Monday, November 29, 2010
I managed to catch G.I. Joe: Renegades, one of the many flagship shows that premiered on Hasbro's new TV network "The Hub" this past weekend. Of this and Transformers: Prime, I preferred Renegades. It was truer to the feel of the old Joe comics and cartoons, truer to the characters (at least the Joes), and as a show, it was really solid. As a G.I. Joe show attached to merchandise – not so much.
G.I. Joe: Renegades, judging by the first two episodes I saw, is about Joe soldiers Duke, Roadblock, Snake Eyes, Tunnel Rat and Ripcord being recruited by Scarlett for a mission to uncover popular pharmaceutical, multi-national corporation Cobra as the terrorist front operation they are. Cobra troops capture the Joes, blow up one of their plants and frame the Joes for it (oh, and ripcord dies in the blast). Now Duke, Scarlet and the boys are being chased by the government as loose-cannon fugitives with a possible terrorist agenda. Back at headquarters, Lady Jay still works for the government, but sympathises with Duke's crew and tries to help them secretly as best she can. Flint is assigned by the White House to hunt down Duke and the fugitives and bring them to justice. So Duke and the gang travel the land trying to clear their names and expose Cobra for the ruthless terrorist organization they are. In the second episode, Duke’s gang are trapped in Springfield (the Cobra-owned town from the comics) and defend the town from a Dr. Mindbender spawned bio-monster. The townspeople are wary of Dukes renegades at first, but hail them as heroes when they save the town. Flint almost catches them in the end, but is secretly thwarted by Lady Jay.
I really like this show in an A-Team sort of way. I get the impression with these Hub shows that Hasbro isn’t really trying to sell toys with these shows. They’re just shows, and as scatter-brained and tired as Transformers: Prime is, G.I. Joe: Renegades seems more focused and better able to tell a decent story. It’s much more mature than the old 80’s series, and as a result I foresee little kids not caring about this show. But if you’re above the age of 18, you’ll really dig this, and if you remember these characters from your cildhood, you’ll really love it. It’s a nice, fresh take on things (you hear that Transformers: Prime??).
I’m not a big fan of the designs of the Cobra guys in this show, but then again we really don’t see much of them in these pilot episodes. The troops look more like security guards, which I guess is the point. Baroness is Baroness – I mean, how do you screw her up? Dr. Mind-bender is just some geek kid in a white doctor’s jacket. That’s it. You do glimpse what I guess is the new Cobra Commander (referred to as “The Commander”) at the end of the second episode. It’s an interesting design. His face looks like the Spider-Man villain The Chameleon, but half of it is covered diagonally with a cloth wrap covering his left eye and diagonally across so that his entire mouth is covered. I like that there’s still some mystery to what his entire face possibly looks like. But, those are all of the Cobra characters that appeared in those two episodes. Unless I missed something, there was no Destro, Zartan, Tomax and Xamot, etc.
So, I liked G.I. Joe: Renegades. The toys will be boring as all hell (the vehicle designs looked like the usual stuff – nothing to write home about), but the show is neat.
G.I. Joe: Renegades – pilot
P.S. Now that Hasbro has their own network and is turning their toy properties into TV series, it's time to bring back The Inhumanoids! Who's with me?
I’ll talk about Joe in a later post, but I’ll begin with Transformers: Prime. I’m a huge Transformers fan. Now, I know people say this in this day and age and they’ve only ever seen the new crappy Michael Bay movies or something. No – I’m a huuuuge Transformers fan. I own every G1 show, both American and Japanese (and almsit all of the commercials), I’m trying to complete the Unicron trilogy (I just need Transformers: Cybertron now), I loved Transformers: Animated and I was eagerly anticipating Transformers: Prime.
Transformers: Prime is all CGI and is basically Optimus Prime leading a rag-tag group of about four or so Autobots against Megatron, Starscream, Soundwave and a slew of Decepticon “drones” on Earth. Nobody knows about the Transformers yet, so the Autobots have to keep everything a secret. Three kids happen across the robots, so know they’re the only ones, aside from the government who know about the Transformers. Anyways, Megatron was exiled in space somehow and happens upon a substance known as “the blood of Unicron” which can raise the dead. The DEcepticons kill Cliffjumper (a new version of him, basically a red mustang) and revive him – but he’s a mindless, vicious zombie who kills anything in his path. The second episode ends with Cliffjumper beign destroyed again and Megatron stabbing himself in his spark with a knife full of the blood of Unicron to change somehow. Will he change into Galvatron so soon? Who knows?
I want to like this series, I really do. But there’s nothing fresh about this at all. It’s written by the two guys who wrote the last two Michael Bay Transformers movies and that kinda shows. There’s not a lot that’s their idea, other than turning Cliffjumperr into a zombie, and I don’t know how I feel about that (okay, I do know -- it's stupid!). Bumblebee is back to being a Camero who can’t talk (he communicates in beeps and boops), Optimus is the movie version and voiced by Peter Cullen (cool!), RC is a bike who is voiced by original RC voice Susan Blu (double cool!), and Bulkhead is recycled exactly from Transformers: Animated, as is this show’s version of Ratchet. On the Decepticon’s side, Megatron is voiced by Frank Welker (finally! And hearing him now, I’m really resentful of Michael Bay and Shia LeBeuf saying in interviews that he sounded too old to play Megatron in the first movie – they were obviously lying. Why lie when you know you will eventually be caught??), Starscream (who wants to take over the Decepticons, naturally), and Soundwave (voiced and super-processed by Frank Welker again). The rest of the Decepticon ranks are just mindless drones.
As with most TF series, there will be more characters later, I guess. But what is here feels tired and done before. At least with, say, Transformers: Armada, the TF’s fought for control of mini-cons that could enhance their powers. Or with Transformers: Cybertron, they needed to collect cyber-keys to awaken Cybertron to transform into Primus to stave off a black hole that threatens to destroy the galaxy. In this one, I’m not sure what’s happening that hasn’t been done before. What’s worse is that this show could have been a direct sequel to Transformers: Animated, seeing as how they rip off characters and design ideas from that show, if it didn’t take place in the present day (Transformers: Animated took place in the future sometime).
I’ll have to wait and see what this show does (as with most Transformers shows – I thought Beast Wars was going to suck, but it just got better and better). But judging by the first two episodes, it’s just alright. It doesn’t really grab me. And that's a little sad.
Transformers: Prime - pilot
The first real Bond film. Sean Connery was James Bond in this one and I have to say I was really surprised at how good it was.
There is no action. Say what now? NO ACTION – you read me. No action – it was all about Bond figuring stuff out and him just being cool. But he is not being obviously cool, he is just doing his job and I loved watching him do it, and how smart he was.
He secured his room by placing items around it so that he would know if someone searched it, he would speak to characters and in one second figure out they were bad, and a lot more. He was kind of like an audience member watching the movie. Let me explain.
Bond did everything you would want him too, as an audience member watching the film. When you watch a movie and find yourself yelling at the screen – DON’T DRINK THAT, or BE CAREFUL THEY ARE REALLY THE BAD GUYS, or DON’T TURN AROUND etc, well in this film Bond knew all that and didn’t fall for anything!
They couldn’t trick him at all. Every time someone tried anything funny, Bond was on to them, and nailed them.
I really liked that part of the character. Bond is smart man, a planner, and he’s cool and he gets the girls – this is what Bond is really about.
I am looking forward to seeing the next one! (next as in the next Connery one)
If you die in the video game you die in real life. There is this sub-genre of horror – if you ___ you die. If you watch this video, answer this phone, enter this house, see death’s plan etc you die.
I have to say that besides Final Destination (the best of these types) this is probably the best one of these.
It sounds kinda dumb and I didn’t see it in theatres and even after watching the film it doesn’t really make sense – like how did the game designer make this game? Whatever, the point is, that if you die in the game you die in real. The game is about Elizabeth Bathory – one of my fave old school folk tales.
She is a real person of course and she was placed under house arrest for having supposedly killed 80-650 women. Accounts vary, but her accomplices were convicted for 80 deaths. The popular tale is that she bathed in the blood of her victims – which may have been true by accounts, and of course torture etc are part of the story (thank you wikipedia).
Anyway, the game starts by forcing you to recite a spell that awakens her blah blah blah, you get the drift.
I have to say that Bathory looked WICKED in this movie and a cubee is sure to follow, and I really liked the 2 leads in the film! The main guy was smart and was likeable, the main girl was cool too. There was of course the bastard character who gets killed, and all the typical horror movie stuff.
But bottom line, this was a really fun movie that I really liked. Good hero, good villain and pretty good story – minus the dumb video game angle – see the movie Brainscan for a much better portrayal of a killer video game story, that actually makes sense when it ends.
But whatever, this was a solid horror movie that was original for once (not a remake) that had good leads a fantastic villain that is actually attached to a real story – again, makes it more believable.
Check this out on dvd, ill be buying it for sure.
William Powell is fantastic in this farce about a wacky family that accepts him as a butler. He was once a well off man, but lost it all and became homeless.
Well a young girl finds him in a dump and decides to hire him as the family butler.
I actually don’t want to give too much away, you kind of have to see this movie to get it. He just does his job, but there are a lot of shenanigans going on.
It was a really fun movie with a lot of thought, and heart.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Far be it for someone with my humble life to criticize a juggernaut like the Harry Potter franchise. I've read all the books and liked them, saw all the movies and liked them, to varying degrees. I wasn't a huge fan of #5, but still found it okay. Liked the others one a lot. I own all the movies, but I was still surprised when I heard #7 was going to be shown in 2 parts. Firstly, the book was huge, but quite a few of the later ones are too, so that didn't make sense. Secondly, the story really didn't need to be told in 2 parts. It wasn't that action-packed, or anything....or right! [hitting forehead] They're just doing it for the money! Duh!
So, what did I think of this Harry Potter? It was alright, good, but not great. Why? Same problem I gave above. It dragged. There was a lot of scenes in the woods. A lot of contemplating one's circumstances. A lot of what should we do? I don't know, what should we do? A lot of wandering, without knowing what to do. That's all well and good...if this was the first story. Unfortunately, it's not. Voldemort has taken over the Ministry of Magic, he's coming for Harry and his loved ones, and he's also going after the most powerful weapons in the magic world...we don't have time for this.
Not to mention, it makes no sense. In every movie, Harry has had some mystery to solve, some danger to avert. The Philosopher's Stone (say it with me, Americans...phil-os-oph-er's stone), the Chamber of Secrets, unravelling the secret of Sirius Black, surviving the tournament, surviving...whatever happened in book 5, finding out who the half-blood prince is...and also, I thought it was esablished in the last film he was going after the horcruxes? So, does he think that the horcruxes are going to magically appear in front of him? No! He, and Ron and Hermione have to find them! Geez, is that so hard to figure out?
Oh yeah, and I got shaky-cam in this film. Even though it's not long, and it's not like Harry Potter is noted for its action, we still got shaky-cam. I was not happy. It pulls me out of the movie. I shudder to think that other country's are going to adopt the shaky-cam.
That all being said, the movie's not bad, but I have a feeling the next one will be much better. This was a lead-up to movie 2, but in all honestly, they could have edited out some of the crap in this film, edited out some of the crap guaranteed to be in the 2nd film, and boom, we would have had a perfectly good Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, 1 movie, 3 hours, and this post's tone would have been different...but then again, they wouldn't have got me paying for 2 movies this way, would they?
Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
I refuse to call this film Saw 3D, just because actually saying 3D pisses me off. So, I'll be refering to this as Saw 7. I saw this yesterday, NOT in 3D, and here are my thoughts, as the series wraps up, supposedly.
First of all, and saying this will make people laugh, but I consider the Saw series to be a real landmark in movie-making. Why? Can you name me another movie series that lasted 7 movies, had the same actors play the same characters, referenced all the previous films, kept the same tone, the same story structure, and delivered the same amount of enjoyment, year after year, movie after movie? Can you name the another series that has lasted this amount of time, and delivered the same amount of quality, every single movie? Even the vaunted Harry Potter had a mis-step at 5 (in my opinion), and the Harry Potter 7.1 wasn't as good as some of the other ones, either.
It's just a really, really solid series, up and down, front to back, year after year, I looked forward to the next Saw. I looked forward to the traps, the staggering leaps in logic, how it was all tied together, what the twist was...all of it was awesome. Except for this 3D crap, I watched all the movies in the theatre...and p.s., I had a friend tell me there was hardly any 3D in the film, and he saw it in the theatre, so even that's a rip.
I'm not reviewing the movie's storyline. There's a few games, a few traps. Someone thinks they have the upper-hand, they don't, Sean Patrick Flannery is the guy who has to go through the gaunlets of traps this time, there's some cameos from the past, there's some twists, and traps, and gore and more traps. Look, you know Saw, you know what you're going to get. It was one of the few franchises these days I could rely on to really please me, every single year. Spider-Man, Superman, Bourne, Pirates of the Caribbean, even Batman...have all disappointed me, in some way. Not Saw though. From beginning to end, this franchise has delivered the goods, and despite it not getting the recognition it deserves, I'm sure the fans of the Saw series are more passionate and die-hard than the "fans" who supposedly loved something like Iron Man since "day 1. "
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
Rating of series: 5 out of 5 stars.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Sherlock Holmes, starring Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr, came out last year – a Hollywood version of the beloved Sir Arthur Conan Doyle character. That movie made Holmes into an action star in order to bring him up to date and make him cool for the modern day dumb-asses that pass for an audience these days.
I thought the movie was ok. A lot more faithful than I would have thought, although there was no mystery in it. We all knew who the bad guy was and what he was doing, we just got to see Holmes explain it to us. BIG DEAL.
This is sloppy writing. The film makers didn’t have to come up with a mystery to solve, so what’s point? Plus Holmes was this fighting machine who was just too silly for his own good. Well here comes the BBC to save us.
Sherlock Season 1 is comprised of three 90 minute films that are set in the modern day. That’s right, MODERN DAY – that’s how you bring Holmes to a new audience. Now normally this would send me up the wall, but after watching this fantastic show I can tell you that this is a great portrayal of Sherlock Holmes and it’s one of the best new shows on TV right now. I own the COMPLETE DOYLE HOLMES collection in hardback and own ALL the episodes and movies with Jeremy Brett – aka the REAL SHERLOCK HOLMES. The Brett series is the ONLY live action Sherlock thing I own or care too. He was the ONLY ACTOR to play the role EXACTLY as Doyle intended. Every episode was SPOT ON.
Well this new series is so amazing that I bought it after only viewing the last 45 mins of episode one. I have since watched all 3 and can safely say that this is a MUST OWN for Sherlock fans.
If you can get past the contemporary setting (even a hardcore Sherlock guy like me did) then you will LOVE this series.
The actor who plays Sherlock is just so damn good I don’t know what to do with myself. And Watson is the guy from Hitchhikers Guide (he played Arthur Dent), and he is great too!
Both do a fantastic job and the writers have a great respect for Doyle and have really re-invented Sherlock in a faithful way and true to what his creator intended. The only example I can give for you guys to understand is referencing the new He-man cartoon.
I know it’s got nothing to do with Holmes, but they way the new He-man cartoon mirrored the old one, but just making things a bit more up to date, you get me?
Anyway, this is A MUST BUY GUYS!!!!
2 babies are sent out from their home planets before they explode (like Superman) and both land on Earth.
Megamind lands in a prison while Metro Man ends up with a rich family. Everyone loves Metro Man cause he looks human and everyone hates Megamind (cause he’s blue and he’s a bit of an outcast), so Megamind becomes a villain, even though he didn’t really want to.
Long story short, they have been fighting it out for years when one day Megamind kills Metro Man and takes over the world. And much like General Zod in Superman 2, he gets bored. He enjoyed the challenge of fighting Metro Man and now that’s gone.
So he decides to make a new hero, Tighten, but he turns out to be a bigger villain than Megamind, so now Megamind must become the hero.
That’s the premise behind the film and it’s wicked. The movie makes a good deal of references to other superhero stuff, but it never gets too silly, in fact, I really liked the message of the movie and thought it was a lot of fun.
If you want to know the comparison, I actually liked this better than Incredibles.
Ill be buying the DVD and toys on this one large and hoping for sequels.
Shahrukh Khan stars as Veer – a man imprisoned for 22 years. Why? – well this isn’t imdb, go look it up! Ok fine, ill give you a hint, he met a girl named Zaara (ah, now you get the title) and they fall in love. Problem, she is arranged to marry this other guy and Veer didn’t know that – what happens next? A lot of stuff you wouldn’t figure on.
This film isn’t so much about the plot – it’s a love story for sure, and simple in its meaning, but not simple in the questions it asks of its characters and ultimately its audience.
Would you die for the person you love? If the answer is yes, then the next question is, would you spend 22 years in jail for them? You see dying implies you don’t have to live with pain, or hunger, or sorrow, but being imprisoned for 22 years means you have to deal with a lot more, it’s not an easy escape – so that sacrifice is worse than death, now how much do you love your wife?
Watch this film for the answers and you may find that you are asking yourself these questions, and you may be shocked by your answers.
Skyline is what Cloverfield should have been. A simple monster movie with good effects and a fun story. I am not sure why people love Cloverfield and hate this movie.
It stars the guy from Clueless and Scrubs and Britney Daniel (from Sweet Valley High), as they try to survive while alien monsters attack Earth.
It starts a bit slow 10-20 minutes – depending on who you talk to, but then it never stops. Monsters attack in DAYLIGHT and you can see them CLEARLY. I loved the gore in the movie and the no-nonsense approach.
There is no happy ending, and this movie has real balls. The aliens are not simply destroyed by some cheap method and you get to see what happens to the humans that are sucked into the ship.
This was a fun, old school 80’s monster flick and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it.
Ill bet getting this one on DVD.
I liked Avatar, and don’t think it was over-hyped. Sure the story was simple, but the visual effects were wicked. No magazine article, internet blog or website hyped Avatar as the Citizen Kane of plot or anything, they hyped it as a visual experience that will blow you away, and it did.
Anyway, I held out buying this until the extended edition came out and it’s kinda pointless. In fact, I prefer the theatrical one.
Look the story is not improved in the extra 16 minutes and it’s actually worse. The opening of Avatar was Jake Sully opening his eyes, and it ended with him opening his eyes in his Avatar body, but now there is this 6 minute intro about his life before the Avatar program. Well that’s a big chunk of who gives a crap.
You lost the bookend opening/ending by adding stuff NO ONE cares about.
The good thing about this release though is that it’s only 20 bucks and you get all versions in it, so it’s worth the money for sure, cause you get 3 versions of the film anyway for a good price.
Monday, November 15, 2010
I watched empire on the weekend - no reason I was just getting the figures for the 30th anniversary. Star wars is the only toyline I never stopped collecting - BUT I only get classic guys that I like.
Anyway, I made a Chewbacca and Lando cubee to celebrate the event and am working on some of the bounty hunters.
Anyway, I thought I would comment on the only Special Edition Star Wars movie I like.
What I like in the SE:
I like having the real emperor do the holographic thingie – it was a different actor in the original one.
I like the re-mastered look and sound.
Hoth looks great, and so does Bespin.
So basically this is the ONLY good Special Edition Star Wars movie. The others, A New Hope – has Greedo shooting first – the worst thing to happen in film, and that crappy Jabba the Hutt sequence in which Jabba is cgi – hello – he’s a puppet 2 movies later??? Actually the puppet looks better!
Take Yoda – when watching Empire you NEVER think – oh, Luke is talking to a puppet. Yoda is super believable and even better than ET!
And the whole Greedo thing, just to get back to that for a second – if it had been filmed that Greedo shot first then I wouldn’t care, but the edit they did for the SE was terrible – they chop-cut Han’s head so that it jerks like some rusty bobble head or something, plus Greedo is now the worst shot in the universe!
Anyway, Greedo and Jabba suck in Star Wars SE.
Jedi – the WORST. That stupid Hayden Christiansoninsison – whatever his stupid name is, is the ghost at the end replacing that old guy who was Vader. TERRIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And that dumbass new song that replaced the Ewok song with. Hello – they were on the forest moon of Endor, why is the song super advanced now???????
Anyway, this is the dream.
Star Wars – Empire – Jedi – re-mastered, anamorphic, 5.1 (or better) with improved effects (what I mean is taking out the white clouds around the ships when they move in the first one) – maybe add some new backgrounds – MAYBE – very sparingly.
Take out ALL REFERENCES to the prequels, and even take out the “episode” numbering too.
I would even settle for re-mastered, anamorphic, 5.1 of the old movies and that’s it. Don’t add anything, just make them the same – clean up the clouding effect – and that’s it.
Is it so bloody hard to do?
PS - the poster above is the ONLY Star Wars poster I own.
Friday, November 12, 2010
Mr. Bean’s first American movie and it’s what you think. Bean shines as he is funny, but the American style of comedy is to make fun of people and they do. Bean to me was just a funny eccentric man who was the victim of bizarre circumstances, and coincidental accidents (say that 3 times fast – that that that). But this movie is more about showing how utterly stupid Bean is. The plot focuses on Bean coming to America and everyone confusing him with a Doctor (of art, not medical – although he does become a surgeon at one point).
He moves in with an American family, they hate him, but will soon learn to like him, he screws up, he destroys stuff but makes it good in the end – although the famous painting of Whistler’s Mother is totally destroyed and never recovered???? Oh well, so much for art and so much for Bean having a good Bean movie – this was more for people who have heard of Bean but never saw any of the skits. In fact, most of the famous skits were redone here – the typical Hollywood style.
This movie had its moments for sure, and would’ve gotten a higher rating if I hadn’t seen Mr. Bean’s Holiday right after – more that below.
As it stands, the rating of 3/5 is the pure result of Rowan Atkinson’s talents to entertain. Otherwise as a movie on its own its about 2.5. Everything was predictable and very basic.
This is the Mr. Bean movie I have been waiting for. It is basically an extended skit with Bean running amok in Paris and at the Cannes Film Fest. He doesn’t speak – he normally doesn’t, but he did in the previous movie (????), he is just a guy, who is clumsy, but not a totally idiot or ass or anything. He doesn’t destroy priceless artefacts either.
This is a fun, NICE, good spirited movie with a lot of adventuring. Bean really gets around in this film and its fun to watch and I just had a good feeling after seeing it.
One other point of reference is Willem Dafoe. He plays a film maker named Carson Clay and he makes this really artsy fartsy picture that is so bad and so funny I would actually purchase that movie on dvd! Its basically like THE ROOM (imdb it if you never heard of it) with that style of acting and the entire film consists of Dafoe’s face and a voice over about how he lost his love.
Other shots include Dafoe running in slow-mo to the camera and all the credits of the film have his name on them. A Carson Clay film, a Carson Clay production, Starring Carson Clay etc.
This movie has heart and a lot great comedy. I didn’t laugh out loud at everything, but I felt good while watching it and I always had a smile on my face.
Rowan Atkinson plays a character other than Mr. Bean. A nice change as he is a talented comedian and this material really suits his talents.
It’s really just Get Smart - British edition, but it was a better Get Smart than the new Get Smart movie – which I also liked.
This was just a fun comedy with Rowan doing what he does best.
He plays Johnny English – an agent – but currently just handing out assignments, when all the other agents are killed, he is put into action. The one agent he admired would always enter a room and throw his jacket across it and it would hit the hanger perfectly. So when English enters the room he throws his jacket and it goes out the window! Classic!
This film is filled with moments like these and they are pretty funny. It is what you expect and it didn’t disappoint.