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Guardians of the Galaxy… Meh

Published August 8, 2014 - 6 Comments

Guardians_of_the_Galaxy-300x444I know that my opinion isn’t shared by some of the people who will be reading this.  That’s ok, though.  It’s just my opinion.  You can have your own.  But remember, mine’s better!  😉

I didn’t grow up with comic books.  I had a couple that I acquired from yard sales but I was never serious about them.  So when movie studios started focusing more on super hero titles, some of them have been hit or miss for me.  (Check out my blog posts on Iron Man 2 and Iron Man 3 if you’re bored)  Guardians of the Galaxy is a miss for me.

I didn’t dislike the movie.  There is some really funny dialogue in there.  But aside from that… I found Guardians of the Galaxy to be quite lacking.  I think the best way to describe it is that it didn’t feel like a Marvel movie to me.  It felt like another movie franchise entirely, much like when you watch an animated movie that is good, but just not the same caliber as Disney or Pixar.  I suspect that part of this comes from the fact that I knew absolutely nothing about these characters going in. I don’t think that I’m alone, though.  This isn’t Iron Man.

I have no doubt that this movie will spawn sequels for the next few years.  It’s making gobs of money at the box office, and I seem to be one of the few people who wasn’t completely blown away.  So I’ll watch the next installment when it comes out… online.

If I had to rate it out of 10, I’d give Guardians of the Galaxy a 6.5.

Movies, Movies and more Movies

Published July 11, 2013 - 3 Comments

As my vacation quickly nears its end, I am forced to think back to what I have actually accomplished over the last nearly two weeks.  And I’ve come up with the following…

NOTHING!

It’s been great.  Resting.  Relaxing.  A few minor projects here and there.  But for the most part… not much of anything!

Oh, I have watched a fair number of movies in that time.  Wow… everything from pure talentless shit…  to Oscar award winning masterpieces.  Here’s my quick and dirty on the last 2 weeks worth…

Identity Thief

I had high hopes for this comedy.  I’d seen both Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy on The Daily Show talk about this movie.  They showed a couple of clips that were quite funny.  Unfortunately those were the only funny parts of the movie.  It was pretty disappointing.

Lincoln

If you haven’t watched this movie, you really should.  The story is compelling, and Daniel Day-Lewis IS Lincoln.  I really only knew bits and pieces about the man who ended slavery, and this was a real eye-opener.  I think everyone should watch this movie, regardless of whether or not you live in the USA.

Now You See Me

Of all the movies that I watched during my vacation, this was the only one that I went to the theatre to see.  I’d heard good things about it, and the previews certainly looked interesting.  A group of 4 illusionists who rob banks during their performances, and then give the money to the audience.  What’s not to love?  It was a lot of fun to watch… right up until the last 10 minutes.  I hated the ending.  I really did.  So much so that it really ruined the experience.  It’s a shame because I thought that it was a pretty good movie until then.

Django Unchained

Quentin Tarantino.  You either love him, or you hate him.  I’ve never been a fan.  I will say that this movie was far more tolerable for me than some of his others.  Jamie Foxx is great.  Still not a Tarantino fan though…

Spring Breakers

I’ll admit it… the only reason I watched this movie was to see Selena Gomez riding around on a scooter wearing a bikini.  Four college girls get into trouble during Spring Break and get bailed out by a crazy drug dealer?  Sign me up!  Unfortunately no amount of copious gratuitous flesh could save this abysmal attempt at a movie.  I feel sorry for the actresses who attached their names to this project.  Wow.  The best part of this movie (other than the moment the ending credits rolled) was actually James Franco as the crazy drug dealer.  What a nut.  But everything else?  Even with the eye candy… stay away from this one.  Horrid.

Despicable Me

After seeing the previews for Despicable Me 2, I decided to go back and re-watch the first one.  What an awesome movie!  It’s funny.  It’s smart.  The kids loved it.  I loved it.  I really hope that the second one is as awesome as the first one is.

Flight

If flying isn’t your thing… this movie isn’t going to help!  The crash scene is a little intense.  I’m pretty sure that I had to remind myself to breathe more than once!  But this movie isn’t really about a plane crash… it’s about the investigation into that crash.  I enjoyed it.  And for fans of My Name is Earl‘s Catalina… there’s a treat for you in the very first scene!

Zero Dark Thirty

This is the hunt for Osama bin Laden (who shockingly has his own page on IMDB).  I have no doubt that Hollywood took some liberties to make it more exciting, but I don’t fault them for that.  It was a good movie.

Californication

Sure… it’s not a movie, but it’s a hell of a lot more entertaining than some of the above mentioned!  I sat and watched an entire season 4 with my partner in crime, Jess, until 3 in the morning.  Hank Moody is my hero.  I worship him.  I want to BE him.  Yup, I said it.

Star Trek: Into Darkness… Again!

Published May 30, 2013 - 1 Comment

Please be aware:  I am going to spoil the hell out of this movie… so if you have not seen it yet, I suggest that you skip this post and come back after you’ve had a chance to watch it.

Last night I watched Star Trek: Into Darkness again.  Yes, again!  I don’t think that I’ve ever gone to the theatre twice to see a movie.  That should tell you immediately what I think of this one.  It’s awesome!  Not only would I tell you to go see it (regardless of your prior Trek knowledge… or lack of it) but I’d even tell you to see it in 3D if you don’t mind that sort of thing.  And I generally hate 3D movies!  Last night we chose to see it in regular old 2D, and it was still awesome, so 3D is not a necessity… but I found that it “worked” for this movie.  Right from the initial scene of the natives throwing spears at Kirk and Bones.  The warp scenes.  Khan putting his arm through the glass to allow Bones to draw a sample of his blood.

Khan?!?

I told you there would be spoilers!  Before the movie was released there was a lot of speculation that the villain would be Kirk’s arch nemesis Khan. JJ Abrams somehow managed to keep a tight lid on it, so even when I walked into the theatre, I wasn’t 100% sure whether the speculation was true or not.  It wasn’t until about 30-40 mins into the movie when the bad guy spoke those words that I am still repeating today…  “My name is Khan!”  And let me tell you… the guy who they got to play Khan, Benedict Cumberbatch, is perfect for the role!  His low, rumbling voice sent shivers down my spine when I first watched the movie. Even again last night I couldn’t help but feel excitement leading up to that scene.

A movie like this has to be seen on the big screen to be properly enjoyed.  It’s amazing how they can take the old style Enterprise and make it look awesome again.  The detail is beyond belief.  My brain doesn’t even process these scenes as anything but a real star ship.  When the Enterprise comes out of the water… or rises through the clouds… it just LOOKS REAL.

All is not perfect with the movie, though.  I might be nitpicking but where were the Klingon ships while the Enterprise was stranded at the edge of the neutral zone?  You’d kinda expect to see a few ships around the home world, but then again… Star Fleet never seems to have any protecting Earth either.  I just don’t get it.

What about Khan’s blood being able to cure people and even bring them back from the dead?  Does this mean that no one ever dies or gets sick from this point on?  It should!  If they were able to synthesize enough to bring Kirk back to life (oops, another spoiler!) then you’d think that they can synthesize enough to cure everyone else and stop death.  By the way JJ, beautiful reversal of key roles from Star Trek II : The Wrath of Khan and this movie.  From Kirk saving the Enterprise and dying from radiation poisoning, to Spock using Kirk’s famous line… “Khaaaaan!!!”  I do have to agree, though,  with people who said that Alice Eve’s underwear scene is pretty gratuitous.  Don’t get me wrong!  She’s stunning… but from a plot perspective… getting undressed in front of Kirk served absolutely no purpose.  She might as well have just stripped down on the bridge while saying that it was too warm and sipping on a frozen lemonade.  Even THAT would have made more sense.  But it’s Alice Eve, so we’re all good.

Old Spock (sounds like a deodorant) was a nice touch, especially breaking his rule for not telling young Spock about things that happen in the future.

And Zoe Saldana’s performance as a pissed off girlfriend should get her nominated for an Oscar award.  I’ve seen that look!  When Uhura glares at Spock, and then says that nothing’s wrong… oh boy!  Been there!  If that was acting.. wow!

All in all, I thought that Star Trek: Into Darkness was awesome, and can’t wait until it comes out on video.  I will be ordering my pre-release copy from iTunes as soon as it becomes available, and can’t wait to watch it again!

Becoming Lincoln

Published January 24, 2013 - 3 Comments

121108_HIST_Lincoln.jpg.CROP.rectangle3-largeI had a dream the other night… a very long, very detailed, very weird dream..  And when I woke up at 3am, all I could think of was “I have to write a blog post about this!  I’ll call it Becoming Lincoln“.  And then I fell asleep.  But when I woke up later I actually remembered the dream perfectly.. and again thought “I have to write a blog post about this… Becoming Lincoln“.

Well… I mentioned it to a couple of people… and now… here it is…

First, let me say… I have absolutely no idea what prompted this dream.  I haven’t seen the movie Lincoln.  I don’t really know much about the man except that he was tall and he liked the theatre.  Oh yeah, something about a war and some slaves.

Anyway… back to the dream…

It was very Quantum Leapish… Somehow I was in Lincoln’s body, and I was aware that I wasn’t really Lincoln and that I was in the past.  Everyone saw me as Lincoln, but when I looked in the mirror, I looked like my regular self… except that I was quickly starting to turn into the man I was pretending to be!  I had lots of black hair, and a beard that wouldn’t stop growing.  I spent my time looking for a black top hat because I knew that I should have one before giving some important speech to a whole bunch of people.  And then part way through my speech I stopped and left the stage to go to the defence of a black servant who was being belittled by an obnoxious rich white politician.  I only make a point of mentioning the race of each person because I don’t think it’s a coincidence in this particular dream.

That’s pretty much all I remember, but I know that when I woke up the memory was very vivid.  Thankfully I didn’t dream of being at the theatre… that would not have ended well at all.

Movie Time! The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Published December 14, 2012 - 0 Comments

New-The-Hobbit-Poster1I got a chance to go to a special early screening of The Hobbit last night, thanks to Saint John Hyundai. I was surprised that more people did not take advantage of the pre-opening night.  Our theatre was probably not even half-filled.  Nothing wrong with that though!  I had room to move, and NO RESERVED SEATING to have to deal with.

Let’s jump into the movie, shall we?

This showing was in 3D.  I’m generally not a fan of that format, and this latest experience has done nothing to change my mind.  There were some neat effects… flying sequences looked spectacular… I flinched once when a knife was thrown at me…  but overall I really could have done without the 3D.

If you’ve seen The Lord of the Rings trilogy you know that they spend a lot of time walking.  A lot.  This film is no different.  An Unexpected Journey should be called An Unending Journey.  They walk.  They walk some more.  And then when you’re pretty sure that they must be getting close, guess what?  More walking.  This begs the question.. is there no faster way to get around Middle Earth?  Giant birds can whisk them to safety when needed.  Why not just hitch a ride the rest of the way?  Because that would cut out the walking.  Did you know that The Hobbit is broken into three movies?  I was unaware of that until a couple of days ago.  A single book is broken into three movies.. that’s an epic amount of walking!

If you’re watching The Hobbit and feel as though you’ve already seen it, you’re not alone.  Obviously it’s going to have the same look and feel as The Lord of the Rings.  That’s to be expected.  But there were points last night where I just felt like I could close my eyes for 20 mins, and I wouldn’t miss a thing because I’d seen this all before.

For all its similarities, it’s important to remember that The Hobbit is not The Lord of the Rings.  The former was written for a slightly different (younger?) audience.  There is dialogue in this movie that would never take place in The Lord of the Rings.  Just silly things that some of the bad guys say… A Jabba the Hut-like character who speaks like Shakespeare .. Certain spots are less “dark and gritty” than The Lord of the Rings.

Something that I noticed immediately… I don’t know who Martin Freeman is (according to IMDB, he was in Love Actually.. which I pretty much slept through and refuse to believe is as popular as it seems to be) but he is such a convincing Bilbo Baggins, I don’t think that they could have cast anyone better.  Soooo much better than Elijah Wood as Frodo.

Once again New Zealand shows off its beautiful scenery.  I don’t know how much was computer generated, and how much was real… but wow… even if only part of it is real.. it’s absolutely breath-taking!

In short (har har… Dwarfs and Hobbits are vertically challenged.. get it?) … if you’ve seen The Lord of the Rings, then you’re going to want to see The Hobbit.  Just make sure to use the bathroom beforehand… At 2 hrs 49 mins you’re going to be there for awhile.

My precciiioooouusss…

Finding Nemo 3D

Published October 4, 2012 - 0 Comments

I haven’t been back to the theatre since my rant about Empire Theatres’ new reserved seating garbage.  Not that I’ve really been avoiding it.  There just haven’t been too many new releases that I’ve wanted to pay to go see.

So last night Jess and I were out, and noticed that Finding Nemo 3D was still playing.  It’s been something that she’s wanted to see, and we didn’t think that we’d get the chance because of my pneumonia and the fact that the movie is only in theatres for 2 weeks.  Well… I figured that I could probably hold myself together for an hour and a half, especially if I had a drink with me that I could enjoy when the coughing started.  So into the theatre we went… to make select our reserved seats.

Ever been the only person in a movie theatre?  Me neither… until last night.  Apparently $14/ticket to see a 10 year old movie where everyone already knows how it ends (yeah… they found the little squirt) was too much for most people… even in 3D!

I still maintain that 3D is mainly a gimmick , and that most people simply don’t care about it.  The empty theatre last night did nothing to dispel that feeling.  Was it fun to watch?  Absolutely!  There were scenes that looked fantastic in 3D.  If anything, animated movies are far better equipped to take full effect of 3D technology, and Finding Nemo certainly benefited from this.  But did it impact my life differently than seeing the original in 2D?  No… Finding Nemo 3D is still Finding Nemo, no matter how you dress it up.  It’s cute.  It’s funny.  It’s touching.  It’s all the things that we’ve come to expect from a Disney Pixar film.  2D?  3D?  It doesn’t change much.

But we can now cross “Have an entire movie theatre to ourselves” off our bucket lists…

Movie Time! Fast 5

Published June 5, 2011 - 0 Comments

Hard to believe that I only watched the first of the Fast & Furious series about a month or two ago!  I had seen a preview for Fast 5 and thought that it looked interesting… but I needed to catch up and watch the first four movies first!  I’d say that they were all pretty good for the most part… although I ended up turning off the second one when they were preparing to torture someone and pulled a rat out… that was enough for me!

But back to the 5th installment… Paul and I went last week to check it out, and I have to say… I quite enjoyed it!  It has the typical mix of beautiful cars, and even more beautiful women… and somehow manages to bring back characters from all 4 previous movies under one roof.  And if you’ve ever wondered who would win a fight between Vin Diesel and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson… your wait is long over.  It takes a lot to make Vin Diesel look small, but The Rock does just that.  Don’t let that sway your imagination… it was a pretty even fight!

I had pretty much convinced myself that they were using this movie to tie things up, and close the franchise… or at least retire the main characters.  I still think that’s the case, but they did leave a little room open there for another…  although where they’re going to store the babyseat I have no idea.  Those cars don’t have back seats!  Oops… did I give something away?  Not likely.

This is one of those movies that I didn’t have to see in the theatre.  It was nice.  I won’t deny that the theatre experience is far superior to watching it on my 40″ LCD… but some movies I have to see in the theatre… this was not one of them.

At least it wasn’t in 3D!

Movie Time – Limitless

Published April 1, 2011 - 1 Comment

Wouldn’t it be great if we could unlock the entire potential of our mind?  The movie claims that we only use 20% of our mind at any given time.  I’m sure that I’m even less than that most days!  But just imagine if you could take a pill that opened up the rest of the 80% and suddenly you were on top of your A-game.  I mean REALLY on top.  Would you do it?  Damn right you would!  Don’t lie.  But what if there was a downside?  Screw that… give me total clarity any day!

I loved the premise of the movie.  Maybe I identified a little too much with the struggling writer who has written exactly… umm… nothing… of his book that he somehow already received an advance for.  Yeah, tell me how that happens!  Unless you’re Stephen King or someone like that, you’re not going to get an advance for a book based on some mumble jumble floating around in your head. But it’s Hollywood, so that’s fine.  Moving on.  Back to the clarity thing.  It would be fantastic to have that total clarity of mind, and ability to focus on anything.  I’d love to be able to sit down and write half the stuff that’s locked on my head!  Learn another language within a few hours?  Sign me up!  Not to mention the confidence boost that I normally only find at the bottom of a bottle of Captain Morgan… Sounds too good to be true.  Then again, that’s kinda the plot of the movie, isn’t it?

I don’t feel like ruining anything, so I’m just going to leave it at that.  I will say that I’m sure that the ladies will enjoy Bradley Cooper almost as much as I enjoyed Abbie Cornish… who I didn’t even realize is the same girl I keep admiring from the Sucker Punch trailers!  Small world.  I wish that she had a little more screen time, but hey… the movie wasn’t really about her.

The only thing that didn’t really sit well with me in this movie was a visual effect the director used where Bradley Cooper’s character would sort of “flash forward” through his day… It made my stomach a little queasy.  Maybe that was the reaction he was going for?  I don’t know… but I didn’t care much for it.

Oh, and De Niro was in the movie too, so how bad could it be?  I don’t think that you need to necessarily rush out and see it in the theatre, but it’s well worth picking up when it comes out on video.

Who’s Your Gnomie?

Published March 21, 2011 - 2 Comments

My sister and I have a longstanding disagreement regarding the existence of certain little human-like folk called Gnomes.  Ever since we were kids, she swore up and down that they were real.  That’s ridiculous!  Everybody knows that the Dwarfs drove them to extinction!  But that’s another story.

So I was tickled pink when I saw the first trailer for Gnomeo & Juliet, the retelling of a classic tragic love story from the point of view of two rival groups of garden gnomes.  I knew instantly that I wanted to take my sister to this movie.  We don’t hang out enough, and this was a chance for me to get some good ole fashion brother-sister teasing in, under the pretense of a sibling family outing.  Good times.

My sister operates in her own space-time continuum, meaning she was her usual late self getting to the theatre.  I was worried that we might not be able to find good seats.  Ha!  As we walked in and looked around… we were the only people in the theatre!  A mother-child couple arrived shortly after us to ruin the experience of having it all to ourselves.  That’s fine.  No one wants to waste that experience being there with their sister.

The movie is showing in 3D only at this theatre.  I wasn’t thrilled about that because I’ve had my fill of 3D movies.  Thankfully this movie actually took advantage of the 3D for more than just a few simple tricks… aka Toy Story 3 which I could have seen in 2D and been just as happy.

Elton Gnome

Gnomeo & Juliet is quite funny.  When the frog starts singing “Your love is doomed… your love is dead… doomed!  Doooooooooooomed!” I thought “how familiar!”.  Seeing “The Hoff”‘s head bouncing around on a computer screen saver was hilarious.  That reminds me… I need to go searching for that screen saver!

And if you go see this movie, you’d better like Elton John.  I think that every song used in the movie was his.  They even gave him his own gnome!

All in all, Gnomeo & Juliet was cute.  I’m sure that my kids are gonna love it when they finally get to see it… NOT in 3D!

Oh, how did this affect the longstanding belief that Gnomes are real and not imaginary creatures?  I’m sure that my sister’s delusions have only been reinforced by the experience.  Poor thing.

Movie Time! Iron Man 2

Published June 17, 2010 - 1 Comment

I was a little worried that I wasn’t going to get a chance to see Iron Man 2 in the theatre!  Every time that I wanted to go see it, it didn’t match up with someone else’s schedule.  I was even prepared to go see it myself if I had to!  (Yes, I know.. how lame)

But tonight was the night!  And what did I think of it?  Very good!

Here’s the back story of me and Iron Man.  I’m not a comic book guy.  I don’t really know anything about the “official” story of Iron Man, and that’s just fine with me.  When I saw the first movie, I really had no expectations, and was pleasantly surprised.. blown away, in fact!  I probably could not have named anything that Robert Downey Jr had been in until that point, but when I finished watching the first Iron Man, I was hooked.  On Downey, and Iron Man!

I’m not going to bother reviewing the movie.  I will say this.. the effects are amazing (how often do I say that? Haha!), Scarlett Johansson looks amazing (sorry, couldn’t resist!), Mickey Rourke plays a very believable bad-ass, and the writing is top notch!  Most of the dialogue is very good!  Watch the exchanges between Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) and Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow).  It’s very clever.

But my favourite line in the whole movie was delivered by Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell)  “I’d love to leave my door unlocked at night, but this ain’t Canada.” How awesome is that?!?

Now, I’ve heard some people complain that they didn’t like the movie because Tony Stark was too cocky or full of himself.  And to those people I say… “SO???? ISN’T THAT THE WHOLE POINT?”   Yeah, he’s an self-absorbed, arrogant ass.  Sure he’s a narcissistic bastard.  Absolutely, he’s a horrible womanizing hound.  But that’s how *I* need my Tony Stark to be!  I don’t want him to be all dark and mopey.. in touch with his inner self… If I wanted that, I’d watch Spiderman or Superman.  No, Tony Stark is a brilliant, arrogant, wildly rich man who enjoys his position in Life immensely, and anything less than that would be untrue to what *I* think it means to be Tony Stark… or Iron Man!

I’d welcome any thoughts on the matter  🙂

Go see this movie!  🙂