Saturday, December 10, 2016

Jack Reacher 2012 8 out of 10

Jack Reacher 2012 8 out of 10

A sniper takes out what appears to be five random people.  When interrogated the sniper simply writes the word " Get Jack Reacher". 

Jack Reacher is played by Tom Cruise who is an ex military investigator with a grudge against the man in custody and shows up hoping to see him put away.  But when he begins to look into the case some things don't add up.  And then someone pays some thugs to have him beat up to discourage his investigation.   Bad idea....Jack kicks some ass and gets deeper into uncovering the mystery behind what is really going on.  The cast includes the beautiful Rosamund Pike as the defense attorney that helps him investigate the shooting.  Robert Duvall is great in a supporting role.

Tom Cruise --may be a crazy Scientologist in real life,  but he is definitely a movie star.  He has that "IT" factor on screen.  This movie could have been a TV episode on some cool action mystery series like Castle.  The story is fairly simple.  The action isn't Mission Impossible over the top on the side of a building and feels more realistic.  Tom Cruise elevates what could be a standard film with his portrayal of Jack Reacher.  The character he plays which is based on a book series --is like a cool investigator version of Jason Bourne.    I really liked this film and now look forward to seeing the sequel.

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About Time 2013 9+ out of 10 (Time Travel Movie # 9)

About Time 2013   9+ out of 10

I didn't have huge expectations for this movie going in.  I hadn't watched the trailer and recorded it based on the fact that it was a Time Travel movie, one of my favorite movie genres (which we recently did a podcast about).   This was a Romantic Comedy Time Travel movie so I didn't know what to expect.   I absolutely love it.

The Cast
The movie stars Domhnall Gleeson (Ex Machina and The Force Awakens),  Bill Nighy  (Love Actually) and Rachell McAdams (Insert Romantic Comedy here).    This cast was absolutely terrific.  Rachel McAdams was a delight and so adorable as the girl he falls in love with.   Domhnall gave a great and layered performance and Bill Nighy was his awesome witty self.  The film was written by Richard Harris who once again (like with Love Actually) has made a nearly perfect story.

The Story 
At age 21 the main character learns from his father that the men of the family have the ability to Time Travel and change things in his life.  All he has to do is go into a closet and basically wish himself back in time in order to make his life better.   He uses this ability to get a girlfriend.  The movie has funny scenes and touching scenes. It is basically a love story about life itself.   The main character learns to embrace life and its ups and downs.  To appreciate everything and take nothing for granted.  This was a fun simple little film with good dialogue and it touched me.  The concept was intriguing and made for an absolutely surprising and wonderful film.  I would highly recommend this for anyone that loved Love Actually as it draws on emotions like that film.   I'd also recommend this to Time Travel fans, since it was a new and interesting twist on the genre.  

 Here was our Time Travel Podcast

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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Second Arrival 1998 3 out of 10

The Second Arrival 1998  3 out 10

My only excuse for watching this direct to (probably VHS)  turkey of a movie is that is was a cold Sunday afternoon and I didn't feel like getting out of bed.   

The original The Arrival starring Charlie Sheen --(before he made his comeback) wasn't even that what hope did this direct to VHS sequel have.   Apparently not much.   Charlie Sheen's character is dead and Patrick Muldoon plays his brother --who along with some other people  get information left behind for them to save the Earth from the alien invasion. That invasion basically consists of a couple of aliens posing as humans and some cheesy wind effects.   He is helped by a reporter played by Jane Sibbett  (Ross's lesbian ex wife on Friends).

The Dialogue:    Terrible
The Acting:  No one could make this dialogue sound good.
The Story:  Dull and underwhelming
The Action:  Isn't as good as TV show action
The Special Effects:  Totally Cheese ball

This is not the Alien Invasion movie you are looking for

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Sunday, December 4, 2016

Bad Moms 2016 6 out of 10

Bad Moms 2016  6 out of 10

Bad Moms was a good movie...not a great movie.  It was typical of many modern day comedies in that all the really good stuff made it into the trailer.   The trailer was excellent and the cast for this film gave it so much potential, but the film as a whole didn't live up to the promise of the trailer.  It was similar to Daddy's Home with Will Ferrell in that the trailer promised much more than the movie delivered.

The Cast
The cast was stellar.  Mila Kunis stars as Amy and does a great job as the mom that has finally had enough of trying to be he perfect mom.  It also starred Kristen Bell (one of my favorites)  and Kathryn Hahn  (who shines in a suppporting role) .   Christina Applegate plays  Gwendolyn the dictator style head of the PTA that is basically the nemesis of the film.

The Story  (Spoilers)
The story was decent.   It basically follows the adventures of a mom who is pushed to her limit in attempting to be the best mom dong everything.  Her husband doesn't appreciate her and she finds him sex chatting with some other girl and kicks him out of the house.   Her boss doesn't appreciate her and her kids take her for granted.  She is rushing around trying to do everything and arrives late to the PTA meeting about the bake sale and when the head of the PTA tries to punish her for being late --she rebels.  She decides that it is okay to be a Bad Mom every once in awhile.  She joins up with a couple other  struggling moms and they start to have some wild adventures.  The problem is the wild adventures weren't wild enough.  

The group of girls try to take over the PTA by Mila's character running for president and after throwing a wild Mom party start to win over the other moms.   Gwendolyn retaliates by using her power to get Amy's daughter kicked off the soccer team by framing the daughter by putting weed in her locker.  Amy hits rock bottom as her kids rebel and go to stay with the loser dad and she loses her job.   The film then has a too simplistic conclusion.  Amy goes from crying on her couch and not wanting to go to the Election to showing up and giving a big speech and winning everyone over. Everyone gets an unrealistic happy ending that doesn't seem earned by the characters.  This ending was 

In Summary 
Bad Moms was a decent comedy that had moments. I loved the cast of talented actresses,  but the film under delivered on the promise of its trailer.  It should have been a wilder ride.

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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Man of Steel 2013 8+ out of 10

Man of Steel 2013   8+ out of 10

I absolutely hated Batman vs Superman.  When I saw Man of Steel was playing on TV,   I decided to record it on the DVR to give it a chance.  I generally hate Reboots and Superman had already been Rebooted recently, therefore I was really surprised by how much I actually enjoyed Man of Steel.    

Man of Steel basically reboots the Superman II storyline from that nostalgic films.  The film features Superman battling General Zod in an epic battle.    Superman II was by far my favorite of the Christopher Reeves era Superman films of which only the first 2 of 4 films were any good.   Terence Stamp will always be General Zod to me so I wasn't going to like that character as much.  As much as I loved Superman II it now seems cheesy when compared to the special effects of today and what they can now do.  This Man of Steel was like Superman II on Crack.   I actually really enjoyed the film (a lot more than expected after the awful Batman vs Superman film).    Man of Steel gives me hope that The Justice League film could actually be good.   Henry Cavill is great as Superman and Ben Affleck was good as  Batman. Batman vs Superman suffered from a terrible script.   Man of Steel had a much better and coherent storyline.

Man of Steel utilized the character of Superman to his fullest potential.  The battles with Zod and the other Kryptonians were great to see on screen and made the scenes from Superman II look pedestrian by comparison.  The stuff with Russell Crow as Superman's dad  (although weird) was fun to watch.   Not being a big comic book fan beyond Star Wars and Indy I don't know much about Krypton other then the cheesy scenes with Brando from the original Superman.  Krypton actually looked like an interesting planet and gave Superman a cooler back story than just his Ice Castle in the original films.  I just hope that the Justice League will be more like Man of Steel than Batman vs Superman.     I thought Man of Steel was a solid 8+ out of 10 while Batman vs Superman was a dud to me..

Here was my less than favorable reivew of Batman v Superman.

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Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Amazing Spider-Man 2: 2014 6 out of 10

The Amazing Spider-Man 2  2014 6 out of 10

It took me awhile to get around to watching The Amazing Spider-Man 2.   Mainly because I felt the reboot from 2012 was a waste of time basically remaking the already universally known Spider-Man origin story.  You can read my thoughts on that film below.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was a more enjoyable than the first one.  We didn't have to revisit already stomped on ground this time around.   The action sequences were visually electrifying (sorry had to go there) .    My thoughts about this movie were still very mixed.
I was visually engaged with Spider-Man and his webslinging actions --but disengaged from the story which seemed loosely patched together.   I've never been a big fan of Jamie Foxx and his character of Electro wasn't a strong point of the movie for me.   His character's transformation from nerd that no one notices to villain was very sudden.  I didn't really buy into his storyline.  Spider-Man and Gwen Stacy's "off again " "on again" relationship stuff seemed tired and bland.   The Green Goblin storyline worked much better as a headline story in the previous Spider-Man series instead of a sub story to Electro and when he shows up near the end it felt really forced.  And what an absolute waster of Paul Giamatta.   To waste an actor of his talents with a throw away sequence at the end of the film was a shame.

So again I liked all of the action pieces  (more than I did Batman vs Superman).....but not the story.     I hope that Disney in connection with Sony and MCU will do Spider-Man right this time around in the upcoming Spider-Man Homecoming next year.

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Divergent Series: Allegiant 2016 5 out of 10

Allegiant 2016  5 out of 10

Well I stuck around for the third installment in this franchise with the hopes that what was beyond the wall was worth the letdown that the second movie in the franchise was.   What was beyond the wall wasn't worth the wait after all.

The plot  for this third installment was just bland and uninteresting. 
The character played by Miles Teller has become as predictable as Mr. Smith from Lost in Space, no reasonable person would trust this guy or include him in any adventure.   The movie had some good moments. The chase to get beyond the wall was visually interesting -but once they make it to the other side the plot ground to a halt and the story became predictable and tired.   It is almost like the characters that we grew to love in the first film as complex characters have become stupid and two dimensional.  It is no wonder the franchise didn't make it to its final installment in the theaters.   The Producers made the mistake of trying to turn one book into two films to squeeze as much money out of the franchise as possible and instead basically killed it.    The final film (if it is made at all) will be a TV movie.   That means the budget for the finale will have a TV movie budget and is sure to disappoint the fans of the franchise.    At this point I've lost interest in this story the same way Catching Fire killed the Hunger Games franchise for me.  I probably won't even bother with the  TV Movie finale.

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Friday, November 25, 2016

Flashback Friday Movie Review: Flatliners 1990 6 out of 10

Flatliners 1990  6 out of 10

I never got around to seeing Flatliners when it came out back in 1990,  which is a little weird because I pretty much watched everything.    Back in the day I wasn't much of a Kiefer Sutherland or Julia Roberts fan.  I grew an appreciation for him after Dark City and the tv series 24 (Still not a fan of Julia).   I noticed it was playing on Chiller TV the other day and figured I'd finally get around to checking it out.

Flatliners has a quality cast that consists of Kiefer Sutherland,  Julia Roberts, William Baldwin, Oliver Platt and Kevin Bacon.  They play a bunch of medical students that decide to experiment around with death to see into the other side.   The movie has a cool cast and an interesting concept.  They take turns stopping their hearts and then bringing each other back from the edge,  the results aren't what they planned for.

As I mentioned above I loved the concept - but the execution feel flat (sorry bad pun)   The concept could have been taken in so many interesting and cool directions.  Instead it ended up being a little dull.  The characters end up being haunted by sins or traumatic moments from their past and struggle to resolve those issues.  I was really hoping for something more interesting out of a concept that opened so many doors.   It was cool to finally see the movie with it's 1990 retro mullets and catch these actors when they were young again, but I had just hoped for more out of the story.

I hear that a remake is in the works.   Hopefully they can take it in a more interesting direction. 


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Saturday, November 19, 2016

Star Trek Beyond 2016 6 out of 10 (Maybe Trek should stick to TV)

Star Trek Beyond 2016   6 out of 10

I've seen every Star Trek movie.  
I no longer see them in the theaters , but I do eventually get around to seeing all of them.  
I'm to the point now where I think Trek should just stick to TV.  
I'm sure my comments will make some Trek fans.....but in reality a Trek show is better for Trek fans than occasional so-so movies.

The latest Star Trek movie had some great special effects and some cool action sequences that should have excited me more, but didn't.
The cast in this alternate Trek movie universe is solid, I can't fault any their performances.  I watched this latest Trek movie last weekend and I just wasn't that into it. (I actually feel asleep twice) It seems like it should be exciting, but it just wasn't. (From my comment on Facebook I believe my Podcast Co-Host Russell may disagree--which could make for a good discussion on the Podcast). My issue with the film is the screenplay.  It just seemed so random and not big screen worthy.  The twist of the film left me underwhelmed and the story as a whole was just ho-hum.

An hour into the film I was wishing it was Galaxy Quest 2 instead of Star Trek.   The screenplays for most of the Trek films just haven't been as good as some of the stories told on TV.    Despite the campy look the original Star Trek actually had some really good stories that the film versions of Trek have rarely lived up to.   
I would rather watch a couple of back to back episodes of the original TV Series than one of these movies. I'd rather even watch Next Generation Q episodes than these films.  I just think the TV shows lend themselves to more interesting storytelling that fits Trek better.

Star Trek Beyond was okay popcorn entertainment.... but it wasn't memorable.....just like so many of the Trek films.


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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Now You See Me 2 2016 7 out of 10 Good Despite Flaws

Now You See Me 2  2016  7 out of 10

This is a strange review because I because I liked Now You Can See Me 2 despite its flaws.

It wasn’t as good as the original, which was a real pleasant surprise.  The original movie was basically a heist/mystery film with Magic.  It was clever and had a fun twist and the ride to the twist was entertaining.  The Four Horsemen were basically like a bunch of magicians turned Robin Hood’s.  They would perform and amazing trick and then the storytelling method would let you in on the secret. The Four Horsemen pulled all of this off while being chased by the FBI and a Magician that was trying to debunk them.  

This sequel brings the 4 Horsemen back with one character replaced due to filming conflicts She was pregnant at the time and almost drowned filming the first movie) .  They have come back to pull another heist, but are foiled in the process by a mysterious person (Harry Potter anyone).  This starts a Cat and Mouse game with more twists and another strange ending.   I found this sequel an enjoyable ride although its flaws kept it from being as good as the original.

Here was my review of the first movie

The Flaws:

1.      What is up with Woody Harrelson’s twin brother? 
    That was an odd choice for the film.  At first I thought it was Matthew McConaughey –but instead it was Woody in a wig playing his own gay twin?

2.      A Lost Opportunity:   The first film ends with the Horseman getting admitted via a Magical Carousel into the secret society of The Eye.   It was a great ending that I thought would open up a possible sequel into Magic actually being real.  There are so many interesting things to explore in this secret society….But the sequel went in a different direction.  I wish they had explored these possibilities.

3.      Although the magic tricks were visually interesting -the trick involving stealing the micro chip was so unnecessarily over the top that it actually took me out of the film with its silliness.

4.      I agree with some reviews online that the twist takes away from the results of the first movie.  I think the producers wanted so badly to have the entire cast from the first film back that it limited their story telling and forced a twist that didn’t feel like a logical extension of the first film.

I definitely enjoyed it more than the reviews I’m seeing on IMDB,  but not as much as my Podcast co-host Andy Wenger who wrote a great poem about the film which can be found here on our Podcast.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Shark Killer 2015 6 out of 10

Shark Killer 2015  6 out of 10

Shark Killer gets off to a good start with a classic rip-off of what I call the "Jaws Scenario"  The mayor wants to reopen the beach after the wrong shark is caught.   Everyone runs back into the water and for some reason every single person swims to a floating wood platform and attempts to stand on it.  The big shark shows up and our hero swims out and kills the shark.   If only the rest of the movie was as good as this first scene.   Chase Walker is a Shark Killer for hire that doesn't like the water....(Go figure).  The main actor looks like a tall Chris Pratt and his character seems to be clearly patterned after Pratt's personality as well.    He is hired by his step brother to retrieve a diamond from inside a shark. 

The movie is less of a shark movie than it is an action adventure with comedy elements.  It has the feel of a TV pilot.  The main character doesn't even use guns when battling the villains which I thought was strange.   It was a fun film --but again its TV show feel kept it from being a great film.  I could see this being one of those old low budget TV shows from the Hercules era of syndicated shows.

I give it a 6 out of 10 because of the main character played by Derek Theler was entertaining.  Especially the scene where he fights off some bad guys with a pair of running shoes.

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 Our latest episode centers on Stranger Things and includes a Shark Minute roundup of some recent Bad Shark Movies.

Jason Bourne 2016 7+ out of 10 (My issues with Jason Bourne)

Jason Bourne 2016  7+ out of 10

 I enjoyed the movie when I saw it in the theaters the other day.
Jason Bourne is the most recent entry in continuing the series of Bourne films. 

The Cast
The cast for Jason Bourne is solid.   Matt Damon returns in this action packed film.  Tommy Lee Jones joins the cast as the Director that is trying to eliminate Jason Bourne.  Immediately comparisons to The Fugitive came to mind and made me want to watch that film again.  Alicia Vikander also joins as an agent who decides to  help him  for some reason.  

The Action Sequences
The movie has several great action sequences. In fact the whole film is basically one action set piece after another.  The chaotic chase through the streets of Las Vegas was especially epic.  This movie gets a 7+ out of 10 based on its great action sequences alone.

My Issues with the Jason Bourne Franchise
The movie was exciting and entertaining on its own….but my issue with the Bourne series is that unlike James Bond who is saving the world Bourne just continues to try to solve his own personal issues and answer questions about his past.  So it feels at this point like nothing is really being accomplished.  You feel like you could literally start with the next movie and you really didn’t miss anything story wise.   Jason Bourne is almost a disposable film.  
Fun to watch in the theater, but of no real consequence. The first movie felt like a fresh look at a spy film--but by this installment it just feels like the character just keeps doing the same things over and over again.   Avoiding people in crowds to stay under the radar and occasionally discovering a new piece to the puzzle of his life.

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Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Super, Fantastic, Terrific Podcast #19 In this Podcast we discuss Stranger Things

Our Latest Podcast is online. 

Our Latest Podcast is online and this time it is all about Stranger Things.   Find out which Podcast Host used to hook up with the Barbs at the party back in high school.

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Insurgent 2015 6 out of 10 (Divergent Series)

Insurgent   2015 6 out of 10

I was a little disappointed and underwhelmed by Insurgent, which is the 2nd film in the now troubled Divergent franchise. 

I have heard that the third film is actually pretty good… it is unfortunate that it disappointed at the box office.  I believe it may have been the lackluster second film that lead the franchise to basically get killed before its final chapter.  The producers want to do the final film as a TV movie, but the lead actress  Shailene Woodley is not onboard with this idea and says that isn’t what she signed up for  The franchise sits in the uncomfortable situation of possibly not getting a conclusion at all.

The first film in the series was actually really good.  I actually enjoyed it more than The Hunger Games which this book series was brought to the big screen to hopefully ride the coat tails of.  Unforunately this second installment (like Catching Fire) disappointed.   I think the problem is that it is basically a second act of a 4 part story.   The acting in the film is okay –but the plot is just not as interesting as the first film.  The story of this second film was such a departure from the first story and just didn't feel like a worthy sequel.  The plot basically has the main character running from the authority figures from the first film for half the movie and then giving herself up to try and do some test for them in the second half.  There were a few good action sequences in the virtual environment --but not enough to hold my attention. 

The film has a satisfying end that moves the story along and opens things up for the third film…but the journey to the end just fell flat.   The same thing happened for me with The Hunger Games series,  although after Catching Fire I gave up on that franchise. The Divergent series  looks like it is going to an interesting enough place that I'll probably give the third film a chance.

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Thursday, September 8, 2016

Atomic Shark 2016 6 out of 10 (SBIG---almost)

Atomic Shark 2016  6 out of 10

This was the 6th Bad Shark movie from SyFy's  Sharknado Weekend.  I was starting to question why I watch these terrible Shark Movies.  It must be someweird completest quest to capture them like they were Pokemon.  "Oh look I captured an Atomic one". 

Atomic Shark starts out just as bad as many of the recent batch. It is basically Baywatch is they had to deal with a shark contaminated by a nuclear submarine.  The plot is unremarkable and the acting is exactly at the level you would expect with a title like Atomic Shark.  "Hey isn't that Bud Bundy.......Yep it is".    The effects are laughable as you watch a flaming red fin with smoke rising off of it moving through the water.   The good thing is this movie is in on the joke.  Unlike Ice Sharks (which took itself to seriously)  this movie has some goofy and strange moments that made it almost So Bad that it is Good plus the lead actress is kind of a hottie.   I was just about to give up on the movie when all of sudden there was a scene at a local restaurant where a Food TV show is filming and the host of the show eats a fish dish and then unexpectedly blows up and the whole restaurant turns into flames because the fish was radioactive.   The radio active sharks jumps up on the shore killing one of the Baywatch style Lifeguards.  The shark is on fire because it is so hot which gives some originality to its kills.  It basically bites people and melts them.   There is a funny scene where two characters are fighting on a boat for no apparent reason.  The one character just lost her boyfriend and decides to kill the main character and is going to light a stick of dynamite --and when the main character blows out the lighter the soundtrack stops and then starts again several time as the lighter is lit and blow out again.
This kind of silly in on the joke scene makes Atomic Shark more enjoyable than many of the bad shark movies I've recently watched.

If you enjoy bad shark movies ----you may find this one slightly enjoyable, but don't blame me if you don't

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Sunday, September 4, 2016

The Super, Fantastic, Terrific Podcast #18 In this Podcast we discuss Time Travel Movies

Our Latest Podcast is  online. 
  Andy gives us 3 quick movies reviews in the form of poems.   
The Mouse Minute features 3 WTF?  Disney stories
Then we discuss the film Project Almanac and our Top Time Travel Films

The Podcast is Here

Here are my top 5 Time Travel Films: 
My list is very Mainstream

In the Podcast:  
My co-hosts digs into some some less predictable films.

Number 5
Time Bandits 1981

Directed by Terry Gilliam.  Written by Terry Gilliam and Michael Palin of Monty Python fame.  This movie had me at the description:  A Young Boy accidentally joins a band of Time Traveling dwarfs as they jump through time looking to steal treasure.  The Movie features cameos from John Cleese and Sean Connery and an awesome role by David Warner (Sark from Tron) as Evil.   Absolutely love this silly Time Travel adventure.

Number 4
Terminator 1984

One of the films that made Arnold a star as the villainous Terminator.  This awesome James Cameron movie about a killer robot sent back in time to kill a future leader before he is born is a classic.

Number 3
T2    1991

Even better than The Terminator... T2 took things to the next level...This time around Arnold is the good guy and he battles a liquid metal robot sent back from the future.   This movie is a non stop kick ass action adventure.  The CGI was groundbreaking and the movie is amazing.

Number 2
12 Monkeys  from  1995

Terry Gilliam helms this Time Travel film as well.  All Gilliam films are weird and 12 Monkeys is no exception.  Bruce Willis stars as a convict from the future that is sent back in time to try and prevents a virus that wiped out most of humanity.  This is a  strange cool  Time Travel mystery.  

Number 1
Back to the Future 1985

My most predictable movie on the list is Back to the Future.  This movie is actually in my top 10 movies of All-Time.  Directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd.  Back to the Future is a nearly perfect movie as far as I'm concerned.  I loved all 3 Back to the Future films --but the first Back to the Future film stands on a pedestal over the others like Raiders of the Lost Ark compared to the other Indy films.   

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Thursday, September 1, 2016

Planet of the Sharks 2016 3 out of 10

Planet of the Sharks 2016  3 out of 10

Have you ever wondered what the movie Waterworld would be like if it had more sharks in it???  Well the Asylum film Planet of the Sharks answers that question.   Not much better.

The Planet of the Sharks is a super low budget Waterworld with Sharks.  The movie opens with a floating city in a world covered in water being attacked by a bunch of sharks that are lead by a mutated alpha shark.  The city is destroyed and a larger floating city goes to investigate and they find one sole survivor.  The rescue boat then goes to a research station that is working on trying to do an experiment to reverse the waterlogged planet.  They travel to the other city which is about to be attacked by the band of sharks.  This city is supposed to have about 450 people living on it --but due to a utter lack of anything resembling a budget the movie can only afford about 10 the big battle against the sharks consists of 10 people with spears standing on a floating dock on what looks like the Universal Backlot.  The brief battle has decent looking CGI sharks and gives you a brief hope that the film might be so bad it is good.   But it is actually just bad.

The rest of the film is a story about trying to use an underwater volcano to kill the sharks.  The big action scene is a person on a windsailing board jumping CGI sharks like the Fonzie from Happy Days while trying to pick up a beacon.  The movie ends with the group of scientists successfully setting off a rocket that reverses the flooded Earth.   This movie is just waterlogged.  It must have had a budget the size of a TV episode of Xena Warrior Princess.  
The movie tries to create a false sense of peril with its overly dramatic soundtrack which goes on even when nothing is really happening on screen.  Bad Shark movie fans.......this is not the Bad Shark movie you are looking for.  P.S. the sole survivor does and says nothing throughout the entire movie and I'm not even sure why that character is even in the film unless it was the producers daughter.

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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Crimson Peak 2015 6 out of 10

Crimson Peak 2015  6 out of 10

My interest in watching Crimson Peak was because Guillermo del Toro has for years been wanting to do a new Haunted Mansion movie for Disney.  He has confirmed as recently as April of 2016 that he is still writing a Haunted Mansion movie.   
You can read about that below at Inside the Magic.

In the meantime he has been busy making non-Disney horror movies giving us a glimpse of what might be seeing if he ever makes that Disney film. 
I the past couple of years he wrote Don't be Afraid of the Dark and wrote and directed Crimson Peak.   

Crimson Peak is a throwback to Horror movies from the past by Hammer Studios or old Vincent Price films, instead of the gross out slasher type flicks that have been popular in recent decades it is a Gothic love/ghost story. 

The Look of the Film     A+
The art direction in Crimson Peak is incredible.  Guillermo del Toro has mastered the look of a big screen haunted house.  Part of the story includes the mining of red clay and this plot point gives the director an amazing color palate to play with.  The red clay in the snow looks like blood and adds to the ominous tone of the film. Visually the film is stunning.  In this way Guillermo's films are much like those of Tim Burton.   Even if you don't like a Tim Burton movie they  tend to look amazing.  The same is true for Guillermo del Toro's films.  He has a unique look and style to his films and Crimson Peak is no different. 

The Cast    B
Crimson Peak has a great cast including Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland), Tom Hiddleston (Loki from the Avengers), and Jessica Chastain (Mad Men).  I think they all did a decent job with the material they were given

The Story    D
The problem I have with Crimson Peak is the story. 
As I mentioned  before it was a throwback to older films -- but so much so that it was extremely predictable.  It didn't feel original. 
It was the old marry some rich person for their money and then have them killed off storyline that I have seen way too many times before.   I was hoping for and expecting some twist -- but that twist never really happened.   The movies setting was so perfect for a Haunted House story --but the ghosts were merely just there to warn the main character played by Mia Wasikowska about the dangers of the place and the ghosts themselves were strange bloody skeletons.   If Guillermo del Toro does ever make a Haunted Mansion film for Disney ----I'm convinced that it will look absolutely amazing......but I worry about his script writing skills.

Here are my thoughts on his story Don't Be Afraid of the Dark