Monday, July 27, 2009
That is it. That is the entire story. Nothing else happens, no surprises, nothing odd. But this movie was really amazing. The more I thought about it, the more I realized how everyone was affected. I said above that he changed everyone’s life. But I didn’t realize that until after my wife and I talked about the movie (something we do…we actually discuss movies after watching them to gain insight.)
The Head Sister is always thanking God, but in the end thanks Homer (she has changed her views, and believes that man is also important to thank). The big business man cracks down and donates bricks to the cause (expensive bricks, for free). The atheist café owner comes to help, saying that it’s insurance in case there is a God. And all the poor people of the town help out too, so that their children will have a place to pray. Also, there is a priest that has to hold mass out of his trailer, but now has a place to hold it. Earlier in his life he had prayed for riches, and God gave him nothing…less than nothing, he is poor. But now has a place to call his own.
After Homer builds the chapel, he leaves and never comes back, but his legacy will live on in the town, not just in the chapel, but in the hearts of everyone there.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
As Stephenstein said, there was a fist fight that broke out just before the show, providing pre-show entertainment. It didn’t amount to much and ended peacefully. There ought to be cinema staff on-hand before show times and during the first 20 minutes of the movie. People coming in late, people haggling over seats, kicking seats, talking, tempers flaring – it would be nice to have someone on hand to kick folks out who cause trouble. That’s what cinema-going has come to. Sad, I know, but there it is.
As for Bruno, I actually thought it was better than Borat. Tighter, more concise story, higher shock value, and more clever (witness the scene in which Bruno has no furniture for his interview guest Paula Abdul so he hires pool maintenance men who bend over and act like chairs for Paula to sit on when she talks up her human rights charities, or when Bruno gets Palestinians and Israelis to agree that Humus is a healthy food). All the jokes were offensive on their face but had a point to them.
As J-Kraken mentioned, we went to a couple of 3D showings at the Fox Theatre. The first was Creature From the Black Lagoon, which was actually 2D (their distributor apparently sent them a normal print by accident). I’ve seen this movie a gazillion times and 2 things struck me about it. First, I forgot how much action they managed to pack into the 80 or so minutes of running time. I mean, a lot of people die, and the Creature attacks a lot in the movie. And you get to see him clearly on more than one occasion. The other thing was how much information they crammed into the movie (well, into most movies back then) without it seeming like a series of lectures. Just from a few choice lines the viewer knows the basics of what each character’s profession involves (be they archeologist, paleontologist, sponsor, etc.) and what each character brings to the table and how they relate to the adventure. Each guy has something to contribute, like concocting weapons against the monster, deep-sea diving experience, piloting a boat) and whoever doesn’t have anything to contribute dies. I’ve always liked how the writers linked the Creature to man and gave him intelligence by trapping the boat in the lagoon and picking off its occupants one-by-one. Creature From The Black Lagoon is still one of my favourite Universal Monster pictures and holds up amazingly after all these years. Heck, I think the body-count is higher than most horror movies today -- sad.
After that, we caught one of the gems of obscure 80’s pictures - Starchaser: The Legend of Orin in 3D. I saw this at the Scarborough Town Centre when it first came out and have been tracking it down ever since. Though I own the DVD (which I’ve watched a bazillion times), I hadn’t seen a 3D print since that Winter afternoon in 1985. Until now! Watching it again in 3D is almost like watching a different movie. The 3D experience really lends a lot to the motion on the screen. I liked the look of it, reminding me of old View Master reels of cartoon shows. The layers tend to look like 2D cardboard cut-outs at times, like when bushes appear in a mid-ground plane and look like a cardboard standee of bushes -- bu thte colour and detail really make up for this. And some of the cockpit layering was super-cool, like you can walk in there yourself. The ships swooping towards the screen were well done as well. As always, what I love about this film is that boisterous, adventure feel that seemed to permeate every 80’s action-adventure movie at the time. Everything runs along with a breezy pace with lots of locales, colorful characters and fun action. And I love the design of everything. As J Kraken mentioned, all the characters are more humanoid then cartoony. and the different types of bad guy troops reminded me of the cool armoured Cobra figures they used to churn out in the 80's. Cell animation is the best. It’s colourful and not constrained by harsh lines like CGI. Dagg Debrimi is still as cool as ever with his one-liners and “honest smuggler” code. The ship dog-fight scenes are breath-taking in 3D and the music always sticks in my head. Maybe it helps that I was 8 when I saw this, but Starchaser will always have a soft spot in my heart. MGM, please bring out a 3D edition of hte DVD! And I love that the movie is called Starchaser even though that title is never mentioned at all in the movie – it’s there just because it sounds cool. Starchaser! Hahahaha
Wow, 5’s all around!
Still haven’t seen Transformers 2. Instead, I’ve been watching my complete set of Transformers: Energon and reminding myself why the Transformers franchise is so damn cool (and it’s not because they pee on guys or have big testicles…).
Till next time, fleshling,
Monday, July 20, 2009
The titans went out for a 3D double feature on the weekend. Creature from the Black Lagoon (which I own and have seen a bunch of times, so I wont be reviewing it – even though its 5 stars.) and Starchaser.
I had never seen Starchaser, so I thought it would be cool to see in 3D. Before watching it I actually bought the DVD, just to have it cause it looked cool. And it is cool. Really cool!
I mean the 3D was neat – even though my eyes were sometimes seeing some ghosting, but all in all, it was really good.
The movie itself is pretty awesome. A lot of colour (that’s one way to get a good rating from me – colour), and a lot of fast paced action in a lot of different areas. It was kind of like Heavy Metal and Fire and Ice. Not rotoscoped but the humans looked like humans, not anime style or cartoony (by cartoony I mean batman animated style), and I like that form of animation. The characters were really cool too and I was hoping they had made figures…but I don’t think they have. It was that good! I would’ve gotten the figures in one second and had I seen it as a kid, I would’ve been dying for it!
They just don’t make em like this anymore…live action or animation.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Not only does Bruno (the film and character) push comedy to the limit, it/he pushes it over the edge, down a cliff, onto a bomb and blows it up. I mean we all know the situations are technically fixed, or positioned in a way to get a reaction from the audience…but its the reaction that counts.
Ie the talk show host and crew are in on the joke, but the audience isn’t. It’s their reaction that is funny. Unlike The Hangover (in which everyone was in on it) the audience is the straight man. Comedy works if there is someone who didn’t see it coming, and is reacting to it. OR, if the comedy is pushed so far that we have to laugh at the sheer absurdity of it. In Bruno, you get both.
I have honestly never laughed so hard that my head hurt! The trailers did a very poor job of preparing me for what was ahead. I know nothing of the Bruno character from Ali G, and I knew nothing about Borat when I saw that, but Bruno is probably the gayest man in the universe. The character himself is fake.
If you took the 10 gayest men and combined them into one, he wouldn’t be as gay as Bruno is. He’s like the cartoon Hercules (with the strength of ten, ordinary men – Bruno has the gayness of 10 super gay men).
This is funny because it is playing on what we consider to be gay. His sexual fantasies are so bizarre that NO ONE would really do them ALL! Which brings up a good point…IF YOU ARE NOT COMFORTABLE WITH SEEING “GAY” ACTS – DO NOT SEE THIS MOVIE!!!!
But Bruno is really playing with people’s interpretation of gay. He pushes it to the extreme and people buy it! At one point he is screening a copy of his pilot episode “Celebrities Maxed Out” (I think that was the title), and this is the funniest scene in the movie because the show is soooooooooooo absurd it is beyond anything I can even mention here to compare it to. And the group reviewing it are stunned and appalled at it…but if I was in that group I would’ve realized this is fake, and lauged!
And that’s how the whole movie went.
5/5 – great comedy for those who can take it.
Monday, July 13, 2009
All for one seems to be the right phrase here. This movie only focuses on D’Artagnan, Athos, Porthos and Aramis do appear and do stuff, but it’s not really about them. I think this film was geared towards the teen market. D’Artagnan is played by a male model turned actor? He does a fine job, but I wasn’t dying or anything. Mena Suvari plays the love interest and Tim Roth plays the one eyed Febre, (mike wincott – the crow villain, played him in the Disney one).
The movie is the basic musketeer storyline. The cardinal is a bastard and wants to overthrow the king. Febre kills D’s father, the musketeers are disbanded etc. But everything happens rather fast and no characters are really developed. I love the Disney Three Musketeers and the Leo Dicaprio Man in the Iron Mask (I really love Iron Mask). That was the movie that made me love D’Artagnan. He was torn between keeping an oath to protect the king and a silent oath to protect the public. The king was a bastard but D swore an oath to protect him…wow. Tough call to make here, his honour is at stake.
In this movie its more just matter of fact. Here is the bad guy, he must be killed. D is the young hero who must do it etc.
That being said the scenery and photography are 5 stars. And the sword play is truly amazing (thanks to the guys who did Matrix and Iron Monkey). I love the asian influence in this film in terms of the staging of fights.
All in all this could’ve been a great film, but since it was geared towards teens, they dumbed it down a bit…but still enjoyable if you go in knowing that. I wanted man in the iron mask, but he, I already own that movie.
Documentary about movie NL’s (no lifers – that’s the term we use). MAN it thought I was NL, but these guys rule.
They see 4 movies a day every day (some have jobs just to support their film watching). One lady Roberta, doesn’t believe in video/DVD. Only goes to the theatre for films. She also gets kicked out a lot because she wont allow ushers to rip her ticket stub. She actually tried to strangle a girl who did rip it, thus she was booted permanently from the place.
Anyway, the feel of the film is fine and I like that they don’t really make fun of them, they more or less leave it up to you….but I mean it’s pretty interesting.
I think all of the titans should see it for sure. If you are a movie lover, you can see what true movie-philes (or cinephiles) are! Plus you can compare yourself to them and see how you come out!
3/5 – (the best part is that the cinemaniacs actually watch their own movie and critique it!
Saturday, July 11, 2009
I keep hearing stupid comments from the dumbasses that “wrote” the Transformers movies, saying that they don’t know what to do for future installments of the Transformers. They’re “tired” and the concept is getting “stale”. This pisses me off to no end. As a Transformers fan, I know that Transformers lore presents endless possibilities for stories and villains. Just because Orci and Kurtzman are bereft of any creativity and because they know nothing about he Transformers mythos while professing to be fans, now the whole franchise has to suffer while it could have gone on for another 4 or 5 more movies or even beyond. Don’t believe me? Read on:
Unicron and Primus:
They still haven’t done a movie featuring Unicron, the Chaos Bringer. Unicron was a god before the Universe existed and sought peace through the destruction of all life. He accomplished this by destroying everything, even the stuff of space itself leaving nothingness, and slumbered in deep sleep. But he wasn’t thorough enough in his destruction, and small fragments of the old universe reacted with each other and formed a new Universe. In this Universe, Primus, Lord of Light was born. Unicron awakened and proceeded to destroy everything again, but Primus shifted the fight to the physical plane, our Universe, and without time to properly generate their energy forms, Primus entrapped both himself and Unicron in two barren asteroids. Unicron learned over the eons to shape his asteroid into aplanet, then again into a robot. Primus, fearing that if he too shaped into a robot the conflict that destroyed the former universe would resume, decided to instead to turn his asteroid into a planet, Cybertron, inhabited by robot beings that could, like Unicron, alter their forms and eventually defend the Universe against the inevitable Unicron threat. Unicron awakens and proceeds to eat planets for sustenance. He zeroes in on Earth and the Autobots feel they must convince Primus to turn Cuybertron into an enourmous robot to stop Unicron by delving into the core of Cybertron and awakening the spark of Primus. Primus can battle Unicron and fail, resulting in the Transformers facing the truth that they are the ones that were created to destroy Unicron. Autobots and Decepticons team up and defeat Unicron before there is no more universe for the Decepticons to rule or the Autobots to defend. They delve into the core of Unicron and destroy his spark, blowing up Unicron's body just before he's about to devour Earth. Unicron’s head can blow off his destroyed body in the end and orbit Earth or something. This would be an epic movie. Too bad you won’t make it.
Have Megatron get defeated by Optimus during the Unicron story and get Uncron to remake him as Galvatron to take the Matrix of Leadership from Optimus, the only thing that can defeat him.
I’m tired of everybody saying that they don’t know how to justify the Dinobots’ Dinosaur forms. Is everybody stupid? Grimlock and his Autobot mercenaries are hardened bounty hunters scouring the universe in protoform for their Autobot brethren and destroying Decepticons. They happen upon Optimus’ message from the end of the first Michael Bay movie and come to Earth. They don’t care about disguise as they don’t care who sees them. All they care about in an alternate form is something bulky, combat ready and intimidating. Not satisfied with Earth’s machines and vehicles as an alternate form, Grimlock takes interest in Earth’s animal life, but looks back to a time when Earth’s life was huge and terrifying, the Jurrasic period. Grimlock and his team (Swoop, Slag, Snarl and Sludge) scan fossiles of their chosen forms, alter them to their preference, and become the Dinobots, ready to take on any threat with their new powerful bodies. Add in a story arc where Grimlock disagrees with Optimus’ less aggressive methods against the Decepticons, breaks off from the Autobots on his own destructive path but eventually learns that he is doing more damage than good and becomes a team player with the Autobots, and you have an enduring character that borrows heavily from his cartoon and comic heritage and still remains fresh. Too bad they don’t give any personality to the robot characters in these Transformer movies though.
Five-faced, tenticaled aliens who come to Earth promising to fix our problems with their superior technology, but bare a terrible secret. They want to bring new life to Unicron and use him to control the Universe. They also reveal a link to the Transformers’ past, where they had attacked and colonized Cybertron eons ago and enslaved the Transformers. The Transformers had rebelled, driving the Quintessons off their planet and the Quintessons have been seeking revenge ever since. The Transformers have to team up to stop the Quintessons from re-activating Unicron and fend off the Quintessons’ army of Sharkticon troopers.
Iron-fisted, self-appointed new ruler of Cybertron from G2 continuity who believes in Transformers as Cybertronians, not Autobots and Decepticons, and vows to destroy all Autobots and Decepticons who oppose him. He also “mechaforms” planets, recreating organic planets in the image of Cybertron, destroying all life on them. He sets about remaking the universe this way, setting his sights on Earth, until Optimus and crew can stop him.
Introduced on the last page of the last issue of the G2 comic and expanded in the unofficial Simon Furman penned novella Allignment, Liege Maximo is a fallen god who is the father of all Decepticons and wants to ascend to godhood, a process that could destroy the universe altogether. The Autobots and Decepticons would have to team up to stop him.
This is the planet from the American cartoon and comic continuity inhabited by humans that inherit the Autobots and Decepticons’ war accidentally. Some Autobots flee to this planet to escape the war and hide in peace, but he Decepticons follow them there and discover a world ripe for conquering.
I was never fond of the American version of this concept, where Nebulons and humans fused with the heads of characters and could transform from that character’s head into another robot while the character can turn into whatever vehicle they transform into. I perferred the Japanese version where Transformers learn to deal with harsh conditions by uploading all of their processing functions into their heads and ejecting their heads from their bodies in an elternate, smaller robot form to escape sticky situations or evade capture. They can also switch heads and adopt the powers of different character’s heads, so a more intelligent or powerful transformer can swap their head with someone else’s body and embue that body with their abilities to get out of a jam. This would be an interesting addition to the movie lore, but may go over the heads of audiences weened on testical and pot jokes.
Characters I would like to see done right for once:
Fortress Maximus and Trypticon
They already effed up Scorponok, so let’s get these other giants right. Enormous, rolling battle stations that form gigantic robots! What the hell is more spectacular than that?? And Fort Max was the leader of the Autobots in the American Headmasters comic and the Japanese Headmasters series for eff sake!
Getting back to Scorponok, can we please bite the bullet and bring him back as the huge scorpion battle station/robot? He had a striking design and was extremely popular. If you’re all woried that you’ve used the name Scorponok already, then just call him Zarak or Mega Zarak like in the Japanese G1 series. He was the leader of the Decepticons in the Japanese Headmasters series (he even blew up Cybertron with Galvatron stranded there!) and played a huge roll later in the Japanese Masterforce series. Heck he was the leader of the Decepticons in the American Headmasters comic. And that little crappy robot in the beginning of the Michael Bay movie is how you pay tribute to that??
Scourge and Cyclonus
You already screwed up the trio that was Megatron, Starscream and Soundwave. Don't screw up Galvitron, Scourge and Cyclonus. Scourge the Tracker can be an experienced bounty hunting Transformer who joins the Decepticons with his team of Sweeps, drones who serve Scourge to hunt his prey. Cyclonus would be a loyal and powerful right-hand-man of Megatron/Galvatron.
Future leader of the Autobots in G1 Japanese continuity (from the Transformers: Victory series), he respects all life and would fight to the death to defend it. Could be a successor to Optimus for a movie or two. I always liked this guy.
Leader of the Decepticons in G1 Japanese continuity (from the Transformers: Victory series), I always thought he was a cool leader, with his chest plate that pops off and transforms into two different flying characters. Could be a successor to Megatron/Galvitron for a movie or two.
Evil entity from the far reaches of the universe who leads the Decepticons in the Japanese Masterforce and Zone series. This character would have to have a back story developed as he was never really explained in the Japanese series, but that shouldn’t be too hard and would serve as more fodder for movies.
There are other characters and concepts, but really Transformers can go in so many directions. I’m really getting fed up with the lack of creativity and interest coming out of Hollywood. It destroys franchises that could go on past 4 movies if the studios put some thought and care into them, rather than piling on memos of what trend or pandering idea they can shoehorn into the next film to make that opening weekend boxoffice and appease their shareholders. You’ve already run roughshod over two movies and you can’t sustain that attitude for long until the audience feels it’s had enough. Let’s buckle down with the next few Transformer films and really tell great stories with blistering action and enduring characters (robot characters – eff Sam and Mekaela!). Come on guys, let’s really pull this one out of the gutter before it's too late (which it might already be).
Okay, so there she is. Hot? In my opinion, debatable. She doesn't really do anything for me? Am I gay? Nope, I'm straight as they come. Can I see why every other man on planet Earth is dying over her? No, not really. She's okay. Nothing to write home about, but beauty is the eye of the beholder, though I would argue that you put any skinny chick in leather (see picture to the left), and guys will die. Okay, fair enough. Now, here's where my arguments come in:
Firstly, this girl, even if you classify her as hot, or whatever, is not the only attractive girl on the planet. Every actress in Hollywood is basically attractive, at least the ones who are working. You're not attractive, hey plastic surgery can make you anyone you want these days. The point is, is that there are literally hundreds of good-looking girls gracing the screens of countless movies these days. Yet, all I'm hearing is Megan Fox this, Megan Fox that. Really. So that's it, Megan Fox is the be-all and end-all of beautiful girls. It's Megan Fox or nothing. Do you know how sad that is? You're sounding like complete idiots, because you have NO chance with this girl. Chances are you don't live in Hollywood, and even if you did, chances are you aren't good-looking enough, rich enough, or cool enough for Megan Fox to even give you a second look. So, you're chasing after something you can never, ever, EVER obtain. That makes sense.
Next, we move on to her making the movie Transformers 2 good. Now, I haven't seen TF2, but if it's like the first one, then it's a piece of garbage. Literally. I would rather watch a piece of garbage float into my mouth, then watch the first Transfomers movie again. It's that hideous. So, when all of a sudden does this make a movie good? I'm checking Leonard Maltin's movie book, and I don't see anywhere where he's given a movie 4 stars because the lead actress was hot. Hmmm. Could it be perhaps that these idiots, and let's face it, they are idiots, who are spouting off about Megan Fox being hot, didn't even watch the damned movie? Is it possible that these absolute morons are so engrossed in their own twisted fantasies where Megan Fox would even give these half-wit losers the time of the day, that they did not even pay attention to how absolutely horrendous the movie is. Megan Fox is hot, therefore Transformers 2 is good. Oh really. How many people flocked to "How to Lose Friends and Alienate People"? She was in that! Was she less hot in this movie than Transformers 1 and 2? How is that possible? Did they put her in a fat suit or something? This is the state of film critique these days: a bunch of half-baked losers who are wasting the precious air I need to breath with their 32 IQ's raving about a movie is great because a girl in the movie is "hot". Give me a break.
Finally, I point my finger directly at movie websites that encourage this type of stupidity (and I won't name names...um...uh...oh, to hell with it, it's JoBlo). You guys are a bunch of adolescent jackasses, who throw out posts about Megan Fox, just because you're lucky enough that there are enough ass**** horny schmucks who don't think about anything other than their next opportunity to jack off. You are a website designed for movie news, not your masturbatory fantasies. I don't give a damn if you think this girl is hot or that girl is hot. That's between you and your right hand. Just give me the casting news, the trailer updates, and the production notes, and I'm fine. Get over Megan Fox. She is not the ONLY girl on planet Earth, and even if you knew her, she wouldn't care. I don't care. So don't talk to me about it.
I bid thee a fond, Megan Fox-less night.
I picked up the comic adaptation for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen because I was curious to see this sequel with all the jokes, the noise, and most of the action distilled out. Let’s just look at this thing from a story perspective.
Overall, in comic form, Transformers 2 isn’t half-bad. The plot holes and logic leaps aren’t as gaping as G.I. Joe. The story is generally what you know: Thousands of years ago the Primes stole energy from suns of uninhabited solar-systems to supply Cybertron with power to run their planet. One Prime (the Fallen) wanted to steal energy from a particularly juicy sun (Earth’s sun) and the other Primes refused because our planet was inhabited. So, the Fallen kills all the Primes save for one. That Prime hides the Matrix so the Fallen can’t power his sun destroying machine and seals it in a tomb contructed of parts from the other Pimes and seals it with his “own life essence”. Anyhoo, there is a young Prime who is constructed around this time who turns out to be Optimus and doesn’t know his connection to the matrix and sun destroying machine. In current times, the Decepticons are still hanging around Earth, the U.S. government blames it on the Autobot presence, but really the Decepticons are looking for Megatron. They find him and somehow Megatron is able to communicate directly with The Fallen, like the Fallen is the Emperor to Megatron’s Darth Vader. Optimus is defeated by Megatron, Megatron is looking for the Matrix of Leadership in order to power a sun-destroying machine that is covered by the Pyramids (yes, those pyramids), Sam finds the Matrix first, radios the two military guys from the first movie to drop off the dead husk of Optimus at the Pyramids so he can use the Matrix to revive him, he does and Optimus goes toe to toe with the Fallen.
As a story, all the fundamentals are sound here. This adaptation seems to come from a script stage before all the jokey ad-libbing and animation flourishes like Devestator’s testicals and Skids and Mudflaps’ jive-talking attitude were thrown in. Gone are the pot jokes and stuff. The only stupid thing I didn’t like was Bumblebee blowing up the Witwickeys’ house in the beginning because a couple of household appliances came to life via the All-Spark shard that Sam has (not only does Bumblebee not speak, but he is apparently a dumbass too). Skids and Mudflap add absolutely nothing to the story, only appearing alongside Bumblebee throughout. This might explain why the filmmakers felt the need to beef up their appearance in the movie, so you knew they were there, by adding all the “cap in yo’ ass” language – for the “kiddies”. Megatron gets a lot of speaking lines in this adaptation, along with Optimus. Optimus is shown to be a hero that everyone from human to Autobot respects and leans on in a crisis, which I like. As for Megatron, he and Starscream bicker in one scene (after Megs is revived), then Starscream fights alongside Megatron for the rest of the movie. There is one scene I liked in the adaptation where Megatron takes over all of Earth’s communications and appears on every TV at once demanding that Earth hand over Sam in 24 hours or the Decepticons will rampage through Earth. This reminded me of General Zod in Superman II when he calls out Superman on TV. Is this in the movie? If so, that's frickin’ cool! Just Megatron threatening Earth on the world’s TVs is cool. All other characters get short shrifted. Soundwave speaks alot in this adaptation, but he's still a stupid satelite, so he just hovers over Earth telling the Decepticons where to find everything. What a waste of a popular character. Ironhide and Ratchet are back and do nothing. Arcee disappears after the first scene. Bumblebee still doesn’t speak. Another thing that struck me was how serious the Agent Simmons character was (John Tuturro) in this adaptation. He still works at a pizzeria like in the movie, but gone are references that he lives with his “mummy” and he’s the one that actually kills Devastator (this probably happens in the movie too – as I’ve said I still haven’t seen it) but he’s actually useful in this comic. The two army guys from part 1 are pointless except for carting Optimus’ lifeless body to Egypt.
After reading this adaptation, I couldn’t help think that Transformers 2 could have been awesome had they went in the direction of this comic (which represents some sort of early script stage) and just beefed up the robot characters more, like give Ratchet and Ironhide more history with Optimus and more importance in the Autobots’ operations. And give the Decepticons more screen time to actually speak and develop personalities, like maybe teasing human “fleshlings” for sadistic fun, or have some Deceps join with Starscream while others are more loyal to Megatron. As it is, Devastator appears at the very end and the Constructicons never appear before that scene. And Fallen hovers somewhere for the entire movie and shows up at the end when the Matrix is finally taken from Sam. It’s stuff like that that makes me shake my head. There was certainly room to add more depth to the robots if they cut most of the useless human stuff (do we need a five-minute pot-gag?). If they concentrated less on the stupid human characters like Sam, skanky Mekaela, Alice the useless Pretender Transformer who fails, Leon or whatever Sam’s friend is called, Agent Simmons, etc. and more on the Transformers whom this movie is named after, this could have been much better. And stop with the stupid jokes already. This adaptation doesn’t have any of that stuff and it’s fine!
Anyhow, this adaptation is okay. It still didn’t make me want to see the movie anytime soon. It also makes me wonder how much longer this current run of Transformers movies lasts with the already flimsy foundation they’ve built for it. As I said, the movie seems like it could have been much better had they concentrated more on fleshing out story and characters. I’ll still watch Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen eventually, plugging my nose and holding my breath.
Friday, July 10, 2009
The story is basically that Destro creates nano-mite technology that can wipe out whole cities and stuff. He needs the special warheads that G.I. Joe is protecting in order to weaponize his nano-mites and constantly attacks G.I. Joe throughout to get them. Later he acquires one warhead and attempts to blow away France (this is foiled by Duke by him activating a “kill switch”, but only after the Eiffel Tower is destroyed). Duke is captured, reconciles differences with old flame Baroness (more on that below), G.I. Joe saves Wachington D.C. and Moscow from being wiped off the face of the earth, Destro and Rex (Cobra Commander – again, more on that below) escape, the end. There’s a lot more to it than that though:
-Duke apparently dated this blonde chick named Ana Lewis and fought alongside her brother Rex at in the Middle East. Duke promises Ana that he’ll protect Rex, Rex supposedly blows up in a premature air strike, Ana hates Duke, etc.
-Baronness has that name because she marries a Baron (of course) who also happens to be a missile expert who can help Destro whether he knows it or not.
-Well, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the disfigured Rex is Cobra Commander, and Anna dyes her hair black and becomes Baroness.
-Rex wears that stupid black mouth piece thingie we’ve all seen for the whole movie. Nobody ever calls him Cobra Commander and nobody ever calls the organization Cobra. Rex is basically Dr. Mindbender with a different name as he experiments on people with various disgusting methods. At the very end he dons that all silver mask we've seen from toy packaging pics and proclaims himself “Commander” (again, no mention of Cobra).
-Duke and Ripcord join G.I. Joe after their mission conflicts with G.I. Joe (a classified, top-secret military special ops unit made up of different countries). Duke is portrayed as an experienced military man who is determined at all costs to complete his mission. Ripcord is a one-liner spouting comic-relief dude who dreams of flying jets. He gets his chance as he saves Washington and Moscow by being nano-mited (is that a term?) by blowing up their respective nano-mite missiles in space, thus redeeming himself as “A Real American Hero” (sorry, couldn’t stop myself).
-Destro: He is Scottish arms dealer James McCullen XXIV, just like the comics. The thing is, James McCullen does business with the Pentagon, so everybody knows him. That’s why he wears a black mask when doing dastardly things as Destro. And make no mistake, the mask is black metal. In the beginning of the comic adaptation, there’s a scene with the first Destro hundreds of years ago who is accused of treason by the French for selling arms to France and its enemies (which is why the current Destro attacks France in the movie) and they punish him by putting a bright metal mask on his face for the rest of his life (the shiny mask we all know). Later in the comic, the current Destro digs out that same mask and later wears it in honour of his ancestor. It’s supposed to be the proper mask. He wears it literally at the end.
-What I don’t understand is that James MacCullen cooperates with NATO and G.I. Joe to create and transport the nano-mite technology only to attempt to steal it as Destro. If he made it, why not avoid telling anyone and use it for himself. The answer, I suppose, is that Destro needed the money to make the stuff and got it from NATO, in which case he had to tell them about it and then try to steal it as Destro once it was made . . . or something . . . and if he does need money for those weapons, then where did he find the funds for all those neat M.A.R.S. trooper outfits and those wicked vehicles??
-Zartan: Comes off as a prick in the comic adaptation. Also, he’s drawn as bald with no face make-up. He’s not really a master of disguise here, but Rex experiments on him and physically changes his appearance into another person. That other person is revealed to be the President of the United States of America on the last page of the comic. And it looks like Bush! I guess that was how they were going to end the movie originally, when it was written during the Bush administration, and I guess that was going to be an explanation as to why Bush sucked so bad…(I’m not making any of this up)
-Ripcord, the Marlon Wayans character, is annoying even in comic form. He says stupid laugh lines and hits on Scarlet a lot. Anyway, Ripcord is comic relief, which I can tolerate if nobody else is joking around as well, which it looks like.
-Cover Girl looks like she’s the secretary of the Joes – and is killed in one second by Zartan!
- Did I mention Scarlet was Canadian? Score one for our side! Scarlet in this comic adaptation is “close” to Snake Eyes. “He’s like a brother”. So, no, they’re not an item here. And Scarlet gives Ripcord a kiss as payoff for all the flirtation he does to Scarlet throughout, and also ‘cause Ripcord could possibly die on his final mission to save the U.S.A. and Russian capitals at the end of the story.
-Other Joes include Heavy Duty, General Hawk (who gets partially paralyzed part way through), and I think Breaker and some other dudes.
-Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow are rivals yet again and are both part of the Arashikage Clan just like in the comics, although the Hard Master is Storm Shadow’s father, not his uncle. Young Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow are shown, in flashbacks, to be rivals throughout their childhood and Storm Shadow kills the Master (in jelousy? I dunno. It’s not clear). Anyhoo, the two rivals fight in the end and Storm Shadow appears to be killed – or is he? And I loved Stormshadow in a jet-pack in one scene. That was cool! Hope they have that in the film.
All-in-all, it could have been worse, although I still don’t get this drive to tell the “beginning” of the story. As it is, I didn’t really see the Cobra organization “rise” like the title suggests. At least in the comic adaptation, Cobra isn’t even mentioned and the “Commander” is a horrible basterdization of an iconic character. He never looks or acts anything like Cobra Commander, and never goes by that name anyway. The threat is passable I suppose, with those stupid “nano-mites” -- they could have gone for some realistic threats and have the bad guys shoot stolen nukes at countries or something. They also muddle what the nano-mite threat is by having Rex/"Commander"/Cobra Commander, or whoever he is, inject it into soldiers to subtract their fear and/or make them feel no pain – or change peoples’ appearance with the nano-mites, instead of eating through a city. This won’t be a stellar film, nor will it live up to expectations of what a G.I. Joe movie could be. A lot of it reminded me of the old JCVD Street Fighter movie where they attempted to relate to kids by adapting a beloved franchise, but went in a "new direction" for no good reason when the original direction would have worked fine. Like really, where are all the bold designs we all latched on to as kids, and where is the drive to bring this story into the preseant day, like have Cobra be a leader among today's terrorist groups or threaten the world with Nukes or global destabilization of some sort? Nano-mites?? That's the best you could do?? But it’s an okay comic adaptation. We’ll just have to wait and see what the movie is like. Oh, and no “Knowing is half the battle” reference lines?? Isn't that a pretty big opportunity to miss?? That’s weird…
Even if you could tell when, I would suggest you don’t. Art imitates life, typically the time period in which it was created. If you watch classic movies, and by that I mean black and white films, you would notice that most of the men wear suits and ties. Well that is because men were expected to dress up when going out. Slowly we have lost that trait, and I am not sure if we are better for it. We do have more freedom of expression, which should lead us to some great art! New art. Art we have never seen before. Films are one of the greatest forms of art. The reason: They contain stories (writing), music (songs), acting (theatre), set design (sculpting, painting) and camera work (cinematography). Film is really a melding of all the arts. And thus it is the most accessible to the masses. You may not like paintings, or theatre, but you may like an actor, or the music in a movie (everyone knows Superman’s theme, and Star Wars etc). But all films represent the time period in which they were created and judging by what we had to go on, we should be making the greatest films of all time.
In 1968 Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke created 2001: A Space Odyssey, which is, in my opinion, the best film ever made (Conan The Barbarian is my personal favourite, but 2001 is the best.)
This film was created before the actual moon landing on July 20 1969, and at that time the year 2001 was the far future. Kubricks & Clarke’s vision of that future was that we would be manning spacecrafts to Jupiter, and beyond. They envisioned the ultimate destiny of mankind as evolving to a higher plane of existence as a “star child”. We would overcome hatred and greed and petty jealousies. We would come to expect the very best in ourselves and be a better world for it.
Unfortunately it seems we are moving further away from this…at least that’s what I get from watching current forms of art. My field is movies, so that’s where Ill state my case.
In recent memory, films like The Hangover, 40 Year Old Virgin, and Transformers (Bayformers that is) are showing me that we are on a downward spiral into stupidity. These films are regarded as “Funny”, “Entertaining”, nothing to be concerned about. But the level of “love” these films are generating is scary. When we watch and love these movies we are accepting what is depicted as being ok. We are saying it’s normal for men to get drunk and do stupid things. It’s funny isn’t it? Tell that to someone who lost his or her child to a drunk driver. Now, before I get bashed here, I am not saying that this movie is condoning getting drunk, or that people who watch the movie will go out and get drunk and kill someone with their car. I AM NOT SAYING THAT AT ALL!!!!!
What I am saying is that this movie and the love of it, is saying that on some level, it’s not that bad for that to happen. It can be funny. I love South Park. South Park is the crudest show of all time. But think of the genius of it. It portrays itself as a child’s cartoon, but in fact, it is for adults. They depict all sorts of crude behaviour and make fun of everything from the Handicapped to Aids. It doesn’t get more offensive. But the writing of South Park is so witty that we almost forget how vulgar it is. The fact that it depicts true occurrences in the media, shows that the MEDIA is vulgar, not South Park for showing it.
Consider that South Park doesn’t shy away from any topic. There is always a point to South Park if you actually watch it. Most like it for fart jokes, but they make fun of people who like that kind of humour with Terrence and Phillip. In South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut (The Movie – The title is a pun in itself), we see that the kids learn to swear via the Canadian show Terrence and Phillip. When the parents find out they blame Canada, but it is really the parents at fault. They refuse to teach their kids manners…why? Because they themselves don’t have any. So what is South Park actually saying here? That parents today should take up some responsibility, and do some parenting. What is The Hangover saying? Getting drunk is funny.
South Park is reflecting the same times as Hangover, but doing it in a witty way to make you think its about something else, when they are really making fun of the world and showing us how stupid we have become. Hangover is making us think that the stupidity is ok; it’s just for fun!
As the times change those of us who loved these new movies will grow up thinking they were classics and will show our kids who will think that we should be even more outspoken…freedom of speech is fine, but that doesn’t mean we should go around telling people to f-ck off because we have the right to do it?
In fact, you don’t have the right to freedom of speech. You have the right to your opinion, and to voice your opinion, but an opinion only matters if you back it up with something. Every week the Titans write reviews on movies, some agree with us, some don’t. Sometimes we don’t agree with each other, but hey, we argue with points, not with simple statements of “this sucks”, or “I loved every second of it.”
Really, you loved every second of transformers? Did you watch the entire end credits? No, you got up and left after 2 mins of them…well the credits continued didn’t they? So that means you didn’t love every second? Are you going to buy the DVD and chapter to the fights? Think about that for a second. Think about anything for a second.
Ill leave you with this point…you can win almost any argument by asking the person why? And to give examples.
I loved Transformers.
Because it was wicked man.
Why? Explain more, tell me some scenes you loved? Explain what about the characters you liked, the story?
Well, I just like it ok.
Bollywood movie starring SRK as a radio man who interviews the “average” person, along with terrorist groups. This movie has the famous song Chaiyya Chaiyya (spelling?) by one of the best Bollywood composters AR Rahman. The song was so cool that it was used in the opening credits of Inside Man (starring Denzel Washington).
Anywho, this movie starts out a bit slow (minus the Chaiyya song) and slowly starts to work its way into a pretty interesting story. It’s a love story (duh) where SRK meets this girl at a train station, feels a connection, but she ends up leaving before he can really talk to her. Later he plans to marry Preity Zinta (in one of her first roles I think?) but ends up bumping back into the girl who left him at the train station.
Now you may think you know where this is going – he will have to choose between the two girls, well you’d be wrong. It seemed to me that he wants the train girl and will do anything to be with her. “I will leave everything behind and lets go off together”. Why doesn’t she go with him? We get the feeling she loves him, but she wont go. The reason why is what makes this movie interesting.
We know something is wrong with her, and I kinda figured it out, but when you learn the truth, it’s pretty shocking, and the ending is the most shocking ending I have seen in a Bollywood movie!
Check it out, it’s pretty good.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Michael Mann seems incapable of making a film under 2.5 hours. That being said, this one seemed to pretty much fly by (some slow parts during the middle half though). When you see a gangster picture you tend to compare it to others. It’s not better than Goodfellas or Scarface, but those movies were more about the actual gangster lifestyle. This movie is a cat and mouse game with Purvis (working under J Edgar Hoover) and Dillinger. I liked that. Most of the time you really don’t get a sense for how the police are capturing these well known criminals. They find “evidence” and then there’s a shoot out or something. But in this one you really got to see what they were doing, AND the shootout.
Let me tell you something here boys…the Tommy Gun has to be the BEST ON SCREEN WEAPON!!! I mean the sound and pure repetitive gunfire was just too cool. I mean bloody hell man that gun is a bastard!!!!!! The shootout at Dillinger’s hideout is pretty darn good, and it takes place at night, which to me is a sure fire way to make me hate a gun battle, but this one was really good!!!!
All in all this was a really enjoyable movie for me. I liked Bale and Depp, and just the way they didn’t try to make Dillinger into this “good guy” or Bale as a “bad guy”. They were just who they were. Sometimes Dillinger was nice, sometimes he was death. Sometimes Purvis had to call in the big guns (boys from Texas), and sometimes he had to let them get rough (beating up women too!). That’s the way it’s gotta be done! The Chicago way.
Monday, July 6, 2009
The New Barbarians (aka, Warriors of the Wasteland).
Story: The future, the world is ruled by the Templars, they want to kill all humanity cause we all suck. Leader’s name is ONE. Shadow and Mako are his allies. Scorpion is the hero along with Fred Williamson and some chick and a kid that shoots metal slingshots.
This movie was really enjoyable, I have always been fond of bowmen in movies and Fred uses the bow, and that was cool. He also has special arrowheads that explode etc. Rambo styles but in a Mad Max setting.
The costumes are cool and I just really liked the movie. I was a bit confused at the sodomy part? Ok….maybe I had missed something? But all in all really fun to watch. Fred Williamson is just too cool.
5/5 (for mad max vehicles with buzz saws!)
1990: The Bronx Warriors
(note: these are Williamson actual brand. He has 6 white guys in cuba who make him special ones – this is real, not part of the movie – he owns his own plantation and doesn’t sell his cigars! – so only he smokes them!)
A lot of fighting in this one, and an interest villain comes in called The Hammer…he is kind of a bad guy, but he was sent in to rescue the girl…but he enjoys killing and is a real bastard! You end up cheering for Trash (even if, according to Williamson, he walks so light that he doesn’t leave footprints in the snow – a term meaning that he is gay in real life and Freddy had to teach him to walk like a man!).
Cool movie and fun to watch.
5/5 (for Fred Williamson teaching a gay guy to walk like a man)
2019: After the Fall of New YorkStory: Future, New York is all messed up along with most of the world. Alaska seems to be ok though and the former president sends in his best man to rescue a girl who can have children. Women can no longer have kids…nice going you stupid bomb!
Anyway, as you can tell this is Escape From New York just modified a bit. The president even forces the guy to go into New York. But he has 2 allies with him and they go in. This was a really cool movie actually.
They meet a lot of interesting characters (Big Ape – played by George Eastman – who played the leader of the Templars (One) in New Barbarians. Interesting stuff and cool fights, make this one really fly by. You can barely tell the movie was 90 mins. Plus there is a guy who shoots spheres out of his wrist and a guy with a mechanical hand…oh and the bad girl of the film is the girl from New Barbarians…what did they just reuse the same cast? And a MIDGET!!!
You cannot go wrong with this film.
5/5 (for a guy using his pinchers to stab out the eyes of a bad guy)
Fred has an interview (see it in full on 1990 Bronx Warriors – partial interview in New Barbarians). This interview is worth the box set!
Fred “The Hammer” Williamson was a football player who retired and wanted to act. He walked into a Hollywood studio and said. I wanna act (he lied and said he acted in Canada), and I wanna be the star. I have 3 rules:
1 – I don’t get killed.
2 – I win every fight I’m in.
3 – I get the girl in the end, if I want to.
They said, see ya later buddy. Well, not really, he ended up on a show for 3 years…but after that he came up with the rules and was told to go home. So instead of going home, he went to Europe and did a bunch of low budget movies and became a star. He is in TONS of these movies and he is always the coolest character! That being said FW actually knows a lot about the process of making low budget stuff. His interview talks about the process, and how film making is different in Europe and United States. Like in Europe, if they love you, you are good for life. In the States, they only care about your last movie, (or touchdown, or basket) they are always looking for the guy to replace you. And he comments on how studios cannot make low budget movies. He uses chairs as an example.
If the scene requires 8 chairs and a table. And they only have 4 chairs and a table, they simply keep pumping more money in so that they can buy another 4. He would simply move them around and reshoot, change angles etc. to make it appear as though there were 8 chairs.
These are just some of the things he talks about. It’s a great pack to buy!
I loved the intro when I was a kid and the music always got me pumped up. I decided to buy season one for the ever so cheap price of $20! Great deal, that’s like 5 bucks a guy! I mean Murdock is worth 10 bucks on his own!
I also liked how they would show you quick shots of what you would see on that episode before the credits. That was an 80’s thing I think (don’t ever see it now)…but you would get excited too see those scenes in the show. At one point Face is in a preachers outfit! Wow, what will happen? How did he get that? Etc.
That being said I wasn’t sure how I would take the series now. I know no one dies, even though 1000 bullets get fired every episode, and B.A. always gets drugged to get on a plane (he falls for it every time). Murdock escapes the hospital every time. When are they gonna tighten up security there! Etc etc.
But I found myself loving the show even more than when I was young. I don’t know, maybe it’s the characters (probably, since I love all 4 of them)…but just the way they come up with cool things every episode, and how they all have something to do. For example, if you look at the current Xmen films, they are really just wolverine movies, with a bit of magneto and professor x. Cyclops does nothing (and he’s the leader!). Storm is useless (she fights Toad in part one – hello she controls WEATHER, she can kill Toad in one shot – as she does?)
Anyway, whenever I watch the show I feel the jazz, and that’s what it’s all about.
I love it when I plan comes together.