Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Super, Fantastic, Terrific Podcast #17 In this Podcast we discuss Stand-up Movie Moments

Our latest Podcast is now online.  
Listen as we discuss our Stand-up Movie moments.

We weren't all onboard with what a Stand-up movie moment entailed....which only makes this podcast more interesting. 

My number 1 stand-up movie moment comes in Attack of the Clones when Yoda first pulled out his lightsaber and started getting some ass.  It changed Yoda from just being that funny little old green muppet Jedi into something much more entertaining.....   Listen to the Podcast to find out what the rest of the Podcast has on their lists.

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Sunday, July 17, 2016

Coherence 2014 9+ out of 10 (Sci-Fi)

Coherence 2014  9+ out of 10

Coherence is a super cool low budget sci-fi movie.  It centers on a dinner party a bunch of friends are having when a strange comet is flying over.  The lights go out and they wander outside to check things out and only notice that the entire neighborhood is in the dark with the exception of one house a few blocks away.  A couple of the guys go to check it out to see if they can use a phone and instead return with some really strange and unbelievable news about the other house.  This sets up a cool strange twisted movie.  It could have been a stage play because pretty much the entire movie takes place in one location.  It was a really interesting movie with a intrique little plot details that I don't want to get too deep into since you should discover it for yourself.  

I enjoyed this movie so much that I immeadiately wanted to see it again with the commentary track.  The commentary enhanced my thoughts and love of the film.  The writers did a ton of detailed planning for the twists in the movie but never fully let the cast in on everything.  They let them basically improvise  dialogue with little hints and topics given to certain actors to see how they would react.  The process was strange --as if the directors were letting the actors figure out what was happening in the story on their own as if it was a mystery party.  The film was made on what they called a micro budget and the results to me were fascinating.   Definitely worth a watch for fans of Twilight Zone and things like that.  

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Sunshine 2007 4 out of 10 (Sci-fi movie)

 Sunshine 2007  4 out of 10

The story is about a crew of a spaceship that is sent on a mission to basically reignite the dying sun by dropping a bomb in it.  The first crew that was sent out to do this  job 7 years earlier and lost contact with earth and never completed the mission.  

I was interested in seeing this after it was referenced several times after seeing the cool sci-fi movie Infini (which I loved).  This movie had a cool cast that includes Chris Evans, Rose Byrne, and Cillian Murphy.   Unfortunately the cast wasn't enough to make the film interesting.  I was really underwhelmed by the movie.  The story got dragged down by the typical - "Someone needs to go outside the ship to fix it scenes".   The crew argues about the mission.  They get the typical distress call from the original spacecraft and argue some more.  They decide to go to the other ship --now the film may might start to get interesting right?  Instead  just as they are exploring the ship there is an accident and we get another spacewalk to get back to the other ship after something goes wrong losing more crew members.  Then the movie just gets weird...  Their is someone else on their ship???  And it turns briefly into a slasher flick before another boring "We need to finish the mission" ending.

Skip this one and watch Pandorum or Infini instead.  Or watch the TV Show The Expanse which does the same scenes in a much better and more exciting way.

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Saturday, July 16, 2016

Safety Not Guaranteed 2012 (Time Travel Movie # 8)

Safety Not Guaranteed  2012 6 out of 10

Safety Not Guaranteed features a great cast that includes Jake Johnson (New Girl) and Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Rec).  This was the movie that Colin Trevorrow who went on to direst Jurrasic World.  The story features some magazine reporters looking for an interesting story. They decide to investigate an odd wanted ad that reads " Wanted -  Someone to go back in time with me.  This is not a joke. You'll get paid after we get back.  Must bring your own weapons. Safety no guaranteed.  I have only done this once before". This is great premise that makes for an interesting story. 
The movie is actually more of a love story/comedy.   You don't know whether he is actually a Time Traveler or just a little crazy.  The main character played by Aubrey Plaza -answers his advertisement and gets caught up in his life.   I won't reveal how it ends.  It was a good film, but not a great film.  If you are looking for a more traditional time travel film this isn't that.   If you are willing to go along for the ride with a talented cast in what is more a love story --than check it out.

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Primer 2004 7 out of 10 (Time Travel Movie #7)

Primer 2004  7 out of 10

Primer is a cool low budget Time Travel film that proves that you don't need big budget special effects to make an effective and interesting Time Travel picture.   The film was made for $7,000 which is remarkable.  It depends heavily on dialogue which is very well written.  It focuses on a couple of young scientists that stumble upon the ability to travel back in time.  The restrictions on the films budget -forced the filmmakers to be creative in their storytelling. The story develops slowly  (So stick around) as the characters test and discuss their discovery.   They test the time machine out --using a rented storage facility as their time machine. They do the logical things like making deals on the stock market.   After numerous trips back in time they start to notice some weird things have happened and as is usual in a time travels pictures like this they figure they can just go back and try to fix them.  This of course never works out as planned.    Their leaps only complicate things and the confusion just makes the story more interesting.   

If you are a fan of time travel check this one out.  I stumbled across it well looking for Time Travel movies I hadn't seen before and despite the films tiny budget it delivered and interesting time travel story.

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Edge of Tomorrow 2015 9 out of 10

Edge of Tomorrow   2015  9 out of 10

The Story
The best way to describe Edge of Tomorrow is to take Groundhog’s Day and mix it with Starship Troopers or Aliens.  It is a bad ass Sci-Fi Time Loop movie that stars Tom Cruise as the main character Cage.
It is a story about a marketing guy for the military that has never seen combat before being thrust onto the front lines of a D-Day style invasion against an Alien enemy.  Something strange happens to him during the battle and he dies…only to wake at the exact same place he was the last time he woke up.
This is a great high concept film that plays out just like Groundhog’s Day as we see Cage’s character grow and change as a character as he lives this day over and over again.  The movie does an excellent job of showing Tom’s character progress through the day like it is a brutal old school video game without a save.  Everytime he dies he has to start all over again.  One wonders while watching the film how many thousands of times has he already lived this day.  At one point you can feel his character want to give up…like kid that has wasted all of his quarters at the arcade that can never seem to get to the end of the game to face the final enemy.
The Cast
Whatever you may think about Tom Cruise  (I’ve seen that documentary on Scientology),  he was perfectly cast in this movie.  He was able to nail the role as both the cowardly media guy at the beginning of the film as well as the confident kick ass warrior and hero he becomes by the end of the movie.   Emily Blunt  does a good job as his mentor and companion throughout the film who had the same time loop thing happen to her previously, before she lost the ability).  Bill Paxton (one of my favorites) plays an army sergent in the film to perfection.
The Special FX
The special FX were great.  The Aliens seemed extremely lethal and the D-Day style landing and battle that the main characters takes part in was epic.

I would definitely recommend this to any fans of Groundhog’s Day and Aliens.   It perfectly mixes the genres and includes its own fun sense of humor that was an unexpected bonus to the film.  Just see it won't be disappointed.

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Saturday, July 9, 2016

Infini 2015 9 out of 10 (Sci-Fi Movie)

Infini 2015  9 out of 10

This was apparently a small budget Aussie movie that I had never even heard of before.  It centered on an elite search and rescue team being sent via some type of teleportation to an outer rim mining facility to rescue the lone survivor of a biological outbreak. The other part of their mission is to make sure that the outbreak doesn't get sent here in the form of a payload of whatever is being mined being sent back.   The movie started off really good and I kept waiting for it to take a weird turn that I wouldn't like or to become stale at some point --but it never did.  I watched this online on Netflix and the sound with the headphones was incredible.  The movie borrowed from many other sci-fi films.  It was a little bit Pandorum and little bit Starship Troopers, Alien, and The Thing.  
 I guess it borrowed from all the right movies.  There was a sense of tension that remained at a high level throughout the entire movie.

Basically the elite rescue team reaches the outpost to find a weird and creepy flash frozen space station where apparently everyone had gone crazy.   They find some disturbing stuff and then finally stumble upon the survivor. You don't know whether he has been taken over by the parasitic alien life form or not for most of the film.  He could just be crazy.  Everything that is just happening might just be happening in his mind.  The film does a great job of balancing and revealing he mystery of the mining facility and the end is satisfying even though you could interpret it either way based on whether you are a optimist or not.

I would definitely recommend this low budget film to sci-fi fans.

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Paradox 2016 5 out of 10 (Time Travel Movie # 6)

Paradox 2016  5 out of 10

A small group of scientist are working on a time travel project. They send one guy an hour into the future and when he arrives they have all been killed---so he rushes back to warn them. 

Paradox definitely not one of my favorite Time Travel films---but the Time Travel aspects were decent.  It is basically a time travel murder mystery.  One of them must be the killer.  This is a low budget ship in a bottle thriller with minimal sets that has some cool and interesting little twists that come from the time travel that takes place in the film.  Unfortunately the acting is pretty bad which takes away from some of the cooler twists and elements in the film.   I also the feel the movie misleads you as to who the killer is by the use of a stuntperson whose body type didn't seem to match who the killer turned out to be.   I also didn't like the explanation of who the killer was because it didn't seem like it was reasonable leap for the viewer.  Also the ending isn't much of a surprise if you catch on to a major hint about 3/4 of the way through the movie, which I did. 

The Trailer is a lot better than the film itself with its fake Tron soundtrack.

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Friday, July 8, 2016

Synchronicity 2015 7 out of 10 (Time Travel Movie #5)

Synchronicity 2015  7 out of 10

My journey through a batch of Time Travel movies continues with Synchronicity.  The movie had a pretty simple story in which a physicist (Chad McKnight)  invents a time machine using the funding of a rich millionaire (played by Michael Ironside) .  Just when he thinks he has failed one of his experiments actually works. A rare plant appears from the future and a cool Sci-fi Noir love story begins. The main character meets a beautiful mysterious girl .(played by Brianne Davis who reminded me of Oliva Wilde in Tron Legacy)  She seduces him into revealing his secrets.  Then while in her room finds the rare plant that came back through the machine.   

The movie had an interesting story with us discovering that some of the things we are seeing have been influenced by events from another version of the main character after he has Time Traveled.  There are basically two versions of himself interacting with the other characters at the same time.    The movie had a great soundtrack.  The soundtrack reminded me of Bladerunner and Tron and  gave the film a cool Sci-fi Noir feel.   This was a low budget film that made a good use of story, soundtrack and casting to make an enjoyable interconnected Time Travel  adventure.

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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Time Lapse 2014 5 out of 10 (Spoilers included) (Time Travel Movie #4)

Time Lapse 2014  5 out of 10


After recently watching both Project Almanac and Predestination I caught a little bit of a Time Travel bug.   I starting seeking out Time Travel movies that I hadn’t seen yet.   Time Lapse from 2014 was 1 of 4 Time Travel films that I watched over the Holiday weekend.  

When I saw the trailer on Netflix it immediately reminded me of an old Twilight Zone episode called A Most Unusual Camera.    
Three roommates find a giant camera in an apartment directly across from them when they go to check on a tenant that seems to have disappeared.    The camera is capable of taking a picture one day into the future.  

I loved the original Twilight Zone episode as you see the three people devolve and turn on one another based on speculation as to what the next day’s picture meant.   Theirs actions start to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.   This movie follows the same logic –but to a silly extreme.  The logic of the three main characters is absurd at times.   They find the body of the guy from across the street in a storage locker and he his skin is completely fried.   They immediately jump to the illogical assumption that if his death is caused by doing something different that what the picture shows.   This of course makes no sense .  No intelligent person would ever jump to such a silly conclusion.  This assumption drives the plot as they try and stage what they saw in the picture of the next day based on this nonsensical conclusion.    

The characters are so simple minded in their use of the time machine camera.  The one guy places bets on greyhound races…..The lowest level of betting possible—which leads to the conflict of the film which includes a bookie that starts to question why the guy keeps winning.   That is an acceptable story for the 1950’s , but who in 2016 wouldn’t buy a lottery ticket instead of bettering on greyhound dog races????   The one character is more concerned with what painting he paints each day than anything else.    If these little details didn’t bug me so much I probably would have enjoyed the film more.   What actually happens to the characters in the story is interesting –  I just feel the writers didn’t know how to craft the story without the ridiculous leaps of stupidity to drive the characters actions in the film.  If you can get past the stupidity of the characters you may find it entertaining.

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Saturday, July 2, 2016

Daddy's Home 2015 7 out of 10

Daddy's Home 2015  7 out of 10

Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg reunite on screen in Daddy's Home.  The duo had great chemistry in the buddy cop picture The Other Guys back in 2010 so it was a no brainer to reunite the two actors..  This time around  Will Ferrell plays Brad a stepfather that is trying to earn his stepkids love and respect.  He has worked hard to earn that respect when all of a sudden Mark Wahlberg (the dad that bailed on them) shows up again.  He is the opposite of Will's doughy Ned Flanders type of dad.  Mark's character is a motor cycle riding badass with a mysterious past.  His return sets up a battle for the kids affection which is where the comedy of the film comes from.   

I'm a huge Will Ferrell fan and feel that he can elevate even the dumbest SNL sketch.  Will Ferrell definitely had some great moments in the film as his character freaks out and tries to one up his rival.  One of his best moments may have been when he throws Christmas for the kids in the middle of the year.  This was a good film--but like many modern comedies it wasn't particularly memorable.   It had  funny moments and a decent story---but the best scenes were  of course in the trailer.  I just left the film feeling that the battle between the two rivals should have been bigger and better.  Their battle was subtle at best --when the trailer promotes it as being more epic.  I would probably have given it a 6 out of 10---if not for the Will Ferrell factor which elevates it to a 7 out of 10.

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