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6 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Mad Max returns to theaters after long hiatus in furious fashion!, 17 May 2015

After viewing Avengers Age Of Ultron a couple of weeks ago and now this one, I have to give this film the edge as far as enjoyment goes. 'Wow' is just one of the words I would like to use when describing Max's return to the big screen...a return that was long overdue and it was very nice finally seeing a Mad Max film in the theater. The film put forth here is one of intensity and nearly nonstop action, a film that does not have its characters stopping in a random place so that we can see some back story that really is not relevant to the plot, no flashback scenes so the director can tell you why the characters are the way they, here we have simple action and the characters' actions telling you what they are about. It would be nice to see other Mad Max films in the future and it is possible as Tom Hardy did sign on to do three films. More than likely if they did get made, Max would once again find himself in the middle of a dispute that he really wants no part of, but begins to feel the need to help.

This film starts out with Max getting captured in record time as he is taken to a place called the Citadel which has water and greenery in abundance, but said greenery is controlled by a man named Immortal Joe. A woman who apparently drives for him, named Furiosa begins her next mission, but she is about to break ranks with Immortal Joe and Max will soon try to help her and her cargo escape the demented mad man and his crew of crazies in an attempt to find a place away from the madness.

It was great seeing Mad Max again as Miller made sure a lot of the staples from previous films were included as well as some odes to the previous films. It was nice seeing the sawed off shotgun, the pursuit vehicles and the nitro. Makes me wish they'd let Miller direct one of the many comic book adaptations as he proves you can create a film that is nearly all action without it looking like a cut scene from a video game. Tom Hardy does admiral filling in for Gibson, had they made this film when Miller had originally envisioned Gibson would have been in the lead role once again, but Hardy looked the part and it did feel like he was Max. It was also neat seeing that Miller got the actor who originally played the Toecutter from the first film to be the main villain here, though he is most definitely a different character.

So yes, really good action films with very little talking can be enjoyable to watch. Why wouldn't they be? I've never understood at times why they always feel the need to make action movies and such accessible to everyone. It is not as if they add gun fights and car chases to a musical to make it more enjoyable for a male, so why they always seem to do this for people who do not like action films seems a bit silly. Granted, you may lose some of the American audiences money, but a film like this is going to thrive in the foreign market. I at least hope it does, because I would enjoy seeing Mad Max on the big screen again; however, if I do not I will at least be satisfied with seeing this one as it was an incredibly intense action film rarely seen these days.

6 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
I enjoyed it, but it felt underwhelming this time around, 4 May 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I enjoyed watching this film, but I have to say the first one was better. That is to be expected I guess, as it was the first time something of that scope had been attempted and all the lead up to the film with the other films. This one, just kind of felt almost episodic rather than being an epic film. Basically, as if it was a television series rather than a full length feature film I paid money to see with some very overpriced snacks from the concession stand. Even the film quality looked sub par at times as it looked kind of drained of color. I knew I was probably not going to enjoy this one as much as the first due to the main villain being Ultron as he is not a favorite of mine. I just do not see him as being that big a threat seeing as how I have a comic where Spider-man takes him down. However, that is not the only reason I feel this film underwhelms, it is just a bit hard to explain. Overall, I did enjoy the film as there was a bit more action than the previous film and there was some cool stuff going on, but like I said, something about it was off.

The story has the Avengers raiding a castle which is a Hydra base right off the bat in the hopes of retrieving the scepter Loki used in the previous Avengers film. At one point a pair of siblings enhanced with strange powers attack and this leads to Iron Man having a bit of an epiphany. This leads him and Dr. Banner trying to create an artificial intelligence to protect the world from threats from space which they plan to dub Ultron. Unfortunately, things do not go as planned and soon Ultron is declaring war on the Avengers and has an extreme way of protecting the world!

I will say my favorite Avenger is the Hulk and in the first film they showed how powerful he is. This film, not so much. Probably one of the things I disliked about it. Not only does he not get to really flex his muscles much, the one time he does he is taken down by Iron Man in a really big suit of armor. Anyone who reads the comics knows that the Hulk gets stronger the madder he gets so this whole fight seemed idiotic to me. No way Iron Man takes down Hulk by himself even with 'Hulk Buster' armor. You simply cannot beat Hulk down like they showed in this film, he would have continued to get more angry and torn Tony Starks' Hulk Busting armor completely apart. I have read comics where the Hulk pretty much dominates the entire Avengers team, Iron Man included by himself! So yeah, they completely undersold the Hulk this time.

The film did have lots of action which was nice and it did have some good humor here and there, but it just was not up to par with the previous Avengers film. There was a strange relationship that seemed to come out of nowhere, the in fighting kept coming and going and one of the new characters is dispatched in their first film! I also think the part of the film that got my blood going the most was the scene after part of the credits as this scene sets up the villain I wanted this time. Still, it was nice to see them bring in War Machine and the battle at the end was pretty cool too, though it needed more Hulk for my taste. Ultron was done pretty good, as they found a way to make him more of a threat than he usually is in the comics, it just would have been nice if he had more lead up in the previous Marvel films as he came out of left field. I know I seem like I am complaining too much as I did like the film, just did not love it like the first one. Worth a look, but hold your expectations down a little is probably the best way to view it and if the Hulk is not your favorite you should be fine too.

John Wick (2014)
0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
The movie teaches us not to kill a man's dog, 4 May 2015

My parents own the DVD I watched of this movie and I borrowed it from them. It took me forever to watch it, but now I am happy to report that I have viewed the film so now I can return the copy back to my parents. It turned out to be a rather good action movie as well kind of in the same vein as the Punisher films and the film Dredd. Lots of action, a lot of bloody action that is. This film is almost non stop action as the set up of this film is very brief before it introduces us to John Wick's dark side and the insane criminal world he lives in. Granted, it seems as if this film was based on something as there were a lot of rules in this criminal world that seemed almost like we, as the viewer should already know, but I do not believe it was based on a book or graphic novel.

The film starts out with John Wick (portrayed by Keanu Reeves) looking in rather rough condition and then we spend the rest of the film finding out what happened to put him in the place he is. His wife recently passed and after a very unfortunate turn of bad luck and timing he must go after some people that have wronged him. He will have to take on former allies as he wages a one man war against the head of a criminal family.

Keanu Reeves does a good job as the title character and he apparently put a lot of work in training wise to play the man with special skills. The other cast members do a good job too, but the only other recognizable ones were only in the film for brief periods. I thought the film was going to be devoid of humor, but it had some moments here and there as it was funny to see how quickly people were to let John Wick off the hook as they had no urge to cross him.

So all in all a good film as it was a bit of a super violent action flick...something the last Expendable film failed to be. It did not hold back on the violence, but I am a bit surprised that there was no nudity as I was sure there was going to be some in the couple of clubs that John came across. It does use computer blood, unfortunately, as it seems they must use computers for even some of the most basic special effects these days. However, my complaints are few as this one kept me entertained throughout.

Marooned (1969)
Watched the 'Space Travelers' version, 20 April 2015

I watched this film on Mystery Science Theater 3000 and I must say it is one of the better films they have ever riffed on. In fact, the actual Marooned version of the film is probably even better as the version of the film I viewed was a repackage done by the same people who did "Cave Dwellers" and "Pod People", two other films that Mystery Science Theater riffed and two films much more deserving of being riffed I might add. Those two films literally featured two completely unrelated films during their credit sequences. Here at least they did not do that, but they definitely did not do a good job reediting the film or redesigning it. I wish they would list cut of the film as its own film as that way the actual academy award winning film does not have to take hits from this inferior reselling. Still, even with the riffs and with the inferior distributor some of the film still shines through. Granted, it is not really my type of film, I remember watching films such as these as a child and being bored, but there were times in the later portion of the film that I was on the edge of my seat and that happens rarely in a Mystery Science Theater episode!

The story has three guys rocketed into space to stay at a space station for a number of months. Already, I was thinking to myself that something had to have been cut as the whole space thing seemed rushed. I would think there would be a bit more set up, but not here. The crew begins to have trouble so they abort their plan to stay even longer in the space station and they enter their rocket; however, their rocket has a malfunction so they end up Marooned! Oh wait, here they are space travelers...sorry. The ground crew tries to figure a way to get them down before they run out of oxygen and time is running out very quickly!

This film made for an okay episode of the show. The film was a bit slow and at times boring, but it never gets as boring as the time MST riffed "Hamlet"! That still ranks as my least favorite episode of all time. The best jokes are not even really jokes, but rather Crow's (Trace) impersonation of Gregory Peck. Like I said, once they got to a certain point in the film where they were trying to decide the breathing situation the film actually turned pretty good! Then the film ends in such an anti-climatic fashion that I was left wondering if the bottom of this film had a bit more to it, just as I was left wondering if a lot of set up was taken out of the first portion of the film. This would not have been the gang of the Satellite of Love's doing, but rather the distributor.

So this film had its moments and while some may feel it should not have been featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000, I think it was fair considering I am guessing a lot of the problems of the film were not created by them, but rather the people who changed up the credit sequence and tried to resell the same film. How the movie company let a film that won an academy award get into the hands of the company that usually took foreign films and added strange elements into the credits get their hands on it is beyond me. Still, if you watch this film with the gang, the performances of the cast and elements of the story still shine through at times.

A very engrossing game for the Nintendo WII system, 14 April 2015

I had heard about this game for the longest time and being a very huge fan of role playing games I had to have it. Unfortunately, for the longest time it did not even look like it would be released here in North America. Not sure why, as it is a very good game and a type of game the WII for the most part was sorely lacking (RPG games). Sure, Final Fantasy had a release that was pretty good and there was a sort of sequel to the Gamecube hit Tales of Symphonia; however, for the most part the choices for games of this type were few and far between. The best one I had played up until this point was a lesser known game called Arc Rise Fantasia which was also very good with its major flaw being a rather bad voice acting job. Here, you actually get the choice of English or Japanese and I had to pick Japanese due to my experience playing Arc. Unfortunately, if you play this one on the 3DS, you only get the English. The game has some unique things going for it and it is incredibly long. I did not think the WII was even capable of a game of this magnitude. I always thought Final Fantasy Crystal Bearers was so short because the WII was limited as far as power, so this game kind of makes the makers of that game look a bit lazy! This one is not without its flaws though as it took me forever to win, for reasons I cannot fathom a strategy guide was never made and there are some areas that are frustrating, but overall this is a very good RPG released for a system not all that known for them.

The story starts out with two colossal titans fighting. One creature is mechanical, the other biological. They both get their blows in and then cease moving. Years later we are thrown into a battle between humans and robots as the two groups via for position in a place called sword valley! Soon we flash a couple of years over and we are introduced to Shulk who is a smart guy who lives at a place called Colony 9. He is studying a blade known as the Monondo blade which was an essential weapon for the humans during their struggle against the Mechonis during the battle of Sword Valley as it was wielded by a man whose sister Shulk has a thing for. It isn't too long before the temporary peace that was brought about by the battle is over and Shulk soon finds himself wielding the mysterious blade and must go on an adventure that goes way beyond anything I can really explain. You will meet many different people that live on the giant creature known as Bionis and of course, there is something looming in shadows that will threaten all. Granted, there are a few twists and turns along the way.

The game play is all right. I would prefer turn based combat, but it does the hybrid action based turn based. The game is kind of annoying in that you cannot really heal using items so later in the game I felt handcuffed to a female character named Sharla as she is the best healer in the game. I had loads of trouble getting through this one due to the fact it takes a while to grasp some of the things you really need to do to get through this one. I never got the skill tree thing until the very end and I also did not understand the affinity coins! Finally figured it out at the last boss and it is what finally gave me the win. The game needed a strategy guide as there are hundreds of side quests to partake in and loads of difficult enemies to fight and the game uses time and day and night so you could use it to locate people in towns too.

Overall this game was very good. I think it could have been great had they tightened up a bit as it took me well over 140 hours to play through this one. I have heard of people not taking nearly as long to get through this and I think I too could have gotten through this one much faster if only they released, you guessed it...a strategy guide! The characters in this one are very likable and I love that you can use the Japanese voices. My fiancé got this game for the 3Ds and she did not have that option and from what I heard the English voices sound very off to me. The game has a ton in it and will encompass your time and if you can find it and do not have it and like RPG's I suggest you get it! It is hard to find for the WII, but not to hard to get on the 3DS. A great game where the vastness was very surprising as I always thought the WII a rather weak system.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Radar!!!, 6 April 2015

This film must be the most radar friendly film ever made with "The Deadly Mantis" being a close second. Yes, this film seems almost to be an advertisement for the wonders of radar and chances are if you have seen this obscure flick, you watched it on the riff show, Mystery Science Theater 3000. I could not imagine seeing it any other way, just as I cannot see this film having all that many actual fans. Seriously, the film plays out like an advertisement for something and in the case of radar it is not as if one can actually purchase it or needs it. Well, I guess someone fishing could use it, but aside from that, most people just do not really need it. It is like the film had to stress upon us the importance of it because if we are not interested it will no longer be used!

The story has a special department that uses radar to solve crimes. At the beginning two guys are using it to find a gun tossed out of a car or something. That is spectacular! Why it is so easy, I do not understand why they don't use radar for things like that now! Oh yeah, that is not how radar works! Well, at a diner we have some people starting a caper that involves radioactive substances and they actually do manage to get it! What amazes me is that for some reason the radar can find a buried gun, but not a radioactive substance! That should be relatively simple for the all powerful radar to pick up! You would think anyway, but no, they have to do a lot of actual police work until the end when they put radar into a chopper to find the stolen merchandise!

This made for a pretty good episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. The mads kept acting like this one was going to be torturous to watch as it would eclipse 'Deep Hurting' and 'Sandstorm' as one of the more painful experiences yet. However, I do believe the rock climbing scene from "The Lost Continent" and the Hercules 'Sandstorm' were much more dragging. No wonder Mike made it through this relatively unscathed. Funny episode, the the best part about this one was the short preceding it.

So the film was like an much so. It actually detracted from the film. Any time the criminals would get serious someone would pop up talking about how wonderful radar was and all that. It simply makes any suspense completely and utterly disappear. Not that there was much suspense to begin with. The film is better than say, "Rocket Attack U.S.A" as it does have a semblance of a plot going on, but on the whole a very badly done film. The makers of this one were just too enamored with radar, I'm afraid.

Hercules (1958)
The first of the Italian Hercules films, 2 April 2015

If I had seen this one first, I may have been a bit kinder to it. It does look all right considering it was made in the 50's, but by the time I watched this one I had seen three other Hercules films from this era and after watching this one I can honestly say, they are about all the same. They all follow the same basic flow and have almost the same plot points as I do believe there is always a strange interlude where the heroes are captured or something by beautiful ladies. This one does do some things differently than the other films in that Hercules does not factor in to a lot of the scenes. There is a part where a fairly decent looking monster arises, but Hercules is nowhere to be found. He also is not one of the men who ends up charmed by the island of lovely ladies. Of course, this is not necessarily a good thing as I would have liked to see him and his awesome strength battle the monster. No problem with him not being enchanted by the ladies, saw that way too much in the other films.

The story has Hercules saving a girl who turns out to be a princess of the man he is coming to assist, who may or may not be behind the murder of a king and whose son lost the golden fleece and something or another. Like other Hercules films, a lot of stuff is going on in the plot while not all that much stuff is going on as far as action on the screen. Hercules agrees to train the acting king's son and soon finds himself holding the man's son as he is killed by a lion which enrages the king, but soon Hercules finds the king who was murdered son and they embark on a quest to find the golden fleece that will reveal the identity of the killer. Meanwhile, they stop at an island for Amazon women by chance and Hercules has a strange relationship with the acting king's daughter.

I saw this movie on Mystery Science Theater 3000 and I have to say they edited this one almost too much. I know there are time constraints, but man it was hard following this one at times due to the cuts. It was also an okay episode, but nothing special as I have already seen three other Hercules riffed by the gang on the satellite of love and like I said right from the beginning it follows the exact same formula as other Hercules films so we are getting similar jokes. I notice that Joel did a lot more sequels and such during his run as the shows human hostage than did Mike as he also did nearly all the Gamera films and Master Ninja I and II and a couple of others. It made for a funny episode, but nothing I have not seen before.

This was the best of the Hercules films, even with the cuts one could tell more effort was put into this one than the others. It was the first one so that is understandable, back in the day when a sequel was made it had a lower budget as the series progressed with films like these as they usually saw diminishing returns. Sure, there were exceptions like the James Bond films, but for the most part sequels never did quite what their predecessors did. Unlike today where the sequel for a hit gets a larger budget. It had its moments, but like all the other Hercules films there just is not enough action going on to keep me entertained for its entire running time.

Wow, a series that is just like the airport films of the 70's!, 31 March 2015

A series that has airport disasters every week should be cool so this series should be cool. Well it is not, for the simple reason that it is a television show, so it is not like they have a budget to show a whole lot of crashes and whatnot. So you get minor incidents and heists being pulled all at the same time in this pilot episode! Though while watching this and the way it sets itself up, it sort of resembles the typical disaster film of the era and a couple of points of it seem like scenes they made fun of in the parody film, "Airplane". There are stars aplenty in this one, the typical people you would see in many television series and made for television movies of the era as well. So, while not a particularly entertaining show as far a plot and what is going on, it does have some interesting points to look out for.

The story of the pilot episode has a person who is sort of in charge of the airport scaring some congressman, a boy whose parents are getting a divorce because the father works to much and this boy really likes planes, a kidnapping that is a set up for a heist and a man punched by a hippie. All these stories intertwine a bit, well not the hippie one. That one just seems thrown in for no apparent reason. The boy with his parents was really kind of lame as the mother's reason for wanting to separate is idiotic, as she knew going in what his job entailed and the funniest part is when the head of the airport talks to the boy at one point it so reminded me of the scene with Peter Graves and the boy in "Airplane". The one with the boy leads to some airplanes being flown and really small cheap ones, which probably all the show could afford to do. The heist was a good story to have in this film as it is in an airport, but only really affected a plane on the ground. So other than a possible crash at the beginning of the film they teased us with there isn't really any other areas where there could have been a possible crash with the big planes.

I, of course, saw this on Mystery Science Theater 3000 as I would imagine seeing a film made for television in 1970 that was basically a bit of a failure would not be easy in 2015. I guess I could have youtubed it, but no, it was released in the latest volume from my favorite television show of all time. It made for a very funny episode as they also did good with another television pilot called, "Code Name: Diamondhead". These old shows from the 70's just make for an entertaining watch because it is fun seeing all the stars in them and the groovy settings.

So, this one was not a good story, but it had its moments. You get to see plenty of television stars from years past and what is apparently the blueprint for disaster films in its infancy. Remember the film, "Earthquake" and the plot point of the couple on the plane who became a boring plot point once their plane averted the danger, it could owe some gratitude for man punched by hippie! The main reason this show probably did end up failing is simply the fact it is a television show and you just cannot do a whole lot involving planes and disaster on a television budget.

Avalon Code (2008) (VG)
It's a bit of a slow starter, but don't gets much worse!, 30 March 2015

I enjoy role playing video games a lot, so whenever I see one I buy it. 99 out of 100 times I end up enjoying said game a lot. Sure, there are some that are a bit boring, that drag too much or over stay their welcome and I can honestly say this one does all three! Never have I wanted to be done playing a game more than this one as it started out slow, but it showed promise. Just enough promise to keep me playing longer than the other reviewer who was dead on about many of his or her points about this game. As the game goes it drags more, you finally see the light at the end of the tunnel and realize your weapons suck and that the last dungeon offers you more torture than you can endure. Then you look up a guide and to your horror, the game continues on even if you do clear said dungeon as if a sick and twisted joke. I gave this one a four, because it does tease you into thinking that maybe you have a nice game that may not be one of the best games you've played, but it will buck the trend and be on the short side. Well it is a lie, it keeps going and going I tried my best to win this thing and I finally conceded defeat...the game beat me down with its monotonous dungeons, its painfully boring cut scenes and characters and the book from hell that you have to flip through constantly!

The story gives you the choice to choose between and male or female character with the main difference between the two being the fact this game also is a bit of a dating simulation! Yes, you get to find a significant other and it amazes me how many females seemed to go crazy over some of the characters when I was looking up guides for this thing so I could get done faster (all the guides were horrible in that they didn't tell one anything!). You get a book and are charged with recording the world in said book so that you can recreate the world and this is another thing that kept me going as they occasionally ask you how you want your world to be and I was curious to see how warped and twisted my world was shaping up to be! There is an evil prince or something and a demon lord and all this just wasn't interesting thanks to the protagonist who doesn't say much.

The game play has you battling with various weapons you have to create and it is tedious to the max switching through your weapons, armor and any other thing you must use. You can use your book of prophecy to hit the enemies and make them weaker, one of the actually interesting parts of this tedious bore-a-thon. You have to traverse various dungeons which are also tedious and timed and annoying. Let me just say that you will learn to hate these dungeons and the phrases "Flip all the switches" and "Destroy all the enemies" a whole lot.

Oftentimes one of these obscure role playing games are very fun. This one is brought to us by the same people who created the Wild Arms series and all the ones of those games I played I enjoyed immensely. Makes me wish they had brought that series to the DS rather than inflicting this drudgery upon us. I realize what they were trying to do as they wanted something different and customizable, but they simply did not create a fun game at all. It showed hints of promise, but it felt like an eternity playing it and I could not make it all the way through. Conversely, I am playing another game that I have logged over 100 hours of play time and it does not feel its length. This one you are going to feel every second of it!

Undead (2003)
In an alternate reality where Torgo from Manos is a butt kicker!, 9 March 2015

I am surprised to see the score for this film is relatively low. Granted, it is not as good as other zombie/comedy films such as 'Dead Alive' or the all time great 'Shaun of the Dead', but it is a lot better than most of the tripe put out the last four or five years since 'The Walking Dead' has become all the rage. Not slamming it or any other more well known zombie films, I am referring more to the thousands of zombie films that have gone direct to DVD or are made by the SyFy channel. Is the film perfect? Absolutely not as there are so many plot holes and inconsistencies it is insane, but at the same time, I do not think a film that has a guy completely naked at one point and pulling guns out of nowhere the next is a film that one should take too seriously either.

The story has a relatively small town being bombarded with meteors that quickly transform most of the population into bloodthirsty zombies. You get to meet some of the town's population at first, but it does go by quickly as soon the town's local beauty queen finds herself besieged by hordes of the undead. A man rescues her and she soon finds herself at this person's house trying to hide out with other survivors. Soon they have to try to make it to the local hospital as one of the survivors is pregnant. As they try to escape they soon come across a huge wall encompassing the entire town and it quickly becomes apparent that there is more going on than a simple zombie outbreak.

I thought the film did do a good job for the most part as it flowed pretty quickly. The one guy did look exactly like Torgo from 'Manos: The Hands of Fate' albeit with better knees, and I have to wonder if that was done purposely or not. The other characters do a fairly good job, but once again this is not as good as Shaun of the Dead as the acting is much better in that particular film. Another problem with the film is that it lags on a bit too much at the end. It proceeds so quickly for the most part then it just kind of takes forever for the film to finish as there is a lot of staring going on. They could have easily trimmed the film 5 or 10 minutes and kept the quicker pace. Still, it was a spot of fun and I loved all the gun stuff with the one character who looked like Torgo. I wish more of the film had been focused on him as he exits the film in confusing fashion at one point as suddenly he is on the ground and it is not apparent how this happened.

So, I enjoyed this film a good deal. Still think there are numerous zombie films with comedy that are better, but I still think this one is better than a lot of the newer stuff released recently. It is fast paced for the most part, but does kind of lag near the end. The gore is pretty decent, never getting as gory as say 'Dead Alive', but with enough to keep things messy. A few twists here and there keep the film interesting too as this is not your typical zombie outbreak. Still, it is so strange how much that guy looked like Torgo, only he was not a servant of the master, but rather a mentor!

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