Friday, March 30, 2018

Ready Player One

You know this movie was made solely for the pause button.

Ready Player one is a grand adventure in both the past and future of technology, gaming, and all things pop culture. The story follows a man named Wade who lives in the future of 2045, where the world practically lives in a virtual reality world known as the Oasis where a quest for the only easter egg in the virtual world is pursued by our hero, which will give him complete control over the Oasis. He is helped by his virtual friends to stop a corporation from controlling the Oasis and basically making it an EA game. Sad but true. Oh, and of course I got every reference I set my eyes on, but I know I need to see it....4 more times before I catch em' all. And yes, I did have my geek out moments and my WTF moments due to the sheer awesomeness of it all. But even when you strip away the references and easter eggs, the film still stands on it's own. This is a terrific film, not just because it was almost tailor made for me, but it tells a good story with a good message and has good characters. Hell the movie feels like a 80s movie, plot, characters, and effects feel part of that era. I love how the Oasis looks and how the players within it look, though mind you our main hero reminded me a bit too much of that dumbass little jagoff from Final Fantasy 13. Not a good start, but it passed and the visuals are incredibly well done. I was surprised to find the book was written only 7 years ago, for some reason I thought it was written in the late 90s but knowing that the movie makes more since and I do genuinely want to read the book! It's a very good film that I think will endure and better with each viewing, and of course I'm going to buy it. Two problems though, they bring up coins in the game world and you can buy items and power ups with the coins and yet someone mentions they put all their real world money into the game to win even more. So do the coins transfer as real cash in the real world or is the currency around the world coins? They never explain that. Second, shame on you movie for no Tron references. I thought it was a lightcycle you see in the trailer during that race but it's the bike from Akira. Why no Tron references? At least none I could see! But the sure show a Colecvision. Does anybody even know what a Colecovision is besides me?? You couldn't thrown in the poster or see an identity disc defeat an enemy? Come on man! I know Tron was an underground movie in 1982 but come on! If the Pork Chop Express can make a cameo, you can throw in a Tron reference! That pisses me off, but screw it the movie is great, I loved the geekyness and I no doubt will go see it again soon. I do hope all this 80s throwback stuff revives a classic arcade. If so, I got first game and I'll see you guys there.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The Wizard

Oh man I rolled out of my seat I was laughing so hard at that Power Glove scene!

I gotta admit there is a bit more to this movie than a feature length Nintendo commercial as some people claim. The Wizard is a good movie, very dated, very commercial, and yet at the same time actually has a really good story and characters. The story follows a young boy named Jimmy who has been traumatized by the death of his sister and sent to an institution, where his young brother breaks him out and they make a quest to California, where they meet a young girl and discover Jimmy is ridiculously good at video games. So the gang comes up with a plan to put Jimmy in a video game tournament while making their trek to Jimmy's true destination. The first thing I gotta tell you guys is these kids are awesome, you spend enough time with them to get to know them and see them as real people, they have baggage, they have history even though they are very young. True, they sometimes act more like adults than the actual adults but it's essentially a kids movie so I can forgive that. I don't know, I was just in a good mood watching this movie! It was a big deal when this movie came out, Nintendo was on top of the world with a massive dedicated fanbase, and the unveiling of a certain new game at the end needless to say made people lose their minds. The film has some cheese to it, but I would be lying to say it isn't fun. Hell, the villain of the movie has lived beyond all these years with the immortal line which causes head shakes and guffaws aplenty, "I love the Power Glove. It's so bad...". Sweet Jesus. And one thing I especially noticed is how much of a time capsule this is. The NES came out in 1985, this movie came out in 1989 still during it's golden years but not only the Nintendo fever that was being felt, but also the movie throws in this big chase through a Universal Studios amusement park so that adds another layer of that specific time. You can almost look at it from a philosophical view. Optimists would say it's cool seeing a part of the world in that particular time, whereas pessimists would say it's heavily dated and hurts the film in years to come. I am an optimist in this case, to see a world so heavily seeped in video games and to also see just as simple a thing as an amusement park is really neat to me. And even I have to admit the final scene does in fact choke me up a bit, which just goes to show how well the characters and relationships were built. It's a really good movie and one I would definitely recommend to younger kids, maybe it could get them into older video games or video games in general! It's a good family movie, and I do see merit in what others brush off as a long commercial. If you have the time or interest you should give it a watch, I don't think you will be disappointed. Plus I'll give you a buck if you ever dialed up the Nintendo tip hotline and probably racked your parent's phone bill up sky high!

Monday, March 26, 2018

Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie

Here's a good video game movie for you!

Released 3 years ago, one of the most prolific and beloved internet critics took his passion of filmmaking and his world renowned show about berating bad games and created a highly entertaining, truly bizarre, and creative feature length movie. The Angry Video Game Nerd has been creating content for over 10 years now, and I'm proud to call myself a fan. And this is the epitome of a fan movie, not just because of the references, or his unique style that true fans will understand and appreciate, but because he proclaims his love for all his fans all over the world. It's an incredible movie considering how the whole project was independently funded and filmed, especially with the practical effects. It's like if you took a real shitty Asylum movie like Birdemic, and took every aspect of it and improved it. It still looks and feels like an independent film but what it does in terms of special effects and story is a billion times better than those movies. The story follows the Nerd on an epic journey involving the E.T. game on the Atari 2600, where he tries to debunk the myth of all the cartridge games being buried in the New Mexico desert while being pressured to review the game by his fans. Now let me state clearly, that is not the whole film. I would be here all day recounting the balls to the wall plot, but let's just say it's a riot! This is a hilarious movie but I know everyone won't get the humor. That's sort of the curse of a fan film, only fans will watch it. If you showed this to a friend or someone who never heard of the show, they would think you escaped from a mental institute. But if you keep a highly open mind, and just sit back and watch the madness I feel you can be entertained and wish to seek out James Rolfe's other projects, which of course I hope for. He makes so much stuff, and it is all incredibly funny and entertaining. I especially love the mythos he woved into the whole Atari landfill web, it surprisingly makes sense despite the outlandish events happening around it. I was scratching my head thinking, what video game movies are there? The answer is, not that many but as I was flipping through Amazon I found this on prime and I never watched it until now, so I figured screw it. And I was not disappointed, I really liked the movie, and I look forward to watching the plethora of behind the scenes material you can find on YouTube. This was a love letter to the fans fueled by ambition and creativity, and James deserves awards for this. Film is a visual medium, and it doesn't get more visually stimulating than this! So if you want a ludicrous and outstanding journey into video game movies, look no further than the Nerd who will take you back to the past....

Sunday, March 25, 2018

It's Our 3rd Year!!!

You thought I forgot huh? 3rd year friends!! I'm kinda speechless I've been going for this long and have barely lost any steam. And we got oh so many movies to see and talk about, good and (unfortunately) bad. In fact....I sense a month of bad movies in the not too distant future. Because the sooner you talk about Twilight, the better life will be for everyone. I'm not ready though. I never will be. It would be interesting to do a series of drunk reviews! But we will cross and burn that bridge in due time. This week it's all about the video game movies. GOOD video game movies!! And after that, we have some movies to look back at and some unfinished business concerning my first reviewed shows. So always something new to talk about, and I'm happy I can do this every week. It really does bring me joy and hopefully brings good and underrated movies to light. Some people have asked me, why be a film critic? Everybody is a film critic, what makes you so special? And I have discovered a very long time ago the best movie critics don't push their opinions out because oh, I'm right and you are wrong and that's it. The very best movie critics have such passion and love for movies and not only want to recommend but just love to talk about movies. I love movies, I love talking about movies, I couldn't ask for a better dream job. Film in general is a gamble. From making a movie to watching a movie it requires a bit of risk. I watch movies so I can say oh hey, this is a great movie and you should totally go check it out! You gamble your free time on seeing a movie, that is where we come in. Of course no critic is correct, art and opinions are subjective, I saw Leap as a disappointing rehash of a story with some unique elements. Others can see it, accept what it is, and enjoy it. I know I'm talking out of my ass and no opinion really matters, but the opinion is just part of it. The love for movies is what drives me, but regardless I am thrilled I have a diverse audience. You know I got like 12 people in Russia who read my stuff? That is the coolest thing ever to me! I just try to write my best, say what I feel, and try not to write 50 pages worth of a simple review. Honesty is key, you gotta be blunt when it comes to a movie's faults and accomplishments, so I try to do that. I of course love doing this, thank all that read, and hopefully entertain as well as inform. 3 years and still going, what more could I ask for? And here is to soooo many years to come!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

In Retrospect: Justice League

Yeah, I still really like this movie.

I gotta admit I was laughing my ass off at people who gave this movie 3 stars or lower on IMDB, that is a joke that will never get old! Really? If this is the worst movie you have ever seen you have either never been to the cinema in your life, don't know what a movie is, or have never seen movies like Manos The Hands Of Fate or The Room. You got off easy if this is the worst movie you have ever seen! Which is ridiculous because Justice League is a good movie. It is not great, perfect, or mind blowing. But it is a highly entertaining and cool movie for comic book fans and superhero movie fans. Every major character they did was brought to life and done justice. It's a shame Cyborg never got much screen time cause there is a lot to his character and I enjoyed him while he was on screen. Flash stole the movie for me, I absolutely adore Barry and I cannot wait to see him in future movies. I will not rant about the delayed Aquaman movie, at least we got it this year but I hate having to wait until Christmas to see quite possibly the greatest Aquaman in history. And the trinity of DC heroes, good work as always but of course special praise to Wonder Woman (I don't think Gal Gadot is her real name at this point...). Now is this the best adaptation of the Justice League? No. The animated series did everything right and is a classic, but I'll be damned if I said this movie sucked. Yeah, the villain was rubbish but honestly I have yet to see a recent comic book movie in the post-Dark Knight Rises world that had a really awesome villain. Lex was fine in the last movie, but he ain't no Tom Hardy. Both sides have suffered from this but I have faith in both companies to pull through. that I think about it I will be without a comic book movie until October. That sucks. Oh but many more movies, many more days. And we got one this Friday!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Star Wars Rebels: Season 4

Rebel scum....

Okay, fine! The last season was good, I'm not so sure it's the best, I still say the 3rd season was the best but for the end of a series it was fine. I got to say though I was so concerned about an episode titled "Worlds Between Worlds" not only did it remind me of that stupid friggin' line from Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull, but it introduces a premise that could severely destroy Star Wars but they showed restraint and they did the right thing. I do have complaints. Mainly down to one factor, they didn't go all out. Now what do I mean by all out? Simple, you go dark. You push the threat to the next level, you show people die, you touch on darker aspects of war. And while they kinda do that, they wimp out. I fully expected the entire Ghost crew to bite the dust, pull a Rogue One, everyone dies, the end. But they don't and it bugs the hell out of me. You never see these people again, so why not make their deaths powerful and memorable? That's what pissed me off the most, they couldn't kill people. I know this is for kids, but Clone Wars was for kids and people got straight up executed in that show! So why not show some heroes die or stormtroopers be cut to shreds by a lightsaber? What are they gonna do, pull the plug on your final season?? Go all out, push the characters to the limit, elevate the threat and the danger of not only Thrawn but The Emperor himself! Do something! I don't hate this show, I really don't but on the verge of the end you gotta go off the deep end. Beyond that factor, the season was good. It did not end the way I thought in any fashion, but it was a decent end to a good show. The story is good though, with Ezra and the Ghost crew taking missions for the Rebel Alliance and trying to liberate Ezra's planet of Lothal. Throw in good character moments, decent action, and a pretty um....liberty taking ending that will make some people happy but me, I'm just not feeling it. I'm happy Rex made it though! But killed me. I am wondering why they brought in Rukh if they never intended of using him that way, but it was cool seeing him. Oh yeah, heavy underuse of Thrawn. Like, how dare you? He did have the most badass moment in Star Wars, more so than Vader in a long hallway in my opinion. Yes. I said that. I have such respect for this show and use of Expanded Universe content, which I am always thrilled to see so I can't be too upset. It's a very good show that kids will look back on 10 or 15 years from now and remember fondly, and how on Earth can I hate that? That is beyond awesome and cool to me! So the saying still holds truth in Star Wars, "For those who remember, for those who will never forget, and for a whole new generation who will experience it for the very first time.". I greatly enjoyed Star Wars Rebels and it is sad to see it end, but there will be more greatness in the future. Everything is proceeding as I have forseen....

Friday, March 16, 2018

Tomb Raider (2018)

Well what do you know, a good video game movie!

Tomb Raider is very, very good. It is one of the rarest forms of media, a really good video game movie. I especially love that they adapted the story from the excellent reboot to the series and it is a really engaging and good story. Basically an origin story for Lara, played by Alicia Vikander who does a really dang good job potraying Lara as a young, no nonsense, adventurous woman who goes through some stuff to say the least and she was great. My only problem with her character was she falls in the trope of, although I come from a family of great wealth I'm gonna rebel and do things from scratch. It just bugged me. But anyway, Lara is on the hunt for her dad which leads her to a very Arrow-ish island, where a band of mercenaries led by Walton Goggins who is gloriously off his rocker like always is trying to break into the tomb of a former Lady Emperor claimed to be basically Death incarnate. Which of course Lara is all, "No way man, you're nuttier than a PayDay bar. I'm stopping you." and Walter Goggins is like, "Bring it baby girl, I'm leaving here either with a corpse or as a corpse." and thus we got ourselves a movie. Oh and they totally pulled a Last Crusade with that tomb, every test was almost exactly like the ones Indy had to do except in reverse. So the leap of faith first, the puzzle involving the floor second, and the giant bladed traps last. Caught you! But regardless, this is a good movie that is worth your time should you choose to see it, and it's great that Lara finally gets a sure fire hit in the movie department. A very good way to end the week, but next week we have a bit of unfinished buisness to attend to, a return to a good superhero movies, and another dive into the awesome weirdness that is Wes Anderson. See you then!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of Life

Wow, I'm shocked. The movie was decent!

No really, I'm not being an ass! After the dreadful first Tomb Raider movie I was sooner ready to walk off a bridge than watch the sequel but it's surprisingly not bad! Lara is done fighting robots and trying to travel time, the movie sticks to a (mostly) realsitic fashion, with Lara on the hunt for the mythical Pandora's Box which I feel fits more in tune with the games. This is one of Lara's adventures put to the screen, with decent action, a simple but not insultingly stupid story, really and truly it's just a good filler movie if you have one of those days, and though it doesn't take much of a genius to figure out the resting place of Pandora's Box it doesn't detract from the movie. Though movie I have to say you really need to hide your references better. Damn near every scene in the movie can be traced back to any of the Indiana Jones and James Bond movies. The villain is almost SPECTRE-like just without the amazing Ken Adams designed lairs, the action and world travelling is synonymous with Indy, so it may seem very, very familiar to some people. One thing I do really love about the movies is the use of sets and practical effects, I forgot to mention in the last review but they only use CGI in these movies if necessary. You know that robot I bitched about? It was real! A real model animatronic that was used in certain shots while the more elaborate movements were done with CG, and the sets are expansive and done very well. I was surprised to see that and it made me quite happy, but can live your life without seeing these movies. The first movie sucks, but the second is harmless fun for a boring day. I just hope the new one is well worth your time and money, because Lara needs a good movie under her belt! But all that will come before the week is out. To be honest, next week I will be a very happy camper.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Lara Croft Tomb Raider

I pray to God the new Tomb Raider will be a good video game movie. Less so like this.

I was dreading this. I knew this movie was gonna suck and shocker, it sucked hard. Now granted, I must admit I have limited knowledge of the Tomb Raider series, they look like fun games but I am novice at best when it comes to knowledge of specific characters, story, all that good stuff. So you think I would accept whatever nonsense was slapped on the screen but nope. In fact I can sum up my entire reaction in the first scene which is so obviously a simulation it made me ache for the movie to get on with it, where Lara has to fight a 8 foot tall robot. "Oh man, I thought this was gonna be bad but it's gonna be one of those days huh? Shit. What the flying hell am I even watching? Good God, I'm done and I just started! What is with the robot? Somebody me." And there you go! Thoughts on the whole movie! Do I have to talk story or characters here? Well, I'll tell you what. I will talk story, but I am not touching characters, but more actors and acting. So the story follows Lara discovering a clock that is tied to this ridiculously bullshit plot involving ancient tombs, the Illuminati (hand over my heart, while my other hand is reaching for alcohol), and the control of time itself. Wow. I If this is how the games are, I really doubt my enjoyment factor. I just...I can't...the Illuminati?! Really?? The Flying Dutchman does a secret society like that have anything to do with time travel. Oh God, if I need to explain why this movie is stupid then it's just a waste of time. Unfortunately that's what this movie was. I enjoyed a grand total of, I think 5 seconds of this movie all down to just one throwaway reaction that got a genuine chuckle out of me. So thanks Daniel Craig you made it kinda, sorta, not really worth it. And okay, I'm gonna be serious here. I don't get the casting of Angelina Jolie and yet, I really commend her acting. She did her own stunts, she did things the way fans wanted to see, she was enthusiastic about the work and I can say tried to give a good performance! Keyword being try, but regardless I have to give her brownie points for doing it herself and attempting to make a video game movie kinda watchable. I mean it still fell flat, but it's not her fault! I'm not saying this is one of the worst movies I've ever seen. It's not. But also, it did nothing for me, did not entertain, did not make me enjoy it, but I'm not saying other people can't enjoy this. Chris Stuckmann has said it's his favorite guilty pleasure movie, so obviously people can enjoy it on some level, but not for me. And now that I have seen the first I am reeeealy dreading the second one. I mean Roger Ebert liked that one, so I am trying to be optimistic but I still sense failure in the future. Oh and movie, you are not Doctor Who, stop trying to talk about time like you know what the hell you are talking about!

Friday, March 9, 2018

A Wrinkle In Time

Well it was better than I expected!

I don't know what I expected from this movie, but it wasn't half bad. The story while basic leads to some pretty cool visuals and quite touching emotional moments. The story centers around a girl named Meg and her brother Charles who after 4 years of losing their father, a genius scientist who experimented in dimensional shifts is discovered by 3 guardians of light who help the kids find their dad. First stop, visuals. Now I have to say I expected this to get far out man, like that bad LSD trip from Doctor Strange level of trippy-ness but they reigned back and made it much easier to follow while still showing off some fantastic effects. Visuals from the worlds to the wardrobe is 10/10 easy. Acting is also quite good, the kids actually feel like real kids and Charles is my favorite human character, my favorite I guess...meta-human is Ms. Whatsit played by Reese Witherspoon. Oh my God she was perfect, absolutely loved her. In fact all the Misses were very good, and the parents especially Chris Pine did put legit effort into their roles so it has to be applauded. Music though, kinda horrible. It's pop music, and the worst part is it feels so shoehorned in and barely lasts a minute so why have it? With a movie that deals with interdimensional travel to alien planets, you would expect the soundtrack to be very orchestral with a lot of electronic components thrown in, and the absolute slap in the face is they do it! Right before the movie ends. Are you dead sucking ferious right now? No. Fail. Moving on, it's a fun and entertaining family movie, it has enough spectacle and color to hold kids interests and the story makes them want to stick around, so it can be a fun family night out for those of you with youngins, but for people like me, it's a decent movie that is worth seeing once but I know this movie can capture the imaginations of children and honestly, isn't that what Disney is great at? So a good way to end the week, but God help me next week. Why do I do this to myself? Ugh, next week I'm doing Tomb Raider. All of them. Oh hello alcohol, I missed you!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Red Sparrow

At least the movie didn't suck this time. It highly disturbed me but didn't piss me off.

The first thing I gotta tell you guys is, all the reviews I have read have panned this movie and is pure smut, just sexploitation splashed on the screen with a subpar story. This is a lie. These are probably the same people who deem Eyes Wide Shut as just artsy porn, there is more to it. Okay so story goes, a young woman who is the star of the Moscow ballet is injured and roped into this bizzare government facility that basically goes full Salo on these people, effectively transforming them into pure physical assets of the state to be used promisculously to gain information from selected targets through any means necessary. This is a hard movie to sit through. The almost brainwashing of individuals as Jennifer Lawrence's character puts it "whore school" is incredibly hard to watch. I am not a prude or against sex, but their are limts to that kind of thing! Like every sex scene save one is incredibly uncomfortable and made me want to jump into a scalding hot bath to get the filth off me, but it's there for a reason. This is the story of a girl who is broken literally and metaphorically and is trying to find a way out of such a horrid lifestyle. The story is not a byproduct of the sex, the sex takes a backseat to the story. After the horrid I guess "boot camp" the movie goes into double-triple crosses, backstabbing, and many tropes of the spy genre which does a engaging and great job. The film challenges people on the concepts of choice, sacrifice, and commitment to people or a cause and it does a good job. This is an engaging story that you want to know how it all ends. It's funny, I lost my damn mind at the sex scene in Atomic Blonde but at least that was consensual and looked like they were having a good time! Jesus Christ, Russia I have to say this, if such a thing still occurs in your country you gotta stop that immediately, you are better than this. Though the movie has elements of different movies like I said, Salo, Atomic Blonde which thusly leads to the James Bond series, how people compare the use of sex like in Eyes Wide Shut (even though they are idiots), it still has it's own identity and is it's own movie. Can I recommend it to everybody? Oh hell no! Can I say it was a good movie that did a very good job telling a story with great but subdued performances, excellent subtext and allegory to concepts held dear to many people, and has an interesting but heavily disturbing plot? Oh hell yeah! But you need to prepare yourself for the darker moments. It did not offend, but it certainly did disturb. And now I need to bleach my brain....

Monday, March 5, 2018

Game Night

Well it finally happened. It broke me.

That's it! It's over! So um...tune in next time for a new show, I guess. Game Night made me walk out. First time ever that's happened! Until recently, if I saw a movie and didn't like it, I had to deal with that shit! There was no walking out for however many hours and minutes, because I would be even more bored sitting in the lobby! Urgh, I was in a bad mood and let me tell you, those trailers didn't help, and the dumbasses in the back yucking it up at these stupid f***ing trailers, just....God! I don't even know where to start. It's bad. Like...really bad. I didn't walk out on Transformers, any of the Pirates movies past At World's End, or even Twilight. At least with Twilight you could poke fun, you could riff, this movie is so vapid and inane I had to get up and just pace up and down the hallway leading to the theater. I made it...about an hour in then I had my fill. The plot is stupid. It takes Rough Night, Clue, and Horrible Bosses 2 and it...really does not work. I'm sure the cast was trying there best but the script just flails on the floor, and trust me I can say without a doubt comedy movies are the absolute hardest films to make. Jokes are like art, it is subjective. The other people were loving it, I was rolling my eyes and losing my damn patience. So the cast tried, my favorite character was that creepy deranged cop, like that dude had me rolling because I was expecting him to just snap and shoot everybody. Would have been a better movie if they did that! And why were there scare moments? You know the ones. Music fades out, ominous droning, camera zooms in on an object, and for what? Bullshit, that's what! I can't take it. Thank God I bought alcohol this week, cause I need every drop! Oh Jesus H. Christ, this movie just pissed me off with reckless abandon. Go see Black Panther again, don't go see this. I cannot...CANNOT believe this is the movie that broke me and made me quit. It doesn't sound half bad, you know.....until you're watching it. Don't pay to see it under any circumstances. If it turns up on HBO and you need to punish yourself for something, go right ahead. I'd rather eat broken glass than do this again. I'm done. Whatever. Screw it.

Thursday, March 1, 2018


You know, for a parody of Star Wars I quite like it.

There's some good humor in this movie, and the story does go on it's own course while still hitting Star Wars moments throughout. The story involves an evil galactic government trying to steal an entire world's atmosphere, while meanwhile the princess of said world escapes marriage, is captured by the evil government and her father asks the help of a mercenary to find her. It's a decent story, with good humor, and fun characters! Best part of the whole movie is Rick Moranis, that guy is amazing in everything. It's also great to see John Candy again, so it was just good to go back to this movie for me. I especially like how the story is it's own but still hits Star Wars bulletpoints, if memory serves this came out just after Empire Strikes Back so it takes advantage of the new material. Hell I've been hearing these jokes and references for years and it took me so long to go back to the source but I was not disappointed. I was just watching little clips of Mel Brooks' movies and I wondered if I did any of these movies, and I didn't so I had to correct that mistake fast! This week was one of the most fun weeks I have had doing reviews and I hope for those of you who have not seen these movies to check em' out and have a ball like I did! I look forward to seeing you all next week for more adventures in cinema. See ya later!