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Poker Night 2 (2013)
An honest Review : Even though I'm a little late but nobody else left one so....
TLDR: If playing poker against Brock, Ash, Claptrap, and Sam and Max with Gladios as the dealer sounds fun, It IS and is worth every penny of it's $5.00 price. If you have no idea who those characters are, skip this game; it's designed for fans of those gaming and movie icons and the hilarious dialogue will be lost on people who don't know the characters. If you are a fan of those characters, you will get at least a good 12 hours of fun out of the game (maybe more....I'm currently at about 20 and still every once in a while something new pops up) So 6 and 1/2 stars as a game but a good solid 9 as a fan of the characters. (The AI is actually really good, but no multi player.) / End TLDR
I saw this on sale probably as part of a promotion for the New Borderlands game and I have to say It's a pretty great game for $5.00
It is not a "great" poker game, although the AI is pretty impressive and the players (Brock, Ash, Claptrap, and Sam (and max0) all play pretty wisely and have tells that are hard to spot.
Most of the fun is in the banter that goes on during the hands. Although some of it gets very repetitive, it always seems that right around the corner is something you haven't heard yet.
In general, if you are a fan of poker (and it's just a single player game so well, no real competition except for the novelty aspect of it), It has Omaha and Texas Hold'em. The voice acting is superb as are the graphics. (although major disappointment is that Bruce Campbell didn't lend his voice to Ash, however many of his lines are dubbed from the movies and the guy that does his other banter does a pretty good imitation)
In general, For 5$ you can't go wrong to have a little novelty game that you and your friends will laugh at, especially if you are a fan of Venture Bros, Borderlands, Evil Dead, and Sam and Max. Ton's of in jokes for the games and the movie, plus as usual, GlADioS being the dealer is always awesome for great compliment / insults (complinsults?).
Have to take off points for lack of multi player (there is a leader board however), repetitious dialogue ate times, and well, no Bruce.... But, if you aren't really a serious poker player and just want a fun little game (which actually does teach you some good tips on how to become a better poker player) This is for you.
If you're a serious poker player like I am, Full House Poker is a much better XBOX live game (and it's also free), however I have had a lot of fun with Poker Night 2 just because of the insanity in the banter (like watching Brock almost lose his mind while arguing with ClapTrap etc).
All in all, 6 1/2-7 Stars. Another solid Tell Tale game that while the novelty of it may wear off kind of quickly (although each time you win brings new depth to the game such as Ash putting up the Book of The Dead as a side bet etc), the game continues to throw new stuff at you as you progress.
So final verdict..... Want to play against Brock, Ash, Claptrap, and Sam and max in a poker game with GladiOS as your dealer? It's worth the $5.00 especially when you have friends over and let them play. If you aren't familiar with the characters, you won't get the jokes so not worth your money.
Great Dialouge and Animations
Good value at 5$ (basically, after about 12 hours of play, you've seen everything
Amazingly Funny and just the quality of the game brims with not being serious, but giving fans of the characters a crazy situation.
In general, playing poker is second to just listening to banter, but still a great single player poker game.
Repetitious dialog at times and animations.
Single player only
No real replay value after the 10-12 hours and seeing everything (although could add another 10-12 hours playing Omaha (but same dialogue and animations etc just different rewards
If you aren't fans of the characters, you won't enjoy it.
Again, Great AI, but really, download Full House Poker for free if you want a real poker online simulation. This game is designed for fans, not for competition.
Man of Tai Chi (2013)
An Honest Review
This Review might contain slight spoilers because well, in order to review it, some context has to be made with other films. So the spoilers are not going to ruin the film.
TLDR / If you like action movies, especially martial arts movies, this is a must watch.
Man of Tai Chi is a pretty great effort for Keanu Reeves debut. The camera work was excellent, the editing was fast paced, the fights were believable (although, there was some wire kung-fu - more on that later), and in general, the movie felt like watching a modernized classic 1980's martial arts movie.
It is the same basic story as thousands of films and older martial arts. Hero is innocent, hero (or town or friend or village) loses something, hero is forced to fight, and then the hero determines ultimately which path he wants to take, good or evil. The most recent movie I can think of to compare this to is Tony Jaa's Onk Bak. It really is quite a similar movie, following the plot pretty closely, but also adding it's own style and a more futuristic setting.
In the film, Tiger is becoming a master of Tai Chi, an art known more for meditation than for fighting. The movie deals with his inner turmoil of disappointing his master while also trying to establish himself. On that aspect, the movie succeeds because Tiger Hu Chen plays the part pretty well, especially for a man who mostly is a stuntman. Keanu Reeves actually does a decent job in his role and is a believable villain. Although neither are exceptional, it doesn't matter because the movie, like most "pure" martial art films that have come before it, is all about the fighting.
Now, a lot of reviews and comments complain about all of the "wire fu" used in this film. There isn't as much as they would lead you to believe. Most of the "wire fu" is used to fling people back further to demonstrate the strength of the many different styles in the film, or to make a character appear to be unbeatable, or to pull off a couple of the more complex stunts. In general, besides a few scenes, it is not distracting and doesn't undermine the movie in any way. If anything, it enhances some of the fights because it emphasizes Tiger's small statue and "weak" fighting style when he fights larger, more powerful foes.
And that is what this film is all about is the fights. Again, like Onk Bak, the story is just a reason to watch fight after fight after fight. In this movie, that is exactly what you get. The movie is probably 20% dialogue and 80% fighting and that is where it shines. It is very clear that Keanu did his homework and basically made an homage film to kung fu movies overall. Without question, Reeves succeeded.
Quite simply, if this movie had came out in 1990 and stared Jackie Chan in the lead (although that would lead to more goofy scenes but lets just pretend Jackie plays it straight) this film would have been considered revolutionary.
I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm wondering if, like Ben Affleck before him, maybe Keanu Reeves is better behind the film than in the film. Sure Keanu has had a more successful career than Ben, and Ben is probably the better actor (which isn't saying much), however if this is Keanu Reeves debut, I can't help but be anxious to see what he does next.
A solid 7.5 from me, which I rounded down to a 7. For those who don't read my reviews, or check my rating history, you know I am not a instant 1 or 10 reviewer / rater. I think I've given 2 10's in my entire life, and maybe a few 9's.
TLDR / If you like action movies, especially martial arts movies, this is a must watch.
Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)
An honest review (from a male perspective)
Now, some disclaimers. I am not one of the people who give movies a 1 that I don't like, or a 10 for ones I like. I have rated very few movies as a 10. And none as a one (in fact, I think this is my lowest rating ever) That being said, I am not the target demographic for this movie but my girlfriend wanted to see it. She enjoyed the book, but isn't a huge fanatical fan about it. So well, we went and saw the movie and even she agrees that it was a piece of junk.
First off, it completely ridicules the BDSM culture. I'm not a "member" per ce, except for some light handcuffs and spanking stuff, but I do know enough from having friends involved in the culture that this film is basically to the BDSM community what tons of other movies have portrayed gays, lesbians, blacks, insert stereotype here in a negative light. It was astoundingly insulting (and in the FAQ here, the reason is answered quite thoroughly) Second, the acting was atrocious. The actors made Keanu Reeves look like an Oscar winner. The script, from what my girl said, was fairly faithful to the book (which I don't know what says it better: that this book is that terrible that the film was faithful, or that the film was faithful to a terrible book?" Third, the pacing , directing, and overall whole movie had the feel of a high school production. There was not a single moment where I had any personal investment into any of the characters and due to the wooden acting I really didn't care about anything that was happening. In short, I watched it and the entire time I just waited for the end.
I cannot believe this movie pulled in 400 million world wide and is still going semi strong. And as I said above, I'm not the target demographic for this movie, being a 40 year old male. However, my girlfriend hated the movie even more than I did (and she's right in the target age group).
Overall, don't waste your time. I give it 3 stars generously. Really, it is a terrible movie. I might actually read the book just to see the comparison, but if like my girlfriend said it is pretty similar to the movie, I don't know if I want to waste my time twice.
Into the Woods (2014)
An Honest Review
Having not seen the musical, maybe I am missing something. However I think that it is hilarious that the first 3 pages are all one star reviews and of course use the most overused phrase "WORST MOVIE EVER". According to IMDb Reviewers, there sure are a lot of worst movies ever.
Is this the worst movie ever? Of course not. That's a term that comes with no information and is about as strong as a statement as I really didn't like it. Thankfully, IMDb's rating system weeds out these types of reviews when trying to get a more accurate score of the movie. For me, It was a so / so movie. (Hence the 5 rating, not good, not bad, just there.
The main gripe I had with the movie is I really did not care at all about the characters. Considering I've read that the play is a huge hit and has won awards, I'm guessing they cut a lot of the character development out of the film. Really, even the Baker and Wife didn't feel like the central characters. They felt like the Macguffin to drive the rest of the film along.
Second, the songs were well written, and in most cases the singing was good enough for the performances, however some of the songs just didn't make sense in context with the movie (again, I'm guessing that this is due to cuts to the musical, probably so Disney could get the PG rating). I am guessing that the musical is much darker and violent than the movie before it was Disneyfied.
Finally, it appeared that they were looking for big name actors and a star studded cast instead of looking for actors that could pull off the roles more effectively. It was obvious which actors had stage experience and which didn't, and it was kind of distracting to watch the two different forms collide. One scene would have someone that obviously performs on Broadway followed up by a scene with Chris Pine trying to pretend that he's done a Broadway musical. In general, the casting was just a mess.
Again, I can't compare it to the actual musical because I haven't seen it. But overall, this movie had some moments that were entertaining, some scenes that made no sense, mediocre to decent acting, no character development, and in general, feels like a LOT of the original play was cut so Disney would publish it and get their sweet spot PG rating to grab those "fairytale dollars" from children and parents. This feels more like "The Phantom of the Opera" with Gerald Butler (IE barely like the stage version that I have seen), but no where close to Mamma Mia!(another that i've seen).
So my recommendation, wait until it's on Netflix or Hulu or whatever. Or just rent it at home for the 3.99$ when it comes out streaming. Wasn't a horrible movie, but is NOT worth the price that movie theaters charge nowadays. Honestly, it probably would have been cheaper to go watch the real musical, which I suspect is MUCH better.
Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus (2009)
An Honest REview
Really, Mark's review, (the highest rated one about this movie) is more entertaining than Megashark vs. Giant Octopus. Not like that is difficult, however cheers Mark! Great satirical 10 star review. Normally I can't stand them because people can't pull off satire but you nailed it! Anyway.....On to my review.
I have to give some credit to the cast and crew for basically pulling an Ed Wood and just using whatever toys their kids had lying around as "Special Effects". The acting was actually not too bad considering the script they had to work with. I personally think that Debbie Gibson did quite well, however any career she planned in the film industry was destroyed by her accepting this role.
I wish I could say that this movie is one of those "It's so bad it's good" but it just isn't. I think with the FXGuru app on my phone and a bunch of friends could remake this movie and make it look more realistic. In general, even if you are a huge fan of B movies like I am, this movie is not deserving of being called a B: film. It is almost like the director and writer believed that they were making a AAA film on a shoestring budget, and just failed all around.
To use the old trope, they "jumped the shark" the moment the shark jumped into the air to grab the airplane (not really a spoiler since it's in the trailer and happens within the first 10 minutes...) If you enjoy watching the same 4 second clip of a shark swimming over and over again (and sometimes even FLIPPED!!! or REVERSED!!! omg!) than you'll enjoy the 4 min of screen time the monsters get.
Hard to give this a 3, but I really think that Gibson showed that she had acting potential, so I am giving it an extra point due to her performance. And notice, I said "she had potential", because seriously, this movie killed any chance of her being taken seriously in the industry. And that's kind of sad because she actually showed some talent.
2.5 but bumped up to a 3 for Debbie Gibson seeming to be the only one involved in this project to give a crap about it.
Men in Black 3 (2012)
Really, this is a late review, but I just started reviewing movies and this happened to be on Netflix tonight.
Overall, It is a solid addition to the MIB franchise. Really nothing new to add to what the first two films did. A few rehashed jokes, a few jokes to fit with the time periods, and a couple of extremely good jokes by the new additions to the cast... And that really is the focus of this review.
Josh Brolin's performance of a young Tommy Lee Jones is unbelievably perfect. I have a feeling Jones himself praised Brolin's performance. Considering that he basically not only had to impersonate a character, he had to also impersonate a person, Brolin really steals the show here and his performance makes this movie worth watching.
Jemaine Clement as Boris (Just Boris) the Animal was astounding. Considering that Clement falls more in line with being a cast member of Freaks And Geeks or even Bosom Buddies (yeah going old school)... It is astounding how well his "geek" stereotype persona translated into a character that was actually pretty creepy. For a mostly voice actor / musician, I really can't think of anyone who would have pulled off Boris better. Hopefully we see more of him in the future : this roll really showed that he can act.
And well, Emma Thomas as K was good, but she seemed to be phoning it in as she has in a lot of recent rolls. She was good for a few good laughs but really, too much talent for such a small role.
Overall, a very solid 6.5/10. One of the few Third entries of a trilogy that didn't completely fail, but also didn't really do much for the series. In general, MIB 3 is worth watching if you are a fan of the movies (or if you are a fan of the original graphic novels). Rounded it up to 7, but again, more like a 6.5.
Good movie, not great, but not bad, and really just fun to watch. So grab the popcorn and turn your brain off while Brolin proves that he is one of the best actors in the last 20 years. Seriously, his acting range from comedy/ drama / horror / romance is really just astounding.
An honest review.
To begin with, it kind of annoys me when people post instant one star reviews because they disliked a movie. There are probably no movies out there that are one star or "zero stars" as a lot of the reviews here say. Just because someone disliked something doesn't mean it is "The Worst Movie Ever", another phrase that gets tossed around more than the Comic Book Guy in the Simpson's says it.
All that being said, yes, this is a pretty bad movie. It has an excellent concept and had some decent acting from a few of the cast members however it is obvious that the writing was not competent enough to keep up with the idea.
Not Another Not Another Movie almost feels like an attempt to recreate the beauty of "Spinal Tap" like many other failed movies before. Instead of a documentary type spoof on the music industry, it is a spoof on how difficult it is to make a good movie. That is basically the entire meta-joke that the movie tries to evoke, however, it just doesn't deliver. There are some well written scenes, such as the meeting with Vinnie Jones, and also (as Jones) some high profile a-listers that provide cameos or bit parts.
The main problem is that most of the movie's jokes are basically stolen from other comedians / movies / TV shows. It attempts to be a parody but really comes off as more of a collection of plagiarizing bits taken from far better material. There's a big difference between parody / spoof and simply stealing jokes and attempting to make it your own. It really becomes annoying when 85% of the movie is "Hey, that joke was taken from (insert someone else / another movie) rather than spoofing or parodying it.
Overall, the movie is basically funny at times, and is good for just wasting about 90 minutes of your life. However, as good as the concept is and the potential just does not work due to shoddy writing, blatant plagiarizing, and just poor acting with a few exceptions. It really serves best as background noise while you're doing something else rather than really paying attention to it. It actually is a shame because the idea behind it was really solid; a mockumentary about trying to film a mockumentary spoof movie is a great idea. The movie just doesn't deliver.
So Worst movie ever? of course not, that's the most overused phrase in the world. a 1 star or a 10 star? not even close. Is it worth watching? Only if you're really bored and there's nothing else on because there are a few good laughs (although again like I said, most of the best laughs come from other people's material). So well, overall verdict is a 3.5 out of 10. The score is really based on the concept of the film, not on the film itself. And a point and a half for some scenes that are pretty funny.
Bottom line : Watch with no expectations and don't prepare for anything more than a 3/10 movie. Again, it is a great concept that just doesn't deliver. If you're bored and want to waste 90 minutes on mindless recycled / stolen jokes (and a couple of clever/funny scenes) then that's about all you can expect from Not another Not Another Movie.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)
Grab your popcorn and that pretty much sums it up
TLDR at bottom. There's a lot of fan boys trashing this movie however, it achieved what it was going for. It was made for the new generation of 10-15 year olds
Overall, the theater I went to was packed, with both people my age (35-40) and kids (10-15). The adult's weren't thrilled about it, but it's not a one star "OMG THEY RUINED OUR CHILDHOOD" film that so many people like to post as reviews. This film was for our children and the young people in the crowd loved it. It is purely a summertime popcorn film. Lots of action, pretty weak storyline, little character development, but overall it succeed by bringing TMNT to a new audience of the next generation.
Point and case, before I went to see it, I had my kids (12 year old boy, 10 year old girl) watch the movies I grew up with. They weren't really that impressed asking why they were wearing rubber suits and such. Meanwhile the older movies hold a special place in my heart, but seeing it through their eyes, it is obvious that they are a little dated now.
They LOVED this movie, and that's the main point of this review. If you are someone that is trying to relive your childhood or search for continuity, this movie wasn't made for you. It was made to introduce our children to the brand, and on that, this film 100% succeeds.
In retrospect, when I saw the first Live Action TMNT I'm sure my parents thought it was a horrible movie, but to me it was amazing. Difference is, nowadays, parents now accuse Hollywood of "ruining their childhood". If you go into it with that attitude, then yes, you are going to hate it. If you go with your children, you will actually get a taste of your childhood if you watch it through their eyes.
It's a popcorn movie for sure, which is what 10-15 year olds want. The whole film was designed for a 10-15 year old mentality of the new generation. So in general, your kids will like it, and if you just want to share the experience, watch it through your children's eyes because this film was not made for us as I said earlier. It was made to attract a new generation of fans to TMNT. And although there are a lot of flaws in this movie (and for everyone who thinks the first live action ones were back in 1986 were awesome well, they were pretty full of flaws too) However, those flaws don't matter when you are younger.
So grab your kids, grab some popcorn, and enjoy the movie for what it is : a way of introducing your children to something you loved at their age. After all, now they enjoy the older movies and cartoons (for another example after the movie they asked me where Casey Jones was since he was their favorite character in the originals.) It's fun to now share something I loved, that before this movie my kids just quite didn't see the appeal.
TLDR : The movie is designed for 10-15 year old children to introduce the new generation to TMNT. If you are expecting reliving your childhood, you'll complain that Bay ruined it. If you watch it through your children's eyes, you'll realize that it indeed was made for them, just like the old cartoons and movies were made for us when we were their age.
Tucker and Dale vs Evil (2010)
Do Not Watch the Trailer!
This movie was exceptional, no doubt about that. In "satire" films such as Shawn of the Dead, Kick-Ass, and Zombieland, I would have to put this second to only Shawn of the dead.
It is witty, creatively gory, and downright hilarious at times. The main problem I found with it was that the Redband Trailer revealed basically the entire movie. This movie is a must watch for anyone who enjoys horror and comedies. But I suggest to stay away from the trailer, and enjoy it without any previous knowledge.
The acting is surprisingly good, especially from the supporting cast. The pacing is fast, frantic, and fun. There is no shortage of gore and even then, it's more of an Evil Dead 2 type gore that is so over the top it's hilarious.
All in all I give this movie 4/5, or on IMDb 8/10. It isn't a classic, I was tempted to give it a 7.5, but I rounded up considering this is the first movie the director has done. Like I stated though, go in and watch it without watching the trailer, the trailer plays out like a condensed version of the movie.