Ghostbusters (2016)

October 31, 2016 § Leave a comment

Well, ain’t it a Halloween surprise. I’m reviewing a reboot of Ghostbusters which I am sure that I’m the only one doing that on this festive day (okay, I’m not but moving on). And given that we live in an age where Hollywood studios decide to reboot everything that the public didn’t ask for, it is expected by the thing about that is this is a remake that literally divided the audience and critics more than the others including in the social media circles. It has gotten what is considered on of the most disliked trailers in YouTube history, it led to James Rolfe not see and review the movie and it also caused Leslie Jones’ website to be hacked in the worst way possible (which btw, what the fuck guys?). You already heard all this and honestly, I am not looking forward to this movie for my own reason which is this – I don’t get the appeal for the director.

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Oh yeah, that’s right. I can take the fact that Ghostbusters can be females because really, Janine and Kylie Griffin anyone? And I can take whoever played the characters but why I can’t take Paul Feig. And that is a good question since he got his start co-creating Freaks and Geeks which I loved but after that, it sets off a different matter his movies like Bridesmaids and Unaccompanied Minors. He did have however good work on television like episodes of Arrested Development and The Office but his movies didn’t give me a laugh and I try my hard to get it really so this leaves one question – is he the director that’s worth rebooting the franchise instead of Guillermo del Toro or Judd Apatow… who’s also the co-creator of Freaks and Geeks?!?

freaks-and-geeks

Let’s see. The movie involves primary around Dr Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) who wants to get her tenure at Columbia University from Harold Filmore (Charles Dance) but after an encounter from Ed Mulgrave (Ed Begley Jr), she discovered that her past work involving a book on ghosts have been resurfaced on the internet scene thanks to her old friend Dr Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) and she wanted it taken down. Erin mentioned Mulgrave to Abby and Abby’s friend Dr Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) and leads to her to reluctantly check out the happening as long as Abby promised to take the book down.

abby-holtzmann

The promise backfired a bit when Abby recorded Erin mentioning she saw a ghost and post it on YouTube after her tenure is done, it leads to them three form a team to track down ghosts and investigates with former MTA worker Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones) and their secretary Kevin Beckman (Chris Hemsworth) who’s not bright despite his good looks to them. Meanwhile, a plan to unleash a ghost apocalypse has been secretly done by Rowan North (Neil Casey) and it’s up to the four to stop it from happening while encountering other ghosts, two secret agents (played by Matt Walsh and Michael K. Williams) and maybe Ozzy Osbourne who’s in the backstage of his concert.

ozzy

Now going back to the question and since I already give my opinion on Paul, that means it didn’t change much since I didn’t like the movie. However, I didn’t hate it as well. At best, it’s okay and watchable and there is few positives but many not-so-positives. Both Kate and Chris are the highlights since Kate shows herself to be a character more eccentric and awesome than the others while Chris did pull off him being the dumbest character that I’m sure doesn’t exist in real life. That, and he’s funny and attractive in this. The other positives is the story is fine but it goes to the point where I seen the type of the story before but hey, a variation of a story I seen before is okay by me and the visuals are indeed good even when it went on 3D on us by using the IMAX 3D Frame Break technique even on a 2D format.

frame-break

The cameos is another positive with the exception of Dan Ackroyd whom he did try but it felt like he’s appearance is very much shoehorned in and that is saying something since he’s the guy who wanted a second sequel to Ghostbusters to happen prior to the saddened passing of Harold Ramis. Outside of it and this goes to the non-positives, I didn’t feel a thing for Kristen, Melissa and Leslie in this in terms of comedy. They are trying but the only time I laugh at anything involving them is the concert sequence with Leslie’s character being caught by a ghost. Like I said, this movie is watchable but preferably, it’s better to look at the extended cut since the theatrical cut didn’t do much.

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So yeah, that’s my Halloween review for this year and at least it’s not like I’m reviewing another Sharknado sequel instead… Oh crap, I still haven’t seen the fourth movie yet. Well, my schedule is gonna be hectic so uh, maybe that movie is next or something else so who knows.

Sucker Punch

October 29, 2016 § Leave a comment

I do need to get through this and I have given myself another endurance test which this time, the test is Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch. And this is gonna be something because of his five previous works, I talked about Michael Jordan, George Romero, Frank Miller, Alan Moore and the author of a book that became the basis for Legend of the Guardians. Yeah, I now forget the author’s name which is odd but despite all that, I hardly talked about the director himself so now, what do I have to talk about Zack Snyder that hasn’t been said before? I, uh, don’t really know.

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No really, I already talked about his movies enough that I can’t think of a way to talk about him in this sense. Yes, he’s the co-founder of Cruel and Unusual Films and yes, he’s married to a co-founder of the company who’s also a producer on all his movies (except Michael Jordan’s Playground) but um, my thoughts on him is similar to everybody’s thoughts on him. That’s very much little to said about him in this day and age so unless he released an autobiography, I ain’t got shit except that I’m reviewing the first movie he wrote and created so moving on to what Sucker Punch is all about?

sucker-punch

Taking place in a very confused reality, we focus on Babydoll (Emily Browning) who accidentally killed her little sister when she’s aiming it to her grandfather (Gerard Plunkett). This leads her to be committed to Lennox House for the Mentally Insane and we meet up with Blue Jones (Oscar Issac) who’s a total dick that he forges a signature of Dr Vera Gorski (Carla Gugino) to have Babydoll lobotomized after being bribed by her grandfather. And what follows next is Babydoll imagining herself in a reality where the Asylum is also a brothel… why does she imagine that exactly?

babydoll

I don’t know but her imagination leads her to set up an escape plan with other patients/dancers – Amber (Jamie Chung), Blondie (Venessa Hudgens), Rocket (Jena Malone) and Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish) – before Babydoll is being sold to The High Roller (Joe Hamm). And while she imagines the whole thing, she decides to imagine herself in a more otherworldly reality within a reality she already created by having her and her friends fight bad guys all with the help of The Wise Man (Scott Glenn). In the end, few died, Sweet Pea is the only escaped and Babydoll stayed behind only to get sold by the High Roller. Meanwhile in the real world, Babydoll got lobotomized and was about to be raped by Blue but he’s being caught.

oscar-issac

This movie is nothing but Zack’s carbon copy of Inception and a confusingly, bad one. The action scenes is basically like watching somebody playing a video game and it shows and the way Zack gives his take on how woman is objectified makes him less of a feminist and more of a misogynist. And the acting is terrible especially Scott Glenn who tries to be the mentor of this set but you can’t take him serious when he throws “and one more thing” and its variation as his go-to catchphrase. Nobody is gonna remember your character and your catchphrase enough to become a meme, okay.

scott-glenn

I’ve seen it in both cuts and neither are worth watching. But is there any positive note to the movie? Well, there’s two. Oscar Issac chewing the scenery since it shows how bad he does before he hits it big on Inside Llewyn Davis and Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the other positive point is the fact that the soundtrack is awesome. And going by the soundtrack, it really is worth checking out instead of the movie since it has taken tracks like Where Is My Mind? and Search and Destroy and give it its unique spin in terms of covers and a remix. If you wanna see the movie and make your mind up, go ahead but I highly recommend the soundtrack. And there does it for what I think is the worst movie in Zack’s own filmography, his next one didn’t make it better though so soon, I’m about to step in his own DC Universe and oh boy, have I got words about that one so until next time.

Asylum Seeker: Avenging Force – The Scarab

October 13, 2016 § Leave a comment

Getting to Avenging Force: The Scarab and I do have to wonder if that is a good name for the team of heroes that appeared in all those TomCat Films I reviewed that involves them. It might make sense but upon watching this movie, the case is that the team involves the characters within this movie and not Metal Man, The Black Bat and Agent Beetle. Come to think of it, why is the version of Blue Beetle called himself “AGENT Beetle” since he’s actually a former cop who has no agency backing him up so um, would Codename: Beetle be a better title for that movie?

agent-beetle

I am so going off a tangent but going back and I do wanna discuss a bit more about Brett Kelly. The first thing is that he himself is a actor on his own movies and I don’t mean by “director cameos” standards, he is listed as the star of his movies like My Dead Girlfriend and Kingdom Of The Vampire. The second is that he has his own company called Brett Kelly Entertainment which is cute but there is hardly entertaining value in Agent Beetle. The third and last thing is that he has a extensive list of movies that I looked at and it makes me wanna say this so fuck it, I’m making a separate category tag involving his name because I have yet to look at Jurassic Shark… and SpyFall which is now a running gag so sunuvabitch.

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Now we get to the movie and we start the film in space (no, I’m not doing capital letter screaming), we have a mysterious narrator talking about space and whether aliens existed before it cuts to Cairo in 2600 BCE being hit by a small CGI asteroid. Following the long credits, we meet Professor Joab (Jurgen Vollrath) in modern day South America as he gets away from the mob of bounty hunters who shot Joab’s collegue in the jungle. As Joab got away and traveled back to his home, we then gone to N.E.D.O.R. Headquarters when Rose (Alix Pasquet) has been contacted by General Carter (Mark Redfield) who gave her a mission to stop The Sphinx (Jody Haucke) from retrieving the Scarab and rule the world with his two partners – Mystic (Jennifer Barnes) and Lady Satan (Angela Parent).

general-carter

We then meet up with the movie’s hero, Professor Peter Ward (Mark Courneyea) who has stumbled onto the action after he meets Joab and Joab’s bodyguard Bart Hill (Andre Givogue). He is saved by Rose who goes by The Woman In Red and together they want to unravel the mystery and retrieve the Scarab while not getting into the Sphinx’s thugs including hired bountry hunter The Black Terror (John E. McLenachan) who later decides to work with Peter and Red. After discovering the scarab, Peter becomes the hero himself and the three fought off The Sphinx and the thugs before the movie ends with The Sphinx being sentenced to an eternity of pain in space and The Scarab, The Woman in Red, The Black Terror and Bart Hill who becomes mute and go by Double Dare (because Daredevil is already a named character in Marvel) and thanks to Carter whose codename is Fighting Yank, they form themselves as Avenging Force and fight crime.

avenging-force

Earlier this week, I brought up if this movie is as equally boring and bad as Agent Beetle and my verdict is this – it is bad in a low-budget superhero movie manner but it is however not boring. In fact, this is probably the most consistent superhero movie that TomCat and Brett has ever done. There is a bit of filler sequence here and there but the funny thing is that the movie is only seventy minutes long with credits so taking those out, this is the shortest superhero movie I ever reviewed. And Brett at least give The Scarab and other public domain superheroes previously published by Nedor their moment to shine, even Bart Hill who may be hardly in the movie but he did have good fighting style and didn’t half-ass his acting.

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The other actors in fact did well and the best ones are Alix who gives good exposition, Jody because he chewed the scenery big time and John who is a funny but unintentional mix of The Punisher and Captain Boomerang right down to acting a bit like Australian, he’s one of the best parts of the movie. And Mark did try his best as The Scarab, at first I thought he’s gonna be monotone and it shows during his introduction but he manage to act his way in so kudos to him for that. The story is usual Superhero fare, the script has few funny dialogue and it felt like I’m watching a proper superhero movie so this is worth checking out.

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However, the movie may be worth checking out but only by seeing-it-once kind of deal because there is better ways to interpret Nedor superheroes even by crossing over standards, comics like Alan Moore’s Terra Obscura and Alex Ross’ Project: Superpowers featured them and in a good storytelling feel. My proper suggestion is to check these comics first and then look at the movie because I read Tom Strong and Terra Obscura and know these characters first and Alan Moore did justice because he knows superhero history like the back of his read. I read a bit of Project: Superpowers as well and Alex gives his unique take so go by the comics and the movie. There, I’m done with this and I got one more left but it’s gonna be a while so next time… I have to watch Sucker Punch! I hope whatever after this might be a good Halloween fodder but then again, I don’t have much planned so this might have to do unless I thought of something so until next time.

Asylum Seeker: Agent Beetle

October 9, 2016 § Leave a comment

Given that there are only three superhero mockbusters by TomCat Films that I have yet to see and criticize, it gives me time to think which one I should look at for this “Nostalgia Lookback” review. On one hand, I’m thinking the one with Thor but since Thor: Ragnarok will be released in the future, I thought of saving that one and maybe that other Thor movie with that Home Improvement kid. So it now with two left, is the one focusing on the golden age Blue Beetle that is used by DC comics but not a whole or The Scarab which is not the weapon used by Blue Beetle but a totally different public domain character.

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Hmm, both this week? Makes better sense since after this and Thor, I would be free of TomCat films that involves people in mask and costumes (but not free of other crap). So going with Agent Beetle first, let’s look at the director of this piece. Uh, not much about Brett Kelly really since well, he’s the director of movies I brought up in past reviews. Really, I mention his three directorial works Avenging Force: The Scarab, Thunderstorm: The Return of Thor and… uh, SpyFall! Come On, that’s the second review I mention that spoof. He did do other stuff including an Iron Man knockoff known as Iron Soldier and I might not be looking at that one because it may be distributed by TomCat Films but it’s not made by them.

iron-soldier

After getting caught, rookie detective Dan Garret (Daniel Lavigne) is in prison and presumed dead to the public but he instead became one of the subjects to a program set up by Dr Lilith (Jennifer Vallance) that involves convicts given powers and strength by chemicals but only if the convicts work for the doctor. After accepting to the experiment, he escapes from the company and decide to don the suit of The Beetle to stop Lilith and her goons which includes Widow (Christine Emes), Roach (Duncan Milloy), Mantis (Celine Filion) and Stinger (Mike Kosowan).

villains

Meanwhile, Beetle’s actions drew the attention of Julie Spencer (Emanuelle Carriere) who was Dan’s ex-girlfriend and reporter who wanted Beetle to be brought into justice but finds that Lilith and her pharmaceutical company H.I.V.E. are well, you get the picture. Now, it looks like another typical superhero movie with the usual origin set-up and the villainy. However, this brings something that I should point this out. I am very glad I’m not gonna watch this movie after this review because oh god, this might be the worst one TomCat has ever done so far and a very boring one as well.

beetle

It has similar beats to the previous mockbusters like the schlocky production, the hammy acting, reused shorts (including a CGI animated scene of the city) and weak costumes. It even includes a bikini contest scene which I have to wonder, have I already seen that in The Black Bat Rises? Huh, I bet The Scarab or Thor might involve stripper bar as well. And look at it this way, I didn’t hate the movie. I brought up that it’s boring and it really is but not for the fact that it looks like any other TomCat film but for the fact that it’s very slow and dragging along that the bikini contest scene went on for like five minutes. For a movie that’s near its 80 minute mark, it felt like I watched it for three hours.

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But I hate to say this, there is a few positives here. One is that some had tried to act including Daniel Lavigne but they are overshadowed by others who act hammy including and Christine Emes. In fact and this is just me but Christine has the strong Amazonian look going and her character’s attitude of seducing either man or woman really is something here. That, and I think I have my first mockbuster celebrity crush so that’s strange.

widow

Overall, this movie is not worth it even if you wanna binge-watch all those superhero movies done by the company so skip this one even if you’re a massive Blue Beetle fan like Lewis Lovhaug. So now, I got The Scarab and the only thing I should wonder is I hope it’s not boring and bad but I can be wrong on this.

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