March 31, 2016 § Leave a comment
It is about time that I’m getting to Zack Snyder and given the massive mixed responses with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice that it is currently getting, I thought to myself on why not look into everything he has directed throughout this year but in a different kind of perspective so while I do dislike Sucker Punch and Man of Steel, I will watch and review those and see if there’s any appreciation to those along with few movies I enjoyed. Now there is not much said about Zack that has already been said since he’s a director whose works have been polarizing one way or another due to his trademarks and storytelling. And he has been compared to Michael Bay in that situation so take a long beloved property and mutated into something that angers its longtime fans is their notable passion and they both give no fuck about it.
But today, I am not taking a look at Zack’s remake of Dawn of the Dead even though I wanted to. Instead, I’m looking at his first work ever which is Michael Jordan’s Playground, a 45-minute short subject devoted to one of the greatest basketball players of NBA and yeah, he is known for that since I did see him play on television in the past as. So depending on the timing, it might be the shortest Zack Snyder-directed movie review I ever did… unless there is so much to look at so let’s see why Playground is one project of his that nobody talked about much.
We start the movie with the most 90s gregorian-style music opening involving a basketball player I ever seen and also what is quite possibly the first montage Zack has ever done (with a bit of Mike’s narration to boot). It then cuts to a montage of his life with photos and footage of the games (again, with his narration). We then cut to many players giving thoughts on him like Magic Johnson and Karl Malone. And after all that, we finally get to the story so this has been an… informative start!
We cut to Varsity Basketball Tryouts and meet up with college basketball players and yeah, it cuts to slow montage of them playing the game. After the game, one of the players Walt (Tyrin Turner) is one of the few people who didn’t get picked for the game and he became disappointed by this. Coach Davidson (Darryl Smith) then explains about Michael Jordan because why not? He talks about it while a montage of him happens to be playing. Following it, he plays alone in the street courts angrily and then all of a sudden, Michael Jordan appears in front of him.
Michael explains to Walt about his life and how he got cut which leads to a footage of him playing one game with narration. More talking heads appear and footage montage follows (and I do apologize if I’m being repetitive but this is what I’m reviewing so let’s see how I survive this). After all that, we return to the street court in which Walt explained he got cut because he got abused and Michael helps him by explaining his time as a rookie (and as you probably guess, montage footage follows). In fact, that’s all what this little movie really is. It’s a tale of a young basketball player learning his lessons from Michael with random montage footage and interviews that explains why he is awesome and it goes like that until the end.
Montage and Interview aside, Walt tells Michael everything about competing, afraid of losing his shot at winning the tryout tomorrow and so on while playing one-on-one. And what does Michael reply in return? He is helping him out and Walt is starting to get confidence so on his second tryout, he plays the game proper and is being congratulate by his coach and other players. And as before the movie ends, we get one more treat – a musical number by Full Force All-Stars with Michael Jordan and others dancing in background and a blooper reel.
Okay, before I talk about the positives and negatives, I would that I got what I came for. Really, I do expect a movie that mixes biographical accounts of a celebrity and a cheesy PSA storyline and this is obviously what I got. I’ve seen this type before and it is informational and teaches anybody to be like Mike (no movie reference pun intended) while getting to know him before he plays Baseball and so on. Now the positive and uh, I think I just explain what I’m watching but I do add one thing – it has an okay library music soundtrack.
And the negatives exists in this since about half of this is directed by Zack Snyder but the other is just archival footage of his plays that’s filmed by others. His trademarks do exists in this and it’s where he got his start. As for it being about Michael Jordan, this is honestly more of a vanity project type than Space Jam but surprisingly, it’s not the only NBA short movie involving him (there are actually others) so unless you want some short biographical video piece of somebody that’s made in the past, it’s best to look the person up in Wikipedia instead. And as for Zack Snyder completest (and yes, they possibly exists), I can agree with them thinking it’s the lesser favorite of his material. Well, at least when I look into his next one, it is a movie that I actually like so yeah, it’s April Fool’s Day and I am somewhat the fool on this one.
December 24, 2015 § Leave a comment
Okay, little confession. I originally planned to review something else in this Christmas season but given what I mentioned back in October, that certain “something else” is somewhere in my room that I cannot find. So with that, why not review something else that has already been reviewed many times before. Yeah, that would work because when Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas came out, everybody decide to tear this up immediately to shreds. From Brad Jones to Ben of Oddity Archive to to uh, 119 Ministries?!? Well, it is a Christian propaganda movie so that makes sense. And in addition, Rotten Tomatoes joined in the action enough that Kirk became so disillusioned (which he already was) and wants his fan base to make this movie certified fresh.
So really, this is really a hard way to review something because I already state the obvious on Rotten Tomatoes which became news late last year and I could tell you the plot… but how exactly? It’s Kirk playing a version of himself teaching his brother-in-law (that’s played by the director of this movie) about the faithful joys of Christmas with a hint of their comedic styles and materialism involved. And you know what? There, I explained the plot just now. The synopsis I brought up is kind of the whole premise of the movie. So how the fuck am I gonna do a review that’s different from all those other reviews before? Well, I have some interesting explaining on both Kirk and the director so that’s a bit of a start.
And it is about time where I wanted to talk about former child star Kirk Cameron, I have been waiting for this since… well, ever. Now I never seen an episode of Growing Pains and have not much interest to see it anyway. When it comes to family oriented sitcoms from the 80s, I’m more of a Family Ties and ALF kind of guy. So I didn’t know Kirk back then. No, the first time I came to know him is instead a dreadful kind of first time – has anybody seen the mid 1990s Kirk sitcom that aired on The WB? I did and I have seen bunch of episodes… that show is so friggin’ bad that I am currently tracking down the complete series and yet, it is so hard to find.
Kirk himself plays Kirk Hartman who wants his comic book artwork to give a greenlight which would have worked but it was the time when Rob Liefeld, Jim Lee and Randy Queen dominate the Wizard Top 10 artists list. Heck, I even remember an episode where he wanted to meet Stan Lee but instead of the co-creator of Marvel Universe, he met some other guy known as Stan Lee and that is the joke. Despite the show being bad, it can be watchable for bad sitcoms and I have seen tons of episodes of USA High at four in the morning to know it. BTW, that show in on YouTube but not Kirk? Heck, even one episode of Pauly Shore’s own sitcom made it there so it boggles me on why one of Kirk’s vanity projects didn’t.
And after that sitcom came the infamous Left Behind adaptation trilogy. Again, it’s watchable for bad end times propaganda so if you want something for bad movie riffing night, check these out and you will thank me later if you did. I heard nothing much from Kirk since then except when it comes to news reports involving crocoduck and him being homophobic or something. Then came Saving Christmas which I have been waiting to see all year, I’ll get to my thoughts on this shortly but I’m done with Kirk so how about I should waste a bit more time on the director, co-writer and co-star of the movie.
Enter Darren Doane which was more famous as a music video and commercials director. Honestly, I have issues with current state of directors whose work is originally known for music videos, they want to be like David Fincher and Russell Mulcahy but instead failed their approach to be Marcus Nispel and The Brothers Strause instead. Just because you make good music videos doesn’t equal to you thinking you can make good movies as well. But why bother complaining since Hollywood is diluted enough to say yes to anything bad nowadays. Darren did direct one Kirk Cameron vehicle before this called Unstoppable and have made a few bunch of flicks like Michael Madsen-starrer 42K which I saw everywhere on bargain bins.
And his music videos? I’ve seen a little to be honest but I’m not in a hurry to see the ones he did for Jason Mraz and MxPx. And last thing to mention about his body of work is that he did make two short movies for Malibu Comics which is a promo for Hardcase starring Gary Daniels and Firearm which is established as the zero issue of the comic book series. It’s a 90s speculator boom thing. And I have seen Firearm issue zero from start to finish and you know what? I should have review that one instead of this movie because this is both good and hilarious to watch even right down to these promos featured before the movie. In fact, I should throw in a link for you to see it for yourself.
Okay, enough stalling here and finally, my own thoughts on what I think of Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas. It is gloriously bad from start to finish and it’s obvious that you heard it all before. Production wise, it felt like you’re watching an awful Christmas movie like The Christmas Shoe and A Christmas Story 2 since the setting, the characters and storytelling felt a bit lifeless, unrealistic and sometimes preachy. And the message about it is that materialism is awesome to have at the holidays so yeah, Kirk is into this holiday enough that he likes being wealthy and wants everybody in the whole world to know it. Heck, he thinks Christmas is the only holiday in December to ever existed so to the ones celebrating Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus and anything else, he doesn’t matter about those other holidays here and gives no damn about it.
And the message he brings to convince Darren’s character is the stuff of crackpot theory legends. Kirk tries to explain his take on Jesus Christ, Santa Claus and the Christmas tree in the most questionable way possible. Now granted Santa Claus being a badass warrior is cool but it’s kinda been before if you look at Santa The Barbarian or in recent times, Grant Morrison’s take on the guy. Yeah, I brought up comics in this review so it doesn’t matter if you want the best comparison, the logics of this movie is similar to Bill Jemas’ infamous mini-series Marville since ooh, that one is bad and not in a good way. Just to give one example, Bill made Rush Limbaugh look like Ace Rimmer in this story.
Comic book aside, the acting is cheesy even to Bridgette Cameron doing nothing much until near the end when she participates in a out-of-nowhere dance sequence that kills every dance sequence in movie history. The best part in my opinion is as Santa Claus since the first sight of him is a look that caused laughter and the origin story is fine and the other part is the whole “War on Christmas” monologue which is ADR to the point that I want to see a fan-made clip of Seinfeld and George Constanza do the same in one episode. The story (or stories) felt like a confused anthology sketch movie that almost sort-of but not really worked, it is focusing on why materialism is cool to Kirk and his pack but with Kirk explaining it why heads off to it that he’s trying to parody it. And he failed at that but his failure is done in glorious WTF sense.
It is a strange movie to behold and is worth looking it. I do apologize if this review is like this but this is the best I could do for a review on something that’s already unreviewable at this point of time and try to differ this one from the others. When I find the one I’m looking for, I will review it since that one is kinda obscure and I did my checking on it. If not, then I don’t know, a episode of Beverly Hills 90210 might be another substitute but I can’t think of anything else. And hey, Kirk’s other sister Candace Cameron-Bure is reprising her famous role in the upcoming Fuller House and since I’m never really a fan of the original show, I’m guessing it might be as cheesy as what I already reviewed.
On second thought, never mind and I am so not watching this. Uh, anyway, Merry Christmas as well as other holidays that I mentioned and may have missed and hope 2016 is another good year. Come to think of it, 2015 seems alright to me except for one month I wish never existed so I don’t know, it is nearly time to throw in my best and worst list again.
November 9, 2015 § Leave a comment
Okay, so had my schedule have not gone haywire, I would had planned a week of Halloween movies and so far, I only released on the day of the event itself so what to do about the other four to six movies? Well, I’m trying to catch up so why not start one by reviewing Kevin Smith’s second foray to horror movie genre. Now my initial response to Red State back in 2010 still applies today and it’s still a pretty awesome movie despite it getting mixed receptions. And since that movie came out, I have waited to see what his next work is and thanks to a prank post from Gumtree website and an hashtag campaign, Tusk arrives and it got more mixed than his previous work even down to it being some saying that it’s the worst movie Kevin has ever done.
So when I heard about how bad it is, I decide to give a bit of my time before I saw the movie. This is the first of his planned True North trilogy which comprise on this and his later movies – Yoga Hosers and Moose Jaws – which brings a mix of horror and black humor to the soils of Canada. Now one could say that this trilogy takes place in View Askewniverse since Moose Jaws is to feature everybody’s favorite stoner duo Jay and Silent Bob for the first time since Clerks II… or uh, Jay and Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie?!?
The movie focuses on Wallace Bryton (Justin Long) who’s a co-host of popular podcast known as The Not-See Party which sets up not only a running joke for it being sounded like the Nazi Party but the theme point of humor will be followed on Yoga Hosers. Back to the movie at hand, Wallace travels to Canada to interview an internet celebrity known as The Kill Bill Kid (a parody of The Star Wars Kid of course) but… he arrives to find that he killed himself.
And as he is stuck in Canada, he notices the note on the bar which caught his attention and decide to interview Howard Howe (Michael Parks) who’s a retired seaman who’s confide to a wheelchair. As Howard tells interesting stories, Wallace is amazed before he discovers he is drugged and the movie is enter horror territory as Howard is planning an experiment on Wallace to become a hybrid of human and walrus so he’s basically Canada’s Dr Moreau but with failed experiments. And this one experiment worked, Wallace has become the walrus.
But before he became a walrus, he called for help for both his girlfriend Ally (Genesis Rodriguez) and his friend and podcast co-host Teddy Craft (Haley Joel Osment) so they both decide to find him in Canada. And they got help in the form of Guy LaPointe, played oddly by Johnny Depp because… can you name the last movie where Johnny played a normal character in this day and age? Now Guy is a former inspector who is hunting for Howard for years and he nearly caught him when Howard was pretending to be a manchild-like doctor.
They eventually got to Howard as he is getting mutilated by Walrus Wallace and the movie ends on a sad note with Wallace being in a wildlife sanctuary living the remainder of a life of a being he doesn’t want to be and with his friends saddened that he went this way. Now this is gonna an interesting way to give positives, negatives and a little extra and I best start on the easy part. This movie is somewhat unique mix of Cronenbergian horror and Lynchian surrealism with Kevin Smith’s own style of storytelling to boot. I best give credit to Michael, Genesis and Haley since they did a good acting job and I may give the same for Justin even though him as a walrus looks ridiculously silly but he did commit to it so kudos for that.
And that’s pretty much all there is because oh boy, this is definitely not a good movie and I am not siding with the “I hate this movie” crowd. This movie would have worked, it really would but it has problems that make me wonder if the trilogy is worth it. I did mention Cronenbergian and Lynchian in the same sentence earlier and that’s the first issue about it. Kevin is really trying hard to be a horror director and this movie hardly felt horror-esque. Then again, Red State itself hardly felt as that as well since to me, it’s more of a shoot-em-up thriller. The second issue is basically the “it worked better on paper” routine since really, the Gumtree ad that is heard in a SmodCast episode (which is heard during the closing credits) is better than the movie and that’s a sad way to state that.
The last issue is the acting. First thing to point is Harley Quinn Smith and Lily-Rose Depp. Honestly, they did well as smartphone-addicting clerks that their part is minimal and a bit sterile. The plus side is that they will show up as the main heroes of Yoga Hosers so I might kick myself for critique them here (that and it’s their first try at acting in their teens). And speaking of which, Johnny Depp is the biggest part of the issue since as much as he’s an out-of-nowhere, eccentric character, he’s not really needed for the movie since other than explaining his backstory and helping Wallace’s friends out, he’s just simply there.
Maybe I could rewatch this a few times and see if my mindset has changed but not only is it not a good movie for me but it’s not for the masses as well. With the exception of Clerks II, his movies have been getting a bit of dislike and hate from Jersey Girl to this and I don’t know how I’ll take his further movies at this point since he’s heading to the same direction as M. Night Shyamalan in making movies that anybody can consider “crap”. However, I don’t mind those movies before seeing Tusk since Jersey Girl came at the wrong time, Zach and Miri is alright as a Judd Apatow wannabe movie and Cop Out has some little moments despite being invaded by Bruce Willis’ egotism.
And the thing about it is Kevin Smith has constant thing towards his view on critics. So much that when Cop Out flopped, he hardly use online for a couple of months. And as of recently, his view is simply “I don’t give a fuck” mode so he doesn’t care if anybody hates his movies and I should know really because early this September, I went to his Superhero Multiverse show in Sydney and he discuss pretty much that during the show. His intent is to make movies both for himself and for those who liked his works rather than cry out and say “bring back Dante and Randal, they are funny”.
And really, I can take that that’s his decision, it’s his work and with the exception of Cop Out, his goal is to give his ideas to the public no matter how good or bad it is. So what if I don’t much like Tusk? It’s just one movie in his body of work. Maybe Yoga Hosers would be good, it’s possible that Moose Jaws is a good parody of Jaws and I am ecstatic about MallBrats (even though it should have been called Mallrats II: Die Hard In A Mall but moving on). Would I recommend this movie anyway despite what I said? Well yeah but mainly as a curiosity’s sake. It could be a good movie for you or not but it is kinda worth a watch.
October 30, 2015 § Leave a comment
Well, time to go back to me reviewing stuff and I really have a lot of catching up to do since during my time, I’ve seen a bunch from Lavalantula to what I assume is a straight parody of early 2000s extreme sports movie co-starring Kid Rock of all people. That, and I had to prepare the second Janu-Fahey month (and might extend that one a bit). So why the delay all this time? Well, a dog bite my leg, I’ve been more confused in life than Confused Matthew is confused about good movies and a little-known local company known simply as Heaven Painting and Decorations has given me nothing but four days of emotionally stressful and insomniac hell I have ever had. Also, I need to review something this Halloween so that means that me talking about my life story is kinda pointless anyway.
But during those days, I have seen a movie that I thought was cool when I saw a trailer back when I was a kid. But oh boy, I wish I could tell my child self on what I’m really watching. Ghost in the Machine is a 1993 vehicle by Rachel Talalay who’s no stranger to movies that are hilarious bad in a surreal way like Freddy’s Dead and Tank Girl for example. That, and she worked with John Waters a few times so that pretty much explains itself. But why bother should I talk about her? I personally enjoy Freddy’s Dead in a so-bad-its-good fashion and this movie seems to be up its alley which it really is.
The movie focuses on Karl Hochman (Ted Marcoux) who goes around killing people after stealing address books from there while they are customers of the computer store he’s working for giving him the nickname of “The Address Book Killer”. As he took the book owned by Terry Munroe (Karen Allen) who went to the store with her son Josh (Wil Horneff) and plans to kill them. However, a truck has caused a bit of a spin which led to his car having a crash and as he’s getting a MRI scan, the storm hits the electrical circuits and his brain pattern is transferred to a computer program making him a sentient killer.
And this is where it becomes ridiculous. The incident has led to the eyes of one famous computer hacker Bram Walker (Chris Mulkey) who is wondering why recent documentation involves directly to Terry so he travels there and talked to both Terry and Josh about this. Around that time, Karl hits the first victim on Terry’s address book which is Terry’s co-worker Frank (Richard McKenzie) who died by a kitchen being boiled alive following a microwave explosion. I can’t tell how this happen and if it’s connected to a temperature device but the kitchen got so hot that fruits are melting and Frank’s skin is burning and popping up to death.
The death has led to a dream funeral sequence which woke Terry up. So with that, Josh decide to convince her mom to have a date with Elliot (Jack Laufer) and let’s just say the date didn’t go well. His convincing worked enough to sneak out of the house and have a virtual reality game with his friend Frazer (Brandon Adams) and oh boy, this movie definitely says 1993 from the get-go because his face is superimposed in a virtual reality character and I am sure that this is not how virtual reality works. Then again, Lawnmower Man was released around that time so why am I complaining? Oh, and his pet dog died by getting trapped in the pool.
The next victim in the book is Elliot who was thought to be killed during a crash test dummies experiment but upon surviving that crash, he fired his staff and went to die by a hand dryer blasting his body into flames. Later on, Terry gets various phone calls that is disguised as telemarketing call but turns out to be Karl and she thinks it’s him. Being shocked about it, she meets up with Bram for help so he decide to hire a babysitter for Josh and that babysitter being their neighbor Carol (Shevonne Durkin) whom Josh lusts over her. Well, his crush is all there is since Carol becomes victim #3.
The death has led to them using the theory on the police, it didn’t work. They are then unplugging everything in the house, didn’t work either. And now the Police receives reports of various criminal activities that’s directly to Terry’s house and they shoot the place up after thinking gunfire has been heard. Terry is shot and send to hospital but there’s a plan, being alive and going all “it’s just a flesh wound” on us, Terry, Bram and Josh decide to plan to stop Karl by going to physics laboratory and device a computer virus that is a magnetic field or something. And since I brought up The Lawnmower Man earlier. They active an atom smasher which kinda brings Karl back to life in that form.
The three successfully stopped Karl once and for all and the movie ends with Bram wanting the hospital heart rate monitor off in fear that the killer might come back. Okay, so 1990s virtual reality movies is a good appetite for laughable popcorn entertainment and this movie is really no exception. I can see why I forgot about this until years later since it became a box office flop and Karen is stuck into forgettable supporting roles until she reprise her famous role in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Besides virtual reality, this movies screams the dated part of the early 90s from Josh pretending to be like a white Kris Kross fan in front of Carol to the computer technology of this time. If this movie was made today… Actually, it kinda already is because uh, anybody saw Transcendence? I didn’t but I’m going with that idea anyway.
Okay, back to what I say about this movie. The acting is very cheesy and at times, something an actual human being wouldn’t say for real. The special effects has moments but both in well-done and totally dated and really, it’s just a harmless dumb sci-fi horror to watch at and is worth checking out if you’re into movies of that time like Virtuosity or Hackers. Heck, make it a double feature with Freddy’s Dead since it’s kinda alike in that sense. That, and you can rewatch Breckin Meyer playing a character with one of the silliest horror deaths ever filmed.
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.
March 19, 2015 § Leave a comment
Well, it’s another review of another story involving a collision course between Earth and a form of space rock. Only this time, I’m reviewing something I haven’t seen since the late nineties. Now back then, NBC aired the mini-series Asteroid and it was as you can say “an event”. At that time, I was just a 12-year-old kid who thinks the mini-series is alright and decent. Keep that in mind, that was the same exact year when I thought Batman and Robin was gonna be a good movie. So years have passed and I re-watched it recently and oh god, this mini-series/movie is boring. It’s really, really boring. It’s so boring that I think I agree when I say Armageddon having a Criterion release is a good thing. Yeah, I went there (and I sadly wish I didn’t).
And honestly, I may as well as summarize the plot as quick as possible. Following a small meteor hitting in Billings, Montana, Dr Lily McKee (Annabella Sciorra) discovered a comet is going to pass by Earth on the 4th of July (surely a good date for a movie that took place a year after Independence Day hits the big screen) but also knows two asteroids – Helios and Eros – are coming our way. At first, Kansas was evacuated and nothing much happened. Sure, a little meteor that’s part of Helios hit the dam and flooded parts of the town but beyond that, nobody died on that day.
And then, the government decide to stop Eros by having fighter jets fly in the air and shoot them with friggin’ lasers. It almost worked but only to the point that the asteroid became fragments which some hit Dallas where Lily’s son and father resides. Following the disaster, she along with FEMA director Jack Wallach (Michael Biehn) went there to find them. Speaking of which, Lily’s father fell on the hospital roof and her son Elliot (Zachary Charles) walks endlessly to the ruins before somehow ended up having his own life in danger by being within the impact crater area. Long story short, Jack rescued Elliot and that’s about it.
While I already brought up the fact that this mini-series is boring, I can’t deny that it has little moments and acting to say the least. Michael Biehn did act like a character rather than half-assed it and Michael Weatherly is just being Michael Weatherly but as a doctor with glasses. And both the impact scenes to Texas and the infamous “laser fighter jets” sequence is worth watching. Sure, the special effects are noticeably cheap but it’s simply made for television back in the nineties so what’s there to argue about? Although, the CGI asteroid is space in The Asylum’s The Apocalypse is slightly better than the CGI asteroids in this one. Uh, that’s something that I should not think about.
So yeah, it’s a mini-series that loses its awesome cred while becoming heavily dated and going nowhere. It started off with nothing, segue to the good moment of disaster and returned to nothing. I do have to mention that the version I’m watching is a two-hour edited for DVD version rather than the uncut one but it’s been a long while since I saw the complete cut on television so hopefully, there’s nothing I missed on that one. Oh, and I didn’t bring up the director’s filmography because well, he only made two Darkman sequels and several television works which is not saying much. Okay, those Darkman sequels is saying much but moving on. Ah dammit, this is something not worth revisiting so best to avoid this one.