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Terminator: Dark Fate

An Honest Review
So, when the advertisements dropped they said that "white men are going to hate this movie" or something like that.

I should have paid attention to that, because it usually meant that the movie was going to pander to politics and not tell a coherent story...

But, Sarah Conner was back. And by Sarah Conner, I mean THE SARAH CONNER is back. Not the horrible Sarah Conner from Terminator Genisys, not even the pretty good Sarah Conner from The Sarah Conner Files, but THE SARAH CONNER. As in Linda Hamilton is back.

So, right there I was sold. Seeing this opening night.

But, the THE JOHN CONNER was back to. The REAL John Conner. Not Christian Bale (who was a horrible John Conner). Not the even worse Nick Stahl. But Edward Furlong's John Conner, the REAL John Conner.

So, I was already sold, but that was just doubling down. Seeing this Twice on opening night.

But wait, if that wasn't enough, the REAL Terminator directer was back. James Cameron was coming back to direct it. And NOT the people that butchered the franchise in T3, in T:Salvation, and really, seriously, totally butchered it in T:Genisys, but the REAL director. The one that made the franchise what it was and gave is two great films. He was back.

Great, I'm in, I'm just spending the day watching this over and over again on the big screen.

But... "This movie is going to piss off white men." I should have listened to that. Too often it means that they made a bad movie and are going to play the political card to try to guilt people into seeing it.

And.... yeah, that is what happened. That is exactly what happened.

Like Genisys, Dark Fate just destroys the canon to make a political statement with the death of a lead character that really can't die according to the history of the Terminator universe. And by die, it's pretty much in the most pathetic way possible at the start of the film.

And with that death I threw my hands up in the air. Like Genisys it took the first two good movies, and the second two horrible movies, and completely rewrote the history. Completely rewrote the story.

And from there it went on to make the political statements at the cost of the story.

Terminator no longer exists. Terminator 2 no longer exists. Like Genisys, the movie completely wrote the two good movies out of the franchise history and made everything that followed absolutely pointless.

Congratulations on further destroying a beloved franchise, with a strong female lead, because you forgot that it already had a beloved strong female lead.

Iron Eagle

An Honest Review
I always like to read through the other reviews and see what people are saying, at least the 1 star and 10 star reviews. The 1 Star reviews all say relatively the same thing. They all say that it's not realistic.

This is a movie about an Air Force brat that manages to pilfer an F16 and flies off to the Middle East to rescue his father... and some people seem shocked that it's unrealistic. Just what exactly did they think they were sitting down to watch?

Yeah, it's totally unrealistic, it kind of depicts the Air Force as your average business office... with jets. And the ease of which they can sneak in there and take as many classified documents as they want is part of the charm. It's totally unrealistic, but it's part of the charm.

And then, of course there is the unrealistic battle, and, honestly, if it were realistic it wouldn't be as much fun.

But to top it off you have Jason Gedrick playing his role VERY understated while still managing professional intensity. He's able to be both soft spoken and frightening and he really sells it, especially against Louis Gossett Jr. who is capable of pulling a trick or two himself when he wants to... when he wants to.

It's over the top fun in the best possible 80s pro-America way.

A Bridge Too Far

An Honest Review
How do spoilers work with historical movies? Can we reasonably assume that everyone already knows how Market Garden turned out, or are we doing the Millennial thing where we are assuming people don't know where Arnhem is, let alone Antwerp, let alone Holland, let alone who participated in WWII?

The Nazis were part of that one right?

Anyway, this movie has everyone in it, just about everyone that was anyone in 1977 and, from all appearances all of Hollywood was tied up in the making of this film right down to A-list actors in minor roles.

So you kind of know that the acting is there and top notch... and so is the direction.

At least the direction is about as good as you can assume for something that attempts to tell a little too much of the story all at once.

Don't get me wrong, it's a great movie, and when they use the word "Epic" they are talking about epic in scope, and for that scope it does a pretty awesome and very coherent job.

My one issue is the scope, Market Garden was enormous, it was an enormous failure, it was an enormous catastrophy, it was an enormous event, it was an enormous air invasion and this movie attempts to tell all of it at once. The result is that it's spread a little thin Had they made the movie 6 hours long, they might have been able to pull it off flawlessly... but who is going to sit through that?

But no one can really argue with the results. It's not as bad as it could be, and it is a lot better than a movie this epic in scope should be. They achieved something brilliant.

My only wish was that, after the epic failure, they gave Montgomery's infamous "Operation Market Garden was 90% successful" the last words and left it there, left it as a mess with a general trying to save face.

Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors

An Honest Review
I remember playing with the toys in the car on the way to the Field Museum as a child, and growing up in the sticks, that was a LONG drive.

So, I was about 5 and that was prime territory for a cartoon about people that drive cool vehicles and fight people that drive grotesque vehicles that look like nightmarish monsters, which always appeals to little boys doesn't it?

It was like they had a check list and hit all the little boy boxes. Kind of a Knight in shining armor story, check. Magic powers. Check. Disgusting monsters. Check. Violence. Check. Cars. Check. Cool MacGuffin. Check. Science. Check. Science Fiction. Check.

Check. Check. Check.

I have no idea what I would think of it now as an adult, but as a kid it hit everything that I obsessed over.


An Honest Review
I just bonded with a co-worker about this. I guess I'm the only person his age that he found that actually remembers the cartoon... which we both had fond and exceedingly vague memories of.

We remember how cool it actually looked. Everything was sleek and stylistic and shiny against the contrast of black space.

And we both had one of the toys, which was cool, but bigger than GI Joe and not as bit as He-Man toys... so it always was kind of the odd toy out. Which was probably why it didn't sell. But it was still cool, as awesome as the cartoon.

And it was brief, but the animation was fantastic, and it sucked your little boy mind in the cool flash and contrast and, of course space.... because everything space was cool, and even more so than everything dinosaur, and they were like human birds so.... yeah, of course 6 year old me was going to drool over the cartoon.

Just kind of a shame that the toys didn't fit in.

My Little Pony 'n Friends

An Honest Review
I had a friend, rest his soul, that was obviously Gay, even in the 80s when we were kids. Hanging out with him I got a lot of things like Care Bears (which I liked), Rainbow Brite (which I never understood the draw to), and My Little Pony. When he was older he once summed up My Little Pony as "A horrible cartoon that you watch because you love the toys," Which he compared to GI Joe as "A good cartoon that you watched regardless of the toys" and MASK, which he summed up as "A children's cartoon about adult toys."

I kind sort of see where that's true, I know he loved the toys, and I know my sister loved the toys, but neither of them really liked the cartoon. Almost like, in retrospect, it was watched for advertisement purposes.

The ponies really couldn't do that much in the wake of the stories, and it was all left to the little girl who must have had "very irresponsible parents" to leave her all but alone with a bunch of horses.

I can see the draw for the toys, they were horses with hair that you could comb. But the cartoon was just a sickeningly saccharine mess.

Birds of Prey

An Honest Review
A lot of shows recycle, if anyone watches The Rookie, you see the same houses, the same sets in almost every episode. Unfortunately Birds of Prey recycled too, only they seemed to recycle plots. Like in cartoon, each episode was kind of a stand alone and didn't seem to lead anywhere, it didn't seem to move us to a more over-arching plot.

Which is kind of a shame, given that Birds of Prey was an exceptional comic in the 80s... but in the 80s the stories actually went somewhere.

And then the other problem was , well, it got WB, and in this era CW too fast and quickly, insanely quickly lost the focus and quickly resorted to Daswon's Creek with superheros... you know, it turned into Smallville, only with a darker and grittier background that didn't exactly fit the stories they fell back on telling halfway through the first season.

It was one of those shows that you got really excited about, but then realized what network it was on.

Men in Black: International

An Honest Review
Well... this was another sequel that no one asked for, at all and we can probably honestly say that this is a huge reason why it flopped.

I had absolutely no interest in seeing another sequel of MIB, especially one without Will Smith, and especially one that is gender-swapped and rests closer to the reboot mark than the remake mark.

Which are all reasons why I didn't see it until it came around for free.

And as predicted while all but rebooting the franchise, it also attempts to make a political statement with the jokes coming from "laugh because you agree with this" type of humor, which rarely actually lands. And as a result it feels like SNL doing MIB in a sequel no one asked for.


An Honest Review
IF you only watch the first few seasons it's pretty good. It actually starts off decent enough, and had they kept on that track I'd give it 10 stars.

But, unfortunately, it spiraled into CW trash pretty fast and what was once a decent and gritty superhero show ala Grell, it quickly turned into Smallville meets The Dating Game.

As the show progresses, it becomes more and more muted, more and more toned down, and the gritty darkness that made it good fun turned into shallow CWness.

Watch the first few seasons, and then tune out.

The Rubin Report

An Honest Review
If you read through some of the other reviews, a lot of the negative ones focus in on how horrible it is that he would sit down and talk to people that they want to de-platform.

And that is kind of the reason I watch him. I'm sick and tired of being told who I can hear speak, what I can read, and I just long for someone that has no issue bringing people that he doesn't agree with onto the show...

... And, honestly, that is what the news SHOULD be doing.


An Honest Review
It's not an incel movie, despite what people are saying. And it's no a White Supremacy film either. It's not even a pro T-word president film. In fact, it addresses some pretty heavy left wing issues. Or at least issues that were traditionally on the left before things went...weird and all topsy turvy.

However, it is also NOT a Marvel Film, so of you are walking in expecting a Marvel style movie you will walk out hating it. So don't go in expecting an MCU film.

Instead you get a dramatic, slow moving, intensely building movie that develops it's characters.

And it really develops them, when you start watching the film the Joker was sympathetic... and by the time you walked out you really hated him.

And that is all I feel comfortable saying without spoiling things.

First Knight

An Honest Review
Yeah, this is pretty bad.

I saw one reviewer call the armor Arthur's side wears "something that comes out of Star Trek" and another call the bad guy's armor "leather ala Road Warrior," and both are fairly accurate descriptions. Nothing really look period, it all looks a lot more sci-fi then medieval.

And the casting too seems wrong, Gere was too old, and the age difference between Connery and Ormond was a little too vast be really believable in the context of the legends it's based on. Not to mention that Gere is a little too American.

And then, moving on, there is a gauntlet that came straight out of American Ninja Warrior... or more apt for the time, American Gladiators, either way it did a great job of sucking even more believablity out of the film to the point where it really wouldn't shock you if you saw a robot or two and a couple of blasters.

It didn't look right, it didn't feel right, and I guess, at some level, it might work as a romance... except it also lacked charisma so I'm not sure how appealing it is there either.

It's kind of King Arthur if the legends personified everything bad about 1990s movies.

The Joe Rogan Experience

An Honest Review
This is hands down the best interview show that has ever existed, and for a number of reasons.

The first is that it's not edited, the talks go on as long as they take, and everyone is given an honest exchange without editing to make a point.

But, it goes further than just that, Joe Rogan will sit down and talk to anyone, and I mean ANYONE, including media pariahs and people that will clearly speak four feet above his head. It doesn't matter who they are, he's sitting down and talking to them.

And the thing is that he gets into the conversations, after three or four hours it's not uncommon to see him beg guests to stay just a little while longer because he's gotten into the conversation and that just draws you in further.

You get to hear a range of topics, politics, science, arts and entertainment, conspiracy theories, sports, martial arts, comedy, literally anything and everything that can be debated and discussed eventually makes it's way onto the show, so much so that, when you tune in, you never know who the next guest is going to be and discussed as the conversations meander and spin their way through the show at the whims of interests.

It's not the best in any category, but it's the only show with absolutely every category.

This redefines the term variety show

Trapped: The Alex Cooper Story

An Honest Review
So, a lesbian woman sleeps with a minor, as in someone underage, and the underage girl's parent's flip out that their underage daughter is having sex with someone when she is unable to legally consent to it...

... and they are the bad guys for it

First Blood

An Honest Review
Am I the only one that thought that Rambo was supposed to be Native American? Or at least partially so?

Anywho... this is NOTHING like the sequels. The basic plot was that a small town tries to bully a Vietnam Vet and gets a little more than they bargained for.

it was more dramatic, it had more character, and had a better story than just about anything that followed. And it worked as a survivalist action movie as well.

The Circle

An Honest Review
There are some shows that have a character for exposition. Velma in Scooby Doo comes to mind, and it is their job to summarize the plot points that the viewer has missed.

This is a movie filled with Velmas. Everyone gives a little exposition, everyone has a lecture. And no one seems real because of it. The characters, good or bad, all sound scripted and monotoned.

It hurts to watch it.

Louder with Crowder

An Honest Review
I'm not going to say that it is funny... because most of the jokes don't really land and are just... meh.

However, he does do episodes of "Change My Mind," where he sits on college campuses and largely takes abuse after abuse, after abuse, from screaming children that don't want to have a dialogue...

... and then when someone is willing to sit down and actually talk with him, he treats them with a lot of respect, and certainly and often more respect than he is being shown.

And I think that does a great job, a brilliant job of highlighting how intolerable the left has become, how unwilling they are to engage in conversation, and how utterly hostile they have become.

That alone is telling enough for 10 of 10 stars.

Ad Astra

An Honest Review
I should have stayed away when I heard some of the interviews about it... but I didn't.

If they had dropped the budget and not taken it so seriously, it actually would have been a fun albeit ridiculous space adventure. It really had all the makings for campy Science Fiction fun. The potential was there.

But, instead, the film took itself too seriously... so seriously that kind of lost the fun element behind it. And it took itself seriously because of the political message attached to it, and unfortunately it's kind of directed towards the "everything has to be political all the time" crowd and they take everything so seriously that nothing can be fun.

But the potential was there. It wasn't dark enough to be Sci-Fi Horror ala Alien... and the plot lends itself to campy Sci-Fi adventure, or at least a Sci-Fi adventure... and even there politics are integral to the plot. Science Fiction is a satire of some element of culture, but it's done in a way that is entertaining.

Had they toned it down a bit, had they not thought they were making Chinatown, it would have been much better.

Instead what you have is pretentious, heavy handed, and boring.

Rambo: Last Blood

An Honest Review
So I'm going ahead and giving this 10 out of 10 stars, not because I think it deserves it, but because there is a 1 star review entitled "White Supremacy is Cancer" and that seems to be the concept of a LOT of negative reviews.

However, I have actually seen it and I can 100% guarantee that it has NOTHING to do with the content of those reviews. None of that is mentioned or implied.

HOWEVER, there are negative reviews that ultimately say that this is NOT a Rambo film... and that is fair. If you compare it to Rambo First Blood Part II, III, and Rambo the 1 star reviews make sense. It is not at all like 2-4... so if you are expecting a Rambo like the sequels you're probably not going to like it... but you are probably not going to like it for entirely fair reasons.

I won't fault you for that negative review.

It's a lot more like the first film. More like Rambo First Blood... only instead of the military it's a drug cartel and instead of chasing Rambo he's... kind of... chasing them.... kind of... for revenge.

Like all the other Rambo movies, it's formulaic. Once more we start off with Rambo trying to get out of the business, and this time he has gotten out and been adopted as an "Uncle" by a Latino family.

And to follow the formula, like in the Godfather, he gets pulled back in. This time the daughter of said Latino family leaves to track down her family, goes to cartel occupied Mexico, and gets promptly kidnapped, sending Rambo on a blood crazed path to get her back and deliver vengeance on the cartels.

Unlike the sequels, however, it's a little more of a slow burner. It takes a little more time to set up the characters, it takes a little more time to set up the plot and the relationships, and (shockingly given that in most of the Rambo films the enemy is almost faceless he's so under-developed) it actually takes a little time to set up the heavy as well.

And in the end there is a lot of killing, a lot of elderly action, and ultimately a lot of fun... but what there is not a lot of is political messaging... because, at it's heart, it's just another action movie.

Which leads me to the third type of negative review... the reviews critical of it being an action movie... those I don't understand... It's a Rambo movie, you know exactly what it is... and action movie... so what kind of film did they think they were going to see?

Rocky IV

An Honest Review
I liked it and then I didn't like it and now I like it again. I have a serious love/hate relationship with this one.

The hate comes from Rocky and Rocky II and a little bit, just a little from Rocky III. This was a film focused more on the fight than the Rocky story and, just like Rocky III, and, honestly, I miss the heartfelt Rocky family part of the franchise.

Mickey, Creed, Adrian, Paulie, they were the real heart behind what made the Rocky movies great and.... this focused more on the fight.

However, it was inspirational and that is what you ultimately sit down to watch a Rocky movie for. You want to see the little guy, the under dog struggle and work hard and give it his best win or lose... and the best part about the Rocky franchise is that he doesn't always win, you see him hurt, you see him lose, and you see him get back up and fight.

And that is what Rocky IV delivers.


An Honest Review
This was the ultimate Rocky story wasn't it?

It was inspiring with the training, it was inspiring with the fight, and it was about the characters and the characters are what makes a great story.

The down side was Creed, he was a little under-developed in this wasn't he? They make up for it in Rocky II, III, and IV, but in Rocky he felt like a faceless nemesis didn't he? He was Mohamed Ali without real depth in this and the story could have used to develop him a little more in the first one.

But... we got it in the sequels.

The biggest selling point was the love story... I know mushy, right? ... but they did a great job of making it awkward and at times intimidating as well as absolutely sweet and charming and it was completely realistic and believable.

You could sit down and watch it and understand how they fell for one another. You got a sense of who they were and that carried over into Rocky II... but kind of ended in III and we only caught a glimpse of it here and there until Balboa.

Still, it was the low budget movie that stole out hearts. And it was the inspiring story about the underdog, and Rocky movies are best when they inspire.

Rocky Balboa

An Honest Review
You know this was the story that SHOULD have been told in Rocky V, or at least this is the kind of story that should have been told.

Unfortunately it is a story told sans Talia Shire, who along with Burt Young and Carl Weathers are Rocky staples... of course Creed was dead in the timeline, so his absence is excusable... but we all kind of wanted to see Adrian, and wanted another story that developed her especially since they kind of stopped developing her as of Rocky III and relegated her to the sidelines.

But, you got to see a typical Rocky story. You got to see Rocky dig in and be inspiring again... and that is why we all love Rocky stories isn't it? Rovky V lacked the inspiration, Rocky Balboa came back with full force and it has continued though Creed, and, hopefully, when I get around to watching it, it will be there in Creed II as well.

The magic is that it comes back to the Rocky I and II dynamic, where it's not just about boxing, it's about Rocky and his story. And that is what we all missed in III and IV, and was attempted but failed miserably in V.

It felt like an early Rocky film, it felt like both an end and a rebirth of the franchise, and it was a very satisfying film to watch... especially given didn't really pull the punch we were all dreading and hit us full force.

Rocky V

An Honest Review
5.3 of 10 as of writing this and it was the bad one wasn't it?

From II to III they changed the emphasis away from Rocky's family and friends and the characters and moved it into straight boxing, but it was still inspirational, it was still fun.

Here I don't know what they did. It was like they changed the focus back on the characters but somehow butchered it in the process. The result was just horrible.

It wasn't the lack of Rocky fighting or the fact that Tommy Gun was kind of an evil traitorous friend that used him and then walked away... it was how they handled it.

It could have been the start of a good story of Rocky as a trainer, but it ended up just being awful. The dramatic family dynamic was shot and it turned into a mess with a convoluted story that hinted at being decent, but always missed the boat.

It should have been the more personal story, but it stopped being personal the moment Tommy Gun walked on screen and it turned into a mess that didn't seem to know which way it should go.

However... the same basic concept was used with Creed, and this time (despite it's FORGIVABLE faults in the script, it was done right). Partially due to the fact that Jordan is a far better actor than Morrison, but mostly due to the fact that it kept what it promised to deliver and the story was more coherent from start to finish.

How I Got Into College

An Honest Review
People have called out the acting... and that is fair, but what did they think that they were walking into? It is a low budget comedy that bill itself as a low budget comedy and is ridiculous fun like a low budget comedy.

So the acting waffles between good and bad. But the plot is sufficiently inane and stupid enough to be hysterical. And it gets the happy ending that comedies like these promise.

In other words, you get exactly what the film claims it is without any pretenses, and you get to laugh for a while... and that, after all, was the point of making this film, to get the audience to laugh at some unbelievable things


An Honest Review
I don't want to give this a bad score, because it is a very solid film. And all the acting is very good. I just have an issue with how the title character was written

Michael B. Jordan's Adonis came off as a little too sincere without the surface flash of Carl Weathers or the working man grit of Sly's Rocky. He was a little too motivated to fight which set him apart from Rocky and not cocky enough in the fight to be close to Apollo, which left him a little too milk-toast and middle of the road for a character in a leading role.

And that issue I blame on the writing and not Jordan's performance (who did a decent enough job playing the flat middle-of-the road boxer).

Had he gone a little more to the Apollo side and been flash and brass on the surface with depth beneath, it would have been better, or had he gone more Stallone and done the working class grit and determination thing it would have worked a little better, or a combination of the two.. or even just been more of an prig. Something, anything to get his character a little unbalanced in any direction and it would have been a great film.

But I can understand where it was hard trying to balance the new Creed between two stellar past performances without making him feel like a clone of either Stallone or Weathers.

And Jordan did sell the physicality.

Plus, Rocky himself had a new struggle to face down and take the hits from even without being in the ring, which was of course great.

Not to mention, that you got to see Jordan's Creed struggle and fight and take one something a little out of his pay grade with grit and determination and raw humanity. You got to see the new Creed not back down, and that was just as inspiring as any other Rocky movie.

It was a great movie that was competently acted by all involved, and it had the same style of script and the same core message that you would expect from a Rocky film.

It was an excellent movie and an excellent movie in an era that has a shortage of great films. Praise should be given all around.

I just hope that in Creed II, we get to see Jordan have a little more depth to his character, a few more flaws, something to make him more memorable and stand out against Stallone and Weathers. He's a good enough actor to do it, he just doesn't have a script that gives him the little something that makes him as memorable as Rocky and Apollo.

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