Blog Archives


Buy Godzilla Vs. Spacegodzilla - Microsoft Store

As a kid, I loved watching Japanese monster movies. I’m sure I’m not alone saying that Godzilla was my favorite. Followed closely by Gamera. There’s something about giant monsters and giant robots battling with little care for the destruction they’re waging on the cities and landscape around them.

There’s also a special charm in the creation of these monsters. From radiation, to G-Cells leaking into space, to genetic manipulation. It needs little explanation beyond that and, presto! Monsters! As a kid, you don’t need much in the way of explanation.

I think that’s what makes these movies so enjoyable.

Tonight I watched Godzilla vs SpaceGodzilla. I might have seen this one, but I don’t recall any of it. This one is filled with a carefree attitude toward science in favor of getting monsters to battle. There’s almost no explanation on where things came from or why. Just, hey, a giant crystal in space that bonded with Godzilla’s cells and you have SpaceGodzilla.

How much more of an explanation do you need?

This was one movie that, if you’re concerned with dialog, you need to pay attention to because half the dialogue is in Japanese and you’ll need to read the subtitles. Honestly, all you need to do is watch the action to get what’s going on and know there’s not much else going on.

It’s a fun ride and I’m glad I spent the time watching it.

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

Birds of Prey

Prepare to be boggled and bored by 'Birds of Prey' – The Connector

I’ve watched most of the DC movies. I don’t know why I subject myself to them. They look nice, but the stories are always awful. It’s almost as if the person working on the story read the wiki page, thinks they know the highlights of the characters and throws something together the night before.

This one is different. It’s got a simple plot, there are flashbacks that fill things in. I guess you could say the story makes sense.

I’ve never been a big fan of the DC Comics. Not sure why. This movie, for me, is the best DC movie I’ve seen as far as the story goes. Good cast, decent effects.

But there’s something about this one I can’t nail down. Someday I may figure it out.

If you liked it, and the DC movies, I’m glad. I’d never deny someone a movie that makes them happy. For me, this one was alright. Perhaps it’s because the Suicide Squad movie (for me) was so awful despite having an all-star cast.

/me shrugs

Godzilla Vs Kong: Why don’t people love this movie?

I’ve seen number of reviews with a multitude of complaints about Godzilla vs Kong. It’s getting panned and, honestly, I don’t understand why.

What I mean is, if you’ve seen the previous movies, you know it’s not high-brow entertainment. It isn’t doing more than it intends to do. On top of that, there are still many nods to the original material. and previously established story lines. I was happy they even kept the same actors from the previous movies (Godzilla: King of Monsters and Kong: Skull Island).

That said, there wasn’t much of a plot in any of these movies. There’s a simple set up, one-dimensional characters, and we’re off to the races. Lots of fighting, TON of destruction, and you’ve got a movie. It’s, to be, brilliant in its simplicity.

For me, this movie is much like watching Pacific Rim. I can turn off my brain for a couple of hours and enjoy the ride. I am not expecting much and this movie did more than I thought it would. It was silly good fun that made me remember just how terrible the Godzilla movies were from when I was a kid, yet they kept things simple and went for incredible graphics.

I’m not sure what others were expecting from this movie to cause them to get unhappy with it, but I think it’s getting a bad rap. This isn’t a movie like Avatar which promised so much and was little more than Pilgrims vs Indians where the Indians win (and for me, failed hard at plot by trying to be more than it was). It’s a fun film that keeps the franchise going and I’m hoping for more movies like this in the future.

What did you think? Let me know.

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

Movie Review: Blobs, Blobs, and more Blobs

The Blob (1958)

Steve McQueen’s biggest snafu was when he decided to get paid for The Blob instead of taking a share of the profits (something movies stars like Robert Downey are doing). He could have made a lot of money because this movie gained such a cult following over the years. Released in 1958 the movie has only gotten more popular to where even My Favorite Daughter knows about the Blob. How has it held up over the years?

Quite well, I’d say. Sure it’s dated with things like telephones attached to lines and kids hot rodding and getting stopped by the police. That’s to be expected with anything from the 50s. The plot is quite simple: something crashes to Earth near a small town (I don’t think it’s ever identified) and some yokel finds it and starts to get eaten by the jelly inside. The kids try to explain what’s happening to the police, but the police think it’s just a prank until the monster gets so big rolling around and eating people up.

The kids discover that it’s afraid or harmed by the cold and the town arrives with every CO2 fire extinguisher to freeze the monster. It’s transported off to the Artic where it’ll remain frozen forever. The End? We could have only hoped.

Beware the Blob (1972)

Larry Hagman (RIP) thought it would be great fun to do the Blob 2, the son of Blob, a sequel to the original, and still loved, Blob movie of 1958. And why not? The premise is there. The monster was scary enough. The plot was almost exactly the same as the original. How could they go wrong?

Well, I don’t think any of the actors, from Burgess Meredith, to Dick Van Patten, or any of the others that starred in the movie took it serious. It was filled with much over acting, heavy camp in some scenes, and just poor movie production.

I had a hard time with the premise that a pipeliner from Alaska (or somewhere in the North) found this sample and took it home to keep in his freezer until it could be delivered to the proper scientists. That was a bit of a stretch ( like a glob of jelly digesting people isn’t?).  I think the movie wanted to be campy, but the acting was so bad that it came across more as a farce.  It could have been a lot better, but just didn’t live up to the original. Still, they manage to freeze the thing on a not-yet-opened ice rink to save the day. The End?

the Blob (1988)

Sadly we get The Blob in 1988. Yes, the original was so good and we have much better technology, so why not do another version of the movie? A ReMake before remakes were overdone. Okay, I’m still game. I mean, I still enjoyed the original, shy not give the 1988 version a shot, right?

Again we’re still in a generic small town, but a little bigger than the original. There seemed to be a budget for extras, better effects, and it was the 30th anniversary. How could this go wrong? Right? I mean, seriously. Horror movies were a big thing in the 80s.

The movie was far better than Beware! The Blob. That’s for sure. It had a similar plot as the original, better suspense, some halfway decent acting. I think the movie lacked a soul, but other than that it wasn’t all bad. The effects were designed to gross you out. Unlike the previous two versions, the blob came across as more of an intelligence even if it was still an unthinking mass of jelly. So how do the kids save the day? Well, unlike 1958 using fire extinguishers and 1972 using an ice rick, in 1988 they had a far better method. Apparently this small town has a high demand for liquid nitrogen and they blow up a liquid nitrogen truck. The End?

At this time we can say the Blob has been put to rest. Yes, there were rumblings of a new relauch of the classic movie, but thankfully that’s been put to rest. As far as I know there are no talks of starting this all over again. The budget would be too high and I don’t think there would be an audience for it. I know I’d wait for it on netflicks rather than see it in the theater.

Maybe I should write my own sequel to the original Blob. Hmmm… now there’s something to think about.

Movie Review: I didn’t loop for Looper

Maybe I’m getting overly cynical in my old age. Maybe I’ve come to expect more from Hollywood than just a good concept. Maybe I don’t think Hollywood gives its audience any credit for being able to spot plot holes in movies and question where the writer was when making certain decisions.

Warning: Spoilers ahead

Looper is a movie about a time travel. In one aspect. It’s only one way travel. I was fine with that. Loopers are paid assassins (in our future) that kill people sent from far into the future.  Their job is to kill and dispose of corpses. Attached to the ‘hit’ is their pay. Okay, I’m fine with that. Works for me.

Loopers are eventually ‘retired’ and this is called ‘closing the loop’. Eventually their future self is sent back and they must kill their future self. I was also fine with this. They get a golden payday. All is good.

Our protagonist says “Most loopers aren’t forward thinkers.” This means that most of these loopers are dullards that figure there’s no way out for them and accept their fate. Partying, doing drugs, etc. I’m still on board. So far it was a good ride.  There are even TKs in this future the loopers live in. People with telekinetic ability. Wonderful. I’m 100% into this movie at this point.

One of the loopers fails to close his loop. He lets the guy get away. “Letting your loop run.” This is a very bad thing. All sorts of things can go wrong. At this point I’m still on board. The looper boss (a guy sent back from the future that set all this up) has this loop closed the hard way. Basically by kill both the present and future person. Not a pretty sight.

Then our protagonist is supposed to close his loop. In one scene he sees himself failing, but then succeeds, but he knows how to get away. It’s like a future flashback. Very cool the way they did this. I got it. It was creepy. It made a weird sort of sense. Even now I still get chills thinking about this concept.

The future version starts to see how things are changing. He experiences the memories because now things are changing. His goal is to save not only his life, but the life of his wife who he’d seen killed. Brilliant! There’s some maniac in the future that’s screwing everything up and closing all the loops. Present protag needs to kill future protag. The ‘boss’ is after both of them because as we know, letting the loop run is a bad thing. Awesome!

The future self somehow got knowledge of where this future bad guy came from. He knows the birthdate and hospital. He’s going to save the future by killing this kid.

Wait a minute.  What?

This little flashback is weird. I kind of got it, but it felt like it came out of the blue. I was still okay. Future protag was remembering things present protag was doing and was able to avoid him and beat him. I was still okay. Future protag could see the effects of his actions on the future and take steps to make sure things went the way he wanted. This was getting a little twisted, but I figured things would work out. Let’s see where this goes.

Present protag ends up with one of the addresses of the kids that future protag is out to kill. By coincidence he ends up on the farm where the one kid future protag needs to kill to save the future. He likes the mom and the kids seems alright, so he’s out to protect them.

Meanwhile future protag doesn’t see any of this and has no memory even though he could remember everything else that had happened to future protag. <sigh>. So he kills one kid. Then the second kid is the son of present protag’s girlfriend. Kills that one as well even though present protag is with the one kid that needs to be killed. Well, I guess it’s better to be safe than sorry and just kill them all off, eh?

Of course we get to the paradoxical climax. Future protag is kills the girl and misses the kid. Present protag is too far away to do anything. Even though he’s been able to make corrections because of this loop that creates the future bad guys, he sees only one way to close this loop. Rather than know what he’s going to cause happen, he kills himself.

Okay, seriously? This guy was a forward thinker. He was able to change his present and future multiple times by seeing the result of his actions. But in the end when all is known, he kills himself? Why? He knows all he needs to do is kick the drug habit, not lead the life future self led, and presto, all is fixed. Perhaps he can even prevent being caught and brought back to the past. There are so many other options than killing himself.

I was on board with this movie right up until the end. I found the ending weak and lacking imagination. It felt like an easy way out from having to explain anything. It left me with the big question of why, if future protag can see how the action play out and remembers everything and present protag can make changes to the timeline was killing himself the ONLY option?

Now I understand that we don’t want another Groundhog Day type of movie (that was brilliant in its own right) but this all could have been accomplished better with multiple loops of trying to solve the riddle. Much like the original Time Machine where the time travelers keeps going back in time to save his fiancée only to realize that there’s no way to change the past once its written and the futility of his efforts lead him to other discoveries. Present protag could have done more or seen that no matter what he did, death was the only solution. How did he know that by killing himself the kid still wouldn’t grow up to be a monster in the future? We didn’t see that option play out or any other option. Why did future protag not see what was happening and realize?

The end was a mash of the end scene playing out once. Mom dies, kid rides off on a train and becomes the future bad guy. The memory loop would have impacted future protag just like it affected present protag. He could have ended the loop right there, but present protag saw it all play out when future protag was the one who would have seen the effects of his actions and been able to stop it. Not present protag.

I sighed. I mumbled. I groaned. I was happy with the movie right up until the ending. This movie could have ended a thousand different ways. They picked one of the ways that, in the end, I felt cheated. However, I will watch this movie again. Perhaps more than once. Twelve Monkeys had a similar loop just like this movie, but that one the present protag had no idea it was future protag that died and could do nothing to change the course of events. He could only realize at the last moment as he died what all the events meant and how they played out.

I love me some time travel. I’ll give this one a second chance. Perhaps there’s something I missed. Perhaps I’m being too cynical. Perhaps I just need to detach my brain when I watch a movie. There is a lot of good in the movie, I just wish it had ended differently. Not a strong finish to a strong movie.

That’s my opinion. What’s yours?

Until Next Time!


Movie Review: The Blob (1958)

Hey, you know that Steve McQueen guy. He’s the one that was made famous by the Blob! That movie must have made him millions over the years. Right? Odd fact, he made $3000 for that flick. He had a choice of contracts. Get $3000 up front or get a piece of the action. He was broke and really needed the money and $3000 looked like a lot for a film that would likely be just another 1950s monster movie. So he took the money and figured that’d be the end of it. If only he would have had Robert Downey’s foresight to take a cut of the profits.

So I haven’t seen this movie in years. I mean a very long time. Perhaps better than 10 years, but I honestly don’t recall the last time I watched it. I know I had seen the remake far more recently. I know there is also a Blob II (the return of the blob, Beware! The blob, the film the J.R. shot, and other titles) but I have never seen that one. Being that it was shot by Larry Hagman I feel that at some point I need to watch it.

As a Viewer: This movie spends a good deal of time letting us get to know our main characters. It’s a good slow build up and we get the police involved with our main characters before anything of import happens during the evening while the kids are out. The kids just take an old man to the doctor. What’s going to go wrong? The kids go back and Steve (yes, his character had the same name which I found humorous) witnesses the doc getting killed by something.

The fun continues as the blob goes through a mechanic (yes, they used to work late at night), the grocery store Steve’s dad owns, and finally into the movie theater where the other kids are watching a spooky movie. It’s hard to get a good handle on what time it is during the movie because Steve and Jane are at home and in bed and need to sneak out while other kids are at the movie. I got a little confused.

They run away from the blob and Jane’s younger brother shows up, fires his cap gun at the blob, and hides in the diner where the owner is just shutting down for the evening. Yes, before the movie crowd gets out. Hmmm, strange time to shut down, but oh well. Steve, Jane, the younger brother, and the diner owner are all trapped inside the diner. They head to the basement for safety. There they discover the blob hates the cold. Steve yells upstairs (he’d been on the phone with the police) and tells them the good news. They collect up all the CO2 fire extinguishers in town and hold the beast at bay until the military can arrive and drag the thing off to the arctic where it’ll remain froze forever.

As a Writer: I liked how the movie didn’t just jump in and BAM! Monster! BAM! Dead teenagers! BAM! Action! Instead if had kids doing what kids did in those days. Cruising, parking, going to the picture show, and talking with other kids. Parents were parents and kids listened. Well, kind of. Except for the sneaking out part. The police didn’t just write the kids off but did police stuff and came up inconclusive and based on the kids involved determined it was all a prank. Given the time the movie was shot there wasn’t any instant communication so they had to wait until morning to verify stories. Everything fit and made a sort of sense.

It’s hard to pick anything apart on this movie. It was fairly tight (everything took place in an evening) and even though it’s all during the night, it’s hard to tell at what time of the evening it’s taking place.

Recommendation: Overall this is a fun movie regardless of the time it was shot. Yes, it’s late 50s, but a lot of what happens it still easy to follow. It was made in a timeless fashion that hasn’t deteriorated much over the years. It’s a simple plot, but one that holds up. If you’ve never seen this movie, I’m sure you already know what happens and it’s still fun to watch it all unfold. If you saw this movie and think you remember it, watch it again. I had forgotten a lot of the events in the movie.

Given today’s global warming trend I’m surprised a remake or sequel isn’t in the works. Seems like this would be a great fit for today’s movie goers. I’d go see it. Maybe I should write it! Hey, not there’s an idea!

Movie Review: Spiderman (May contain spoilers)

Yes, yes. I was one of those detractors that said “It’s too early for a reboot.” I huffed, I puffed, and no one listened. Even though I liked the first two Spiderman movies, I really didn’t like the third and the more I thought about it the first two were okay at best. With the way they’ve gone with the more recent Marvel movies (Iron Man, Thor, Captain America) I was hopeful that the Spiderman reboot would follow in their footsteps and do more character development rather than plot development. I’ve seen too many movies that rush things for the sake of plot rather than let the story unfold in a way that makes more sense.

As a Viewer: This movie takes its time unfolding. It’s not as slow as the start of Captain America, but it does take a good amount of time to build up the characters in the film and their relationships. We get some insight to Peter’s parents (something we haven’t seen much of even in the comics) and Flash Thompson is a big jerk that we’ve grown to know over the years. One of my favorite things is that we get Gwen Stacey. For those who’ve read the comics over the years, Gwen was Peter’s first true love (let’s not talk about Betty Brant). I was disappointed in the first Spiderman movies when they moved straight on to Mary Jane. So this was my first happy surprise.

I wasn’t disappointed that they went, again, with the genetically modified spider. The original was radio active, but I got over that with the first movie. This one made far more sense and Peter’s being at Oscorp made more sense. Gwen working there was a little confusing, but it made enough sense that I didn’t mind. The movie took a good long time to get Peter into his spiderman costume and his hunt for Ben’s killer leading him down the path he went made more sense than the original comic where he found the guy and that was that. In fact this piece never gets resolved and I wonder if that will be revisited in later movies. I’m hopeful.

Dr. Conners. The Lizard. There were some parallels between him and the Green Goblin in the first movie, but the Lizard was done so much better AND *MAJOR SPOILER* He isn’t killed. It always bothered me that in the super hero movies they felt the need to kill off the main villain. Only at the end do we get a glimpse of Norman Osbourne and throughout the movie we keep hearing how he’s close to death. This leads me to believe that we’ll be seeing more of him in the next movie. I’ve also heard rumblings that we’ll be getting a Venom movie in the future as well. I can only hope they stick with it this time and let things play out slower in the movies and build better. Based on how well things went with all the other Marvel movies and the build up to the Avengers, I think they’ve found a winning formula.

As a Writer: This movie stunk on ice.

Ok, I’m kidding. I had a blast watching this movie. As I’ve noted above they did a great time building up the characters and you actually cared when someone died. It wasn’t flash, bang, dead and you didn’t even know who died or why and it didn’t matter to the story much at all. In the reboot things take their time and with a tight plot and good characterization we get a movie that’s well laid out and leads you from a logical beginning to a mostly logical conclusion. Why can’t we get a regular movie like this instead of movies like Avatar and Prometheus?

Recommendation: If you ever read a Spiderman comic as a kid this is the movie you’ve been waiting years for. This one finally got (in my mind) it right. Even if you haven’t read a spiderman comic in your life, this is still a good movie that will do the slow build up and then leave you on the edge of your seat waiting to see what’s going to happen next. No one is safe. Peter is a reckless teen and his actions, although well intended, don’t always have the desired outcome. That adds a little bit of reality to the movie and helps with the suspension of disbelief even when the life a street with cranes in a matter of minutes (the only thing that annoyed me about the movie).

Go see it. You’ll enjoy it.

Movie Review: Battleship

A lot of good and bad things have been said about this movie. What did I think? I think it all started with a chicken burrito. *Warning: Potential Spoilers.

As a viewer: I went into this movie with very low expectations based on reviews. I wanted to see the movie because it looked like fun, not because it looked like I might learn something. I knew it was going to be a generic alien invasion story and little else. It didn’t have all the build up that the Avengers had as it was based on a board game I used to play as a kid. The only part I was disappointed in was that the tag line from the old commercials wasn’t included. You remember the line. “You sank my battleship!”

The movie starts us out with our main character getting into trouble trying to get a chicken burrito for a girl he’s trying to impress. Hijinx occurs and the bad brother is in trouble once again. His brother forces him to join the Navy or move out of the apartment they share. You can guess what happens.

We also get to see some satellite dishes pointed to the stars and sending out a “Hello” to the nearest neighbors on a habitable planet. Ok. I’m fine with that. Obviously, because of the previews, they come down to say hello. There are a lot of fun scenes where the alien fires weapons that look like the battleship pegs and the stick into the ships and then ‘push’ down and explode. I got a good laugh out of them including that. I also got a good laugh out of them using the tsunami buoys to track where the aliens were. They didn’t show up on radar so this grid of buoys allowed them to ‘see’ where they were at. So they called out letter and number coordinates to track where they would fire. I also liked this clever inclusion that tied back to the game.

No surprises in this movie. Just a fun, alien invasion movie like in the good old days. I enjoyed the nod to the retired Navy personnel as well as their being used to help fire up the old battleship and head out to fight the aliens. If you’ve never been on a battleship, they’re HUGE! Big old gun. Heavy plating. Everything is analog on those suckers. They’re fun ships.

As a writer: Let’s get this out of the way first. Bad boy turns his life around to save the world. Very tired trope. Been done a million times. I’m just glad they didn’t go on and on about his past and what he needed to do to redeem himself. It wasn’t needed, but added a little humor to the film. If it weren’t for that, none of the characters in the movie would have any dimension at all. They’re all pretty much interchangeable with any of a thousand other characters. Many are there for cannon fodder and when you’re talking about an alien invasion movie, that’s to be expected.

The plot, what there was of it, was pretty tight. No real loose ends. The character development isn’t so much that our main hero needs to change as much as he doesn’t really have a choice. He’s forced into a situation, saves the world, and is right back to being himself. At least as best as we can tell at the end of the movie.

Nothing special to see here. It’ a movie to entertain. Little else.

Recommendation: This isn’t a movie that will change your life. It’s going to give you a couple of laughs, some good eye candy with great special effects, and a half-way decent story. Unlike many movies I’ve seen that have no real plot at all, this one does a pretty good job. If’ you’ve got $10 burning a hole in your pocket and are tired of seeing the Avengers for the 37th time this week, take a break and check out Battleship. Go in with the expectation that it’s not going to blow your socks off, and you’ll enjoy it.

Movie Review: The Avengers

The Avengers


As a kid I read comic books. I preferred Marvel over DC comics mainly because the Marvel comics usually had something funny in them. It didn’t matter which title you picked up you could usually find a little joke, witty line, or funny incident. I liked that about Marvel.

Over the past week building up to the Avengers movie I re-watched all the movies building up to the Avengers movie. I love living in an age when the comics I read as a kid can come to the big screen as movies I love to see and actually get excited to go and see. Marvel Studios had done an incredible with the movies they’ve been putting out lately. Why?

If you’ve been paying attention to the movies, they’ve all been tied together with little snippets after the credits. This has normally been done to signify a sequel, or even to show bloopers. But with the Marvel movies, they’ve done this to build up to the Avengers movie. All those little snippets have given us a very small glimpse of something bigger. I’ve been paying attention and eagerly awaited this movie.

As a viewer: Having recently seen all the build up movies I was primed and ready to watch this movie. Or so I thought.

The movie started out a little slow but built quickly. We are re-introduced to each of the characters so it’s not critical that you’ve seen each of the previous movies, but it will help for full enjoyment of the film to get a lot of inside jokes, cross pollination of characters, and to realized who many of the minor characters are and how they fit into the bigger picture. Once the action gets going there is so much going on that it’s easy to see why many people are seeing this movie more than once. I know I need to see if again as I keep reading other reviews and have many “Oh yeah!” moments as I recall what that put as their favorite moments.

If you’re a fan of the comics or a fan of the movies (or like me and a fan of both) you will love this movie. This is what comic movies have been missing for years. These heroes all live in the same universe and for them not to interact has been an issue with me. Granted I don’t want to see too much going on as with what happened with the Batman franchise where they had too many characters to form a coherent storyline, but the way Marvel has given each hero their own full movie to introduce the character’s story so they can be used in a bigger picture was nothing short of brilliant.

The movie made me think, made me laugh, almost made me cry. Overall I found myself in awe with what they created over the years to build to this one(?) movie. I have the ? There because of the 1st of two after credits that reveal that we’ll likely be getting a sequel.

As a writer: This movie did so many things right. I will have a minor spoiler in here, so skip if you have not see the movie.

The movie had a wonderful blend of humor and action. Much of the humor was in the form of one-liners that if you’ve seen the previous movies were hilarious, and if you hadn’t seen the previous movies were still funny. Non of them came off as corny or forced humor and worked well with the characters that said them. The dialog, for the most port, didn’t feel forced. There was one scene, and I’ll get to that, but with a movie this long, it didn’t deter from my enjoyment.

The one scene was in the middle. The group, all big egos and a number of hot-heads all have an argument. They kept trying to excuse Bruce Banner so he didn’t turn into the Hulk. He kept saying “No, I’ve got this under control. I have a secret.” He said something to this effect a couple of times. There was even a discussion about helping him control the beast. After the argument the S.H.I.E.L.D. Ship is attacked and Bruce and Natasha (The Black Widow) are tossed into a lower deck. Bruce turns into the Hulk even though he seems to be fighting the transformation.

Later in the movie, Bruce is dropped off and told to “suit up” and they all look at him. He explains his secret and immediately transforms into the Hulk demonstrating that he has full control of his ability to change. I kept thinking back to the scene where he changed in the middle of the movie and couldn’t figure out why, if he had this level of control, it was an issue at that time. He became the unthinking, out of control beast where in the end of the movie he seemed to be mostly in control (and had the best physical comedy bit in the entire movie when he punched Thor).

Color me confused, but this was the only scene in the movie that bothered me. Perhaps when I watch the movie again (and I will watch it again) I’ll be able to figure it out.

Recommendation: Watch all the other movies that build up to this movie. I’m sure there’s a list out there of all the Marvel movies. This will help to increase your enjoyment of the movie as you see the characters that were introduced in one film show up again in the Avengers. I’m not talking about Thor, the Hulk, etc. I’m talking about a lot of the minor characters. There are also a lot of inside jokes that are made funnier. Even if you don’t see the lead up movies, do see the Avengers. It set the standard for what a comic book movie can be. It set the standard for a summer block buster. It set the standard for what a good movie with a lot of CGI can be. It’s got plot, characterization, it’s got dialog, it’s got humor. It’s just a fun movie. Do see it. You will enjoy it.

Review of two movies

Maybe I’m just getting old. Maybe my tastes have changed over the years. Who knows, but I watched a couple of movies recently and both got me to thinking. One got thinking “this is the most unoriginal movie I’ve ever seen, but it’s got some good effects”. The other got me to thinking “Whoa!” I mean, just “Whoa!” I felt the best way to review these two movies is to compare and contrast them.

Let me start by saying that I love movies. I’ve seen a large number of movies over the years. I recently looked at a list of the top 100 Sci Fi movies to see before you die. I’d seen over 90 of the movies on that list. I feel I’m a pretty good judge of what’s good, what’s bad, and what just plain sucks.

The first movie I watched was I Am Number Four. This movie is based on a novel from the James Frye book mill. I expected it to be somewhat predictable and follow along with some of the common tropes of a Sci Fi/Fantasy movie. I didn’t expect it to follow all the common tropes of a Sci Fi/Fantasy movie.

Like your normal Sci Fi/Fantasy, it had three acts. Act 1: Introduce the orphan farm boy (he doesn’t start as a farm boy, but becomes one soon enough) and his guardian and watch him get into trouble and also introduce the bad guy and a ‘secret weapon’. Act 2: Farm boy can’t stay out of trouble and falls in love with a local girl despite his guardian’s insistence and there is a run in with the locals and the bad guys. Act 3: Kill the guardian, reveal the secret weapon, orphan boy comes into his own and defeats the bad guy and wins the girl.

There’s only slight variation, but it hit every note on queue and left very little to the imagination and was filled with lots of special effects. It started out interesting for me, but I quickly lost interest about half way through as I mentally checked off all the key points as they were hit right on queue. In the end I was disappointed.

The second movie I saw I had heard nothing about. I had no idea what to expect and when you watch the movie it’s easy to overlook the fact that it truly is a Sci Fi movie. Never Let Me Go grabbed me with the opening scene where we get just a little bit of back story from Kathy H. in her adult life. From there we’re taken back to the beginning of her story and begin to realize what she’s had to go through to get to where she is now and why she must be there. It’s not a hopeless movie, but the powerlessness of the characters makes you empathize with their situation.

The characters are essentially copies of other people (this is similar to The Island which is another disappointing movie, but for different reasons). They live out their lives to become donors for ‘real’ people. They donate until they ‘complete’. It’s a truly hopeless existence as you or I might see it, but when that’s all you know, you must wonder how do they deal with their situation?

As I said, this movie really made me think and it’s not often a movie will do that to me. I think that’s why I appreciated it so much and even though there was no action in the movie whatsoever, it still kept me intently watching. I still think not only about the situation of the characters, but the callousness of their handlers who treat them as nothing more than pieces of meat needing to mature.

These two movies couldn’t possible be more different. I’ve always been one to enjoy a movie with a plot, with characters I can care about, and that will have me guessing. I’ve grown tired of movies that follow the formula. You can predict nearly every move, every joke, and every character flaw. When the only thing a movie has to offer is fancy special effects and shallow characters, I’ll pass. I don’t need to see them solving the puzzle in the nick of time every time.

What movies have you see recently that really made you think? Twisted your perspective of movie watching or just made you open your eyes and realize there’s more than just flash bang movies out there?

Note: I also just discovered Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Another good thinker of a movie.