Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The Behind The Scenes Pic of the Day takes you to Infinity

"Avengers: Infinity War" is on Blu-Ray today. I am watching it right now. So I guess this was in sight to do today.

I got a funny one from early in the movie. One of the first big action set pieces comes when Stark, Dr. Strange, Wong and Bruce Banner are all challenged by two members of the Black Order, the Children of Thanos as they like to call themselves. The Children of Thanos want the Time Stone for Thanos, and of course Dr. Strange isn't just going to hand it over. The good guys fight the bad guys in a good old fashioned superhero brawl. The good guys prevail, once of course, they get into deep space!

After the big fight, apparently, they got some lunch.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Ralph Breaks The Internet trailer

There is no denying it. This just looks great.

The Behind-The-Scenes Pic of the Day asked you to assemble!

"Avengers: Infinity War" will hit Blu-Ray tomorrow.

So I guess a look back at the first film is in order.

Its hard to believe we've come so far with these big Avengers movies. I remember back in 2012, just thinking of getting the six original heroes in one movie and giving them time to develop sounded impossible. A few years later, and these Avengers movies are getting bigger and bigger, but never sacrificing the story they are telling. I know Joss Whedon left on, well not bad terms, I guess let's say wary terms. But I think he did a remarkable job setting a standard for the Avenger team-up movies and that style has lived within ever since.

Its funny, because I used to hear people say that someday movies won't need people, everything will be digital. But there are things people can do that computers simply can't. No matter how high tech things get, there is something remarkable knowing that a group of people did that. I don't know if Mark Ruffalo is the one posing in that big Hulk costume next to Hemsworth, but I know Hemsworth had to wrestle the person inside there and pretend like he was fighting a massive giant. Pretty impressive seeing the finished product.

Friday, August 10, 2018

The Behind-The-Scenes-Pic of the Day says "Free us or die!

So in my four and five year old mind, "Return of the Jedi" was my favorite "Star Wars" movie. Yes, I know, that's heresy to say. I get it. My tastes have matured since then and I've come to appreciate "A New Hope" and especially "Empire" (which I would say is the quintessential Star Wars film), but for awhile, I loved Jedi the most. I can't even fathom why. I guess I thought the whole Jabba's Palace detour was cool and I liked the final battle. Yes, even those goddamn Ewoks.

One thing that I can't stand about the entire "Star Wars" franchise is how it introduces badass characters, then decides to kill them easy. Take Boba Fett for example. He had the coolest costume in the old trilogy. He had that silent "Don't Fuck With Me" attitude. He never said much, but you could just tell by looking at him that he was dangerous. That voice was stark and cold when he did speak, and it was borderline nightmarish. But in the skirmish at Jabba's palace, his jetpack malfunctions and he dies? That seemed almsot like a cheat. George Lucas did the same thing to Darth Maul and General Grevious and I never got over it.

Even Boba Fett didn't do much since his introduction, he is still revered as one of the coolest and most popular characters in the franchise. Heck, even though he suffered from a wimpy exit, I still think he's cool. Here are some behind the scenes pictures of Boba Fett in action. Right when he was about to biff it with his jetpack

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Fahrenheit 11/9 trailer

Love him or hate him, Micheal Moore puts together documentaries like nobody's business. I will admit that I've actually enjoyed a few of them. But even I admit, that its been a while since he's made something great or even passibly mediocre.

I am not sure if "Fahrenheit 11/9" is supposed to be a sequel to his film "Fahrenheit 9/11" or if its just a clever play on words. My biggest problem with "Fahrenheit 9/11" is that its always going to be a movie of its time, a small document of where the country was at one point in time. The Kerry-Bush election is beyond passe at this point, so I don't see lots of stock in rewatching that film. The same can be said possibly with "Fahrenheit 11/9." In four years, eight years tops, Trump will be out of office, so what will be the point.

No matter what, the film is sure to strike up debate, which I am sure is Moore prerogative.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Nutcracker and the Four Realms Trailer

Well, here's something new. I never knew that No Doubt's song "I'm Just A Girl" could actually be creepy. There's a first time for everything I guess?

This is a super short trailer, so we didn't get too much off of it. But apparently "Nutcracker and the Four Realms" is based on "Nutcracker and the Mouse King" as well as the ballet "The Nutcracker." I've seen the ballet before. I saw it as a kid on a field trip one time and for what it was, it was pretty cool. I enjoyed on a level that kid pretty much enjoys most things at a point in their lives. I wonder if this new movie will be too weird of a mish-match of stuff. I DO applaud though that Disney is taking a gamble on far less recognizable material. Yes, they are very busy bringing all their animated classics to the live action treatment. Not to mention "Star Wars" and Marvel and their new addition of 20th Century Fox assets. They are a company on fire right now. So I guess its about time to take a risk?

The visuals are, as expected, stunning. There are some good actors up to bat here. The costumes and make-up are jaw-dropping. But just how original is this? Why does this feel like pieces of other movies jammed into one movie? I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Why Does Netflix nail it with their TV series but not their movies?

This was originally going to be a review of "How It Ends," a movie I saw last week. I've also got two other recent movies dancing in my head, they are entitled "Tau" and "Extinction." What makes these three titles special is that they are all Netflix Original films.

Whatever you think of this particular streaming service. Whether you prefer Hulu or Amazon Prime or whatever, there is one thing that is unbeatable, Netflix started it all. In the early days of Netflix streaming, it was pretty dead. But in 2013, when "House of Cards" was released on Netflix as an original television series, one that you could only view on Netflix. It really got the ball rolling on what streaming services could actually do. It set a brand new standard before it really knew that it did. From that point forward Netflix did a great job curating nice programming for television series. Soon after "House of Cards" came "Orange Is The New Black," which was also excellent. Then a deal with Marvel went through, and they pushed more and more and more original content. Most of it of which is good to great. Sure, a "Hemlock Grove" or an "Iron Fist" sneaks into the line-up, but people are still constantly talking about the latest Netflix series, and the older ones are still favorites.

But the amount of enthusiasm for Netflix TV series is not met with their original movies. I think Netflix began with all barrels blazing with "Beasts of No Nation," a movie I think everyone should see. But that wasn't a hotly talked about item, and as more movies entered their fold, they weren't meant with the same praise. It seems as the years stack on, nothing changes. I've seen three Netflix original movies this week, and I've been stunned silent by all of them. I thought I liked "How It Ends," an end-of-the-world scenario movie with Forest Whitaker. But the more I've thought upon it, the lamer I think it is. It's a buy-the-numbers apocalypse movie. A checklist of what to expect instead of having a genuine story. Plus the final struggle of the movie is so anti-climatic it might as well had been a deleted scene, and the ending is a total cop-out. "Extinction" with Micheal Pena and Lizzy Caplan was so mindlessly boring that I couldn't finish the whole thing. (Something that rarely happens). "Tau" had a cool idea, a sort of technological "Beauty and the Beast" riff, while also channeling "Chappie." But it ultimately was a dud. Moreso than any other year, I've seen a laundry list of original Netflix films in 2018, and I've barely reviewed them, simply because I'm so shocked by the quality that I don't know what to say.

I am having a hard time wrapping my head around a streaming service that does so well with their television arm but not their movie arm. Do they just not care as much with the movie side as they do with the TV side? Do they put in less effort because they know they have a brand name now and clicks are all that is important? Their first big budget style movie was "Bright." A high-profile film for the service that starred Will Smith and Joel Edgerton and was directed by David Ayers. They got some big guns for that one, and even that was a total dud. A complete bastardization of the cool script I read months prior to release. But Netflix is greenlighting a sequel simply because lots of people clicked on it to watch. Doesn't matter if they finished it, doesn't matter if they liked it. The sequel is coming simply because millions and millions of people clicked to watch it. This is what is tricky on analyzing what is truly successful with Netflix compared to other television. You can look up television rankings right now if you wanted to, that's much more complicated with Netflix. Are they self-aware and use that to their benefit for their movies?

They maybe greenlighting a sequel to "Bright," but I don't see many people discussing the film. Talks went dead after its release, and that's never a good sign. SO why even go through with the effort? For a studio that has such a good eye for television, wouldn't they apply that to the movies? Or do they just treat movies like red-headed stepchildren to add more focus on their television shows? Not saying ALL their films are bad. "What Happened to Monday?" is tons of fun. The Pee-Wee Herman movie was decent. Some of the Sandler deal films were decent. "Mudbound" is probably their best movie to date. Somehow, they've perfected the art of adapting Stephen King stories, no easy feat that. So I wonder why they can't, time after time, release good content in their movie field. Are they just oblivious to the fact that nobody is talking up their movies like they are their television shows?

Or is this all in my head and I just need to lighten up?

"Tau" and "Extinction" and "How It Ends" are on Netflix right now, proceed with caution.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Review: "The Equalizer 2" steps up from its first bout.

The Equalizer 2 Review

I had to do a little searching to find my original review of "The Equalizer." As you can tell, it didn't leave that much of an impact me. I honestly couldn't remember much about it before re-reading my own review, which you can read right here. It seemed like a big bundle of things I had seen before. Denzel Washington playing a troubled killer who decides to protect a young girl is not even close to a new idea. Not to mention that literally everything else about the film was so painfully by-the-numbers that its really no surprise to me that I forgot about it. Denzel was good, sure. But Denzel is good in everything he does. It's not enough to just drop a great actor into a bad movie and expect the result to be greater than gold.

It's been an interesting summer so far. As much as I loved the original "Sicario," I would never have guessed that we would have got a sequel to it. But we did indeed, and even though I missed Emily Blunt in that one. "Sicario 2" is just as great as the original film is. Who knows, maybe I'll love it even more the next time I see it, as I've only seen it once so far. Then there is the "The Equalizer 2," a movie I was surprised by, a movie I would never expect to exist in any fashion. Yet, here it is and I can't believe how much of it worked. It's not just Denzel being his magnificent self. But they actually gave him something to do.

The movie begins with Denzel Washington's Robert McCall on a train, dressed as a Muslim. He's on a job, and he confronts some men who may have kidnapped a girl. So of course, McCall totally destroys everyone in the room and gets the whereabouts of the girl. Then the girl goes home. This isn't a movie that is necessarily about one incident. We learn that McCall, the retired DIA agent is a Lyft driver by day and pretty much runs a freelance vigilante service at night with his old colleague Ms. Plummer, played by Melissa Leo. He just wants to help the people in his community, but he's also almost like a Frank Castle like figure. There is another point in the movie when as Lyft driver, McCall picks up a girl who clearly has suffered some kind of abuse. He goes back to the men who paid them, and find out his suspicions were the truth and he runs train on kicking everyone's butt.

After a series of losing people close to him, McCall gets wrapped into a political mystery. Yes, I get that a political mystery is as original as Washington playing a dangerous man protecting a young girl. But look, I never said the movie was original. I will argue that it is highly entertaining though. The series still suffers from being a mixed bag of cliches. But the acting is top-notch, the action scenes are high intensity and full of riveting material and the story line is at least, kind of fun this time out. Washington is matched with some great support. Including "Game of Thrones" Pedro Pascal. "Moonlight's" Ashton Sanders shows up as a young man McCall is vigorously trying to keep out of gang life and they make for a sweet subplot. Bill Pullman also shows up and is very good here.

But I am sure the target audience for this movie goes to see this movie to watch Denzel Washington get sweet revenge on the bad guys. Trust me, the movie satisfies in that arena as well. We love watching Washington walk cool, spouting some clever one-liners and taking the villains to task. He does that here with enough style to shake a stick at. So come to watch Washington throw-down, but stay for a story that is better than average, even if you have seen it before.


Today's Behind the Scenes Pic of the Day says "Nice Night For A Walk!"

I may not agree with James Cameron and his views toward superhero movies, but man does the guy have a vigorous imagination. James is responsible for some great movies. "Avatar," and "Titantic" (yes, I said it, sue me) and of course "The Terminator" movies. As far as I'm concerned, the Terminator movies with Cameron's name on them are the only ones that matter. I wish he would have kept up with the franchise.

I'm not sure what's going on in this picture, but I can only imagine that the dialogue back and forth between Schwarzenegger and Cameron was one for the books. You can tell by Schwarzenegger's hairdo that it was taken during the making of T2. From the looks of the photo though, I imagine Schwarzenegger was giving Cameron his ideas for the future of the franchise and Cameron was scared to death of his ideas!