Thursday, October 31, 2013

Ender's Game (2013): Review

Tonight I went and saw the first showing I could of Ender's Game and I am very excited to say that I really liked it.  I first learned about this movie earlier this year when I first saw the trailer.  Because I tend to like sci-fi movies I thought that I would like it and started to look forward to it, talking to my brother about it, he informed me that it was the first book in a series and that he both liked and owned them.  He then proceeded to lend them to me and told me to read Ender's Game and also Ender's Shadow.  I read them both through in a few days and really enjoyed the story and the psychology of the young boys having to deal with all this pressure put upon them and having to work and live in a world where the adults have secondary motives for what they are doing.
Ender's Game is based on the Orson Scott Card 1985 book of the same name and it is based around the early life of Andrew "Ender" Wiggin, played by Asa Butterfield.  This movie is set in a future world many years after the earth was attached by an alien species referred to as Buggers or Formics (in the movie) where humanity was almost destroyed, but prevailed because of the strategy of Mazer Rackham, played by Ben Kingsley.  Since that time, children have been trained at Battle School in the hopes that one of them would be able to command the attach on the Formics and save Earth from their next invasion.  Time is running short on finding this commander and General Graff, played by Harrison Ford, believes that boy is Ender.   Ender is a Third and was only born because there was greatness in his family but his older brother Peter who was too vindictive and Older Sister Valentine, played by Abigail Breslin, was too empathetic, the hope being that Ender would be a combination of both of these qualities.  Ender is found to be an amazing strategist and is drafted into Battle School.  While at Battle School Ender meets many adversaries and friends and has to step up and through the tests and trials that are put upon him to see is he can really command the attack on the Formics.  At times Ender challenges whether he can step up to the challenge or if he really wants to do anything for the adults who keep putting him through ridiculous tests.  Along the way are people who help him or challenge him including Alai, played by Suraj Parthra, Petra, played by Hailey Steinfield, and Bean, played by Aramis Knight. 
This movie streamlines the story of the book but changes some points, i.e how Bernard fits into the story, condenses to only needed information, i.e. the psychological game, and drops some completely, i.e the Peter and Valentine back on earth subplot. I think that this is done in a way that benefits the movie but I know that as a fan of the book I am bummed that some of my favorite little moments are not in there.  The movie also has some references and things through in that I got because I had read the book but someone who hadn't read the book wouldn't have noticed. I do not think that any of these where blatant to the point of distracting.  Also to those who have read the books any perspective or insight given in Ender's Shadow (1999) is not included in the movie, it is solely focused on Ender.  For anyone reading the book I recommend reading Ender's Shadow as it is the same timeframe of Ender's Game but follows it from Bean's perspective.

Going back to the movie, I liked the movie and think that they did a good job with it.  At times, I thought that they jumped around, but I think this was more because I knew what parts happened between them because of reading the book, I think that everything flowed well for anyone unfamiliar to the story and the movie does explain essentials needed for the story and geared this movie for those who have no background with the story. I overall liked the casting and the interactions between the characters.  The main thing that was distracting for me for a while was that Ender was older in the movie then in the books.  Part of Ender's psychology in the book is that he is smaller and younger then those he is thrust into dealing with but in this movie he appears to be at the same age as them.  The main time this was obvious to me was during his interactions with Bozo, who was suppose to be an older teen but was smaller in size then Ender.  It did not have the obvious physical peril component that was a part of their interactions. Once I checked this I was able to really get into the characters interactions and relationships with each other.  I always like Harrison Ford in these Gruff older characters and I really found myself liking Viola Davis as Major Anderson, and Nonzo Anozie as Sargent Dap.
The special effects were used very well in this movie and although at times it was obviously special effects but as these were during simulations that they children were participating in it made sense that it was have a computer generated feel to it because that is what it was to the children.  The thing that was more distracting to me was the bug chattering that was added and which seemed quite obvious and overused. I would have liked it to have been used more sparingly and subtlety with the score.
Basically I really liked this movie and am looking forward to seeing it again in a few days with my brother and sister (I didn't want to have to wait to initially see it) and would recommend it to anyone who likes sci-fi action-ey movies.  This was not straight up action as most of the more recent releases has been, as it consists of lots of smaller battle sequences.  The movie has these one on top of each other, as the movie appears to be set over just a few months. Basically go and see this movie, it is fn to watch, has the sci-fi feel to it, and has good interactions between the characters.

My Rating: 3

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

X Men: Days of Future Past Offical Trailer

Yesterday the Official Trailer for X Men: Days of Future Past was released
Watch here

In it we see how they are planning to bring the two portions of the time line (older and younger reincarnations) interact together, with Wolverine going back in time to help Professor X become the man he needs to be.  We don't really see a lot of what is going to happen but get glimpse of the old characters coming back as well as glimpse of the new ones who are being added.  I am excited for this one and love a good comic book action movie.   

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975): Recap, Review and Experience

Last night I was able to go for the first time to a midnight showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, with a live performer troupe, who were acting out the show as it was happening on screen behind them. I was super excited to go see this because I big  fan of the Rocky Horror Picture Show since I first saw it back in high school and I have always wanted to go see it preformed in all its glory in a real midnight showing.  I have seen the movie too many times to count and have been able to see The Rocky Horror Show live preforming musical several times over the last decade but this is just the stage version of the picture show.  Going to see this midnight showing was fun and met my expectations and I am looking forward to seeing like that again.
If you do not know The Rocky Horror Picture Show is 1975 musical that was the movie version of the Richard O'Brian musical/play that he stared created and worked to get made into a movie. It was not an initial hit but it eventually made cult status during it classic midnight showings.  It is common or people to dress up in character to go and see a showing and the fun part is the audience participation, where they throw certain props at the screen during specific points in the movie, my favorite being the squirt gun and noise makers.  There are also traditional and more recently added things that you yell at the screen at certain moments.  Like I said the closest to the true midnight showing I had been to was the musical production and at those you were not allowed to have or throw any of the food items, it was fun at this one to be able to pelt others with rice and throw toast around. For any fan of Rocky Horror I would recommend trying to see a classic midnight showing and if you haven't seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show movie and like B cult movies I highly recommend this movie.  Note- it is not for people to take movies too seriously or are easily offended.  I liked during the showing that I went to, before the movie started it showed a disclaimer that said if you are easily offended get out and if you have found anything that happened thus far, during the pre-movie shenanigans you should really leave and not stay through the movie and show.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a musical follows Janet Weiss, played by Susan Sarandon, and Brad Majors, Barry Bostwick, a couple who gets engaged at the beginning of the movie after attending a wedding of their friends and decided that they want to take a drive to tell the teacher, Dr. Scott, who's class they met in that they are getting married.  This drive they take is during a rainstorm in which their care breaks down. They decide to walk to the castle that they passed a few miles back and ask to use their phone.  There they discover that it is owned by a strange man Dr. Frank-N-Furter, played by Tim Curry, who lives in this castle with Riff Raft, played by Richard O'Brian, Magenta, played by Patricia Quinn, and Columbia, played by Nell Campbell.  Brad and Janet are pulled into the shenanigans that are happening there and discover that Dr. Frank-N-Furter is from Transsexual in the galaxy of Transylvania. Dr. Frank-N-Furter has been working to create an ideal man Rocky, played by Peter Hinwood, who's brain has been taken from ex-lover Eddie, played by Meatloaf.  During all of this Brad and Janet discover that they really do not know what they have gotten into, Dr. Everett Scott, played by Jonathan Adams, shows up because he is on to Frank-N-Furter.  Magenta and Riff Raft decide they are tired of working under Dr. Frank-N-Furter and are ready to return home.  This is all around fit around the very campy musical numbers, it is highly sexually focused.
This movie is not for everyone but I like the campy, OTT quality of it and how it is just fun.  It defiantly attracts those who are more open minded but if you are it bunch of fun and something that you should really see.
I had a lot of fun going and seeing this movie at the midnight showing with the live performers, but it is definitely not the first way someone should see it as there is a lot of things going on and with all of the shouting by the crowd and throwing of props there are times when you couldn't hear anything that was going on the screen. I also found myself going back and forth between watching the movie and the performers so my attention was not on the movie like it should be if was just watching the movie at home. I would have liked it better if the audience members who were yelling things at the screen were better at annunciating what they were saying because some of the things were really funny.

My Rating: 3
My Enjoyment Rating: 4

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Carrie (2013): Review

Today I went and saw the new remake of the Halloween classic Carrie.  Based on the previews I wasn't expecting much and it barely met those limited expectations.  The main negatives about this movie for me was that it was pretty boring and not at all scary.  While watching it I kinda thought I was rated PG-13 because of its not really going for it with the scary and destruction but it is a rated R movie.
Carrie (2013) is a remake of the original 1976 movie and is based off of the Stephen King1974 book of the same name.  It is based around a young girl Carrie, played by Chloë Grace Moretz, who was born to a religious zealot mother Margaret, played by Julianne Moore, who is mentally unstable and focused on how women and the world are full of sin and need to repent.  She shelters Carrie who is then ostracized and made fun of at school.  She discovers that she is telekinetic but all she wants to do is be normal and accepted by other kids.  She is bullied by other girls and a mean video of this incident is taken, one of the girls who feels bad gets her boyfriend to take Carrie to prom, where a bunch of other kids conspire against Carrie to get her voted prom queen where they dump a bucket of pigs blood on her. At this point, Carrie loses it and goes on a killing spree of all the people who were mean to her.
It has been many years since I saw the original Carrie and all watching this version of it makes me want to go back and watch the first one. Like I mentioned earlier to me the main annoying thing about this movie is that it was really kinda sluggish in pace.  I kept wanting it to be more exciting, or thrilling, or scary.  It really didn't have anything that was really that interesting. The acting was over the top and melodramatic, but that was expected, the bulling was there but not pushed as far as it could have been, and the end scene seemed more focused on Carrie's covered in blood silhouette then cranking up the destruction.  Basically to me this is not worth seeing, just go back and watch the original.

My Rating: 1 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier (2014): Offical Trailer

Today the official trailer for Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier was released
Watch Now

I for one am very excited for the next Captain America movie to come out, as Chris Evans really stole my heart in the first on and continued to do the same in The Avengers.  This trailer gives us a glimpse of what is coming in The Winter Soldier and I am hoping that it really does deliver.  We see that Captain America is starting to question what is going on and that he comes across some people who are no-good-doers.  Anyone else looking forward to seeing Cap take the lead again?

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Witches (1990): Recap and Review

As it is the Halloween season, I have decided to go back and watch some of my favorite Halloween movies as a child and one of my most favorite one is The Witches a 1990 film based on the 1983 Roald Dahl book of the same name. Growing up as a child Roald Dahl was my favorite author and I loved reading his strange books.  I don't remember when I first saw this movie but I remember it being a staple of what I watched growing up and that I was scared during it, especially during the initial exposure of the Grand High Witch.
The Witches is a story that follow Luke, played and voiced by Jasen Fisher, who is a boy visiting his grandmother Helga, played by Mai Zetterling, who teaches Luke all of real witches and how they hate little children.  He teaches that real witches have purple eyes, no toes, no hair, and pointy fingers.  She teaches him that it is important to be able to stay away from witches because they hate children and will do everything they can to kill children.  After his grandmother gets sick, she and Luke go to a seaside hotel in England to get some sea air and relaxation.  The hotel is run by Mr. Stringer, played by Rowan Atkinson, and this would be just a normal vacation if it wasn't for the fact that the national witch convention is being held at the hotel at the same time.  Luke discovers that not only are all the witches in England but the Grand High Witch herself, played by the wonderful Angelica Houston, is there as well.  With Luke in hiding he finds out that the Grand High Witches plan is to turn all of the children in England into mice with her new Formula 86.  Before he is able to tell his grandmother about them, the witches smell him out and force him to drink the formula turning him immediately into a mouse.  Luke is able to get to his grandmother and convince her about everything that is happening. They work to steal some for the Grand High Witch's Formula 86 and put it into the Witches' special soup causing all of them to turn into mice.  Luke and his Grandmother then set their sights on seeking down all the witches in America.
Like I said this was one of my favorite Halloween movies as a child and whenever I watch it I get the nostalgic feeling of love for this story and movie.  Yes it is a bit out of date and quite cheesy at times, but I still love watching it every year and recommend that if you haven't seen it that you do.  There is some overacting in this movie but it is a family movie from 1990.  It utilizes puppets, especially with the Grand High Witch turning into a very ugly mouse.  The effects are of the time but as it is mainly bolts of magic this isn't that bad.
Angelica Houston is fantastic as the Grand High Witch and has always been good in these darker roles and she her interactions with the others in the movie are fantastic. It also has Rowan Atkinson in a role which is almost always a good thing.
This is probably too scary for the littler kids and seen as too cheesy for the older children, but I think it is a film worth watching and I always enjoy seeing it again.

My Rating: 3-
My Nostalgic/ Enjoyment Rating: 4

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Daybreakers (2009): Recap & Review

A few days ago my brother and sister were talking about the movie Daybreakers (2009) and talking about how they had liked but as I hadn't seen it yet, I couldn't contribute to the discussion.  Because my sister really likes it and I remember wanting to see it back when it came out I decided it was time to go ahead and watch it.  This movie falls into the genera of scary movies that I tend to prefer, which is more of a horror thriller then a true horror movie,  I am not a fan of really scary movies and the ones I do tend to watch I prefer to have been more vampire, zombie, demon, witches kind of scary. 
Anyway I was pleasantly surprised with this movie and liked it pretty well.  It wasn't the best of these that I had seen but I liked how it took a different spin on the standard vampire movie.
Daybreakers stars Ethan Hunt as Ed, a vampire to who is a hematologist who works for a company that is trying to find a recipe for synthetic blood because the blood supply for the world full of vampires is getting very close to being gone.  In this world, the majority of everyone has been turned into a vampire and humans are almost completely extinct, although there are small groups still in hiding and on the run. There is a focus in the movie of the rationing of blood to the vampire populating and how vampires who are deprived of blood (or drink other vampire blood) turn into these rabid creatures. Ed is working for Charles Bromley, played by Sam Neil, who is just out to make money and who's company had been farming humans for blood, but is in dire need to create this blood substitute both for their own profit and to save the vampire population.  Ed is conflicted about killing humans and ultimately would love a cure, and he come to the aid of a group a humans, led by Audrey played by Claudia Karvan, who believes that Ed can help them save humans. Ed befriends Audrey where he gets to meet vampire turned back human Elvis, played by William Dafoe, who was cured of his vampirism quite by accident.  Together the three of them fight to get the cure to work, all the while being hunted by Bromley and Ed's military brother Frankie, played by Michael Dorman.
I liked this movie and the different spin that they had on the standard vampire movie.  I how they put the pieces together, although some of them were pretty predictable.  This movie kept my interest throughout, but I thought there were too many notes within the story.  The sidebar about Bromley's daughter was unnecessary and I think there was too much detail of information given on the news and television that could have easily been put out there in another way.  This deterred a little from the flow of the movie and at time was a bitt confusing. I don't think having the senator was necessary as well.
This movie does have the gore factor and has a lot of blood in it.  Whenever anyone is bitten there is a lot of blood, there is also lot of people blowing up, vampires being burned, and people being ripped apart. 
Like I said this was a nice vampire horror thriller and to anyone who tends to like these I would recommend seeing it because it has a nice spin on the story but still sticking to the basic wants in these types of movies (i.e gore, shooting guns at each other, etc). The main negative being there isn't really anyone worth ogling over.

My Rating: 3-

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Escape Plan (2013): Review

This morning I went and saw Escape Plan and I am glad to say that I quite enjoyed it and it was basically what I was expecting.  I have come to discover that I really like these action type movies with the older action stars.  It is fun to watch them still try and be all tough but obviously not be anywhere near as agile as they were twenty years ago.   This movie was pretty predictable but I thought it was a fun ride.
Escape Plan is the new Sylvester Stallone movie but this time he co stars with Arnold Schwarzenegger, it brings what was teased at in the Expendable movies a full blown collaboration between these two eighties action megastars.  In Escape Plan Stallone plays Ray Breslin, a man who makes his living by breaking out a prisons.  He goes in with an alias and made up back story and then spends his time figuring out how to break out and eventually doing just that.  Like he explains in the movie, it takes three things to break out of a prison, knowing the layout, knowing the routine, and having help from inside or out.  Breslin is then hired for a job to go into a maximum prison that if off the radar in order to show that it is break out proof.  When he gets there he discovers that things are not what they seem and that the people who paid for him to get in there actually wanted him to be buried and never get out.  This prison was designed and is run by Warden Hobbs, played by Jim Caviezel, who is a studier of Breslin's book and worked to make this prison escape proof.  While inside Breslin meets and befriends Rottmayer, played by Schwarzenegger, who decides to help Breslin escape.  The question is can these two escape from this prison that is supposed to be escape proof?
I really enjoyed this movie and it was a fun, yet overall predictable movie.  There are twists and turns many of which go along with the situation that Breslin is in an environment that he cant predict what is coming next.  I would have liked it if there was a little more questioning about who was with who, in references to allegiance, but there is one thing toward the end that I liked and was kept pretty much under wraps. I liked the interplay between Stallone and Schwarzenegger and I think that they played well off each other.  Stallone keeping Schwarzenegger from going to camp and Schwarzenegger helping Stallone not go to OTT serious.  Stallone was his basis old tough guy that he has been playing in a lot of his movies lately but I liked how in this one he struggles at times and it wasn't so much about brute strengths, as he is getting older in years.  I really like Schwarzenegger and how he was somewhat serious but still had a lot of fun with this role.  I especially like the moment where he played going crazy when in the hole and when he was being a smart ass toward Warden Hobbs.  Basically I think that for the type of movie it was it was well casts and all the actors complimented each other.
This movie was a fun action-y movie, it is not so much an action movie as some of the other Stallone movies of recent past but it still had some shoot-um-up moments, but had enough of a plot to keep me interested, it did drag on in a moment or two but it was not that bad.  This movie is worth a watch.

My Rating: 2
My Enjoyment Rating: 3

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Runner Runner (2013): Review

This weekend I went and saw the movie Runner Runner and it was a fair action movie.  To me the biggest problem was that I never really care for or like the main character Richie Furst, played by Justin Timberlake, so whether or not he succeeded didn't really matter to me. This movie starts with him at grad school at Princeton, where he is getting a commission for getting people to gamble on a website owned by Ivan Block, played by Ben Affleck.  Richie gets in trouble for this from the school so he has to gamble his last bit of money to try and get enough money to pay for his schooling, decides not to pull out of any games and loses it all.  The movie is set up on this and as an audience member I am suppose to feel sorry for him.  This this geniuses kind of guy in his undefined twenties, lost his money, decided to get his masters at a expensive school that he cant afford, and then makes stupid decisions at on online poker game, which he assumes he was cheated on and uses the lab at Princeton to figure out the some of the people he played against winning levels were way above the average they should have been. They only thing that kinda gets you to feel for him or like him is that his dad John Furst, played by John Heard, is a way down on his luck addicted gambler.  So getting over that I didn't really like the main character, which is usually important in this movie because you want him to be able to get one past the bad guy, Richie goes down to Costa Rica to confront Ivan about the cheating on his site, Ivan offers Richie a job working at his casino down there, and then the FBI get on Richie to try and force him to help them bring Ivan down.  Even though Richie is a genus at what he does, he has trouble seeing how this will go bad and continues to work for Richie, falls for a Rebecca, played by Gemma Arterton, a women who works for Ivan but Richie thinks would be good to go after.  Richie makes lots of stupid decisions gets sucked into all the crap that is going on and then has to try and see if he can get out of it before he is eaten by the wolves, or in this movie the crocodile.
Besides the fact that Richie is not a likable character, the movie is basically pretty standard fare when it comes to this type of action movie.  There is nothing really surprising about the plot or what happens but then there is also nothing that is super annoying or that pisses me off.  If I cared a lick about Richie and he was a little more naïve in the beginning of the movie (as in he was suckered in, not walked in with everything being very obvious) it would have been a more solid overall movie. 
I think that the supporting cast was very good and I think Ben Affleck was great as Ivan, and it was really nice to see John Heard in the movie.  I feel as if Rebecca wasn't really needed but thrown in just to have a female around all of the guys.  Not liking the character of Richie was disappointing because I don't usually mind Justin Timberlake as an actor.
One of the big pluses of this movie is that it kept my interest throughout the movie and I wasn't bored during it.

Basically this movie was a fair action movie, and compared to the others movies of similar plot line this year it holds up pretty comparable.

My Rating: 2-

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Blade: Trinity (2004): Recap & Review

To finish up my week of the Blade trilogy I closed with Blade Trinity (I have yet to decide if I will watch the forth but non Wesley Snipes film, Blade: House of Chthon, so let me know if I should).  Going back and watching it, I remember it being a better movie then it actually is, it was still worth a watch, but maybe that was because it was during a time where I thought Ryan Reynolds was totally hott and I hadn't really figure out that he is also quite annoying (but still very attractive). One thing of note with Blade: Trinity is that it does offer quite a bit of man candy to look at and this adds to my enjoyment of the film. 
Blade: Trinity continues on with the story from Blade II with Blade, played by Wesley Snipes, and Whistler, played Kris Kristofferson, hunting down vampires and being a total bad ass.  The movie starts with a crazy Vampire Danica, played by Parker Posey, looking for and finding the original vampire Drake, played by Dominic Purcell, because they need someone to help them take down Blade.  The vampires have also been participating in a media campaign against Blade to make him look like a murdering criminal.  Because of this Blade is captured and Whistler killed, which forces Blade to work with a gorilla team of vampire hunter which includes; Hannibal King, a saved ex-vampire who used to be a boy toy to Danica, played by Ryan Reynolds; Abigail Whistler, the lost daughter of Whistler, played by Jessica Biel; also in the team is a younger Patton Oswald.  They work with Blade to discover the plot of the vampires and try to take them down.  During this time Drake is hunting Blade and killing off his friends.  Hannibal, Abigail, and Blade eventually bring down the vampires and Drake with a vaporized vampire virus.
I enjoyed going back and watching this movie and I quite liked this movie when it came out. Like I said it has a lot of man candy in it and during the shirtless Ryan Reynolds scenes you get to see how very ripped and fit he was. It show how he has been trying to become an action star for quite some time but that he has never really succeeded in becoming one.  You also get to see the start of Jessica Biel's acting career and she has been a bit successful in other action movies but has not been able to truly break out as the action heroine.
This movie is full of overacting but that it they type of movies that they are.  It focus on fights and the graphics are on par with Blade II. I have always kinda liked Parker Posey and she does play a convincing crazy lady but in this one she seemed to stumble around the fake vampire teeth and you can tell that she is talking with something in her mouth.  It doesn't detract from her fun character but is noticeable.  Wesley Snipes is not as badass or as svelte in this movie as in Blade II, which is surprising because it is only two years after the previous movie where he was the embodiment of that. I does seem like he kept up his exercise routine.  There were still some moments of the Blade poses but there were not so much the focus on this.  There is a nice swordfight between Blade and Drake.

My Rating: 2

Hold up Rating: Similar to Blade II. They computers are slightly out of date and the special effects are a bit obvious now.  It could be because of the high definition television I watched it on, and I still don't like how they show the vampires turning to dust or being attracted by the vaporized virus at the end. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Blade II (2002): Recap and Review

I decided that I wanted to keep my Blade Trilogy going so I watched the second installment in the franchise Blade II.  For my recap and review of the original Blade (1998) click here

Blade II pick up with Blade, played by Wesley Snipes several years after the ending of the original Blade movie. The ambiguity of Whistler, Kris Kristopherson, is cleared up by saying he bitten but then taken by the vampires before he actually died.  Blade and his new sidekick a young man named Scud, played by Norman Reedus, have been tracking Whistler through eastern Europe and Russia, killing vampires along the way.  He finally catches up to Whistler, injects him with the antiserum to hopefully kill off any of the vampire virus and revert him back into a human.  A vampire clan comes to Blade to ask him to help them hunt down a new post vampire creature, called a reaper vampire, because they are unable to handle him and that this special force that they have had been training to try and take down Blade.  Blade agrees only because this new reaper vampire hunts both vampires and humans but only turns vampires he bites into reaper vampires.  Blade also wants to learn more about the vampires and their culture that has been hidden to him up until this point. Throughout the movie there is lots of animosity between the vampire task force, which is lead by Reinhart, played by Ron Pearlman.  There is also the sudo-love interest thing between Blade and Nysaa, played by Lenor Vaela, which is stupid because she is a vampire and Blade hates vampires.  While they hunt down and kill the reaper vampires it is discovered that they were created by the elder vampire to try and create a new vampire race, from his DNA, which is immune to the normal vampire things, such as silver, sunlight, and garlic.  Meanwhile the loyalty of Whistler and Scud is questions and hinted that someone is not who they claim to be.  During the battles between all of the vampires, reaper vampires, and Blade most everyone is killed and it is discovered that Scud was working with the vampires and that Blade new about his subterfuge from the beginning.

I like this Blade movie but not really as much as the first one.  The action was kicked up a bunch of notches and they try to get more creative with the plot but it is all really quite pointless in story because it is all about the coolness of Blade and the fighting sequences.  Blade is all that was that cool in this movie, with the pattern cut into his hair and head tattoos, the more fit physique, the poses, sword fighting and of course the sunglasses.  Wesley Snipes is great as Blade, Kris Kristofferson continues to be grizzly as Whistler, and you have the joy of a young Norman Reedus (who is now very well know for his interactions with Zombies).
There is more production value in this movie but for me the use of special effects and computer graphics is more obvious and poor.  I don't like the change they made in how the vampires turn to dust after being stabbed, for me it is not as well done as in the first one.  There are also parts where I could see them cut between computer generated actors and the fight sequences, specifically when Blade and Nysaa sword fight in front of the wall of lights.

My Rating: 2

Hold Up Rating: The special effects are obviously older but they look more video game that truly terrible.  There is more use of computer type things in this movie, which again are out of date.  Some of the rough around the edges things may be due to the improvement of the television now a days and how this movie wasn't made in the time of HD>

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Blade (1998): Recap & Review

As it is now October and nearing Halloween, I thought it would be fun to go back and watch some Halloween-ey type movies and that has always included vampire movies.  Since I wanted something a bit more action-ey and one that I hadn't seen in a while, I decided on Blade (1998).  When I looked and saw that it was only released in 1998 I was a little shocked because for some reason I thought it was more early nineties but I guess that is neither hear nor there.  Blade is full of action, and stars Westley Snipes in one of his now iconic characters Blade.
Blade is a half vampire, half human known as the Day Walker because he isn't effected by daylight, silver, or garlic like the normal vampire.  Blade was born to a women who was bitten by a vampire right before she was due and therefore his DNA was effected by the bite.  He was taken in by a vampire hunter Whistler, played by Kris Kristofferson, when he was thirteen as it was discovered that he could suppress his thirst with a serum and that he had the same hatred for vampires as other.  This movie starts as he is hunting vampires and goes into the hospital to kill off one of the vampires that didn't complete incinerate earlier.  There he request a women Karen, played by N'Bushe Wright. who is a Hematologist who works there but it bitten by the vampire Blade is trying to kill.  Blade and Whistler try to prevent her from turning by injecting her with essence of garlic.  They then continue to hunt down Deacon Frost, played by Stephen Dorff, who is a vampire that is trying to capture Blade in order to use his blood to evoke an old prophecy to have the vampires take over the world.  Blade works to stop this while he is developing a tolerance to his serum.  He and Karen work to destroy the vampires but are unable to prevent harm coming to Whistler. 

I like this movie and watching it back through, I had forgot how the way movies focus on fights have changed.  In this movie it is much more karate style and focuses on the shapes and lines of the moves.  It has the classic Blade silhouette and lots of cool sward play.  It keeps the energy going with the fight sequences but gets a little too caught up with the science of the vampires blood having no hemoglobin and there is way too much focus in my opinion on the serum.  I think that it could have the same plot points without so much focus.  This movie is very nineties in attire and styling but to me that just adds to the nostalgic factor. 
Basically if you like action vampire movies this is a must see, if you have not already seen it and if it has been a while, it is worth a re-watch.

My Rating: 3-

My nostalgic Rating: 3

Hold up factor: Fairly well, the computers are a bit old and no one has cell phones but with vampire movies and their weapons it all references old school and that has remained more constant throughout the last fifteen years. 

Gravity (2013): Review

I decided that if I wanted to see Gravity, which I did, that it was probably worth going to see it in IMAX 3D to get the full effect and therefore that is what I have done.  going into the movie I was hoping for a lot, A) because it stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney who are both good actors, B) I have heard a lot of about the effort that went into the special effects and zero gravity simulations, and C) I tend to like destroys in space movies.  Although this movie is not the best of the year, it was very good and I was kept interested throughout the entire film. 
Gravity is set around Dr. Ryan Stone, played by Sandra Bullock, who is on her first space excursion because she is there doing updates on the Hubble Telescope, she is uneasy in space but is being led through this experience by veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski, there are a few other voices in the movie (i.e. Houston control) but the movies is basically these two with the focus on Bullock. While they are outside the space shuttle doing an update on the telescope they are hit by flying shrapnel from a Russian satellite that was destroyed because it was defunct.  This destroys the space shuttle, sends Dr. Stone drifting and separates her from Kowalski.  Stone has to try and survive this ordeal, while trying to be kept calm by Kowalski, dealing with her own internal demons and trying to get back to Terra Firma.  While this is all happening there are lots of space scapes, views of Earth from space, and zero gravity effects.
I will start with Sandra Bullock, who was basically the focus on the entire movie and its main star (you could consider the views and space as the co-star) and she did a wonderful job in this movie.  I think that she is a fantastic actress and it can be very difficulty to carry a whole movie by oneself and I think she does a great job.  There are even moments where she connects with the audience even when it is just her voice doing the work in the scene.  She got me to care about her, feel some of her emotions (more as the movie went on, in the beginning not so much as the peril starts early on and I hadn't really been drawn in at this point yet), and hope that she is able to pull it off and survive.
The special effects in this movie were pretty good and you can see all the time and effort that went into everything, at times it does have that computer generated edge to it but overall it was very good.  It was the zero gravity effects (water droplets/ items floating) and internal space station shots that seemed the most obvious to me). At times the zero gravity and how things moved seemed a bit off but that may have been more me then anything.  I have it in my head how people should move in zero gravity (this goes back to my days of wanting to be an astronaut, going to space camp, and seeing actual film of people in space) and at to me it seemed like she was always too much centered in things and at times she seemed anchored but didn't have a hand or foot on anything, but this wasn't rally that big of a deal.
I enjoyed this movie and it kept me interested throughout the who thing.  There was a moment where I was irritated, and though come on that would never happen, but they were able to bring it back to okay for me, at times I would get ahead of what she should be trying and would go come on move a bit faster you are in survival mode, but overall it was fair paced.  Like I mentioned earlier this was basically because of Sandra Bullock and her acting ability.
I went and saw this movie in 3D and I think that if you are going to see this movie it is worth the extra few dollars.  With the 3D you are able to see the dimensions of things, the depth into space and have the zero gravity floating objects actually seem like they are float around.

My Rating: 3-

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Baggage Claim (2013): Review

This time of year or me has been and always will be the time of year I like to watch the b-level romantic comedies.  To me it always seems like August/September is the time of year where the production movies dump their not top shelf movies, specifically those romantic comedies that are not designed for February.  I know that it is now the beginning of October but it seemed like the rom-coms were not really represented this year so I was ready to see one when it was released and right now that meant Baggage Claim, this movie followed the standard female lead rom-com about a girl who gets herself in situations where she is trying to find the one and in doing so discovers herself and ends up with the right man for her, who originally wasn't on her radar. 
Baggage Claim stars Paula Patton as Montana, a stewardess who was raised by a mother who was obsessed with marriages and who has had five of her own. As Montana approaches her thirtieth birthday her younger sister gets engaged and thus throws her into a frenzy to get in a serious relationship before the rehearsal dinner.  Also feeding this fire is her discovery that the man she thought was for her turns out to be untrustworthy. This story follows a premises that has happened before, where Montana is looking for Mr. Wright by going back and considering her exes.  Because Montana is a stewardess, she does this by enlisting her friends at the airline to discover when her exes are flying and gets on flights with them. 
I really liked the interactions that Montana had with her two best friends and fellow flight attendants slutty Gail, played by Jill Scott, and gay guy who instigates the plan Sam, played by Adam Brody.  I liked how the three of them played off each other and I especially liked Adam Brody, but I always seem to like him an actor and he has this natural humor that I enjoy and that always seems to be a bright spot in the movies he is in.  There are a slew of male actors who play her exes and some of them are well know (Taye Diggs, Djimon Hounsou) and then her best friend from childhood William Wright, played by Derek Luke.
There is nothing shocking in this movie and very much follows the standard rom-com script but I did enjoy the time I watched it.  Paula Patton over acted quite a bit and did this fake coyness thing that was a bit annoying, but maybe it is because I am used to seeing her in roles where she is more of a confidant, kick ass women and now she is more of slightly pathetic female lead in this movie.  Basically it was fun to watch but is only for people that like the very classic, very predictable, romantic comedy.

My Rating: 2-

Friday, October 4, 2013

Ender's Game (2003) Destroy TV Spot

Recently a new television spot for Ender's Game was released.
Watch below:

Basically I am just really, really excited for this movie and don't want to wait another month until it comes out but in the interim, I can watch the new television spots. This one shows more about Ender and the battle scenes.  Is anyone else getting more and more excited for this movie?

Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 (2013): Review

Today I went and saw Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2, and I was looking forward to seeing it.  This movie was one of the examples of the trailers and television spots peaking my interest enough for me to go and see the movie.  I liked the concept of the movie based on these teasers and it looked like it would be fun. Before I went and saw today I watched the original so that I would know what was going on before it started and not do what I have done recently with some of the animated sequels where I watched the second before the first and it was a bit confusing.  I do not think that it was really necessary to see the first one before hand as this movie opens by summarizing the first movie.  For my review of Cloudy With A Chance of Meatball (2009) click here

I quite liked this movie and thought that it was a fun time, there was nothing really amazing about but it was fun and I would watch it again should the opportunity present itself.  Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 brings back all of the main original characters from the first one but follows their story after they leaved Swallow Falls due to all of the giant food being everywhere.  Flint Lockwood, voiced by Bill Hader, is offered a job working at a invention company run by his childhood scientist hero.  After working there for six months and having his hopes dashed he is tricked by this hero Chester V, voiced by, Will Forte, and his talking ape sidekick Barb, voiced by Kristin Schall, Flint goes back to his island because he has been told that the food has gained consciousness and that they are trying to learn to swim in order to destroy the world.  Helping him on his quest to hunt down his food making marching, which was not truly destroyed at the end of the movie are: meteorologist Sam Sparks, voiced by Anna Farris; newer friend Brent McHale, voiced by Andy Samberg; cameraman Manny, voiced by Benjamin Bratt; police officer Earl, voiced by Terry Crews; pet monkey with a voice interpreter head ban Steve, voiced by Neil Patrick Harris; and Flint's Dad Time Lockwook, voiced by James Cann. As they return to Swallow Falls and see what is happening, their original ideas about the food animals are questions and the real perils they are up against are revealed.
This movie was pretty much what I expected it to be, a bunch of fun and lots of food animal jokes, examples being shrimp-anzees, taco-dile, and fla-magoes.  This movies was quite stupid and continues to play on the jokes of the first move and in my opinion was better then the first movie because the premise was already set up and it didn't really needs to go into the science of the food machine, it just went for the story, the trickery of Flint and his naivety, and the living food animals.  I thought it was fun and that kids would like it.  There wasn't anything that scarry about it, there were a bunch of children in the theatre and they seemed to like it as well.

My Rating: 2+

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug (2013): Main Trailer

The new trailer for The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug was released today.
Watch below

To be honest I don't really care what the trailer is about or shows, as it doesn't really show much, what it really does is get me excited for all of the holiday movies that are coming out and especially this one.  As the Hobbit book was made into three movies and not one, I am expecting lots of fighting as filler and amazing scenescapes and beautiful cinematography (as in the previous one). This trailer hints at some of the squabbles amounts the group and shows that Legolas will be there more then just show.  I am looking forward to the parts with the dragon and seeing Martin Freeman continue as a fantastic Bilbo.  Is anyone else excited for its early December release?