The boys and I saw “Ready Player One” last night. It was at a nice new Cinemark theatre not far from our neighborhood, and the entire experience was great! The movie was in Real3D & SDX, and they had these cool seats that magically recline. Oh, and the movie was pretty darn good, too.
Judging from the trailers, I was expecting a mediocre movie & plot strung together around pop culture references designed to cash in on middle-aged nostalgia. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised to find a movie every bit as good as the first Matrix one, only with more comedy thrown in and a mind-blowing number of references to the pop culture of the 1970s, 80’s and 90’s.
Took my boys to see “Justice League” this weekend, and honestly after seeing all the negativity online, I wasn’t expecting much. Turns out it was great, though! I honestly don’t see what all the complaining was about. I probably won’t cover the pros & cons in much detail, since it just came out a few days ago, but as usual this WILL have spoilers, so consider yourself warned.
The movie picks up almost immediately after the events of “Batman vs. Superman”, with the world still mourning Superman’s death weeks later. Batman encounters a parademon in Gotham, and believes the creatures to be responsible for several kidnappings of prominent scientists, most of them associated with S.T.A.R. Labs. While investigating, he frequently runs across a motif of three cubes together, something that Diana recognizes as the Mother Boxes – alien devices that were left on Earth after an ancient alliance of Amazons, Atlantians, Gods, and Men repelled an alien invasion of the planet millennia ago. She notes that if the boxes are re-appearing, it won’t be long until another invasion occurs.
I’m a few weekends behind, but I finally watched “Wonder Woman”. I’m not particularly a Marvel or DC fanboy – I like either, depending on the comic and/or character being discussed. I also don’t understand a lot of the hate for DC’s films so far. Yes, they’re dark and gritty and not perfect, but I enjoyed “Man of Steel”, “Batman vs. Superman”, and even “Suicide Squad”. Now, that all said, “Wonder Woman” raises the bar for DC… by a pretty significant margin. As usual, this review will contain spoilers, so keep that in mind before reading…
Haven’t posted for a while, but thought I’d return with another brief movie review. Having been a long-time Godzilla fan, I broke down and watched last year’s “Shin Godzilla”, which is a new entry from long-time Godzilla studio Toho in Japan. They haven’t put anything out in over a decade, and the last two attempts to reboot their Godzilla franchise were pretty bad. Like many fans, I had just assumed that the time of rubber-suit monsters was past, and left it at that. Keep in mind that, as usual with my posts, this review WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS.
This latest movie is a fresh attempt at the franchise with more modern CGI effects, and personally I think it reflects the renewed fear of nuclear power that the country is feeling after the Fukushima thing a few years ago. That’s something the older films seemed to lose over time… a reason for Godzilla being a monster. That said, I have to say that “Shin Godzilla” also tries hard to beat the weirdness level of those lost days. Toho has given us all kinds of psychedelic aliens & monsters over the decades, but I’m not sure any of them beat the sheer… alien-ness… of this new iteration. Keep reading and you’ll get a sense of what I mean.
So I saw Marvel’s latest movie – Ant-Man – this past weekend, and here’s what I think: It’s great!
Just like they did with Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel tried a different formula with Ant-Man. They’re calling it the “heist film” formula, and that’s pretty accurate. Much of the movie is centered around a heist involving the Yellowjacket suit. Here’s a quick run-down, and I’ll try to keep the spoilers minimal.
This weekend I was under the weather but still managed to catch Dracula: Untold with the Mrs. We’re both fans of vampire flicks like The Lost Boys and Underworld – the good, action-packed ones. I went into this film knowing that it puts more of a “super-hero” spin on the legend, and – even though I enjoy both the vampire AND superhero genres – wasn’t expecting much. I liked what I got, though. It was a thoroughly enjoyable popcorn flick, as well as a nice spin on the well-known story of Vlad the Impaler, aka Dracula. It also kicks off a new attempt by Universal to reboot their popular “Universal Monsters” franchise made popular during the 40s and 50s. You all know these guys – Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolfman, The Mummy, and The Creature from the Black Lagoon.
This review will contain spoilers, so proceed at your own risk. The film just came out, so I’m sure there’s a lot of you haven’t seen it yet. If you’re one of the brave & the bold, however, keep reading…
So… We’re now solidly in Phase 2 of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. Following Iron Man 3 (which I wasn’t really that great a fan of) comes Thor 2: The Dark World. Personally, I think Thor 2 made up for any faults I had with IM3 – this movie was brilliant. Not perfect – no movie is – but still brilliant. Ok, well actually there probably are a few perfect movies… Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, all 3 Lord of the Rings. But they’re rare. Thor 2 has been out for a few weeks now, so I won’t worry too much about spoilers in this review. Consider yourself warned if you haven’t seen it.
As I understand it, Thor 2 picks up between Avengers & Iron Man 3, so it’s somewhere in that 6-month period and almost two years after the first Thor film. The plot is actually pretty complex – they crammed a lot in this one movie, which is a good thing. I usually write up the plot in these reviews, but this time I’ll be lazy and just link to the Wikipedia page for the movie:
Okay, now for what I thought and all those juicy spoilers I promised. Last chance if you haven’t seen the movie and wanna see it spoiler-free, otherwise keep reading.
So this weekend I saw R.I.P.D. finally. Since it’s only been out a couple of weekends, I’ll keep this short and spoiler-free.
As expected, it was essentially “Men In Black”, only with souls instead of aliens. It wasn’t as funny as I was hoping (I’m a big fan of Ryan Reynolds), but it’s still pretty watchable. Reynolds and Jeff Bridges have a fair amount of chemistry as buddy movies go, although Bridges’ accent was a bit of a put-off at times and fairly garbled.
Anyway, long story short – if you liked the “Men In Black” movies, you’ll probably like this one. I’d give it a 7 out of 10.
Since the new Superman movie is still pretty new, I’ll hold off on posting a full review of “Man of Steel”. However, if you’re on the fence about going to see it, maybe this short quasi-review will help.
Overall, I loved “Man of Steel” – it’s an entirely new take on the Superman mythos, yet still retains all of the milestones we look for in a Superman story. All of the main actors did a wonderful job portraying their respective characters. I was initially concerned about Amy Adams as Lois Lane since she doesn’t fit with our traditional image of the feisty reporter, but she didn’t disappoint. Henry Cavill made a really good Superman, and Mark Shannon made a great Zod.
There are tons of easter eggs throughout the film for die-hard fans. The movie has references to the comics, the 1979 franchise, Lois & Clark, Smallville, and even other DC franchises. In fact, my only criticism would be that the movie feels overly long or rushed at times, almost like it’s 1.5 movies squished into one. Despite that, I highly recommend this movie for any fans of Superman, comic books, superheroes, or even just sci-fi in general.
So last night I finally saw the new Judge Dredd film starring Karl Urban as the titular “Punisher w/a badge” we all love. My personal choice for Dredd would be Ray Stevenson, the man who IMO nailed Frank Castle in 2008’s Punisher: War Zone. Anyway, as one of the few fans who liked the 1995 Stallone version of Dredd, I thought I’d post my two bits about the new film and who I think did a better job portraying Mega-City One.
*** Major spoilers for those who haven’t seen one of the films discussed ***
You’ve been warned, but keep reading if you’ve seen ’em both or just don’t care about spoilers.