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Hack Snyder Strikes Again
First of all, if you saw it and enjoyed it, good for you. Don't let me ruin your enjoyment of the film with the extremely negative review I'm about to lay down. If you're one of the lucky few who haven't seen it by now, I'm telling you, it's a trap. There are lots of better movies out right now that deserve your attention more than this title
I'm gonna try to avoid major spoilers, but I'll likely get into some minor spoilers just so I can talk about a few specific scenes that truly irked my soul. So if you're actually still reading this then consider this your spoiler warning.
Let's get some positives out of the way first and foremost. I really enjoyed the first 10-ish minutes of the film. The opening scene was beautifully shot and edited, and would've been a lot more effective had we not seen the death of Batman's parents (spoiler?) in like, a hundred movies before this. That being said, this sequence on its own, was excellent. Simple, effective visual storytelling, with a beautiful score to back it up. I was instantly reminded of the opening credits sequence from Zack Snyder's Watchmen, which was the best part of that film too. Maybe he should just stick to making title sequences.
We then move to the climax of Man of Steel, but from the perspective of all of the helpless people on the ground while these two all- powerful aliens destroy the entire city of Metropolis. Bruce Wayne shows up to check out the scene, and to try to save some dude named Jack (who might be the most oblivious character in cinematic history, as he fails to notice the giant alien spacecraft blasting a hole into the middle of Metropolis until Bruce Wayne mentions said spacecraft). Look at that, I'm trying to talk about the positives and I keep running into negatives. Jack's stupidity aside, this scene was well-executed. It felt grounded and had some legitimate emotional weight to it, making it more than just a loud, obnoxious action setpiece for the sake of having one. It does a nice job of setting up Batman's motivation to go kick Superman's ass.
The performances across the board were pretty solid. Ben Affleck completely proved the nay-sayers wrong and delivered a terrific Bruce Wayne/Batman performance. Surprisingly, I actually really enjoyed Jesse Eisenberg's take on Lex Luthor. I've noticed most people giving him flak for his work here, but he seemed like the only one who was actually having fun in this movie. He played a fun, over-the-top, comic book villain, and that was enough for me. I understand if it rubs people the wrong way, but I quite liked it.
Finally, I dug the music. The score was probably the best part of this whole thing (and the entire soundtrack is available for free on YouTube so check that out if you're interested). There was a specific piece that played during some of the Batman sequences that felt like a mix of Fury Road's drums with an awesome synth sample that felt like it was right out of a cheesy 80s action movie, and I adored it.
Okay so the rest of it was garbage. I feel bad for the thousands of people who worked hard on this film, ultimately for jerks on the internet like me to crap all over their final product. The fact is, the man in charge, Zack Snyder, is the one who must take most of the blame. Now, I understand he had a lot on his plate, he had to include all the Justice League tie-ins and balance like a thousand different plot lines that were all going on in this overcrowded mess. At the end of the day, Snyder and Warner Bros. should've focused on making ONE good, coherent film, rather than a thousand short films stuffed into an awful one.
I have to talk about the scene where I pretty much gave up. Lois Lane (who is legitimately the stupidest person of all time next to that Jack dude) decides to go up to a man cleaning the floors of the Daily Planet, because she thinks they've met. Well, they have, because he was a terrorist at the beginning of the film who nearly killed her. WHY? Why did she go up to a man who reminded her of a terrorist who almost killed her a few months prior? Why didn't they just have a bunch of goons grab her and take her to Luthor? This isn't rocket science, this is screen writing 101.
The last act of the movie seemed to go on forever. The actual fight that literally ALL of the marketing for this film is built around is pretty entertaining while it lasts, but is cut short when the screenwriters decide they need to team up now (and it's very fortunate that Bruce and Clark's moms shared the same name, otherwise Supes would've found out the answer to #WhoWillWin). This climax just goes on and on and on. At this point, I'm not convinced of anything I'm seeing on the screen, all I can see is hundreds of computer animators working away; a fireball here, a laser beam there, etc. Then all the mind-numbing action finally ends, and we get what feels like another two hours of boring, drawn-out, depressing epilogue. Not depressing in the way that the film intends to be (it's supposed to have a "tragic" ending that is ruined by the fact that everyone knows which movies they have coming up on their slate, so no one is buying this one specific character's "death"), but depressing because the audience is just sitting there regretting their recent life choices.
Jurassic World (2015)
A big, dumb, mindlessly entertaining monster movie. Don't expect more
"Jurassic Park" is widely regarded as one of Steven Spielberg's greatest achievements, and why shouldn't it be? Groundbreaking special effects, memorable characters, and marvellous direction that interweaves moments of tension, terror, humour and pure spectacle, all within a two-hour frame. The film is given layers from great performances, solid writing, and the previously mentioned masterful direction. But underneath all of these layer, at the film's very core, it's kind of a silly monster movie.
"Jurassic World" completely embraces its silliness, and in an era where most blockbusters take themselves a bit too seriously, this is a refreshing change of pace.
Ever since the first trailer dropped, the film has been receiving many premature criticisms. Right off the bat, many scoffed at the idea that anyone would actually try to create a dinosaur theme park with all of the known horrible failures that have occurred in the past. All I can say to that is that if you can't buy the premise, you shouldn't waste your time and money to watch this movie. I know it's tempting to go see a movie that looks dumb, just to have the satisfaction of complaining about it on the internet, but trust me, you'll live a happier life if you just avoid the film altogether (although judging from its historic opening weekend, I'm assuming most of the people reading this review haven't avoided it).
Another concept that many had trouble grasping is the idea of Chris Pratt's trained velociraptors. Personally, I thought this was an interesting idea. Many highly intelligent and dangerous animals can be trained by humans (I'm assuming most of you have heard of SeaWorld), so I thought this was an interesting new direction for the franchise's greatest antagonists. Besides, we've seen villainous raptors in all of the previous films, so I had no problem with the filmmakers taking them in this direction. One thing I can say is that the film manages to 'have its cake and eat it too' regarding the raptors.
The Indominus Rex was very silly, but worked well as the antagonist for this kind of movie. It was very "Predator-esque" (cloaking ability, chase scene through a jungle and down a waterfall, "It's hunting for sport"), which, as a "Predator" fan, I quite enjoyed.
In the best that doesn't involve dinosaurs, Henry Wu (BD Wong) and Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan) have a heated discussion about the cloning process of the dinosaurs. Wu states that "nothing in Jurassic World is natural", and that the dinosaurs they have created are very different from what dinosaurs were really like 65 million years ago. This subtly tackles an issue that the more scientifically savvy fans of the franchise had with this installment. "Jurassic Park" created a massive amount of public interest in dinosaurs, so tons of research has been done since 1993. In this research, scientists have discovered that dinosaurs very likely had feathers. Not just the little mohawks they gave the raptors in "JP3", but full-on covered in feathers. This one simple line from BD Wong kind of cancels out that entire argument against the film.
Now of course, this is no masterpiece. Obviously, this is several notches below the ranks of the original film (did anyone really expect otherwise?). There are MANY straight-up dumb moments that hurt my enjoyment of the film. Mostly stemming from the kids.
These kids, man, they were annoying. Surprisingly, the younger one (Ty Simpkins) wasn't too bad. He acted the way I imagine a dinosaur- loving child would act in a theme park full of dinosaurs. But his older brother (Nick Robinson) was just a miserable character. His characteristics include being all mopey and uninterested while he's in the most unbelievably cool place on earth. And... that's pretty much it. Oh, and he's constantly gawking at girls the entire trip, but that running joke(?) ends up going nowhere. I understand that the filmmakers were going for the idea that "people in this day and age are bored of dinosaurs" and that Robinson's character is the embodiment of the fictional public's views on dinosaurs. That doesn't make him any less annoying. No offense to the actor, I'm sure he was doing the best with what he was given, but seriously, I really wanted him to get eaten more than any other character (that includes Vincent D'Onofrio's wonderfully slimy performance). I find it hard to root for a character who has (as established in the first scene) a girlfriend, yet is continuously drooling over every female within 100 yards.
An minor thing that bothered me was how the kids CONVENIENTLY knew how to fix a jeep that hasn't run in 22 years. A line earlier in the film (rather than right before they start fixing it), establishing that they're good at fixing cars, would've been appreciated. An easy way they could've done this was by showing them get their family's van running in the opening scene. It would've been obvious from that point on that they were eventually going to fix a vehicle at some point, but at least this would've provided some much-needed set-up and payoff.
Overall though, the film is a very fun, mindless way to spend two hours. It's funny, I saw a headline for an article saying something along the lines of "Did Jurassic World get a boost from nostalgia?". Umm, isn't that obvious. The film preys on your childhood love of the original, but it does it in a fairly classy way. Colin Trevorrow and his team are clearly fans of the original film, and show lots of love for it through various nods. Unlike Michael Bay, whose films suggest he truly hates the audience, Trevorrow was clearly aiming at making an enjoyable movie for the fanbase. And also making a bazillion dollars
Cynicism takes a backseat when you're having shameless, nostalgic fun, and when the Tyrannosaurus Rex's iconic roar blasts through the auditorium, it's hard not to become riddled with joy.
Oh, How I Wanted to Love it
One night, when I was five years old, my dad came home from the video store with a copy of "Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster" on VHS. I watched it that night, and countless more times throughout my life. It sparked what would become a lifelong obsession with Godzilla, and other monster movies. For years, I was teased for liking these kinds of movies, and I didn't have anyone to share my love for them with. When I was sitting in my seat to watch this film on opening night, a theatre attendant informed the audience that the screening was completely sold out, so everyone had to move as far into the row as possible. I heard everyone talking about how excited they were for the movie, and I thought back to my childhood. If only my younger self could see this moment, being in a sold-out theatre, about to see a new Godzilla movie, being surrounded by a bunch of people who seemed genuinely excited about seeing The King of the Monsters on the big screen.
The Warner Bros. logo popped up, as a wonderful piece of eerie music set the tone that all Godzilla fans had been looking for since the 1998 abomination. 2 hours later, I walked out of the theatre, and I'm not lying when I say this: it was the most disappointing experience I've ever had in a movie theatre.
Now, you see that I've given the film a rating of 6/10. That's pretty decent for something that's supposedly "the most disappointing movie theatre experience of my life". That's because this wasn't necessarily a bad film, but I went in, and I think everyone went in, expecting a great movie. The hype train carried my expectations to a place where the film couldn't possibly go. The posters, the trailers (seriously, whoever did the trailers for the film deserves an Oscar), the interviews with the cast and filmmakers, it was all perfect. Legendary Pictures was hitting "the G spot" with hardcore fans and general moviegoers alike. I walked in, fully expecting some disappointments, but the final product could be described as a total disappointment.
Honestly, if I wasn't so emotionally attached to the Godzilla franchise, I'd probably say that this movie was terrible. Personal nostalgia and hope for the future of Godzilla films is the main driving force behind my 6/10 rating. Unlike most Godzilla fan-boys, I don't get mad at critics who give this film negative reviews, because for the most part, they have very valid criticisms. I also don't get mad at fans who say they loved the movie, as long as they acknowledge its flaws. What I can't stand is the army of moronic Godzilla fan-boys all over the internet who praise this film as some kind of masterpiece. These "fans" have said that I'm not a REAL Godzilla fan because I don't blindly worship Gareth Edwards and the film he made. Well, to all idiotic fan-boys, I AM a real Godzilla fan, and I thought Godzilla deserved to be in a far better movie. If anything, YOU'RE not the real Godzilla fan, because you're actually settling for this heap of radioactive garbage.
So what made the film so disappointing? Well, IMDb has a 1000-word limit for reviews, and I could seriously write a novel with all of the issues I had with the film, so I'll stick to the main points.
Right off the bat, you have Dave Callaham writing the first draft of the script, and was ultimately given a "story" credit. This genius was the screenwriter behind the cerebral masterpiece that was 2005's "Doom". From there, a slew of other writers, including David S. Goyer, Max Borenstein and Drew Pearce all had their hand in Godzilla's atomic cookie jar.Finally, Frank Darabont was brought in to do a bit of work on the script right before shooting began. This amalgam of writers shows why the film's plot felt so disjointed and uninspired.
What bothers me more than anything about this movie is that it was being promoted as this amazing drama with a human-driven story. Well, yeah it's a human-driven story, but just SHOWING humans on the screen doesn't mean that the audience is going to automatically emotionally attach to them. The characters aren't given any valuable screen time to develop. This is criminal when you consider the unbelievably talented cast that they managed to rope into a Godzilla movie. Acclaimed actors across the board, that are completely wasted. I seriously think that Sally Hawkins' character was created solely because Legendary wanted another female character in the movie, because they realized that Olsen and Binoche had like 5 minutes of total screen time between them. So they just gave Hawkins a handful of Ken Watanabe's lines, and they serve as blatant exposition.
Everyone says that Edwards made the movie like "Jaws" or "Alien", as it has a slow-burn and the film builds up until you finally see the titular monster. Well, this is no "Jaws" or "Alien". Those films developed their characters so the audience cared about them. Plus, those films made sure that just because you can't SEE the monster, that doesn't mean that the audience doesn't feel its presence.
Let me ask a question that even the most casual movie fan could probably answer correctly: What happens in the first scene of "Jaws"?
Answer: The shark attacks. Its presence is instantly established.
The biggest complaint with the film, and it isn't unwarranted, is that Godzilla himself is severely underused. A good human story with decent characters that we cared about could have made this movie great. Or, focusing on Godzilla, instead of the boring humans and the uninspired MUTO, would have also made for a great movie. But this film simply didn't tap into its full potential.
On the plus-side, that fight scene was freakin' awesome.
Disappointing, no "wow" moment
Summerslam, the second biggest night on the WWE calendar after Wrestlemania. This year had a disappointing one, not really anything to do with the matches, from what I saw, there was no bad match. Little things ruined this Pay-Per-View. It was quite average, and such a big- name event should be something more special. First off, this was a definitive "one-match PPV", building up the bout between Triple H and Brock Lesnar months prior, and throughout the entire PPV. It was annoying to say the least, every 2 minutes, having Lesnar's terrifying bicep right in my face, promoting the main event, over-hyping it. But here are my thoughts on the individual matches.
1. Chris Jericho vs. Dolph Ziggler: As a major Jerichoholic, I was really looking forward to this match, although I don't think Jericho's inability to win the "big match" was a very good motive for this rivalry. But who cares, this was actually a great match, with two of the most talented wrestlers in the business today showing off what they can do. Despite his loss, its good that Ziggler got such a good push from this rivalry, building up his main event potential, and now Jericho is on tour again with his band (sigh), its one less obstacle before we likely see Dolph in a main event situation. 8.5/10
2. Daniel Bryan vs. Kane: Once again, an very solid match between arguably the best technical wrestler today, and one of the industry's all-time finest. This rivalry didn't get much build-up, other than both of the contenders having feelings for the Raw GM, AJ Lee. My reaction to this rivalry, aside from "blah", as Bryan would say "NO!". But regardless, this was a solid, fast-paced match that I enjoyed very much. 7.5/10
3. The Miz vs. Rey Mysterio (Intercontinental Championship): Next to no build-up whatsoever for this match. That was disappointing, however, this was also a good match. The Miz brought his signature aggression, Mysterio bringing his always fantastic high-flying style. It was good, and nice to see Miz pull off a totally clean win, nothing cheap. 7.5/10
4. Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio (World Heavyweight Championship): I can't remember the last time I've seen a cheap victory from a face, usually that's for the heel, but it was interesting to see that for a change. These guys are two of the absolute finest working today, and this rivalry has been boiling for months now, which was a good thing, making the match slightly more interesting. There was lots of dead time in this match, but it was solid nonetheless, just not Summerslam caliber. Or even WHC Title match caliber. 7/10
5. R-Truth & Kofi Kingston vs. The Prime Time Players (Tag Team Championship): This was just okay. Not much to say, it wasn't terrible, but nothing special. These guys are all very talented, but the tag team division isn't today isn't anywhere near as exciting as it was 10 years ago, or even 5 years ago. 6/10
6. CM Punk vs. John Cena vs. Big Show (Triple Threat WWE Championship): Big Show dominated throughout most of the match, which made it quite dull. Also, I find it incredibly stupid that Big Show continues to make the same stupid mistake of going on the top rope and trying to do a splash, it NEVER works. Its just a way for his opponent to move out of the way, and give him a slight advantage. AJ coming out and restarting the match after the double submission by Cena and Punk (with Cena hilariously failing his positioning for the STF) really lost the momentum the match started to build. Also, we all know Cena lift the Big Show up, we've seen him do it for like 10 years, its not impressive anymore. As much as I like Punk, when he smacks John Cena to prevent a slam on Show, its annoying, he's done it like 3 times, and its highly irritating. I would've preferred a cleaner victory from Punk, but whatever, its main event time. 5.5/10
Oh wait, no it isn't. Its time for Summerslam Axxess or whatever its called. This is dumb, after the WWE title match, any momentum the event had, just died. Cool, anti-bullying is awesome, keep that crap on Raw, but I wanna see people beat each other up for Summerslam.
7. Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H: Finally, the big match. It built up for months, actually years. 10 years prior to this match, on the Raw after Summerslam 2002, Triple H confronted Lesnar for the WWE title. After The Undertaker interrupted, WWE fans have had to wait 10 years for this battle, and it was a battle. Hard-hitting, and quite enjoyable. The absence of HBK was disappointing. Hearing his tweets announced by Michael Cole all night was annoying, I wanted to see him, not his stupid tweets. But anyway, the match held up, I wanted to see Hunter bring out his signature sledgehammer, which was a major disappointment that he didn't. But overall, I liked the match, it was pretty heartbreaking at the end, which would've been fine if Lesnar had't quit the WWE the night after via Tout. Obviously he's not gone forever, like Chris Jericho, but it makes him look like a wimp when he just quits all the time. 8/10
I hope he didn't read this, I don't wanna die.
On Weaker Tides
Most will agree that the "Pirates" series got weaker as it went on. "Black Pearl" was great because of the massively entertaining performance by Johnny Depp (everyone's said it), as well as a solid rescue story, a memorable villainous performance by Geoffrey Rush, and some great special effects. "Dead Man's Chest" was good for the groundbreaking effects, and more Captain Jack. "At World's End" was okay. It had a fitting conclusion to the story arc, the combination of the effects and storytelling made it an epic finale, and of course, Johnny Depp. It's spoiled by its almost 3-hour length which just wore audiences out.
The trilogy made over 2.5 billion dollars, but Disney needed more. Now we have the fourth movie. It's WEAK. They had four years to work on it, and they came up with this.
The film starts off in Spain, and here is where I encountered my first problem with this: they speak English. Its only 30 seconds, and they couldn't just subtitle it? "Inglourious Basterds" had most of its dialogue in a different language, and subtitled, and that film worked. I decided to just let that go and watch the rest, but thinking back, it's just one more thing that I didn't like about this film as a whole.
Let's break it down.
Things I liked: 1. Johnny Depp's performance was good as expected (I liked how Disney didn't wuss out and actually showed him doing pirate-y things)
2. One good action scene (at the beginning, so everything else went downhill from there), and one pretty good sword fight.
Thats it. 2 things that I genuinely liked. Now for the longer list.
1. TOO MUCH Jack. - The first three films showed him in bits and pieces. The story revolved around Will and Elizabeth, and Jack was just there to help, but he stole every scene that he was in, so it was exciting anytime he was on the screen. Now, the script made sure that he had all the attention. Also, early on he just loses it when he finds out that the Pearl had sunk. This was very out of character and it was just confusing to see Sparrow like that. But he was still the best part of the movie.
2. F/X not as spectacular- The effects in "Dead Man's Chest" were absolutely breathtaking. The Kraken attack scenes are a marvelous demonstration of what CGI can do, plus Davy Jones was a huge step forward for "Avatar". This film looks like it has less production value than it's predecessors. The mermaid effects were good, and the 'deconstruction' of Blackbeard was good, but there was nothing that will be remembered for years to come.
3. Action sucked- People going to see this movie want action, and they're better off renting one of the first three, or maybe they could see "Fast Five". The first chase scene was the best action scene in the movie. Angelica vs. Jack was pretty good, but the rest of the movie is talking, but I'll get to that later. Barbossa vs. Blackbeard: sounds cool, right? Its ruined by the rest of the crew fighting around them, it just distracts the viewer.
4. Blah, blah, blah- Cut out the BS dialogue, and this movie would have a hard time breaking the 20-minute barrier. Its the shortest of the series, but its actually the most boring.
5. Penelope Cruz- I recognize that she's beautiful, but I've never really cared for this actress. She did what the role required, no more, no less. Its not her performance, so much as her character, which really irritated me. I never cared what would happen to her. Keira Knightley may have had an annoying character, but because the story was better in the trilogy (which I'll get to next), I just cared more about her. We are told that we should like Anjelica, she does nothing to care about.
6. Story lacked emotion- Never did I care for what was going to happen to any character besides Depp's. It had sudden, confusing events that occurred. Mermaids tried to kill all of them, but because they're hot, this stupid, annoying guy falls in love with one. Twilight fans will find this romantic subplot to be the best part of this garbage, everyone else will find it irritating and unnecessary. Also, Blackbeard dies, I repeat, the VILLAIN dies, and the movie tries to make us feel bad by showing that Penelope Cruz is sad. When Barbossa died in the first one, it was jaw-dropping, when Davy Jones died in the third one, it felt like something was accomplished, but they added subtle sympathy to the character. Here, the audience is just left confused by the death of the VILLAIN.
7. Overuse of title theme, plus no memorable original music- ANYTIME ANYTHING HAPPENS, they cue the main theme. It's a good score, but used too often.
8. Most issues could be solved with Gore Verbinski back behind the camera- Verbinski and "Pirates" were a perfect mix. He managed to put so much emotion, humor, action and effects and stir them together to make it fun for the audience. He and Johnny Depp liked each other; they just did "Rango", and have another project coming. Verbinski said he was done with "POTC" after the pressure of "At World's End". Honestly, Rob Marshall has never made a film that I like. "Chicago" is one of the most overrated Best Picture winners of all time. "Nine" was just garbage (and was where he met Cruz), and "Memoirs of a Geisha" was very pretty, but weak storytelling. This guy is a near-perfect example of style-over-substance, but his style ain't too good either. Verbinski balanced style and story, and made you care. Disney should've just kept offering money until he buckled. But Disney likes to downsize.
The Final Word: 8 negatives over 2 positives, 'nuff said.
A good, but unfortunately forgettable thriller
I saw this film a week after it was released. Everyone who saw it with me had the same general feeling. "It was pretty good, but I've seen a lot better." Although I love the concept of a pill that allows gives the user access to their full brain capacity, it didn't have enough in it to give it some kind of legacy.
It was much better than I thought it would be. Bradley Cooper is actually a charming and relatable lead. He truly is the lead, the rest of the cast (except for a delightfully evil dude played by Andrew Howard) had nothing to them. They served as plot devices to get the film from point A to B. Even Robert De Niro was just in it for the quick and easy paycheck. The reason none of the secondary characters were interesting was that, for one thing, it centers around Cooper's character (I can't complain about that), and also, because it just had too many characters. None of them were really annoying, they just really didn't do anything to make them more interesting. I have to say that I do respect the film's decision to kill off the only mildly irritating character quickly and efficiently.
"Limitless" tries to dip into every genre. I really respect anyone who attempts to do this. My favorite movie, "Tremors", uses comedy, action, horror, sci-fi, romance and western elements, and hits each genre with high success. Director Neil Burger ("The Illusionist") tries to hit multiple genres and only has mild success with each. However, nothing seemed forced, which is good. The tense moments flow nicely with even the silliest moments. For example, a scene where a small child is used as a weapon (which is actually the most memorable and amusing part of the film).
I give it a 7/10 for being an effective, smart and tense thriller. I respect it for mixing genres (even though I have seen much better). Overall it was well made, fuelled by good direction and a good performance by the lead. I liked how it romanticized the drug (on it: bright and colorful, off of it: grey and bleak). Good message for the kiddies. But it is counter-acted when it shows the negative effect of the drug. I liked the political correctness of it all.
The final word: It kept my attention for the whole runtime. It had a few flaws, which made it mediocre. To be honest, I would be fine never seeing it again. It's an effective and entertaining movie, so you should see it, but only once. In a way, it is what every movie should be, something that you enjoy while it lasts, then you move on to the next movie. But if every movie was as efficient as that, there would be no such thing as "classics". That is this film's main flaw, nothing that could make it a "classic". But I know that the image of that little girl being twirled around and used as a slashing device, will always stay with me.
7/10. Little girls will be the 21st century equivalent to katanas.
It's called "D-War" because its a D-Movie!
Yes, I just gave a D-Movie 10 stars. People, calm down, allow me to explain. This is yet another movie that's so bad it's good. Stop taking it so seriously! Did you really expect a movie called "D-War: Dragon Wars" to be good? All you have to do is look at the cast. They got B-Movie veteran Robert Forster in a small role, and with the exception of Craig Robinson (Hot Tub Time Machine), the rest of the cast were B-list stars.
One thing I find absolutely amazing is that everyone says "The special effects were great, but everything else was awful", to which I say, "ARE YOU KIDDING ME!". Because these were some of the worst special effects I've seen in a major production like this. No special effects shot impressed me, it all sucked. Okay, the "dragon-ball" and the final dragon were pretty nice looking, but that's it!
Now the acting: Yes it's hokey, but that's part of the fun of any cheesy movie. Come on! The acting isn't important in a movie like this.
The writing: It was bad, confusing, and stupid. But also comical. When the old lady tried to go through the fence, that was just hilarious.
The direction: I have to say that this is an attractive film. Not because of the effects, but because of the colours. Overall this was a nice film to look at. The director, Hyung-rae Shim, known for his other cheesy monster movie, "Reptilian", may not be a Spielberg or Scorsese, but at least he has some colourful style.
The highlight: The action sequence in the middle of the movie is a showstopper. Why? Because personally, I'm sick of that stupid Bourne-style action with the incoherent zooms, and the shaky camera work. Here, the action is shot in a third person perspective, allowing the audience to actually observe the action without getting nauseous. Thank god Michael Bay didn't direct this, otherwise I would've thrown up. This action scene is also impressive for being really long, however, if it ended about 3 minutes earlier, I would've been more satisfied, because it just went a little too far.
The climax: It was dark, and kind of hard to see. But just watch "AVP:R", and this'll seem as bright as day. For anyone wondering which was the good snake, it was the lighter one. The fight scene wasn't the best, but still entertaining.
Nit-Picks: A useless sub-plot involving the FBI, and the actor who played the bad guy was clearly mouthing English, but he was dubbed over with a stupid droning gibberish sound (which was supposed to make him more threatening?). If I re-watched it, I could probably find a hundred more, but I don't have that much time on my hands.
The final word: Overall, a fun way to spend 90 minutes. We all have guilty pleasures, this is one of mine. This can be thoroughly entertaining if your in the right mood. This is a must see for monster movie fans. Actually, B-Movie fanatics in general. The last thing I'm going to say is that I don't understand is why people are praising "Pirahna: 3-D" (which I also enjoyed), despite the fact that it has a stupid plot, bad acting, and bad special effects. Meanwhile, this movie has all of those same elements, but people say that this sucks. Well, maybe it's the gore, blood and nudity, which makes everything better (*cough*). Oh yeah, "D-War" also throws in some martial arts, and an ancient army. In the words of M. Night Shyamalan, "WHAT A TWIST!". 10/10
Board James (2009)
Great follow-up to AVGN
I'm going to try and make this review short and sweet, but please excuse me if I ramble. This show is to James Rolfe, what "Curb Your Enthusiasm" is to Larry David. A great follow up to an already great show.
This show started with an uncharacteristic review of a board game, Mouse Trap, by James Rolfe. Well, that video was very popular, so Rolfe created a new character that would specifically review board games. His good friend Mike Matei is given a bigger role than he usually has on AVGN (where he plays various characters) which is great because now, Rolfe finally has another character to interact with.
There are only eight episodes so far, and I look forward to more. The only criticism I have is that it isn't quite as good as AVGN, but that doesn't mean it's not great.
If the first seven episodes don't do it for you, I highly recommend the episode entitled "Mr. Bucket", which is, one, the most popular episode of the series, and two, one of the best films Mr. Rolfe has ever made.
The final word: Just terrific, informative and very funny! 9/10
WWE: Summerslam (2010)
Just wait for the main event!
It was a long time since I saw a WWE PPV event. This one was fun, thanks to some good backstage promos (including a very funny moment with Chris Jericho, Edge, and The Miz), as well as an excellent main event. Alright, time to talk about the matches!
Match 1: Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston (Intercontinental Championship) A good starter match,but Nexus breaking it up was kind of a drag (even though I knew something like that would happen). 6/10
Match 2: Alicia Fox vs. Melina (Divas Championship) Not bad, but kind of boring, and LayCool coming in afterwards was a waste of time. However, I was happy that Melina won. 5/10
Match 3: Big Show vs. The SES (3-on-1 Tornado Handicap Match) This was amusing, but just stupid. Why would The SES attack him one at a time, instead of all together? Big Show looked tough, but now what for The SES? If they can't beat one guy, will they break up? I certainly hope so, because I find this current storyline very boring. 5/10
Match 4: Sheamus vs. Randy Orton (WWE Championship) All of the previous matches were okay, but this was the first really good match of the night. Having it end with a disqualification was expected, but this was a very hard hitting match that was entertaining regardless. Orton just went berserk at the end, which is always fun to see. 8/10
Match 5: Kane vs. Rey Mysterio (World Heaviweight Championship) This was used as filler between the WWE title match and the main event. Most of the match was Kane manhandling Mysterio, and the ending pinfall was pretty anticlimactic. Every time Rey had something going, Kane shut it down. Most of these "Big vs. Small" matches are very good, but this one was only okay. The one great thing about this match was the return of Undertaker (which was also expected), but even he wasn't very exciting. For once "The Deadman" actually looked dead, pale skin and all. 6/10
Match 6: Team WWE vs. The Nexus (7-on-7 Elimination Tag Team Match) Now this was impressive. Fast paced, and ultimately satisfying. The big twist was at the beginning when Daniel Bryan replaced The Miz on Team WWE. Then something even more unexpected happened! The Nexus lost two team members right away. This was a long match, but never boring. My favourite part was when Bret Hart went to town on Skip Sheffield with a chair, got disqualified, then Jericho came in with a codebreaker, and then tagged Edge in for the spear and the pinfall. Wow, that was an adrenaline rush! Of course Edge and Jericho turned on Cena afterwards, but come on, it's Edge and Jericho, you had to expect that from them. Also, I think Team WWE would've been better off with Miz instead of Bryan. So I was happy when The Miz nailed him in the back of the head during the match. Obviously, it had to come down to John Cena and Wade Barret, which was over quickly, but still good fun. 10/10
The final word: As The Miz would say: AAAWWWWEEEESSSSSOOOMMMEEEEE!!! 8/10
The Angry Video Game Nerd (2004)
Every episode will make you laugh so hard that you'll feel a six-pack coming on!
Sure, it ain't high brow entertainment, but is any comedy high brow these days? It is actually a pretty smart show. I've never cared for the idea of playing old video games, but now I really want to.
What is so great about the show? A catchy theme starts it off, then you get (most of the time) around 10 minutes of pure hilarity. It captures the frustration of playing a difficult video game so well. James Rolfe's rants are the highlight of the entire series. I also enjoy his movie reviews very much. As a film critic, he points out some really interesting things that I never thought about. The same goes when he reviews a horrible game. Sometimes he'll review a good game, you'll think he's calm, then he pops in a bad one and BAM!! He goes off on a rant that makes you laugh so hard that it hurts.
I like how he basically gives you a walk-through of the game as he makes his hilarious comments. My personal favourite episode is "Godzilla". I'm a pretty big Godzilla fan, and he made fun of those awful games SO WELL! The final word: 10/10, James Rolfe is one funny guy.
As a side note: If you can't stand poo humour, some episodes have some pretty gross stuff. Also, every episode has a lot of swearing. So if you can't stand bad words, avoid it like the plague! Everyone else, go to YouTube and search "avgn" and you'll get some truly hilarious stuff.