DC Comic Review: War of The Green Lanterns Begins – Parts 1 & 2

*Please beware of spoilers*

Green Lantern #64-War of the Green Lanterns Pt. 1

It’s here! The newest Green Lantern event! I’m hoping this one is at least almost as good as Blackest Night, and on par with the Sinestro Corps War. And let me tell ya, the first part did not disappoint. Not one bit! In the prologue for War of the Green Lanterns we learn that Krona, a member of the Guardians’ species, and antagonist of the story, was once to be inducted onto the council of the Guardians. And he might still be there if not for his insistence that emotion is a necessary part of being a Guardian, and life for that matter. Because of this he draws the ire of the council and is arrested. It was unclear if he escaped, but the ring leader’s of each emotion are shown visions of Krona’s past where he reprogrammed the Manhunters to turn on the Guardians, and annihilate a whole sector. This sector as it turns out was the homeworld of Atrocitus, the leader of the Red Lanterns who vows vengeance against Krona and those who stand in his way.

Continue reading DC Comic Review: War of The Green Lanterns Begins – Parts 1 & 2

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Hollywood’s Compulsion: Sequels We Don’t Need

Have you checked the Zodiac lately? Because it is of course the year of the sequel. That’s right, 27 major studio sequels to be exact. It must be the current Hollywood fad right now to give every movie a 3D sequel. Below are recently announced and upcoming movies that follow up other movies that did not warrant a sequel to begin with. Actually some didn’t even deserve to have a first one made, but let’s go over them:

Bad Santa 2

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According to IGN Billy Bob Thornton is in talks to reprise his role as the foul-mouthed mall Santa from the first 2003 movie. But the biggest question is why? Do we really need a sequel to such a let down, crude movie starring an actor who hasn’t had a decent role since his only noteworthy acting turn in Sling Blade? Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for crude movies. I love ’em. But a sequel to Bad Santa eight or nine years after the fact seems like doing a sequel to Battlefield Earth a decade later. Admittedly, I may just be hating on Billy Bob because he effectively ruined any fantasy I could have about Halle Berry, after sloppily plowing her in Monsters Ball. Thank you Mr. Thornton, that is now burned into my retinas.

American Pie 4: American Reunion

I’m not really sure how this one will go, but I’m pretty sure they’ll have no problems rounding up the likes of Chris Klein, Jason Biggs, Mena Suvari and Tara Reid to do this movie. Lord knows they aren’t doing anything of note at this point in their careers. Eugene Levy and Sean William Scott are the only ones who will add any entertainment to this, the fourth entry into the American Pie franchise. Well, it’s the fourth if you’re not counting the four Direct-to-DVD sequels starring no one from the originals except Eugene Levy.

Ghost Rider 2: Spirit of Vengeance

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The first Ghost Rider was so bad I honestly think I’ve somehow erased it from my memory, or aliens did because the recurrent nightmares I kept having from its suckiness interrupted their sleep study of me. This is one movie there should not be a sequel of. Reboot? Maybe. But a sequel, yet again starring Nicholas Cage? No! No! No! I don’t care if nothing from the first film is mentioned, because having to look at Cage’s face the entire time will only be a constant reminder of how much scum inhalation the first movie performed. (Basically the movie was a scum sucker.) Seriously Cage, turn Drive Angry into a franchise and get it over with.

Check out details on Spirit of Vengeance at SupaScoot’s Action News!

Clash of the Titans 2

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Honestly, I did enjoy the 2010 version of Clash of the Titans. It was entertaining to me, and I saw it in 2D instead of that “slimy piece of worm ridden filth” (Thank you Han Solo) they tried to pass off as a 3D feature. Imagine how I would have enjoyed it if actors like Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson were utilized better, and the story didn’t seem like a fan fiction written by a 16-year old ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ fan. The effects and action were good, but I was hoping they would just end it with Clash of the Titans being an entertaining, dumb action flick. But no, they’ve come back for more. At least the story for Wrath of the Titans sounds decent, you can read about that here.

Fast Five

This Fast and the Furious sequel just got downright lazy. Maybe the next one will just be called Fast6, all bunched together like that. I was not a fan of the first movie, didn’t get a chance to see the second one, and flat out refused to see the Tokyo Drift. And though I actually enjoyed the fourth movie, Fast and Furious, Fast Five looks extremely entertaining to me, so I will be checking it out even if it wasn’t warranted. I mean come on, they are throwing Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson into the mix. However, if they had decided to end the franchise with number 4 I wouldn’t have cared at all.

Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon

Two words sum up Revenge of the Fallen for me; Colossal Failure. It took me awhile to come to grips with that, but multiple views at theater, and a purchase on DVD finally did it. That’s when I noticed more and more how terrible the film was when robots weren’t beating the ever-loving cybernetic crap out of each other. Shame on me. Even though the franchise should have ended with part two, it was a given with the amount of box office cash it raked in that a 3rd installment was inevitable. But that doesn’t mean it should be happening. This is another I will be seeing, giving Michael Bay a second chance to make something even comparable to the first Transformers. I may be setting myself up for a huge fit of gouging my eyes out at the theater, but that is a risk that I’m willing to take.

Now I understand I’ve committed to seeing half of the movies I just described as being ‘sequels we don’t need’, but I can’t do anything to stop them from being cranked out of the Hollywood machine. So I’ll just buckle up and hope the ride doesn’t suck too much.

Clash of the Titans 2: Plot Reveal

"Liam who? Bwahahahahah!"

For those of you who loved Clash of the Titans and are eagerly awaiting the sequel, then I have good news for you via Cinema Blend. The plot has now come to light and the cast for the movie is definitive. Check out the synopsis below:

Set 10 years after Perseus (Sam Worthington) defeated the Kraken, the hero is trying to live a quiet life as a father to his son, Helius. But while this is going on, things are going a bit crazy on Mount Olympus, as the gods can no longer control the imprisoned titans due to the humans’ lack of faith. The leader of the titans is Kronos, who also happens to be the father of Zeus (Liam Neeson), Hades (Ralph Fiennes) and Poseidon (Danny Huston). But when Hades and his son Ares (Edgar Ramirez), the god of war, team up to help Kronos capture Zeus, Perseus is called back into action. Bringing a team together that includes Queen Andromeda (Rosamund Pike), Argenor (Toby Kebbell), son of Poseidon, and Hephaestus (Bill Nighy), a fallen god, they head into the underworld to rescue Zeus.

Continue reading Clash of the Titans 2: Plot Reveal

Vintage Reviews: MARATHON MAN – Is it safe?

You may have noticed an increase in the amount of reviews we’ve been doing lately. Be it our ‘Grizzly Reviews’ of the most current stuff at the theater, ‘Random-Ass Reviews’ which are focused around totally random viewings of movies, new or something less recent on Netflix. We also have the increasingly popular ‘Craptastic Reviews’ where we take a look at B-Movies in hope of finding a rare, entertaining gem. That quest continues still. But now we are throwing something new in the pot: the ‘Vintage Review’.

These will focus on movies from 1979 or earlier, some to be considered classics, some considerably less prestigious than classic. These will focus not only on the movie itself, but factors such as cultural relevance, how well the movie has stood the test of time, and how it was received originally. For the first movie in our new series of ‘Vintage Reviews’, I’ve chosen Marathon Man.

Marathon Man is a story about Babe (Dustin Hoffman), a grad student living in NYC. He is a History Major whose father committed suicide years earlier as a result of accusations made against him during the rampant McCarthyism of the 1950s. Babe has an older brother, Doc (Roy Scheider), who Babe thinks sells oil, but who is in fact a covert operative for the CIA. Doc is brought to town to meet with wanted Nazi War Criminal Szell. Played by film legend Laurence Olivier, Szell is in New York to claim millions of dollars worth of diamonds he has hidden in a safe deposit box.

Szell is convinced that he is going to be robbed of said diamonds as soon as he claims them from the bank. In fact he is convinced that not only will he be robbed, but that Doc will be the one to rob him. Believing his fortune in danger, Szell has Babe kidnapped and then proceeds to torture him in the famous “Dentist Scene”.

Now that is obviously a broad stroke, and describes only part of the movie as I don’t wish to ruin anything for those who haven’t seen it.

Upon it’s release in 1976, the movie was both a financial and critical success. Olivier’s performance was particularly praised and he would be nominated at the Oscars for ‘Best Actor in a Supporting Role’.

His character, ‘Dr. Szell’ (based on Dr. Josef Mengele, head SS Doctor of Auschwitz) was ranked as villain #34 on the American Film Institute’s “100 Years… 100 Heroes and Villains” list. The film itself was ranked #50 on the “100 Years…100 Thrills” list.

Personally I felt the film holds up very well, and not all films from that period do. A lot of the thrillers from the late 70’s have become a bit dull in retrospect, but this one holds up nicely. The pacing has a good flow to it, which is no surprise with John Schlesinger (one of the most respected directors of the era) at the helm. It’s also always helpful when the writer of the novel adapts it himself for screen as William Goldman did here. It helps keep the themes of the story in check.

Though we are now a bit removed from hunting Nazi War criminals, as most are dead, the characters are still relevant and identifiable. We are again reminded, as in most films from this time, how New York really seemed to be the center of the world then. Now with the Internet and other technological advancements of the past 30 years, thing don’t seem so centralized anymore, but it gives a real presence here.

The cast is obviously phenomenal, Oliver being one of the most respected actors in the history of film, and Dustin Hoffman is always excellent. Plus you add Roy Scheider, who most of you will know as Sheriff Brody from Jaws, and you’ve got a real powerhouse trio up front.

A special treat for me was seeing a young William Devane, who I will always remember as ‘Secretary of Defense James Heller’ on 24.

Again, I highly recommend this movie, that is why I have tried not to spoil more than is necessary, but I can tell you there is much more to it, so it’s for sure worth a watch.

I give Marathon Man a 4 out of 5 Bears…

Grizzly Reveiw: Sucker Punch

Take the setting of One Flew Over the Coocoo’s Nest, add the underlying theme of Inception, and a bit of style from The Watchmen. Then combine with a cast that looks like that of Coyote Ugly and a Kill Bill level of female sword play, you should have a movie that any dude will love.

Now on the flip side for the ladies. Imagine a Moulin Rouge type of setting, a Buffy-like level of girl power, and wardrobe department that could make any girl look good. Sounds sweet right?

So why wasn’t Sucker Punch? 

It had all the above elements, but was missing a key component. The story is what makes the movie. Director Zack Snyder nailed all the visuals, his pacing was good, and he inserted a really good soundtrack. Hell, even the story in its primal stages is promising, we just don’t see it develop fully.

Some Minor Spoilers Ahead, Tried Not to Ruin It… 

We open the movie strong. The music is good, the slow motion is fitting, and despite the film speed the pacing is fast. Our principal character, Baby Doll is like the subject of a Fairy Tale – dead mother, evil Step-Father, tragedy strikes, and she is thrown into an extraordinary situation and forced to inspire others.

We are introduced to her new home, an asylum with the aesthetics obviously influenced by Arkham…

mental-ward

The cause of her incarceration there being the accidental killing of her sister, and we see the gears in her head start to turn. As soon as she enters the place she begins to plot her escape. We see clues about how she’ll make her eventual break, and we are hurriedly introduced to the rest of the cast. Her escape has a timer on it as her evil step-father plots to have her silenced. Then – Boom. Our setting changes. Now inside her head, the asylum has become a Nightclub/Brothel, and infinitely less interesting a setting than the actual one we just left.

This is the 2nd level of her mind and this setting gives Snyder excuse to dress all the girls as scantily as he wants, and this is also the point where the Inception comparisons start to pass through the heads of the audience, or at least those who can follow what’s happening. In this setting the girls are no longer inmates at the asylum, but instead sex slaves, forced to dance on stage and pull in cash for the boss, who in reality is the crooked orderly at the hospital who is conspiring with the step-dad.

Baby Doll, going deeper into her own mind, enters another plane of existence. This is the whole Inception ‘dream inside a dream’ scenario. In this plane she is a great warrior. She meets a totally unexplained Wise Man (who I assume is maybe her real father) and he tells her what to do. It was like that scene in Final Destination where the Candyman shows up, has no reason to know whats happening, and then proceeds to explain the entire plot of the movie to the main characters. So now, armed with a sword, a pistol, and an incredibly short skirt, we are given maybe the best action sequence of the film as Baby Doll fights 3 giant robot Samurai. This is all happening to her as she dances in the Nightclub level of her mind. Throughout the movie, each major action sequence in the 3rd level is triggered by her dancing in the 2nd level.

After returning from this fight with the Samurai, the 2nd level dance studio is amazed at her ability to move, but all she cares about is the escape plan she brought back from the deeper dream state. This plan however looked to me less like a plan, and more like a list. It was reminiscent of the Underpants Gnomes on South Park. She convinces 4 of the other girls to help her with her escape, and from there on, each time she dances, and enters that 3rd level in her mind, they are there with her. As the movie progresses we get several more action sequences as the girls try to accomplish the tasks that will make their escape possible.

From here, after the first sequence with all 5 girls fighting, it starts to get repetitive. The mysterious Wise Man is present in all of these delusions, but not in any of the other levels of her mind. In the end however, once Snyder has brought us back to reality (Oh there goes gravity…Sorry) and the movie is about to end, we meet the Wise Man. He is completely out-of-place and seems to somehow be in on all that was transpired earlier…which makes no sense whatsoever.

The we close the movie out with a voice over. Now I know some people don’t like voice overs, and it’s considered lazy storytelling and all, but I’m a sucker for them. Think The Sandlot, where Smalls tells us what happened to all the guys with a voice over at the end, gives me chills. When done right, it can really make for a strong ending. But the voice over writing here was atrocious. It ended the movie with a bad taste in your mouth.

Don’t get me wrong here though, I didn’t hate this movie (even if the people I saw it with did), I felt I got what I expected, and I was entertained. Overall it was actually really cool, but cool doesn’t always mean good. My biggest problem was really just the wasted potential here. They took would could’ve been a great movie, and gave us a mediocre one.

And for that I give Sucker Punch only 2.5 Bears.

Conveyors of Common Sense…