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10-excellent flick or game, very little to nothing I find wrong with it.
9 -really good flick or game that is almost excellent but may have one or two flaws
8 -good like 9 however the flaws stand out more or it did not generate the excitement I was looking for
7 -pretty good for the most part the movie or game was enjoyable, but along with flaws it may lack plot development or something to that effect
6 -okay chances are it has a boring stretch or something that knocks the film down a peg or two, I might recommend this movie or game, but will say beware
5 -a neither good nor bad flick. Just enough good to keep it from being a bit unwatchable and just enough bad to make it something I probably would not want to see again unless it was a horror movie
4 -for the most part a movie I don't care for, but contains some good scenes or something to that effect, also a rather good score for me to give to a bad horror movie that kept me entertained because it was so bad
3 -usually when they start ranking here or lower they become boring or really low budget or unplayable if a game. it only gets a 3 because it might contain a shining diamond in the rough such as maybe a good performance
2 -usually the only thing making this type of movie from being a one is a good death or perhaps a good nude scene
1 -bad and boring and something I will not watch again unless it is to make fun of it
Welcome to a rather fun film
First off, I was not the biggest fan of the first movie with Robin Williams. It was not bad, but just did not click for me. When I first heard about this film, I had no desire to see it; however, when I saw the trailer and saw that it was now a video game and the people became their avatars I thought I would give it a go. Suffice to say, it was a rather amusing and action filled adventure that I was not disappointed in at all. Not the best film I have seen all year, but still rather good. I figured the whole video game setting would make it more enjoyable for me than the whole crazy stuff happening in the real world setting of the first film. The film is a mixture of comedy and action as I would say it is nearly a 50/50 split with maybe a dash more on the comedy side. The cast all did a good job as the actors and actress playing the avatars within the game all were able to pick up on the teens who they supposedly were traits very nicely and made up a lot of the comedy in this film.
The story has the Jumanji game found on a beach. A young man picks it up and opens it up, but immediately dismisses it and goes to playing video games. Something happens within the night and the board game becomes a video game and soon the young man disappears. Years later, a nerdy guy, an athlete, a popular hot girl and a bit of an awkward girl get detention. They are charged with cleaning out a room, but happen across the video game Jumanji. They soon decide to play and each of them is plunged into the game and become the avatar they have chosen. The nerdy kid is now a brave and muscular explorer. The athlete a small and diminutive zoologist and backpack carrier. The awkward girl becomes a very attractive and hot video game heroine and the popular girl becomes an overweight professor and reader of maps! They are charged with getting a strange jewel back to where it belongs; however, they have limited lives and seemingly unlimited dangers awaiting them in the jungles of Jumanji. They have to cross the dreaded jungles, get through a bazaar and try to outsmart the villain of the piece and try to stop themselves from being killed in the process!
The actors in this all do a really good job as they make the film. If not for the way they act, this would be kind of just another generic jungle action piece. Dwayne Johnson continues to be a solid actor and still the best wrestler turned actor as he has to play a guy who looks huge, but the actual person being a very insecure and scared individual. Karen Gillian does a really good job at being super hot and sexy, but also extremely awkward. Kevin Hart is very funny, but the actor that stole the show was Jack Black as the professor who the popular and self absorbed girl became as he actual seems like he is that girl. They all are what make this movie extremely good and funny. The villain though is bit of a throwaway, almost seeming to be no threat at all.
So I enjoyed the film, at times I thought it did get a bit too serious and I did think it ran a bit long, but overall I really enjoyed it. I think it is the only non comic film I have seen so far this year at the theaters other than John Wick 2. The first film just was not for me, but I enjoyed this sequel quite a bit. I do classify it as a sequel and not a reboot as it is just a new setting as the game itself has evolved over time to become something new. The actors were great and though the ones playing the avatars are in the majority of the film, the ones playing the 'real' them were really good too. The film had a mixture of comedy and action, but though it was nearly even I would still say that at its core it is more of a comedy film. It was a nice change of pace and I enjoyed watching it with my parents and they enjoyed it as well so well done to Sony for making a very enjoyable film.
Tales of Berseria (2016)
Adventure on the land, the high seas and the sky await you
Up to this point, this is my favorite Tales game yet taking the place of Tales of the Abyss. Still have yet to play Xillia and a couple of others, but they would have to be incredible to the extreme to top this one. So much in this particular Tales game just worked for me as it had a great story, great characters and some pretty surprising twists a well. The Tales series now is superior to the Final Fantasy series which used to be my favorite role playing game series. Final Fantasy's decision to eliminate turn based battles and the fact they take forever to release games now just hands the crown over to Tales for me. That and the fact the graphics to me are more more anime looking and the worlds so much more beautiful and more in line with a fantasy realm than FF, plus I prefer turn based, but if I cannot get that I like pure action instead of the not sure what they want to do in a couple of the FF games since they ditched turn based in twelve. They also release games far quicker than does FF, Final Fantasy XV which I thought was the best FF in a long time was originally going to be Final Fantasy XIII: Versus and somehow took so long to make that it became its own game. Meanwhile, the Tales series generally release a came every two years or so. So, this game is tops now in the Tales series for me.
The story has a young woman named Velvet whose living a peaceful life in a small village with her brother and brother-in-law. Her sister and her unborn child were killed several years prior. Well, her brother-in-law sacrifices her brother during a night when the moon is scarlet and after being turned into a sort of demon, Velvet goes on a quest to get her revenge on her brother-in-law Artorius who is a man known as the Shepard and savior of the world. She first must escape from a prison for demons where she meets up with the swordsman named Rokurou and the witch Magilou. She also takes a being called a malak into her care named Laphicet and also joins up with a pirate Malak named Eizen and his crew. They join forces, each with their own reasons, and begin to try and find out just what Artorius is planning and to ultimately get revenge!
The game play is typical Tales as the fighting is action based. Present in this game as in all Tales games is the skits where the characters talk to one another and there is also cooking. Back in this installment is also the weapon system where you upgrade your equipment. Not sure I care for this as you never really feel that you have much of an upgrade when using different weapons and such and the monsters constantly drop weapons and armor. I prefer going to shops and buying stuff and finding more powerful weapons in dungeons where when you equip them, you see a major boost! Just a minor complaint in an otherwise fantastic game.
So, this is now my fave Tales game. There are a lot of elements from the previous Tales game I played, Zestria, that at times I was wondering if perhaps this one was a sequel or a prequel to that game. Shepards, Malak and demons were all prevalent in the previous title and there are a couple of characters in this one that were in that one. The world in this one though is a lot more expansive as it does have a ship in it so you travel to many different areas. In Zestria, the game felt very confined. At the end of the day, though, it was the characters that really made this one my favorite as they were a very ragtag group who in another game would probably have been the villains. They, and the story, are what made this Tales my new favorite.
Justice League (2017)
Not sure why this film is being so criticized
I went into this film with low expectations. Batman vs Superman was okay to me, but it did have a bunch of nonsensical stuff in it and did tend to drag setting up the main event. Then add to that, the fact this one is not exactly going over well with critics and other people and I was expecting a train wreck on the screen, but I still thought I would give it a shot as I have enjoyed Henry Cavill's Superman and I did want to see how he was brought back in. Suffice to say, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the film. I am also surprised by the negativity this film is getting as it seemed well done to me. It was not perfect, but I had a really good time watching it and I thought it was better than Wonder Woman, which I enjoyed as well, but did not get why it was so praised as it played out like your typical origin story. This one is being trashed when it was a fun super hero team film, so what, does DC and Warner Brothers just not have the money to bribe reviewers like Disney does? Does the general public do everything they are told or what? I will be the first to say that I am more of a Marvel hero fan all the way, as I did enjoy Thor: Ragnarok more than this one, but this one was not all that far behind. That is, not to me it was not and my parents both enjoyed it as well and neither were super fond of Batman vs Superman.
The story has Superman perished and the world kind of falling apart. Batman battles this strange creature that senses fear and he fears some sort of invasion is imminent due to material he has recovered from Lex Luther. He feels he must get a team together of super humans to try and defy the odds and beat back the threat which is a being known as Steppenwolf. This being strikes at the Amazons first and then the Atlanteans as he gathers these cubes together in an attempt to convert Earth into something else entirely. Soon the team of Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg battle the threat head on, but it seems readily apparent to Batman that more is needed and thus he begins to hatch a plan to revive the man of steel.
I enjoyed the film, kind of wish I did not as I am sure I am going to take flack for it. The heroes were done really well as Ben Affleck's Batman was good as was Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman. I enjoyed the Flash as he added some great humor to the flick and I liked how they did Cyborg as well. I was a bit skeptical of Jason Mamoa as Aquaman, but I thought he did a good job as well. The one that blew me away the most was Henry Cavill's Superman as he seemed the most like Superman in this one than in his other two appearances. He kicked some major butt in this film suffice to say!
So, I enjoyed the film. I was expecting it to be a complete mess, but I thought the story was pretty easy to follow. The film had more light moments than did Batman vs Superman and it had a lot more action too. It also accomplished both feats while being a shorter movie than Batman vs Superman. Once again though it was not perfect as I thought the film could have used more Superman; however, due to his limited use it does make the scenes he is in more awesome. Not sure they will create any more DC films due to the fact this one does not seem to be lighting the box office on fire, which seems a shame as to me they seem to be doing a good job with their films. I would love to see Darkseid in a Justice League film, but at least I finally got to see Superman really be Superman!
Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
This Thor was strange, random and completely out there...of course I loved it!
I was not sure what to expect from this Thor film as I saw only one trailer of the film. It seemed to be having multiple things going on and a lot of randomness so when I finally saw the finished product it was a very random at times movie. It was also a very fun film and I enjoyed it immensely as there were more than a couple Marvel characters in the film. I knew Hulk was going to be in it, but he appeared in the film a lot more than I was expecting speaking more in this film than all his three solo films combined. I was not sure what to expect from Loki either, but sure enough he was his usual self and once again I really enjoyed the scenes with him and Thor together as they have such an interesting relationship. There is a lot going on in this one and it almost had the feel of a Guardians of the Galaxy film, just with Thor interjected into it.
The story has Thor fighting a being who wishes to bring about the end of Asgard. Thor fights this being and wins, thus hopefully stopping this Ragnarok from occurring. He soon returns to Asgard where he reveals to everyone that Odin has been replaced by Loki. The two go to find Odin on earth and Thor is assisted by the sorcerer supreme. Thor and Loki learn of Thor's sister who is soon to be released upon the world where she takes over Asgard while Thor ends up on a strange junk planet ruled by the Grandmaster. Thor must battle the champion of the planet, find a way off the planet so that he may return home and try to reclaim the throne from his diabolical sister.
Love the characters of Thor and Loki as they always have such humorous exchanges. There is a scene where Thor is imprisoned on a chair and I am thinking I see Loki kind of just chilling in the crowd and sure enough it was him. I also liked Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner in the film as he is all disjointed and a bit messed up. Seems the Hulk has been the far more dominating persona as of late and I found it humorous that both Banner and Hulk accused Thor of liking the other one more. Jeff Goldblum and Cate Blanchett also did well in their roles.
So fun is the way I am describing this film as it is like a Guardians film or the latest Spider-man film. With the passing of my fiancé I do not have a lot to look forward to these days, but I do look forward to the latest Marvel release. The films keep being very entertaining and they make me smile if only for a bit and for that I am grateful. I will probably see the Justice League film when it comes out in a couple of weeks as well, but I am sure I will not like it as much. Marvel just works better for me I guess. I mean, they do not fear having a scene where Hulk is in a hot tub and gets out and you see his bare ass! Just a very enjoyable film that kept me entertained and made me forget my depression if only for a bit, but even if it is only temporary I am still grateful.
Crimson Peak (2015)
Great visuals, superb acting...kind of a predictable plot
I enjoyed this film as it has that Guillermo Del Toro style to it which means some very good visuals. He crafted a very lovely period piece that injects us into a world where things are not as they seem and where one wonders who to trust. That being said, when revelations were made, there was not anything all that surprising and I honestly thought the ending would entail something cooler. Still, it was a pretty good story, just nothing that is really going to be making you gasp in surprise. The house within the film looks incredible and is a house that I would love to explore and they actually apparently made the entire house; unfortunately, they promptly tore it down after filming to make room in the studio.
The story has a young woman recount the first time she had seen a ghost. It happened to be her mother and the apparition carried with it a warning to stay away from Crimson Peak. Years later the young woman meets a strange man from Europe. He is trying to garner funds so that he may create a device to get the red clay that resides on his land out of the earth so that it may be processed and used. The young woman's father scoffs at the idea and is immediately suspicious of the stranger from another land. This stranger soon begins to warm up to the daughter which makes the father more suspicious. Well, in the end the young woman ends up married to the stranger and they head off to he and his sister's very dilapidated mansion. During her stay there she sees things within the walls as the very house seems to have a life of its own, but the true terror may reside in the heart of her husband!
The acting is really good. I liked the guy who played the father as I liked how he was immediately suspicious. Tom Hiddlestone was great as the mysterious stranger too. The true star though was that really warped house they created as it looked incredibly creepy. A house that seems ready to collapse at any time. Honestly, I am surprised the character of Edith did not just turn around once she set foot inside that thing. Looks like it would be cool to explore, but there is a freaking hole in the ceiling where it constantly is raining debris down below!
So I enjoyed the film, would have been better with a bit more supernatural flair to it. It does have supernatural elements to it, but I was expecting it to be more supernatural than it turned out to be. It is Guillermo though so his movies generally have a look to them that can make up for the fact that sometimes the story is lacking. This one's look does that as does the acting in it. I am pretty sure most figured out what was going on fairly quickly, but it is just a matter of how it plays out.
Ghost in the Shell (2017)
I really enjoyed this anime inspired film
First off, I have never seen the anime, so I would say that is why I enjoyed this more than others, but I believe I would have enjoyed it even if I have seen the anime. I can differentiate between one format and another so I don't mind if this film is not an exact duplicate of the original. Also, I find the complaints about the casting ridiculous. Seems a lot of people forget that Major is a machine body so it does not really have to be Asian. To me, this movie was just really cool as I loved the visuals and style of the film. It reminded me of a cooler version of that Keanu Reeves film from the 90's, Johnny Mnemonic which I also really enjoyed and it pretty much bombed at the box office. I just like the whole future setting, but the future along with its cool colors and stuff kind of is depressing too scenario. I enjoy the anime Akira for this reason too, that would be cool to see a live action adaptation, but chances are it will not happen as it was floated around for a bit, but considering this one's lack of success and most anime adaptations failures I am pretty sure it will never be made unless the Japanese themselves take the initiative to do so.
This one features a future where people are able to augment their bodies with robotic parts. However, a new technique has been devised that is all robotic body with the exception of a living brain. A female's brain is transferred into one such body and she becomes known as Major and uses her augmented body to help a special unit that fights cyber crimes and terrorism. The latest criminal they are trying to track down is a particularly devious one that is targeting scientist from the corporation that created Major. She along with the team try to track him down, but Major soon learns that there may be some secrets that the corporation that has given her the gift of a second life may be withholding from her about her past and how she came to be a ghost in a shell.
As I have stated I really enjoyed the visuals in this film, but I also really thought the characters were cool too. Along with Major there is also a character named Batou who is really cool too. I have seen part of the second Ghost in the Shell film where he is the primary character and they did a really good job of making the actor who played him look like his anime counterpart. I also really liked the old man with the six shooter! Another reason I am sad this did poorly is because I would have really enjoyed another film featuring these characters.
So, yes, I thought this movie was really good and it makes me want to watch the anime version of the film. It also makes me want to track down as many anime films as possible that have this kind of weird future setting as it just makes for a great looking film in live or animation form. The action was cool and the story was interesting too as I kept wondering what revelations would be made.
An okay adult film, thought it should have been better
This film had such promise as the two stars in this one are really cute and look like real people; unlike a lot of adult movies today where they are slathered with makeup and such. Unfortunately, the film is hampered by the fact the film seems to rely to much on jump cuts to different things while the girls are enjoying sex. At one point the two girls watch a stag film and the film cuts to the the film, but then on the version I have it cuts to a film that looks like it would have been made in the 90's or 2000's. Not sure why they did this, my guess is they wanted to vary up the stag film, or perhaps there was an underage performer in it, but it seems to me they could have found something from the 70's to insert so it would not have seemed so out of place.
The story is about two friends. One who really enjoys sex, Marla, and one who enjoys sex, but likes to act like she is innocent, Debbie. They go from one sex filled adventure to the other. Not much of a plot to this one, but not a lot of dead time either as it pretty much moves from one scene to the next. They go from sex in a van, to a lesbian scene, to a strange couple where the story is told two different ways to the finale at Debbie's house with two guys.
The two girls are really cute. The girl who played Debbie has a really good look about her as she looks so surprised at times during the sex. She has a real girl next door type look that really makes her scenes work. The other girl, Marla, could pass for Drew Barrymore as she has the same mouth. Though you cannot say she is copying the actress as this film predates Drew. Both are so attractive, but the film is hampered by the fact the sex scenes are so rushed. You get a trade off, films in the 70's has hotter situations and more real like sex; however, adult films today have the ability to get better angles during the sex due to the fact the equipment is probably easier to maneuver. Back then you have film so it covers the girls' blemishes, but today you get way longer sex scenes. I mean, I like the stories and how the sex unfolds better, but it is always so rushed in some of these films and the only thing that lasts a long time are the scenes of oral sex on the guys and I am not wild about looking at other guy's dongs and seeing their sweaty faced reactions. Not sure why guys do like watching these, I like seeing the girls having sex, getting oral and their reactions.
So, it was not that great of an adult film. The girls were cute, but the scenes suffer from the typical rushed mentality or to many cutaways during the actual sex. The last sex scene was pretty good, but they really needed to pace it better and make it hotter. Actually, just reduce the guy getting oral sex, so again this is a personal preference. However, once he was finished it was hot watching Debbie get down and dirty, only they needed to focus on her more, kept cutting away. Still, it was the best scene in the film with the longest sex shown. Too bad they cannot somehow make films like this today using the technology so they appear on film and with a story, but with the longer sex scenes.
Young, Wild and Wonderful (1980)
A sex filled school trip to a museum
This film is a pretty good old school adult film. Not super great, but it has its moments. I like to watch the older adult films as the sex in them seems more spontaneous and the fact they are shot on film helps hide any blemishes on the girls or the fact they are wearing a ton of makeup. Suffice to say, these days when they shoot these newer ones and you watch a DVD you see a lot of stuff you'd rather not. Not to say there is not something to say for newer films as they can do a bit more as far as angles are concerned and so you can get a few more positions, but then most simply have adult stars do a position for a while and then switch and then keep saying the same stuff over and over. It lacks the feel of the old ones where the final scene in this one does seem more real.
The story has a group of students going to a museum on a field trip. Interesting premise, too bad most of the film was simply shot in one room as a guy lectured the students. Then again, I can understand why they could not get into a real museum and actually have sex in the exhibits. Well the students are horny (of course) so we have some fantasizing about having sex, others tricking the teacher to have sex, and you have a couple of students kind of falling into some sex. All this sex and they did not really do anything that felt like a museum.
The girls in this one are rather pretty. The blond who has sex with the teacher and the brunette who has the best sex scene at the end are the best ones. There is another blond who gets two sex scenes and she seems a bit too old to be playing a student in this one; in fact, I would say the female teacher could have pulled off a student better. This blond should have been the teacher! Not that she was bad looking, just you could tell she was probably a veteran actress in adult films.
So, it was an okay adult film, and is kind of saved by the last scene as I was going to give it a five or six before it. The other sex scenes are okay, but just do not last long enough or have as much punch. The scene with the cute blond and goofy teacher for example was kind of undercut by the fact the professor was so goofy looking. Still, it was good for what it was.
Arugosu no senshi (2002)
A lot like God of War, a game this one predates
This game came out well before God Of War, but it is very similar in nature to the more well known game. Your hero swings a weapon around and you are fighting mythical creatures and such. That being said, it is just an okay game. It is not really anything all that special as it has pretty good graphics for the time; however, there are issues with camera angles and that is unforgivable unless this game had come out on the first Playstation console. There are other issues as well, but I shall get to them later. Rygar was first scene in the arcades and in a very good NES port. The game was fun to traverse and though you had to complete it in one go, took some time to get through. I remember having to leave my NES on overnight paused so I could continue. This game is rather short, even by PS2 standards. This is the console that housed Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas so I know the system and discs could hold a lot more than this game that took me just under four hours to complete. I do not want to be totally negative though as these days it is nice to have a game you can win in a sitting or two.
The story has evil forces arising and attacking the kingdom of Argos. The princess Harmonia is kidnapped and it is up to Rygar to save the day with the help of a weapon called the Disc Armor. He must traverse many temples and fight mighty titans on his quest to rescue the princess and put a stop to the villain Icarus' plans to destroy Argos by resurrecting the king of all titans, Cronus!
The game play consists of going through temples and such for the most part using your Disc Armor weapon to attack enemies and defend yourself from their attacks. It is pretty basic and easy to pick up. You also can perform a type of summon to inflict damage upon the enemies too. You also solve a few puzzles in this one as you collect more abilities and such along the way. You can level up your Disc Armors (there are three different types) to make the game a bit less challenging. For the most part it is straightforward, though there are times you must backtrack to certain areas as there is an area that is a bit like a staging ground that leads to the various levels. The music is disappointing as it is not really all that impressive, I would say the NES version had the better music and that is just sad.
So this game may have been a bit of an inspiration for God of War, but it is not as good. If only they had put a bit more effort into voicing those cut scenes that could have helped a lot as they are very goofy sounding at times. It is pretty much a standard hack in slash with some light puzzle solving and platforming in it as well. Though the platforming is rather pointless as it does not really affect you if you fall off a cliff or something, just have to start at a checkpoint and do it again. More annoying than anything. That being said, overall, it was a pretty fun game made during my favorite era of gaming as they did more back in the day than they do now as it is all sequels and such these days. Fun, but nothing too special is my final verdict.
Loose Times at Ridley High (1988)
The girls at this school know how to make the grade
This adult film was released in the early 80's, according to the end credits 1984. The title is obviously taken from the 80's comedy, "Fast Times at Ridgemont High", but it really does not take anything from that film. Adult films back in the day would have a title similar to a more popular and mainstream film, but it is not like today where they try to dress up people as the cast. Heck, these days they don't even try to create a clever title that is close to the actual title, they usually just use the actual title and add not to the beginning of it. This adult film is similar to another adult film, "Little Girls Blue" as both feature girls at a school, there are also daydream sequences to start each film. I am not sure which I prefer, as both are pretty good. The girls in both are attractive too. It is a coin toss.
The story, what little there is, is pretty basic. The girls want to graduate and use their bodies and a few other tricks to get the grades. Granted, compared to most adult films today the story is King Lear. The film has a good number of sex scenes and you get to see the girls naked a lot too as they try to get the grades. Sometimes they can be direct and just have sex with the teacher to get the grade and at other times they have to have sex with the janitor to get him to get the tests for them or to distract him to take his keys.
The girls in this one are pretty cute. The one I found least attractive opened the film in the sex filled title scene. She was not bad, but just did not compare with the rest. Unfortunately, my favorite was a blond who had some weight on her, but nearly everyone other than the first girl had it really going on. The sex scenes were pretty good, but like a lot of scenes from this time period a bit brief. The first one had some good moments, but did feature the least attractive girl. The second was a guy getting oral, which is usually not my favorite thing in an adult film, but they made it better by having this girl in the next stall playing with herself as she watched. The third was good too as it had a girl having sex with her music teacher and a lesbian scene happened at the same time! So all in all the sex scenes were good, the last one could have been longer though as it closed the film.
Adult films in this time period have some advantages and disadvantages. Usually, the sex scenes are brief and at times the story is just plan silly making you wish someone's clothes would come off. At the same time, the fact the movie is on film covers up the girls. They look better as you don't see scars and blemishes as easily. It hides their age better too. In today's films, you can tell when a 'teen' is actually in her 30's. Also, when the story progresses as this one did it makes it more fun as the sex seems more real. Also, when stuff was not going on they would show some skin here. So all in all a pretty good adult film.
Captain America is a super soldier in a rather super film
I see over the years the score has lowered here on IMDb, but to me the film is still a very good origin story. I enjoyed it more than Thor that was released the same year; however, the other two Captain America films would be better than this one. Of course they would be as there is more action and such, but for an origin story it does alright. The main problem with the film is that it is so well done at first, the second half almost seems a bit rushed. Not bad mind you, just like they were running out of time or something. That being said it did have a really cool battle between hero and villain at the end. This would be the fifth and final Marvel film leading up to the Avengers and basically where Disney took over pretty much all the Marvel films. This is good and bad as now all the films seem to have the same flow, but at the same time, you did get a bit more unique experience when different filming companies were doing them.
The story has a team during the present finding a huge airship at the North Pole. Then the film turns back the clock to World War II where a team of Nazis known as Hydra bursts into a cathedral where the head Hydra agent, Schmidt finds an object of immense power. Over on the US side a man by the name of Steve Rogers is being declared 4F by the military again as he keeps trying to enlist in the army. He and friend Bucky go to the Stark expo of the time and instead of enjoying himself, he wishes to try and enlist again. This time a doctor with some clout sees him and gets him into the army in a super soldier program. Soon he is chosen to be the first super soldier, but unfortunately, he is the only one as the good doctor is killed by a Hydra agent. Captain America is born and at first is stuck doing promos and such to help boost of the sale of bonds and enlistment, but once he learns that his friend was in a group of infantry men demolished by Hydra he goes to the rescue. During the rescue he meets Schmidt who has taken on the persona of the Red Skull due to the serums gruesome effect on his face and the two race towards a final confrontation as Captain America and a group of troops destroy the Hydra bases one by one.
The film is good and a large part has to do with the casting as Chris Evans does a very good job as Captain America. He is completely different from when he did the Human Torch in the two Fantastic Four films. Tommy Lee Jones is also good in his role as a cranky colonel who even when he warms up to Rogers still remains the same. Hugo Weaving though was totally excellent as the Red Skull and I do not see anyone else doing as well as he did in the role. Which also saddens me because he has yet to turn up in another Captain America film. I thought for sure he would be in the second Captain America or something.
So, I enjoyed this film a lot. Though once again, after a certain point the film seems a bit rushed to me. Basically, after Captain America saves the prisoners and then gets his trademark shield this occurs where we only see a few clips of battles and things going on. Even the infiltration of the last base seems a bit rushed. One wanders when Captain America and Agent Carter had time to develop feelings for one another during this stretch. Still, the final fight on the huge airship is cool and it ends nicely as it sets up the Avengers film.
Shin Gojira (2016)
Godzilla returns to Japan more than a monster
I was wanting to see this movie in theaters; unfortunately, it never came to a theater that was all that close to me. I figured it would be on DVD in March, but it took all the way to August for the DVD release and now that I have finally watched it I have to say I enjoyed it; however, at the same time I have to wonder what all the fuss was about. I actually think the 2014 American Godzilla film was better than this one, once again I liked this one as the scenes with Godzilla are really cool and there are a lot of weird things going on as far as Big G in this film, but there is way too much bureaucratic stuff going on that makes what should be an exciting and even scary film at times a bit of a slow moving one. When I saw the trailers I noticed that there were lots of shots of meetings and stuff like that and that the shots of Godzilla had him barely moving at all and that is pretty much how the film plays out. In a strange way, the film is kind of like an American action film akin to the Hulk. You get three action scenes and a lot of filler in between. Makes the actions scenes seem cooler, but at times I was getting bored and hoping there would be some strange new revelation or there would be shaking indicating Godzilla had arrived or begun moving again.
The movie starts out rather quickly as a boat is found without anyone on it and then steam begins to rise from the bay and an underwater tunnel springs a leak. Then we get meetings and such about the disaster and one person suggests that it may be a huge creature and he is scoffed at until the television reveals a giant tail. Soon this creature is making its way down the river and the public is told that it is believed the creature cannot make landfall due to its massive size right before it makes landfall. Then they keep hesitating attacking the behemoth though it looks very weak initially as it must crawl, then it stands erect and the skin seems to harden. It soon retreats to the ocean and comes back larger and more powerful than anyone could have imagined. A team working independently of the government forms a plan to stop the monster dubbed Godzilla as the military fails with its attacks. Can this group come up with a good plan before a nuclear missile is launched into the middle of Tokyo?
This Godzilla was interesting and strange as I thought it would be knowing the director. That being said, while this Godzilla is rather tough, former Godzillas would make mincemeat of it. The one from Final Wars would have destroyed it fairly quickly. I see a lot of people debating this and some actually suggest this one would win because of its multiple ways to deploy its signature heat beam, but it is so slow! The Final Wars Godzilla would run circles around this one and its heat ray doesn't deplete it to the point of stopping for days! I did enjoy the 2014 movie more, but this is due to personal preference as I have always enjoyed Godzilla fighting another monster. Here he looks cool and there are some cool aspects to him, but I would rather of seen it go toe to toe with another monster.
So, I liked this Godzilla film as there were some interesting things going on, but I really think 15 or 20 minutes of this thing could easily have been trimmed off. If you are going to have human scenes do something interesting like finding the strange link between the one missing scientist and Godzilla or something. I do believe a sequel to this could be made as there were some questions left unanswered and it would be interesting to see how it would play out and if another monster would be introduced or perhaps some sort new military weapon that is similar to something found in the Evangelion series. It would be interesting, thus the fact this movie was slow is because it was an introduction to a series that will get even more bizarre as it progresses. One can only hope as I would like to see the story continue.
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
Spider-man comes home to the Marvel universe
I am not going to lie, I really like Spider-man, he is my favorite comic book hero. So, this film could be considered bad by most people, but I am still going to like it. Heck, I even enjoyed the two James Garfield Spider-man films. Here, we have another reboot, but this time it is a bit different as this Spider-man has already been introduced to us in last year's Captain America: Civil War. It also does something different than other superhero stories as we do not have to witness the whole origin thing again! I was relieved as I did not want to see Uncle Ben die again and I do think t hat most of us are pretty familiar with how Peter Parker became Spider-man. This time we are also treated to a fairly upbeat Spider-man film as well. No tragic death after tragic death in this one as this one maintains a more positive vibe throughout. Which is good for me as I had to deal with a very harsh personal tragedy and I really do not care to deal with more, even in film. It is strange that they seem to insist on making Peter Parker younger each time though seeing as how in the main cannon of comics he was maybe in high school briefly at the start as when I was reading it he was in college and working for the Daily Bugle; however, at least the high school he is in is one for more intelligent kids so they at least factor in his intelligence.
The story first starts off during the aftermath of the first Avengers film as a crew that seems to salvage and clean up debris is on the scene. The government takes over though leaving Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton) and his crew in a very bad state as he put everything he had in this cleanup. He ends up keeping some stuff that they had gotten the previous day and thus he and his gang begin stealing the high tech weaponry. Flash years later and Peter Parker is under the tutelage of Tony Stark, well actually he is under the tutelage of Happy Hogan. He eagerly awaits another mission after the battle with Captain America and he eagerly awaits the end of each school day so he can go out and fight crime which oftentimes takes the form of stopping bike thieves and accidentally stopping people from trying to get into their own car. However, he soon runs into some thieves robbing an ATM using advanced weaponry and soon he will come face to face with the Vulture! He also tries to woe the girl he likes as Homecoming is soon.
This one was a fun movie as Spider-man is in the Marvel universe. So we get some comedy in there and we get some really good action sequences. A minor complaint I do have is that Spider-man's spidey sense did not really seem to play that big of a role in his powers. Tom Holland did a very good job as Spider-man as he looked the part of Peter Parker and he talked the role of Spider-man. I always thought Tobey was a great Peter Parker, but lacked the trash talking ability of Spider-man while Andrew could trash talk, but he just did not have a Peter Parker vibe. Keaton was great as the Vulture, it was cool seeing him in another superhero film and he made a really good villain. They also had the Shocker in this one and I loved his inclusion as I always thought he should have been in other Spider-man films as a secondary villain. They also hinted that the Scorpion may be coming!
So I enjoyed this Spider-man film. I liked it about the same as Guardians Volume 2 which I also enjoyed immensely. Then again, I like comic book films and I like most superheros. There really is not a superhero offhand I can think of that I do not like. I do prefer the Marvel universe over the DC one, but I like DC too. This one had everything one comes to expect from a marvel film as it had good humor and good action. I liked Tony Stark's inclusion in the film and I like how he mentors Peter and is at the same time his same arrogant and off the wall self. It was just a fun film and I really thought it had the spirit of Spider-man within it even though things did not go exactly as they do in the comics. As I stated in my Logan review though, in comics there are different existences and in the Marvel cinematic one Peter is a high school teen who has to balance out his studies with fighting crime!
I liked it better than third, but still not very good
It saddens me how poorly the Transformers franchise has gone after such a great start with the first film. In that one they hooked you right in with the helicopter attack. The second film was a bloated mess, the third was just too much Shia for my tastes. This one, Shia and his annoying parents are gone (they were okay in the first film, but their comedy got tiresome quickly) and we get an inventor and his daughter and boyfriend because we just have to jam these films in with so many subplots involving the humans that at times you forget these are Transformers films! The cartoon which was used to sell toys had better stories than these films and the movie certainly did! The action in this one is rather good and there are still some cool scenes, but nothing like the opening scene in the first Transformers live action film and certainly nothing as totally awesome as Optimus Prime totally kicking butt in the animated film. In these films, humans have to save the day, and not super humans either, just everyday people that would die within a minute of the blasts going off all around them.
The story has a backlash against both Autobots and Decepticons due to the attack on Chicago where if the Autobots had not returned the Decepticons would have brought Cybertron into our atmosphere and used humans as slaves, but apparently everyone forgot that the Autobots saved the day. Well we have evil humans hunting down the robots with another robot which makes no sense, but hey, when does plot matter in these films. Meanwhile, Optimus is in hiding, apparently he took some bad damage from an ambush. Only the Autobots can restore his health or not, not to clear on how he simply got himself back together. Some inventor guy is making his own Transformers that fly apart when transforming and creates Galvatron who turns into a semi like Prime; meanwhile, Lockdown, the robot working with the humans to track down the transformers can turn himself into a cannon which is what Galvatron turns into in the comics. So they apparently cannot do Megatron right the entire series, but then make a random made up robot turn into something Megatron/Galvatron turns into...there is more, but the film ends exactly like the others with a big fight in a city, this time Hong Kong, my guess to kiss the butt of the Chinese so it will do good over there.
I liked the Autobots in this one as they were actually kind of distinct. Loved Hound and the one that was like a samurai. Galvatron is pretty much a non factor during the last portion of the film, which is pretty much how Megatron was in the previous film, though at least in that one he got a shot in. The movie is all over the place, there is some good action in it, but the story is a convoluted mess beyond explanation. Apparently, it is the most difficult thing in the world to make a Transformers film where good versus evil, so lets add evil CIA agents, strange inventors that suddenly become important, a whole plot about some creators wanting Prime and a whole slew of subplots about dating and being able to drive! It is just a mess as far as story and the movie is so long!
So, this film had its moments, simplify the plot and cut the running time down and it would be more passable. As is it is a bloated mess as far as plot. Then there are moments that make one scratch their head. Like I understand the boyfriend coming in and driving his car during the scene near the beginning with the agents, but at the end of the film they get into a broken down heap and he drives the important device rather than them driving in one of the Autobots. Also, the whole plot where they turn on the Autobots is just stupid especially considering they want to work with another Transformer in Lockdown. Just a lot of crazy stuff going on and then you have the agents who have lost desperate to just kill the good guys; however, why they are in a rush is beyond me. They could just stay in hiding and when everything cools down they can go kill them. Like I said, better than the third, but none of them have the feel the first film had. This franchise should probably be stopped for a while and perhaps rebooted ten or more years down the line.
Doctor Strange (2016)
The Doctor is in!
I enjoyed this film, but then again I thought I would. I've always been interested in the world of Dr. Strange since I am a huge Marvel fan. His world is one where the threats to Earth are of a more indirect nature and sometimes things that are hidden in the darkness lurk just out of sight, planning on bringing the darkness to our world! So not a typical hero movie as there are elements of other films in here such as The Matrix and Constantine as the film does revolve around a shifting of reality and darker dimensions full of unspeakable things that wish to destroy or enslave the world.
The story has a neurosurgeon, Doctor Strange, getting into a car accident where his hands end up shaking badly and all but useless in his particular field. He tries to do experimental surgeries, but they all fail. He finally ends up going to a foreign land where he hopes to find a person who apparently helped a man walk again. What he finds himself in, is the world of mystics and sorcerers. He becomes the student of the ancient one and soon his unrealized talents begin to quickly develop. Unfortunately, another former student of the ancient one is trying to use pages stolen out of a book to gain the powers of the dark universe where a creature named Dormammu lurks and wishes to have the earth and all its people!
I enjoyed the film, but I have seen others who have not liked the film. Which is fine, but seriously, if you do not know the source material and do not pay attention, that is kind of on you. I read one review where the person complains that Strange defeats the more experienced sorcerer; apparently, they missed the fact Stephen has a natural knack for using magic and in the comics he becomes the sorcerer supreme. Also, that was an infinity stone he used to win the day and those are actually Beyonders in infantile state and a Beyonder is one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe.
So, the film was a fun little distraction while it lasted. It was nice to see it wrap up in under two hours, these days every comic film usually goes like two hours and twenty minutes. This one felt fast and that is a good thing. Sometimes films tend to drag when they go on for too long. I thought the film had some cool special effects and was a nice start to the more mystical side of the Marvel universe. It is also accompanied by two scenes during the credits and both were pretty good. They both actually lead into other films, whereas the scenes from the latest Guardians of the Galaxy film tended to be more of a comedic nature. I look forward into delving into this strange universe more in the future.
Wonder Woman (2017)
Wonder Woman makes a wondrous debut on the big screen
Wonder Woman is probably the best known female superhero, Marvel or DC. They made a television show featuring her back in the 70's starring Lynda Carter and was probably the first introductions of her to me as a child as well as the old Justice League cartoons they used to air all the time. A bit surprising that it took so long for her to be featured in a film, but not surprised by the success this movie is having as it was good. It also features a new character and I do believe that is another reason it has been successful. DC seems to be only good at getting Batman and Superman up onto the big screen. Granted, they did Green Lantern too, but I may have enjoyed that one a bit, most however turned their backs on it. I do not think though, that this is the best comic book film ever as some reviewers claim as I can think of many that I thought were better; however, this was a good one. Like a lot of films these days though, it did run a little long, but so many go over two hours. At least this one showcased the hero a lot more than other films. Watch a Transformers film and you get so much padding that is unnecessary while they shy away from showing any action, while this one has Diane battling rather early.
The story has a race of women known as Amazons living on an island that is hidden from the rest of the world. On it a young child resides whose mother is queen. Diane wants to learn how to fight, but her mother is a bit hesitant. The mother's sister convinces the mother that Diane needs to know how to fight and thus her training begins. When sparring she displays a power that seems more unnatural and powerful than even her fellow Amazons posses. A plane flies through the dome that hides the island and soon Diane learns of a war that is killing millions. She wishes to stop this war and goes with the pilot, Steve, to London where he assembles a rag tag group to try and find a chemicals weapon plant where a chemist known as Dr. Poison works to make a chemical weapon that will render gas masks useless. However, Diane's main goal is to find the god of war, Ares whom she believes responsible for the deadly war plaguing the world.
I enjoyed this film as Gal Gadot does a good job as Wonder Woman/Diane. When she first arrives in London it is humorous watching her try and fit in and get clothes. Chris Pine does a nice job too playing essentially her love interest. The film also kept me guessing as to who the bad guy was going to be. I knew the one guy was too obvious, but in the end I did not figure out who it was until they revealed themselves.
So the film was good and it had more action than I was expecting as a couple of people I know almost made it sound like a chick flick or something. No, it is most certainly a comic book film, in fact I would compare it to another war time comic book film, Captain America. Only in this one you do have Diane's naivety of the world outside her island differentiating it from that film as well that this one was set during World War I rather than the second World War. I have enjoyed all the DC films thus far, unlike a lot of people. I thought Man of Steel, Suicide Squad were both really good and rank this one with those and all three are better than Batman versus Superman. I am only counting the ones in this new shared universe and not going back any further than Man of Steel. So good film, nice action and a wonderful start for the most well known female superhero.
Hugh Jackman in his last go around as Wolverine
I missed this film when it was in theaters. That is probably for the best, not that I had any desire to see it then due to the fact my fiancé had just recently passed away. If I had seen it, it probably would have triggered an attack. It still did, but at least I was in my own home so no one could see me break down. Just anything like this makes me remember the love of my life and the tears just pour out and I end up having an attack and have trouble breathing. That being said, this was a very good movie and a nice way to send off Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. Sure, there are things that make me question what has happened to reduce everyone to the state they are in, but when one reads comics, one understands that the story being presented may be sort of an alternate universe story arc, rather than the main one. I say this is the case with this movie, things may not necessarily turn out the way they did in this film, just in this universe things seemed to have gone very badly. It is a way to change up the actor playing Wolverine and get some closure for the X-men films starring him and Patrick Stewart as Professor Xavier.
The story has Logan as a limo driver trying to earn enough cash to get a boat so that he and Professor Xavier can escape to the sea. Xavier is having trouble controlling his powers in his old age and Logan watches over him as there are hints that the professor has done something rather bad due to this lack of control. Logan is being assisted by a mutant named Caliban who has the ability to detect other mutants, a power nearly worthless now as mutants have become few and far between. Well, a woman tries to get Logan to help her as she has a young girl with her and some men are tracking both of them. This girl is apparently a mutant with some very familiar powers. Logan escapes with her and Professor Xavier and they must stay one step ahead of the agents determined to capture her. However, there is another familiar face that is unleashed in the agents efforts to recapture the young girl and several other mutant children trying to flee their grasp.
I enjoyed the film for the most part, the only problem I had is that I was hoping for someone cooler when they revealed the soulless mutant who had no problem killing. They really did not have anyone new as far as mutants on display as Caliban was the only one I do not think was seen before. I would have liked the reveal to show the new weapon to be Omega Red. Granted, that would have meant a few more special effects I guess so we do not really get anyone new at all on display.
So the film was good and the action was plentiful and quite gruesome. I knew there would be a bit more stuff shown because this film was rated R, but I was surprised at how many heads rolled and appendages flying everywhere. From what a few people had said about the film that I know, there really was not much action in the film. Not sure what film they were watching as there was a good deal. So ends Hugh Jackman's Wolverine and he did a good job in the role. I just find the makers starting with Marc Singer really did not do the character true justice as he was a much better fighter than the films portrayed, and his healing ability was not as effective in the comics as depicted in the films either. Basically, he was more apt to dodge in the comics than go head on and he would never have any problems fighting ordinary men and most superheroes could not match his fighting skills. Still, as I said, I just think of it as an alternative universe and it still saddens me to see Jackman depart the role.
May as well be an army versus robots film
When this film came out in 2011 I fully intended to go to the theater and watch it, but I never got around to it. Flash years later and I found it for cheap with the fourth Transformers film so I thought I would get it as I had seen neither film. I really enjoyed the first film and I thought the second film had its moments. A lot of people had told me that this one was a better film than the second one so imagine my surprise as I found it worse...a lot worse! I literally have to scratch my head as the first film had such potential and had the makings of an awesome franchise. The second one was not great as it was too long, but the action was cool and I liked how Optimus Prime was the one to take out the bad guys instead of Shia's character Sam. This one though just was bad. When I watch a film based on Transformers I expect a film where the Autobots must do battle with the dastardly Decepticons. I do not watch it to see an advertisement for the military and see Sam get another really hot chick on the heels of the last one. I also do not watch this film to see humans perform stunts while showing the minimum amount of robot fighting it can show. It is almost as if they have a limit of a few seconds before they have to flash to more human action!
The story, well it is rather a incomprehensible mess. We see that the moon landing back in the day was actually a way to examine a mysterious ship crashing onto our planet. Flash years later and we get to see Sam's latest girl's butt. We also get to see a man who has no business with her whining about not having a job and not feeling important because he saved the world so he deserves more. The humor is worse than the second film and the scenes of him interviewing are not fit for an action film. Once again, I want to see robots, not filler garbage. The film ran 2 hours and 20 minutes and they want to show a bunch of nonsensical crap. It adds nothing to the plot and is just a way to have humans relevant in a story they should not be relevant in. Meanwhile, the Autobots are doing missions for us and keeping a lookout for the Decepticons and there is something that ties in with that moon landing that may turn out to be a deadly secret and there is a boss who has nice cars and John Malkovich in a very bizarre role that makes as much sense as the rest of the film and an even more awkward scene with Sam and some guy in a bathroom stall. We get a battle at the end with the Autobots against some very nondescript Decepticons which makes me wonder if they even try. The only Decepticon that stood out was Shockwave who was sadly underused as he actually looked cool and Megatron was almost not relevant.
So the Transformer films seem to get progressively worse as they continue. I am finding part of the problem is that Bay wants to focus too much on the humans. Shia was insufferable in this one and I wanted to see him less not more. I did not want to see a guy who I could beat down in a fight in less than two minutes taking down a Transformer. The guy and his gal survive some stuff in this one that makes the old Indiana Jones action scenes seem less ridiculous. I also cannot stand the way the Transformers keep getting less distinct as the series goes on. I didn't even recognize Megatron at first glance and why is it so difficult to give him his trademark bazooka gun? Why do they keep using swords and stuff? Never did that much in the comics or cartoon. Why can't Optimus have his awesome gun and have it sound the same way it did in the cartoons?
So this one just was not enjoyable for me at all. I did not want to see humans versus robots, but rather Autobots versus Decepticons. That last portion in Chicago was just one long bore as you get to watch people paragliding, people in collapsing building and then you see Optimus and think, "Oh boy, now the action begins!" and he promptly gets caught in wires. Just does not make any sense, nor does the series. Lets have little cute annoying robots because the film is enjoyed by kids, but the first time we see Shia he you get to see his girlfriend's butt. I honestly do not see how this one did so well at the box office, it was just a mess with a overly complicated story to get humans more involved. In the cartoon, the Decepticons wanted energy from Earth and the Autobots tried to stop them, that's it! Oh, and during their movie they had a huge planet that transformed! Heaven forbid they do that. Speaking of that 1986 film, it was a way to introduce kids to a new line of toys, so I find it sad that it had a better story and better action than this film! Going to watch the fourth film as I got it as part of the set, but I do not have high hopes for it; however, at least Shia will not be in it.
The Guardians of the Galaxy are back because the galaxy is once again in peril
I rarely watch trailers or anything anymore on upcoming films due to the fact I watch very little television these days and I find a lot of trailers give away too many things so I was not sure what to expect from the second Guardians film. I really enjoyed the first film and I am happy to report that I really enjoyed the second film too. In fact, I would have to say I enjoyed this one just a bit more than the first film due to the fact that the first film was more of an origin tale, while this one the Guardians were together right from the get go. I enjoy seeing them do their thing as every member is unique and amusing in their own way. The actors and actresses also do a phenomenal job of portraying the makeshift team of outlaws/superheroes. The villain of the piece is cool too when you take into account of what he truly is, I will not go into any detail here, but any Marvel fan would know what he is called in the comics.
The story has the Guardians at the beginning of the film protecting some sort of energy devices from some sort of interstellar creature as baby Groot dances through the opening credits. After the team fights off the foe they proceed to collect their payment from a race of very pretentious gold people in the form of Gamora's sister Nebula who has quite a bounty on her head. Well, Rocket proceeds to insult the gold people and also steals the very batteries they were hired to protect. After a space battle that ends with the Guardians crashing on a planet, they encounter a man claiming to be Starlord's father. Starlord, Gamora and Drax accompany this man and his companion Mantis to Ego's (Starlord's dad) planet where this man tries to be Starlord's dad, while Rocket and Groot watch over Nebula. Unfortunately, soon an old friend comes to find the Guardians in the form of Yondu and his band of pirates. There is also something strange about Starlord's dad that Gamora does not trust.
Really good film, like I said what makes it so good is the characters and the actors and actresses portraying them. There really is not a weak link among them. I could not even tell you my favorite as they all bring their 'A' game to the table. I enjoyed the expanded roles of Nebula and Yondu and I like how Gamora and Nebula are so awesome at fighting and are trying to kill each other, but in the end they are almost like typical sisters! I like the wisecracking Rocket who kind of got them all in the mess by stealing the batteries and Drax and his strange oblivious ways is always good for a laugh. Kurt Russel does a good job as Starlord's dad too. I had heard Sylvester Stallone was in the film, but his part was a bit minuscule, I am thinking that maybe it will be expanded in the next film.
So, yes, I enjoyed this film immensely. Like the first movie there is just a good mixture of heart, action and humor to appeal to me. Took me awhile to finally see it too, mainly due to the fact my fiancé really wanted to see it, but she passed away so it also made me sad as well. She would have enjoyed it too, I know as she would have absolutely loved Baby Groot. If you do see it, be prepared for not one, not two, not three, not four but five scenes during and after the credits.
High School Big Shot (1959)
The movie's lesson, get the money then tell the girl
Saw this film as an episode of the cult television riffing show, Mystery Science Theater 3000. Most likely I would have never seen the film without them and in the end I did not think this film was all that terrible, but still rather bad. The film does a fairly good job of making one stay tuned to see how things were going to end up and the guy who owned the bar and his brother-in-law were kind of entertaining in their way too, but for the most part you have to watch a completely dummy doing everything he can to win over a girl who is clearly using him. He is supposed to be so smart, but lets her play him for a complete fool. The ending is pretty much a bummer, but that really did not come as a surprise to me.
The story has a guy that is in line to get recommended for a scholarship who really knows his Shakespeare about to get a beating by the dolt of the school before his girl bails him out and then accepts his offer for a date. She goes on another date and of course she would really appreciate it if Marvin (the super chump)can write her paper too. He does, they get caught and Marvin cracks under the pressure and the girl lets him know she was using him, but that does not stop him from planning a heist of one million dollars which he stupidly tells her about and she informs the dolt and then everything gets messed up and people end up getting shot left and right!
This made for a very funny episode of MST3K. The film was short and was preceded by a short that took up an entire section of the show, which leaves me to believe they cut a good deal out of this one as it had a running time of an hour and 10 minutes so there were probably a few things left out like who those two guys were that showed up at the end with the guns. My favorite part was when Servo kept making ferry jokes and Mike just picks him and tosses him.
So this film was not horrible as I was totally curious to see how things were going to end up for Marvin. There was a surprise as far as his father, but I thought it was going to end tragic as far as him and his love interest were concerned. I felt bad for the two gentlemen who Marvin got to pull the heist with him though as they got a bit more than they bargained for mainly due to Marvin. Not only did the guy blab to his love interest about the heist and all the details, he also insisted they leave at a set time instead of going early which ended up being another huge mistake. Be quiet, leave early and then show up at the love of your life in a new car and a smile and say, "Get on in" instead.
Maciste in a film where the first part is the most action portion of the film
This film features the Italian hero Maciste who is an adventurer super strong type a bit like the Greek Hercules. So much so that a few of Maciste's adventures (there were a lot of them back in the 60's) were repackaged as Hercules films here in the United States. This was the case with the 1964 Maciste film that is more well known as, Hercules Against the Moon Men. This one was given the title, Colossus and the Headhunters, which was a bit strange seeing as how during the duration of the film the hero was never referred to as Colossus, but rather the Italian name Maciste. My guess they did not go with giving the name Hercules to the film due to the hero not sporting a beard like would be the case with the Moon Men film. Heck, in that one the actor playing Maciste would be the man who was Steve Reeves' stuntman in the first two Hercules films. So these two characters kind of cross together in many ways. This film was one of two Maciste films featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000 along with Moon Men while Hercules would be riffed a total of three times, though they did tend to make it out like the Moon Men one was a Hercules film too. This film is not as good as the Moon Men film as that one may have featured an overly long sandstorm sequence, but at least it had some good traps and a few monsters within it. This one for the most part is a bit of a yawn after what was kind of an explosive way to start a movie!
The story has an island having a volcanic eruption. When I was watching this I thought the people were cavemen or something, but then a guy who seemed more Spartan showed up and then a big muscle dude comes along and gets as many people as he can on his raft so that the people can escape this explosive onslaught as the volcano claims the island. At this point I suspected it was another Maciste film and when I checked online I would learn my instincts were correct. After the eruption which seems almost as if there needed some sort of backstory but there is none the people float around until they reach land where they are promptly captured and Maciste wounded. Turns out their captors are not the bad guys and we learn of this tribe of headhunters who helped this one man overthrow this queen and her people and they soon capture her and the king may be alive and a lot of stuff is thrown in before a rather boring mob scene climax that is not as cool as the opening volcanic eruption.
This made for a rather funny episode of MST3K. Joel did the previous films featuring Hercules and Maciste, but Mike is the one that was burdened with it this time. This one is the worst of the films as the Hercules films were actually well done and even the Moon one had its moments. This one was just watching Maciste walking through brush through much of the film. They kept referring to him as Ma-cheese-steak as that is what it sounded like his name was. There are also funny moments during the end as the 'wedding' ceremony breaks down into an all out fight.
So, this film was not all that good after the volcano scene which basically started the film off with a bang! Granted, it was a bang that really needed a bit of story behind it and I am wondering if the previous Maciste film ended with him discovering the island and the volcano about to erupt or something. I do know there were a lot of Maciste films back in the 60's; however, I am not as sure if they followed each other as closely as the Hercules films as those films picked up after each other. If the Moon one is the next film then the answer to whether the Maciste films pick up after each other is a resounding 'no'.
Invasion, U.S.A. (1952)
Seems a bit like a propaganda film
I caught this film as an episode of the cult riffing show, Mystery Science Theater 3000. From the looks of it, though it was certainly not a huge success at the box office, it did manage to turn a tidy little profit. The film is clearly trying to get people on board with the idea of spending money on the military through taxes, having a draft and having factories make military equipment. These days, of course, the military has no problems getting stuff manufactured as there is profit in it and spending remains high, the draft is still no longer around, but who knows what the future may hold. There are areas of the film that do a somewhat decent job of depicting events going on, but for the most part what you are watching are people in a bar, stock footage of World War II and a bunch of newscasts on the television.
The story has people in a bar in New York and they are all kind of apathetic towards more military spending and stuff of this nature. When a strange man talks about how things could go badly all of a sudden an invasion begins. A mysterious force attacks Alaska and it is communist so of course it is kind of implied that it is Russia. Troopers are diving out of planes, A-bombs are dropped and cities taken over and decimated. Granted, you do not really get to see any of this. A man from San Francisco who scoffed earlier about making tanks in his tractor plants rushes back home with a guy from Texas in tow so that he can fire up his plants to make the tanks the military needs. The guy from Texas and a cab driver then make their way to wherever he lives and end up being caught up in the destruction of Boulder dam. Then a politician is on capital hill begins pleading for more resources when before he wanted to cut military spending and a newsman and woman have a bit of a romance before New York is attacked and soon we get an ending that is pretty lame.
This made for an okay episode of MST3K. When I first read the title of the film for this one I had thought they riffed the Chuck Norris film of the same name, but it turned out to be another film pretty much like Rocket Attack U.S.A. It had its moments, but most of the moments came during the last section of the show. Just a bunch of stock footage jokes for the most part. It was just an okay episode as nothing was really all that laugh out loud funny. I think it would have been a much funnier episode had they done the Chuck Norris film instead.
So this film had some parts in it that were okay as the film plays out a bit like the much later film Red Dawn. There are scenes they do a pretty good job with, but most of the time the action that is taking place is that of stock footage of World War II. Even the aftermath footage of 'New York' in the film is that of London after the blitz. The film is obviously trying to rev up the red scare that was prevalent back when this film was made and it ended up profiting off people's fears and may have drummed up some business for the military too. However, add Chuck Norris to the equation and the tides turn and we win easily as seen in his film of the same name!
Transformers: Devastation (2015)
Fun Transformers game, albeit short story mode
When I grew up, I loved me some Transformers; specifically, the 1980's incarnation. I watched the cartoon religiously after school, I had lots of Transformers toys and I saw the Transformers movie three times at the theater. When I saw the trailer for this game, I was immediately on board as it had the look of the cartoon I loved so as a child. That being said I never got around to buying it as it seemed to hover around so I was just going to wait for the price to plummet as most games tend to do. Well, I ended up getting it free due to my Playstation plus membership and I am glad I waited it out because I honestly would have hated to have payed full price for this game. Do not get me wrong, it looks incredible and the game play is fun, but it is really kind of on the short side. I think I managed to get through the story mode in four or maybe five hours tops. Basically, had this game been released back in the day it would have been somewhat forgivable; however, in this day and age where games can run over 100 hours, a four hour game is not really acceptable...at least not a full priced game. I am sure others may get more enjoyment out of the other mode in the game, but I play alone and do not really do much as far as online stuff so I felt a bit sad that it ended so quickly. That being said, I still enjoyed it for what it was as it did pass the time nicely and keep my mind off things and since I got it for free I will not be too harsh.
The story has some sort of invasion going on as Insecticons are overrunning a city! The Decepticons try to capitalize on this invasion to unearth a new power source so that they may rebuild Cybertron, but the cost of doing this will be Earth's destruction! The Autobots led by Optimus Prime must fight the Decepticons and get the power source off the planet before it goes critical, but it will not be easy as Megatron sends wave after wave of Decepticons after Prime and the Autobots to stop them from interfering with his nefarious plans!
The story mode of this game features driving around or walking to spots and then fighting Decepticons. I am guessing the other mode of play is more like a fighter game. You get various Autobots to choose from as you have Optimus Prime, Bumble Bee, Wheeljack, Grimlock and Sideswipe who was my personal favorite in the game. They all do different things and the combat is fun. I thought the weapons system though was a bit overly complicated as I would have just had them level up their weapons rather than having several different types of weapons for use. Just seems silly considering how short the game is to have the whole customize feature.
So, a good game and an interesting story in this one, but it is on the short side as far as the main story goes. It left open the possibility of a sequel, but I am not sure that will ever come to fruition as I do not think this was a particularly good seller. Seriously, how many young people want to play a Transformers game that is basically set in the style of the 80's cartoon? Though for reasons unknown they made Megatron turn into a tank instead of his gun self which was baffling especially since they had no problem letting Shockwave remain a gun. I enjoyed the number of Decepticons in this one as you see a lot of them from the show, but there really is not all that many Autobots. I was expecting them to show up perhaps in cameo type appearances, but no one does till the end where a sequel is hinted at. Still, it was a fun game, while it lasted anyways.
The Killer Shrews (1959)
Should of been titled, "Drinking and Killer Shrews"
I saw this film featured on the hit riffing show, Mystery Science Theater 3000. From the looks of it, the film did manage to turn a bit of a profit back in the day as it cost like 200,000 to make and netted over one million dollars. Nothing like today, but back then it was probably considered a rather good success. The film certainly has its moments; unfortunately, most of the moments occur during the last portion of the film. Most of the film is just kind of boring as there are lots of explaining scenes, scenes where people are drinking, scenes where alliances are made and did I mention drinking? So, while the last ten or so minutes of the film are pretty decent, the film as a whole is a bit of a bore. The film features monsters which look to be a mixture of puppets for close up scenes and dogs wearing very bad looking costumes in scenes where the monsters are shown to be running after their prey. Of course, as bad as it looks, you are not going to be seeing much of the monsters in this one anyways for most of the film, but you are going to see a lot of the bar in it.
The story has a guy and his assistant delivering supplies to an island. Too bad, there is a storm coming so they have to prepare their boat for the oncoming hurricane. For reasons unknown, everyone on the island is rather jumpy. A few drinks later and it is let out that the experiments that the group has been doing on the island have escaped and now run amok! What are they? As the title says, killer shrews! They are giant sized shrews and they are very hungry! The source of food on the island is dwindling so now these monsters turn their attentions on the group of people stranded within a house.
This made for an okay episode of MST3K. The film does start out kind of slowly though, so there is a lot of riffs about the amount of alcohol the main characters consume. There are some good jokes to be had though as they make the best of the slow start. This film is just another in a long line of films they riffed about giant animals going on the attack.
So the film is not that good for the most part, but it does feature some decent content. I liked how they finally figured a way to get away from the giant shrews by using the drums. This made me think of another film where something similar was done. It was set in Africa and it had lions going crazy, though they were not mutants or anything. The family made some sort of thing to walk through the lions and get to their cars. I think giving the shrews poisonous bites was a bit overkill as they already had numbers so making them venomous was a bit much. It made their escape less believable as it look like the shrews should have easily gotten a head under the makeshift device and bite at least one of them! Still, it was the best scene in a movie where the action sequences was few and far between.
Santa Claus (1959)
Santa battles Satan in the duel of the century!
This film comes to us via Mexico and features a bit of a different take on Santa Claus. I saw this film as an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, as I am sure a good many people did. I do not recall ever seeing this one as a child, and that is probably a good thing as it is bizarre to the max! Santa looks pretty much as one would expect; however, he acts in an almost insane way, his flying fortress that he apparently shares with Merlin the magician has all the most advanced spying technology imaginable and instead of elves this Santa uses children to work in his toy making factory! His reindeer are strange maniacally laughing automatons that will turn to dust if exposed to the sun! That does not even make sense! Santa's biggest nemesis is Pitch, a demon who resides in hell! So, yes, this is quite the different take on Santa with only Santa's look being what one would expect. The movie does look good as the quality and the effects are pretty good especially considering it came out in 1959, but it is just so off the wall and some of the things it depicts will make you wonder how did Santa deliver presents to all the good children in the world as apparently there were only three bad ones.
The story starts us off by showing Santa's fortress in the sky as kids from all over the world must make toys for the rest of the world. Not sure how these children became slave labor and it seems an odd choice that they are kids and not elves. They could have given them pointy ears and passed them off as elves, but no, they are children from around the world. Then we meet a girl who wishes to have a doll, a boy who just wants his parents by his side and three bad children that want nothing more than to serve Satan and bring Santa Claus down! We also meet Pitch who does a rather good job in stopping Santa in certain areas, the four houses we see Santa deliver presents to, takes forever! It takes him so long that you wonder how he did get through the entire world!
This made for a rather good episode of MST3K because of the sheer weirdness of the whole film! The strange lipped machine that talked, the crazy looking reindeer and the fact Santa was battling the devil left the gang on the satellite of love with plenty of things to riff! I believe this one was even more bizarre than a previous Christmas film that was riffed on the show, "Santa Conquers the Martians" and that is quite a feat because that one was rather bizarre too.
So, the film looks good for the time it was made and there are a couple of good scenes within as the scene with Santa making the parents remember their son is somewhat touching. However, the sheer oddness and the lame humor take this film down a few pegs. If I were a child watching this I would literally be worried every Christmas because Santa does make such slow progress in the homes that are shown.