Category Archives: Reviews

Kong: Skull Island Godzilla Easter Eggs

25 Mar 2017

 

Like all movies these days the golden easter egg of any worth is at the very end of the credits. And Kong: Skull Island was no exception. First of all let me just state that it is an adrenaline action / Science Fiction movie that is a piece of a puzzle that fits very nicely into the world of the Legendary Godzilla movies and worth seeing. What the game plan of the franchise is we know to finally have to the two kings meet in a remake of the Japanese cult movie King Kong vs Godzilla which should be one earth shaking spectacular special effects filled clash.
Secondly lets get back to the easter egg. If you seen the movie and stayed to the end of the credits you will know it. Though if the theater I went to is any indicator many never stayed past the credits . Matter of fact My family and I were the only ones left. So many will be surprised that this is part of the franchise that Legendary is setting up.
So to the easter egg. At the very end of the credits Two of the main characters of the film that survived Conrad (Tom Hiddleston or better known as LOKI) and Weaver (Brie Larson whose clothes never seemed to get dirty even after being puled out of the throat of a monster) are detained by Monarch which coincidentally was the agency in charge of overseeing the "Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism" (MUTO) in Godzilla. Monarch led by Brooks and Lin informs Conrad and Weaver that Kong is not the only King to roam the world. They are shown a film footage of cave paintings showing one after another in dramatic fashion Godzilla and Ghidora locked in battle, then in a slow slow close up Rodan, then Mothra an once again King Ghidora as the music and the movies faded you heard Godzilla's iconic roar. Which indicates what we all knew about the next Godzilla movie that all 4 will be featured in what most likely be a modern version of 1964 feature film Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster.
Now we can have some fun in speculating how the story arc will connect these films. Especially that the hint is the main characters Conrad and Weaver seemed to be in the process of being initiated into Monarch making a case that they will be in one way or another featured in the upcoming films. How they will bridge the time gap of Kong which was suppose to be in the early 70's at the end of Nam and the latest film of Godzilla which is set in the present is a good question. But not entirely a impossible one . One thought as I stray off content is that in movie Kong Skull Island there was a hint that was dropped that the locals on the Island never seemed to age. If I was writing a plot line that would bind those movies I would have my characters back on the island as a scientific team observing and let time proceed in a normal manner all the meanwhile the characters will never age . Just a thought.

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Guardians of the Galaxy Review

21 Aug 2014

GOTG-poster

Rating: ★★★★★

 

I don't remember a time when I enjoyed a movie as much as I did this one. From beginning to end it was by far one of the better Marvel movies  made to date.  Two things it had in its favor it was a high quality movie and second Disney did not stand in the way of this production leaving it as a Marvel feature. Which if you are a comic movie fan like I am bodes well for future productions. The movie itself ranked in the number one spot for a couple of weeks and remains a draw even now. The characters and actors playing them fit well together. I saw no flaws in the chemistry. CG's are what you expect from a Marvel / Disney production and even better in 3D. The script well it was not meant to be taking all that seriously but you can see that they kept a strong link to the Marvel Universe. You will or have seen characters that will in future Avengers or spin off character movies ( Capt America , Thor etc... ) will cross over leaving the question will there be a movie that is going to encapsulate all the worlds like they have done so many times before in comic book forms. Well I won't spend to much more time on my critique of the movie. Not much more to say then it was awesome . 5 stars flat out awesome. In other words "I AM GROOT".
Only one warning even though for the most part this is a family movie the language is strong enough to warrant a little precaution for little ones. Other then that its a must see for fans.

 

Starring
Chris Pratt
Zoe Saldana
Dave Bautista
Vin Diesel
Bradley Cooper
Lee Pace
Michael Rooker
Karen Gillan
Djimon Hounsou
John C. Reilly
Glenn Close
Benicio del Toro

Plot and Spoilers from Wikipedia which is dead on except that I have to say the Duck in the end of the synapsis was actually Howard the Duck

 

In 1988, following his mother's death, a young Peter Quill is abducted from Earth by the Ravagers, a group of space pirates led byYondu Udonta. Twenty-six years later on the planet Morag, Quill steals an orb only to be intercepted by Korath, a subordinate to the fanatical KreeRonan. Although Quill escapes with the orb, Yondu discovers his theft and issues a bounty for his capture while Ronan sends the assassin Gamora after the orb.

When Quill attempts to sell the orb on the Nova Corps home world Xandar, Gamora ambushes him and steals it. A fight ensues, drawing in a pair of bounty hunters: the genetically engineered raccoon Rocket, and the tree-like humanoid Groot. The Nova Corps arrives and arrests the group, imprisoning them in the Kyln. A powerful inmate, Drax, attempts to kill Gamora due to her association with Ronan, who killed his family. Quill dissuades him by saying that Gamora can bring Ronan to him. Gamora reveals that she has betrayed Ronan, unwilling to let him use the orb's power to destroy entire planets such as Xandar. Learning that Gamora has a buyer for the orb, Rocket, Quill, Groot, and Gamora work together to escape the Kyln.

Elsewhere, Ronan meets with the titan Thanos to discuss his daughter Gamora's betrayal and the loss of the orb. Accompanied by Drax, Quill's group escapes the Kyln in his ship—the Milano—and flee to Knowhere, a remote criminal outpost in space built in the giant severed-head of a celestial. A drunken Drax summons Ronan, while the rest of the group meet Gamora's contact, Taneleer Tivan. Tivan opens the orb, revealing an Infinity Stone, an item of immeasurable power that destroys all but the most powerful beings who wield it. Suddenly, Tivan's tormented assistant grabs the Stone, triggering an explosion that engulfs his collection.

Ronan arrives and easily defeats Drax, while the others flee by ship, pursued by Ronan's followers and Gamora's sister Nebula. Nebula destroys Gamora's ship, leaving her floating in space, and Ronan's forces leave with the sphere. Quill contacts Yondu before following Gamora into space, giving her his helmet to survive; Yondu arrives and retrieves the pair. Rocket, Drax, and Groot threaten to attack Yondu's ship to rescue them, but Quill negotiates a truce by convincing Yondu that they can recover the orb. The group agrees that facing Ronan means certain death, but that they must stop him from using the Infinity Stone to destroy the galaxy. On Ronan's ship, the Dark Aster, Ronan embeds the Stone in his warhammer, taking its power for himself. He contacts Thanos, threatening to kill him after the destruction of Xandar; hateful of her adopted father, Nebula allies with Ronan.

On Xandar, the Dark Aster is confronted by Yondu's fleet, the Nova Corps, and Quill's group, which breaches the Dark Aster. Ronan uses his empowered warhammer to destroy the Nova Corps fleet. Drax kills Korath, and Gamora defeats Nebula (who escapes) and unlocks Ronan's chambers, but the group finds themselves outmatched by his power until Rocket crashes the Milano through the Dark Aster and into Ronan. The damaged Dark Aster crash lands on Xandar, with Groot sacrificing himself to shield the group. Ronan emerges from the wreck and prepares to destroy Xandar, but Quill distracts him, allowing Drax and Rocket to destroy Ronan's warhammer. Quill grabs the freed Stone, and with Gamora, Drax, and Rocket sharing its burden, they use it to destroy Ronan.

In the aftermath, Quill tricks Yondu into taking a container supposedly containing the Stone, then gives the real Stone to the Nova Corps. As the Ravagers leave Xandar, Yondu remarks that it turned out well that they did not deliver Quill to his father. Quill's group, now known as the Guardians of the Galaxy, have their criminal records expunged, and Quill learns that he is only half-human, his father being part of an ancient, unknown species. Quill finally opens the last present he received from his mother; a cassette tape filled with her favorite songs. The Guardians leave in the rebuilt Milano along with a sapling cut from Groot.

In a post-credits scene, Tivan sits in his destroyed archive with two of his living exhibits: a canine cosmonaut and an anthropomorphic duck.

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Transformers: Age of Extinction Review

28 Jun 2014

Transformers_Age_of_Extinction_Poster.jpeg

Rating: ★★½☆☆

What can I say. Micheal Bay did it again. Transformers had ...Well Transformers thats a big plus. Splendid CG's. Terrific fight scenes. Plenty of action scenes. And a not so acceptable story with a bunch of whiney humans running around in a nonsensical dance screaming while shouting and complaining. I had high hopes with this sequel only to be let down by a new cast that seemed to have all the character traits in one way or another of the characters penned in the other three Transformers movies. A missed opportunity if you asked me. They could of set thing right with this bunch since they seemed to have a better chemistry then the first lot did. Even the story in this one was disjointed and very similar in the way it is laid out with previous movies. Matter of fact the story even though it varied in theme had some of the elements of the first movie. Let me explain ... Boy finds car in a junky condition. Man finds truck in junky condition. Boy has to save world and keep the all spark from the Decepticons. Man has to keep the seed from the new Decepticons. Bumblebee is called a junky looking car and scans a brand new Camaro and becomes that car. And so on and so on. Get where I am going here ?
There were so many little things to bug me on this endeavor that I had a hard time enjoying the film. But there were some high points too but they were muddled by some confusing story changes and inconsistent with the flow of the movie. Not that I mind differences in movies that vary from the original source material mind you. I have come to expect that when Hollywood pees on a beloved franchise to claim it as their own. But in this one there were to many WTF's going on here and why are you going in that direction. Here are just some examples of what I mean about moments that were great and then screwed up at the same time. I loved the Dinobots even though I thought their intro and the lack of a back story was counter productive. Reintroducing Megatron as Galvatron was cool even though the way he transformed was kind of ridiculous in the manner it would of made him and the other bots indestructible to attack yet they got hammered when they fought the the combined might of the Autobots and Dinobots. Thats just some of the pro/con moments.
Its hard to say with this movie. Being a die hard Transformer fan since the toons came out in the 80's I loved seeing the characters come to life. There were even some cheers from the audience at some points of the movie when that happened so I am not alone in that aspect. But I did not walk away from the theater with that I was blown away feeling I did with other movies I have previously seen.
In short I think Bay seems happy to cookie cut the franchise in way of its characters, action sequences, and even to a fashion the way the story tends to play out that bothered me the most. Like I said a waste of opportunity to hit this one out of the park. I am hoping that the sequel will make up for this clunker because the set up to the next one has again lots of potential. And yes I will be stupid enough to go see it even if its done like this one. Maybe that is why he keeps making the movies like these for people that are willing to plop down the money without question in hopes of seeing something better from the franchise. Its like being a Mets fan I guess. You hope for the best to always get disappointed.

Plot and spoilers from Wikipedia

The movie starts off with a spaceship entering the Earth at the time of the Cretaceous and leading the extinction of dinosaurs. Four years have passed since the final battle between the Autobots and the Decepticons left Chicago in ruins and claimed the lives of over a thousand civilians. The U.S. government has severed its ties with the Autobots and branded them as fugitives. An elite CIA unit called "Cemetery Wind" is formed by Harold Attinger with the intent of hunting down and exterminating the surviving Autobots with the aid of Lockdown, a Transformer bounty hunter. Meanwhile, using data obtained from destroyed Transformers, business tycoon Joshua Joyce and his technology firm Kinetic Solutions Incorporated (KSI) have discovered "Transformium", the molecularly unstable metal that is the lifeblood of Transformers. Joshua's prized creation is Galvatron, a Transformer created from the data inside Megatron's severed head under the supervision of a captured Brains.

In rural Texas, struggling robotics inventor Cade Yeager and his friend Lucas Flannery purchase an old semi-truck in hopes of stripping it down and selling the parts to get Cade's daughter Tessa into college. Cade discovers that the truck is an injured Optimus Prime, and it is not long before Lockdown and Cemetary Wind operatives led by James Savoy storm into the Yeagers' farm and threaten them. Optimus comes out of hiding to fend off against the operatives while Cade, Tessa, and Lucas are rescued by Tessa's boyfriend Shane Dyson, an Irish rally racer. They lose the operatives in a lengthy chase in Paris, Texas, but Lucas is killed by Lockdown's grenade during their escape. Using a drone he took during the raid, Cade discovers that the operatives and KSI are working together. Optimus rallies the remaining Autobots – Bumblebee, Hound, Drift, and Crosshairs – and travel with their new human allies to infiltrate KSI's headquarters in Chicago. There, Cade, Shane, and Bumblebee discover the firm's reverse engineering of Transformer technology. Upon discovering that Ratchet has been slain and his head is being melted down, Optimus and the Autobots storm into the headquarters to destroy the laboratory and rescue Brains, but Joshua convinces them that their actions are futile and they are no longer relevant to this planet.

As the Autobots leave the premises, Joshua launches KSI's prototype Transformers Galvatron and Stinger. Optimus and Galvatron engage in a grueling battle where Optimus realizes that Galvatron is Megatron in a new body. Suddenly, Optimus is blasted from behind by Lockdown, and in the midst of the chaos, he and Tessa are captured and taken into Lockdown's ship. Aboard the ship, Lockdown explains to Optimus that the Transformers were created by a mysterious alien race known as the "Creators", which hired him to capture the Autobot leader. As a reward for Optimus' capture, Attinger's operatives are given the "Seed", a bomb that cyberforms any wide area of land if it explodes. Cade, Shane and the Autobots storm into the ship to rescue Optimus and Tessa; while Bumblebee, Crosshairs, and the humans escape and crash into downtown Chicago, the other Autobots detach the rear section of the ship before it leaves into space. Joshua and his business partners Su Yueming and Darcy Tyril retreat to Beijing, where Attinger hands Joshua the Seed in exchange for a stake in KSI control. The Autobots and their human allies follow them to prevent them from detonating the Seed.

At KSI's Beijing factory, Galvatron suddenly activates by himself and infects all 50 of the firm's prototype Transformer soldiers to do his bidding. Realizing the folly of his creations, Joshua betrays Attinger before he, Su, and Darcy take the Seed to Hong Kong. There, the Autobots struggle to protect Joshua and the Seed from Galvatron and his minions, which shoot down the Autobots' ship. Cade kills Savoy during a fight in an apartment building. Outnumbered and outmatched, Optimus Prime releases a group of legendary knights and leads them back to the city to destroy Galvatron's army. Lockdown returns to Earth and uses his ship's magnetic weapon to pull anything metal into his ship, in an effort to recapture Optimus. Optimus destroys the weapon and engages in battle with Lockdown before killing Attinger to save Cade. Lockdown grabs Optimus's sword and impales him, but the combined efforts of Bumblebee, Cade, Tessa, and Shane distract the bounty hunter before Optimus stabs him in the chest and slices his head in half. Galvatron retreats, vowing to battle Optimus another day. With Lockdown destroyed and Cemetery Wind dissolved, Optimus sets the Dinobots free before flying into space with the Seed, sending a message to the Creators.

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How to Train Your Dragon 2 Review

21 Jun 2014

How_to_Train_Your_Dragon_2_poster

Rating: ★★★★½

 

One of the more enjoyable films of the year. Dreamwork's nailed this one. The story was heartfelt and warm even though there was a plot twist of a major character dying (Hiccups dad Stoick) which I did not see coming and had my little one grabbing me in tears. However there were also many enjoyable highlights like Hiccup seeing finding his mother was still alive and getting to know her along with some pretty great CG animated scenes which worked well in the 3D format.

I also was impressed with the moral message of this movie which lacks in some of these computer animated films. The message of peace, and price that sometimes has to be paid to preserve it, believing in yourself even though you find it hard to, and conquering the pressure of others that would try to control you and force you to commit something you normally would was well written and played out in the form of both Hiccup and his Dragon Toothless. Which btw my son actually understood. Like I said the message was written well in the form of Hiccup and Toothless who had to dig deep inside of themselves to find a courage and face their obstacles . Hiccup in the form of self doubt and how he can live up to his fathers legendary status and Toothless in the form of a Godzilla size dragon they called Alphas that controlled him and other dragons. Sort of Dragon peer pressure I guess one may say which one will admit can be Godzilla in size and hard to defeat. In the end it was their friendship and love for each other that gave them the strength to defeat not only their fears and lack of control but the enemy that threaten the peace of their land.

This is one of those must see family movies though I would caution parents of little ones to be prepared to answer some questions of life and death. Well no worse then you have to do with a Disney film.

 

Plot summary contains spoilers from Wikipedia

Five years after the Viking village of Berk has made peace with the dragons, dragons now live amongst the villagers as working animals and companions, and even take part in racing sport. Hiccup goes on adventures with his dragon, Toothless, as they discover and map unexplored lands and territories. Having come of age, he is being pressed by his father, Stoick the Vast, to succeed him as chieftain, although Hiccup remains unsure if he is ready for this responsibility.

While investigating a wildfire, Hiccup and Astrid discover the remains of a fort encased in a colossal ice formation and encounter a dragon trapper named Eret, who blames them for the destruction of his fort and attempts to capture their dragons for an insane conqueror called Drago Bludvist. The two riders return to Berk to warn Stoick about the dragon army that Drago is amassing, and Stoick orders the villagers to fortify the island and prepare for battle. Against Stoick's orders, Hiccup flies off with Astrid and they surrender themselves and their dragons to Eret so as to be taken to Drago in order to reason with him. However, Stoick, Gobber, and Berk's other dragon riders pursue and find them.

Stoick explains that he once met Drago and found him to be an unreasonable madman, but Hiccup refuses to believe that war is inevitable and flies off with Toothless. They are captured by a dragon rider named Valka, who is revealed to be Hiccup's long lost mother. She explains that she spent twenty years rescuing dragons from Drago's traps and bringing them to an island haven created out of ice by a colossal Alpha dragon called a Bewilderbeast, to whom all dragons answer. Stoick tracks Hiccup to the island where he discovers that his wife is still alive. Simultaneously, Astrid and the other riders kidnap Eret to find Drago, but they are also captured and Drago learns of Berk's dragons.

Drago and his army lay siege to Valka's sanctuary, where he reveals that he has his own Bewilderbeast to challenge the Alpha. A titanic battle ensues between the two Bewilderbeasts in a fight for control over all dragons on the island. Drago's Bewilderbeast emerges victorious and seizes control of all the dragons, including Toothless. Hiccup tries to persuade Drago to end the violence, but Drago orders him killed as well. Toothless, under the influence of the new Alpha, approaches Hiccup and fires a plasma blast. At the last instant, Stoick pushes Hiccup out of the way, and is hit instead, killing him instantly. Drago leaves Hiccup to his fate and, riding Toothless, leads his now larger army to destroy Berk. Stoick is given a ship burial and Hiccup, now filled with regret at the loss of his father, decides that he will fly back to Berk to defend his people and live up to his father's legacy.

The dragon riders ride baby dragons, which are immune to the Bewilderbeast's control, and arrive at Berk after the Alpha had already attacked the village and taken control of the dragons there. Hiccup confronts Drago and a brainwashed Toothless while the other riders work to distract the Bewilderbeast. Drago again orders Toothless to kill Hiccup, but Hiccup succeeds in disenchanting Toothless. Drago then orders the Alpha to shoot the pair, and the Bewilderbeast successfully encases them in a large blast of ice, seemingly killing them. His victory is short-lived, as Toothless, now glowing with plasma, blasts away the ice, revealing that both he and Hiccup are unharmed. Toothless challenges the Alpha and repeatedly fires plasma blasts at the Bewilderbeast. This frees the other dragons from the Bewilderbeast's control and all fire at it, severely injuring the colossal dragon until Toothless fires a final massive blast, breaking its left tusk.

Defeated, Drago and his Bewilderbeast retreat into the ocean as the villagers celebrate their victory. All the dragons acknowledge Toothless as the new Alpha dragon, and Hiccup is made chief of Berk by the village elder. The film ends with Berk being rebuilt with a statue of Stoick erected in his honor, and Hiccup doing his duties as chief, proudly declaring that while others may have armies and armadas, Berk has its own dragons.

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Godzilla 2014 Review

19 May 2014

Godzilla_(2014)_poster

Rating: ★★★★☆

What can I say the King of all Monsters is back in this epic movie. It was all that one could hope for in a big budge monster movie . There was Godzilla himself , buildings smashing , a rumble in San Francisco between heavy weights and people running. And there was even a decent story they led somewhere. The Americans for the most part got it right this time. It was good balance of plot suspense and fantasy. They even got the nuclear fire right . Kind of gave me goose bumps similar to that geeky feeling I got when I saw the Transformers for the first time and Optimus transformed. Yea I know sound nerdy but it was awesome.
There was some minor nit picking I could do. And now I will. The characters were some what lack lustered. Flat if you will. They could do with some little quick one liners or site gags to living things up as long as they kept it in the script and not just throw it in there like the 1998 version did. And the big guy himself could of been a little more in the film then he was. Not to much more. I think it was smart to make the story play out and not have it all about monster smash around. Some Godzilla films it gets to much of the big guy and they strive to keep the plot going. They end up fragmenting and going into this spiral of what you can tell is on the spot directors add ons. This one pretty much did not. It kept my attention and was really well done. It was a feast for the eyes .

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