ironhorse_iv

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Reviews

13 Hours
(2016)

It's no secret, I'm not a fan of a lot of director Michael Bay's latest works. However, '13 Hours' was not that bad. It was decent enough to watch.
Inspired by true events & based off author Mitchell Zuckoff's 2014 book of the same name, this biographical war film follows the story of six members of Global Response Staff (GRS), who fought to defend the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, during Ansar al-Sharia militant's attacks on September 11, 2012. Without spoiling the movie directed & produced by Michael Bay, too much; the motion picture was hatred by most of the Libyan people due to their negative portrayal. To the film's credit, I have to disagree with them, the audience does see many Muslims grieving and mourning the deaths, cause by the attacks and held signs apologizing for the extremists' violent acts. Adding on that, we do see several locals assisting the Americans. If anything, people should be angrier at the flick for being very clunky with overbearing visual special effects, chaotic camerawork & gratuitous explosions, macho sex appeal, and out of place, product placement such as 'Call of Duty' video games and cars from Mercedes-Benz. However, the worst had to be the utter lack of substance & character development within the main subjects. I can hardly remember, any of the GRS members, besides semi fictional Jack Da Silva (John Krasinski), whom comedic actor really did go all out for this role, by bulking up. Krasinski was very surprising, convincing as a serious gritty soldier. It's very unique. Don't get me wrong, the other performers did alright in the acting department as well, it's just that the personalities & charisma of their characters seem to all blended into one, during the quieter moments of the movie. None of them, stood out. They lack diversities. It didn't help that the film focus too much on overfilled action scenes, involving fictional previous missions that GRS went through, while in Libya, rather than establishing more of their family units & the warnings signs, leading to the compound attack. Their actions throughout the film didn't seem heartfelt, despite Lorne Balfe's amazing nail bitingly dramatic score. '13 Hours' really did missed some good moments to show us, how truly deep their sacrifice were. It only had surface level depiction of heroism; which is sad. Still, I like how the Rated R war film does not shy away from the gory, bloody images of war and the harsh language. I also dig the mixer of real life news archive footage of the event, with the reenactments. It gave the film a lot of authentic, unlike his other war film, 2001's "Pearl Harbor', which borderline romantic fantasy. Surprisingly, this combat movie is little more historical accurate after the first half. However, there were some jarring things that screenwriter, Chuck Hogan & Michael Bay put in the film that really did not belong. Some examples are the way, the film constantly berating the CIA & Diplomatic Security (DS) agents outside from these private military contractors, as stuck up villainy cowardly pricks with no concept of tactical awareness. This is far from real life, as testimony shows, that both government agencies acted heroic, given the situation. While, it is true, that both groups ignore warnings like when two former security guards for the consulate, threw an IED over the consulate fence in April 2012; & just four days later, a similar bomb was thrown at a four-vehicle convoy carrying the United Nations Special Envoy to Libya, exploding twelve feet from the UN envoy's vehicle. There is little evidence that those assembles, including the Obama administration top heads deliberate sabotage themselves furthermore, by not providing air cover and ground support, that night; in order to cover up, the intelligence that the CIA was covertly shipping arms from Libya to Syria. Things like the over the top, stick in the mud, disrespectful, ineffective twit Chief-of-Station Commander, 'Bob' (David Costabile) trying to tell the men to stand down is clearly false. In real life, they were only little tactical disagreements between them about the speed with which the GRS team should depart for the rescue, not full grown hatred for each other. As for no air support argument; that is also not true, as government agencies did sent a surveillance drone to do a number of flybys, throughout the night & early morning. The reason for this, was due to the fact that there were no nearby attack aircraft on high alert that night with weapons & fuel within a 10 hour flight to Libya, because of a major maintenance overhaul. While, it's true that the closest fighter planes to trouble spots in North Africa were based in Aviano, Italy. Unlike the film, those fighter planes there, were not ready. Misleading viewpoints like these, were the reasons why some of the things told by the perspective of the soldiers were debunked in the ten investigations by different agencies on the matter. That's the problem with '13 Hours'. It's specifically composed, only by the unchecked bravado perspective of the soldiers, rather than everybody involved in the rescue mission. It's a bit one sided. Bay should had research more about the event from multiply sources including the FBI; the one by an independent board commissioned by the State Department; two by Democrat-controlled Senate Committees; and six by Republican-controlled House Committee, rather than taking the one book source material at its word. In the end, moviegoers should know, while, Bay says the film purposefully steers clear of politics. It's really not. You can clearly, see, where they stand on the issue, based off, how they market the film. Not only was this film about a controversial foreign incident released during an extremely contentious election year, with movie studios specifically marketed it to conservatives; but it also screen by key Republican Party figureheads, hoping to generate endorsement quotations. In the end, this film might have help cost, Hillary Clinton, the election, even with it being a box office bomb. Despite that & some flaws. '13 Hours' is still watchable, during its 2 hour & 24 minute runtime. It's worth checking out.

WWE Crown Jewel
(2018)

This PPV hit every wrestling fan in their Crown Jewels. Its hurts to watch.
I'm sorry to say this, but no amount of alcoholic 'Crown Royale,' can make this pay per view seem any better. It was still a royal pain in the butt for most fans to watch. Not only in terms of lousy storytelling, mediocre matches, but also the real life controversies surrounding the event. For example, the return of wrestler, Hulk Hogan to WWE programming, following since his 2015's leaked sex tape scandal, in which he was heard using racial slurs. Don't get me wrong, I believe that bigotry people can change for the better & forgiveness is indeed needed, but having him, host this foreign show, was not the best way to come at that. In truth, WWE should had aired a one hour documentary special like 'WWE 24' or 'WWE 365', that shows in details, that his opinions toward African Americans had change for the better. Without that, it looks like, he got away, scot free. As for the other controversies, such as the show not allowing women wrestlers to perform due to strict Islamic law in Saudi Arabia. Maybe, it would had been wise to host, two all-women pay per views in the United States, rather than one show before it. Why, because it would had couther, the negatively that the Saudi General Sports Authority has two major wrestling shows in the year, this PPV, and earlier 'the Greatest Royal Rumble' in April 2018. Still, what would be better yet, is for WWE not to cater to the state suppressing women's rights and honestly, fight for them to be on the show. Sadly, WWE didn't go, with any of these choices. As for the last controversy, surrounding the killing of journalist, Jamal Khashoggi by the Saudi Arabia government. The only way, I can see it, is that WWE had to promote it. They were not ways of backing out or cancelling the show, due to the prior legal obligations to the 10-year strategic multiplatform partnership between them and the General Sports Authority. Cancelling it would had cause heavy fines that could clearly bankrupted the promotion. Unless, the US government cease or boycott all businesses, dealing with Saudi Arabia, which, is very unlikely, due to the huge amount of weapon and oil deals. Instead, what the wrestling company should had done, is never openly promoted the show in the United States, and just focus on airing it, quietly in neutral countries in the Middle East, North Africa and Russia, in order to inline, with their prior support of Saudi Vision 2030. This was their biggest mistake, not only because WWE Stock prices dropped, but also the company came under harsh criticism and fire from the social media. The controversy also led to the company's top stars, John Cena and Daniel Bryan, choosing to bow out of the event, leading to some baffling last minute booking. One such example is the WWE Championship between champion, AJ Styles and Samoa Joe. Joe was quickly shoehorn as a replacement for Bryan, despite his feud with Styles ending very well, at the last PPV, 'Super-Show Down'. The match here was not great. There was no in ring story. It was just a generic series of key moves that had that little direction. It's clear that they had no time to prepare for this. As for the other title matches, the WWE United States Championship contest between champion, Shinsuke Nakamura against challenger, Rusev had no storyline build to it, and the short forgettable match was subjected to the preshow. Wow, talk about not making your champions seem important. Why was Shinsuke not in the World Cup tournament? He is the US champ. Shouldn't he be there? Anyways, the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship match between champions, The Bar (Cesaro and Sheamus) (c) (with Big Show) versus the challenger, The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston) (with Xavier Woods) was probably the best match of the night, even if, the fans seen these two teams fight, many times before. The highlight of night has to be, that magic carpet entrance. As for the Universal Championship match for the vacant title, between Brock Lesnar and Braun Strowman. I hate that the duel was a quick squash. It makes Strowman look weak and Lesnar, so, so lazy. Anyways, if Roman Reigns didn't had to relinquish title to leukemia, the original triple threat would probably end, nearly the same way. That's truly pathetic. And as for the World Cup Tournament matches with Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, Kurt Angle, the Miz, Bobby Lashley, Seth Rollins and Jeff Hardy. They were all full of repetitive rest holds, over amount of posing, awful commentary & rushed finishes. None of them, worked. The finals with the twist ending with Shane McMahon made every other previous match seem like a waste of time. Plus, it's weird to have a World Cup with all only WWE American wrestlers. It doesn't make sense. That's bring us to the main event. D-Generation X (Triple H and Shawn Michaels) versus The Brothers of Destruction (The Undertaker and Kane) was botchy as hell, resulting in a lot of real life injuries to a lot of the pass their prime wrestlers. Also, HBK's return to wrestling after 8 years away was slightly disappointing, due to him, fighting the same people, rather than new opponents. It seem like a wasted. I also hate, that this match, ruins the 'End of the Era' storyline. Overall: I have to say, WWE has one of the best roster that they ever had, and they still put a miserable show. Nobody seem like the 'Best in the World' that night, not even the annoying fans chanting CM Punk. Bottom line, wrestling fans might be better off pretending this show held at the King Saud University Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia got canceled. This is one jewel that deserved to be buried in the sands of time for real.

Despicable Me 3
(2017)

Oh Brother, this was not a good movie. The third installment in the 'Despicable Me' franchise was highly disappointing!
This is a shame, because I like the first two movies of the same name, very much. 2010's 'Despicable Me' had a cute, but surprisingly, not creepy single fatherhood story of an over the top villain, Gru (Voiced by Steve Carrell) adopting three young children, at first to do his evil's bidding, but grew affection with them, Margo (Voiced by Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Voiced by Dana Gaier), & Agnes (Voiced by Elsie Fischer in the original movies and Nev Scharrel in the third film) over time. While, its 2013's sequel, explore motherhood, by having the same scoundrel fall in love with a secret agent, Lucy Wilde (Voiced by Kristen Wiig) forming more on a intimate bond for those children. In the end, you would have thought, the same core home some values would continue, with this movie directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda, a little more, with an introduction to a new half-sibling, which the kids could had mixed feelings about, however, the main focus on the film co directed by Eric Guillon went to an another direction. Written by Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio, the third film choose to spend, most of its time having Gru teams up with his long lost twin brother Dru (Also Voiced by Steve Carrell) in order to stop, a new enemy, former child actor, Balthazar Bratt (Voiced by Trey Parker) from destroying Hollywood. Without spoiling the film, you would think, this would story arch, would explore more of problems of human bonding between siblings during years of separate and the buildup of frustration, both may have, for each other's parents. However, the movie doesn't really get that complex or emotional. Instead, it shy away from such topics, making the movie, a little too simpleton for my taste. Don't get me wrong, there is still conflict, but it doesn't have the punch, needed to make the movie work. A good example of this, was the subplot of Lucy trying to solve feelings about the previous relationship and anticipating childrearing changes with Margo. You would think, this would get a main focus, however, it's quickly resolved, and doesn't really factor, into the main plot, involving Gru. Much in the same way, that Agnes's story about hunting unicorns & the Minions rebellion was nearly pointless. It felt highly bland, and most of all, not needed. Seeing how the last movie, also explore, the same subjects. They are there, just for padding to make sure the movie goes at least a 90-minute runtime. It was very unsatisfying. In addition to that, the main story just as much of a mess, as the film's subplots. 'Despicable 3' had a lot of confusing plot holes that were a little too wide to ignore, like how could the brothers, never met each other, until now. It's really hard to believe. To add on that, how did Gru not know that his father was a legendary supervillain, seeing how he works for the Anti Villain League and went to Villain-Con in the prequel film 2015's 'Minions'? I guess, if the head of AVL, Valeria da Vinci (Voiced by Jenny Slate) didn't know who Gru was? I guess, it would be possible, that Gru didn't know him. Still, things like this, doesn't make sense. Another jarring question to add to that, is how could Balthazar and Gru know, each other's hide out, if they never went there? Also, how Balthazar did even get funding for his lair? The Evil Bank? Things like that, are especially frustrating, considering just how entertaining the visual action confrontations are between all of the characters. Despite that, the animation for this film was outstanding. As for the voice acting, Trey Parker does a good job, here, even if some of the voices felt recycled from his TV show 'South Park'. Let's just say that Parker is one of the last people you'd expect to voice a character in a family movie. As for Carell; his double dose was fine, even if it was highly annoying at parts. Glad, Carell took the challenge of playing such roles. However, the rest of the cast was highly forgettable & felt wasted. As for the Minions. They are so darn adorable, but really can't stand their chipmunk like noises after so long. They are annoying and weren't really that funny at all. As for the jokes, there is a lot of slapstick humor that some children will love, and some adult might enjoy like the lowrider driver getting smashed into a building. Very funny, but is the jerk still alive? Regardless, others were mostly a miss for me. It didn't hit my funny bone. The same, can be, said, with the insider Hollywood animation jokes. The subtle jab reference to Disney's 2003's film 'Finding Nemo' was not funny. The same can be said with the talent show, the minions appear in, the middle of the film. Even the 1980s cultural references were a miss. I really have no clue, if this generation of children would understand, that type of a humor. Still, it should appeal to Gen X & Y parents. I kinda dig the jab at Donald Trump. As for the music, it didn't shine, as much as the last movie, as Pharrell Williams' score was underused in the film. Instead, the movie went with the more popular route, with the expensive 1980s music hits like Michael Jackson, Madonna, and others to maintain a certain amount of momentum. However, overall, I still didn't like this movie. While this animation film might not be despicable enough to turn off. It still barely watchable. It's not worth, going bananas over!

Bohemian Rhapsody
(2018)

This motion picture will somewhat rock you! It still had that killer queen, even with, its semi generic paint by number plot.
While, this movie hits the same old familiar plots thread that most biographic rockstar films have. There is one question, I had in my mind, after leaving the theater. Is this the real life, or is this just fantasy? How much of this biopic about British rock band 'Queen', front man, Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek) was historical correct & what were made up? Well, after doing some research. I found this film written by Anthony McCarten & Peter Morgan to be, not as accuracy as it should had been. Without spoiling too much, director Bryan Singer did allow a lot of artistic liberties. One such example is how Mercury got started. In truth, 'Queen' was not his first singer gig. Before them, Freddie was in a rock group called 'The Hectics', and later as a vocalist for the band 'Ibex'. Nor did Mercury met the other band members, Brian May (Gwilym Lee) and Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy) coincidentally at their concert as 'Smile', right after their lead singer quit. In truth, Mercury actually met them, while attending Ealing Art College. However, it wasn't until May and Taylor came to see him, perform with 'Ibex' that the first steps toward of hiring him, as the lead singer of 'Queen' took place. Even with that, Mercury didn't get the job that night. As for Freddie meeting his future girlfriend, Mary Austin (Lucy Boynton) on the same night as his first run-in, with the other band members. It's also bollocks. In reality, Freddie didn't date her, until much later. Despite that, it is true, that he really love her. Even on his deathbed in 1990, he often refer her as his only true friend to the point, that he left the majority of his belongings, when he passed away. I kinda like, how the film portray that, because, a lot of people thought he was only gay. In reality, he was more than that. It's just too bad, that the movie doesn't show much of his other true love of his life, Jim Hutton (Aaron McCusker). Even with the scenes, they did show, with him, it's not that accurate. Hutton was never a server at a hedonistic party hosted by Mercury, but a hairdresser, the singer met a nightclub. Despite that, I kinda dig the chemistry, the two performers had for each other. However, sadly, their character's relationship wasn't well established, due to bad pacing. Instead, the film focus way too much time, with the negatives of Freddie's other partner, Paul Prenter (Allen Leech). This course of direction feels a little bit one sided, as the film makes it, look like getting into a homosexual relationship might be bad. It gave the wrong tone. Nevertheless, it's during this time with Paul that the movie makes its biggest departure from the truth. In the film, we see the band livid at Freddie for going behind their back, for a solo deal. When in reality, the band all agreed on taking a break to focus on their solo careers, but they stayed in touch. Live Aid wasn't a reunion for the band. In real life, they had actually released their eleventh studio album and had been on tour all over the world that year. They were also well rehearsed by the time they were set to perform at the event. To dig further, one of their managers was never fired, because of the failure to mention that event. He was fired by Mercury for selling the singer's saucy personal information to newspapers, years later. As for record executive Ray Foster (Mike Myers), that hired the band and later, try to derail them. That character's conflict was also fake. That fictional figure was just add to put more dramatics & a punchline for an insider movie joke. Despite the band's personal story being less dramatic in real life, than the movie; their music is still impressive. Seeing how they were able to get the ideas for them, and produce it for concerts in a humorous way, was, by far, the highlight of the film. I just wish, the individual band members were explore more. We barely got to know anything about them. They were a little paper thin. Because of that, the acting for those performances also somewhat limited & didn't shine. It cause the performances to be only mediocre at best. Despite that, the actors chosen to portray them, did look the part. As for Mercury. Malek was alright. He truly did look & sound like the lead singer. However, the portrayals of Freddie's life and sexuality is a bit off. The singer was not as reckless in his promiscuity as the movie makes it out to be. He wasn't sexual harassing men. In truth, he was very extrovert and shy, particularly with others. The idea that Freddie would host all night orgies parties, joking openly about his sexuality, all the time is also very questionable. Most likely, he was in home, resting quietly, due to the pressures of performing during hectic musical tours & suffering from Kaposi's sarcoma, a rare form of skin cancer that cause him, great pain; that the film fails to mention. In conclusion, I think the director was just making Mercury seem like a sex hound to justify his own actions when it comes to the filmmaker's very public sexual abuse allegations cases. He's trying to say, he meant, no harm with his own engagements. Regardless of that, Bryan Singer still got fired from the production, after a fight with the cast & crew whom complained to the studio about the director's absences. While, Dexter Fletcher does a great job, completing the film. His editing style was not well balance. Too many quick cuts. Because of that, the timeline didn't float well. Everything seem rushed, even the visuals. Certain CGI parts were very choppy. In spite of everything, overall: 'Bohemian Rhapsody' is still champion material. It will make you go Radio gaga for it! That's for sure.

Star Wars: Episode I - Jedi Power Battles
(2000)

May the force be with you! You will truly need it, if you're going to play this platform, beat them up game.
There is no doubt, that the best thing to come out from 1999's 'Star Wars: Episode 1: The Phantom Menace' was the epic lightsaber fights. However, the same, can't not be said with this standard hack and slash video game based that movie. Published for Sony PlayStation, Sega Dreamcast & much later, the Game Boy Advance. This LucasArts game follows, nearly the same path of the movie, only this time, five primary prequel era characters including Obi Won Kenobi, Mace Windu, and Qui Gon Jinn are available for players to use throughout the adventures on multiply planets. However, two of the Jedis, Adi Gallia & Plo Koon were not available in the Game Boy Advance version. Despite that, each of them has their own unique powers, fighting techniques & sets of strengths and weaknesses. Regardless of this and level difference, you choose in the ugly opening menu, the gameplay from 2000's 'Star Wars: Episode 1: Jedi Powers Battles' was very frustrating to play, from start to finish, due to its high difficult, unforgivable control issues, bad load times, jarring cut scenes & horribly camera angles. It's not fun. While, there are additional health bars that the gamer can pick up, throughout the game to make it easier to play; the jumping platform parts are really unforgiven. One fall, will killed you, instantly. To add on that, it much worst when the fall is not your fault. The collision detection is so bad in this game, that it sometimes appears that your character have landed on solid ground, when in truth, they didn't. Polygons overlap often, giving the environments a sloppy, glitches look. On top of that, every single time you die, all the poorly polygon model enemies in the level return as well. That means you have to chop you way through the same repetitive types of enemies droids all over again just to get the same point where you died, while the same background music & voice acting cut scenes loops all over all. There is no auto save. Plus, the gameplay get pretty tiresome after a while. While, you might control crafts in some levels, most of the stages, has hardly any variety, besides moving forward, slicing droids. While, it's true, that many objects in the backgrounds can be destroyed and some will give you points for doing so. It's not as fun as it sounds. Just wait until you start playing the game with a second player. Cooperative mode with a second player is a nightmare. The intense fire power from the enemies increase ten forms & jumping has to perfectly timed, especially in the leap of faith moments. If not, you and your partner will lost all the limited lives, pretty early; as each level is split into multiply sections. Despite that, I kinda like how each character has several preset combos. It's just sad, that most of them, are not that useful as it should had been. The character animations, honestly actually hinder your attacks. If you strike and miss, you won't be swinging again until the previous combo has been completed. It cannot be interrupted. This is extremely annoying when you're trying to chop down a huge enemy group. In truth, most of the lightsaber combat is rather simplified, once you get used to it, as the player can lock on to the nearest enemy using the R1 button. However, this feature can also get loose and inconsistent at times. Sometimes you lock onto an enemy, and other times, you lock onto the air next to him, giving the enemy an excellent chance to kill you. Despite that, you do have the ability to reflect laser blasts back to their target with your light saber. If you time, and aim, a block perfectly, the blast will ricochet back to the enemies, sometimes destroying them in one hit. While, repetitive hammering on the attack button with any of the characters will get you through most of the game's repetitive ten droid filled levels. The best value & most fun has to be with, Adi Gallia. Both in PlayStation & Dreamcast version, her special moves are vastly superior to the others & entertaining to do. Regardless, it's still sad, that you can only play as one of those force-users, throughout the campaign mode, as the game will not allow the player to switch it up. However, once you beat it, you're able to replay the levels with other characters to unlocked additional new playable ones like Captain Panaka, Padme Amidala, Darth Maul, and others depending on which console you're playing, even if it's awkwardly doesn't match the story of the movie. For example, Qui Gon surviving in the end of the mission or Darth Maul fighting himself. Regardless, completing the campaign with a specific task can earn you up to four levels, which offer unique mini quests, however, these also vary on which version of the game, you might had. While, items like Ultimate Saber AKA 'One Slash Kills' can also be earn in the end of the game, by doing a specific task. I felt that it's not really that valuable; seeing how you beat the game in its hardest settling. There is little to no challenge by getting that. In truth, besides lame extras, this game doesn't have, much replay value. If you even think of playing through this game more than once, then something is very wrong with you. It's not fun to play; especially on PlayStation. If you do decide to go, at it, again. Try the Dreamcast version. It's graphically, audibly, and even mechanically, looks and plays better, plus it as additional training mode and a two player dual mode. However, it's like, choosing if you want to rack or wheel. Both are torturous. Harsh as that may be, it's the truth. I can't recommend playing this game.

Venom
(2018)

The Eddie Brock Show was not quite a turd in the wind. It was just mediocre at best.
Directed by Ruben Fleischer & based off, 'Venom: Lethal Protector' & the 'Planet of the Symbiotes' comic book storylines in which the titular character is the hero trying to stop an alien symbiote invasion. The movie look like it was going to be box office poison without the character of Spiderman. However, it was a theatrically success. Still, it's surreal that Sony & Columbia Pictures would make a picture without Spidey. Not only, were their relationship were so bonded as nemeses, but having around Spiderman is essential to the birth story for Venom. After all, in Marvel Comics, the alien start out as living altered costume for the Web-Slinger, that fed way too much into the hero's strength, aggression and courage to the point, that the wall crawler had to reject, its creepy power over him. Thus, the alien merge with reporter, Eddie Brock, sensing his hatred for Spiderman & became Venom. However, in this version, all connections to Spiderman are omitted, including the reason why his name is Venom, the 'White Spider' chest insignia & the webbing. Because of that, there is little to no good reason, why the alien would genuinely care for Eddie, long term. Brock is lot more cowardly & really not that compatible in mass & high adrenaline; compare to his comic book counterpart. The movie tries to get around that, by painting the two as loveable losers with different personalities whom, due to unseen circumstance have to work with each other, in order to take out, the bigger threats of their societies. Hints, why Eddie is having multiple organ failures at the beginning, until the alien start to care. However, in this 'Lethal Weapon' style buddy comedy; where Eddie would be the laid back straight man playing off to the alien's strange impulsive behaviors that certainly got lot of laughs; it still doesn't match with creepy body horror tone. It comes across as highly jolting to the senses; seeing an alien talks like a frat bro, rather than menacing & demonic; even after intermixing with Brock's personality. Things get more complicate, as we never get the full sense, why Venom would rather bonded than used his host up. Nor do we get any good reasons why he would dumbly sacrifice himself by going to the hospital, knowing full well that Brock is trying to get rid of him. His actions don't make any sense. It's really off-putting. I guess, you can say that the being was always deemed insane by his own race, but it doesn't explain, why the main villain would invite Venom to the invasion of Earth, in the first place. The movie lack coherent writing. A good example of this, is the parts, where the antagonist uses a little girl & old lady that are not that compatible due to their weak frames as a long term hosts! It's seem odd. To add to that, why did that being, escape the Life Foundation's imprisonment, then wander aimlessly for months, only to go back to them? It doesn't add up. In truth, Venom should had been the symbiote that escaped at the beginning. Have Eddie try to get rid of him with the enemies' help, only for Brock to find out, the sinister actions that the group has untaken would had been more compelling story. It would help the pacing and logically make more sense than having a scientist allow Brock to break into the lab to take photos, rather than herself, secretly filming it. In the end, the film has little structure. Regardless, the erections, they do have, are slightly too contrived. Coincidences such as Venom being able to be compatible with a small dog & a smaller woman is gobbledygook questionable. Nevertheless, the action scenes in this movie are just as confusing. Why would the villain send a fleet of exploding drones after the symbiote if they want to be low key? It's just plain messy & generic. None of them really stand out. I saw similar combat in films like 2008's "Incredible Hulk' & 1997's 'Spawn'. However, the parasite battle is the worst. Not only did the trailer spoil, most of the fight. It really impossible to tell what happening, between the murky pitch blackness lighting and sloppy dark CGI. Regardless, I can understand, why the filmmakers dial down the violence, in order to reach more audience, and have appeal for a MCU crossover in the future, but if there is any comic book movie that should had an R-Rating. It should had been 'Venom'. The titular alien is known for dismembering & eating body parts of his victims. It should had taken advance of it, rather than playing it safe, by cutting away from these gruesome scenes. Let's hope the sequel with Carnage doesn't do that. As for the acting. Michelle Williams isn't given much to do. Her character, Anne is pretty much, just a love interest with little chemistry with the main star. Also, I found it odd, that her character had no problems with allowing a parasite control her body and mind for cannibalistic reasons. The other characters are equally as badly underwritten. Especially Riz Ahmed's character whom is an utterly one note evil. Still, Ahmed does alright job in acting. As for the other performances. It was a mixed bag. Even the Stan Lee's cameo was awkwardly put in. How is that possible!? However, Tom Hardy is perhaps the most baffling with his half-baked Woody Allen impressive for Eddie Brock. His frequent slurred mutterings doesn't seem reporter like. Nevertheless, he was a lot better than Topher Grace's appearance in 2007's 'Spiderman 3' movie that's for sure. Overall: I have to say, my spider senses were indeed tingling. While, I wouldn't be as venomous as other critics, the film was not as enjoyable as it should had been. Even the two post credits were not well bonded to go see in theaters. Sadly, it's only good, as a rental.

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
(1927)

Sunrise is real scorcher of a film. It really does shine.
Not to be confused with 1926 Australian lost film of the same name. One of the earliest, most influential romantic melodramas from the silent era, was 1927's 'Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans'. Directed by German Expressionist, F.W Murnau & adapted for American audiences from the novella 'A Excursion to Tilsit' by author Hermann Sudermann, the motion picture delivered a well told story of forgiveness and redemption of a unnamed couple travelling to the bright lights of the big city in hope to save their dying marriage. Without spoiling this expressionistic masterpiece too much, the movie appeared at the very end of the silent era and came only a few days before the first 'talkie', 1927's film 'The Jazz Singer'. Because of this, it became one of the first feature film released with synchronized sound effects using the Fox Movietone system, and incorporating an original soundtrack by composer, Hugo Riesenfeld. The film even incorporated classic music from melodists Frédéric Chopin & Charles Gounod. The latter happens to be the theme for the 1950 & 1960s television series, 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents'. So, that was kinda jarring. Regardless of that, the film is still, pretty 'silent'. It actually has very little written dialogue and very few intertitles. Most character interactions are done through facial expressions and body motions. This is where the movie really does shines. Both, George O'Brien & Janet Gaynor gave, very good performances despite Gaynor really fake blonde wig. O'Brien achieved the beaten, plodding walk of a depressed man by putting weights in his shoes, and covering his scruffy face with his hands. He appeared deranged and under an evil spell in the beginning of the film; only to transform from a monstrous figure into, guilt ridden, irrational to clean cut, reform leading man by the end of the movie. It's a huge improvement in appearance. I just wish, his character didn't still have murderous rage still boil within him. It was bit extreme, to see him, still act violently toward the unnamed woman from the city (Margaret Livingston), after the events, he witness in the city with his wife. I would like him to be more pacifism & gentleman like by the climax. After all, the message of the film is about forgiving. As for the unnamed wife, Gaynor's acting was heartbreaking. Her coquettish beam, slowly fades to sadness during the boat ride makes you felt for her. You just want to see her happy! By the end of the movie, you rejoice when you see her angelic smile return, even if you can't stand that her character too easily forgive her husband's faults. After all, he did almost murder her, and that was after he cheated on her and sold off much of her farm. If anything, the movie could had been a little better, if he sacrifice himself in the end to save her in the storm. Now, that would be very compelling end. Regardless, 'Sunrise' was still a great fable like, poignant story. Both performers deserve to win awards for their acting in this movie. However, Gaynor is the only person that got one. She won the 1st Best Actress Award at the very first Academy Award in 1929. Another award that the film won that night was for Cinematography. Indeed, cinematographers, Charles Rosher & Karl Struss did a good job. Their skillful breakthrough camera tracking movements fluidly and sophisticatedly move throughout the space, creating an unusual illusion of depth and vastness. Another thing, great, was the way, F.W Murnau & his film crew, use the camera to superimposition images. It was very effective for symbolism. Some good examples of that, were the scenes where the a dark, bobbed haired, sophisticated urban vamp, appearance embracing him like a ghost; the way, an intertitle looks like it's underwater, & where the couple walk through the city traffic, dreaming of the countryside. Its poeticism were amazing. Even if some of the effects are now dated & fake looking. It did influence a lot of future films. Another thing, that I like, is how all the sets, both exterior and interior were constructed to recede slightly in the distance, to produce further illusions of depth. It made the city look, much more larger than life than it is. Other techniques included placing larger physical objects in the foreground of shots, and having little people as figures in the city backgrounds. A good example of that, is the entertaining city fair and the marvelous wedding sequences. Additionally, the use of light, dark and shadows was sophisticated. It shows the different in contrast between rural and urban life. The moonlight, the swampy marshes, and the surface of the lake all capture the astonishing light of calm, somewhat mundane & depressing, mindset of the brain. While, the bright & bustle city lights are rhythmically overpowering, mesmerizing & highly sexual, metaphoric shows the extremes passion side of the heart. Only, by balancing it, can one be, morally sane. Its humanity at its best and worst. That's why I didn't care much that the movie's mood set was all over the place. When it start off, as a tragic horror, then morphs into something like romantic comedy with a loose pig, then a quite emotional drama by the end. Its might be a bit jointed, but it's still moving. It's the same way, a person might act. No wonder, why this movie was honor for "Artistic Quality of Production" at the Academy Award. It was still unique enough to gain viewers over time, even if the movie was a box office bomb when it first came out. Although, the original 35mm negative of the original version was destroyed in the 1937 Fox vault fire, a new negative was created from a surviving print. Thank goodness, because this come rain or shine. The film really does deserve the honor to be preservation in the Library of Congress's National Film Registry. It's one movie worth checking.

Trick or Treat
(1986)

Don't be trick into seeing this horror movie. It wasn't much of a treat. It was mostly meh.
This motion picture will not make you bang your head with fright this Halloween. Nor did the movie directed by debuting, noted character actor Charles Martin Smith, rock much! Not to be confused with the 2007 horror film 'Trick 'r Treat', this 1986 flick has little to do with the holiday, celebrate in October, at all! Instead, it's a heavy metal horror about an outcast metal head teen, Eddie Weinbauer (Marc Price) that is haunted by the ghost of his idol, Sammi Curr (Tony Fields) whom wants to kill those that do not rock on! Yes, that's the premise! Don't get me wrong, it had potential. Despite looking & acting like a Corey Haim rip off, Marc Price wasn't a bad actor. He could had pull dramatic parts off, if the many screenwriters explore more, on the complex depth of Sammi & Eddie's trouble relationship & how it making Eddie into a worst person. It could had been the horror version of 2010's film 'Hesher'. Instead of having that huge improvement, the film shallowing mostly focus on Eddie's trouble with one dimension simpleton bullies with looney toons hijinks & his off and on, relationship with manic pixie dream girl crush, Leslie Graham (Lisa Orgolini) that felt like it should had been in a teenager boner comedy. The film further lowers the bar, when the main villain is nearly stop by a flushing toilet. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind, the 1989's 'Shocker' approach to the undead rocker, but couldn't they make him, not seem like a clumsy idiot. He really could had been a compelling enemy within the cursed record, much in the same vain as Samara Morgan (Daveigh Chase), the otherworldly little girl, responsible for the creation of the cursed videotape from 2002's horror masterpiece, 'The Ring' was. It sucks, because I was really digging the back masking subliminal message concept. It had that 'Helter Skelter' type feel to the movie. I wish, there was more scenes like that. Despite that, the rest of Tony Fields's performance was alright in the flick. He really did seem like a real life rocker, even if his character's motivation for killing is unclear. However, I would really love to see, the film's original choice, Blackie Lawless in this role. It would make the flick, a little more memorable. Despite that, the special effects created by Kevin Yagher were really good for the time. It really seem like the ghost rocker was pulling people out of the television. However, I can do, without the two molestation scenes. I know, it's played as fan service, but it wasn't really necessarily, seeing how Tim Hainey (Doug Savant) & Curr is already a jerk, enough. Plus, it's a tease, that doesn't go anywhere, as the undead rockstar doesn't even, turn into a beast, later in the film. So, what was the point of showing that he has the ability!? Regardless, I dig the other deaths in the film, even if they were a bit cheesy, and over the top with comical zingers. There were some funny moments, throughout the movie, mostly involving, Ozzy Osbourne cameoing as parody televangelist, Rev. Aaron Gilstrom discussing the ills of rock music. His death was hilarious. Plus, I dig the stunt work, including all the car chases. They were somewhat interesting to watch. As for the songs that played throughout the film. It's a mixed bag for me. All the music in the movie were provided by the band Fastway and composer Christopher Young; were not memorable & hasn't aged well, over the years. It sucks, because the film soundtrack could had done better. After all, they had a lot of musicians in this movie; such as Gene Simmons playing a radio host, Nuke at the very beginning of the movie, and Osbourne for a few seconds in the film. Yet, the filmmakers didn't do much with them. In 2006, Anchor Bay tried to release a 20th anniversary DVD for the film, but couldn't due to music licensing. Hints why this movie also known as 'Ragman' and 'Death at 33 RPM' in foreign markets is so rare and hard to find. Even the misleading DVD that puts Osbourne and Simmons right on the cover, even though their roles are relatively minor by Platinum Disc Corporation in 2002 is also currently out of print. Overall: Even if you find this movie. This heavy metal horror flick is not as good as it should had been. Full of technically goofs like boom mic equipment being shown and crew members in the reflection of the television, the film is not heavy nor metal enough to lift itself, outside of the hair band phenomenon from the 1980s. It hasn't aged well. This is one film, not worth rocking to.

Halloween
(2018)

2018's 'Halloween' was a decent horror movie. It was a cut above the rest. Michael Myers finally comes home.
1978's horror film 'Halloween' was a pretty good low budget independent slasher movie directed/scored by John Carpenter. However, the follow-ups that came after, fail to gain the same critical success as the first movie. It wasn't until 2018, that a sequel directed by David Gordon Green, also known as 'Halloween', finally got the respect, it deserve. Set 40 years after the original film, the plot follows Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) once again, as she prepares to face the masked Michael Myers (James Jude Courtney and Nick Castle), when he returns to Haddonfield, Illinois, after his last killing spree on Halloween night. Without spoiling too much of the film, while, this movie got mostly praise from diehards and critics for its well balance approach to the source material, by not swaying too far from it, while, also subverting enough expectations to stand on its own with the use of suspense and brutal action, the flick still hit some controversies roadblock with some viewers. Mostly with those, unhappy that the film recon all the previous sequels and it's establish, yet inconsistent lore. Some good examples was taking away the idea that Laurie was related to the Myers family. Look, I get that, the reveal from 1981's 'Halloween 2' took away the menacing unknown motive that made Michael such an effective mysterious villain to some, but I felt that it gave a really good reason for him to predatory stalk Laurie in the first movie & continue to kill people around her in the follow ups. In this movie, Michael goes to the town with no clear target in mind and proceeds on a random, unrelated killing spree that for the most part, doesn't factor, much to the main plot, serving much like filler. Look, I get that he might do this, to service some type of crazy abnormal psychological gratification, hints why he is a mental ward for most of his life, but I find it, more intimidating & creepily, knowing that his crimes were premeditated & well plan than an idiotic mindless zombie-like primitive flaw coming from his mind. I like to think that he's outsmarting most psychologists, chosen to study him & always one step ahead from the rest. After all, based on Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasance) he's supposed to be, pure evil, not 'mentally ill'. Its shows determination within the character. I get that, some might disagree with me, but we can agree that the out of the blue twist of convenience involving his doctor, Dr. Ranbir Sartain (Haluk Bilginer) was stupid. In short, Myers should had been in control of his own destiny, the whole time, and should had brought himself to Laurie's isolated house to try to kill her. Regardless, the recon involving Laurie's children is also somewhat jarring. Look, I can get, why Laurie's son John (Josh Hartnett) from 1998's 'Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later', couldn't existed in this timeline, but the idea that Jamie Lloyd (Danielle Harris), Laurie's daughter from the fourth movie, 1988's 'Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers' couldn't return is a bit odd. Don't get me wrong, Judy Greer as Karen Strode is alright actress, but there is something emotional driven with Harris's performance as Lloyd. Her acting in 1989's film 'Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers', match well with the self-medicating PTSD suffering of her mother. In this movie, Karen felt too normal for somebody who went through an intense paranoid, apocalyptic survival uplifting. Greer just hides the past, too well for me. She should had been a little bit trouble. As for Jamie Lee Curtis. I love this catatonic shell, doomsday prepper side of the character. I just wish, the end, didn't justified, how she treat Karen, when she was a kid. In truth, a dogmatic mindset isn't the way to live life. While, many characters may have some negative qualities, the movie does a good job to show enough positive elements with the main & supporting characters to the point that it was still an empowering tale. Glad, the misogyny and misandry sexual is mostly gone from this film. As the eleventh installment in the film series, this was a breath of fresh air. However, there is rarely any nudity, besides the flashback recap, which I found alright. It's not really needed for the story, they trying to tell. As for the violence, it's a mixed bag for me. The film contains more graphic violence and gore than the original movie, however parts of me, felt that they didn't go far enough. Why introduce a baby element if you're not going to do anything about? At least, the film shows that kids are not immune from getting murder. Still, some of the kills were a bit jarring; like for example, how did Myers get time to hollow out a severed head to make a jack o' lantern? It seems like a lot of scenes were cut. There were a lot of off screen murders. Who knows, maybe it's in, the estimated 30 minutes of footage that was cut from the film. It could still turn up in home releases. Regardless, the movie should had a flashback recreation of the aftermath of the first flick to show, how Myers got even capture in the first place. That was a bit off, seeing that he's nearly unstoppable. Still, the action for the most part was amazing. Yet, it's a bit weird to see that old age hasn't slowed the original characters, even with their battle scars. Released for the 40th anniversary. This movie is rife with sly references to other scenes from the franchise. The Meta touches are nice. Plus, the jokes were funny. However, I do miss first person camera perspectives. In the end, it's the Halloween season & everyone's entitled to one good scare! So, why not, go with the first & second best movies in the franchise. It's one trick or treat, that is too sweet to pass up.

The Langoliers
(1995)

Plane & Simple. This miniseries was just disappointing. It was turbulence to watch.
Mayday! Mayday! Here's come yet another adaptation of author Stephen King's work, that was unable to fly with most diehard fans. It's sad, because 'The Langolier' had an interesting premise. The idea that a group of people has travel back in the past on a plane, only to face, being erase from existence by terrible monster beings, sound interesting & frightening. It had that overwhelming Twilight Zone Season 2, Episode 18 "The Odyssey of Flight 33" mixed with the Eldritch Horror Lovecraftian vulnerable fear of the omnipotence abomination unknown, kinda of a feel. However, the way this two part miniseries aired on ABC in 1995 was directed & executed is enough to turn some of the audience off. For starters, the source material, the novella of the same name, published in the anthology book 'Four Past Midnight' in 1990, was way too short, to be made into a 3 hour miniseries. In order to have two hours episodes each with their own commercials, director & teleplay writer Tom Holland wrote a lot of long drawn out, heavy exposition filler dialogue that caused pacing issues. An example of that, was from Bob Jenkins (Dean Stockwell) a mystery writer with a strong ability for deduction, yet provides too many outrageous theories sequences that really doesn't help move the story, further. All, his chitchat about 'the shop', a black ops social experiment gone wrong; was somewhat annoying, by his swamping, sesquipedalian arrogance approach, his fondness for certain stock phrases & his inability to withdraw from certain topics that doesn't need his input. It doesn't help that Stockwell perform the character, in a William Shatner smarmy type voice. It's a bit over the top. Regardless, it's a lot better than actress, Kate Maberly's blind girl character, Dinah Bellman's poorly pronounce deadpan exposition spill. The way, her character talk about things using everyday analogies like 'horrible cereal noise' is a lot more annoying than Stockwell, as the actress doesn't have the same charm to pull off, her ridiculous lines. Because of that, Maberly is by far, the weakest performer within the whole main speaking cast. She really did underacted; which is far different than Bronson Pinchot's infamous performance as Craig Toomey. He was by far, one of the most enjoyable person in the film, even if his character was egotistical psychotic jerk. Bronson's cartoony facial expressions & hammy acting were just hilarious. He was very entertaining. His performance really did stand out. However, the others were not so lucky. I hardly can remember, Frankie Faison, Baxter Harris, Christopher Collet, Patricia Wettig & Kimber Riddle's characters. In truth, some of them, could had cut from the miniseries. That's way too many names to remember. As for actors, David Morse and Mark Lindsey Chapman, I felt that both of them were given dialogue that doesn't really match, their characters. A good example is how Morse delivery lines about not seeing certain object, despite being obvious visual. It was highly jarring for an airline pilot character to have blurry vision. Then, there is the fact that the British hitman knows about very niches references from both 'Lord of the Rings' and 'Star Trek'. It seems very out of blue & out of character; given that, he's a very hectic man, that mostly haunted by past mistakes. It just doesn't add up, unless he was a huge nerd in his past life. Then, there is awkwardness overused of certain King's tropes & clichés like having a character have telekinetic powers. Without the benefit of a third person omniscient narrator, the miniseries couldn't do a very good job of describing the interplay between Dinah and Craig or the nature of the beast. Because of that, the resulting story involving them makes a lot less sense than its source material. Even parts that were in the book like the events mostly take place in Maine; doesn't add up. Things like that, felt forced. After all, Bangor is way farer from Boston than Jersey City or Newark. In story, it makes more sense to them to land there as both are only 192 & 196 miles away from Beantown. There is a lot of other things about this movie that doesn't have much rhyme or reason to it. Some good example is how the events even started. In the novella, it was noted that the aurora over the desert was something a lot of people wanted to see. Hence, why the pilots flew closer to the time rip and most of the passengers disappeared from the plane, once going through; however the miniseries doesn't explain that well. Instead, Holland felt to make the mechanics of the vanishing as vague as possible for the sake of creepiness. While, yes, this kinda works, but it left too many gaping blind spots that are head scratchers. It's weird that the disappeared passengers from the plane leave behind certain items, but not clothes. Nor does the movie explain, why being unconscious going through a wormhole can cause you to travel back in time; as well, the ability to manage overshoot time. Then, there is the awkward freeze frame, yay ending. The climax doesn't resolve anything. Look, I know, its sci fiction, but the miniseries could had explained things a lot better, than repetitive over-explained others that rarely affect the plot. It was such a letdown. Admittedly, up until the creatures show up, this story had an interesting take on time travel. I just wish, the ending could had been better. The terrible low budget CGI visual & special effects for the monsters and the plane is awful. Their original choice: puppets, could had been quite worst. Overall: Even the Stephen King cameo, couldn't save this movie. It was not as enjoyable as it could had been. It kinda crash and burn, big time. At least we got a good 'Rick and Morty' episode out of this, with Season 2, Episode 1 'A Rickle in Time'. Now, that's worth your time seeing.

Mission: Impossible - Fallout
(2018)

Mission Impossible: Fall Out is worth hunting for! It's a fine movie.
While, some critics & fans said, this sixth film in the film series was the best movie yet. I have to disagree. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to understand, why. Read further to find out. Loosely based on the 1960's television series of the same name, the spy genre film directed by Christopher McQuarrie has once again, disappoint me in one department. The story. The script wasn't even finished, when they started with production. Because of that, the movie relies too much on bringing back so many familiar faces and making callbacks to earlier films that the motion picture's plot didn't really stand out, much. It built on the same foundation as the five preceding films were, meaning there will be a lot of same repetitive somewhat wearisome tropes like Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) getting framed, while trying to take down some vague criminal arm dealer organization from launching nuclear weapons upon the world like another terrorist group did in 2011's film, 'Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol'. The story felt a little too generic to the point that the disavowed parts were self-aware lampshade in the film, by the deliberately trying to sabotage predictable wolf in sheep clothing villain. The movie was really missing the great twist and turns of the previous films. Every bait and switch was pretty much foreseeable. Even some of the action scenes like Ethan using his rock climbing skills, going on a motorcycle chase and disabling a helicopter felt like recreated reruns at times. Don't get me wrong, the set pieces still pack a punch, but the film seems to acknowledge that we've see these things before. The movie only tries to improve upon recycled safe tropes, rather than taking some climatic risk. It didn't give us, much of anything new. Regardless of the tiresome story; seeing Cruise perform death defying dangerous stunts in exotic locations around the world is entertaining and sheer adrenaline fuel. Some of the action set pieces were impressive, particularly in the brutal well-choreographed bathroom brawl with fight performer Liang Yang & the complex Parisian roof top jump scene where Cruise really did break his ankle on a stunt. However, I doubt any of them will be as memorable as the franchise's biggest past standout moments, such as Ethan hanging on a wire during CIA vault break in from the first movie or the agent climbing the Burj Khalifa in 'Ghost Protocol' or even him clinging to the side of an ascending cargo plane; which happen in 2015's 'Rogue Nation'. Regardless, fight coordinator Wolfgang Stegemann and stunt coordinator Wade Eastwood did a hell of a job, here. I just wish, McQuarrie didn't make up so many action sequences on the fly that Tom wanted to do; rather than planning it all out. It create a lot of action scenes having to be cut; due to pacing issues, like the helicopter about to hit a truck sequence, the assassins at the party scene and most of all, the car crash, in which the nuclear scientist was captured. Having them, cut left a lot of unanswered questions. Even some of the action moment left in the film doesn't even add up. It left a lot of jarring plot holes, like what was the whole point of the HALO jump, if anybody like can walk in, through the front door like Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson). Also, isn't it kinda weird to see barely any men in a very clean loo area during a crowded high class party? How about the agency getting realistic visual effects done in a short period of time for the news skit!? Then again, these might seem like nitpicks, but it really did take me out of the movie at times; in the same way, the heavy exposition intro dump in the beginning, did. I get it, you have to rewatch the previous movie to get, what's happen, here. Despite that, I found the performances in the film to be, very good. Despite, what's going on, in his personal life, I have to say; Cruise as Ethan seem a good guy to hang around. I love the use of inner struggle within Hunt about being a Good Samaritan. Seeing Ethan repeatedly goes the extra mile to save the lives of innocent individuals, while sacrificing his personal life & dealing with the horrible consequences for failure, make him into a tragic emotionally tortured hero. Sean Harris as Solomon Lane is the closest this franchise has to a traditional compelling villain. His delivery is cold and eerily. Unfortunately, Lane is rarely used much in this film besides as a MacGuffin. As for Henry Cavill's character, August Walker. He has proven as formidable physical foe/friend to Ethan, during the action scene, but his character and performance are fairly wooden, behind his grizzled hammer like appearance. I kinda wish, Jeremy Renner's character, Agent William Brandt from the previous movie was in this role. It would make the film, a little more shocking. Plus, it would solve the problems from mustache gate scandal with 2017's film 'Justice League', a lot better. Sadly, Renner couldn't return for this film as he was filming another movie. As for the rest of the supporting cast: Simon Pegg, Alec Baldwin & Ving Rhames were alright. Ferguson was also decent in this movie, even her character doesn't do much until the end. It's weird to think, that the actress was seven months pregnant while filming this. That impressive that she got through this film. As for the rest of the female performers, like Vanessa Kirby, Michelle Monaghan, and Angela Bassett, much more screen time was desired to see if they were worth having in this flick. Overall: This motion picture offers quite a thrilling ride. While, the film not as good as the previous films. It's impossible to think of good reasons why not to watch this movie. It's still worth lighting up the fuse & see what blows up. This film is highly enjoyable.

Vinyl
(1965)

Just for the record. This is one Vinyl piece not worth collecting. It's pretty bad. This movie is not ready for a bit of the old ultraviolence.
The futuristic story of a ferocious troublesome young man getting imprisoned, strip away of his free will, and his reform toward good not going to plan, was not well told, here in this 1965's black and white movie by director, Andy Warhol. Produce at the New York Studio known as 'the Factory', the film was a very poor adaptation of author, Anthony Burgess's 1962's popular dystopian novel, 'A Clockwork Orange'. Not only, did Warhol packed all of the performers like Gerard Malanga, Robert Olivo and Tosh Carillo into a single static frame and had them, drunkenly read out dumb down simpleton lines with no cues cards. He also had them, haphazardly dance multiple times to the occasional pop song like "Nowhere to Run" by Martha and the Vandellas, "Tired of Waiting for You" by The Kinks, "The Last Time" by The Rolling Stones and "Shout" by The Isley Brother with little stage direction. It was done in a single almost continuous shot with the camera still rolling as credits were being read aloud, off screen during the 70 minute piece. Because of the lack of edits, all the mistakes were left in, like the performer's sporadically bad acting, including stumbling, flubbing and ramblings, outside noises like traffic seeping in, shots of random unrelated things happening in the background that has nothing to do with the plot & worst of all, awful amount of camera runtime, where the performers are barely doing anything besides, lifting weights, reading a newspaper or picking their nails. Trust me, when I say this. 'Vinyl' got really, really dull at times. Nearly, all of the major characters are change as well as locations like Korova Milk Bar. It's sad, because Burgess's novel had so many really intense, clever & interesting parts at different places, times, scenarios and characters, but this film barely make any use of the source material. They didn't even use Beethoven music, for goodness sakes, to play in the background! Because of that, the piece seem amateurish, and downright lazy. I was mostly very unimpressed. However, to give the movie, some credit, at least, it got the S&M parts of the book, somewhat correct, even if the framing is a bit off, and you can't see much of it in the foreground or the background. At least, that was somewhat kinda of disturbing, but also somewhat fascinating. Sadly, there isn't much of anything else to praise. Even, the most interesting of extras like Edie Sedgewick remain distant, unmoved and bored. What a waste of a beautiful model and actress! I would be tired, too if I was there. Really don't know, what Andy Warhol was going for, in this film. What does the title of 'Vinyl' even means? I get that, music stimulates various regions of the brain including the ones that can pick up symmetry and the ones that are responsible for finding identifiable patterns pleasurable. I also understand, that the book suggest that music has potential being used for both good and evil, as seen, where the titular character use harmless children songs to do wicked acts, but the message here in this movie is a bit too muddled to understand. It sucks that this film doesn't have a good narrative. That person could had really help, on describing to us, what the hell is going on, during the course of this movie! It's sad, that some film critics give this movie, high praise, just because of Warhol's pretentious name is on it. In truth, I barely think of any of them, saw this piece of trash. If they did, they would notice that this motion picture has really bad filmmaking. Don't get me wrong, I like Warhol's painting include the Campbell's Soup Cans, Marilyn Diptych and Elvis, but Warhol is no artist, when it comes to the screen. Honestly, if you want to see a good adaptation of Anthony Burgess's novel. Go watch, director Stanley Kubrick's 1971 version. At least, that movie was wise enough to use the story and the title of the book. It's a masterpiece. If you want to see a decent Andy Warhol flick. Try dissect 1966's movie 'Chelsea Girls'. In the end, this movie won't break any records, anytime soon. It's pretentious crap at its worst. An experimental movie gone horribly wrong. It's not worth checking out. The film is a scratch.

The Image Revolution
(2014)

The images in this film were not as strong as it should had been. It was only fairly decent.
There is no need for a million speech bubble to explain, what I thought about this film. I will try to make my statements really quick. While, 2014's documentary 'The Image Revolution' may seek to mostly glorify its subject matter with more positives than negatives. At least, the film directed by Patrick Meaney was willing to admit its participants' flaws as well as their strengths. It tries to have this balanced approach to the material that makes the program, worthwhile entertaining to view. In a tidy runtime of 83 minutes, the documentary manages to take viewers through the spectacular rise, unparalleled fall, and crucial redemption of Image Comics, America's first massively successful and truly enduring independent comic book publisher. However, several bits of the story could had been told a little better with the film; such as exploring more in detail, what their individual publications works like 'Youngblood', 'Wildcats' and 'Witchblade', were really about. Even after rewatching this documentary, multiplies times, I still have no idea, what their stories, entail. Nor do I get, why they were popular in the first place. Don't me wrong, the film does shallowly overall tell briefly, how the violence big guns, boob centric flash imageries artwork takes far more priority to good writing with most of their titles, but the low quality short clip scans of various comic book covers, doesn't really help support that case, that well. It's barely informative. It's probably worst for those, outside of Image's niches target audience. I can see, some viewers, getting easily lost. Another problem with the documentary, is how the film used interviews from media news stories from the 1990s & modern day film footage with all eight founders; Todd McFarlane, Jim Lee, Rob Liefeld, Marc Silvestri, Erik Larsen, Jim Valentino & Whilce Portacio & Chris Claremont as well as industry insiders, comics historians, fans and current Image Comics creators like Robert Kirkman & piece them together. There were several occasions, where the filmmakers screw up, mixing talking head footages that don't match, well with each other. It's kinda jarring to see a person talk about their lives, only for them, suddenly mid-sentence, change backgrounds, wearing different clothing, and in some cases, sporting new hair styles. It was very bad editing. Nor do I like, how the film kept mistakes in the film, such as the interviewers accidently bumping into the camera stand. The interviews looks highly amateurism. Another problem with the movie is its use of archival home video footage. The fact that most of them, were filmed by 1990s VHS home video camera, made the picture quality of fans lining outside comic book stores and conventions, hardly visual. I can barely see, what's going on. The footage were really grainy & low grade. Not only that, the over 20 year film rarely got any care after. It's sad, because you can start to see lines and scratches starting to form, and some lighting and color distortion with them. The footage was not in the greatest of shapes. Trust me, when I say this, watching these parts were highly nauseous & made me want to vomit. I really got a headache. Honestly, if the filmmakers wanted to make this film more watchable, they should had try to restore these jittery distorted imageries, a little better or cut them all from the film. In truth, these sequences really does not help tell the movie's history that well. Regardless of that, there was enough good visuals in this low budget documentary to overlook its flaws. The film was shot on high grade digital video that looks pretty sharp even in standard definition. It had strong colors and a nice level of detail for the most part. Even the recreated of key historic events like several high-profile illustrators leaving Marvel & dissing DC Comics over creation control, using animation comic book panels were outstanding even if the documentary wasn't exactly working with a large production. Because of reasons like that, I mention. I quite believe, that 'the Image Revolution' is still a unique rare fandom film, worth finding. It's still in mint, very limited edition that hasn't yet, decrease in value. It is one film worth opening up to. So check it out!

A Star Is Born
(2018)

This musical film hits nearly all the right notes with me. I love this movie!
The classic rags to riches story of a struggling young artist falling in love with an older veteran performer battling addiction, has been told time after time, again by Hollywood, with great acclaim; as early as 1929's film, 'The Broadway Melody' to, as recently as 2011's 'The Artist'. However, none of them, had the sights & sounds as 'the Star is Born' movie series (original 1937 motion picture, 1954's musical version, 1976's rock musical and 2013's Bollywood flick). These films are some of the finest movies about show business ever made, with 2018's version, by far, being the best. It's probably, my favorite of all the five films. That's pretty hard to do, because there is many things to like, with the other versions, but debuting director, Bradley Cooper & his crew indeed pull it off! Written by himself with Eric Roth & Will Fetters; the movie expands on some elements that were lost in the previous adaptations, such as giving more of a solid flesh out backstory to the main leads, Jackson (Bradley Cooper) & Ally Maine (Lady Gaga) than we got in previous adaptations. In this film, we get a lot of context on how real life struggle with substance abuse honestly starts. I just wish, the movie shown more of Jackson's fame, disappearing like the other movies. I just didn't get the sense that he's not in the limelight, anymore. After all, he still capable of selling out concert arenas and giving incredible performances. Plus, the musician got to perform at the Grammys, which is more than the previous characters ever got. There wasn't a lot of moments, showing Jackson having trouble, getting gigs as I would like. Despite that, Cooper still gave a good portrayal. He spent a lot of time, preparing for the musical aspects of the role, by getting himself a music coach and spent five days a week for six months, how to sing & play not just as himself, but also in character. He also spent months working on his speaking voice using a dialect coach to help him develop the rich tambour he wanted. Lowering his range to the point that it match the register of actor Sam Elliott who plays his on-screen brother, Bobby. That's a lot of work. You kinda knew that, this role was really importation to him, because in real life, the actor has also struggles with alcohol abuse. As for the female lead. Beyoncé was considered for the role of Ally, but thank goodness, she wasn't pick. That singer can't leave the celebrity glamour side of her life, for any film. Instead, Lady Gaga AKA Stefani Germanotta was chosen, because her wiliness to strip the over the top gimmicky persona, she has, to allow the audience to feel more of real, grounded, and vulnerable performance. She really wanted to expose the real world insight of why modern day musicians acts the way, she does. There is a lot of similarities between, Ally and Germanotta, the performer. Both had to change their normal day image into something more over the top and flamboyant to gain the audience's attention. Its sucks that modern society has turn beautiful music into a shallow, vapid version of their former self. In a way, this movie was very powerful social commentary about the negative of modern pop music. Regardless of her celebrity persona, Germanotta has already established herself, as a wonderful powerful singer. Still, a lot of people still had doubts about her acting ability, even after her award winning break out role in FX's television show, 'American Horror Story'. In truth, I think, she really does pull this role off. Gaga can truly acted with Cooper, during the darker moments in the film. Both were outstanding. Not only that, but both performers had really amazing, on screen chemistry with each other. It really did seem like their characters, were in love with each other. Plus, both of them, have really beautiful voices. Who knew, that Cooper could hold his own with Gaga, during the singing sequences. Songs like 'Shallow' & 'Maybe It's Time', were very catchy. The style of music really does evokes the highs and lows of Jackson and Ally's relationship, and the song lyrics reveals the difficulty of staying true to your artistic voice in an era when everything, even their personal lives is market to the public eye. I can see, a lot of people buying the OST for the soaring, dramatic ballads; especially with "I'll Never Love Again", where Germanotta gave a genuine heart wrenching performance for her best friend, who passed away, the same day, as the recording. In truth, every performer in this movie was equally as wonderful, even the supporting cast. Mad props goes to Elliot for his powerful portrayal. I can see him, being nominated, come award season. As for the visuals. The cinematography, especially, when the main characters driving in Arizona, were beautifully shot. Even the way, the large stage was frame to make it, look smaller, and personal with middle shots and close ups, was a very nice tough. It made, nearly every musical performance in the film, seem special, with the vocalists singing their heart out. It was very emotional. However, the movie does have some flaws. The movie has this deafening ringing sound throughout the film. I get that it was done to sympathize more with Jackson whom suffering from tinnitus. However, the way, the sound design is done, it will make you, want to cover your ears. It was a bit annoying. Despite that, I do like the foreshadowing to the hearing loss and the tragic climax. I just wish, the film show, the antagonist getting his comeuppance. It was a little too depressing of an ending. As for the pacing. It does seem rush a bit at times; especially, during establish Ally's career. Regardless of that, overall; the movie was an entertaining sensational watch. It's worth going gaga over. Highly recommended seeing.

Concussion
(2015)

This Hard Hitting drama, indeed left an impact in the Sport World. It was a mind altering movie.
This motion picture is not your typical sport movie. Instead of focusing on compelling athletes competing in a physical game. This movie based off true events is more about ongoing debate over player safety within the sport of football, and exposing the dark extreme lengths, the oppositions would do in denying the obvious link between a brain disease, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and football related head injuries. While the movie written & directed by Peter Landesman tries really hard to tell a good story; it has been criticized for not being truthful to the actual events; such in the case, how the motion picture made up a number of fake adversaries for Dr. Bennet Omalu (Will Smith) to fight against. One of them, was the FBI. While, it's true, that the bureau raided Bennet's boss, Cyril Wecht (Albert Brooks) for corruption; what's untruth, is that it was instructed by officials of the NFL, in order to scare the doctor. In reality, both organizations had little working ties. Even if they did, the case with Cyril has nothing to do with the concussion result; as the raid occurred three months prior to Omalu's publishing his finding. Another misleading information, create by the film was the indication that the doctor & his wife, Prema (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) suffer a miscarriage & were driven out of the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, due to the fears over the federal's retaliation. In reality, not only did they not suffer a miscarriage, they rarely got harassment like that. Authenticity, Dr. Bennet and the government has really good relationship with each other, to the point, that the doctor appear in court as a witness for the prosecution & also offer to become the next chief medical examiner for Washington D.C. Choosing not to get into politics, the forensic pathologist turn down the offer, in order to stay within the city to tried to go after Wecht's job. The only reason, why Bennet left Pittsburgh and move to California, was, because he didn't get that job. It has nothing to do with the government, nor the people, he work with. In real-life, Bennet barely had any combative coworker like Daniel Sullivan (Mike O'Malley) at the coroner's office; as he often work, by himself. As for, the other threats, his family got, in the film like from ex-football player, Dave Duerson (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje). It's also inaccurate. In real life, Duerson did not harm Bennet with mob like death threats. He only discredit the doctor's findings, whenever, he was talking to the public; which was rarely, as he didn't really work for NFL at the time; due to a business venture, in the retail food industry. Indeed, the negative light toward him, was somewhat incorrect & highly exaggerated. Likewise, Dr. Joseph Maroon (Arliss Howard)'s portrayal in the movie is also highly sensationalized. While, it's true that the neurosurgeon did deny any relationship between football concussions and Omalu's findings. In the defense of him, he did more to treat and prevented concussions than anybody, specifically in football, by establishing the Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment Cognitive Testing and discovering "burning hands" syndrome. In truth, he was no football stooge. He fought against the system; along with executive director, Christopher Nowinski, whom was not even mention in this movie. It's sad, because the Concussion Legacy Foundation played an integral role in discovering brain damage within football players. Sucks that, they were omitted. Another problem with the film is that the players suffering from this brain disease, also doesn't get enough screen time. The film might have worked better, if they did. I really wanted to know, more about their stories & rather than seeing the protagonist fight made up villains. They really drop the ball here. Also, structurally, the movie had really bad pacing. There is no indication of time moving, at all. A good example of this, is the doctor's relationship with his wife. It felt rushed and underdeveloped, as Raw isn't given, much to do, as a performer. Her fairly superficially written character is only there to give moral support. When in truth, Bennet's wife did more; such as help him, document his work, by taking photographs. Also, unlike the movie, Prema did not initially live with Bennet, during her first few months in United States. She live on her own. While, it's true, that she did go to the same church as Bennet. Sparks didn't fly, until they met at a party, later on. Having her live with the doctor from the get go, looks very creepy & odd. It's sad, because, scenes like that, including all the religionist talk, toward dead people made Bennet seem more like African Warlord, 'Joseph Kony' style religionist zealot than a normal stocky American common man of faith. It doesn't help that Smith plays a generalized African accent that sounds over the top & cheesy. It's so unlike the real doctor, whom has a cooler Americanized accent. It's a really odd choice, just like, how Nigerian born, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje is playing an American football player. It's doesn't add up. Another problem with the film is the science is not as accuracy as it should had been. While, it's true that CTE and Concussions are brain injuries. They are not the same. Each have very different conditions. A concussion is a suddenly acute brain injury caused by a blow to the head, while CTE is repeated brain trauma cause degeneration over time. Also, not every concussion leads to CTE damage. Nor can, CTE really be all, to blame for the suicides of several former athletes. Let's not forget that, many other factors, outside of football, also led to these tragedies; such mental illness, drug use, bad relationships, numerous lawsuits and financial problems. However, these things are not explore. In the end, while, 'Concussion' didn't tackle the subject matter as good as 2012's documentary, 'Head Games'. This movie still needs to be seen for any sport fan. Just note, it's no touchdown. At least, it's no fumble.

Jin chou fu lu shou
(2011)

Hello there, buddies! Unfortunately, this foreign language movie is not good at all. It was really, really dumb.
Although, this Hong Kong comedy movie produced by Television Broadcasts Limited, marks the first time, Wong Cho Lam, Louis Yuen and Sze Chit Lee has work together outside of the semi entertaining variety show, 'Fun with Liza and the Gods'; the film was still pretty hard to wrestle with. I found the concept of a down on their luck, group of friends, starting their own street wrestling business, only to be challenge by a bigger international promotional company, to a one on one, semi real street fight, horribly told. After all, the movie written by social activist, Wong Yeung Tat was not very focused with the pro wrestling concept. The story was all over the place. One minute, it's a series of mostly very unfunny jokes and gags of the trio losing their jobs like cemetery plot salesperson or trying new jobs like singing in drag. Overlap with an overall focus on exposing the outrageous housing problems and the high unemployment rates of Hong Kong. Then, the next minute, it's about making fun of that country's cinema and television programs including parodies of Chinese Gun Fu and Martial Arts genre films with a series of unrelated skits. Because of these unconnected events intermixing with each other with such lousy editing and poor transition. The pacing for this film directed by Chung Shu Kai was way off. It takes forever for the pro wrestling sequences to even start to take form. 30 minutes in. To add to the insult, it become very clear, as the movie goes on, that the writer doesn't know anything about pro wrestling. Especially, when it comes to the decision to make the contests in the film seem legit or not. I don't like how the movie expose how the fights are athletics mixed with theatrical performance, under predetermined outcomes to heighten entertainment value; only to forget about it, toward the end of the movie. There is no need to add more suspense, between the trio and the American wrestlers, when it didn't need to. It came across as highly anachronistic, jarring nor make any sense in the story, they were originally telling. Despite that, I have to give the three actors, mad props for all the stunt work, they were able to pull off. The way, they did wrestling moves were impressive. Even if, it looks highly cartoony and fake. Also, I didn't mind, the over the top slapstick montage, the boys had with their trainer played by comedian, Eric Tsang training for the match. Those scenes involving him, were some of the best moments in the film. As for the finishing move, the trainer taught them; a nod to the video game, 'Angry Birds'. I felt that it was bit oddly place, but absurd enough in the way, it was execute that it felt somewhat funny to see. In the end, the main characters were compelling enough to root for, with each one of them, has something to prove, such as being a good lover, husband, and father. Still, I wasn't really invest in the East versus West storyline as I should had. Maybe, it's because, the filmmaker lied about the posters of Bobby Lashley and Batista making an appearance, when they didn't or the fact, I knew in advance that regardless if the boys won or not; they still got paid. In truth, the sentimental dramatic of that fight, seem a bit forced and last minute. It didn't match well with the overall silly antics, the film was portraying. Unfortunately, the climax wasn't help, by the lack of charisma and depth, when it comes to the trio's in ring persona. Despite that, the boys did shine in the other parts of the movie; even if, most of their act, felt like rehash from their variety show, and from Hui Brothers comedies from the 1970s and 1980s. They did make me laugh. In particular, when the trio serve as extras in the filming of a major star's period drama. That was funny. However, sadly, not all the jokes landed with me. Some of the humor were so cringe worthy that I had to face palm myself, because I felt embarrassed for allow myself, to watch this extremely low brow movie. Call it, subjective, or a failure in communication due to the language barrier, but sexual assault jokes like the one toward the beginning of the film, doesn't make me laugh at all. Then, there are reference jokes that were so out there that it really does require the viewer, a knowledge of Hong Kong culture, such in the case, where when they met the mysterious public service announcement heroine. Not only that, but when the film has star cameos making fun of some their most memorable performance in their respective filmographies. Scenes like that, will likely be lost on a foreign audience. Then, there is the problem with translation. The English subtitles don't accurate attempt to show the mannerisms and voice quality of the Cantonese language that well. A good example of that, is the scene where one of the characters is doing local celebrity impression in a police's interruption room. Every one of them, sounds the same in English. Despite that, the movie does have a really cool easy to listen to, soundtrack. The song 'We are champions' was very catchy. In the end, I still can't recommend this movie. It's like taking a body slam. Its look fun, but it hurts really bad, afterwards. This film is not really worth getting your hands on.

Primer
(2004)

It's time to think outside the box! Go see Primer! This smart movie is really out of the norm!
Made on a minuscule budget of $7,000, this low budget American independent science fiction movie about two engineers, Aaron (Shane Carruth) & Abe (David Sullivan) accidentally creating a device that allows time travel, that soon become troublesome to them is quite possibly one of the most complex time travel film ever made. Between the multiple paradoxes time travels with many clone individuals, the nonlinear plot, philosophical implications, and the ocean of techno babble that the main characters spout at each other constantly, while also dishonestly lying; this movie indeed, is one very puzzling motion picture. While, some people might not films like this, that tests a person's ingenuity or knowledge, others find "Primer' as a wonderful stimulate to the ravenous mind. It's only, near the climax, where the movie starts to fall apart & get really frustrating. For the most part, the film concept is clearly thought provoking enough for people to invest time in it. After all, it inspire people to sit down and create a diagram flowchart after watching this movie! I'm not kidding, diehard fans, honestly, made graphs & charts on the internet in order to explain to the casual viewer, what was happening on screen. This movie has that deep of a fandom. Thank goodness for them, because even I, with some knowledge of the Feynman & Meissner effect, couldn't figure, what everything was going on, during this film, during first viewing. Trust me, when I say this, you wouldn't get much information from the filmmakers. Even the commentary track from director, producer, editor & writer, Steve Carruth that come with the movie, couldn't help you get more information about the story elements. Why, because Carruth does not believe, in dumbing down the piece, the piece, in order to make it easier to decipher. Instead, he trust the audience into finding the answers; for themselves; through multiply viewings. I don't blame him, that's a brilliant strategy, to get viewers to keep renting or buying into his movie, even after many years since the theatrical release date. He probably made mad money off, the cult-following trying to understand the film. This movie took a huge risk of not pleasuring the general movie goer audience at all. While other movies that have time travel try to keep it simpleton layman terms to entertain casual viewers, 'Primer' goes the other direction, showing that time shouldn't be mess with. The way, Carruth chose to deliberately obfuscate the film's plot to mirror the complexity and confusion created by time travel was somewhat brilliant. While, I can understand, his stands of not exposing too much. I still believe the movie should had given a little more subtle clues to explain, what's happening at a given moment like the degeneration & personality swaps scenes. Because, as of right now, the film does seem a bit uncoherent. Despite that, I have to give the movie, some credit for its showing, not telling approach to the time travel parts of the film. However, I didn't believe the same approach to the central theme of the breakdown of Abe and Aaron's relationship, as a result of their inability to cope with the power afforded them by this technological advancement, work as well. I don't think, the main performers have the acting skills to portray the need human emotions that a piece like this, really needed. It didn't help, the movie didn't give the performers, much a persona for them to work with. Instead, both men seem like boring lackluster robots. While, it's true that juicy sub stories involving their friends, Robert (Casey Gooden) & Phillip (Anand Upadhyaya) involving an unseen antagonist, Platz, might add some spice to the story, as their characters might want to steal the invention in the beginning, the supporting characters were quickly abandoned and sweep under the rug for the rest of the film. They really don't play much of a factor, in the second half; much of the same, can be said, with the Aaron's family, wife, Kara (Carrie Crawford) & daughter, Laney (Delaney Price) who rarely shown, any worries about Aaron's negative aggressive change in behavior, due to the time travel. Its sucks that this movie has no great emotional core, because there were so many layers where it could had added more to the main story. Instead, we got a very loose-unexplored love interest with Rachel Granger (Samantha Thomson); whom Abe is seeing, that subplot involving her father, Thomas (Chip Carruth) seem to come, out of nowhere. It was very faulty. Even the music, also score by Carruth barely add anything to the film. None of the tracks, were engaging or compelling. Another thing that hurts the movie from reaching masterpiece standards, is the horrible editing. Carruth frequently deploys vicious jump-cuts, when it doesn't need it. It's really disorienting. Even the cinematography isn't much to look at. Every frame in this film is dull looking with ugly color scheme. However, the biggest complain, I have, against the movie is that it's a little too low budget. I was a bit disappointed by the lack of special effects & the absence of key action scenes like the gunman at the party scene. The "incident" could probably be the dramatic high point of the film. But here, it happens off-camera. Very disappointing. The movie feel cheap, when it shouldn't. Despite that, Carruth's goal of portraying time travel in a down-to-earth realism was a success. His years as a mathematic and former engineer pay off. It's quite possibly the most single nerdiest film ever made, and one that brings sci fi realism up to bar. While, not for everybody, it's a film, you don't need to pass a MENSA exam to enjoy. Overall: Despite no prior filmmaking experience, Carruth's movie blew everyone's minds at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival & has since then, continue that thread. It's cerebral stimulating. Check it out.

Cuphead
(2017)

Indeed, it is a good day for a swell battle! This video game is really intense, but also really fun to play! Let's wallop!
Inspired by 1930's cartoons, Studio MDHR painstakingly created a game that look like it might had come from that era. The visuals are remarkable. You can tell that the team did their research, right down to the color coordination and the lack of color consistency. There's even a grain filter and simulated 24 fps framerate to complete the effect. The traditional cartoon aesthetics of the hand drawn cell animation on a watercolor background or model work was also surreal & absolutely gorgeous. Not only that; but it's really impressive for an independent game like 'Cuphead', to features an orchestra like soundtrack that nearly 3 hours of original jazz, barbershop duo, early Latin big band, and ragtime music. It's just too bad, there is a lot of tracks by composer Kristofer Maddigan that had to cut from the game, due to runtime. Regardless, the Cab Calloway's like night club based behop sound that left in the game, matches well, with the compelling high stakes frenetic redemption story about two anthropomorphic porcelain cups brothers, Cuphead & Mugman having to collect souls, in order to free themselves from the devil's clutches. It's catchy. Additionally, I like how the songs themselves will play differently depending on the circumstances: pausing the game or opening your inventory will muffle the music, using a super move will detune and speed it up, and dying will cause a record like needle scratch followed by the music slowing to a crawl. It has an ominous effect on most gamers' ears. It really does help you feel emerge with what happening on screen, even the single player or co-player gameplay isn't much of a traditional cartoon-like, nostalgia genre piece, run and gun game like 1993's Sega Game 'Zombies Ate My Neighbor'. In truth, 'Cuphead' resemble something more of a cartoon version of 2005's PlayStation game 'Shadow of the Colossus', with its boss rush style of gameplay. After all, the game was originally made that way. Most of the actual Run and Gun gameplay levels, Mausoleum sequences & the hidden 40 coins quest were added late into the development phrase by Microsoft, in order to make the game more fun to play. Because of that, they felt like loose end, glitches side-missions that doesn't really needed to be play to beat the game. Nevertheless, it does help your character get weapon and abilities upgrade at the number of shops, throughout the over world map. So, that's a plus, even if certain things, like being locked into one charm or getting expose by after using a super, could be annoying. Hopefully, those things can be patch, later on. Regardless, those missions are not as challenging as the boss battles. I get that, people do need a breather from the intense action. However, a game like this, shouldn't have parts of it, to soften gamers up. The hard gameplay is one of the main appeal of 'Cuphead'. It supposed to be no cake walk. While, some people might find the lack of checkpoints & health picks up, a turn off; I like it. It's been, a long time, since a video game honestly gave the player, a challenge, rather than holding your hand throughout it. Plus, it's not like the run and gun levels & boss battles are impossible to beat. Victories are quite accessible, once you learn to memorization and avoid the enemies attack patterns, through trial and error, getting use to your vast amount of weapons through swapping, and improving your reflexes, regardless if you're on 'simple' or 'regular' mode. I like how most of the controls aren't poor or broken & the camera angles aren't cripplingly limited in its viewpoint. If you die, it's pretty much, your fault. Trust me, when I say this, you will have to prepare to die multiply times, before having success. It will make you frustrated at times. However, if you do die, your character has infinite lives & maintaining all equipment between deaths, so you can't complain too much. If you're unwilling to take such a lot of losses. You might as well, turn off the game, and play something else. For those, patient & brave enough to continue. With a little bit of luck, you might enjoy the game, a lot more, for putting you, through the ringer. It's satisfying as hell to beat a boss. The gameplay is tough, but fair & tolerable. Plus, there is array of unique bosses, with multiple forms and functions that it's almost worth the price of admission alone just to see all them. Also, you can choice, which boss, you want to fight first and last in the 3 over world maps. So, the pathway to victory is, in your own hands. However, you do have to beat all 5 bosses, before entering, the other two world-maps. Another thing, while, most people don't care about high scores, over survivability. Those willing to put the effort, will be grade high levels, which can unlockable color modes, Easter eggs, & other perks like expert trials. So that's cool. Not only that, but there is plenty to unlock, once you debug the game, such as hidden unused bosses and weapons. Another thing to like, is how the racist depictions of racial minorities is purposely avoided, and for good reason. However, the Christian Communion metaphors is bit overplayed. Regardless, I do like how there is good and bad ending based on whether or not the brothers agree to hand over the soul contracts to the Devil. The story mirrors so much, what the developers, Chad & Jared Moldenhauer had to do in real-life in order to get out of debt with Microsoft. Overall: 'Cuphead' had amazing story & gameplay. I can't wait for the sequel. Until then, enjoy the DLC expansion, "The Delicious Last Course". That's equally as good. In the end, while, there is a few faults with this passive project. It's still definitely worth seeking out. You will get your money's worth. You can bet on that!

The Happytime Murders
(2018)

This movie didn't make me happy at all! It was very disappointing.
This comedy about a hard nose, puppet private detective, Phil Phillips (Voiced & Puppeteer by Bill Barretta) having to team with a human cop partner, Connie Edwards (Melissa McCarthy) to solve a string of murders; could had been amazing. Sadly, this Hollywood's version of Broadway's 'Avenue Q' with an adult theme plot similar to 1988's film, 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit', was not a success. It fail to impress many viewers & critics. Much of this, has to do with the comedy. The shock value of seeing puppets use vulgar sentences kinda ran dry, really quick, as they didn't do anything really new or clever with the harsh language. Because of that, much of the bawdy humor, sex addled jokes and over the top violence felt generic & unoriginal. After all, we seen humor like this, done better in films like 1989's 'Meet the Feebles' or 2004's 'Team America: World Police' that already pushed the envelope for raunchy humor in otherwise children oriented formats. As for the other jokes, unrelated to the puppet, they also didn't stand out much on their own. The 1992's film, 'Basic Instinct' legs crossing scene & other film parodies has been done to death, in other cop comedies like 1993's 'Loaded Weapon'. Even sayings, like 'dumb person say what' or 'does this smell like chloroform' like the ones use toward the FBI in the film has been used before; in films, as recent as 2011's 'Hall Pass'. They don't really stand that much as unique, smart comebacks. Because of that, most of the juvenile foul mouthed toilet humor jokes fall flat, rather than major hits toward the funny bone. It didn't help that the direction of the film was all over the place. The movie would certainly have more laughs, if the comedy had more a solid gritty film noir tone, rather than playing both sides. Another thing that would help the film is if they set the settling of the events to the late 1970s & early 1980s, where puppets were used, often, in their peak, in the entertainment industry as modern day minstrel shows, lampooning them, in stereotypical and often disparaging ways, as musical, childish, buffoons. All that negative overexposure and saturation would give more reasons, in universe, for people to hate them, & treat the live hand puppets, as second class citizens. Without that, key information, the film's social commentary about race racial doesn't make much lick of sense. The world building for this alternate Los Angeles didn't feel as real as it could had been. It was lazy. To top it off, the film feature, way too many mediocre comedians, rather than dramatic performers. It doesn't make the grittiest parts of the film seem believable. After all, McCarthy's female Chris Farley's fat person doing pratfalls lighthearted gags doesn't really match, well, with the somber dark comedy, they're trying to tell. To add to that, her style of physical humor had already ran its course. Jokes involving her character, out of place puppet's kidney were a bit tiresome to watch. Despite that, she isn't that much of a nuisance. McCarthy is amusing enough to care, and she shares some fun chemistry with Phil. Nevertheless, the worst performance in the film by an actor, has to go to Joel McHale as Agent Campbell. He's pretty much, playing himself. It is so disappointing, as he adds nothing to the film. On the other hand, it's the voice acting for the puppets that really do shine. For example, Barretta really did a great job, here. I enjoyed his character, quite a bit. He made the puppet seem like a real dark disheveled gritty cop, through his gruff masculine voice. I also like how film argues that puppets are complex & flawed living beings whom also could go through rough times. To add to the context, some of the puppets used in this film was recycle from past productions like 1994's TV Series, 'The Animal Show' and 2002's film 'Kermit's Swamp Years' to show the wear and tear of aging and outliving their usefulness. It made the dark elements of the story seem a little more tragic. However, this choice in production also cheapens it, by making the film seem low budget, when it's not. It's sad, because you can tell that there is a lot of passion behind this movie. Apparently, they've been trying to make this motion picture for years now. It was kinda a dream assignment for director, Brian Henson. He really thought, this flick would led to more adult themed movie projects like a film version of his United Kingdom's puppet based variety show, 'Puppet Up!'; by this point, that most likely isn't going to happen. Despite that, the puppeteers put a lot a work into this movie. They went through a lot of hardship based off, the outtakes during the credits, trying to their green screen body suits, oscillating machine, and hydraulics to work right. Unfortunately, Jim Henson's son indeed reaches a new low here to the point, that it kinda hurt the Henson Family legacy, because how mediocre, the film story is. Don't get me wrong, the murder mystery concept isn't bad; I just wish, they took more challengers with it. I found it, oddly constructed, yet prediction. Nevertheless, they are points of the film where twists do happen, but they have no emotional weight or payoff. Much of them, like the one with Jenny (Elizabeth Banks) don't really play much of a factor. Also, there were a lot of jarring moments, like why didn't Phil work with the FBI. At least, he would had alibi, when the other murders do happen. I guess, it was done to add some thrills. Regardless of that, not needed add in, the movie is still paced very well. Overall: This movie is not good, but at least, it's not a total mess of a crash dummy of a film like some critics, make it out to be. It's just meh. Could had been better.

Bee Movie
(2007)

Like a bee sting, this Dreamwork Animation movie hurts to watch for the most part. It's just not quite buzzworthy.
Honestly, this cartoon movie directed by Simon J. Smith & Steve Hickner can buzz off! I don't care if this movie had an unexpected rise in popularity as a few internet memes, several years after the film's release. It will never be sweet to me. I really do dislike this Paramount Pictures cartoon. Nearly, everything about this film is wrong. Let's start with the premise. The story about a honeybee, Barry B Benson (Voiced by Jerry Seinfeld) who travels outside of the hive & falls in love with a human woman named Vanessa Bloom (Voiced by Renee Zellweger) who in a relationship with another man, Ken (Voiced by Patrick Warburton), while eventually uncovers a shocking conspiracy involving bees was all over the place. One minute, it's a movie about going against the hive, in order to follow your own path & dreams, through self-discovery & individualism, then the next minute, the film turn into unconventional, mess up beastality fantasy. Only for it to change, yet again, into a courtroom drama, about fighting against prejudices and discrimination; before tackling off, into a disaster movie where everybody has to deal with the unintended consequences of their actions. It's a cluster of a mess. All the writers, Jerry Seinfeld, Andy Robin, Barry Marder & Spike Feresten put too much threads into this film. Not only that, but the film abandoned some many plot-lines that it leaves many plot holes, and unanswered questions. It get highly confusing at times. Plus, it felt somewhat lazy, not to finish the story arcs, they're started. Not only that, but the story didn't even, know what tone, they were going for. It sways from mindless tongue in cheek comedy like the 1990's TV Series 'Seinfeld' to serious animation movie with a strong ethical ground, back and forth. It's annoying to watch. Why? It's because the mixed tone hurts the moral message. It's so wishy washy flip flopper. A good example of muddled, is how the first acts seem to be preaching an Aesop against the human exploitation of animals, but then flips the message on its head, around toward the middle, when Benson dreams about laughing about other bugs getting smash. What the hell? It's so mean spirited & dark. Even the other comedy elements is just as jarring. How does the jokes go from, making a near innocent, little too much really bad, bee puns to highly offensive humor that don't belong in a kids film, like jokes about the Holocaust, African Slavery, and suicide. There is even a scene where the bees hijack a plane and aim it, toward New York City. Yikes! Yes, I know, the plot says, they did it, so the heroes can re-pollinate the city's flowers, but why would, they need to do that, in the first place. It's not like it's going bring them, back to life. Pollen doesn't that way. It's a reproductive component. It can only make new ones. Does the film even know, how basic science works? Honeybees are not a vital part of the ecosystem. Why, because, European honey bees like Barry are an invasive species that only there to produce honey! Along with African bees, they do more harm to the environment than good. They crowd out all the other local pollinators, take resources and spread diseases. Because of that, normal Native Americans bees are in decline and that's a bad thing. They are the ones that are essential vital part of the reproductive lifecycle of flowers. Still, even if all of the bees went extinct, there's still the other animals like hummingbirds, butterflies & others to pollinate. In fact, many species of plant don't even need animals at all, relying on the wind alone for pollination. It looks like the filmmaker didn't know that. Much like they, didn't even know, that male bees don't sting. On top of that, there's no such thing as a male worker. In a beehive, all of the grunt work is done by the females. This includes pollinating, defense, flying and even creating honey from vomiting. Really; the only purpose of a drone male bee in real life is to mate with the queen, then die. Nothing else! No wonder, why Benson is so horny toward Vanessa. He see her as the Queen Bee. That bizarre love angle was disturbing in many levels. Add murder-suicide to that list. Also, the idea the movie treats bee allergies as a joke is pretty bad. Making Ken into the villain, because of that, is stretching it. Much like eco-thriller parts. The film turning beekeepers into over the top animal abusers is so thin. In truth, Honeybees are not the victim under an oppressive thumb being exploit. They share a critical symbiotic relationship with human. However, I will get the movie, some credit. Without the demand, honeybee populations would collapse and fall into disrepair. That's only true thing in this film. Still, that very unlikely to happen, even if an American court case stops it. It's not the court can stop the rest of the world from producing honey. That's for sure. In spite of that, I have to give the movie, other credits. At least, the story wasn't predictable. It was somewhat entertaining at parts. Some of the jokes did land, like shooting Winnie-the-Pooh with a tranquilizer dart! How did that, get past Disney's radar? However, most of the humor falls flat. As for the characters. They are too unlikeable. Even the voice acting was a little too hammy. The lead playing himself in the film, through bee form was disappointing & the animation hasn't aged well. Even with the over marketing. The movie falls slightly below expectations. Overall: It's one of the worst computer animated movies, DreamWorks ever produce. However, it's not the worst animated movie about a bee that year. 2007's 'Plan Bee' takes that prize. Now, that's one film worth smashing with a fly swatter! 'Bee Movie', I just repellant, from even watching again. It's not good.

Flight 93
(2006)

We can never truly repay our fallen heroes, the least, we could do is honor them by telling their story. This movie was a soaring success.
On the morning of September 11, 2001, one of the deadliest attacks in U.S. history took place when four commercial airliners were hijacked by members of the Islamic terrorism group, al-Qaeda. The first two planes, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, were flown into the two towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. A third plane, American Airlines Flight 77, hit the western side of the Pentagon, just outside Washington, D.C. The fourth hijacked plane, United Airlines Flight 93 was the only flight, never to reach its intended target, because its crew and passengers fought back. This TV Movie directed by Peter Markle & aired on the A&E Network in 2006, tells the story of how they were able to prevent the terrorists, from carrying out their mission to use the aircraft as an airborne weapon, and how their noble courage and sacrifice, save the lives of countless Americans on that day. Without spoiling the film, too much, the movie didn't stir jingoism or xenophobia to the point that it got annoying. It was not too propaganda or shallow. As for the religionist overtones. Besides the lord prayer scene, religion wasn't the main focus of the film. 'Flight 93' was not promoting a stereotypical Christian or Muslim agenda, at all. If anything, it was too 'on the nose' on the value of loving others rather than faith. A good example of this, was all those repetitive mawkish shots of domestic members holding babies, while, ignoring children, run around; while the events play out. We get it, childhood's innocence was indeed lost that day. We didn't need all those shots of children to get, that the victims had families. The phone calls with the wives, husbands, and parents were strong enough. There was considerable intensity, especially in the passengers and their families realizing that death is inevitable & a choice to stop the terrorist had to be made. This is a complex and loaded dilemma, dealing with self-sacrifice and mortality that really made the movie's moral message, sophistical. All those highly sensitive moments made the victims & their families really stand out. However, some of those sequences were so badly acted by the supporting cast, that the emotional felt tacky at times. While, the movie might seem exploitation by showing these sequences, the film was made with the cooperation of all of the passengers' families with their blessing. Still, I believe that this film along with the others of a similar subject in 2006, were greenlight, a little too soon. After all, the movie was made only 5 years since those tragic events. No matter how solemn or respectful, the film made seem. It still inky to see it, being played out in any media. At least, it's not as exploited, as other films on the same subject. After all, director Paul Greengrass's movie 'United 93' was played in movie theaters for money; while, this low budget TV Movie was played in its whole runtime on a smaller network, without much interruption of commercials or ads when it first aired. It's a big different. However, I do agree that this movie lack meticulous, compare to the cinematic version hyper realism portrayal of 'United 93'. There were a lot of historic inaccurate things to nitpick about, like the clothing, the look of the actors chosen to portray the passengers, and the surroundings. Nevertheless, it didn't felt too distracting to the point, that it took me, out of the movie. In fairness, the film really does tries hard to dramatically reenact what happened on the doomed flight as historical accuracy, as it can; using recreate of audio from cellular phone calls and control-tower transmissions and not from nut jobs Sept. 11 conspiracy theorists. A good example of this, was the scene where the pilots of the commercial aircraft had received a warning against possible cockpit intrusion, but chose to open the door anyway. This was omitted in the cinematic version. Another approach that I like, about this film is the way, it's shot. We got to see, more with the surroundings & how the flight from hell might have been for those who were up there to witness it. The use of quick cuts of the footage of the CGI plane model sped up, made the surroundings with the actors seem like they were going in a fast motion. It was well play; despite the low budget. As for action scenes. I like how the filmmakers weren't relaying too much on shaky cam. You can honest see, what's happening here, lending to its legitimacy. While, some of the shots might not be as cathartic as 'United 93'. It was still a gripping watch. Composer, Velton Ray Bunch's musical score heighten both the suspense and the emotion. This was really something missing from Greengrass version. It's just too bad, that the bittersweet ending of the film of people searching the wreck was not as powerful as 'United 93'. Despite that, I can understand, the daunting challenge of retelling the events of the titular flight with a cautious, apolitical tone. In the end, I can't say, the movie is entertaining. It's really upsetting to watch, no matter, how many times, you watch it. The movie only serves as somewhat a curiosity memorial, but at least, this TV Movie wasn't deem terribly an insensitive plane crash; hatred by most viewers like the 2017's Martin Guigui's movie or 2003's Brian Trenchard-Smith's film. Overall: 'Flight 93' serves a powerful, poignant reminder that freedom is not free and everyday life is a gifted, not to be wasted. It's a film need to be seen. Let's not forgot, the tragedies that happen on that day.

BlacKkKlansman
(2018)

The invisible empire just got expose, how stupid, they really are. What an intriguing, surreal, funny comedy, this movie was!
Loosely based on the 2014 real-life memoir by good nature, ex-police officer, Ron Stallworth, originally titled, 'Black Klansman'. This 2018 biographical comedy drama, directed by Spike Lee; told the story of the first African American police detective in Colorado Springs history to ever infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan, successful. Without spoiling, this semi-historical flick, too much, I didn't mind, that the story wasn't as authentic as the motion picture should had been. Most of the major changes the film did; such as adding an imaginary cop hater activist girlfriend, Patrice Dumas (Laura Harrier) or made up, Jewish surrogate cop, Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver) for Stallworth (John David Washington) to hang with, while solving a fictional bombing plot; work for the movie's favor, because it add more tension and suspense. However, having the events take place in 1972, instead of 1979 was a stylistic choice that was a mixed bag for me. While, I like that it allow a complex and impassioned debate about the portrayal of race in the media by referencing both Blaxploitation movies, as well, as political conspiracy thriller from that era. It does sway away, the struggles that Stallworth had to go, to accomplice with his main case. Pessimistically, this part of the film was often, sadly, delayed by other things, Lee wanted to shallowing show us first as well. Like, using film footage from another movie, 1939's 'Gone with the Wind' to open this motion picture up. Then, parodying a supremacy propaganda video with a minor character. Although, those sequences were unique to see. It didn't really help, move the plot, along. Much of the same, can be said, with the drawn out love subplot party scene. Did we really need to see Stallworth, dance to the whole song 'Too Late to turn back now' by Cornelius Bros and Sister Rose? It felt like time wasted. Even scenes that seem more important, like Stallworth, doing undercover work like infiltrating a local rally by national civil rights leader, Kwame Ture (Corey Hawkins) ran a little too long. No wonder, why it took forever for the case to take form. The pacing for this movie was way off. Don't get me wrong, I love how that scene is shot, with the lighting experiment, camera zooming in on close up of the bright faces of the crowd, listening to the organizer, surrounded by darkness. It was beautiful. However, the 'Tarzan' speech was kinda theatrical cheesy & forcefully heavy-handed. Not only that, but much of the 'take arms' bullet points, would be repeat, later in the film, anyways, in a jarring badly cut street scene where the black student union debate about having weapons at their protest. In truth, the lecture could had been cut down. Plus, we got a lot more powerful similar speech toward the end, with the film intercuts the KKK doing their rituals and watching director, D. W Griffith 1915's movie 'The Birth of a Nation', with footage of an elderly man, Jerome Turner (Harry Belafonte) illustrates in terrifying detail, how racism films like that, has cause an increase of real-life horrors of cruel and inhumane punishment toward minorities. Still, even that message, the film was somewhat muddled. For example, how on Earth, can Lee denounce one director's use of violent imagery, then, arguably does exactly the same thing, here, albeit from the opposite perspective? I get that, Lee doesn't want to shy away from making connections between the Klan Stallworth infiltrated in the '70s and the Unite the Right Rally of 2017; by having the movie open in theaters on the anniversary week of that tragic event, but having his protagonists, pull out guns and point them at the camera while visuals of modern day racism, both political and national dominates the screen, isn't the right message to give people of today. Anger through violence, in all its enflamed and even cinematic variations, is an emotion that our world could definitely use a little less. We don't need to fuel a future race war. Combating racial inequality through nonviolent resistance would had been a better message to the movie with. Regardless of the mixed moral principles of the director, I found Stallworth to be morally sounded character. Thanks from solid dramatic acting chops from Washington during the serious moments of the film. Stallworth is truly dedicated, good-hearted guy who is stuck in rock and hard place; when it comes to his moral duty. Some people think of him, as a traitor to his race, for being a cop, while others, embraced his courage for taking on the KKK. His struggles was compelling. As for actor's comedic side. It did felt like a variety act to the point, that I did mistake him for Chris Redd at certain moment. Nevertheless, his delivery of humor was hilarious, especially with Stallworth interactions with Klan's Grand Wizard, David Duke (Topher Grace) over the phone & during the infamous photography scene. As for the supporting cast. They were equally as good as Washington, both comically and dramatically, with Adam Driver, standing out the most. As for the music. Composer, Terence Blanchard gave out, one of his best. What a haunting, but funky melody. Plus, his use of catchy R&B culture from the 1970s was well capture. Overall: While, I have furthermore, unnamed nitpicks of historical inaccuracies & problems with film message, that I didn't have time or room to mention, here. I still found this movie as one of Spike Lee's best works to the point that I'm willing to gloss over it. It's highly recommended, even if the film is target at an urban African-American audience. It still does have the appeal to many people, pass racial and ethnic lines. Because of that, I believe every person who believe in human rights should watch this movie. It's fundamentally fascinating.

Full Metal Jacket
(1987)

Oohrah! Full Metal Jacket. This haunted portrayal of war is insanity well told. Me love it, long time.
Being a soldier in the Vietnam War era had to be rough. Not only, was the war in Southeast Asia, a very arduous and evolving moral challenging affair, but going through boot camp for that date with the enemy was not kind. Especially, if you had to go through it, with a rigorous Senior Drill Instructor like Gunnery Sergeant Hartman (R. Lee Ermy). However, somehow, Private Joker (Matthew Modine) was able to get survive this, only to find himself, in a world of hurt, once he finally see combat, and had to make the final choice to kill or not. Could he pull the trigger? Watch the film, to find out. Without spoiling the movie, too much; this film was loosely based on a book by author, Gustav Hasford called 'The Short Timers', which he wrote whilst serving in Vietnam. Both director, Stanley Kubrick, and screenwriter, Michael Herr, adapted this book into the screenplay, changing parts of it. While, the movie faithfully reproduces the first section of the novel, "The Spirit of the Bayonet", with only minor differences in events and names. The second part of the movie change a lot of the dialogue, scenarios, and characters; by combining elements from chapters 'Body Count' and 'Grunt' & merging them into one to save the movie from a long runtime. Because of this, several key important sequences were left out or change, including: a character lapse into cannibalism, a tank running over people, and the real person, the protagonist has to force to kill. Because of this, Kubrick and Hasford did not get along, it got worst, when the filmmaker worried that the book's title might be misread by audiences as referring to people who only did half a day's work. In order to further distanced himself from the original author, Kubrick changed the title of the film to what it is today after discovering the phrase while going through a gun catalogue. This was finally draw, as Hasford didn't meet Kubrick ever again, nor attend the Oscar ceremonies when the screenplay was nominated for an Academy Award. Anyways, regardless of the writing dispute, the movie is probably best remember for the scenes at Parris Island, at the Marine Corp Boot Camp, as most critics and audience love Ermy's portrayal as the strict drill instructor. His over the top bellowing acting & the comedic funny insults to Private Gomer Pyle (Vincent D'Onofrio) were by far, the most entertaining part of the film. However, it wasn't his first acting role like some critics may want to think. In truth, he play a similar character in Sidney J. Furie's 1978's film, 'The Boys in Company C'. Honestly, if you look at both movies as a whole, you would find a lot of similarities between them besides Ermy, to the point, that some critics believe that Kubrick & Hasford might have stolen ideas from Furie's work, or Furie's adapted Hasford's story without giving him, credit. It's hard to tell, who is the right and who is the wrong. All, I know, is both films, showcase the exposition of dehumanization & the loss of individuality and that catapults into men into fighting machines so well, with this movie's boot camp sequences being a little more accurate. Psychological & mentally conditioning techniques like the ones, show in the film, are indeed used to sharpen recruits, in order for them to obey all orders, work together, face mortal danger, and kill their opponents in battle. However, I really doubt, much of physically hitting used by Hartman is allowed, even back then, without embroiled in controversy. As for the film's portrayal of marines in Vietnam. It could easily be mistaken for another film, as the footage looks and feels like other over the top, somewhat cartoony, Vietnam War films from that era, including 1979's film 'Apocalypse Now'. While, it's true, heinous acts were commit by some of them. Nevertheless, most of the vets out there, were highly discipline and acted accorded to qualities of what a good combatant should be. In short, they were more like the realism soldiers in 1986's film 'Platoon', than the shocking extremists of Francis Ford Coppola's movie. Regardless of that, the movie does a strong second half, both in action and moral message. It does not all fall apart or seem disjointed as some people think. The journalism parts are great examples of this. They're very interesting, as the men interviews in a faux like documentary perspective really have no clue, who they, even fighting against and why. Nor if they really winning the world. I like how each of their answers ranges from topics like lack of sex, religionist duty to downright insanity. It mirrors to every coercive persuasion that people like Hartman altered into them, in order to reduce the subject's ability to think critically or independently. I also love, how it foreshadows, future events. As for the ending with the sniper, it's very much of a symbol of loss of innocence. No wonder, the movie ends with a satirizing military infusing singing of a children song. It's haunting. Even the catchy pop songs were very well used. Most of the music compose by Kubrick's daughter, Abigail Mead was also great. The creepy industry background music in the climax is one such example. Compelling as hell. Those scenes in Hae must had been difficult to shot with all those chemicals in the air. No wonder, why the movie took forever to film. Despite that, the movie is very well shot. As for acting, all the performers did their jobs; but D'Onofrio really shines, as he gained 70 pounds to play Pyle. Talk about going to great lengths for a role. Best acting in the film, by far. Overall: Despite some flaws. If you want to get some! Go see this movie! It's a poignant masterpiece. It's a must watch for any Kubrick fan.

Cat People
(1942)

Looking back, at what the cat has dragged in. I can clearly say, this 1942's classic horror movie is still worth watching.
When 'Cat People' was being made. RKO Picture Inc. was not doing very well, financially. Most of RKO's other artistically ambitious pictures has bomb at the box office; including Orson Welles's 1941's masterpiece 'Citizen Kane'; due to the WW2 & the wrath brought down by the William Randolph Hearst newspaper chain. Despite, well regarded high praise from most critics, with Welles's movie & his follow-up work, 1942's period drama 'the Magnificent Ambersons'; both films still went way over-budget & couldn't pay off the 2 million dollar loan. Thus, causing, RKO to limited any future production; to a budget of under $150,000; in order to stay afloat. Because of this, no adaptation of well-known horror works outside the studio control, could be used as a guiding stone for any new screenplays. Thus, producer, Val Lewton originally idea of adapting Algernon Blackwood's short story "Ancient Sorceries", a film set in a French village in the 19th century was no more. They couldn't get the film rights. This cause Lewton to turn to his own little-known works to please the studio heads. He found a unique tale, within the pages of the July 1930 issue of Weird Tales magazine; in which, his adventure short story, 'The Bagheeta' was published. It tells the story of a young Russian man, going to the forest to kill a mysterious seductress who turns into a panther. However, this adaptation was still too foreign, over the top & way too expensive to make. Thus, screenwriter DeWitt Bodeen was brought in, to make it, more ground and simple. Instead of having it, take place, in hard to get to, rural areas of Russia, the writer choose to have it, set in then-modern day, New York City. Also, as an alternative of the highly fantasy elements of the original tale; the film version told the more solid relationship story, of an young married couple, Oliver Reed (Kent Smith) & his Serbian wife, Irena (Simone Simon) being haunt by the adulterous affair, the husband, has put them, though, and the sexuality anxiety fear of the wife, who believes that she might hurt somebody, if she gave him, to her sexually animalistic instincts. Without spoiling the movie, too much, in order to save more money, the story had to be shorten to fit in a 17 days, shooting schedule. Thus, sets from 'The Magnificent Ambersons' and other movies were written into the script, to be reused. Since the movie didn't have the budget for special effects and fancy make up work; an on-screen facial transformation like Universal Pictures 1941's 'Wolfman', could not be done. Instead, director Jacques Tourneur use film noir style suggestion. The use of shadows and lighting was quite astonishing. The use of sounds build a lot of suspense & set the mood and tone. There is no better example of using unseen horrors and draw upon viewers' imaginations, than the infamous indoor pool moment and the notorious Lewton bus scene. Those moments were pretty eerie. However, not all effects, were that great. The panther encounter with Dr. Louis Judd (Tom Conway) was somewhat laughable. You can really, tell by the shadows, how fake-looking, the big cat puppet, clinging to Dr. Judd was, compare to the shots with the real animal being presence around the office. Also the use of some foreshadowing tactics like the couple going to a Serbian restaurant felt a bit out of place. Honestly, it doesn't make sense in the plot for both of the couple to agree to go to a place, like that, when Irena trying avoid memories from the old country and Oliver being dismissive of her background. Despite that, the movie does a good job, making it seem like a psychological horror. After all, even, toward the end, you really don't know, if Irena's fears of turning into a large cat is real or just in her head. Either way, Simone Simon gave a magnificent performance as a troublesome woman full of heartbreak. The scene where she leaves, claw marks on the sofa, was intense. Nevertheless, I didn't find her, as a great actress. Her cat-like mannerism with her body language was bit cartoony. Her voice also doesn't work well, with this film. While, her French accent does sound foreign; it didn't sound, Eastern Europe at all. Still, she stood out, more than any of her co-stars; who are pretty forgetful. I hardly remember, Kent Smith at all. His character didn't seem, even real. After all, who in their right mind, marry a person, who isn't affection!? As for Jane Rudolph as Alice Moore, a friend of the couple. She was great, with her limited role as the final girl. Most viewers kinda care for her safety. No wonder, why the film went on to great success at the box office. It was such a hit, that critics who originally hate it, went back to the theater to rewatch it. Causing, many of them, to rewrite more favorable reviews in the weeks, following the movie's release. The success of 'Cat People' also inspired a sequel, 1944's 'The Curse of the Cat People' & a remake of the same name in 1982. In 1993, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". Regardless, this B-movie still can make audiences agitated & restless like a cat on a hot tin roof, with its ridiculous simpleton obvious spell it out for you, numerous references and allusions to cats. Still, some people find this movie, complex enough, that theories had been written, with some going as far, as saying, the film is a social commentary about negative effects of conservative within gender roles, or the fears of xenophobia communism or close-minded judgmental attitude toward sexuality. Regardless of that, the wonderfully atmospheric horror movie, is worth prowling for. So, don't be a scary cat. Catch the Lewton Bus, and go see this movie. It's worth checking out.

WWE SummerSlam
(2018)

No sleep till Brooklyn. No wonder, why WWE SummerSlam 2018 was not well produce. Some of them, laziness give up & fell asleep on the day of the show.
At least, the PPV wasn't a total snore fest. The visuals for the show; involving the 3D image model feature in the superstar's entrances was kinda cool. It look a lot better than the fake-looking ones, WWE was using for 'Wrestlemania 34'. Plus, I dig all the new costume attires and astonishment cameos from past wrestlers. However, it's weird to think, that 'WWE SummerSlam' is supposed to be the biggest wrestling event of the summer; yet, in the last couple of years, the bouts on the card, hasn't been as good, as the acclaimed matches of 'NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn' event, from the previous night; also taking place at the Barclay Center. It's always been really odd, to see this, as a wrestling fan, because NXT's primary purpose is to serve as a minor league developmental farm system for WWE. Yet, it always outshine the major league, in both its high quality of wrestling and captivating, in ring storylines. In spite of this, the main roster & crews has always try to put a hell of a show, with each year, wrestling matches, getting a little bit better. This year, was supposed to be no differ, however, sadly, the producers at the 'Raw' brand, cockily didn't improve, their end-game, at all, compare to last year. Besides the well-made contest between challenger, Seth Rollins versus champion, Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental Championship; which feature a cool looking reverse top rope suplex; none of the others 'RAW' bouts, ringwork stood out much, nor went over 7 minutes. It's a shame; because some of the talents here, can honestly, wrestle; such as Finn Balor & Kevin Owens. Yet, they're barely given, much of a spotlight; besides being spot-monkeys for bigger guys. At the same time, power-house wrestlers like Braun Strowman and Ronda Rousey look much weaker after their squash contests; because how much, their matches expose, their limitations. Everybody knows that they could fight a little bit longer. Not only that; but the limited length of the matches, also ruins the built up gimmicky storylines for some of these feuds, by being a downgrade. Things like the demon-war paint, and the stipulation for the Money in the Bank contract felt like a waste. Because of this, I have to say the matches such as, Balor fighting Baron Corbin, the RAW Women Championship between champion, Alexa Bliss VS Rousey, Owens against Strowman, and even, the main event, WWE Universal Championship between titleholder, Brock Lesnar and challenger, Roman Reigns were all disappointing to watch. It could had been so much more than it was. It's pretty lame to see that the pre-show main event, in which, the WWE RAW Tag Team Championship was on the line; between the champions, B-Team (Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel) versus the Revival (Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson), be a lot more entertaining than these matches on the main card, due to its creative ending, and catchy cheesy theme song. It shows, how badly the 'RAW' Brand screw up. 'Smackdown' was a different story. It save the show, from totally sucking. The New Day (Big E and Xavier Woods) (with Kofi Kingston) versus champions, The Bludgeon Brothers (Harper and Rowan) for the WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship was a lot better than their previous encounters. The United States Championship match between champion, Shinsuke Nakamura & challenger, Jeff Hardy; while, not memorable, was decent. Even, the other pre-shows matches like the Mixed Tag Team Match between Andrade Cien Almas and Zelina Vega versus Lana and Rusev, and the singles match for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship; between titleholder, Cedric Alexander versus competitor, Drew Gulak were good; even if they both have similar weak pin fall finishes. I love, how solid & brutally stiff, the men were fighting in their matches, both in the 205 Live match and the opening match. As for the women in the mix tag match, they were fine for what it was, even if the tagging was awkwardly paced. Nevertheless, there were three other matches on the card that really stood out for me. One of them, was the triple threat match for the WWE SmackDown Women's Championship between champion, Carmella and challengers, Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair. While, the contest was indeed botchy; the ending made up for it. Without spoiling it, the crowd was eating the heel turn, up. The other match that was amazing, was the grudge match between the Miz & Daniel Bryan. It was a wonderful contest that live up to the hype. However, by far, my favorite, was the WWE Championship match, between, titleholder, AJ Styles and contender, Samoa Joe. Everything work out, perfectly. The technical athletic performance & the theatrical performance storyline, they were trying to tell, with Styles' wife being in ringside, really got the crowd into this match. It was a masterpiece of wrestling, at its best. It was the highlight of the night. Overall: Despite the lethargic 4 hour running time & many disappointing matches from the RAW side, Summerslam 2018 didn't featured that much awful matches. Most of the show, was indeed still watchable. However, the show could be better. This PPV at the Big Apple was not that fresh.

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