed that Cindy has scammed Adler also and ends up stealing his luxury car, replacing it with Step’s truck.

REVIEW:

Independent comedies tend to lean more towards being dramas than comedies, but when you put someone like Mike Judge behind everything, then you might actually get something worth laughing about. This is the case with Extract.

What is this about?

Poised to sell his successful flavor extract company, Joel’s life is pretty sweet — until an on-the-job accident threatens his livelihood. To make matters worse, his marriage is failing, and a sexy con artist is stirring things up at the office. Will things work out for Joel, or is everything doomed to come crashing down around him?

What did I like?

Affleck. Some people may have forgotten, but Ben Affleck is actually a decent comic actor. If you don’t remember, just look at his work in Kevin Smith’s film’s. Probably his best in terms of funny would be Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back. With all the serious stuff he’s been doing lately, it was good to see him back in a comedic role.

Formula. When Mila Kunis is trying to get some info out of Jason Bateman, he tells her how he got to be owner of his company and where the formula came from. Listening to how it was done takes you aback and makes you wonder if someone really did/could do that. There obviously is a market for it.

Simmons. Yes, Gene Simmons is in this, but he’s not the Simmons I’m referring to. That would J.K. Simmons. He has a bit of a supporting role, but it is one, much like J. Jonah Jameson from the Spider-Man films, that is comically serious.

What didn’t I like?

Bateman. I don’t think I’ve ever liked this guy, even going back to Teen Wolf, Too. For some reason, though, the last few years have found either him or Paul Rudd in just about every comedy, playing the same whiny guy with an insanely hot wife and something to do with infidelity. Enough is enough! Time for a new character!

Wiig out. Kristin Wiig is apparently the current “it” girl in terms of hot comediennes. She’s not a bad looker, either. Hell, we see her rocking a bikini, and it is a pleasant surprise to see she’s quite the hardbody. That being said, I can’t help but think they wanted someone more attractive for this role, but settled for her because she was funny and looked good in a bikini.

Death. David Koechner is playing another character that the audience hates. Hey, it works for the guy, so I’m not going to knock him for it. However, he dies at a point in the film, and it leaves you wondering…why? I mean, there was no real point to killing him off, other than to get rid of an annoying character, but it didn’t move the plot forward any, so why would they do that?

Extract is supposed to be a companion piece to Office Space. As such, it fails to live up to that film’s legacy. However, when you think of it as a stand alone picture, it works on many levels, most notably, the comedy. While there are moments that I love in this film, there are also those that I didn’t care for. It is for that reason that I can’t fully recommend this to everyone. That being said, give it a shot if you’re in the mood for a chuckle or two.

3 out of 5 stars