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7/10
For the first time this Star Trek reboot feels like Star Trek!
14 March 2017
I'm not going to lie when I watched the reboot I feel as though JJ Abrams had very little understanding of what drew me into the series and what it was all about. With the sequel rehashing plot lines from Star Trek 2 and even having a character who's goal of trying to instigate a war between humans and Klingons which was from Star Trek 6 (if I said I was a casual watcher would you guys believe me?)... It just felt like he was trying to pander to the fans by giving them stuff that they liked in previous films but fell short of said previous films... This however is actually pretty good.

The plot is that Kirk is doing a routine check around Space when a swarm of ships knocks the Enterprise down onto an uncharted planet. Everyone is stranded on wildly different parts of the planet due to their escape pods and must re-unite and stop the tyrannical alien who instigated this fight before he moves in to wipe out the Federation.

Okay, what's to like here? The actors - each and every single one of them pull through a great performance and even introduce a new dynamic as young Spock has to deal with the fact that the time-traveled version of himself from the future just died. I also enjoyed the villain actually being a former Federation Captain. But I would say if there is anything to compliment the most it's both the introduction of the character of Jaylah and Sofia Boutella's performance as her. She's a very interesting character that had to survive the planet under that rule with nobody and managed to get an old timey Federation Starship working again. She even offers technology to help the Enterprise crew escape.

In short while this movie has problems I can say for me whatever problem it may have had was substituted by something in it I enjoyed. The trailer of this did seem to be very misleading. Mainly because I thought it would be a case of questioning whether or not the team behind it even watched the shows or movies. I'll also say finally it also does feel like it's own thing as well. I will look forward to future movies in this series if it continues to go in this direction.
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7/10
What could have been an easy way to cut the budget is worked to it's best advantage here
14 March 2017
I know amongst the nerd community that there are a lot of fantasy and sci-fi movies in the 80's that must take the premise to modern-day to save on it's budget and most of them were pretty bad. I haven't seen these movies myself but from what little I've seen of some, I really don't want to. This however is how to do this premise right because what could have been a standard time travel episode of the original show (with a larger budget) ends up being a very good sci-fi comedy with a lot of memorable moments.

So the plot is that an alien probe starts sending a message that screws with space and Earth. on Vulcan continuing from 3 the crew decide to analyse the message and find that the only creatures that can hear it are humpback whales but they all died in a non-specific time frame between this movie and their time. They decide to time travel to find some so that message can get a reply. They try their best to accommodate to their new time and usually hijinx ensues but... unlike others of the time the comedy of trying to keep a low profile while Spock is mind-melding with a humpback whale in Sea World is actually funny.

I'll say the effects are quite good for their time and the actors do pull through something... worth seeing (I say worth seeing because Shatner has never been a good actor other than when he plays egotists or just parodies of himself) but the main draw here is the comedy. I will always laugh at the bit where Spock nerve pinches a punk to get him to turn off his stereo while a bus cheers. If there is anything to say against it I would say while there is a villain they're probably the most uninteresting villains in Star Trek history (it's just the American authorities in 1986) and that... It's not that I dislike what was done here it's just that when I watch Star Trek I do prefer it when it's actual space exploration, new worlds and aliens (unless it's Insurrection!). I'd say this is also the most accessible of Star Trek movies (either this, Wrath Of Khan or First Contact). so I would recommend this.
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8/10
Actually... This is really good
26 January 2017
When I started watching this movie I had... indifferent expectations, I knew of the iconic scenes but honestly not much else. After watching it I realized while it takes massive liberties with how the silent era of film worked... It is best described as a love letter to the films of the past as told through the eyes of the films of it's day and it's because of that and how movies have changed over the past 60 years that trying the same thing today would be next to impossible on this degree.

The plot is that it's the late silent era, Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont are a big romantic duo (Don seemingly reminding me of Douglas Fairbanks, I might be wrong but that's the vibe I got) and they play it up for publicity despite Don hating Lamont behind the scenes. In an interview he describes how dignified and easy his rise to fame was while we're shown it was hard and he had to take anything he can find to break through the glass ceiling. While on the run from fans he finds the one woman who hates the silent era of film and resists his charm.

Soon a new invention is added and a complete game changer for the very culture of cinema going and changes how movies would be shot forever. Sound. Thinking it's a gimmick the studio with Lockwood and Lamont continue to make their movie, until The Jazz Singer became a big hit, then it was turned into a sound movie, despite Lina Lamont not having the best voice for a sound movie. Initial test screenings are hated when a lot of technical troubles with the movie causes laughter in the audience. Fearing they'll be relics of their time unable to make the transition to talkies They decide to do 2 things, one is to reshoot scenes turning it into a musical and the other would be to dub Lina Lamont (which is actually funny if you read the trivia that the actress who played Lamont was the one singing the supposedly dubbed songs).

Aware she'll be dubbed Lamont decides to seize control of the studio and ensure that people think it's her voice and Kathy will go uncredited for her work. After the premiere they pretty much ensure that Lamont's career will be ruined by revealing the truth.

Okay the songs, the dances that choreography, The cinematography, the acting (for what it is) is all pretty good and the jokes even sometimes get a laugh out of me. But as I may have said it's biggest achievement was taking this love letter to the silent movie and telling it through what was the new ways Hollywood told stories, kind of encompassing all at the time.

The entire third act of the movie just kind of threw me off. Pretty much any actor having more power than a studio head at the time just threw my suspension of disbelief right out the window considering how actors were treated back then and even around the time this movie came out. It's just an obvious ploy that we don't feel bad that Lina Lamont would fade into obscurity and laughed out the theater. While the rest I would call a romanticized depiction of the silent era that just threw me off and never quite got back on track for me.

Either way I would recommend this simply for it's accomplishments. They really pay off and I know how clichéd and rose tinted someone seems when they say something like what I'm about to say but to make a love letter to encompass film as a whole to this extent I seriously don't think can happen today. If you want an extremely well done love letter to film I'd suggest checking this out.
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Don's Plum (2001)
6/10
Doesn't deserve the flak it gets!
22 January 2017
In spite of everything that has been said about this movie Don's Plum is not terrible. It is probably one of the most notorious unreleased movies ever made simply because of Leo and Tobey Maguire trying to block it and to be quite honest, I have no idea why and this is after watching it from start to finish in it's entirety.

The plot, many friends try to get dates where they go to this hangout place at a diner, they talk about sex, drugs and all other kinds of stuff. There really isn't all that much else to say about the plot mainly because this movie is minimalist, the only other thing of note is that it sometimes cuts to a character's internal thoughts which is them talking in a bathroom mirror with scratchy audio.

Okay, I'll say all the things I found wrong with this movie. Some stuff is really speratic and right the hell out of nowhere. One of the character's close to final notes is an internal thought described above where she was molested as a kid... That's not the kind of stuff to just bring up and throw away. It also makes out in the opening that Amber Benson is the lead when she's not. After trashing a car a half hour in we never see her again. Tobey Maguire has some really awkward line deliveries (although, why he sees this as more embarrassing than the dancing in Spiderman 3?... I have no clue) And at the end I feel as though in spite of the character insight nothing really was accomplished, like this is how these kids spend every Saturday night. That could work if it was a short movie but it's not.

Okay now to address the elephant in the room. There are many stories to suggest why this movie was never released and to be quite honest I can debunk so many of them. It was claimed Leo had a nude scene and claimed he was bisexual in this movie. Is Scott Bloom really the spitting image of Leo that you can't tell the difference? It was also claimed that it would ruin Maguire and Leo's image at the time, well today Leo has an Oscar and played FAR more unpleasant characters than some misogynistic prick that spends the entire movie putting people down (so I wouldn't think if released today it would harm his image) and with Maguire, he's usually a peacekeeper in those situations, as I may have said he's a little awkward - sure but I think that's deliberate. So I honestly don't know why they don't release it now because problems aside it can be pretty interesting to watch even without the crap in this paragraph.

Okay, the good things. Well the acting from all involved is pretty good and while I know it was mostly improvised I feel as though it did come across pretty damn good. I get the story is trying to be this deconstruction of the characters and their relationships with one another and while as I said that was rushed that idea is pretty intriguing. While it's also in black and white the cinematography at times can be really good.

So if you want me to be honest, had this been released properly I probably wouldn't have watched it but I'm glad I did mainly because of the stuff I've said above. To be quite honest if you're looking for reasons why this is the most personally despised film of Leo and Maguire's respective careers I personally think it's a head-scratcher. It's just a minimalist drama that seemed to be doing what Clerks did but instead got a lot of flak from either the media's coverage of the lawsuit or word of mouth from those events. If you can find a copy, if ANYTHING of what I've described above is your thing, while the characters aren't really likable I'd suggest watching it.
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10/10
Could be the absolute perfect way to end this show!
14 January 2017
Okay with Alex Mack there have been ups and downs and somewhere around the middle. I really don't know how I discovered the show but it's charm and humour caught my eye while watching the first season and after watching that end I wanted to see more (no thanks to the people making the DVD's wanting to cash in on Jessica Alba's popularity when she was only in 3 episodes out of 13 in the first season!) so I found a way to get them on DVD and I have just finished watching. This 2 parter actually seems to be so good I can't understate enough that I think that it's almost criminal that you can barely watch the show (I'm not kidding either when I say there are episodes on IMDb that just made me ask "What are they talking about?") and that... I would like to see a sequel series after this.

Okay the plot, after accidentally revealing her powers to Louis Driscol, Alex explains it and soon the Chemical plant is onto her right before shady dealings to get government approval means that GC-161 will be on the shelves by the next morning. Unfortunately Danielle Atron is taking measures to kidnap Alex and her family (in a clever directing choice of it being the one time Danielle and Alex seem to be on-screen together). While all hell is breaking loose Dave takes measures to the police to ensure that Danielle is arrested and thwarted before she runs out of the country with a billion dollars in her pocket. Hunter (a character I would have had no problem with if they actually developed him) and Ray are doing all they can to rescue Alex and her family and Louis trying to make things right is trying to tell everyone about Alex's powers and Danielle's shady behaviour.

This could be the best episode of the show by far! Every character they could possibly get comes back (except Vince, I thought he was a funny comic foil and I would have loved to have seen a proper finale to him) and their finale is exactly what you want, they even got Meredith Bishop back for one final scene (despite being a main actor hasn't been only credited since around the beginning of the season). The mood is high octane and the kind of stuff that has you glued to your seat if you had any investment in the characters, it reminds me of stuff like Buffy but for a younger demographic and sci-fi. It even has humour thrown in.

What's wrong with this then? Well as usual for the show the CGI is awful (I know it's late-90's Nickelodeon and excuseable but... still), there's a scene wherein Ray is handcuffed to a desk with a bomb on it and when he calls for help I felt as though that could have gone for another take. That and the usual rant on how there's no proper DVD release for the show, I think given the chance this show could be seen as a really good time capsule of entertainment in the 90's. But apparently there's no such thing as a nostalgia market as far as Nickelodeon's concerned. Either way, if you only have the first season on DVD I will encourage you to try and find all of it because while there is bad stuff there is a lot of good that it seems they're trying to have it fade away when it deserves a lot more than that!
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8/10
Fairly good for a 90 minute episode
20 December 2016
I really enjoyed Cowboy Bebop the series however while I was watching it I honestly could not find a copy of the movie until after i watched the show. However, this is probably so akin to the show in terms of being exactly like a good filler episode of the series that I honestly have a hard time differentiating between the two which is actually the best compliment I can give an adaptation of a show when the show happens to be really freaking good. The story involves the crew of the Bebop going after a case that soon escalates into a terrorist bombing and then them trying to stop it. While I did say it is extremely similar to the show one of the things that might come out of that is that the show's singular plot lines go only slightly above 20 minutes (I'm not counting the rivalry between Spike and Vicious which is the edge the show has for being better in my eyes) However here, the situation is high scale enough to be translated and in all honesty the villain of the movie is actually a pretty fascinating character. That really is where the movie and the show both shine though, in their characters. I'd say this is essential watching for fans of the show and if not, while this isn't a perfect jumping on point it's still pretty good.
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7/10
Breaks the "Odd numbered Star Trek movies are bad" idea
20 December 2016
This movie seems to get swept under the rug when it comes to Star Trek and honestly when it's between the one Die-Hard fans usually consider to be the best in the series and the one that was for a good long while the most financially successful movie in the series it's not hard to see why. But while this isn't as good as Star Trek 2 or 4 this is actually good in it's own right.

This takes place after 2. They return home to find Bones thinking he's Spock and Genesis quarantined. when a Starship is searching Genesis they find a young version of Spock alive regenerated by the planet because as he was sent there as new life was forming on Genesis that regenerated him. While this is going on a renegade Klingon vessel also catches wind of Genesis and what it does and decides to take it and claim the "weapon" for themselves. Soon Kirk is visited by Spock's father who says that part of Spock survived and would have used a form of mind-melding to transfer his knowledge and personality over to Kirk but they find out it was actually Bones and wants to be taken to Genesis. They soon go on this adventure once again.

Okay while as usually Shatner's acting is... Shatner the rest of the cast do a pretty good job. While Christopher Lloyd isn't as memorable of a villain as Khan there is a lot to his performance that quite honestly really does make his character interesting. The way this builds story on 2 by Genesis being unstable and even Spock's resurrection by the planet with no memories is actually really fascinating to me. I also quite enjoy the special effects and the action as well and the story is actually pretty good.

So this movie is just a consistent level of okay. It does get above average at times and I think it's actually a pretty underrated movie in this series. Again considering what came before and afterwards in the series I can understand it. I really would recommend this if you're a casual viewer of the Star Trek series.
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2/10
Quite possibly the worst Star Trek movie I've seen
20 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
When it comes to my viewing experiences with Star Trek I've seen 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 8. I'd also put the reboot films in there as well (the first 2, haven't seen the new one) but honestly... they don't count in my eyes. The end result of this movie is a bore possibly moreso than the first one because at least the first one had a lot of very interesting ideas in it's second half. Also the script in this is so bad virtually everyone is unlikeable.

The plot is that Data has gone haywire while observing a planet full of people who don't believe in technology (I do mean people in the sense that they didn't do a make-up job on the actors to make them look like... you know, aliens) and exposes a Federation base that could have easily been built in space. Meanwhile Picard accepts a new race into The Federation and gets informed about Data and he decides to try and stop him... by singing the HMS Pinafore... I know the reasoning behind it but how is anyone supposed to look at that scene and not think "What the hell?".

After that surprisingly works evidently they find out that Data's morality took over (Yes, because morality can be totally programmable facts in the future!) and they find a huge machine to take the population of 600 (remember this) on a Holo-deck replica of their village. It also turns out that the reason the Federation wants them off without consulting them (oh it gets better) is that the planet can actually stop ageing and work medical miracles (should I remind that they hate technology and the people who use it?). Oh and as a reminder these people are not the inhabitants of the planet and there are these other group of aliens who want the planets properties because they're dying (oh and it also says it's the needs of 600 people vs the needs of billions!) and spoilers but they are the same race as the technology haters but exiled off the planet because they dared offered a different viewpoint... Oh but the technology hating people are the GOOD GUYS.

I really don't see why this movie needed to exist. The technology hating aliens are actually constantly saved by it and this tries to push the whole "re-connect with nature" and how warp capability is bad because "where could it take us except away from here" Yes because Space exploration in the Star Trek universe is pretty boring I guess. Oh and the Federation really doesn't help with forcing them off without realizing it happened. Virtually there is so much against each side in this movie that I really wonder how the first Star Trek movie is considered to be worse than it. It at least when seeing something that needed explanation, they at least explained it rather than this movie's (and I swear I'm not kidding) "No more questions".

So aside from a REALLY bad script whose reaction from me was "between this and The Phantom Menace no wonder the genre of Space Opera died for a while in summer blockbusters!" What else do I have to say about this? For a Star Trek movie this has no interesting ideas. The rest left me with something but no, this left me with nothing but the thought of the cast and the cinematography being wasted when the idea of F Murray Abraham playing a Star Trek villain who could have been a tragic villain alongside Patrick Stewart's Jean-Luc Picard really screams more awesome as an idea. If they just revamped the entire idea of the Baku and threw in something interesting to walk away with after the movie's over then I'm not sure if it would be good but it would have been a lot better than this!
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The Big Bang Theory (2007– )
1/10
If you want to see actually funny nerds go on the internet!
5 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Okay, I think I might dislike the modern American sitcom half as much as reality Television. I'm sure that if I go digging I can find something worth looking at, I fully admit that but then I see this stuff go on for over 10 years. Basically this is the image of nerds by non-nerds. Any stereotype that you can throw at nerds can be somewhere in this show. The whole thing feels very half assed, they reference a scene in Game Of Thrones wherein a character gets his son's genitals in a box (and if you're grossed out by that I understand but wait, I haven't said the punchline) after that out-of-nowhere dialogue the response is along the lines of "It's always good to have spares"... WHAT?! This is funny? humour at it's best is when something unexpected happens, stuff like the ending to the movie Some Like it Hot, the drag comedy. It ends with the line exchange "I'm a MAN!" "Well, nobody's perfect"... Brilliantly done and something I'm sure most audiences can laugh at. So aside from the writing that hopes it's audiences can't comprehend humour and the characters that only exist in someone's mind what else is wrong with this? The celebrities they get in. I mean it seems like they got James Earl Jones, Will Wheaton, Summer Glau just to name a few just to say "Wait, WE CAN WRITE NERDS! LOOK HERE ARE NERD ICONS!" How about they quote bad movies or something? I think even throwing in the cast impersonating Tommy Wiseau would get a laugh even if the audience never saw The Room. Oh I'm sorry, this operates that nerds only like sci-fi and fantasy shows, movies and comic books... Just look up any nerd/comedian on the internet, if you want your laugh just watch that. I certainly find it preferable to this!
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Modern Family (2009– )
1/10
You know, I thought this show died off a LONG time ago
5 December 2016
When it comes to television... there is a lot better out there than this. I will also be fair I only watched disc 1 of Season 1 but I do feel that is enough to do a review. Basically this is a family sitcom/mocumentary so it's basically the stuff that The Honeymooners, The Brady Bunch and so many others have replicated beforehand that The Simpsons seemed to dominate after it hit it's stride (and even now after that... 6th dead horse is beaten). Usually I see some kind of effort with the shows that came beforehand... I'll analyze the three separate family situations. There's the rich old man and the annoying as hell gold digger and her son that seems to be beyond his years in maturity... This is not funny. There's the gay couple that would have flown if this was the 90's and their adopted kid... This is also not funny. Then there's the main family to cover all the demographics like any other family sitcom would do... This also, sing it with me - IS NOT FUNNY! I never once got a laugh out of any of the situations. Basically Ty Burrel is the crap version of Al Bundy combined with the "Ooh the dad that wants to relate to his kids is really dorky!" Seriously, this would have been okay if it was the 90's (well, it wouldn't because this isn't funny and I actually have laughed at some sitcoms from back then but I digress)... Okay, this will be the last tine I criticize the humour by saying how much I didn't laugh at a single thing for a number of episodes that I don't care to remember. But the whole 90's comparison still stands, this just feels like autopilot. The character of Gloria in particular is one of the most annoying characters I've ever seen. All in all my simple question is how does THIS go on for 8 years while I've seen better stuff not last a season?
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7/10
Probably the best slasher sequel ever made
5 December 2016
I didn't really care for the original Nightmare movie. It is actually okay but for a concept that imaginative I feel as though the final product was lacking a little bit. However I have a brother who insisted that this is the best in the series mainly for the dreams being surreal and Freddy's kills made to look like suicides. Looking at this for myself? I agree. This is the best in the series. The plot is that teens are in a mental institution and each have their own different troubles sleeping. All of them are being scared in their dreams by Guess Who but he quickly finds boredom with that and things become a lot more drastic. Nancy from the first movie is in this however and tries her best to help the kids from Freddy and after talking her colleague into believing them gets Nancy's father to destroy what's left of Freddy so he can't do this anymore. This does sound like standard slasher fair and it is but there is quite a bit going for it. Robert Englund as Freddy is always fun to watch, the dreams are appropriately weird and I like the idea of fighting Freddy using the powers of their dreams. I'd say if you're interested check it out, out of what I've seen this probably is the best slasher sequel ever made.
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5/10
Undeserving of being called boring, but there is still quite a bit to not like in this
5 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Okay with Star Trek I feel as though I'm in the middle of being in a spiral effect of being a fan (much like Doctor Who) in the sense that some of the stuff there is actually really freaking good while other stories with the Star Trek name are some of the dumbest to grace the genre of Science Fiction (repeat, SOME of the dumbest - it's not THE dumbest, that honour goes to Battlefield Earth either the movie or the 1000 page waste of time). I decided to watch this mainly because I was curious and while it is very slow paced I wouldn't call it boring.

There's this huge anomaly/cloud in space, every attempt to contact has been deflected and when Klingon's shot it that too was deflected. They decide to send a brand new Enterprise with now-Admiral Kirk on board. They move to investigate what it is (and bear in mind I just summed up half the movie in those sentences). Turns out it is a piece of a mechanical life that wants to return to it's creator and is certain it's on Earth. When Kirk, Spock, McCoy and the character only in this investigates Vger (the alien) and it turns out that not only is it an old satellite from Earth's history called "Voyager 6" but that Vger is also a child that while it knows everything about the universe it can't understand basic human emotions. The character only in this merges with Vger in order to make that happen and new life is created.

Okay, if they cut down the first hour and elaborated more on the stuff with Vger once it's in the ship with the body of one of the crew I'm pretty sure it would have been a great movie. Kind of a really introspective sci-fi movie. Seriously the ideas in this are just so interesting to me I can't express enough how if that was in more of this movie it would be a classic worthy of other classic sci-fi to come out around that same time. But the first hour or so bears on padding until it could not be padded any more.

Either way, I would give this movie almost all compliments. The visual effects are amazing to look at for the time. I really am perplexed as to how they did not win the Oscar for that. The music... well Jerry Goldsmith's main theme of this movie is now a staple of the Star Trek franchise and for good reason. The acting is pretty good (save for William Shatner but I guess everyone knows that by now). While the characters here aren't really up to par as they are in the show or later cinematic outings the actors do pull through.

The only real trouble is the pacing, it really is bad enough to not warrant me liking this movie when the rest of it I give almost all compliments. It takes too long for anything to get done in this. I'm just off the heels of watching The Ten Commandments (which is 4 hours long) and this feels slower. I will say I am glad I saw it (it's much better than anything I've seen from the reboots) but it just doesn't do it for me.
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7/10
A rarity, a good religious movie
3 December 2016
I did like the story of Exodus Gods and Kings but I felt as though that the execution really did pull down what could have been a good movie of a Prince finding out that his true heritage is that of the people the Egyptians are enslaving. So I decided to actually watch a version of the story that doesn't fall into that trap - The Ten Commandments, widely regarded as the best iteration of the story.

The plot is essentially the same as it always was - The Egyptian is told about a prophecy, a Hebrew child is going to rise up and free them from the Egyptian's ruthless and cutthroat grasp, he orders to have every recent male birth murdered (for some weird reason the prophecy said it would be a male... I don't know!). One mother manages to evade the authorities and send her child in a basket somewhere with the hopes that it's picked up and it happens to be picked up by the Pharaoh's daughter. Years later Moses is a Prince that is loved by the people and benign towards the slaves. The current Pharaoh is also thinking about naming Moses his successor and this upsets his son Ramses and will do anything to get onto the throne... I think most people can get the story from this point. Moses finds his heritage, is exiled and finds a burning bush that tells him to convince Ramses (who's now the new Pharaoh) to free his people or the people of Egypt will suffer through Plagues until Ramses changes his mind.

If anything this movie is extremely detailed, it really does feel like watching the entire life story of the character of Moses. While it can be said that this movie is really long and it is I do feel as though it taking it's time to show how much someone like Moses would need to intervene and showing a whole lot more than the story of Moses but fleshes out a whole lot of the supporting cast and the story. The acting is also pretty good and the sheer size and scale of this movie is admirable to anyone watching and while the effects don't really hold up, for the time they are pretty damn impressive.

Okay what are the complaints with this movie? Well, I don't really think either Moses or Ramses goes through an arc... Well Moses did start out as a skeptic towards God but there's barely anything else. Ramses is even worse because he starts out as a despicable scumbag and he stays like that until... nearly the end of the movie wherein he's broken about his son dying. I also think the romance and a little bit of the drama is... soap opera-ish. The romance especially is so over-the-top in places, it never once feels real.

Whether or not I'd recommend this is purely based on whether what I described above really matters to you. It is a good movie and I love the whole angle of God putting everyone on this earth to be equal that the movie is undertaking. This in spite of it being a little dated is actually very much worth watching in my eyes. If you're an atheist like I am then I would suggest seeing it as a good story as opposed to fact. Either way, I would recommend this.
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Ben-Hur (2016)
3/10
A really bizarre choice for a remake
29 November 2016
Okay, I didn't care much for the 1959 movie that won 11 Oscars and was 4 hours long but even upon looking at the trailer did I think that re-making one of the most celebrated movies of the Hollywood Golden Age was a pretty dumb idea (simply because... well, they have a HUGE act to live up to)... So the 1959 movie, I don't like it yet I do respect it. Them giving this to the guy that cut out all the depth to my favourite book series was a WEIRD choice as well but, I will assess this movie and even explain why even on it's own merits it's not very good.

Okay the plot this time takes a few steps backwards and instead fleshes out Ben-Hur's relationship with Messala as he was adopted into the family, left to join the Roman Empire and comes back with the Romans to invade, then there's the accident wherein Judah and his family are blamed but they get imprisoned anyway and then he's freed when he escapes a sinking ship and learns to chariot race and uses this to get revenge considering how dangerous they are.

Okay, I am going to try and draw as few comparisons between this and the 50's movie but I can't when plot points either straight up don't make sense because of the time restrictions or they re-enact scenes word for word. I'm also disappointed with Messala's character development because while in the first movie he's a straight-up a$$hole indoctrinated into the Roman Army's way of thinking, this one I think they're trying to come across as more sympathetic and it fails... at least I think, while Messala is given a lot more development here I honestly don't know what they were going for. Oh and I do have to ask in the realms of this movie why is Judah allowed to walk free when he returns to Jerusalem? While it was an accident in the first movie misinterpreted in this one it's that he's harboring rebels that attempt to assassinate Pilate. I have bare bones knowledge of history but wouldn't EVERY centurion be kicking down every door in Jerusalem once they know he's there? For argument's sake while I would have cut out Judah's time in Rome I would have still kept the whole "he saved a Roman's life and was pardoned" thing because as many questions as that raises, that's at least an explanation.

Oh and the subtleties with Jesus in the original are now just gone. He actually contributes as much to the plot as he does in the first movie (which is barely anything) and yet gets more screen time! My simple question is why is he here? I don't think putting these scenes serves a single purpose.

Okay, on a technical level while it wasn't the marvel of today as the 50's movie was for back then this is still competently done. The story is still in tact even if there are a few weird choices (like Ben-Hur knowing about his mother and sister before the chariot race as opposed to him being told with Messala's last breath, which also doesn't happen in this version). This movie is a case of it having no real reason to exist and it'll be forgotten the minute you've finished watching it. While I didn't like the 50's movie I did like this movie better when it starred Charlton Heston.
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Elvira's Movie Macabre: Eegah (2010)
Season 1, Episode 8
7/10
First Elvira
23 November 2016
I have a brother who is a pretty big Elvira fan. He wanted me to watch something of hers so I suggested this because... Well, of all the movies on the DVD set, I actually know this one's reputation. It's pretty easy to call it a less frequent one liner, goth version of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Her lines do get a laugh and she does give the movie enough of a thrashing to be satisfied with. I do like the presenting of the Elvie awards as a way to say how crap the movie is and I did like the joke she made about the movie's title in the beginning. I will watch more Elvira in the future, I mean it's not as good as Mystery Science Theater but it is satisfying enough to try out.
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Eegah (1962)
3/10
Probably the worst band movie ever made
23 November 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Unlike other movies that have been on Mystery Science Theater 3000 I did not watch this movie through that, I instead watched this through the modern day Elvira show (I'll review that after this) so the movie centers around a caveman who is 7 foot tall and scares the crap out of Roxy, a supposed teen and has a boyfriend who likes performing music as a non-sequitur and considering this person is played by the director's son I would not be surprised if he had his own wannabe pop band that he wanted hits inserted into the movie so he could be what The Beatles were... it's all speculation but considering how not-relevant to the plot it is right down to Roxy having no problem with him singing songs about other girls it's pretty sound. So anyway they look for the caveman and find it and he has evidently survived all this time, untouched by civilization because "shut up it does" and takes a liking to Roxy. So they try and get away from it and the caveman tries getting to her apparently not taking "no" for an answer and gets killed once it goes back to civilization as we're supposed to feel sorry for it. This movie is not interesting - the plot is ridiculous, the acting is annoying and it could not be more evident of it's low budget and it gets per-occupied with shooting crap Arch Hall Jr music videos.
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5/10
It has some good moments but it's a drag most times. A classic example of the second half being better than the first
22 November 2016
I quite like the original Gojira. I feel as though it's probably one of the best giant monster movies out there, I mean yes it can be hokey at times but that kind of comes with the genre. I decided to dig up more of these movies to look at to see if I can watch more when the original has a bleak tone to it all that none of the movies share. I decided to look at this and while I could handle the tonal shift just fine it doesn't stop this movie from having problems.

After Godzilla's last attack on a Japanese city that ended with him falling into a volcano, scientists manage to find a cell of Godzilla. with the scientific possibilities this opens a lot of people want their hands on it and when someone does have ownership an accident happens in a science lab that leaves the daughter of the head scientist dead. 5 years later he decided to take up studying flowers and catches wind of a kind of... school of psychics (I'll buy that... Considering the title characters are 300 foot tall radioactive flowers and lizards psychics are pretty easy to buy) and they predict that Godzilla survived being dropped into a volcano and is going to leave soon. We also see scientists talk of prospects of using the Godzilla cell to create a bacteria that eats radiation and gives it to the head scientist from earlier who decides to fuse the cell with a flower (... Okay!) and after a while Godzilla does emerge and it's up to the military to stop him before he destroys cities.

My biggest problem is that there is way too much of the human characters. The stuff of how Biolante was created I'll admit was necessary and I do like the idea of introducing telepathy into this series. However, I really don't think the bacteria or the corporate espionage for the Godzilla cell is really needed considering how much time is devoted to both. It takes about an hour for Godzilla to finally make an appearance and he fights Biolante twice in the movie... Okay, I'll admit the fighting is pretty fun to watch and delivers exactly what you would want in a fight between Godzilla and a giant version of Audrey from Little Shop Of Horrors. But I really don't think half the stuff with the humans is necessary. One other side-note I don't think the acting when they speak English is good at all. Half the time it sounds like all the English the actors know is their lines, I don't know if this is the same when Hollywood does it with other languages but in short, it's not very good.

Right well, what's good about this movie? The action. Seriously the military fighting Godzilla is pretty good (except for a scene where Godzilla actually manages to sneak up on a guy) the fight between Godzilla and the new hardware the military has to get him is actually pretty good but the stand-outs really are the fight scenes with Biolante. It's a creatively designed monster fighting Godzilla and while the special effects aren't all that great by the standards of 1989, there did seem to be a lot of effort thrown in.

I would suggest watching for a big hardcore Godzilla fan to watch this. I guess I was expecting a little more out of a movie implying 2 giant monsters fighting, while the fighting is pretty good there is so much to wait through in order to have that happen with a corporate espionage subplot that goes nowhere and another subplot about giving Godzilla a radiation-eating bacteria as a means of killing him that also barely goes anywhere. I wouldn't mind watching more of these but this movie on it's own does have it's share of problems that keep me from liking it.
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6/10
Can be quite a lot of fun.
22 November 2016
Okay, I'm not really a fan of the Nightmare on Elm Street or Friday The 13th. I don't know why I decided to watch this but I did and it seems to be pretty satisfying. The plot is that Freddy is forgotten on Elm Street because a town-wide conspiracy is in place so nobody even mentions his name. Because of this he is losing power but not enough however to resurrect Jason. The bodies start piling up and the conspiracy slowly becomes unraveled, giving Freddy the power needed to do what Freddy does best... Unfortunately it seems that resurrecting Jason didn't come with an off switch or something and they decide the town's not big enough for 2 of them. While it does feel as though it takes a while for Freddy and Jason to finally fight seeing them kill in ways fans know and love (or even something I haven't seen and that's one where Jason kills people while he's completely set on fire!) and Robert Englund hamming it up is so entertaining to watch regardless. Even the ideas of having there being one fight in Freddy's dream world and the other in the real world being clever considering one of them has an advantage and disadvantage in both worlds. I'd say if you're into watching cheesy fun then I'd recommend this. It does deliver what you would expect from Freddy and Jason being in the same movie (or even more-so for me considering I actually think this is the best Friday The 13th related movie I've watched so far). If you want to watch it, I'd recommend it.
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Kitchen Nightmares: Amy's Baking Company (2013)
Season 6, Episode 16
7/10
"This is not normal"
16 November 2016
Usually with reality TV Shows.. Yeah, I'm about as far away from being a fan as you can get. Kitchen Nightmares is probably the only thing I'll watch in this bracket mainly because unlike most Reality TV hosts Gordon Ramsay (at least here) has a seemingly likable personality and even if some of it is obviously scripted it is still somewhat entertaining. This episode is done in such a way wherein I'm not really sure if that much of it is scripted because of the outcome of the episode.

I'll describe what happens but if you think I'm crawling through this - trust me, I'm not. After seeing a completely crazy dinner service on screen it kind of says that right off the bat that this is not the average Kitchen Nightmares episode because of how little the owners handle criticism, It's almost insane. So of course Gordon Ramsay comes in but the Kitchen is actually clean and they say they want him to say how good the food is. It ends up being a standard Lunch service of Kitchen Nightmares. Then Gordon sees how they operate at a Dinner service and what transpires is... Well, quite possibly the most toxic, insane and crazy Dinner service I've ever seen on the show. Things get so bad that night and the following morning that their skill of not taking criticism is so great that Gordon just gives up.

Amy's Baking Company is probably the most memorable hours worth of reality television I've seen. I personally hate it when things go as off the wall as this (or even less than this) but while it does get really, really toxic it has the distinction of if you're a fan you can't really look away because of what happens and the thought of what will happen next. It's really a marvel! This is a must-watch for fans of this show, if not then I would recommend other episodes before watching this one in case you don't really like the format of the show.
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The Invasion (I) (2007)
1/10
Who needs free will?!
4 November 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Okay, that title is sarcastic and there will be MASSIVE spoilers for this movie but the writing for it leading to the main message is so poorly done and terrible that it does deserve a 1/10 from me when I watched the likes of the animated Titanic movies, Beast Of Yucca Flats, Monster A Go Go, Manos and Santa Claus Conquers The Martians. The idea of aliens taking over the minds of everyone on the planet as a way to invade in such a way that you don't know who you can trust. I love the idea, I imagined it could be something like The Thing and be extremely tense the whole way through. It's not, in fact it's so easy to tell when a character is an alien that I'm surprised the invasion was as successful as it was. I'm going to say some things about the technical aspects and the acting and... it's fine. At worst they're unintentionally hilarious. What really has me fuming about this movie is that it pushes the aliens' argument for why what they're doing is right and at first I could get behind it in the same way other movie villains say "what I'm doing really isn't that bad" but the way it ends is we're supposed to agree with them... I can't even say in how many ways that is completely idiotic. I mean many many countries have the right to free speech embedded into their laws for a reason! I really can't rant on this more because if you don't get why I hate the ending by now, there really is no point in me writing any more.
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1/10
Too confused whether it wants to be a reboot or sequel and the plot collapses as a result
4 November 2016
I only got 20 minutes into this movie but I feel that is more than enough for a review. Basically the movie starts with Judgement Day happening with the prediction T2 made, you know - so it's entirely in vain AGAIN!... except this time it's even worse because other times they at least write in that they delayed it. After that bit of insanity it only gets worse as they do the mission to defeat SkyNet on the same night John Connor sent Kyle Reese back in time, okay, how does that explain Terminator 2?... Did they forget what's considered to be one of the best action movies ever made exists?!... Then they go back but if you think this is a rehash of the first movie then the plot goes completely insane as there is a helpful version of the T-800 to defeat the evil T-800 that goes back in time and... What?! Then we see Kyle Reese attacked by the T-1000, I really don't know what they're following I mean what changed in history to have all this thrown at you?! There are uninspired action scenes that do nothing but undermine the whole "You know how impossible they were to defeat in the first 2, f#ck it - a single shot to the head can kill a T-800 and acid can kill a T-1000". The time travel logic in this somehow makes even less sense than the first Terminator movie, I mean give every TV Show and movie past 2 credit, they didn't make Time Travel more bonkers than it already was established by the first movie and raised a middle finger at the foundation of the franchise as if to say "Screw you, we think the un-charismatic Jai Courtney and Emilia Clarke in her worst performance yet is better". I have no really strong feelings towards the Terminator franchise but the writing here is so p!ss poor that it's a top contender for the worst blockbuster in years!
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4/10
Don't call this Alice in Wonderland!
27 October 2016
I haven't read the books but what was a clever social satire (which can be seen in any other adaption aside from the 80's one) has now devolved into a coming-of-age story about accepting change and moving on with loss. It's possible to get a good story out of this but with the constant jumping back and forth between having a fantasy world with rules and the logic-less fantasy Alice is known for it doesn't gel well. While it didn't in the first movie either here it is so much worse. The Art design is also laughable, Sascha Baron Cohen looks like a live-action N64 character and there are just so many other points wherein I had to burst out in laughter because of how ridiculous it looked. Johnny Depp also gives another complete auto-pilot performance that seemingly was done out of a bet he likes to make with other people that he can top the annoyances caused by his characterization of Willy Wonka. The story itself is a time-travel one about Alice finding out about The Mad Hatter's family and by the end I just didn't care. Look, I'd be fine if this movie wanted to teach me the lesson of "you cannot change the past but you can learn from it" - okay, fine but this is also the movie where the main villainess' entire motivation relies on being blamed for eating the last tart and hitting her head when running away. All in all, it's the kind of movie you forget immediately after you saw it.
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Equilibrium (2002)
5/10
It's decent as a mindless watch and the fight scenes can get pretty creative and fun but that's about it.
27 October 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This movie when looking at it is clearly one inspired by the wardrobe of The Matrix and even has these nigh-on unstoppable fighters on their side. I will admit when looking at this I thought it would basically be THX-1138 as an action movie and with those expectations in mind I was correct but to me the dystopian future stories that do resonate with me usually are frightening because of it being seemingly realistic or in the case of Blade Runner does show something worth thinking about after the movie's end and this unfortunately has none of that.

The plot is that World War 3 has erupted and ceased, the world leaders in the aftermath see that the one way to eradicate all wars or crime is to impose a new system wherein the citizens are drugged to not feel anything and instead just be part of a complete system. All art is destroyed to avoid the risk of people feeling (which begs the question of whether or not this is a placebo). The Clerics are also born, an organization dedicated to raising Gestapo imagery and murdering anyone not in the system. We follow one Cleric slowly rebelling and overthrowing the system.

Okay, I really do have questions about the functionality of the world. After reading 1984 that book does set the standard for this because that book shows us a system that's grown too powerful to be overthrown and here, people act like they feel in this world. I know it's weird but when one character high up in government outbursts in anger I thought Christian Bale would report him to the authorities (this was while still hooked on the system). My interpretation of this would be them being purely of logic (well when emotions are taken away what else is there?) but while that does start out to be the case by the end characters show so many signs that they're feeling it really is a wonder whether or not it is a placebo. The dialogue also screws this up in many places.

Oh and one other thing. I almost predicted the entire movie. It is seemingly there to say "a world without emotions is bad"... I knew that! I also feel as though one of the twists of this movie really drags things down. Christian Bale's son turns out to have stopped taking the compulsory drugs as well. I hate to bring up 1984 but a section is about how parents feared their children and it did look like they were going with this and I liked it because it was an interesting dynamic that I had never seen before on screen (at least in something that wasn't an evil kid horror movie or that one Twilight Zone episode).

Okay what do I like about this movie? I actually like Christian Bale's performance, it really does seem like he knows how to make things interesting when being both unfeeling and feeling. The cinematography, I'll admit is excellent. I love the use of lighting this movie has and framing it's just brilliant. I also think the fight scenes were creatively shot as well if a bit disorienting. While I did say I didn't like the twist about Christian Bale's kid (who also gives a good performance actually... at the start) I will say the twist about who "Father" (The person running the whole thing) is actually very good, I'll honestly say I didn't see it coming and when it's explained it doesn't feel like a cop-out and it's actually the most intelligent plot point in the movie.

Is this worth watching? As a mindless watch, yes. It works best if you don't really think about the world they set up too hard (especially with the Nazi imagery and the people wearing blue overalls, sorry for bringing this book up a third time in this review but I'm convinced it's a direct reference to 1984) and just instead focus on the cinematography and Christian Bale's performance. I wouldn't recommend this if you're looking for a thought-provoking dystopian future movie but it does it's job as something harmless.
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2/10
Devolves into what they're parodying
26 October 2016
I like the first 2 Sharknado movies. I really don't care how much credibility I lose for saying it but it's a great satire of the so-bad-it's-good kind of movie and the Syfy Channel Original movie, it seems they went for escalation in the second one and... It's my favourite of the series and the third one was just kind of trying too hard. This one however seems to be "Just give us more of that but on autopilot". The plot is that there are stations all around the US to stop Sharknado's from happening but they soon malfunction and the tornadoes soon... Run amok. It's up to Finn and whoever else he happens to be with to save the day. My problems? This is called Sharknado: The 4th Awakens, why is there legitimate drama in this?! There's this entire subplot on Tara Reid being a cyborg, with her father telling everyone she's dead. Oh and the originally funny comedic shark attacks and defenses against them? Yeah well the most that ever gets is a Male Stripper thrusts his crotch at one which hurls the shark in another direction. There are also celebrity cameos that are somehow even worse than in the third movie. Oh and the goddamn references, it's not funny when you can see the references from the very start of the movie - Part of it's set in Kansas and someone wears striped stockings and Ruby Slippers. They also shoe-horn in the line "follow the Yellow-Brick Road!". All in all, just don't - this movie is really boring and considering the celebrity cameos that are in this movie, it's almost devolved into this series being where celebrity careers go to die.
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3/10
I'm sorry, this franchise has a bad habit of repeating itself, repeating itself, repeating itself, repeating itself
26 October 2016
Brian Singer when it comes to X-Men is not that bad... When he's restrained. When watching this movie it suffers from the problem X-Men 3 had of the movie seems to want bigger but in doing so fails on the better aspect of "bigger and better". And this is actually the worst X-Men movie in my opinion, Why? Almost every single established character is in some way botched by this movie in terms of characterization of what we've seen so far and even the comics (it almost turns botching characters into an art form, I mean give Deadpool in X-Men Origins Wolverine credit that was at least one character) but that's not the half of it.

The plot is that Apocalypse is a mutant (or what would happen if Papa Smurf owned a mech) who keeps hopping from body to body (...somehow) because it can't handle the immense, vaguely-defined power he has. He is somehow trapped inside an Egyptian Pyramid for millennium and somehow remains dormant until 1983. Charles Xavier is teaching the X-Men and Beast now isn't blue... I'll get back to that. Mystique is now a platform for ego-stroking Jennifer Lawrence as she is worshiped by Mutants everywhere as she stops the cruelty of them, Magneto is now living with a family, set-up for past X-Men movies and The Dark Phoenix Saga and... Lets just say this takes a leaf out of the "Batman V Superman" book and has way too much plot.

Okay, people have no reason to join Apocalypse's crusade for one thing. I admit I haven't read any comics with him in it but considering what I've read on the Official Marvel Universe Wiki, he sounds like a very persuasive character - the kind that can play to good people's flaws and unleash the worst... At least that's my interpretation. His influence in this movie is "I can make you stronger" and does it... No, seriously - that's it.

Oh and with the established characters... Professor X seemed in the previous movies to be the kind of guy who can lead, is peaceful and can show that yes - humanity can be worth it in the face of persecution from everybody. In this one there are throw-away jokes to him spying on Moira McTaggert. I know the movie has to have some humour but using that as a joke is awful on so many levels, I mean screw the character being totally and utterly botched he wiped this woman's entire experience of meeting him - every single conversation and spends 3 or 4 times watching exactly what she's doing from Cerebro for no reason. Congratulations you took a very inspiring character and turned him into a complete creeper.

When it comes to the rest of the character complaints I'll list them very quickly. Beast should be a soul feared and shunned and internally a brilliant mind and pacifist - everything about that does not apply here. Magneto instead of Fassbender's usual characterization of "If you just talk to him maybe he might come round" now not only saves human lives but when his family is murdered he destroys half the world with no care for the friends he's made in the final confrontation (Hey guys, in every other movie there was a reason people followed this guy!).

Aside from many, many characters beng botched what else is wrong with this? The CGI looks like a PS2 game. Seriously, you can pick up better graphics by looking up gameplay footage of Halo, as in the original. It also feels like a whole "I know what made the franchise great, why don't we combine it all into one movie" without any kind of care for how or why. Okay onto the good stuff - the actors are pretty good, I mean I pretty much hammered in the performances aren't good but I don't think even Patrick Stewart could have saved the characterization here. I also think when stripped down to it's bare bones the plot is okay and I will say while they have NO understanding of some of the characters most of the ones that are rebooted in this one make it through unscathed. The team behind this from what I've seen is not bad - they just need more limits on what to do.
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