Guardians of the galaxy

 

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Yes, I was on Star Trek, but no I wasn’t green then.

 

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Shhh, the raccoon is going to talk.
2014
So a thief, a green woman, a shirtless wrestler, a talking raccoon and a tree dude come together. Wait is this the set up for a bad joke your grandpa would tell or a movie? It could be either, but since I saw it the other day it seems like it might be another movie. This Starlord guy began as an earthling who was abducted by space pirate type fellows. So was he Starlad when he was little? No, I don’t think so. He and the characters above are all drawn together around this orb thing that others want to. Greed and lust for power motivates various characters to go after this orb thing. Blah, blah, blah get on with the action because we didn’t check out a superhero movie for a deep plot. There’s a prison, a jailbreak, deceit, space action and bad guy snarling. I think they play some 70’s music here and there to promote their soundtrack. Everyone laughs at the talking raccoon, wahahaha or they laugh at the talking tree and his one line “I am….what was that name again”. So the greedy heroes act less greedy and the short sighted heroes act more long sighted like they care about someone besides themselves. Eventually sides are drawn for a big space battle. Yeehaw get them doggone lasers fired up! Phew, phew, phew those CGI ships shoot it up and some snappy dialog is tossed in between all this action. A major hero dies (but he’ll be back for the sequel I’m sure), the bad guy dies right away-yeah right you know they have to stretch this thing out and have the baddie last for a while. The heroes come together to win-oh how sweet. Roll the credits and rake in the bucks.

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Tell me when stench is gone and I’ll take this thing off.

The negatives-This movie doesn’t really do anything new. At times it comes across like what happens when a bored five year old pulled all their action figures, space ships other toys together and played with them all at once just going from battle to battle.

The positives- The character become likable and work well together. The acting is overall very solid. The action is non-stop and everything looks top notch.

The lesser known Marvel characters become more known and the film was a well deserved hit. I went in thinking I’d liking it came away thinking it was the best I saw in 2014.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

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2014

This is a story about a courageous female newsperson whose father was in on creating these powerful turtles, she discovers a metallic coated evil dude, she tries to convince her silly co-workers about what is going on but they go on being stupid and….then she. Wait, a turtles movie is supposed to be about the Turtles you know like the title says. However in this version April seems to take priority. Eventually we see the lumpy looking turtles and they do some fighting in between April’s parts. Shredder looks he was built by a bored hardware store employee, but he gives his evil portrayal-wahaha or something. There’s a meany pants scientist in this too and he has some lame brilliant plan that can’t possibly fail-okay of course it fails. The personalities of the turtles are developed more and more as the film progresses…just kidding this is the April show so the turtles just whiz bang in for some brief action here and there. There are some explosions, some fights, some lame jokes and eventually the film ends. Good Lord roll the credits.

The negatives- Megan Fox is on screen way too much and she is awful like make me cringe kind of awful. She seems to think that moving her lips a lot counts as acting-it doesn’t. I knew they changed the turtles origin story and that’s okay, but tying April into it via her dad doesn’t work for me. The Turtles started out okay, but they never really develop their personalities that much. Raphael and Leonardo in particular are left as shadows of the characters we have come to know. The plot and the villains felt poorly planned out. The action was okay, but not enough to make up for the other many shortcomings.

The positives-I thought I’d hate the look of the turtles going into the film, but overall I was okay with it.

As much as I was hoping to find something about this one to like it just had far too many problems. I usually love the turtles in the comics, the cartoons and the previous films. The writers of this one didn’t respect the turtles enough to develop their characters, make them the stars or give them a good story to work around. When you take characters who have been around for awhile you at least to try and understand what it is about those characters that fans have liked for decades and that sure didn’t happen for this film.

Beastmaster

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1982

A hook nosed nasty type Maax teams up with rot faced half naked witches to suck the heir to the throne out of his mom’s womb and into a cow. No, that wasn’t a post Mexican food dream, it was the start of this film. The baby boy Dar is rescued prior to being sacrificed. His new dad raises him at a farming village and the boy shows a knack for talking to the animals, but no his last name is not Doolittle. Unfortunately some wicked muscle bound types called the Jun horde wipe out the entire village except Dar. Dar takes off most of his clothes and goes off to avenge his village. Along the way he picks up animal friends including two ferrets, a bird and a tiger with a bad paint job because remember he can talk to them. He spies on a topless woman, becomes friends with a staff wielding guy and a young prince. Oh and he falls into quicksand because you know how common that stuff is. Double oh he runs across these winged creepies that eat people, but they become friends with Dar because he is buddies with a bird and it likes these rejects from a bad horror flick worship birdies. Eventually Dar stops sacrifices at an ungodly steep temple and saves good people while ticking off Maax and his fake beak. Eventually this leads to Dar fighting and defeating Maax and his bald followers-ewww take that! Dar and his friends and followers take over the city and await a confrontation with the dreaded Jun oh,dear, oh dear. They have flames ready and Dar leads the fight with some wrestling and fancy sword work. He takes a few of the Jun and just when you think it will be a tough battle those winged weirdos from earlier show up and take out the rest of the Jun-hooray!. The young prince will lead the city now. Then it’s discovered that Dar is actually the first born, but he does not want the role and wanders on. Roll the credits.

The negatives-The lower budget shows in spots if you are looking for it.Tanya Roberts couldn’t exactly act her way out of a paper bag (although with her looks it didn’t really matter in this film).

The positives-Marc Singer, Rip Torn and John Amos lead an a mostly solid cast. The lighting during night scenes is inspired. The scenery is overall fantastic and really adds to the feel of the film. The plot might just be okay, but the action and characters really make it magical for what it is.

A really great fantasy, action film that I have enjoyed since I first saw it on TV in the mid-1980’s.

Clash of the titans

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1981

Back in the days of gods and goddesses they had monsters that scared entire cities. They also wore bed sheets around all the time too so it wasn’t all cool. Anyways this sea serpent Kraken (not crack like a butt crack) gets called upon to wipe out cities. This one snooty Queen offends a goddess and said goddess takes over a big statue head to fuss at people and say they have to sacrifice the princess or the city will be turned to rubble! There is also this dude named Perseus who is half a god and he fancies the above princess. He becomes friends with the guy that played the Penguin on the Batman show. Then he wrangles a winged horsey, slices the hand off this fuzzy dude named Calibos and solves a riddle that many others had failed to do. So he must be a tough dude despite wearing a bed sheet. Also he has been given gifts from the gods including a metal owl that squeaks and squawks. He is either brave or stupid because he decides to go on a quest to get the head of Medusa in the hopes of stopping the old slimey sea monster from eating his honey. Along the way he run into some nasty blind witches and a multi-headed dog before fighting Medusa and whacking her head off-ker-plunk! Ah so everything is fine they just get stroll back to the city solve all the problems. Ooops I forgot about that Calibos creep who now had a fork for a hand-comes in handy at dinnertime and stabbing soldiers like he does here. Calibos also unleashes giant scorpions from drops of blood which is a better trick that guessing which card you picked. Perseus defeats the scorpions and I don’t mean the ones  who did “Winds of change’ although that would be reason enough to attack  them. Also Perseus slays Calibos and sails off on the winged horsie while carrying the severed Medusa head. Time is about up at the city  so the princess is strapped to the rocks and the Kraken is unleashed in all it’s thin armed glory. Perseus eventually arrives and after some bumbling manages to show the Medusa head to the Kraken. This causes the monster to turn to stone and then crumble to dust cracka-cracka-crack-crack. All is well and there is some hooey at the end about the gods and the stars and blah, blah, blah, blah. Roll the credits.

The negatives-Younger viewers might see the effects as being dated and even at the time the stop motion effects were not the way effects were going in 1981. The mechanical owl Bubo is slightly annoying.

The positives-This was the final film for special effects wizard Ray Harryhausen and even though times had changed on effects he created some great figures for this film, some of his best actually. The settings and scenery are fantastic for this film and I thought the first time I saw and I still think that. The story takes some liberties with the classic myths, but the action and monsters make the film exciting.

When I was in 7th grade we did a unit on mythology so the whole grade took a field trip to an old movie theater to see this film. I loved it and probably talked the ears off anyone around about it. In late 1984 this film popped on regular TV a lot around the holidays so much that I probably saw it 15 times in two months. Since then it has been a real favorite of mine. It has flaws, but remains a very strong action/adventure film in my my eyes.

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Teenage mutant ninja turtles

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1990

So apparently in New York there are these martial art proficient masked turtles who are instructed by a rat. No wait, I’m serious or at least in a Hollywood adaption of a comic book kind of way. Okay back to this movie. People are having things stolen..in the big city..can you believe that? Oh, yeah so can I, but wait this is apparently being done by a bunch young people who have been organized by a ninja guy named Shredder who wears well stuff that looks like it would shred you. The police don’t want anyone to know much of an anything, but a reporter named April goes nosing around. Eventually she befriends those turtles. The shreddie guy and his feet er and the Foot take the rat Splinter to lure the turtles in. Meanwhile the turtles eat pizza, team up with a hockey goalie mask wearing guy named Casey Jones and they try to figure out what to do next. Eventually they throw out more jokes and sillines plus manage to save Splinter, straighten out a bunch of teens who were on the wrong track and apparently defeated the shred dude/thingie/person/guy. All is well until the next film so order pizza and roll the credits.

Negatives-This is geared toward kids to an extent, but not as much as the cartoon of the same time was.

Positives-I think is a fairly strong comic book adaption that has held up well over the years. The personalities of the main characters is decent, the action is adequate and the pace is strong. The back story is simple and things move along fairly quickly. There are some great one liners and I never get tired of the Dominoes delivery scene.

 

 

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10 things I learned from Earth vs. the spider AKA: The spider

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1958

1-Be careful of giant flesh eating spiders the next time you are driving along the road alone at night.

2-Just because a guy has a reputation for drinking and running off doesn’t mean he didn’t get done in by a flesh eating spider this time around.

3- Sometimes high school kids look like they are 45.

4-Small town sheriffs don’t believe much of anything until someone dies first.

5-DDT apparently only temporarily paralyzes giant spiders.

6-Rock and roll can awaken a formerly paralyzed spider.

7-Everyone can run fast while fleeing from a giant spider.

8-Giant spiders cast giant shadows.

9-Giant spiders makes sounds like a squeaking door amplified like 30 times.

10-Stalagmites can kill a giant spider if it is first shocked and then fall from a decent height.

There you go. This film was made by Bert I Gordon who made a number of films between the mid 1950’s and late 1970’s mostly about giant creatures. They had low production values and some times terrible effects. That being said this film is actually decent in a B movie sort of way. The plot is unlikely of course, but the action and effects are adequate. It’s not Tarantula, but it’s a worth watching.

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Quick get a gigantic shoe to squish that thing!

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I’ll never understand modern art.

Space Station 76-Can’t wait

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Space Station 76 is a new indie film starring Patrick Wilson, Liv Tyler and Matt Bomer. It has apparently been shown in a few limited places including having been shown at SWSX a few weeks ago. Apparently it’s at least part spoof focusing on 1970’s space shows and movies which is why it would appeal to me. From the few pictures I’ve seen it definitely borrows some sets and costume ideas from Space: 1999 plus there’s lots of mustaches, big hair on the female characters and simplistic robots. For a cameo it’s looks like (according to IMDB) that Keir Dullea from 2001: A space odyssey and Starlost has a small role in the film. I hadn’t heard about this one at all until recently. While I prefer movies and shows right from the 70’s I’d be interested in a spoof if it’s done in at least a semi-loving way. Either way if it ever gets a proper release either in the theater or on DVD I’ll be all over it.

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http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2369317/

Ten thoughts on Zardoz

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1-The locations are spectacular.

2-The more explanation they add into the film the less sense it makes.

3-They reveal too much about the story too soon.

4-As far as 1970’s dystopian sci-fi goes this one tries harder, but the results are mixed.

5-The red diaper look on dudes wasn’t cool in 1974 nor will it ever likely be even in any future universe ever.

6-If waving one’s fingers at someone worked as a punishment it would have been done a long time ago.

7-It doesn’t take long into this film for the average viewer to begin laughing.

8-There are some moments are images that work in this film, but there are just many that feel like they are just trying to pad the length of the film.

9-It’s not a good film, but there are enough odd and interesting ideas and visuals to make it worth re-visiting from time to time.

10-No one in this film really looks very comfortable with what they are doing.

11 thoughts about Ghostbusters 2

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With the passing of Harold Ramis I’m sure lots of people were pulling out Ghostbusers, Caddyshack, Stripes, Groundhog day or something. Likely I’m one of the few that opted for this 1989 sequel. I actually watched it as recently as October, but wanted to give it another viewing. Here are some quick thoughts on it.

1-I’m not sure the original needed a sequel, but I’m glad they made it.
2-The scene with Ray and Winston doing a birthday party is sad, but kind of funny.
3-I didn’t like Louis or Janine as much in this film as I did in the original.
4-I liked the parts where they are trapping other ghosts after they have work again. The ghost runner was interesting.
5-Peter MacNichol was annoying in his part, but the more I see him the more I think that approach works for the part.
6-The part where Venkman says something about suck in the guts guys we’re the Ghostbusters always make me smile.
7-The idea behind Vigo was just okay, but he certainly looked creepy.
8-Slimer’s cameo seemed very tacked on.
9-There was no need for Louis to suit up as a Ghostbuster.
10-The part where the Titanic comes in is awesome even though it’s only a few seconds.
11-Egon sharing about how he had part of a slinky but he straightened it fits in so well with his character.

Overall I like this movie probably more than most people. Of course it’s not on the level of the original, but it’s likable. I think my biggest problem with is parts that don’t seem to add to the characters development or advance the plot of the film. On the plus side we get to see the guys back to work doing what they do best.

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Welcome to blood city

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1977

Who’s in this?
Jack Palance as Frendlander one of the cowboy types with a lot of power and a funny accent. You know Palance from tons of stuff from Shane to Batman to just generally being kind of a loon in most things.

Keir Dullea as Lewis one of the people from the beach who ends taking advantage of whatever it is that’s going on here. You likely know him most as David Bowman from 2001.
Barry Morse as the supervisor. You may know him best as Lt. Gerard the policeman who chased the Fugitive on that show or as Victor on season one of Space 1999.
Chris Wiggins as scruffy and nasty cowboy Gellor. You likely know Wiggins most from Friday the 13th the series where he played Jack Marshak.
Samantha Eggar as Katherine, actually she plays both cowgirl and scientist. Eggar is perhaps most known for being in Doctor Doolittle and voicing Hera in Disney’s Hercules.

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What’s this about?
Have you ever woke up on the beach with several strangers and you all wearing dingy uniforms? Oh and you don’t know how you go there, but you and the other strangers all committed some kind of crime. So you take off walking away from the beach. Then you find water only some red necks attack and rape the only female of your group and kill one of the guys in your new pack. Then the old cowboy guy from City Slickers shows up looking like a cowboy for the Red Cross and he runs off the rednecks and starts to take you to town. This may sound like a dream you’d have if you ate Mexican food too late into the evening, but it actually it’s the start of a rather odd yet semi-interesting film. So the group of ragged people from the beach are taken to an old west town that doesn’t totally look like the old west. More like an old west set with slightly out of place western types tossed in. Yeah and this weird thumping type music is tossed in here and there whether it fits or not. So pretty we learn that everyone here who is anyone is all about killing. Killing gives power, kill someone and you get their status and their bodyguards and if you kill 20 you become immortal which means no one else can kill you. Lewis gets all noble and says he won’t play these reindeer games or war games or cowboy antics or whatever it is. However when a goofy nerd guy tries to shoot him Lewis gets a hold of a gun that Katherine throws and fires back. He wins and goes from being drab cloth wearing dirtball to slick black hat wearing fancy pants type. Then it slows down there’s back and forth yacking. Katherine talks with Lewis, Frendlandor and Gellor both want the girl who came in with Lewis, Frendlandor kills Gellor and threatens Lewis, blah, blah, blah. Lewis begins to have glimpses of another life where he was a student maybe at a college although it must have been a real boring college because he just sits there rather than going to parties and having the real college life. Soon enough we learn that this isn’t real. Katherine the real one and others are running these people (who are wired up and laying down) through this game/test to see who is the strongest. However Lewis begins to have more and more recall (yes, he uses this term and yes I know what film this sounds kind of like) and the scientists types with their big glasses and bigger computer screens start freaking out. Katherine gets caught up in the power and doesn’t like how Lewis is getting away from the game and trying rationalize and talk sense with the other characters-how dare he. She starts changing situations. Other members of the staff say Lewis has proved himself and they try to bring him out and back into the real world. He comes out, sees other characters as their real selves after being killed in the game and he goes all bug eyed. Okay, some of them did look like they needed a bath, but Lewis goes all spazzy, runs around and eventually hooks the wires back to himself and goes back to cowboy land in his head and rides off. Roll the credits.

The positives-The overall plot had real potential and for the most part it stays interesting although the first half of the film is stronger. The cast is solid overall with Wiggins being the real standout for me playing a real sleeze ball which is against the more educated type he frequently played.

The negatives-I think the film shows it’s hand about the experiment part of the plot earlier than they needed to. That cut down on the mystery earlier than needed. Also the end plays out a bit on the sloppy side. Not saying I don’t like what happened, but the way it happened didn’t quite fit with the rest of the film.

A strange film but I’m glad I finally finished it. Worth seeing for fans of 70’s sci-fi and if you western/sci-fi you may like it as well.

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