Sunday, December 27, 2015

Cowboys vs Dinosaurs (AKA Jurassic Hunters) 2015 5 out of 10

Cowboys vs Dinosaurs 2015 5 out of 10

The Plot:  An explosion at a mine releases some Dinosaurs that have been apparently living underground.  The people of the small town must fight to survive.    Well that pretty much sums it up.  Throw in an unimportant sub-story about a bull rider that was tossed by a bull which lead to him leaving town years ago returning and you have Cowboys vs Dinosaurs.   I guess the stupid back story was there just to foreshadow the cheesy scene at the end where he has to ride a Triceratops in a battle against a T -Rex (I guess those rodeo skills came in handy).   Of course the movie featured the greedy businessman that owned owns the mind trying to hide the fact that Dinosaurs are killing people... After all he needs the mine up and running again.

The Acting:   The acting was pretty much what you would expect from a cheesy film like this.  Eric Roberts is in this film just so that it can have a name you have heard of.  All his character does is throw up and act drunk in a jail cell.  The main Cowboy that came back to town was totally dull.  His ex girlfriend and her friend are just on screen to look cute in cut off jeans while firing machine guns at  CGI raptors.     Of course the movie has the typical girls in bikinis getting attacked by the creatures (even though this movie takes place in the mountains and the lake must be freezing).

The Effects:   The raptors looked like something out of a video game.  Most of the kill scenes with the raptors were just covered in nacho cheese.There were a few decent shots of a T-Rex running though the town.  Watch the trailer and you will know exactly what to expect.

In the final analysis:  You pretty much know what you are getting into with this film the second you see poster or the trailer.  If you enjoy low budget cheesy horror--it could be up your alley.  I was looking for so bad it is good and it unfortunately just dull....and I felt like I've seen the same exact movie half a dozen times before with different creatures.   It was decent cheesiness.

The trailer makes this movie look a lot more exciting than it actually was.

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Saturday, December 26, 2015

Mad Max: Fury Road 2015 8 out of 10 (A really mixed bag)

Mad Max: Road Fury  2015  8 out of 10

After watching Mad Max Fury Road  I had really mixed feeling about the film.   I wrote up my thoughts in the following quick little review and then looked up several reviews on IMDB and saw that the film was literally getting ripped to shreds on that site...... Which seemed weird because I heard that on Rotten Tomatoes that it was certified 97% Fresh (an insanely high rating).   I really liked the movie --but I think my original thoughts about it sum up exactly how it could get such a good rating and such terrible reviews on another site.

The Plot was a 4 out of 10 at best.

It lacks anything resembling a story in the traditional sense. 
The story is boils down to  women escaping  from a crazy ruler with his five prized breeders.  The ruler chasing them across the desert as they search for a McGuffin or safe area.  The chase goes on for about 3/4 of the movie and then they find out the Mcguffin no longer exists and turn around and are chased back again.   At times the movie is downright silly.   The chase vehicles look like something out of a deranged heavy metal Dr. Seuss cartoon.  Specifically the truck with the drums.

One of the chase vehicles has a guy on the front of a truck playing an electric guitar in front of giant speakers…..It is just ridiculous.  The characters lack anything resembling character development.   Mad Max may as well be Mad Joe or Mad Bob.     Mel Gibson had a screen presence as the character that I didn’t get from this Mad Max. In fact the character of Mad Max could have been left out of the movie entirely and you wouldn't have even noticed.

So if the plot or lack there of was only a 4 out of 10 how on earth did it get an 8 out of 10 then?

The visuals:   The look and visual style of the film was stunning. 
I guess some movies don’t need a story. 

Like I mentioned before the film is basically just one long chase scene and it is a great action sequence.  The silly cartoonish violence was fun and enjoyable to watch.  It was like a Willie Coyote cartoon with monster trucks.  It reminded by of those Hanna Barbera cartoons where the characters raced cars…Wacky Races I think it was called taken to an Apocalyptic extreme.

The Opening camera shot was super stylish.  George Miller was able to make a desert landscape interesting.  This movie was just a popcorn flick –that if you put no thought into it you can definitely enjoy.    Who cares that is makes no sense that water would come pouring out of this random rock in the middle of the desert…..Just enjoy the car chase and the silly and wild ride

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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies 2014 7+ out of 10

 The Hobbit : The Battle of the Five Armies 2014 7+ out of 10

I can’t explain why it took me so long to see the final Hobbit….
I was a huge fan of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy… I saw every single one the first week movies in the theaters.    I spent hours watching extras and behind the scenes of the trilogy as soon as they came out on DVD.  I was excited when the Hobbit was eventually announced---although I couldn’t imagine how they were going to turn this small more kid friendly book into something as epic as the Rings Trilogy.    When they announced it would be 3 movies…..I was kind of shocked.   The Lord of the Rings trilogy was three movies –but each movie covered one book and those books were much longer than the Hobbit.  Obviously the Hobbit movies were going to have to have a lot of new stuff and filler to make this much shorter book into a trilogy.     Of course Peter Jackson was going to be involved so that made me feel much better.

The first Hobbit although it had a different tone  (set by the silly sequences of meeting the Dwarfs)…still felt like Middle Earth.  
It felt like the beginning of a journey –but had an interesting story and a satisfying conclusion.   I also liked the second film 
(Links of the my reviews to those films are below)

It took me almost a year to get around to finally watching the conclusion……So maybe that in itself  shows that I liked the Rings trilogy better.  I had to see Return of the King the weekend it came out.   I missed Battle of Five Armies in the theaters…….Bought it the week it came out on DVD---but didn’t watch it right away.     The only explanation I can give is that maybe I felt like the story was pretty much already done after 2 films.     This wasn’t a conscious thought really….I didn’t think about it ---there was just no urgency.

Well now I know why……. And don’t get me wrong I still enjoyed Battle of the Five Armies from a visual point of view----but story wise----There really wasn’t anything left of the story to tell.    The Battle of the Five Armies was literally probably 2 chapters in the book……This battle was turned into an entire movie. 

So the story of the final film was basically just the surviving Dwarfs have the mountain now and all the Armies go to war for it.    Of course the movie long battle was a visual delight----but the lack of a story - just made it feel like less of a film to me. 
 I just didn’t feel the same connection to it like I did with Lord of the Rings .    I think the Hobbit would have been better served as 2 movies instead of 3.  A lot could have been cut out of this trilogy and it probably would have been a better film.   I know the Studios turned it into 3 movies for financial reasons---but I feel the final Hobbit films suffered as a result.  The Battle of Five Armies was my least favorite of the 6 films.   (Again I still enjoyed it) --but it wasn't as memorable as the previous films due to a lack of story.
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