Category Archives: Movies/TV

XXX:The return of Xander Cage and Resident evil: the final chapter?

Here it is guys, I’ve finally gotten a chance to sit and ruminate over these movies. I’ll admit I watched them both weeks ago, but I’ve had a hell of a time trying to figure out how I was going to review them. I had to give it some real contemplation because I really had to try hard to find material that was comment worthy and thus enough to create a whole review for each movie. In the end I couldn’t and such we are gonna have this double feature review.

I’ll try to keep the spoiler to a minimum, thought to tell you the truth there isn’t much here to spoil. So…who’s first? *flips coin*

If you watched that trailer then I think you would have watched the best part of xXx: The return of Xander Cage. They even included pretty much the whole plot for us, which makes my job kind of easy since I won’t have to recap what is essentially the story equivalent of a sieve. Did anything stand out? *scratches chin* hmmmm let’s see.

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  1. This movie had a few nice stunt sequences, I’m told that is what is expected of this franchise, but to tell you the truth I watched the other two movies and barely remember what they were about. There were guns and explosions and some sporty stunt-y things so I guess that saying action and stunt-age are what is expected can be construed as a true statement. I’m guessing since Vin and Ice are part of it then the cheesy one liners are all part of it too. I wasn’t particularly impressed by either feature, which is saying something as I tend to fully appreciate Hollywood Physics when I see them. The action and dialogue both left me with a feeling of ‘meh’.
  2. The cast, the cast was good, badly used but good. Let me clarify. return-of-xander-cage-character-posters-xxxthemovie-13-820x772The movie contained names such as Deepika Padukone, Donnie Yen and Tony Jaa. Folks who could have easily carried off this movie without Vin or Ruby or the DJ guy or the Crash Bandicoot wanna be or who was that blond lady? Not that Vin was particularly bad, they were all bad. I was hoping for a Fast and the Furious kind of feel and ended up just watching people moving and hitting things, often filmed in a way that wasn’t cohesive or even aesthetically pleasing. Come to think of it this was one of the few movies in which Samuel L. Jackson has appeared that didn’t dazzle me, and was that Micheal from Underworld? The only character there that was even a little amusing was our resident tech nerd sexually ambiguous girl person, who by virtue of this movie I can’t even properly remember.

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And that’s about it for that. See what I mean about not much to work with? Ugh.

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Resident Evil: The Final Chapter… or was it…was…well…ummm…a fair attempt?

Visually this thing was rich, as rich maybe as the first two movies, which were arguably the best in the franchise. Note that this observation is more from trailers, clips and still art I’ve seen that the actual film, but I’ll get to that later.

This installment did not disappoint when it came to the creature feature we have come to associate with Resident Evil. So visually our bases were covered. The dialogue wasn’t anything deep or philosophical, but if you went there expecting that of Resident Evil, then you’re obviously not a long time fan, so you are forgiven your misgivings.  

There was one line there that floored me, well more a phrase. Don’t be surprised if you find me with some characters who embody the phrase “Trinity of Bitches.” Loved that.

Plot-wise I think this movie was too little too late. They tried to fill in some of the blanks, introduce some story line and back story, maybe to make us more sympathetic to Alice or the Red Queen or to the little girl turned old lady she was modeled after. Thanks for that nod to the amount of time the fans have been faithful by the way.

The too little too late theme continues as we were presented with a host of recycled characters, for example, Dr. Baddy Bad and co, Mr Glowy eyes, and Mz Badass from the…one of the earlier installments. We only got one memorable addition in the person of one Ms Ruby Rose.  Come to think of it she was in both of these huh? Hmmm…interesting.

Too bad she can’t return for the next one. What? You thought this was the last one? Well they did say the third one was the last one, and that was how many ago? They spent quite a bit of plot setting up another one, sooooo I for one will be looking out for that, maybe 2019 after all the Marvel hype has cooled and we are all too bored to remember what a flop this one was.

Again, not the greatest movie, pretty much meh.

So both movies will get a combined score of 5.5. Split it how you will, any way you do they deserve it. I wouldn’t go watch them again, probably won’t even bother to pause channel surfing when they come on. But, if and when you do, let me know if there was anything I missed.

Now on a different note. The showing of Resident Evil: The Final chapter was my worst experience at our local megaplex to date. An experience characterized by a screen that was mostly blurry and unfocused and the loud, rude, completely inappropriate hood babies that took up residence right next to us. Though any of these factors could have been bad all by itself, what makes this event worthy of note is the fact that more than one member of our party complained on more than one occasion to the staff of the establishment.

Uck, Ugh and Uck. I can only hope that the message was received and next rant I can go back to just ranting about the kind of people who bring babies to watch horror movies, on the late show, on a school night.

Thanks for sitting through this with me guys, much love from my keyboard to you.

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5 Ridiculous things I caught in the Underworld: Blood Wars

Can you guess what my first movie of 2017 was? Well can you? Oh you can? I guess I made it kind of obvious didn’t I?

Last week me and the gang went out to see the new Underworld movie. Number 5 in the ongoing series of Gangster movies, that try to pass themselves off as part of the occult genre. It didn’t disappoint, it was, in my opinion, absolutely terrible and I must say I enjoyed it to the fullest. Though to be fair I didn’t go for the supernatural thrill or even for the action. I went for the utter ridiculousness over the too-ness that these movies have come to embody for me.

Here is your obligatory spoiler alert. The following passages may include spoilers. So if you know you are bothered by that sort of thing, go with my blessing and watch, approach with a light heart though, and leave your inner occultist at home.

b0038166_4f1a1a00da6131. By now we are all accustomed to Selene and her signature skin tight leather outfit. Kate fills that thing out well and even though we can’t imagine how this thing could be functional as fighting garb, it does add to the sexy motif that the movie is trying very hard to sell us.

While they ditched the overly sinuous movement that has come to be associated with supernatural sexuality, they did drape the entire cast in so much black that we had to wonder if they was any black cloth left in all the world.

But even that wasn’t what struck me as most ridiculous. What struck me was the fact that the outfit is SELF HEALING!!!! I mean it has to be, for the amount of shots, stabs, pokes and projectiles it took, and still managed to always in the next scene to appear shiny and whole. I can’t imagine why it never dawned on me before, but then this is the first time I’ve gone to see one of these with my hawk-eyed compatriots in the movie group.

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2. Now let us look at it in terms of the timeline. First the vampires were on top, all winning the war and stuff. Then Micheal came along and they killed a whole bunch of elders hence weakening the vampire community. Then in the last installment it had gotten so bad that the wolves had risen to some semblance of dominance what with the experimenting and so on, and the vampires were little more than an underclass, all be it impeccably dressed but an underclass non the less.

So how is it that the elders in this thing were so arrogant? I get that prejudice is hard to kill, but you mean to tell me that you are sitting in the last Vamy stronghold and you’rE think you’re sitting pretty? Has it not occurred to them that they are the last because all the others are gone?…at the hand of the wolves?…the same ones they think wouldn’t attack them? Almost as if the elders of this coven didn’t watch the last movies but got some pretty limited cliff notes. Further how could they be so dismissive of the women in their midst, when their top most wanted criminal, best warrior and strategic general, Is a woman?

As such it left our vampires at a distinct and painful disadvantage that who wholly unnecessary. To make the matter worse, this very arrogance left our citadel exposed to a threat so sinister that when she struck they were all left aghast. Uck, and to say these are the kings of intrigue. Just Uck. Which leads me to…

3. Meet team Semara. Making it at number three on my ridiculous list. The absolute queen of the one liner in this film, she is also our resident comic book villain, complete with henchman and an overly complicated plan to meet her rather transparent goal. She can fight, she has that sinister grace, and is a good enough actress to hide it, I started being very excited about this one.

I will give it to this movie, the plot advance rather quickly with not very much exposition, I give a hat for that. But this Victor wannabe, with a flare for the over dramatic, who is resourceful enough to manipulate enemies and friends alike, was again thwarted by…you guessed it…her own arrogance.

The lady needed to take a step back and listen to herself. She needed to pay attention to the very flaws in her people that allowed her to reach the position she had attained. I mean what kind of villain only throws herself at the male lead who she might eventually need on her side only once? And don’t get me started on how her own selfishness robber her of an enhanced army and boy toy of her own. Sigh, I do say, as far as baddy bads go, she was rather a great disappointment. Spectacular and well played, but a disappointment.

4. These showdowns. While we all fully acknowledge that Hollywood takes privileges with things like the laws of physics and the general number of bullets that can fit in any magazine at any given time, I still found the showdown between Marius and our two heroes to be really amusing.

The thing that got me is that both David and Selene have either gotten or discovered that they have gotten a major power upgrade. Why then could we not have had a display of power so epic that it made us feel inappropriate things as we watched? Instead we had our heroes blithering about, getting thwarted by not our enhanced Marius, but by their own emotions and or general ineptitude. Was this for dramatic effect? Were they trying to humanize these characters? Probably. But this is a movie about supernatural beings right? Soooo….why not rip out the stops and let them do what you promised by tying the words “Vampire and Werewolf” into this convoluted gangsta flick?

I mean yeah they won in the end, that there is a given. If they didn’t, how could they have set up Underworld 6? But it would have been far more satisfying if they had slapped a bit more badass on it.

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5. OK, so here it is that we now have reached the crux of my ire with this entire series. The werewolf transformations. These creatures were set up to fail from the onset. Firstly when they are in their most powerful form they seem to be rather inept, lacking the capability for thought and strategy that should be a given, given the “were” part of it.

Instead they divulge into a more primitive state when they transform, though from what I’ve seen of them isn’t much of a downgrade since they are mostly daft in the first place anyhow. Add to that the fact that they charge into battle all human shaped, get frustrated with their own tactics and must transform in order to effectively-ish beat their foes and voila easily beatable enemy.

How so? You may be asking. Just watch the gif? From the start of the transformation to the battle roar. Ready? Ok Let’s go. 1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi, 3…….10 Mississippi. A whole ten seconds when, in the heart of battle, these wolves are basically unable to act. How about we stab or decapitate now, oh being with supernatural speed and strength? A chop here a silver injection even? No? Your just gonna stand their and watch as the boss levels up and your life bar is already half? Ok, nothing at all ridiculous about that is there?

I did give this movie a 5.5 though, because technically and in terms of general lore and common sense it was lacking.  I know somewhere in the nerdiverse someone is about to lose what little they had of their shyte but be assured that I did love it to pieces, I would even watch it again.

Ghostbusters 2016: Definitely a Bust.

Talk about a movie with controversy. Talk about a talked about movie. Talk about a movie that sparked gender conversations. Yep, we are talking about the Ghostbusters remake. Seems like for months all we did was talk, talk, talk. Even I got sucked in and did some of the talking, as per my previous Post on this matter.

You see, this thing had people coming out in droves, not to discuss the issues surrounding film making, or the fact that Hollywood imagination has dried up and all we get now is formula RomComs, and remakes. The only good original movies left are the Superhero movies and some of them have so many reboots some of us are frankly fed up. We discussed none of that ,but instead, discussed this directors take on gender issues in film.

This movie had us all focused on the fact that it was a gender swap and not the fact that it is completely unencumbered by the original material. Material that I may refer to as we continue. Men cried out in its support because they didn’t want to appear sexist, women rallied behind it because feminism and the studio and co just sat there like…

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…the poof, however, was in the pudding, and while I had to wait for said pudding to come out on DVD since I missed it in theaters, this is my review on the sour taste it left in my mouth.

That’s right this think left me very unhappy, for the simple reason that it did exactly what I figured it would do. It shifted the focus away from the things that made the original a nerd classic and focused almost entirely on the womanly plight of the women.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand that there are some things that only someone in possession of a fully functional, biologically accurate set of jugs and a vagina has to go through. I fully understand that there are certain social set backs that lots of women have to endure, I understand this. I am after all a woman and have to experience these things everywhere from the supermarket, to the gaming world, to the workplace to my very home. I appreciate the plight, I really do, but I don’t let it ruin me.  All of my role models rise and thrive despite it, and I hoped this movie would do that too. Show women confident and rising above, not bogged down by it all. But it didn’t.

Instead it told the story of a set of women who ultimately wanted to gain legitimacy in a field that wasn’t taken seriously, but were plagued by sexism even more that the skepticism of the scientific community. While, ironically, they themselves exhibiting the same sexism to a gender stereotype parody. Which kind of sucks if the whole point of the movie was to rise about the sexism that the people said they were battling my making the movie in the first place.

Granted the original Ghostbusters may not have had to deal with the sexism, but they did have to deal with the skepticism. It wasn’t, as I remember it, as major a theme and it was approached with a certain amount of nerd cockiness that everyone who has ever enjoyed chemistry class knows well. These chicks didn’t have that…and it hurt me, as someone who very much enjoys chemistry class.

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No, seriously, I didn’t think you could make Chris Hemsworth unsexy. I didn’t think it was possible without the help of a major fast food chain, outlawing all fitness centers and his sexy accent and a severe water outage, but this movie did it. Bastardizing the character of the Ghostbusters secretary, from a smart, witty, capable person to a husk with mush or empty space where his brains ought to be. Someone tried to tell me that it was a commentary on the way women are portrayed in film, but not even under the guise of satirical hypocrisy do I buy it. It was too blatant and overdone, to be funny.

Speaking of funny, I also didn’t know that you could take comedians of this caliber and make them so blah. Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig where completely buried under all that social statementing, so much so their humor got pretty lost. Which was rather disappointing for me. I did after all watch this movie for them, thinking, at least there will be laughs in. Alas, they were few, far between and had little to do with these clever actresses.

They even screwed up Slimer!!! And NEVER explained the significance of the slime!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What more proof do you need that this movie wasn’t really about Ghostbusting?

And don’t get me started on the most petty, washed out, generic, forgettable and again stereotypical bad guy ever. This guy, one of the weak minded man architype. And a dude is responsible for this? Ugh, give it a rest already.

OK. I’m being really harsh, so let me inject here that there were precisely two bright sparks in this movie.

Holtzman and Patty, were the best part. Holtzman was as close to Spengler, the character she was based off of, as closely as the skewed vision of this movie would let her. I appreciated that not because she was channeling her male counterpart, or because it hit my nostalgia button, because it didn’t, but because she was the only one of the scientists who seemed to really enjoy the work. For the others it was so forced, or maybe an after thought.

Patty too was pretty nice, again not channeling the original character, but bought a bit of levity and authenticity to the thing. That being said even the cameos of the original crew did nothing for me. Thrown in there, again, like some kind of after though after too many of us complained about them ruining our childhood. I swear if the 90’s could sue, the directors, writers and executives of the movie industry would be little better than homeless paupers.

All in all I can only give this thing marks for the special effects which were OK, made to the senses less than awesome by the blah that was the film, Holtzman and Patty. So…3/10, and that I give grudgingly.

Dude, next time you want to make a social commentary piece, leave the classics alone and use something you made up yourself. Your input was very not appreciated. I thank you.

Sausage Party: boy was that R-rated

When I asked about this movie, a friend of mine said, “If you aren’t into a lot of sexual innuendo then it isn’t for you.” He said it over a social media group, and I’m sure he knew that the way it was said, and the advanced knowledge that it was a Seth Rogen  movie would have had me all excited. I know he knew I was going to see it too, and I know now that there was a sinister smile on his face when he typed those words.

In the voice of Kevin Hart “I wasn’t ready!!!!!!!”

Don’t get me wrong, it was good. But dear God, I WAS NOT READY…but just so you are, there may be a SPOILER or two beyond this point. This movie took profanity and raunch to a level where at one point I think I was completely numb to it. It completely stole the novelty of it, lucky for Seth and the gang there was more to the endeavor than just that.

I will give Sausage Party this, it is intelligent and genuinely funny. There isn’t anything subtle about it though, to call the jokes innuendo in any form is stretching it, really really far. But again Seth…so…we expect no better. It’s full of sexual references, sophomoric humor and crazy pun play. Which I fully appreciated, I felt like I was in college all over again, in a good way. In the way that we spoke more freely and were so eager to question. It wasn’t all ass jokes and penis gags though.

It gives an interesting take on consumerism, international politics, racial issues, religion, serious stuff that we really didn’t expect. Do the statements it makes, rally us to a revolution of thought? Not so much, but if you are walking around in a fog of cynical jadedness, then having the things that got you that way presented like this, definitely wakes up some of those old brain circuits and brakes off some of that crust.

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The characters, boy the characters. The characters were all consumables, that talked and walked, believing that we had something other than consumption on our minds when we picked them up. There were good guys and bad guys, and douches, literally. Each character/item crafted as a clever stand in for some culture, race, religion, creed, if you can think of them they were pretty much there. It was witty and funny and inspired. Well done Seth.

But when reality hit our characters…I’m so sorry…I wasn’t ready either. This movie made me feel so bad for all the products I use in my day to day life. I will say sorry to every sheet of toilet paper, every prophylactic, ever morsel, and just everything I will every consume ever again, or at least until the shock fades. There were scenes in this thing that had me like…

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…Shock, gore, horror. I am still not over it. A week and a half late, and I’m not over it, and I have to give it a rating. I will give it a 9. My only complaint being how much of too much that last scene was. It was just so much…so much….so so much. GAWD, but it was sooo much.

Guys watch it. Honestly. And not just because I want to share the feeling that still quivers in my breast and rattles my brain. I want you to see it, and I want it to tickle your thought center, and I want you to have all the experiences, I had in that dark room, surrounded by strangers, who too were too shocked to misbehave. Again, Thank you Seth.

Much love to Rogen and Company from a small Island Paradise, in the Caribbean.

Suicide Squad: I call Shenanigans

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Suicide Squad, one of the most anticipated and well marketed films of recent superhero movie times. Anticipated by nerds of all sizes, from an array of nationalities, and DC lovers and DC-not quite lovers alike. We got it, we went to see it, and since then the internet has been ablaze with criticism. Well, to be honest with ourselves some folks were kicking hell even before the first trailer hit YouTube. But I’ll talk about that later. All in all it doesn’t deserve all this hate, it really doesn’t, and here’s why.

I recommend that you watch it, as this review will contain some spoilers. It’s inevitable that a rant of this magnitude will contain spoilers, so if you have yet to see it, please scroll no further, but know you have my staunch encouragement to watch this movie.

Almighty then  folks, you passed the point, now here why I call shenanigans on both the studio and the critics.

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  1. Everybody, but everybody has something to say about Harley. Played well by the very diverse and endearing Margot Robbie, Harley is the former psychiatrist of the Joker, who he drove insane, tortured and then dipped in the same ooze that gave him his signature look. She has seen many an interpretation even in my relatively short lifetime in her many comic arcs, however the one fundamental fact has always stood true, she has Stockholm and is, for lack of a better phrase, completely off her rocker. I think the movie tried to soften the abuse part, maybe thinking it would damage our sensibilities. Shenanigans I tell you, our sensibilities need to learn to appreciate the original art.

This made a lot of women apparently uncomfortable as they figured little girls would want to use her as an example, which leads me to believe that either, we’ve been teaching our daughters that an abusive significant other is the one to have, or the folks making the fuss have very little idea about what it is that actually carries on with the comics. Shenanigans again!! This is a franchise based on comics after all, which should make research one of the most fun things ever, especially since you don’t even have to enter your local neighborhood nerdtopia anymore. In any case, I find that Margot ( may I call you Margot?) did great. Hat tipped to you Hun.

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2. Jared Leto is no Heath LedgerNow we can all agree that a. the Batman franchise has become a world of dark psychological thrill, and b. Heath was arguable the best Joker of life. I mean EVER. Jared then had the cards stacked against him from the time he signed this contract.

I don’t know who orchestrated his costumes, what with the tattoos and the teeth, but we need to find that guy and ask him about his feelings towards his Parents. Suffice it to say I feel about this Joker the way many of you felt about the latest Lex Luther. He did not impress, he was definitely not what I expected, and he deviated far from any of the Joker personas I have known before. Glen tells me I should just sit back and accept it, as the tone of the movie is set by whatever psychosis this director thinks the bat is suffering from. But I call shenanigans, could we not have gotten a little more energy at least? Gawd. This Joker, felt lethargic and generic, like for research he just watched The Godfather and fell asleep half way through and just decided to wing it. The Joker in the Killing Joke was better man. GAWD.

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3. Everybody forgot this was a Bad guy movie. Granted that most of these folks weren’t inherently evil. Harley was the only one there, who seemed genuinely true to the whole I’m-bad-and-I-like-it shtick. Some critics apparently took this as the greatest of cinema sins, but what is a villain really? Either someone who is good in their own eyes and ‘misunderstood’, someone psychotic, or someone who wants to take over the world. Come to think of it, that’s what I like about the villains of the DCEU they are unapologetic. Deadshot likes shooting things and is proud of his rep as a perfect marksman. His only miss ever being the Bat. Diablo is a fire god, nuff said. Crock is a crock with humanish traits, etc.

I find the way the flashbacks and back story for each character were integrated in a satisfactory fashion. For the team, I am satisfied. I think they could have done the soundtrack better. I expected it to feel all John Wick, but ack, who can do it all?

4. These two characters. These two characters, annoyed me to no end. Both had godlike powers that they severely under utilized. Is it because the studio felt we couldn’t handle the power? Is it because villains are supposed to be dumb and thwart themselves? I don’t know. But if I was a fire god capable of melting the heart of another god, I would melt that mother into goo. Not give up and let a bomb do it. A bomb, and not even a nuke? Really? Is more effective than the force of the sun? Shenanigans!!!

As for little miss overly sinuous. I’m all for a little gyration, but she was just a bit much on the wink up part. Calm your ass down on the hip motion and figure out how to use your powers dammit. In the end the epic fail of this lower level boss was her inability to exploit all the greatness she displayed before the last 15 minutes of the movie. You mean to tell me you can teleport to some Asian country and steal their military secrets but you can’t get away from a sword stroke, or materialize around your heart as it flies through the air? Why would you fight with swords anyway oh all powerful millennia old witch? Ugh, what is it with the DCEU and ruining their movies with bad climaxes?

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5. Bow down and worship at the feet of Viola Davis. Spoiler, Spoiler, big big big BIG spoiler!!!!!!!!!!! This woman is by far the best and most villainous part of this movie. They tell us the Squad are the bad guys but in the hierarchy of evil in this story they are at level two. All of them including the witch. Below them are the henchmen, and below them are the solder boy and Katana. At the top of baddy bad list is Amanda Waller, played by Viola Davis. Who makes me fully believe, in her sexy as hell brand of Sociopath.

Through the film we see her kill indiscriminately, threaten and main and it is absolutely everything the trailers promised. She is like the Anti-Nick Fury, but better. Way way better. I love it, Love her, JUST LOVE!!!

On that note, I guess it’s time for me to wrap it up. I’m sure some nerd out there reading this is having the aneurysm of objection. I give this a 8. -3 for the witch and her brother, – 1 for Heathen and Sucker for pain only coming up prominently in the credits, -1 Joker, -1 for the unnecessary Batman appearances and then add back 4 for Viola’s performance.

Go watch it, read the comics, emote, then opinionate. Love you guys, see ya later.

Oh I almost forgot, for the folks who continually blinded me by taking selfies during the movie. Please smack yourselves a lot. When are y’all gonna learn compassion? And why did you waste the money to buy a ticket to sit in a dark room taking selfies? Ugh. Shenanigans!!!!!