August 23, 2015 § Leave a comment
So after I’m done with what might be the worst movie to come out this year (according to the me and the general public), let’s look at what might be the second worst movie to come out this year… or third when The Ridiculous Six hits Netflix! Yeah, I’m recapping and ranting on Pixels. Now given the last time I took on a Adam Sandler vehicle and hating it big time, I have little expectations on this even after I saw the trailer. Pixels was based on the short movie of the same name that hits the internet back in 2010 and gained positive response so with Adam and Chris Columbus deciding to extend the short movie into feature-length, the question is does it work at the critical and box office masses? Well…
Yeah, we might have another Adam Sandler movie that sweeped the Razzies (that is unless Fantastic Four beat them to it). Now the reason is not just because Adam starred in it (or Kevin James or Josh Gad as well) but it’s said to ruin nostalgia more than any movie that’s released or it has its sexist views on woman portrayed in this movie (ie. Peter Dinklage wants a threesome with Serena Williams and Martha Stewart) to being the worst thing to happen to video games since Bubsy 3D. There’s many reasons really and after the movie hits, further controversy follows with DMCA takedowns on anything with “Pixels” in the title (even to ones that’s nothing to do with the movie) including their own theatrical trailer.
I could go on endlessly but I got to talk about what happens in the movie instead. In 1982, Sam Brenner (Anthony Ippolito) enters an arcade game world championship as he fought against Eddie Plant (Andrew Bambridge) for multiple games. All while an MC (Dan Ackroyd) tells that the championship will be part of a time capsule sent to space. Eddie wins Donkey Kong while Sam is in second place, as witnessed by his best friend Will Cooper (Jared Riley) and their new friend Ludlow Lamonsoff (Jacob Shinder) who is in love of Lady Lisa of Dojo Quest arcade game. Flash forward to this year as Sam (now played by Adam Sandler) works for a software-installing company called “Nerd Brigade” while his buddy Will (now played by Kevin James) is the president of the united states.
After a strange attack on Guam, Will not only called Sam but the White House called Sam’s latest customer (and Lieutenant Colonel) Violet Van Patten (Michelle Monaghan) about the attack. Will show Sam the attack on video and thinks it’s like Galaga. Nothing much happens after Sam tries to convince the chief of staff until Sam finds Ludlow (now played by Josh Gad) hiding in the truck and tries to convince Sam that it’s the beginning of a video game alien invasion. And then Taj Mahal gets attack by Arkanoid paddles. So Sam and Ludlow are brought in to help train soldiers to defeat those aliens by playing video games.
The next point of attack is in Hyde Park in London (should I call this another Sandler vacation movie unless it’s filmed somewhere in America?) and Sam, Ludlow and the soldiers (including one played by Sean Bean) fought attack Centipede and wins this part of the battle all while an old lady in London got the Duck Hunt dog as her pet. After that, the next place to attack is the big apple but they in need of help so Eddie (now played by Peter Dinklage) joins in the action after serving a sentence in prison… and Toru Iwatani (Denis Akiyama), the creator of Pac-Man also is involved which you know where this is going.
After they are facing Pac-Man, they thought the game was over while gaining Q*bert as their trophy and ally but after going to the ball (with Josh Gad ruining Tears For Fears), it’s not over and Washington is now the next point of attack so Eddie runs away because he’s a cheater and it’s up to Sam, Will, Ludlow and Violet to fight every known video game character. Oh, and Violet’s son Matty (Matt Lintz) got kidnapped by aliens during the ball which is the reason why Violet finally joins in the action. As Sam, Will, Violet and Q*Bert gone inside the space ship, Ludlow (along with Lady Lisa, played by Ashley Benson) fights against other aliens and Eddie reappeared to help him out.
The three are now attempting to save Matt (and two other captives) in a game of Donkey Kong and they win the game all while video game aliens including Lady Lisa disappeared (except the trophy prizes like Q*Bert). With Ludlow being saddened by her disappearance, Q*Bert becomes Lady Lisa and Ludlow is happy, Sam and Violet are together and Eddie gets his threesome dream. The movie ends with Ludlow being a father of multiple Q*Bert babies. Well, I hate to say it but even though this movie is not good, it’s not as worst than That’s My Boy.
It is slightly watchable in my opinion but only towards the ones who is not into video games or didn’t grow up in 1980s point of time (which btw, for a movie about a time capsule sent to space in 1982, it has anachronisms involved like Max Headroom for example). I can honestly see the issues surrounding this like the fact that it’s another Sandler vehicle where it contains the usual product placements, Happy Madison-style humor and even the portrayal of woman in this. I already brought up Peter’s character’s fantasy but there’s also the fact that it’s another movie where Adam plays a character who gets an attractive female character. Also, the fact that Josh’s character having a very famous video game character transformed into another and used her as a sexualized trophy… I know it’s not Josh’s doing since he’s acting but just in case, fuck you Josh Gad.
Also, it is lazily written at best. I mean, how is this a movie about a lead character who has two friends with one become a President while one of his customers unknowingly works for the Commander-in-Chief until they both went to the White House that well written? Had it been about a President who has no knowledgeable video game history deciding to form a team of old video game players and champions, it would have been something but no, it’s all by dumb coincidence or something. The predictable points like Josh’s character being obsessed with a video game character or how the army generals hugging it out didn’t help either.
It is better to leave that type of product to stuff that knows geek cred like Vin Diesel, Simon Pegg and Felicia Day than the ones claiming to it but Hollywood is hardly gonna listen so despite that, it is just a dumb watchable video game movie starring actors who has little knowledge to video game properties playing characters who know it and nothing else. Do give it a watch if you want but it’s better to stick with either the short film or that Futurama episode that has similar plot if you’re not into Adam’s shenanigans nowadays.
August 19, 2015 § Leave a comment
Okay, the first time I get to know Fantastic Four and seen their adventures is during the 90s where an animated series about them aired as part of Marvel Action Hour block along with Iron Man and Stan Lee’s intros. It was a fun show right down to Brian Austen Green giving us The Human Torch rap in one episode. Since then, I read their comics, see few of their movies and laughed at the team being satirized on recent season of Arrested Development. When it comes to Roger Corman’s low-budget unreleased take on the franchise, that movie is almost faithful to the source material. And say what you say about Tim Story-directed depiction of the team but at least effort has been made on those movies being similar to the comics.
And this year came a new interpretation of the team which many fans have issues with from the fact that The Human Torch is now an African-American to the movie heading to the same gritty realistic superhero reboot experience that already has been done with The Man of Steel and The Amazing Spider-Man and not in a good way. Even what goes on in the movie production draws concerns including after its release with Josh Trank tweeted (and deleted) about his version of the team being not what you see on the big screen. Heck, Marvel Comics themselves took a jab on this movie with an issue of The Punisher depicting three cast members getting killed off along with rumors on the company not making any more of their comics.
So what is different about this movie than the previous three? Well, let me spoil you the details. After being disqualified for their science experiment in high school, Reed Richards (Miles Teller) gained immediate notice from Dr. Franklin Storm (Reg E. Cathey) and his adopted daughter Susan (Kate Mara) which leads his teleportation device to expanded with the help of Susan, her brother Johnny (Michael B. Jordan) and Franklin’s old protegé Victor Von Doom (Toby Kebbell). As the experiment became successful, Franklin’s supervisor Harvey Allen (Tim Blake Nelson) suggests a group of astronauts to cross to another dimension in The Negative Zone (or in this movie’s case, Planet Zero) which disappoints Reed and the two so they decide to go there themselves along with Reed’s longtime best friend Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell).
The experiment was successful at first but after tapping into a liquid substance which caused… a Zeroquake if you will! Doom gets left behind and is presumed to be dead by the three and the others escaped with Susan helping out back home. And as they returned home, the three returned with their own powers (with an explosion that caused Susan to get her own at the same time). The government retrieved the four and send them to Area 57 to use them as their own super-soldier subjects which has Reed deciding to escape and become a fugitive.
A year has passed and Reed has been caught by soldiers and Ben. After Harvey asked Reed to restart the experiment, Reed relunctantly agrees and Harvey’s chosen subjects have gone to Planet Zero before returning with Doom being alive. Victor turns all-out evil by killing nearly everybody in the base and wants to go back to his new home while attempting to destroy his old one with his evil plans and the four unite to defeat Doom. It’s obvious they have won and the movie abruptly ends with Reed about to announce the team name.
If you think the movie was gonna be that bad before and after its release without seeing it, you are so absolutely correct because this reboot of Fantastic Four is quite possibly one of the worst superhero movies I have ever seen and keep that in mind that I’m a guy who don’t mind Howard The Duck, Iron Man 2 and even Batman and Robin has moments you can’t look away from. Okay, it is obvious that I’m not a fan of remakes/re-adaptations/reboots that has no heart and is considered dull and lifeless. Total Recall and RoboCop being those examples I brought up and Fantastic Four now falls into those. I even ask few of my friends at the comic store and they agree on this movie being suck big time so somebody ask this, how did Fox think this is their best idea?
First to the acting and they are all wasted big time on this. Miles might play the best impersonator of John Cusack but he is so not Mr Fantastic, Jamie doesn’t fit as The Thing (and any action hero overall since he didn’t do well in Jumper), Kate might look better than Jessica Alba as The Invisible Woman but even she looks bored for this and Michael B. Jordan would have played The Human Torch well but he is barely used for this. Oh, and Toby as Doom? What in the fuck was that? Toby, you might be a nice guy but you’re the worst actor to play the villain ever even with how your character looked.
Both Reg and Tim didn’t do much here and deserved much better than this. Now it’s understandable that this movie is more based upon the Ultimate imprint version of the team than the traditional Marvel take on the four but here’s the thing, I read Ultimate Fantastic Four when it was originally released and what Mark Millar did on the comic felt like a good contemporary take on Marvel’s first family. The origin fits and the tone is right since it read like a comic book before the shitstorm that is Ultimatum ruined the whole Ultimate Marvel franchise. This movie almost adapt that source material well but it’s ruined by few things at the same time.
For one, there’s basically a three-act structure that didn’t structured normally. The first being how Reed became a super-genius and meet the Storms starts off nice and the second which has them transformed into superhuman with a bit of Cronenbergian body horror is almost a bit okay but the third ultimately negate it big time when Doom re-enters the scene and since I mention Josh Trank’s controversial tweet earlier, I can see that third act being the cause of Fox executives fucking up the superhero genre with this and why not? They already fucked up Batman with Gotham and Lucifer with… well, Lucifer.
Back to the movie and really, not every superhero movie can be emulated to realistic gritty territory like Nolan’s The Dark Knight saga. The Fantastic Four was meant to be light-hearted, fun family of heroes exploring the impossibilities while saving the world and the movie took that part but throws away the “light-hearted and fun” out of it. Heck, the “family” part might as well be thrown out since the only time they can act like they are family oriented is the last few minutes of the movie. I can even say that the scenes with Susan Storm and The Thing is only in one scene in the first act and they didn’t meet again until after Doom’s return to Earth. What the fuck is with that?
Oh, and since I already brought up Fox meddling this movie, the movie promotion handled more worse given the trailers and a B-Roll footage has several scenes that’s not in the final product. I don’t know if they would be included on DVD and Blu-Ray release but dammit, this is a dumb cheap shot for making audiences check this out because they think the trailer might make the movie good. No, it’s not. And lastly, I read that one commented on this movie being this generation’s answer to Batman and Robin… Well, Doom saying “there is only Doom” might come off like Mr Freeze saying his puns but I don’t see this FF being a campy superhero movie, I see it as a boring, pathetic and unoriginal excuse for Fox to jumpstart their own Marvel universe and really, they already got X-Men so maybe they should just stick with that and not abuse other Marvel (and DC) properties that they currently own for movie and television rights. You know what? Fuck it, I should review Pixels instead of talking more about this awful movie so I’m done bitching about this movie.
August 8, 2015 § Leave a comment
While I am still waiting for one show to return, I thought of taking a look at a television property that should have been… unreleased of course. Now we all know the legendary short-lived animated series based on Kevin Smith’s cult favorite debut Clerks but not many knew that it’s not the first time the movie has gotten a television spin-off. Shortly after the movie’s release, Touchstone Television decide to give a try on a live-action sitcom based on the movie and they made a pilot that not only is unaired but is considered a holy grail item to the public for many years. And earlier this year, somebody leaked it to a video-sharing network and everybody who wanted to see it has seen it. So to that person who leaked it, I should thank you for making the fans of View Askew franchise load up their own pitches and forks and attempt to find your place.
And surprisingly, Kevin himself nearly put the infamous pilot for the 10th anniversary DVD but changed his mind because well, you will see why. Also, Brian O’Halloran and Jeff Anderson both audition for the part of Dante Hicks (yes, Jeff who played Randal in the movie audition for the part of his character’s friend) but it never happened. I wouldn’t blame them so instead you have Jim Bauer and some guy I never heard of taking the role of Dante and Randal. And to add insult, there’s no Jay and Silent Bob in this pilot at all.
The pilot began in the uh, Rose Market! Funny, it doesn’t look like QuickStop but hey, this is the first difference between the show and the movie and by its first second no less. So anyway, we meet up with Dante (Andrew Lowery), Randal (Jim Breuer) and… Todd (Rick Gomez) who’s eating his ice cream talking to Sandra (Keri Russell) about why she is tanned and why lotion causes cancer. then walks away when Randal puts on the lotion and pretends to melt like he’s the wicked witch of the west. Later, Dante is visited by his girlfriend Veronica (Noelle Parker) and he is having an overnight shift which results to change the planning of their date. And the plan is to watch the movie in Randal’s video store which includes Todd and Randal who’s spoiling movies to a customer.
And all of a sudden, Dante’s dad appears out of the store. The father talks to Dante about the job interview while Randal and Todd complains about the movie she is watching. After the father left, Dante notices and caught Ray (Bodhi Elfman) for stealing a six-pack in a dumb way. It wasn’t long before his old friend Cliff (André Nemec) appeared and causes a little commotion when Veronica appears. It leads to the date being sort-of ruined and Dante to make phone messages before he decides to call for a job interview which Randal is annoyed about.
Later on, Randal appears to help fix Todd up with Sandra while begging Dante to join in the action. Dante attempts to disagree because he doesn’t want to be hung over for the interview. And then suddenly, we cut to the video store having a party. Now why did that not happen when I go to my local video stores? As for Dante, he caught Ray stealing stuff in the store again and (in a more obvious way of trying to hide it). Ray explains that he’s getting the ice for a different party held by Cliff and he also brought up that Veronica is there. And as Dante walks out, he asked Cliff to watch the place.
Dante then turns to Randal for help and he agrees but with also taking Todd away while he’s kissing Sandra. The three crashed the party and Dante asked Cliff to paint the tower which results to Dante and Cliff painting it. The police officer arrived and Cliff pull a “narc” on Dante. Veronica explains that Dante is immature and drops the spray can to an officer. Both Dante and Veronica is in the police car and reconciled their relationship problem. The officer decides to let them go and it ended the show with the three guys and Veronica watching a video of Cliff stealing stuff at the store.
I can see why this is not worth picking up as a series. Okay to be honest, the pilot is not great but not awful at the same time. It’s really just a watered-down spin-off of the movie with the kind of humor that is later emulated in Two Guys, A Girl and A Pizza Place. The acting is there and not forced-in at all. While Andrew did try his best as Dante, Jim also did okay as Randal but honestly, he is better at Saturday Night Live and his stand-up comedy act.
Keri is fine as Sandra but it’s forgettable enough that she did went on to better things and Rick Gomez… well, I do have to wonder why they added him as third main character of the show for no apparent reason. If you wanna check the pilot for either curiosity’s sake or if you’re a hardcore Kevin Smith fan who just found out this has been unofficially released, well the video link is below but it’s better to watch the first two movies and the animated series instead of this so it’s your choice really. Hmm, come to think of it, I haven’t even seen Kevin’s latest movie Tusk yet so why am I not watching that one instead of this? Uh, I’ll get to it someday.
August 2, 2015 § Leave a comment
Why does this comic exist? Archie vs Sharknado! Yeah, Archie may be about a high school character of the same name along with friends and girlfriend (or girlfriends) having wacky adventures but why this kind of crossover? You know what? Let’s take back a bit further. Now we know Archie comics today as the kind which has Archie fighting zombies (and a predator) or being compared to Glee thanks to the recent reboot by Mark Waid but before all that, it’s kinda almost not relevant. To be specific, not many people reads Archie since after Sabrina The Teenage Witch finished its run on television (and Josie and the Pussycats was released in cinemas as well).
And even though there’s still an audience for this, I hardly heard of or read anything on Archie before he starts teaming up with Obama and Palin, gained a fan-favorite gay character and did a storyline in which he married either Betty or Veronica (which ended in his death). Yeah, there’s Sonic comics that’s published by that company during their quiet period but I’m talking specifically about Archie here. And when he became relevant, he became that in a big way since I’m actually a fond fan of both Afterlife With Archie and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. One is an ongoing zombie tale with good twist and turns while another is a creepy retroesque witch tale. And now comes this comic which might make him meeting The Punisher a lot more sense than I originally thought.
The story begins in Washington with Betty’s father going to the congress to talk about the proposal that might save the world, little did he and Betty and Veronica know is the storm is coming. The girls decide to have fun checking out the places before they go to the top of the Washington monument. And then Sharknado occurs and the girls are caught in it with the father being killed off. The girls try to survive while killing their sharks before the storm passes which leads to Betty wanted to warn Archie and over at Riverdale while Veronica wondered if he’s taking to the dance instead. Meanwhile at the beach in Riverdale, Cheryl Blossom asked Archie if he’s going to the party on her boat which he agrees.
Nothing much happens but Archie is having a party, Jughead is hungry and Dilton are wondering if Betty and Veronica survived Sharknado after one of the checked data from NASA. Back to the girls and they ride to the airport which is grounded with sharks while Betty decides to fix a helicopter. Back at the beach and sharks appear on the sea so Archie and Cheryl needs to swim back along with few others and strangely enough, all sharks form a ladder which has them going to the boat. Sabrina and Salem notices it and decide to help out… which leads to Sabrina becoming lunch.
Archie decides to play hero by getting Sabrina’s boat and others went in there but a shark went away with Jughead’s hat. One of the sharks also took Cheryl’s bra which leads to guys looking at her topless before she covered it up. Oh, and Moose is surfing with two sharks. They made it land but not before the tornadoes appear which yeah, you all know this is coming. Dilton checked the calculations and discovered that the storm is headed towards school so Archie wants to warn them who’s in the dance. Back to Betty and Veronica and they are on the helicopter while killing sharks along the way, that’s about it.
Over at the high school dance, we see Josie and The Pussycats meeting up with the only celebrity cameo in the whole comic – Quint, the band responsible for some theme song involving sharks and tornadoes. The two bands collaborate and then Archie and his gang appears warning about the storm. Sharks kill few people and finally Betty and Veronica made it to the carnage. They are still finding ways to survive so what’s the solution? Play dodgeball against the sharks, I’m serious. Archie and others look into Svenson’s room for weapons and what weapons are there? Chainsaws… lots and lots of chainsaws (amongst few others).
Dilton thought of the plan which is – another “bomb the stormy clouds” plan. And the others load up their weapons to kill some sharks before they reached Pop’s store. And as Cheryl got swallowed by the shark with the bomb, Archie decides to play Fin Shepherd and go after the shark. Obviously, Cheryl lives and the bomb is intact while Jughead gets his hat back and the bomb explodes which killed a lotta sharks. And the comic ends with the storm passed and everybody nearly lives with Archie and Cheryl an item.
This comic is something but it has minor issues. It basically follows the same story (and why not, it’s written by the director of the three movies anyway) and nothing much really. It also felt rushed and a bit cringeworthy since really Anthony, you throwing two Evil Dead references in this comic? Come to think of it, I’m now thinking of the whole Sharknado franchise to be a mockbuster of Evil Dead franchise even with different scenarios outside of a single character whose choice of weapon is a chainsaw. And is this really worthy to the first (and so far only) comic associated with The Asylum?
Not really but that’s just my opinion. I guess, it reminds me of the time when Cannon films tried their comic book tie-ins with Superman IV: The Quest For Peace (which that one is obvious), Masters of the Universe (again, obvious), Cyborg and… Cobra! Well, the last part is an unofficial tie-in but still, there is such thing as a Cobra comic book. And if there’s more comics that has The Asylum involved in it, it might be better than this but my words might not be heard so to end it off, this comic is just not a great crossover idea but it at least it’s not as worst and more rushed than Image/Valiant DeathMate crossover. Huh, I just compared this one-shot to DeathMate, that is not a good thing. I hate to say this but I want to review another episode of The Neighbors right now.