Thursday, June 28, 2018

Return To Oz

How in the hell did this movie not only take about 45 years to get around but also combine horror, fantasy, while still retaining a family film feeling brought to you by Disney?

Return To Oz, a dark, deranged, and yet very entertaining and good film. It kinda takes a semi-sequel approach to the 1939 classic, but Dorothy is a small girl like in the book. So it's been a few months since the tornado hit Kansas and Dorothy has been telling people and constantly talking about Oz, to the point where her aunt and uncle send her to a psychiatric hospital. This is where the dark and gloomy setting begins. It's a dark house, with thunder and rain, and even the sounds of screams faintly heard. Jesus. But it gets worse! Dorothy gets One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest treatment, with a intimidating nurse, and the poor girl gets electroshock treatment. After a bad storm she arrives in Oz, but the creepy mood does not end there. The yellow brick road is torn asunder, the Emerald City is in ruins, and the citizens have been turned to stone. After that, it's really one creepy threat after another. I mean seriously, in the last movie the only real threat beyond the Wicked Witch of course, was those jerk trees that threw apples at Dorothy and her friends. Here, mother of mercy we got the Wheelers these odd cackling almost gang members with wheels for hands and feet, Mombi the ruler of Oz who has a chamber full of different decapitated heads, and The Nome King who has been destroying the beauty of Oz and making it a dark and dreary place. Ever since Dorothy got to the mental hospital, you get this unnerving, quiet discomfort and it only builds once we get to Oz. The film does such good stuff with this creepy and scary material, to the point where I was horrified and my body was recoiling from the screen (yes, it was THAT scene)! The film does such good work, the sets and designs of the new characters are great with my personal favorite being Jack Pumpkinhead. Oh yeah, they bring up Halloween so it does kinda fit that time of the year. The acting especially from Fairuza Balk holds the movie together and even parents could not dismiss this movie as just another kids movie. They probably just freak out as much as the kids do. But the film does not go overboard and will not traumatize your kid, it hits with the creepy and sometimes downright horrifying imagery done with fantastic stop motion animation, but I believe kids can look beyond that and be brave to get through those brief scenes and enjoy the movie. As I think parents can enjoy the movie, whether you are nostalgic about it or not. You know what, I just realized something. The film has this Something Wicked This Way Comes atmosphere and mood for a good portion of the film, from the hospital to the first couple of scenes in Oz, to Mombi's chambers, to The Nome King's palace. Oh, it really gets under your skin! I'm so happy to have seen this movie, and I urge people to find these sort of cult sequels to popular films, you can find true gems! Not every sequel is bad, you merely must be brave enough to explore.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Tron Legacy

Yeah, yeah I know. It took me 3 years to talk about Tron Legacy. But come on, it took them almost 30 years to make a sequel!

How did I get into Tron? I have no idea. I remember so much from around 2010 and yet shockingly nothing to do with the movie. I think it all started with the video game Tron Evolution, then I was kinda hooked man. I bought the soundtrack to this movie, bought the Identity Discs, the Light Cycles, I was a Tron fan before I even saw 10 seconds of film footage from either of the movies! I am one of the biggest fans of Tron you will ever know, so it should come as no shock that I love this movie. Tron Legacy is a very, very, very good movie. Where do I start with this movie? Well story is a great place to begin always, so we set the wayback machine to 1989, Kevin Flynn has been working in The Grid for 7 years, he has a son named Sam and life is going pretty good. Then he disappears for about 20 years. Good catch and intrigue already! We catch up with Sam, and he gets contacted by Alan and he tells Sam that he got a message from his dad's arcade so Sam investigates and gets sent to The Grid! After that, tons happens. We learn Flynn made a program Clu that went rogue and took over the system, a new lifeform is discovered in The Grid, and it's a mad rush for our heroes to get back to reality before Clu does. There's almost too much good in this movie. The effects are outstanding, we see such evolution in The Grid and all it's aspects, and there is such little details in every scene that is incredible to see! Characters have deep emotional connections to one another, relationships are explored, and it's interesting to delve into the character of Flynn. I could write an essay on it, but let's just say he's a damn fine character. But character is nothing without actors, and the cast is done really well! Jeff Bridges is full in The Dude mode and ugh I love it! Olivia Wilde really kinda steals the show for me, she is such an interesting character and her acting is amazing (plus I love the fact that her eyes are so ridiculously beautiful they didn't need to add contacts). Garrett Hedlund is a fine lead and and despite me not seeing him in much afterward, he should have more roles. The only "bad"? role is Michael Sheen as the owner of this bar. Oh my dear sweet brother Numsie! He is doing the exact same damn role as he did in the Twilight movies. Mugging, ridiculous, faye as hell. I just, I can't. You know who they should have got instead? David Bowie. It would have been perfect. But Bruce Boxleitner makes up for that and then some. Like, lightyears some mmkay? Ohh, and the music! Damn it Daft Punk! I am so geeking over this movie! When a movie can get goosebumps out of me in literally the first minute of film, and continually do so throughout is something special. This is one of the most, if not the most gorgeous film I have ever seen. Almost every frame is art, the designs and color are incredible, it just looks so impressive. And you know what the odd thing was? Well, not just the fact they had real sets and costumes along with the computer graphics but the real world segments kinda looked like it was a very high quality fan film. And I love that! It reminds me of this fan made trailer some person made, I believe it was called Tron The Next Day. Kinda this pseudo-prequel to the third film, and it was done so damn well! Just, oh God....I've never seen such a gorgeous film in my life. Yeah I'm biased, the guy who is a big enough nerd to have not one but two Tron stickers on his laptop may be a tiny little bit partial to the Tron movies. I just have such fond memories of all the stuff surrounding the movie. The Flynn Lives website, that badass video game identifier they had, getting all this rad stuff, playing Space Paranoids! I went to a Wal-Mart the day Tron Legacy hit video, midnight launch, it was a school day afterward but I did not care. I needed that movie. And I got it. The only ever so slightly bad thing I can say about this movie is the last shot is not as impressive and beautiful as the last movie. That is nitpicking, at best people. I'm probably the only critic who legitimately loves this movie, but I do not care. Tron Legacy is a sure fire 4 stars! Check it out! And please Disney make Tron 3 before I hit 40!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Army Of Darkness

Just what I needed after last night. So I was thinking of just how many damn sequels were coming out this year and ones I was gonna talk about, so I thought what are some sequels that are not well known or loved as much? So here we go.

Okay, Army Of Darkness. Classic cult movie made 5 years after the cliffhanger of Evil Dead 2, where Ash is stuck in medievel times having to retrieve the Necronomicon to get back to his own time while fighting an army of skeletons. It is as amazing as it sounds. You knew what blew my mind? You know, besides the quotability, good comedy, and great sets and effects? The movie is an hour and 15 minutes without credits. Hwhat? It's to video sequel, but awesome! I do love the evolution of it though, Evil Dead was straight up horror, Evil Dead 2 was horror comedy, and now we're at action comedy. Normally that does not bode well for a series, but it works here! And even despite it's more action forefront, the film never loses it's horror elements. They dig deep into the roots of gothic scenery in some instances, and the tension and sense of impending scares can still be found. The slapstick in my opinion is wonderful, Bruce Campbell gets to do so much both physically and come on, the lines are unforgettable. It does deserve more attention and love, I know it sounds far fetched, but I would not lie about a movie being good. Army Of Darkness is a lot of fun, it is fast, well done, good wit and acting is in it (though Bruce is the only person you will be able to name afterwards), it really is a diamond in the rough. Come on, you can spare barely over an hour of your life to judge for yourself. In other news, *BRIEF TANGENT ALERT* I am very excited to see Ash Vs. Evil Dead but it pisses me off at the same time. Why? Because it got cancelled 2 seasons in. Are you....breathe. Ffffffunkin' Family Guy can get to season 11 which is beyond bullshit already (and I got news for you pal, the only two things you got right now is Jack and shit. And Jack left town.) but Ash Vs. Evil Dead gets the ax 2 seasons in. And for all accounts I heard it was good, so why?? Why do the good die young? Ugh. This universe sucks.

Monday, June 25, 2018

The True Death Of The 90s

A thought occured to me today, and it was the fact that this generation of kids who are now 3 or 4 years old are not going to be able to experience or have the opportunity to go to a Toys R' Us. That is a world I do not want to live in. It's not going to force me into suicide, I've had way worse things happen to me in life that have broke me, but this is a harsh reality. Why? Because it affects future generations. NEVER in my wildest nightmares have I said, "Back in my day we used to go to Toys R' Us to get our toys." because why would that store close? 3 if not 4 generations spanning from before I was born to about 10 years ago had Toys R' Us, and it's just not there anymore. Things like Blockbuster and Toys R' Us I honestly felt that if such a day came and they closed, I would be an old man. If Blockbuster closed by the time I was in my late 30s, I could deal with that, it would suck but I would have had at least two decades of memories and experiences with it. If Toys R' Us closed by the time I was in my early 50s, I would be okay with that because at least I and future generations could have had experiences. This is the true death of the 90s, the adults of this current time are heavily nostalgic about the 1990s either because they were born at that time or were little kids at that time but you know what? You can emulate so much of it. You can go to Ebay and find old 90s toys. You can buy music and movies from the 90s in a store. You can watch the awesome cartoons online! You can get frickin' Surge and French Toast Crunch on Amazon! But the experiences you had with places that are no longer with us, cannot be replicated. You can't rent a movie from Blockbuster anymore. You can't get a cool toy from the best toy store in the world. It's incredibly depressing because, when you get right down to it, for me personally....I didn't have much time to enjoy it. I was born in 1995, Blockbuster was closing around 2012, and now Toys R' Us is closing in 2018. I have been going to Blockbuster since I was, shit maybe 3 years old. Toys R' Us I went to sometimes in my youth but it's reputation was known to me even at such a small age that it was the #1 place to buy a toy. So that's like what? 14 years of renting movies, and barely over 20 years for Toys R' Us off and on. These things should NOT be gone by the time you reach adulthood. Do you see my emotional destruction? The things you know, and love, and have such great experiences with when you were a kid should not be gone forever when you have barely grown up. And I can't compare it to now, because the most prominent thing in a kid's life now is technology. And technology will continue, and persist, and be there in some form or another for all time. Christ, if I can go to a Half Price Books and buy not only a 8-Track but also a Laserdisc movie then the tablets, and phones, and games will still be here 30 years down the road. I can even find old PC Flash games online and play them now! But the real true experiences and not so much products, are lost forever. They are not coming back. Some people ask why people of my generation are bitter and cynical despite being 20 years old, and the truth of the matter is we were born at quite possibly the worst time in terms of world view. There is an excellent post which I will link below and it sums up my generation better than my ramblings could ever even hope for. Just take the time and read it, I will post it below. It just....this is a poor world to live in without the childhood joys of yesteryear. Everybody loves talking about what they did as kids, because it makes them happy. Because of the joy, and the wonder, and the nostalgia of it. To try and let us, the listener, try to see it from their point of view and to appreciate and enjoy the value of their experiences. Older generations feel the same way, they all have places that were their places, the spots they went to eat with family and friends, the spots they went to buy new music, to see a movie, the sure fire places where they had a blast either alone or with other people, and it's just not there anymore. You're going to lose things you love in life, but everyone can agree sometimes you lose things far too quickly. Never take for granted the places you love to go to most in this world, because one day they may not be there. I'm going to drink until I can't think and play some Super Nintendo.

We'll do a review tomorrow I promise.

The bitter truth:

Friday, June 22, 2018

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Okay, I may need to break my rule here about spoilers. It's not a bad movie, in fact it's one of the better Jurassic Park movies so I do say go see it but full SPOILER ALERT ahead for those who have not seen it.

The second Jurassic World follows the vein of The Lost World, you know how Jurassic World was a bigger scale Jurassic Park? Same thing here but with The Lost World. So, Jurassic World is abandoned and apparently there is a volcano active on the island, cause that happened because shut up we need a new movie, leading Claire and Owen to rescue as many dinosaurs as possible but that's only act one! Apparently people are still on the whole "we gots to weaponize dinosaurs" boat, so after the island goes kaboom our heroes have to keep the dinosaurs safe from idiot corporations. So that's story, and I bring good tidings! The characters have gotten better, Claire is now heavily intent on saving the dinosaurs, becoming a more feeling and more intimate human being since the last movie. Owen gets a lot more development with Blue to the point where it's like father and daughter and it is very touching. We get new characters, Franklin and Zia who are pretty half and half. Franklin is a screaming bitch, and Zia is everything I love in a woman. James Cromwell is in the movie (huzzah!) and he mesmerized me in his first scene, he really did, I loved him in this movie! But then I thought, aw shit I could see James Cromwell get eaten by a dinosaur. He doesn't, but I'm not sure which is a greater insult either him getting devoured or being taken out by his punk bitch of an "heir" if one can say such a thing. That sucks dude. I love the third act though, all set in this gothic mansion with this mysterious new dinosaur we have seen in the trailers. It gets into horror territory, this movie is so much more the thriller than the other movies. You saw that scene in the trailer with the little girl in her bedroom, that is the stuff of fraking nightmares okay. Nothing could be more scary than that! But here comes the supernova sized plot hole which I need to talk about because it seriously kinda pissed me off. So they are still cloning and making new dinosaurs, the newest being the Indoraptor created from the Indominus Rex DNA (Seriously did the writers have the biggest hard on for the Velociraptor?) but this is where the series finally jumped the shark or Mosasaurus if you will. The little girl we see in the trailers, she is a clone of a human being. So....why are we still riding this "make dinosaurs weapons" dead horse? You can clone human beings! Granted she is very young and might not live long, but what do you have to lose? Pull a Star Wars, find a perfect soldier template, get a clone army, shazam! You win! The Clone Wars 2.0 bitches! I'm pretty sure if I pitted 5 or 6 tanks against a Triceratops, the tanks would win. So why are we focusing on Dino-Riders? I have no idea. It is absolutely beyond stupid guys! Humans you can train, dinosaurs are gonna eat your face or stomp you into the ground! Ugh. Do you see my issue? And we got one more movie apparently so get ready for that old dance to be done again! And yet, this movie is high on my list! I'm gonna rank em' right now. Ready?

1. Jurassic Park
2. Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom
3. The Lost World
4. Jurassic World
5. Jurassic Park 3

So obviously it's a good movie, flawed yes but good regardless. Better than the last, and the ending just makes you wonder how. Won't spoil that for you although you can probably guess it. I do suggest you go see it, very entertaining, dumb at moments, but a perfect summer movie to see with family and friends.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Jurassic World

Well it was slightly better than the last movie.

Okay, so Jurassic World. It is....I don't even know. Is it bad? Not really. Is it good? Not exactly. Okay so imagine if you will Jurassic Park actually opened, it got approved, and has been a thriving buisness for years. Now imagine even further that somehow people got tired of dinosaurs, to the point where they are combining DNA of several dinosaurs to create brand new ones. This is where issues crop up. Like cloning dinosaurs wasn't a bad idea enough, but now you make far more deadly and dangerous dinosaurs by playing cocktail maker. The premise is interesting! Jurassic Park is open to the public, that is a cool idea, imagine the havoc and chaos that would ensue if we had a rerun of the first movie only now, there are over 20,000 people at the park. They do one scene. Oh think of the countless varieties of gene spliced dinosaurs, the possibilities are ridiculous! They only make one, and it supposed to be this big reveal that it's about 50% Velociraptor, even though it primarily looks like one. And the worst insult of all? People got bored of dinosaurs. Are you dead sucking ferious?? What reality? I want to know. What universe is this where the human race looks at a Triceratops like an elephant at a zoo? And the oddest thing is, it almost seems like the movie is trying to send this message. They bring up stuff like, the new owner of the park after John Hammond's death created it all over again to make the human race be humble or something like that, and feel better about their existence when they encounter creatures 75 million years old. And this kid...okay, there are two kids named Zach and Gray. Gray is a kid, excited to see dinosaurs, knows a lot about them, he is on cloud 9 at this place man, he digs this hardcore. Zach is the most stereotypical disinterested teenager it makes me want to puke. The son of a bitch sees a Mosasaurus devour a shark the size of Jaws in a single bite, and looks at pictures that his girlfriend sent to him. The whole movie Gray is running amok and enjoying the park, and Zach wants to put his dick in every girl he sees despite having a girlfriend which even he seems disinterested in. I don't know if the movie is trying to make some commentary on modern technology sort of disillusioning real life spectacle, or it causing a massive disconnect with real things. Like with Claire, she sees everything in the park as inanimate, walking through holograms of dinosaurs, thinking of the dinosaurs as attractions and not living creatures, constantly on her phone and not spending time with Zach and Gray. So it seems like that's the message of the movie but it gets lost amongst the nonsensical plot and characters. Like this guy who is hell bent using Raptors in the stead of soldiers. What?? This movie is on some kind of drugs, and it is not medicinal. It's a hot mess, that's all I can say about it. It's just a sloppy, ridiculous, hot mess. And that is not fun. I am simultaneously dreading and hopeful for Fallen Kingdom, it seems so new, full of stuff we have never seen before but I hope it hits well with me. Jurassic Park 3 killed this franchise for 15 years. Ever since Jurassic Park every sequel has hurt the series, Jurassic Park 3 almost killed it, and Jurassic World did not help the problem but it didn't have anywhere to go but up. Please don't let Fallen Kingdom suck! I can't do another horrible sequel guys, I just can't. All I ask of you is to hope for the best tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Jurassic Park 3

Why William H. Macy?? Why? YOU ARE TEARING ME APART!

This movie is so worthless it makes The Lost World look like the friggin' Godfather Part 2! I mean, you wanna talk half-assed and not giving a damn? Look no further. I just...I'm done. It's not worth your time, but strangely I think the film knows that. It plays more like a B-movie you see on the Sci-Fi Channel (I still reguse to call it syfy) than a Jurassic Park movie. I mean really, subtract the references and Sam Neil and shazam! you got a Sci-Fi original movie where all you do is waste an hour and a half of your life and wish you did something better. Did this movie even get a theatrical release? I must admit, until this Friday I have never seen a Jurassic Park movie in theaters. First one came out before I was born, second one came out when I was 2, the third one we rented from Blockbuster, and Jurassic World I think I saw when it finally hit cable. And let's just say, the whole dinosaur phase that every kid goes through stuck around a bit longer for me. You know how much I remember of this movie? Maybe 30 minutes, all involving dinosaur chases and fights. I remember Jurassic Park 3 but not for the right reason. We rented it from Blockbuster, it's like 2002 maybe even 2003, my cousins were staying with us and after we watched the movie we stayed up all night and beat Super Mario World. That's how I remember Jurassic Park 3, not one of my favorite movies of all time like the first, not an exciting dinosaur action showcase like the second, but a small part of a pretty good evening. You can live without this movie, and go your whole life without seeing it. Just watch Shameless instead.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Jurassic Park: The Lost World

Not to be confused with The Lost World from 1925, based off the novel The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle which is not to be confused with The Lost World by Michael Crichton from which this film is based on. The Lost World.

All jokes aside, this movie is interesting. Set 4 years after the first movie, Hammond contacts Ian Malcolm to help in the protection of the true island where they created the dinosaurs from greedy corporate officials who wish to exploit the animals and bring them all to San Diego. Makes sense to me, because the first Park was absolutely foolproof! Yeah, the plot is as weak as an after school special or a Captain Planet episode, yet I still think it's decent. Come on, it's a sequel to Jurassic Park. What quality do you think you are getting? Granted Steven is back in the director's chair, and nothing is bad about the inner workings of the movie, the special effects are still really good, cast is decent with a lot more room for Jeff Goldblum to bring some good comedy in the film, the action is really good especially when the T-Rex tramples through San Diego which is no doubt the highlight of the film. But plot is lacking and not as tight as the first, but I don't think the film is bad. This is the movie for the dinosaur action lover. It takes...maybe 5 minutes before you see a dinosaur in full glory, and there is lots more to be had. You can tell it's a very different breed from the first movie, but if you don't expect a better movie than Jurassic Park (cause let's face it Jurassic Park is the best) and are game to see lots of dino action, you're gonna enjoy this movie! There's not much to it, but it's better than the next one. You know what was really odd? This movie got a 2 VHS tape release, so the second tape was behind the scenes stuff, it wasn't a Titanic deal where the movie was split in half. Hell that was the exception in the late 90s, I think those and Cecil B. Demille's The Ten Commandments which was one of my favorite movies as a kid, were the only movies I knew of where they came with two tapes. Yeah that was how hardcore I was, I watched The Ten Commandments multiple times all the way through when I was like 4 or 5. Do you know long that movie is? Like 4 hours! I was made for movies boy. Ranting aside, decent movie, worth your time if you love dino action, pray for me tomorrow.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Jurassic Park

I can't even believe it! You know, it only took 3 years, over 350+ reviews, and only now have we got to Jurassic Park. Most people ask, why do they always remake or make sequels to classic films? The answer to that question is so that I can finally talk about Predator before the new Predator movie comes out.

So, because it's fun to talk about and to enlighten the 5 of you who have lived under a rock since 1993, how is Jurassic Park? Quite good I would say. Because you know it only ushered in a new age of special effects, and showed Spielberg could still bring blockbuster dollars and serious film material even 20 years after he got famous. But beyond the spectacular special effects, if you really just take a few steps back or more like a Superman leap backwards and watch this movie as if it were your first time you notice a lot. They do an incredible job with the dinosaurs, not only with the special effects but how they use them. You never see a dinosaur unless it is absolutely necessary, the first scene you see trees giving way, splitting apart, and you think oh shit here it comes. But it's a container that holds a dinosaur. And you get hints, an eye, this guy being dragged in the cage, shrieking and snarling sounds. That's really it. It makes you wonder what on earth that thing was! You didn't know first time, no way no how, even if you read the book. So there is lots of buildup throughout the film even after you see the dinosaurs, the moving through the grass leading to the Triceratops, the booming of the footsteps of a T-Rex, the feeding of a cow to a paddock of Velociraptors, it takes it's time which makes the wonder of these creatures unbelievable. Spielberg was on his high game, like ridiculously high game in this movie. True there are some kind of dumb things in this movie, but it does such a good job stringing you along you never notice until you dive deep in the analysis, and for what faults it does have it has some scenes that make you forget the stupid things. Who cares if they sent Samuel L. Jackson alone to turn a fusebox on when dinosaurs are running amok, when you get the perfection of the T-Rex scene. Both of them. You can forgive a lot because the craft, and execution, and little moments make this a great movie. And another thing I noticed is, there are a lot of wonderful little character moments, you need to look for them though but they are there on the screen. Like when Lex trips and Alan catches her, she holds his hand despite the fact he wants to let go cause he's not a fan of kids. Or seriously probably the best bit of acting in the whole movie, when they watch the cow being fed to the Raptors that look that Hammond gives to Alan while he watches is seriously the most intriguing and yet almost the most terrifying part of the movie. I mean obviously the guy needs to be some flavor of crazy to make dinosaurs, but God dang he seems almost deranged in that scene. I love the acting in this movie! Sam Neil is a wonderful lead, Laura Dern is just awesome in general, Jeff Goldblum is correct in every statement in this movie and who doesn't love Ian Malcolm I ask you, and Richard Attenborough like I said is the most interesting character in the whole film. There's tons of great stuff in this movie, some more noticeable than others, but still worth repeated viewings for all your life. PS. Those Velociraptors could be the most terrifying thing I have ever witnessed in film.

You know what really surprised me? Steven Spielberg came back to direct The Lost World, all these years I swore it was a different director. I'm extremely curious to see it again after so many years, but we will wait for that until tomorrow.

Friday, June 15, 2018

The Incredibles 2

Okay. Bear with me.

The Incredibles 2 is a very good movie, the animation quality is excellent, the story is very good as a continuation of the first, the voice cast is top form if not even better than the first, and there is more comedy and characters than the first. It still mixes different pools of source materials and still comes out to be a dang good movie. BUT, and this is the part you need to bear with me, it really was not worth the 14 year wait. It's a good movie, I really enjoyed the movie, I would buy the movie and watch it again and again! But I get this feeling that this movie was not made for us, the people who saw the teaser for The Incredibles, saw it in the theater, the people who wanted a sequel. It was made for the kids who saw The Incredibles when they were 6 or 7 years old, and now they are about 10 to 11 years old. They would love the movie even more so because they did not have to wait that long like we did. I'm not trying to go all "millenial" and be like, "Ugh we have to wait 2 or 3 years to see what happens next? That's way too long, we need to see it next year!", that is ridiculous. What do you want quality or quantity? Me personally, I want quality. But let's take another example of a Pixar movie, Toy Story, waited 4 years for the 2nd, and then an astounding 11 years for the 3rd. But with Toy Story there was a reason, they timed it to where by the time the 3rd came out all the kids who saw the first were Andy's age, moving onto college or adulthood. That is an example of timing. But 14 years for a sequel that could have easily came out in 2009 or 2010 if you were pushing it, does not hold that merit. I mean, you really made Finding Dory first rather than The Incredibles 2? Really? It just wasn't worth the wait for me. A very good movie, but too little too late. And to throw salt in my bitter old ass, the movie started with the cast ASSURING the wait would be worth it. And it just wasn't for me. Does that hinder my enjoyance? Only a bit. I hate to be so jaded on this but it affected me, and the movie was good I must stress that. I had really no expectations for the movie. Now you might be saying, "But Dude you had to have had some form of expectation, the movie took so long to come out!" and you know what my reaction was when the news was official and Incredibles 2 was announced? "Well that's awesome. Took them long enough." And that was it. So I was going in with a completely unbiased and unexpected mind, fully willing to accept whatever was on the screen. There is such a thing as too long or too short when it comes to continuations of stories. When everybody was thrilled to hear about the continuation of Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird, they had to wait a long time unless they loved the story at a young age, which my guess would say that would be very rare. It took 55 years for that story to have a sequel. But did it need it? Well I haven't read the book or seen the film yet but even I could say the book ends definitively. And in actuality, it wasn't even a sequel, just an earlier draft of To Kill A Mockingbird. So people got so interested in reading essentially Mockingbird V. 0.487, and the event did not phase me in the slightest. So the film could have been an awful lot worse. But now my thoughts turn to the future. I joked about Monsters Inc. 2 but I am now worried it could end up the same as The Incredibles in terms of impact. If you're going to dedicate 14 years for a sequel, it better be Empire Strikes Back levels of amazing. And this, just wasn't. A really good movie hurt by it's dragging release. But if you can look past this huge gap, you're going to enjoy the movie. I just hope Pixar listens to it's dedicated fans in the future and take action on what they want.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

The Incredibles

I'm simultaneously excited, and yet kind of bitter it took them 14 years to finally make a sequel to The Incredibles. I'll talk more about that later after the review.

The Incredibles, Pixar's superhero movie is a cut above the rest. Not only because of the great animation, but the story and characters. The interesting thing I noticed is the current story takes place in the early 60s, which is interesting enough but that also means the opening scene takes place a bit past 1945. So it simultaneously is a superhero movie, and yet an alternate reality movie. Hell the only other movie I know off the top of my head that does such a thing is Watchmen, so already I was digging this movie and appreciated it more than when I was a kid. Alright, in a reality of multiple superheroes that have yet again like Watchmen, been retired and are living normal lives after the glory days we meet Bob Parr, Mr. Incredible living a suburban life with his family. And he is going through the always fun time of a mid-life crisis, trying to relive the days of being a hero while trying to maintain his job and be a part of his family. And I am certain this is easily the best Fantastic Four movie ever to be made in history, with Helen Parr as Elastigirl having two children Dash who has super speed, and Violet who can create force fields and turn invisible. This family is awesome, because they act and feel like a real family that just so happens to have superpowers. The dynamic and characters are wonderful to say the least, and I have to give a special shout out to Brad Bird for creating these wonderful designs for each character. Back to story, so Mr. Incredible is contacted and sent to a island where I swear to God seeing it now is so clearly a villain's lair it is almost absurd. A plot is discovered that entails the deaths of all supers, leading The Incredibles to save the day. One glorious aspect is that a lot of love went to Ken Adam's designs in the early James Bond films, because honestly if I did not know the S in that board room meant Syndrome, at my age right now, I would say it's SPECTRE. Like it's amazing how much material they give homages to and it works. The characters are essentially The Fantastic Four, the plot is a combination of silver age adventures mixed with modern introspection of our characters, the set design is Ken Adams down to the letter, and the music is entirely done in this jazz/swing band with a lot of brass and soul straight from the 40s. I also love how the technology is so high tech that surprisingly the film is timeless. Animation can become timeless regardless of setting or story, and this is a prime example of that. People can watch this movie even 50 years down the line and still enjoy it as much as when it first came out. With that said, *BRIEF TANGENT INCOMING* this is going to sound really weird but hear me out. The Incredibles 2 is my Phantom Menace. Now what do I mean by that? Well, seeing as how I was born in 1995 I didn't have to wait that long for the prequels. Hell by the time I got into Star Wars, The Phantom Menace was in theaters if not almost out on video. The Incredibles 2 took 14 years to hit, about 3 years shy from the time it took from Return Of The Jedi to The Phantom Menace, I was 9 or 10 when I first saw The Incredibles. I...really, really do not want The Incredibles 2 to fall on it's face for me. I never experienced The Phantom Menace as a grown up and witnessed the betrayal of Star Wars. This could be a Phantom Menace situation, a continuation of a story that took over 10 long years to get here, with a loving and devoted fanbase, and the wait better have been worth it. The only thing left I have to say is, if you really make me wait about 20 years for a Monsters Inc. sequel, I will be severely disappointed in you Pixar.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Hotel Artemis

Well that was a pleasant surprise.

You know, for a movie I had no faith in, and hardly any interest in, and essentially went on a whim for better or worse, that was a good movie! And I don't get the trashing reviews I have seen, like I said I had no real inclination to go see this movie, I would have been content waiting until it hit video but I wanted to get another review out for the week. And this is a really good movie! I know the premise and tv spots sounded sketchy, a criminal hospital and hell breaks loose with action, comedy, and thrills. It's hardly anything like that except the criminal hospital. Okay, the year is 2028 and Los Angeles has been torn asunder from riots. War zone is putting it lightly. Enter our protagonist known only as Waikiki who just robbed a bank and it kinda went bad, his brother is pumped full of bullets so they head to the Hotel Artemis to get patched up. That's basic setup, but there is a lot more going on. See the Artemis is filled with medical technology that's a marvel to say the least, and there are a few other patients being tended. Let's just say personalities clash. But that leads us to characters, easily the best part of the film! And I say that because, I love how the actors potrayed them. This is an excellent cast playing good characters, you can tell that when they talk there is more to the dialogue. Like, you can tell they have a history together, they have known each other, worked with each other, and gotten to know one another through several years. This is the film's best feature. And the cast is great, Jodie Foster even after a 5 year hiatus does a fantastic job, she's been running the Artemis for over 20 years and she is having none of these criminal's nonsense, she is this nurse who has seen it all and it's just another day for her. Dave Bautista plays her assistant, and he is wonderful with Jodie because he's this mountain of a badass and yet she calls him babe, and oh my God that is the most precious thing I have ever seen! Ahem, sorry. We got my girl, hey Sofia I missed you, still being awesome and perfect as always. Sterling K. Brown is a good protagonist, kind of a criminal with a heart of gold, he knows most of the people in the Artemis and he knows not to cause trouble and just wants to save his brother. So cast is solid aces, action is a minor point but done well, setup is interesting and could have possibly set up sequel bait but I do doubt it heavily, so yeah a solid good movie! Definitely go see it, it clocks in barely an hour and a half with credits so you got time, I was just so surprised how good it was. I was expecting middle of the road, nothing good or bad, but I was gladly surprised to see it and I may even buy it in the future!

So we got awhiles until the next review, Thursday in fact. But regardless of the time I think it's gonna be incredible.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Ocean's 8

I'm still mulling over which I like better, Ocean's 12 or Ocean's 8.

Pretty good work ladies, I gotta say you made an alright series a bit better for me. So yeah, Ocean's 8 is a good movie and one of the best of the Ocean's series. Before we hit story, we gotta talk cast, the cast is good but some were really underused. I was actually really looking forward to some of the women but they hardly use Mindy Kaling and and Awkwafina, cause they looked like fun characters! I mean you got a con just out of prison, a liquor bootlegger, a pickpocket, a jewelry expert, a fashion designer, a stay at home mom, and a hacker. Who's the 8th member? Can't really say but I honestly felt it was tacked on but hey you can't call it Ocean's 7 (more on that later). So you got a really good cast of characters and actresses to play them, pulling a pretty interesting heist. Essentially going to the most extravagant gala to steal a $150 million diamond necklace, and they made an interesting, kinda funny, and enjoyable film! Best part of the movie hands down, Cate Blanchett. I mean you can tell everyone is enjoying themselves filming the movie, but Cate is not only enjoying herself she is owning this role in every way possible. You know what kinda sucks though? They make Anne Hathaway play this idiot movie star and I know she can do great and wonderful stuff, but I didn't hate her character though. Also, big props to the wardrobe department! Not only do these ladies look spectacular, but they somehow got Anne Hathaway in a cape that would make Spawn jealous and my God is it glorious. And you know why it is Ocean's 8? So we can have Ocean's 9 and 10. A trilogy. But any movie that plays Bach not once, but twice is clearly an excellent movie. Recommend it for a weekend viewing with friends. Until then, stay classy ladies.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Ocean's 13

Well I certainly liked it better than the first, but I still feel the second was the best.

Despite Ocean's 13 not being as good as 12, I still have to say it is a decent movie. Once again not going for the straight heist movie, they do something unique again. So, debts have been paid off in the second movie, the crew has been doing good until one of their members Reuben is double crossed and the poor guy suffers a heart attack from it, spurring the crew to not only steal this casino owner's prized diamond collection but sabotage his newly constructed casino. Good story, got your usual heist stuff, but a bit of sabotage too. I mean thank God for this variety, cause let me tell you something if each movie was essentially the first movie all over again, I would have severely lost my fudge man. But they tried to innovate and do a new thing each time, and that must be applauded. And I'm fully with them tearing this casino to shreds cause Al Pacino is an asshole in this movie! I mean yeah, he plays Al Pacino but he is so...just not nice, and it's very gratifying to see him get his comeuppance. And you know what I noticed? The best character of the whole crew is Linus, Matt Damon because he has an arc. From rookie, to kinda knowing the ropes but not fully trusted to do stuff, to truly being a part of the crew and helping out a lot, that's really cool. You could almost argue this is his story, despite the expansive cast. It was just something I noticed, and I thought it was a neat idea. Really, these movies are okay. Competently written, shot, and edited but nothing too special. Which just leads me to wonder, will I enjoy Ocean's 8? It looks decent, but I guess we will find out tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Ocean's 12

Alright, I was pleasantly surprised!

After the overwhelming adequate reception of Ocean's 11, I got to say I was really hoping the sequel would be a lot better and it actually was. I think the reason I liked it more is the fact that it wasn't a straight up heist movie. So the crew after 3 months has finally been caught up with the guy they stole all the money from in the first movie and he gives them an ultimatum, garner all his money back and then some or die. So the crew heads over to Europe to try and recover the money before time runs out. Already I liked it much more on a story basis. This movies does so much more than the first, and betters what was already there. The story is interesting with an almost unknown goal as if the crew are just spitballing ideas until they hit their mark, the Coronation Faberge Egg. And I actually liked the characters this time too, they are given much more personality in this movie and are genuinely funny. But we even get a new character, and she was my favorite character by far! Isabel played by the ridiculously great Catherine Zeta-Jones, who has had a past with Rusty and is a good sort of antagonist but not really. This is why she is my favorite, she is the most interesting of the characters. Fully willing to take them all down and yet kind of admiring and helping them too. I don't know, just everything has been done so much better. Now the camera work was really good in the first movie but they get so many better shots in Amsterdam and Rome, just so beautiful with some interesting shots here and there. It really does make me curious as to how this all ends, what awits for me in Ocean's 13. So needless to say I can fully acknowledge this is a better movie and a very good one at that, I almost would say skip the first and just start here. But we got one more before the girls hit the scene so stay tuned tomorrow for Ocean's 13.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Ocean's 11

Well I guess I have Ocean's 8 to blame for me being here.

Well it only took 17 years to finally see this movie, and while you're reeling from that bitter truth let's talk film. Ocean's 11 is an alright movie, I have to admit I have never been for heist movies but a realization occured to me about an hour in this movie. It's not about whether the heist is a success or not, but more for the characters and how the heist was done. You know they're going to walk away with cash from 3 different Vegas casinos, but you want to know how and see these crooks sort of bounce off one another. And I have to say the character's are fine, nothing stands out much beyond the star power. We got a lot of people in this movie, all good actors so the main focus as far as I can guess why you would watch this movie is the heist. And it is interesting how they find ways through the most heavily guarded safe in Vegas, it did intrigue me but I wasn't fully grabbed by it. Hell I made it more entertaining by making a drinking game, and the sad part is it works for every heist movie. Just take a shot anytime either there is a fake out to where you think they have just been caught red handed or when they come withing breathing distance of being caught. You're probably gonna get buzzed good by the end credits. All I can say is I really hope the sequel can grab me and keep me invested. The movie is totally fine, there's no mind breaking amounts of stupid, it's just that these types of films never really appealed to me. And yet the trailer for Ocean's 8 actually got me curious about this whole thing, so go figure. I'd just watch this movie on a lazy day and there is nothing better to watch. Ocean's 12, you got a low bar to pass so here's hoping for tomorrow.