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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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

SiREN 2016 6 out of 10

SiREN  2016 6 out of 10

SiREN is a movie about a bachelor party gone wrong.  The Groom's brother decides to take him and some buddies to some random town instead of Vegas (Vegas costs to much to film in). They end up in a crappy strip club until some mysterious stranger in a trench coat invites them to something a little different.  
 They follow along a dirt road to a strange underground night club in a Church/Mansion.   This is the best part of the movie as the weird, creepy, strange supernatural night club.  It reminded me of HellRaiser: Hellworld in that it had cool elements --but it could have been a better film.   The cool set up held a lot of promise which the film fails to deliver in the second half of the movie.  The groom ends up releasing a supernatural creature  (A Siren from Mythology) and the rest of the movie is her killing people and the guy that runs the supernatural nightclub trying to get her back.  
I would have rather seen a story focused more on the supernatual night club --which could have been explored more.

It had and interesting concept which is why I give it a 6 out of 10... but it wastes some really good potential. 

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Ride Along 2014 7 out of 10

Ride Along 2014  7 out of 10

Ride Along was about exactly what you expect itwould be.  It was a good comedy with both Ice Cube as the hardened cop and Kevin Hart as the nervous (soon to be rookie) that is dating his sister.   Both actors did a good job playing the same type of characters they are used to playing.   As a buddy cop film the movie works and the two actors have a good contentious chemistry.  I enjoyed both actors performances and thought the movie had some good funny scenes.  Ice Cube's character basically takes Kevin Hart on a Ride Along to try and scare him away from being a cop and proposing to his sister.  He sets a bunch of crazy situations where Kevin Hart's character will fail--while still trying to investigate some big undercover case he has been working on.

Where the movie fails a bit is in how totally predictable the plot was. You can see the supposed twist coming from a mile and a half away.  This movie came out the same year as Let's Be Cops --which had a fresh and new take on a cop movie.   By comparison this movies big scenes just weren't big enough and funny enough.

My advice is if you like Ice Cube and Kevin Hart you will enjoy this film--since they are exactly the characters you would expect them to be....just don't expect anything special as far as the story goes.

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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The Expendables 3 2014 8+ out of 10

The Expendables 3  2014    8+ out of 10

For this third installment the 1980's action dream team has added Harrison Ford, Antonio Banderas, Wesley Snipes and Mel Gibson   I'm still trying to imagine how much money these movies would have made if they could have put this cast together back in 1989.   The Expendable movies are just a fun.  These films are throwbacks to the time when action movies were the biggest movies of the summer.  

This third installment gives us more of what we got with the previous films.   A bunch of tough guys taking on an impossible job and facing off against Mel Gibson in top form as the villain.   Wesley Snipes has come out of hiding from tax evasion to co-star in the film and even jokes about it.  Then of course the addition of my favorite actor of all-time Harrison Ford joins in a role that starts out more like what Bruce Willis and Arnold's characters were in the first 2 films ---but he eventually joins in the action as a daring helicopter pilot.

The action sequences:  The action was top notch.  Michael Bay would be proud of the explosions in this flick.  Each star basically gets their moment to shine in this action packed film.  The movie starts with the crew breaking Wesley Snipes character out of a moving train jail.  Then the move on to another job that ends with one of their crew getting shot by Mel Gibson's character that is supposed to be dead.   Mel Gibson used to be an Expendable himself, but has turned evil so the rest of the story is Sly trying to bring him down.  The plot is just an excuse to get these actors into an arena for an fun action battle royale.  The whole third act of the film is one big long action scene.

I personally enjoyed Expendables 2 better because it seemed like the ending was a little better,  but I would keep watching   this franchise for as long as they keep making them, unfortunately it sounds like Sly has decided not to continue with the franchise.

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Friday, June 2, 2017

The Super, Fantastic, Terrific Podcast #25 In this Podcast we discuss Guardians Vol. 2 and Coherence plus more

The Super, Fantastic, Terrific Podcast #25 In this Podcast we discuss Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2   the low budget sci-fi film  Coherence and play the ratings games  “Who Like it More Better?" .  

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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Cosmic Monsters 1958 2 out of 10

Cosmic Monsters 1958  2 out of 10

The tagline for this movie in trailer reads " Every Second your pulse pounds they grow foot by incredible foot!"    What a laugh my pulse didn't pound at all during this boring monster movie.  I watched this flick on TCM with an introduction by Dennis Miller which was better than the movie itself.   
A Scientist is working on some magnetic experiments.
The government is interested in the military use of the experiments and there is a guy from outer space that has come to put a stop to it. The movie is basically just a bunch of science talk and not much actually happening.   It is like a really bad episode of Star Trek where they spend the entire episode talking about how to solve a problem.  The experiments cause a vagrant to become a killer and insects to start growing.   The movie takes over an hour to get to the giant insects and when we get to them it is basically just close-ups of actual insects mixed with shots of soldiers firing into the forest.  The insects are placed in front of pictures of the forest to make it seem like they are in the same movie.

The best thing about this monster movie is the poster.
Watch the trailer and skip the film.  

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Giant Behemoth 1959 6 out of 10

The Giant Behemoth  1959  6 out of 10

The oceans ecosystem has changed and a giant prehistoric beast has been awakened.   The first 40 minutes of this monster movie is pretty dull.  We get scenes with scientists talking dramatically with dramatic music meant to pump up the tension that doesn't fit what is on screen.  We only get glimpses of a beast from a far like the Lock Ness Monster and some people dying of radiation.  Then it is back to the lab for more science talk and to look at dead fish.  I was starting to lose interest and then finally a giant Kong/Godzilla sized footprint is found in a small English town that has been destroyed by the beast.   We call in a wacky scientist that looks like Gomez Addams that is excited about it.  The boring first portion of the movie finally is worth getting past if you are a fan of the old school Stop Motion monsters attacking cities movies. 

The Behemoth finally shows up in London where we actually get some decent footage of panicked Brits running away and then cuts to a giant clayish looking Dinosaur destroying things.   This is what giant monster movies back in 1959 looked like folks,  before Jurassic Park changed movies forever with a leap in special effects.  I don't mind the effects which by today's standards look cheesy.  I actually enjoy the old Harryhausen looking beasts.   This is a much better film than that terrible sea snail that attacked the world crap I saw last week.    I get a kick out of a scene of people running on a ship that the beast is attacking and then the film cutting to a Stop Motion Dino attacking a model ship with no one on it.   The last 25 minutes of the film was fun.   Unfortunately the film wasted way too much time getting to the fun.  I give it a 6 out of 10 because despite the slow start it eventually got enjoyable watching the beast stomp through models while people ran for their lives on completely different sets.

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Saturday, May 13, 2017

The Monster that Challenged the World 1957 2 out of 10

The Monster that Challenged the World 1957   2 out of 10

Ughhhh! This bad monster movie was really, really terrible.  The Monster that Challenged the World....(More like the Monster that bored the audience).   I recorded this based on the cool silly posters and the title.  Maybe if I had read about the Giant Prehistoric Sea Snails --I would have skipped it.  But I didn't skip it,  Instead I suffered through this terrible giant monster movie that featured one of the worst movie monsters ever put on screen.    This Giant Sea Snail isn't scaring anyone.  The movie basically was a whole bunch of talk about and searching for the monster.   The screen time of this ridiculous  sea snail creature was minimal at best.    The trailer shows a Giant Sea Snail attacking a town Godzilla style.   I guess they forgot to add that scene to the actual movie.

I say skip this turd of a monster movie.  The best thing about this movie is the old school movie posters.  Look at the posters and watch the trailer and just save yourself the time by skipping the film.

 Here is a picture from online of the chesseball monster

Here is the misleading trailer

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Friday, May 5, 2017

We Are Still Here 2015 6 out of 10

We Are Still Here  2015  6 out of 10

A couple move to a quiet town after the death of their teenage son to start a new life.  Unfortunately for them they picked the wrong house.   Apparently the house they moved into awakens about every 30 years and demands blood as revenge for an old town secret.   

This movie has 1970's feel to it.   It stars a couple of names I recall from the past like Barbara Crampton (who once once a B-Movie actress in horror and Sci-fi films) and Lisa Marie  (Tim Burton's Ex).   As the film starts I could almost imagine that it might be a secret sequel to Troll 2-- but Nilbog wasn't the name of the town.   It was a decent low budget horror film as the dumb white people stay in the house even after being warned by one of the townsfolk to get out (White people never listen)  They invite some friends that can communicate with spirits because the mom senses her dead sons presence in the house.   Their friends show up and after diner in the strange town where all the townsfolk basically stare at them they spend the night .  Her psychic friend tells them that everything about the house is dark yet they hang around anyway.  Then her boyfriend  ( Who look like a Jack Nicholson impersonator)  does a seance when the girls go into town the next day awakening the evil within the house.    The true evil appears to be the townsfolk themselves and the dirty little secret they have (which isn't being Goblins with bad makeup).   

Well the house wakes up every 30 years for payback and this time around it gets it when the townsfolk descend on the house to make sure the couple is sacrificed --but things don't turn out as they town plans and we actually get some decent gory carnage.  It wasn't a great horror film ---but I liked the retro vibe of the film and the gory blood filled conclusion.     If you like evil house out for revenge flicks this one may be worth your time

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The Super, Fantastic, Terrific Podcast #24 In this Podcast we discuss Bone Tomahawk from 2015, Kurt Russell and more

In our latest Podcast we discuss the low budget brutal Western called Bone Tomahawk starring Badass Kurt Russell,  Patrick Wilson and Matthew Fox.
We dig into this brutal Western that may not be for the faint of heart with special guest Scott Cole.     

We also briefly discuss Logan (that Russell saw),  Life (which Andy destroyed).   We also talk about the most overrated movie you have seen lately..... 

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Bone Tomahawk 2015     8 out of 10

I enjoyed this Western.  It starts out slow --but features a great cast and great dialogue.  This isn't your average Western.  After a man's wife is kidnapped in an old western town 4 men set out to rescue her from a group of cannibalistic indians.  The movie slowly ramps up as they make their way across the desert.  The ending is just exactly as the ad suggests......."Shockingly Brutal".     Check out this film especially if you are a Kurt Russell......and definitely listen to our Podcast

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Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates 2016 7 out of 10

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates 2016  7 out of 10

I wasn't expecting much from this movie when the trailer first came out, but still wanted to see it.   So many recent comedy movies have let me down, but I actually found myself laughing at some of the stupidity in this comedy.  

The film stars Adam Devine (Andy on 3 seasons of Modern Family) and Zac Efron (from some Ab factory that my wife approves of).  They play two brothers that are liquor distributors that are all about the partying.   Their little sister is getting married and their Dad (played by the always great Stephen Root --the boss from News Radio)  lays down the law and tells these two hard partying idiots to get their shit together.   So the two brothers must show up to their sister's Hawaiian with actual respectable dates to avoid ruining yet another family gathering. 

The setup for the film is good.  The two idiot brothers take to social media to find their dates (not a bright idea).  The results are predictable.    Watching them interview girls that answer their ad for a free trip to Hawaii was entertaining.   At this point I realized I was going to enjoy this film more than I originally thought.    Then Aubrey Plaza and Anna Kendrick show up posing as respectable girls --when in truth they are even more of a train wreck than the brothers.  

The humor is crude and the language is very adult --but I still found the film fun.  There are numerous humorous segments and a lot of decent laughs.   This isn't an intelligent film....  The main characters basically have the intelligence level of movies like  Stepbrothers or A Night at the Roxbury and Dumb and Dumber.    I briefly took a look at the reviews on IMDB before writing about the movie and was shocked at how much pretty much 90% of the reviewer absolutely hated it.    If you like dumb humor give it a shot if you don't like your main characters to be morons ---you may want to pass on it.

I'd give it a solid 7 out of 10.   

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Saturday, April 29, 2017

Passengers 2016 7+ out of 10

Passengers  2016  7+ out of 10

Passengers is about a space flight to a distant planet that will take 120 years.   Something goes wrong and Jim Preston wakes up 90 years too early. 

It is basically a last man on earth movie abroad a spaceship.  Jim Preston (played by Chris Pratt )--can't get his hibernation chamber to work again to go back to sleep.  He is basically doomed to live the rest of his life alone and die before the ship reaches it's destination.    The first part of the film plays out like a more subtle version of the TV show Last Man on Earth.  Jim comes to terms with his dilemma and tries to make the best of it.  Swimming in the pool and doing a space walk and at least he has the cool bartender robot to hang out with.  But after a year alone Jim is all bearded and has gone a little crazy.   He nearly kills himself as a result of his loneliness -and then sits down with the bartender in a scene that reminded me of Jack Nicholson hanging out with the ghost bartender in The Shining.

Of course the smart thing to do would be to try and find someone on board the ship to wake up that could help him get back to sleep--but instead he has fallen in love with a girl named Aurora Lane (played by Jennifer Lawrence) and decides against his better judgment to wake her up instead.  What lonely guy on a spaceship --wouldn't want to be alone with Jennifer Lawrence?   She like him at first searches for answers and then of course they eventually start to accept their fate and begin to fall for each other. Then of course his secret about waking her up is revealed and let's just say things between them go a little sour.   (Queue the third act)

The ship takes on more damage and Laurence Fishbourne  wakes up from a malfunction in his chamber.  His character Gus is a part of the crew.  They all team up and fight to save the ship as the ship is slowly tearing itself apart from major damage.  You will have to watch the movie yourself to see how that turns out.

A movie like this relies on the main two characters to have great chemistry. Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence have just that on screen together and basically make what could be boring scenes to some people interesting.   It is a simple sci-fi movie that I believe was well written and decently paced.  The story was good. The acting was good and the visuals were excellent.  It was an enjoyable movie that I think got more bad reviews than it deserved.   I think maybe the expectations of what the film was going to be may have contributed to that.  I enjoyed it for what it was and give it a 7+ out of 10.   

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Sunday, April 9, 2017

Arrival 2016 6 out of 10 (Some Quick thoughts on this film)

Arrival 2016  6 out of 10

I really wanted to see this movie when it came out in the theaters. The hype for this film was through the roof.   I was hoping the film would be like some amazing Arthur C Clarke book ...  I guess I set up some expectations that the film wasn't going to meet.   One of my top 10 films of all-time is  Close Encounters of the Third Kind --so I like the genre.   This film was no Close Encounters.

About an hour into the movie I found myself bored and thinking that this movie better have and interesting and satisfying ending.  The film was basically about trying to communicate with this strange aliens that had landed all over Earth and the story moves at a snails pace   Amy Adams stars as the main character --with Jeremy Renner basically just standing around in the background not adding much other than giving her character someone to talk to. Her character starts to break through and talk with the Aliens that are basically giant squids that communicate by making symbols with floatings ink inside their spaceship.  This is pretty much the entire story.  The movie tries to build some tension with the fact that there are eleven other spaceships in eleven other countries that are all racing to decipher the message first.   Of course a message is misread at one point as well causing more tension in the story.  I was expecting the message to read "To Serve Man", but it didn't.  

The end itself was satisfying --but for me it was too little to late.  This story would have worked better as a short story or as an episode of Outer Limits instead of a movie.

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Saturday, April 8, 2017

Kong Skull Island 2017 vs King Kong 2005 (Battle of the Kongs)

Kong Skull Island 2017 8 out of 10

I recently got out and saw Kong Skull Island this past weekend and enjoyed it.  I immediately wanted to re-visit  King Kong from 2005 to compare the two films. 

They were very different Kong films one is basically an updated remake of the original King Kong and takes place in the 1930's  and the other is a completely different angle on the Kong story and takes place in the 1970's at the end of Vietnam.

The Differences in King Kong himself
Skull Island Kong in the new film is absolutely gigantic.  He seems more like a giant mutated bigfoot and spends much of his time upright. The scene where the helicopters first encounter this Kong is awesome.   The military helicopters are no match for this giant Kong.   Why is this new Kong so oversized?   It is obvious that they are trying to set up a movie universe in which this King Kong can fight Godzilla.   The story focuses on Skull Island basically being a doorway to Hollow Earth which is a land of monsters. Skull Islands creatures aren't dinos, but instead some type of Mysterious underworld beasts.  The 2005  King Kong was more like a giant Gorilla living in a lost continent of oversized beasts. Peter Jackson's Kong is a more likable and humanized Kong. (Thanks to Andy Serkis mo cap performance).  Basically this Kong lives in a land of Dinosaurs.   

The Action
Both movies have some great action sequences.
Skull Island:  Features a great sequence as Kong takes on all the helicopters.    There are some good action sequences as the main characters try to avoid the creatures that live in the Hollow Earth and Kong's battle with this creatures near the end of the film is exactly what you would expect and hope for.   Samuel Jackson is in typical bad ass mode and is out for revenge on Kong for all the fellow military members he has lost which leads to some Michael Bay style explosions.
King Kong 2005:  Features some great action sequences as well.   (Okay so the Dinosaur stampede was a little over the top)  but when Kong squares off against three T-Rex's while protecting the main heroine... that sequence was epic.  And since this Kong follows the original 1933 story we also get Kong loose in New York and the iconic  Empire State Building sequence.

King Kong 2005  9+ out of 10

The Story :
King Kong from 2005 is a loving tribute to the original 1933 film. It has the tone and heart of the original film and the visuals are spectacular.   Kong falls in love with his sacrifice in the form of beautiful Noami Watts and it is eventually his undoing.  It is a Beauty and the Beast story where Kong is basically the misunderstood hero.   My only complaint about the film is the length as it is a long movie.  It starts a little slow taking awhile to develop the characters and get to the Island.  Once at the island it is an amazing film that stands up there with some of the Jurassic Park films.
Kong Skull Island 2017  is a different Kong.    Kong is still basically the misunderstood hero.  After all he is just trying to protect his island and the villagers on it from the creatures below.  Samuel L Jackson happens to invade Kong's Island and pays the price for that.  It is a fun Kong movie and a decent take on the Kong story, but is missing the love story element and the heart that Peter Jackson's Kong was able to recreate.  I think they were more concerned with setting up this giant Kong as a bad ass for future possible films  (vs Godzilla for example)  then telling the best Kong story.    Still a fun watch regardless.

The winner in this battle of Kong's for me in the Peter Jackson version.   Although if the two Kong's themselves actually battled  The much larger(less Gorilla like)  Skull Island Kong would surely win.

Kong Skull Island 2017

King Kong 2005

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