Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Santa Jaws 2018 5 out of 10

 Santa Jaws 2018   5 out of 10

I wish I could give Santa Jaws more than a 5 out of 10, because compared to the recent batch of Bad Shark movies I've watched at least it had a concept and plot that made sense from start to finish.  It was pretty decent for a direct to TV shark movie that couldn't even afford to have a movie poster.  

The story for this flick revolves around an awkward teen that is an aspiring comic book artist.  He happens to get a magical pen for Christmas and basically accidentally summons a killer Shark with a Santa Claus hat on it's fin that starts killing off his family members after he wishes to be alone.   He and his friends take it upon themselves to try and kill this beast and discover that it is drawn to Christmas items and can only be hurt by Christmas related things as well.  There was some limited comedy in this movie concept --but not enough to make it a good movie and not enough of the shark either (I'm sure due to budget).

The best part of the movie was the opening sequence which has a dirty looking Santa that has tied up some guys girlfriend battling until Santa is killed by a shark that acquires his hat.  The over puny humor in this opening sequence --which was supposed to represent the comic book was great.  If the whole film has kept this over the top tone it would have been better.    

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Sunday, December 16, 2018

6 Headed Shark Attack 2018 3 out of 10

6 Headed Shark Attack 2018  3 out of 10

Are they even trying anymore?   I have to ask that question after watching 6 Headed Shark Attack.  Apparently the maximum amount of heads on a Shark to still have a decent Shark Attack movie is about 3 --because that was by far the best of this bad shark movie franchise.   They skipped 4 heads for some reason which I will never understand.  Maybe they should stop just adding heads to the shark because it looks cool on the posters.   Six heads is definitely too many.  I don't even get how the stupid shark can swim effectively with that many heads.  The extra heads didn come in handy when the shark decided to crawl on land.

The story for this addition to the franchise is that a bunch of couples are at a marriage boot camp on an island.  The casting seemed to involve hiring the first 10 random people that showed up to the audition.  The screenplay for this movie was god awful and beyond stupid.  Many of the decisions the characters make were beyond reason.  It is like that commercial where the kids are in a horror movie and one guy suggests -"Let's drive away in that running car" and everyone else  decides to hide out in the garage filled with chainsaws instead.   It must be difficult to find ways for characters to get back into the water in a bad shark movie,  but this movie takes the cake in that department.

     They are all safe on land when all of a sudden a major storm is supposedly approaching.   One person claims the storm will flood the entire island and suggests swimming out to a couple of pontoons with a tent on them and to rise with the tide.   What are you kidding me.   No lets all go to the Lighthouse instead.    By the way the storm never apparently arrived....  I guess they couldn't afford rain for this movie.    It was just so terrible on so many levels and yet never passed into "So Bad it is Good" Territory.   At least this movie ties into the previous ones and explains that this is where the shark originated from.  

 A word of advice:  Less heads and more sharks next time.  Or maybe actually try and write a script instead of giving the movie the green light based on the cool poster.

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Deep Blue Sea 2 2018 5 out of 10

Deep Blue Sea 2 2018  5 out of 10

The only thing this low budget sequel has in common with the original Deep Blue Sea from 1999 (which was actually one of the only good shark movies after Jaws)  was that is had the same basic plot.   It was more like a low budget remake than a sequel and didn't reference or seem to connect with the original.   The story featured a rich delusional billionaire that is experimenting with shark to try and advance the human brain so that we can deal with the artificial intelligence.  Of course making super intelligent sharks is not a good idea and he results are predictable.   

A 5 out of 10 rating is probably a little bit generous.  The first 45 minutes of the film are all exposition and the fact that this is pretty much a cheap remake makes that exposition unnecessary to this bad shark movie fan.   The second half of the movie redeems  itself a tiny bit with the underwater base getting partially flooded and the characters having to navigate half filled with water corridors with cool mood lighting.   Unfortunately this also limits the shark attacks to the concept new to this particular shark movie of intelligent piranha like baby sharks.  A decent concept that comes off less exciting than actual sharks on screen.   I guess the only thing that saved this movie for me was some of the really terrible dialogue that made it somewhat entertaining.   The awful banter between the characters is luaghable and that helped me stay interested to a certain degree.   The movie also had at least one decent shark attack death at near the end of the film and a cool hero shot as two characters take out a leaping shark with flare guns.  This would have made a good poster for the film.  

All in all it was basically a cheap rip-off of the original actually good shark movie Deep Blue Sea.  Kind of a disappointment that they slapped on the Deep Blue Sea title on this low budget films because it gave me false hope for a decent shark flick.

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Sunday, December 9, 2018

Tomb Raider 2018 4 out of 10

Tomb Raider 2018  4 out of 10

When Alicia Vikander was first announced as the new Lara Croft I thought.... that is an odd choice.  She has proved herself as a solid actress in films like Ex Machina in which she was incredible,  but she just doesn't look like the character from the classic video game.  She is too skinny and has a very slight figure.

 I'm sure I will be labeled by the PC crowd as sexist to even say this --but at least they got the characters look right the previous time around with Angelina Jolie.    Alicia is a good actress she just doesn't fit the role.   And before you label me sexiest for thinking that Lara Croft should have a body type that more resembles the original character think about this for a second because it goes both ways.   

Do you think your wife would be as excited for the next Aquaman if instead of Jason Mamoa she got Raj from the Big Bang Theory.

Or if instead of casting Chris Hemsworth as Thor you got David Spade .  I don't think so?

All I'm saying is cast someone who fits the character.  People want to see buff Chris Evans as Captain America and not skinny Steve Rogers before the serum.  

On a different note they even got the character wrong.  Lara  Croft is a total badass in the games.   Instead she is portrayed quite differently in this film.  The character with two guns from the original game seems more of a survivalist in this film instead of a fearless explorer.  At times she seems very capable and at others like a victim struggling to just survive.  It was almost as if they didn't know how the character should be played.

That aside the movie itself was a total dud.  It was like the creators had never seen or played the video games before.   A huge pet peeve of mine is when Hollywood tries to reboot a franchise and wastes half the movie giving us an origin story for the character we already know.   If you are going to see Tomb Raider you know who Lara Croft is.  The film wastes time showing her training as a kick boxer and riding a bicycle through the city in some race to earn extra money.  She finally excepts her inheritance from her father who has been missing for 7 years and discovers his secret chamber in his castle estate.   She watches a video of him instructing her to destroy his research instead she goes in search of him.  

The film takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes to get to anything resembling Tomb Raider after wasting time with her character getting robbed by street thugs in Asia and then hiring the son of the guy that took her father to a mysterious island that I half expected to find King Kong on.  Then after falling off a waterfall she runs into her dad who looks like the crazy character from Treasure Island or Professor Oxyley from Crystal Skull.  There is a straight out of Last Crusade where he states at least she destroyed his research like he asked.  Not so much..... she actually brought the "Grail Diary" with her. 

 By the time it does get to Tomb Raider worthy story it is instead just a bad rip off of  end of The Last Crusade.    Unfortunately I had already checked out of the film by this point and was checking how much time was left on the DVD.  Everything that could be considered good in this film was taken from other films. 

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Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Like Father 2018 8 out of 10

Like Father 2018   8 out of 10

Like Father was a surprisingly charming straight to Netflix film starring Kristen Bell and Kelsey Grammer.  Kristen Bell's character gets walked out on at her wedding after she is delayed walking down the aisle because she is too obsessed with her phone and work even walk down the aisle on time.   Her father who walked out on her when she was still a kid shows up to the wedding and after talking her out for a drink they both end totally hammered and on her honeymoon cruise.

The film does a great job of exploring this broken relationship with the cruise as a backdrop.  It has a few funny moments --but for the most part it is a drama grounded in the reality of their broken relationship.    What makes this movie work so well is the talent of its main to stars.   I pretty much love Kristen Bell in everything and Kelsey Grammer was a part of two of my favorite TV shows (Cheers and Frasier).   The two great actors play off each other really well and made what I figured would just be a throw away movie a lot more fun,  especially the sequence where they compete in a on ship game show together.     

If you don't go into this movie expecting big laughs and just enjoy the experience you may find this film as enjoyable as I did.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Tag 2018 7+ out of 10

Tag 2018  7+ out of 10

The true story that this movie is based on features 10 friends from high school that have been playing the same game of tag for over 30 plus year.  I recall seeing a feature on the actual story years ago on ESPN and thought it was amazing.  Every year during a certain month the group which is now dispersed across the country plays an elaborate game of tag as a way of keeping contected.  They pull out all the stops including disguises like a guy that dressed up as the mascot from a sports team to tag one of the friends at a baseball game. 

It was just a matter of time until Hollywood turned this story into a movie.  They assembled a great cast that includes Jake Johnson, Ed Helms, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner and Hannibal Buress  and created a fun Hollywoodized over the top version of the story.   The movie was an enjoyable adventure and had some funny sequences. The group teams up to try and tag the one untaggable member of the team at his wedding weekend.  It was almost a little too over the top and I guess I blame that on the fact that I know it was based and an amazing true story.  

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Deadpool 2 2018 9 out of 10

Deadpool 2  2018 9 out of 10

I enjoyed the first Deadpool movie, but felt it was a little bit over hyped.  Deadpool 2 on the other hand lived up to the hype.  Ryan Reynolds is tailor made to play this 4th wall breaking smart ass character.   It was such a waste the first time the character was miss used in the one Wolverine movie he appeared in.

The movie starts out with a great montage of Deadpool in some great brutal action sequences where he takes out a bunch of bad guys to the 9 to 5 theme song by Dolly Parton.   Then surprisingly the love of his life is taken from him and he tries to kill himself.  He ends up being helped out by his X-Men friends from the first film and gets involved in an X-Men assignment that goes terribly wrong. He takes matters into his own hands and lands himself in jail with the Mutant kid who they were sent to stop.   A solider from the future named Cable (played by Josh Brolin) shows up and tries to kills the kid and Deadpool gets involved.

The movie had some great sequences. The action pieces in the movie were well choreographed throughout the film. The section of the movie where Deadpool auditions people to create his own group of super-heroes called X-Force and then ill-advisedly takes them on a mission to rescue the kid was amazing.  Let's just say things don't go so great with this mission.  Peter (the guy with the mustache) was great shines.

One of the best scenes was in the in the end credits when Deadpool uses Cable's time travel device to fix somethings.  One of the things he fixed was a great reference to Wolervine movie that originally featured Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool (without the wisecracks), in which the real Deadpool kills that version off.   

The plot of the movie was simple and just okay,  but the wise cracking antics of Deadpool makes up for the plot issues and delivers a fun comic book ride.

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Thursday, November 29, 2018

Mystery Team 2009 5 out of 10

Mystery Team 2009  5 out of 10

One of the co-hosts of our Podcast recommended this flick from 2009 that stars a younger Donald Glover.  Think the Scooby Doo gang with no dog or girls and all three of them are basically like the guys from Dumb and Dumber.  

 The story is basically that this group of guys created the “Mystery Team” when they were around 7 years old to solve small crimes around the neighborhood.   Unfortunately, at age 18 they basically are all still stuck in that 7-year-old mindset.   They are still solving these petty crimes like "Who stuck their finger in the pie?" when a murder case falls into their laps.    The movie derives its comedy from the juxtaposition of these 18-year-old in 7-year-old clothes and na├»ve demeanor working on an adult crime that takes them into a world of strippers, drugs and murder. It had some funny moments -but the potential of the concept was never really realized.  The film should have been funnier than it was.  The Dumb and Dumber style humor was very hit and miss with some jokes working and others just kind of sitting on the vine.  

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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Skyscraper 2018 8+ out of 10

Skyscraper 2018   8+ out of 10

Let's face it Skyscraper is just a remake of Die Hard with a different name.  In the world of where everything is remade it is surprising that they didn't actually do it under the Die Hard brand.  But whether it says Die Hard on it or not it is a basically a Die Hard film.   So what does this film have going for it to make it special??  Dwayne the Rock Johnson of course.

The Rock stars Will Sawyer as a former FBI Hostage Rescue Team Leader and war veteran that lost his leg from an explosion shown the beginning of the film.  The film picks up 10 years later and his character has been hired as a security expert to assess the world's newest and tallest skyscraper.  This thing is supposed to be the safest building in the world.  Whenever you brag about the world's tallest and safest building it is of course doomed like the Titanic.  Of course a crime syndicate is after some evidence that the owner of the building holds and decide to set the building on fire after disabling the buildings alarms.   Will Sawyer's family happens to be in the building at the time and he has to climb a construction crane and leap with his one leg into the building and then take on the syndicate.  

The film is totally ridiculous and over the top and that is a good thing.  The Rock just has whatever it is in Hollywood.  He is this generations Arnold Schwarzenegger.   He shines in this role as a father trying to save his family against the odds.  The film is full of fun action sequences and was a fun summer action film.  If you like the Rock you will enjoy this flick.  The only thing the original Die Hard has on this film is a better villain.   You just can't beat Alan Rickman in Die Hard.

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Sunday, November 25, 2018

The Endless 2017 9 out of 10

The Endless  2017 9 out of 10

I randomly came across this film based only on the poster while looking up new releases on Netflix.   The description looked interesting so I dove in headfirst.  It is a low budget film so don't go in expecting amazing special effects.  Instead it is an interesting and creative story that takes you someplace strange.  

 The story features two adult brothers that escaped a UFO death cult about 10 years ago.  After a random video tape shows up the younger brother wants to go back to the camp, since the reason they had left 10 years earlier was because the older brother thought the cult was going to commit suicide.     The older brother reluctantly agrees to spend one night back at the place (I have no idea why).   
They arrive back at the camp and things get really weird.  The people their haven't seemed to age at all and the film slowly builds to some interesting mysteries.   Something supernatural has a grip on the camp and as they find out the surrounding areas as well.   You think the film may just be about this strange cult --but instead there is something deeper and more interesting going on.

 I enjoyed the originality of the storyline. I thought the script did a clever job of creating an interesting story on a budget.  It brought to mind Coherence,  another low budget Sci-fi film I really enjoyed.  It created a new and interesting kind of unseen and creepy antagonist.  This foe is never fully explained, but is definitely something I would like to see more of.   

Check out the trailer below and then go into the movie with an open mind.

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Saturday, October 27, 2018

RIP Apu you will be missed.

Comedy has officially died as of October 27th 2018:  The PC Police has won  as The Simpons has caved to pressure on Apu  After 30 years The Simpsons will be getting rid of Apu.  Apparently people have discovered that the character is too much of a stereotype.    Apparently they haven't noticed that the entire show is stereotypes.  Every single character on the Simpson is a stereotype or an exaggeration of a stereotype of some kind.   The show is a comical look at our society.

 People are no longer able to laugh about or enjoy anything anymore.      Abu is dead...... Who is next?
The lazy cop that eats donuts
The  smelly Comic Book Nerd that lives in his moms basement.
Fat Tony the Italian mobster (Because all Italians are mobsters)

Let's get rid of all of the Simpsons Stereotypical characters . Like the corrupt Mayor with a Boston accent based on the Kennedys.   Or Cletus the Slack Jawed Yokel  (White Trash).   And of course Homer himself.   The Fat Dumb Bald Average White Guy?  Don't even get me started on Bumble Bee Man.  Maybe they should just cancel the show all together since all the characters may be offensive to someone.   People can no longer laugh at themselves.

If it is so important to get rid of Apu what should happen to the 30 plus years of reruns that are on all hours of the day that feature the character?   Should this character be digitally removed from all those episodes so as not to offend.   Or maye we should run a warning before each episode.   Or maybe all the shows should be pulled off the air?    Watch out Family Guy you are next.  It may just seem like a little thing to you--- but it has actually been a tidal wave of little things. 

Here are just a few of the little caves to PC Culture in 2018 that form a slow tidal wave that is taking over our daily lives.

Early 2018:   Disneyland caved and changed the Redhead scene from a Pirate Auction to Pirates Antique roadshow.   Remember the pirate tales of yore when they sold art work in the town square.  

Summer 2018:   The Circus Animal Crackers box was changed because of pressure from PETA because the animals in circus cages on the box was too offensive.   Free the animal cookies they said, because they have nothing else important to worry about.

Fall 2018:   The Simpsons caves on Apu to remove the character from the show.  

In 2018 it is offensive if your daughter puts on a Mulan or Moana dress for Halloween even if it is her favorite Disney character.  All little girls should be able to dress like whoever their favorite Disney Princess is no matter what color their skin is.   If your daughter is black she should be able to be be Snow White or Sleeping Beauty and if she is white she should be able to dres up like Jasmine of Mulan.     Of course some people are probably offended that she is dressing up like a Princess at all.  

People need to stop being offended by everything.   People need to learn to laugh at themselves.   We need comedy now more than ever-but instead we are letting tiny vocal portions of the society that are offended kill things off.     I'm  100% over all political correctness.  The show that makes me laugh the most right now is reruns of The Office because of its complete and total lack of political correctness.   I refuse to be offended by redheads being sold at Pirate auctions or caged animal crackers or funny characters on an animated TV show.   Netflix and Chill people Netflix and Chill.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Game of Thrones : The Spoils of War : Quick Thoughts (Spoilers)

I'm generally at least a year late to the party for Game of Thrones. I don't have HBO and I'm not going to pay for it for one program.  So I usually wait for Game of Thrones to come out on Netflix and then I binge it to catch up.  

 I have enjoyed the series as a whole -- but I have found myself at times completely disinterested in certain story lines while wanting more of others.  So while Game of Thrones has been entertaining it has also been frustrating at times waiting for certain things to happen.    A big example of these is the White Walkers:   This undead army has to be the slowest bunch of dead people in Westeros.  Seriously these guys need GPS or something because it has taken them forever to get anywhere.  There was an epic battle with them in season 5 and now in the middle of season 7 they are still lolly gagging around in the north.    If someone could please give them directions south it might speed things up.

The other storyline that I have been interested in has been the Mother of Dragons.   The problem has been that her story has pretty much been disconnected from Westeros for the entire first 6 seasons of the show.  It has at times felt like we just check in on her story while everything else has been happening in the main storyline.   All of that changed with the season 7 episode: The Spoils of War.   After watching Jaime Lannister's army win another victory the Mother of Dragons decided to heat things up a little bit.  By heat things up we actually finally got to see one of her Dragons actually kick ass.   After seeing the dragon in action I can see why they waited so long for this.   The dragon devastating the Lannister army was bad ass.  I've been waiting for a scene like this for the entire show.    The end of the episode was predictable. I knew they weren't going to kill off Jaime Lannister but if they had that would have been an awesome way to go.   Personally I think they should have done it.   

I'm just glad that we finally got to see some epic dragon action.  The show has really grown from Season 1 when the biggest battles never happened on screen to actually showing something of this scale and scope.  I'm more all in on this show now then any other point in the story.   It is about damn time that the Mother of Dragons finally showed up and got involved in the main storyline.

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Saturday, October 13, 2018

Get Hard 2015 6 out of 10

Get Hard 2015 6 out of 10

Get Hard has a fun premise and two great comedians.  Will Ferrell  plays a millionaire named James King that is going to be sent to prison for fraud.  Being a rich out of touch white guy Will Ferrell just assumes that Darnell (  Kevin Hart ) has spent time in prison.  He hires him to train him to survive prison and Kevin Hart's character takes the job because the money is too good to pass up.

Like many modern comedians this film has some really funny moments as Kevin Hart attempts to put Will Ferrell's clueless character through a ridiculous prison training camp.  The two actors have good chemistry together which leads to some fun comic moments.  The issue holding this film back from being a better film is the plot itself.  It is obvious from early in the film that Will Ferrell's character is being set up to take the fall and that he is clearly innocent.  It is also clear that at some point later in the film the story will turn from a story about training him for prison to uncovering who framed him to clear his name.   Unfortunately the movie spends about 5/6 of the time showing the ill advised prison training and uncovering that he was framed is basically plugged into the end of the film almost as if it was an after thought.   

My suggestion is that if you are a fan of either Will Ferrell or Kevin Hart than enjoy the film for the comic moments between the two actors.   Just don't expect anything for the story itself.

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Sunday, September 30, 2018

Dick Tracy vs Cueball 1946 5 out of 10 (50 Mystery Movies in 50 Weeks) Movie #3

Dick Tracy vs Cueball 1946  5 out of 10

In this Dick Tracy film Dick Tracy goes head to head with a dangerous criminal named Cueball.  You guess it the guy is bald.   The plot involves an expense diamond thief that gets murdered by Cueball before he can fence the diamonds.   
This film was my least favorite of the Dick Tracy films on the 50 Mystery movie DVD set.  The villain and story were just not as compelling as the other two films.   The final showdown that features Dick Tracy chases down Cueball was however well done and a strong finish to an otherwise unremarkable film.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome 1947 7 out of 10 (50 Mystery Movies in 50 Weeks) Movie #2

Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome 1947  7 out of 10

In our second film from the “Mystery Classics” DVD collection we dig back into the world of Dick Tracy.   This film had some elements of fantasy from comic books that the first film didn’t have.   The plot revolved around some criminals that used a gas that could temporarily freeze people that was used in a bank robbery. Typical of the era this movie was fast paced with quick banter and plot that zips along quickly.  When watching a series like Dick Tracy from this era you get the feel that you are watching and old TV series.  This particular film in the series -features the character of Gruesome  who is played by Horror Movie Legend Boris Karloff.  Karloff does and excellent job as Gruesome portraying an imposing villain on screen that adds to the tension of the film.

On fortunately this was the last of 4 Dick Tracy films at the time as the series didn't continue after this entry.  I wish there had been more as I was starting to enjoy this series. 

Here is a quick glimpse of Karloff's performance.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Dick Tracy 1945 7 out of 10 (50 Mystery Movies in 50 Weeks) Movie #1

Dick Tracy 1945  7 out of 10

I recently revisited the 1990 Touchstone film Dick Tracy over the weekend.  After that I remembered that the 50 movie Mystery Classics DVD set that I own had some old Dick Tracy movies I decided to dive in and ended up watching 3 Dick Tracy films from the 1940's.    After watching these 3 films I decided to embark on a quest to watch and review all 50 films from this DVD set.  I'm calling this series  50 Mystery Movies in 50 Weeks).

Mystery Movie #1   Dick Tracy 1945
The first film that we will take a quick look at is Dick Tracy from 1945.  This is the first of 4 Dick Tracy produced by RKO at this time (3 of which are on this DVD set).   This film brings the comic strip character to the big screen.  Dick Tracy has to solve a series of murders that are being caused by a man know as Splitface.  He must figure out what all the murder victims have in commons in order to track down the elusive killer.

The film doesn't quite capture the comic book feel like the 1990's version.   It feels more like a standard gangster film of the time more than it does a comic adaptation.   That being said the film was still a fun gangster flick featuring a fast pace and some decent action sequences.  These 1940's mystery movies usually have about an hour running time which make them easy to digest and enjoy.  The highlight was the final fight between Dick Tracy and Splitface that included a fist fight and fall off a second story balcony that looked like something straight out of a Universal Studios Stunt show.

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