Thursday, November 16, 2017

Stranger Things Season 2 A Different kind of review (Spoilers)

Season 2 of Stranger Things dips again into that 1980’s Nostalgia.   I refer to it as The Goonies and ET with a mix of Stephen King.   I just finished up with the Season the other night and felt that it was a satisfying second season – but not an amazing second season. I’ve avoided articles and reviews to skip spoilers, so this is my opinions
To mix things up and do something a little different I thought I’d do my quick little review in the form of asking questions.

Question 1.   Could Steven from Stranger Things be Negan from the Walking Dead and the Upside Down be responsible for the Zombie Virus?

Probably not –but I couldn’t resist with the whole bat thing.   Steven’s character has continued his turn from heel at the beginning of Season One to Han Solo like hero in Season 2. 

Question 2.    Why does Eleven turn to the Darkside so easily?
Eleven is way to eager to turn to the dark side when she meets her “sister”  Number 8.  I get that she is on a journey of discovery –but her turn to willingly using her power for evil was disturbing and then she turned good again just as quickly and Batman forgave Superman for having a mom with the same name.

Question 3.   What is your favorite 80’s movie reference either intentional or non-intentional?

My personal favorite was the will they won’t they scene between Mike’s Sister and Will’s Brother.   It was clearly designed to mimic the scene between Indiana Jones and Willie Scott in Temple of Doom.  “I’m a conceited ape” I also felt like the gang that 8 runs around with reminded me of the punk rockers from Return of the Living Dead.  Of course, it still very much had the look and feel of Goonies and ET with a little Gremlins thrown in with the Dart character.  The scene where Dustin finds they discarded skin from when the creature grew was straight out of Gremlins once the little bastards hatched

Question 4.   What was your favorite 80’s song used in the film?  

The series starts off with a Devo and Oingo Boingo reference---it was like it was selected specifically for me.     My friend pointed out that he thought it was too lazy of the show to select popular hits like Whip It from Devo.   The should have dug a little deeper and found less common songs.   I sort of agree to a degree –but then they dropped an Oliva Newton John song “Twist of Fate” in at the dance sequence in the last episode which was great.

Question 5.  What did you think of the monster? 

The shadow monster was an interesting concept and much better than the Demi-Gorgon from Season 1 which was a disappointing creature.  Unfortunately, instead of coming up with some more new creatures they doubled down on the “ Demi-dogs” so they could have some Jurassic Park Velociraptor type scenes.  I wish they could have come up with some new creatures.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Bladerunner 2049 2017 9+ out of 10

BladeRunner 2049  2017  9+ out of 10

Now that is how you do a sequel to a 35 year old sci-fi movie.   If you listen to our podcast you will know by now that I’m not a big fan of Reboots and Remakes I general (there is an exception to every generalization).     I am however a fan of a sequel that builds on a pays tribute to the original film.   I loved both The Force Awakens and Tron Legacy –because they expanded on the previous films –while introducing new characters into the story as well.    In my opinion Bladerunner 2049 succeeds in doing this as well.  If you are a fan of the original Bladerunner than you are more likely to enjoy this sequel as well.   It definitely feels like an extension of the universe created in the first film.

The sets in this film are amazing.   Every set piece is like a work of art.  The visuals and music set the mood that puts you right back into the Bladerunner world.  This picture takes place about 30 years after the original and features a Replicant named K (played by Ryan Gosling)  that is tasked to hunt down older model Replicants.  On one of his missions he stumbles upon a mystery that leads him down a dangerous rabbit hole.  Like the original this film is sci-fi noir set amongst the rainy underworld that is Los Angeles in the future.   The film seamlessly blends into what you would expect the extension of the Bladerunner world would look and feel like.   The story consists of a satisfying mystery that ties in with the events of the first film that eventually leads the Bladerunner to find Deckard (played by Harrison Ford).   Of course this happens late in the films 2 hours and 45 minute running time.   My only complaint that I wish we had more time with Harrison’s character. 

Bladerunner 2049 is not for everyone.   Like the original it is a science fiction mystery story.  It isn’t an action adventure film with big explosions ---but instead a slow thought provoking

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

The Orville Vs Star Trek Discovery Which show should you Watch??

I watched 2 of the new Shows we talked about on our recent FALL TV Preview Podcast  (Listen below)

First I caught The Orville a Star Trek Parody by the Creator of The Family Guy Seth MacFarlane.

The Premiere episode was decent and I know I need to give another shot --but on first impressions it was underwhelming.  I love The Family Guy --but Seth's live action efforts so far have fallen short of what he can do in Animation.   I was hoping that this Star Trek Parody was going to be like Galaxy Quest or at least have some of the Family Guy style humor.  The premiere episode disappointed in that respect.  I just expected more.   Of course a premiere episode has a lot of story building and character introductions so I will definitely give this show a couple episodes more to see if things pick up.   I hope they are able to establish more of a sense of humor in the upcoming episodes as this first episode just felt like a watered down version of what I hoped for.

I also watched Star Trek Discovery.   What in the hell happened to the Klingons??  They look like some cheap  reject version of contestant on Sci Fi channels Face Off.   Supposedly this Trek effort takes place in the original Star Trek universe of William Shatner and the universe of the current Trek films.    What a strange decision?  Why Reboot the Franchise to then do a show in the old universe.    If this is supposed to be in that universe why make the Klingons looks so different???  Who knows.    The first episode itself was decent.  A crew of on a Federation Starship heads out to check on a relay station that has taken damage and stumbles across a bunch of Klingons.   A good start for a Star Trek series as the episode literally ends with a bunch of Klingons showing up for a fight.    

The problem with this series is that after the first episode it will be heading to CBS Streaming only.   The first episode only wasn't compelling enough to sign me up for a whole new subscription service.     So I guess I will not be watching the first of this series until it hits DVD or Netflix.   I would probably watch more episodes if it remained on CBS, but not being a Trekkie I'm not willing to pay for this one show.

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John Wick 2 2017 9+ out of 10

John Wick 2  2017 9+ out of 10

John Wick thought he was out of the killing game --but after the events of the first movie he has been pulled back in again.  The second movie picks up where the first movie left off.   John Wick goes after the guys that have his car.   The film starts out with an action packed sequence where Keanu Reeves tries to get his car back.  After this he is forced to return to the underworld to repay a marker that let him out in the first place.  He executes the mission in dramatic fashion at an outdoor concert amongst ruins of an ancient city only to have the gangster that gave him the job then turn on him and try to have him taken out.

The movie was visually stunning.  Whoever does location scouting and set design for these movies is on top of their game.  The locations that the action takes place are like a work of art.  It creates a stylish ambiance that draws you into the world of John Wick
The story is action packed and the pacing is as near to perfect as a film can achieve.  The violence in the action sequences can feels like a super cool video game.  The story in the John Wick films is simplistic --but the film doesn't need a complex plot as the action and the style of the films carries the movies.

I love the world that they have created in John Wick and I'm excited to see more of this world. The John Wick series is my favorite Keanu Reeves franchise.  This sequel added to the cool factor of the original film which was a wonderful surprise to me.  The world building they have done with this series through two films is already more interesting to me than The Matrix which after the first film went downhill.  

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Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Super, Fantastic, Terrific Podcast #27 In this Podcast we discuss The FALL TV Shows for 2017

The Super, Fantastic, Terrific Podcast #27 In this Podcast we discuss the Fall TV Shows for 2017.

Football Season has begun and Big Brother has crowned it's winner....That means the scripted TV shows of the Fall will slowly start returning.   Don't know what to watch?   We give you a quick run down on the new and returning TV Shows.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Toxic Shark 2017 4 out of 10

Toxic Shark 2017   4 out of 10

If you haven't figured it out already I'm a sucker for a bad shark movie.  I watch them out of habit searching for a So Bad it is Good movie and most often just getting bad.  The trailers are almost always better than the movies themselves and Toxic Shark is no exception.   Last year gave us Atomic Shark which features a radioactive shark off the coast of San Diego that wreck havoc.   Toxic Shark follows in its footsteps with story about a tropical singles retreat that features a shark that is not only radioactive, but also has horn like projection on it's head that spews acid at its victims.   It seems like this latest batch of shark movies no longer think sharks are scary enough on their own.  Trailer Park Shark could electrify people.  The 5 Headed Shark had 5 heads and the Toxic Shark spews acid that can turn beach goers into rabies delusional zombies.   

The best part of this film was that one of the main stars Kabby Borders spends the entire film in a bikini.  Other than that we just get another Bad Shark Movie.   Stuck on an island the greedy fitness celeb running the island of course doesn't want to close the beach (typical Jaws Scenario).   In real life the beaches would close after the first shark attack,  in the movie world it takes a full on shark assault before they tell people to stay out of the water.   Of course even when people are aware of the shark the characters find stupid ways of getting into the water like trying to fix the phone lines which the Toxic Shark has cut off so the characters can't call for help.   The characters of course try to flee in the world's smallest motor boat.   There is nothing special about Toxic Shark other than dumb characters putting themselves into dangerous situations.

 If I had to recommend a radioactive shark movie I'd go with Atomic Shark which at least had some unusual stuff happening in it that included tainted fish that cause a restaurant to explode after a TV host blows up after eating the radioactive fish.

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Saturday, September 2, 2017

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2016 6 out of 10

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them   2016  6 out of 10

It took me awhile to get around to watching this expansion of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter beyond the Potter books.   When the trailer came out it just didn't really excite me.  I finally watched it this weekend and I guess my original feeling about the trailer rang true.  Despite the film being filled with magic on screen the story and characters didn't feel magicial to me.   It was missing something the films based on the Harry Potter book series had.  

I was about 35 minutes into the film and was already looking at the DVD time counter to see how much longer the film was.  At this point in the film they go into the magical suitcase which is a home for a bunch of mysterious and incredible creatures.  The creatures themselves were cool and interesting --but the story had already lost my attention,   The world inside the suitcase was the most interesting part of the movie and yet it just felt like a trip the zoo.    

The plot played out like a Men in Black movie with the main character a Wizard named Newt  (played by Eddie Redmayne) getting a Muggle (Dan Fogler) involved in his adventure to gather some of the animals that had escaped from his magical suitcase. Unlike Men in Black the film lacked humor, it tried to be funny --but never really succeeded.  Two of the creatures that they try and track down include a strange platypus looking creature that steals gems and gold and a giant "Horny" Rhino that they track to the zoo. Both of the scenes were meant to be funny, but didn't make me laugh at all.   I never found myself caring about the main character which makes it hard to really get into the film. 

The plot was just dark and dull.   Despite great special effects and a nice wizard wand duel at the end of the film it just didn't take me to the magical world that the other Potter films did.  I know that this movie takes place in the Harry Potter universe --but it didn't feel the same.  It felt like a Harry Potter knock-off instead of a continuation of the Potterverse. 

I would say skip this non-Potter adventure and re watch some of the original series if you are looking for fun.

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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Sharknado 5: Global Swarming 2017 (Spoilers)

Sharknado 5 : Global Swarming    2017  6 out of 10

It started as a simple movie about a Tornado filled with Sharks. The original was SO Terrible that it was GREAT.   It caused a phenomena and launched a franchise.    Ian Ziering probably took the original Sharknado as much needed paycheck,  little did he know that a few years later he would be the star of a franchise that would be on it's fifth movie with an ending that sets up a 6th film.

Sharknado 5 tries to take the simple concept of the original film and turn it into something much bigger.  This fifth installment tries to establish a mythology behind the Sharknados.  Until this film the Sharknados were just some weird random events (as far as we knew).  Sharknado 5 establishes a mythic back story that ties the Sharknados back to the time of the Droids and Egyptians?  

This installment falls into the same trap as the less than stellar second movie where there are so many cheesy cameos that it distracts from the movie itself.  I spent more of the movie trying to figure out who the people with the bad plastic surgery were as the "celebrity" cameos rolled by.   Fabio as the Pope??  Charo the Queen of England??  Greg Louganis as a part of some evil organization that is trying to get the Shark stone that was discovered at the beginning of the film in a parody of some scenes from Indiana Jones.  This movie is a series of bad puns.  "Sharks,  why does it have to always be Sharks?"  Ok so I laughed a little (Big Indy Fan).   No longer a simple shark/tornado movie it is now part spy film with secret organizations.   

The main plotline involves Finn's son being swept away in one of the Sharknados.  Finn(Ian Ziering)  and his now half robot wife (Tara Reid) spend most of the movie Jumping the Sharknado  or into the Sharknado trying to rescue their son.  The Sharknado opens some type of wormhole that dumps them in different spots all over the world.  It makes the previous films seem somewhat sane with the level of absurdity.    The third act of the film gets depressing as all of Finn's loved ones die.   The movie ends with Finn wandering around a post apocalyptic world looking for survivors.  Then all of a sudden Dolph Lundgren shows up and says that he is Finn's son. The film ends as a parody of Back to the Future with Dolph Lundgren getting Finn to get into his truck which is actually a time machine to go back and try and rescue everyone.   I thought the ending was funny, but this Sharknado effort did more than just jump the Shark it rode the shark down a staircase while punching it.
Of course I'll be there for Sharknado 6.  I have to find out what all this Dolph Lundgren time travel stuff is all about.  

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Monday, August 7, 2017

Empire of the Sharks 2017 3 out of 10

Empire of the Sharks 2017  3 out of 10

Apparently Asylum had some leftover pontoon sets from the lackluster Bad Shark movie Planet of the Sharks from 2016--so they decided to make another Water World Shark movie rip-off.  
 Is this now and official sub-genre of shark film?

The movie takes place on an earth where over 98% of the planet is covered in water.   An evil Warlord controls the seas with an army of sharks that can be controlled by some virtual reality gloves. Think of him as a Negan with sharks.   One of the tiny little make shift floating cities fails to give proper tribute to Hooper (you wait this isn't a Bug's Life ) and so the warlord takes some of the people as collateral.

A guy from the village sets out to rescue the girl he promised to look after named Willow (that apparently has a special amulet and the ability to communicate with and control the sharks.  The hero character bands together a ragtag group to help save he girl and the film ends up as a battle between the warlord that looks like it could be Don Henley's cousin and he Willow with the mystical shark powers.   

The movie is of course low budget and kind of chessy just like Planet of the Sharks from last year.  I hope this WaterWorld shark genre is not here to stay---but the budget for these films feels like something out of the Beastmaster TV series.

3 bad sharks moviess down...3 More to go.    I'll have a Shark minute segment on our next Podcast to quickly review all 6.   I think I'll go with Sharknado 5 tonight in hopes of some enojoyment that has been lacking in the last 3 films.

This is a watch the trailer and skip it movie ---unless like me you need to see all bad shark movies looking for the SO GOOD IT IS GOOD one.

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Sunday, August 6, 2017

Trailer Park Shark 2017 6 out of 10

Trailer Park Shark 2017  6 out of 10

Have you ever wondered what happened Mr Belding from Saved By the Bell???  Or Thomas Ian Nichols from American Pie

Well Mr. Belding got old and fat and became a greedy Boss Hog type delevoper  and Thomas Ian Nichols is living in a trailer park as a part shark movie.  The developer characters greed leads him to hire some thugs to blow up the levee in order wash out a local trailer park. The levee blows and drowns the trailer park, but in the process also electrifies a killer shark and unleashes him on the white trash rednecks. Fellow American Pie Alum Tara Reid also makes a cameo.

This movie had some potential at the beginning.  There is a cool one shot of the trailer park near the beginning where the camera travels through the trailer park showing all the wacky inhabitants fighting and arguing in true white trash redneck style.  I wish they had just had the cast of My Name is Earl in this story.  This scene was so good that it gave me high hopes for the film that it never reached.  I could imagine a funny trailer park movie based on this cool opening scene that doesn't even involve a shark.

Rednecks are the last group that we are still allowed to make fun of in this politically correct world.  I give the film some points for finding a new and interesting setting for a shark movie and shark movie plot. Trapping the sharks victims on top of trailers from a drowned trailer park with the added element of some villains on jet skis Water World style terrorizing the survivors.   

The problem with the movie is it's small budget.  The electrified CGI shark is cheesy.  The action is at times underwhelming like watching Thomas Ian Nicols character making a make shift paddle out of his hand using duck tape (a hand paddle that disappears without explanation later in the film).   The film features a decent showdown with Mr Belding at the end who is cruising around on one of those old school swamp boats with the giant fans.

The best scene of the movie is when one of the rednecks gets pulled into the water by the shark and ends up skiing behind the shark barefoot style.  

 I was going to rate this a 5 out of 10,  but while writing this review decided that despite it being less exciting than I it could have been I need to give it some credit for its new  original take on a killer shark movie--when so many other movies just copy the same general "Jaws Scenario" plot lines.  

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Saturday, August 5, 2017

The Flying Guillotine 1975 5 out of 10

The Flying Guillotine 1975  5 out of 10

The El Rey Network does a great job of advertising these old kung fu movies. The trailer for this film pulls you in.    A Kung fu movie where a flying guillotine weapon that looks like a metal hat box on a chain beheads people.  Exciting stuff.

The Emperor is paranoid and so commissions a new weapon to take out his enemies.  The movie takes awhile to get to the action as the story shows the invention of the killing weapon and training.     The flying guillotine is a cool idea—but like so many kung fu movies the story is just all over the place and unfocused.   The story then drifts to one of the guards trained to use the weapon running away and trying to reestablish a new life.  Of course he is hunted down by his former guards and must battle to survive.

The Kung Fu action is decent, but nothing incredible.  I can’t say that the movie lived up to the promise of the trailer.  The plot just wasn't interesting enough to hold my attention.  Apparently the sequels have more humor which this first film is lacking,  so its sequel may be worth a watch.

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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

5 Headed Shark Attack 2017 2 out of 10

5-Headed Shark Attack  2017    2 out of 10

Apparently 5 heads are not better than 3.   I'm never been so bored by a 4 Headed shark in my life.   At least 3 Headed Shark Attack had some funny scenes that made it at least somewhat enjoyable.   This movie gave me nothing---other than the standard "Jaws Scenario" scene --where they think the shark is dead -but it really isn't so they open the beaches back up again.   I'll try something different with this bad shark movie review and just ask some questions.

1.  Why does a movie called 5-Headed Shark Attack feature a shark with 4 heads??   
Part way through the movie the sharks tail becomes another head for no explainable reason.  So technically it has 5 heads at about the half-way point of the movie.

2.   Why do they decide to hunt the 5-Headed Shark in a rinky dink fishing boat?   
I guess they couldn't afford a bigger boat in the production budget.

3.  Why have none of the actors in this movie ever taken an acting class in their careers?    
Who needs actors when you have a title like 5 Headed Shark Attack.  The acting is almost as bad as the screenplay they had to read.  I felt like they were holding up cue cards for the actors to read from.

4.   Once this 5-Headed Shark has already killed over a couple dozen people  why don't they call in the military for help in killing the creature?    
Because 2 cops and a couple of research students from the Aquarium should be more than enough to take on a 5 Headed Mutant Shark.

 5. Why did they feel the need to skip the title 4-Headed Shark and go straight to 5-Headed Shark Attack? 
....I feel like I missed a bad shark movie in the sequence.   They really jumped the 5-Headed Shark with this turkey of a bad shark movie.   If I didn't watch bad shark movies out of an obsessive need to complete the list in search of the SO BAD IT IS GOOD Shark movie.....I would say that I'd skip 6 Headed-Shark Attack when it comes out......But I'd be lying.

Up next more Shark Action as 5 More Bad Shark movies hit Syfy this week as it leads up to Sharknado 5. 

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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Death Race 2050 2017 2 out of 10

Death Race 2050 2017  2 out of 10

I've been waiting for them to make a good remake of Death Race 2000 for a long time.   The 1975 Cult Classic featured racers in the near future of the year 2000 (LOL)  as contestants in a cross country race where they score points for running people over.   It was a strange film that starred David Carradine as a driver called Frankenstein and a Sly Stallone as Machine Gun Joe.   The original was a cheesy dark comedy that gained cult movie status.   It was a film that one wished they would remake

.....and that finally happened in 2008 starring kick ass action star Jason Statham. Unfortunately the film just didn't capture the same spirit as the original  by getting rid of the main elements of the original and turned it into basically just a care race film.  It also completely wasted Jason Statham's butt kicking talents.   Apparently this film had 2 lower budget  direct to video sequels (which I haven't seen).   

Then the other day I noticed and recorded Roger Corman's Death Race 2050.   Roger Corman wanted to bring the series back to it's campy roots and that he did.  Unfortunately the film is a complete dud.  It is just a silly super low budget remake now set in the year 2050.   The movie starts off with a terrible joke as one of he racers named Terrorist Tammy ---blows up some people in the stands before the race begins.   With all the recent terror attacks this scene was just in poor taste and not remotely funny.  I know I'm watching a movie where drivers run people over for points, but this scene just didn't sit right with me.   

The characters:  The characters in this movie are lame caricatures.  Perfectus (who has gender identification issues).   Minerva is a rapper turned racer that sings the dumbest song possible while trying to run people over.   There is a self driving car called A.B.E. that is trying to discover who he is and Tammy the Terrorist a religious cult leader.   And the star of the film Frankenstein who looks like a Mad Max wannabe.  

The Cars:  The cars in this film are so weak.  They look like they were made out of cheap plastic as part of a kids build cars reality show. 

The Movie itself:  The movie was just dull. There was nothing exciting about these cheap looking cars driving around empty streets with the occasionally running over of a small group of extras.  The movie wanted to be Mad Max -but comes off as Slighty Annoyed Max.  It was just so low budget that it had no teeth.  The plot was forgettable and I wish I had just watched the trailer and skipped the film.  I don't know how on earth they got Malcolm Mcdowell to play the president in this piece of junk.

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