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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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

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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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