Category Archives: Reviews

Battleship Review

20 May 2012

 

Rating: ★★★☆☆

 

Battleship is an eh ok movie it was no where the caliber of Avengers in all its excellence or was it like Ghost Rider 2 which was a big disappointment to me. It was somewhere right in the middle of the pack. It had some excellent scenes and then it had some you got to be kidding me this is so predictable and could of been done better scenes. The tone of this one seemed a bit on the flat side for an action flick and it the music could of made it a bit more exciting . Instead it had this groaning suspenseful track in the background which was sort of out of place. The acting was ok and the plot could of been polished a little more.  Though it had some cool upsides like honoring the men of the Navy especially the Vets of previous wars.  The aliens used some projectile weapons that were like the pegs of the game Battleship and there was a seen where they played a game of cat and mouse on a computer that resembled the play of the game itself.

If you are going to see it don't expect to much in the way of plot and don't expect to much in brains either. Take it for what it is worth and enjoy other wise you will be disappointed. Again this movie gets a 3 out of 5 star rating and that is being generous . It was a film that had so much potential and fell flat in areas but had some real highlights . It was truly a mix bag and that what made it a eh movie.

 

 

Plot from Wikipedia 

 

In 2005, NASA discovers an extrasolar planet with conditions similar to Earth. On the chance that it contains intelligent life, NASA transmits a powerful signal from a communications array in Hawaii, which will be boosted by a satellite in orbit. Around the same time, the talented but undisciplined slacker Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch) attempts to impress a woman by getting her achicken burrito, the result of which sees Alex breaking into a convenience store and consequently being tasered by the police. The woman is Samantha Shane (Brooklyn Decker), daughter ofCOMPACFLT Admiral Shane (Liam Neeson), who in turn is the superior of Commander Stone Hopper (Alexander Skarsgard), Alex's older brother. Fed up and infuriated at Alex for lack of motivation and possibly ruining his own career, Stone forces him to join the United States Navy.

By 2012, Alex is a lieutenant and the Tactical Action Officer aboard the Arleigh Burke class destroyer USS John Paul Jones, while Stone is the commanding officer of USS Sampson. Alex is also in a committed relationship with Samantha and wants to marry her, but is afraid to ask her father for permission. During the opening ceremony for the RIMPAC naval exercises, Alex brawls with Japanese officer Captain Nagata (Tadanobu Asano), the latest in a string of incidents that could result in his discharge at the end of RIMPAC. Meanwhile, Samantha, a physical therapist, accompanies retired Army veteran and amputee Mick Canales (Gregory D. Gadson) on a hike on Oahu to help him adapt to his prosthetic legs.

Five alien ships arrive in response to the NASA signal. One ship collides with an orbital satellite and crashes in Hong Kong, while four others land in the water near Hawaii. SampsonJohn Paul Jones, and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Kongo class destroyer JDS My?k? investigate, but are trapped when one of the alien ships erects an impenetrable force field around the Hawaiian islands, blocking the rest of the RIMPAC participants outside. The destroyers attempt to establish contact by sounding a horn, and in response, the aliens release a powerful sonic blast that damages the ships. The Sampson fires a warning shot, but the aliens then respond with a full-on assault: Sampson and My?k? are destroyed, John Paul Jones is damaged with the commanding and executive officers killed, and the alien force field ship launches drone attacks on the islands, devastating local infrastructures and military installations. Initially attached to Sampson, Alex, who was one of the few out to take a closer look at the alien vessels, now boards John Paul Jones and takes command as the most senior officer left on the ship. Although initially wanting to attack the alien ships in retaliation for his brother's death, Alex is convinced to break off and recover survivors from My?k?, with Captain Nagata among them. This act prompts the aliens to call off another attack. Since the barrier prevents the use of radar and sonar, Nagata reveals that they can use tsunami warning buoys around Hawaii to track the alien vessels' movements.

During a night-time battle, the aliens and the humans exchange pot shots (in a manner similar to the actual game Battleship, using the buoy system to locate areas to fire upon), with theJohn Paul Jones sinking two alien ships but unable to lock onto the third. Meanwhile an alien soldier is recovered from the water; from the brief contact with the alien, the humans determine that the aliens are very sensitive to sunlight. Alex uses his ship to lure the alien vessel close to shore, where he and Nagata shoot out its bridge windows at sunrise with anti-material rifles in order to blind the aliens and prevent them from firing, then proceed to fire at the alien vessel full-force. Both vessels are destroyed in the ensuing battle, John Paul Jones being sunk by drones fired from the force field ship.

Because the ship that crashed in Hong Kong was their communications ship, the aliens take over the NASA array, using it to signal their home planet. Samantha and Mick, who are near the array at the time of the attack, manage to avoid detection and run into a fleeing NASA scientist. Finding out on their own the hostile behavior of the aliens and believing that a larger invasion might be imminent, the scientist acquires a radio which Samantha uses to warn Alex. Alex had planned to destroy the array with his ship, but since John Paul Jones has been sunk, the survivors are forced to return to Pearl Harbor and acquire the only naval vessel left intact within the alien force field coverage, the USS Missouri. Although a museum ship, Alex and his crew are able to reactivate Missouri with the aid of the retired veterans preserving her. Discovering that the alien force field ship has re-positioned itself near Oahu, the battleship is forced to engage. Samantha and Mick manage to disrupt alien signal transmission in the meantime by crashing their car through the wires connecting the alien's signal transmitter to the NASA array, with the Army veteran recovering his fighting spirit along the way and eventually to the point of standing up to an incoming alien soldier and fighting it hand-to-hand. Using a trick thought of by Alex involving one of the ship's anchors and facing the cannons "in the wrong direction" (which bring the battleship's broadside firepower to bear at the end of his maneuvers), the Missouriinflicts enough damage to the alien ship to successfully disable the force field but ends up with only one 16" high-explosive shell remaining. Alex moves the 1,000 lb shell to the last working cannon with the help of the crew and, stuck between a still-combat-capable enemy and his mission, elects to fire it at the NASA array, but before the defenseless Missouri can be attacked one more time, air strikes from the RIMPAC fleet (which are scrambled to attack as soon as the barrier falls) arrive and finish off the last alien ship. The final 16" shell sets off a chain reaction amidst the aliens and their equipment, in turn causing the NASA array to overload and explode.

Back on shore, the naval personnel, along with Mick (whose actions bought Alex enough time to fire that last shell at the NASA array), are honored for their actions in defeating the aliens, with Alex getting the Silver Star and is hinted at being promoted to lieutenant commander. After the ceremony, Alex asks Admiral Shane for his daughter's hand in marriage.

In a post-credits scene set in rural Scotland, three schoolchildren and a handyman break open a car-sized object that has apparently fallen from the sky. They run off in terror after seeing an alien hand reach out and grab the opening.

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Avengers Review

05 May 2012

 

Rating: ★★★★★

There are very rare times in a movie franchise that hype and the movie are the same. Even rarer when you get top actors together to portray their characters in such away that the chemistry mixes. The Avengers movie hits the mark on every level. Just put it this way . Have you ever read a comic book or any book for that matter and closed your eyes and saw all the action clearly and in such detail that you realized that you were reading something special that immersed you to that level ? Then have you ever gone to a movie version of those books and say well it was good butttttt.... ? In [[Avengers]] there was no but and it captured that same feeling that you get when you see those scenes in your mind when reading a book. It was excellently done from beginning to end. If there was one weak link that some may gripe about it may be the actor who portrayed Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) . It was not a perfect fit but it was pulled off and worked.
This movie played like a Marvel Comic would play out. It also had its fantasy bouts with super hero vs super hero like the comics now and then do. Thor and Iron Man tangle it up together for a bit with Captain America joining in. Thor and the Hulk go toe to toe, Natasha Romanoff AKA Black Widow battles Hawkeye , and there is a piece where the Hulk chases Black Widow. There were also some real light hearted moments when you can tell the actors mixed well together. Especially the scenes with Robert Downey Jr. His portrayal of Iron was not diminished with the appearance of other stars . Matter of fact that mix of actors augmented each others performance . The combo of light scenes and action scenes played out evenly and well through out the whole movie.
The action sequences were well done including the huge battle sequence at the end between the Avengers and Loki's allies Chitauri which was totally a CGI fans wet dream. Epic does not begin to describe the movie. My opinion is that out of all the DC and Marvel movies done in the past this was the best one ever. And that is saying something considering there were some really fantastic ones that were done. It is a go see and it is a 5 star movie.

once again I give this movie 5 out 5 stars just for being true to the Marvel comics and pulling off a rare moment in movie history where the movie meets the expectation of the hype.

Rating: ★★★★★

 

Plot  and cast description From Wikipedia with a few spoilers but not that many that will ruin the movie for you

Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson), director of the espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D., arrives at a remote research facility during an evacuation. The commander there, agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), explains that the Tesseract,2 an energy source of unknown potential, has activated and opened a mysterious portal. Through it steps the exiled Asgardian Loki (Tom Hiddleston), who takes the Tesseract and uses his abilities to control the minds of several S.H.I.E.L.D. personnel including agent Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner), as well as physicist consultant Dr. Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard), in order to aid in his getaway.
In response to the attack, Fury reactivates the Avengers Initiative. Agent Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johannson) is sent to India to recruit Dr. Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), while Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg), approaches Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and requests that he review Selvig's research. Fury himself approaches Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) with an assignment to retrieve the Tesseract from Loki. During his exile, Loki encountered the Other (Alexis Denisof), an alien conqueror who, in exchange for the Tesseract, offers Loki an army of the alien race called the Chitauri in order for him to subjugate Earth. Rogers, Stark and Romanoff travel to Stuttgart, Germany, to apprehend Loki, who is recovering iridium needed to stabilize the Tesseract's power and demanding that the civilians kneel before him. After a battle with Captain America and Iron Man, Loki surrenders and is escorted back to a S.H.I.E.L.D. plane. However, Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Loki's adoptive brother, arrives and attempts to free Loki to reason with him. Stark and Rogers confront Thor, and Loki is eventually returned to the Helicarrier, a flying aircraft carrier, and placed in a cell designed to hold the Hulk.
The Avengers are divided, both over how to approach Loki and the revelation that S.H.I.E.L.D. planned to harness the Tesseract to develop weapons as a deterrent against hostile extraterrestrials. As the group argues, Barton and Loki's other possessed agents attack the Helicarrier, disabling its engines in flight and causing Banner to transform into the Hulk. As Stark and Rogers try to restart the damaged engines, Thor attempts to stop the Hulk's rampage, and Romanoff fights Barton. During this fight, a blow to the head knocks Barton unconscious, breaking Loki's mind control. Loki escapes, killing Agent Coulson as he does so, and Thor and the Hulk are each ejected from the ship. Fury uses Coulson's death to motivate the Avengers into working as a team. Stark and Rogers realize that simply defeating them will not be enough for Loki; he needs to overpower them in a very public way so as to validate himself as ruler of Earth. Using a device built by Selvig, Loki uses the Tesseract to open a portal to the Chitauri fleet over Manhattan, summoning a Chitauri invasion.
The Avengers rally in defense of New York, but quickly realize they will be overwhelmed as wave after wave of Chitauri descend upon Earth. With help from Barton, Rogers and Stark evacuate civilians, while Banner transforms into the Hulk again and goes after Loki, beating him into submission. Romanoff makes her way to the portal, where Selvig, freed of Loki's control, reveals that Loki's staff can be used to close the portal. Meanwhile, Fury's superiors attempt to end the invasion by launching a nuclear missile at Manhattan. Stark intercepts the missile and takes it through the portal toward the Chitauri fleet before running out of power and plummeting back to Earth, but the Hulk catches him as he falls. Thor escorts Loki and the Tesseract back to Asgard, while Fury notes that the Avengers will go their separate ways until such time as a new world-threatening menace emerges.
In a post-credits scene, the Other confers with his master (Thanos) about the attack on Earth. In a second post-credits scene, the Avengers—gathered at a shawarma restaurant—eat in silence.

Cast

Cast of The Avengers at the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con International, with Joss Whedon and Kevin Feige.

A self-described genius, billionaire, playboy and philanthropist with a mechanical suit of armor of his own invention. Downey was cast as part of his four-picture deal with Marvel Studios, which includes Iron Man 2 and The Avengers. Downey stated that he initially pushed Whedon to make Stark the lead revealing, "Well, I said, 'I need to be in the opening sequence. I don't know what you're thinking, but Tony needs to drive this thing.' He was like, 'Okay, let's try that.' We tried it and it didn't work, because this is a different sort of thing, the story and the idea and the theme is the theme, and everybody is just an arm of the octopus." About the character's evolution from previous films, Downey commented, "In Iron Man, which was an origin story, he was his own epiphany and redemption of sorts. Iron Man 2 is all about not being an island, dealing with legacy issues and making space for others... In The Avengers, he's throwing it down with the others".
World War II veteran who was enhanced to the peak of human physicality by an experimental serum. Evans was cast as part of a deal to star in three Marvel films, in addition to The Avengers.Evans stated that Steve Rogers is much darker in The Avengers, explaining, "It's just about him trying to come to terms with the modern world. You've got to imagine, it's enough of a shock to accept the fact that you're in a completely different time, but everybody you know is dead. Everybody you cared about... He was a soldier, obviously, everybody he went to battle with, all of his brothers in arms, they're all dead. He's just lonely. I think in the beginning it's a fish out of water scene, and it's tough. It's a tough pill for him to swallow. Then comes trying to find a balance with the modern world."Regarding the dynamic between Captain America and Tony Stark, Evans remarked, "I think there's certainly a dichotomy—this kind of friction between myself and Tony Stark, they're polar opposites. One guy is flash and spotlight and smooth, and the other guy is selfless and in the shadows and kind of quiet and they have to get along. They explore that, and it's pretty fun".
A genius scientist who, because of exposure to gamma radiation, transforms into a monster when enraged or excited. Ruffalo was cast after negotiations between Marvel and Edward Norton broke down.About replacing Edward Norton, Ruffalo said, "I'm a friend of Ed's, and yeah, that wasn't a great way for all that to go down. But the way I see it is that Ed has bequeathed this part to me. I look at it as my generation's Hamlet." About the character he stated, "He's a guy struggling with two sides of himself—the dark and the light—and everything he does in his life is filtered through issues of control. I grew up on the Bill Bixby TV series, which I thought was a really nuanced and real human way to look at the Hulk. I like that the part has those qualities".Regarding the Hulk's place on the team Ruffalo said, "He's like the teammate none of them are sure they want on their team. He's a loose cannon. It's like, 'Just throw a grenade in the middle of the group and let's hope it turns out well"!Ruffalo also told New York magazine that unlike previous incarnations, he will actually play the Hulk, "I'm really excited. No one's ever played the Hulk exactly, they've always done CGI. They're going to do the Avatar stop-action, stop-motion capture. So I'll actually play the Hulk. That'll be fun".About his preparation for the role Ruffalo joked, "I've lost 15 pounds and I've put another five on of just strapping, pure USDA beef... They want me mean and lean, but they don't want me big and buff". The Hulk's body was adapted from that of Long Island bodybuilder and male stripper Steve Romm.The film's portrayal of the Hulk was considered successful; Marvel executives were "pleasantly surprised" by audiences' response to the character, and intend to "spin him off to a stand-alone program" if his successful turnaround continues.
The god of thunder based on the Norse deity of the same name. Hemsworth was cast as part of a multiple movie deal. He had previously worked with Joss Whedon on The Cabin in the Woods.Hemsworth stated that he was able to maintain the strength he built up for Thor by increasing his food intake, consisting of a number of chicken breasts, fish, steak and eggs a day. When asked exactly how much, Hemsworth joked, "My body weight in protein pretty much!"He remarked that Thor's motivation "is much more of a personal one, in the sense that it's his brother that is stirring things up. Whereas everyone else, it's some bad guy who they've gotta take down. It's a different approach for me, or for Thor. He's constantly having to battle the greater good and what he should do vs. it's his little brother there... I've been frustrated with my brothers at times, or family, but I'm the only one who is allowed to be angry at them. There's a bit of that."
A highly trained spy working for the international peacekeeping organization, S.H.I.E.L.D.[24] About the character and her relationship with Hawkeye, Johansson commented, "Our characters have a long history, they've fought together for a long time in a lot of battles in many different countries. We're the two members of this avenging group who are skilled warriors — we have no superpowers. Black Widow is definitely one of the team though. She's not in the cast simply to be a romantic foil or eye candy. She's there to fight, so I never felt like I was the only girl. We all have our various skills and it feels equal". Regarding her training Johansson stated, "Even though Iron Man 2 was 'one-for-them,' I'd never done anything like that before. I'd never been physically driven in something, or a part of something so big. For The Avengers, I've spent so many months training with our stunt team, and fighting all the other actors, it's crazy. I do nothing but fight—all the time."
A S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and master archer known in the comics as the "World's Greatest Marksman". Renner said it was a very physical role and that he trained physically and practiced archery as much as possible in preparation.About the role, Renner remarked, "When I saw Iron Man, I thought that was a really kick-ass approach to superheroes. Then they told me about this Hawkeye character, and I liked how he wasn't really a superhero; he's just a guy with a high skill set. I could connect to that.Regarding Hawkeye's sniper mentality, Renner stated, "It's a lonely game. He's an outcast. His only connection is to Scarlett's character, Natasha. It's like a left hand/right hand thing. They coexist, and you need them both, especially when it comes to a physical mission." Renner said Hawkeye is not insecure about his humanity explaining, "Quite the opposite, he's the only one who can really take down The Hulk with his [tranquilizer-tipped] arrows. He knows his limitations. But when it comes down to it, there has to be a sense of confidence in any superhero."
Thor's adoptive brother and nemesis based on the deity of the same name. In regard to his character's evolution from the film Thor, Hiddleston stated, "I think the Loki we see in The Avengers is further advanced. You have to ask yourself the question: how pleasant an experience is it disappearing into a wormhole that has been created by some kind of super nuclear explosion of his own making? So I think by the time Loki shows up in The Avengers he's seen a few things."About Loki's motivations, Hiddleston remarked, "At the beginning of The Avengers, he comes to Earth to subjugate it and his idea is to rule the human race as their king. And like all the delusional autocrats of human history, he thinks this is a great idea because if everyone is busy worshipping him, there will be no wars so he will create some kind of world peace by ruling them as a tyrant. But he is also kind of deluded in the fact that he thinks unlimited power will give him self respect so I haven't let go of the fact that he is still motivated by this terrible jealousy and kind of spiritual desolation".
The director of S.H.I.E.L.D., who was revealed in previous films to be coordinating the "Avenger Initiative". Jackson was brought to the project with a deal containing an option to play the character in up to nine Marvel films. In April 2011, Jackson's script was stolen and leaked on the internet after a digital copy was left in a printer. Jackson stated he does more in The Avengers than in any of the previous films and joked that "You don't have to wait until the end of the movie to see me". About the role Jackson commented, "It's always good to play somebody that is a positive in society as opposed to somebody who is a negative... I tried to make him as honest to the story and as honest to what real-life would seem." Jackson compared the character to Ordell in Jackie Brown, calling him "a nice guy to hang out with, you just don't want to cross him".
A S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who works closely with Jackson's Nick Fury.Smulders, whom Joss Whedon once considered for his unproduced live-action Wonder Woman film, was selected from a short list of potential actresses including Morena Baccarin. Smulders' deal would integrate her into nine films.[34] Regarding her preparation, Smulders stated, "I hired this amazing black-ops trainer to teach me how to hold a gun, take me to a shooting range, how to hit, how to hold myself, how to walk and basically how to look. I don't do a ton of fighting in the movie, which is why I wasn't offered a trainer, but I wanted to look like I had the ability to." On relating to the character, Smulders commented, "I can relate to her being a mom and being a businesswoman and trying to work full-time and raising a family and having a career. We're asked to do a lot of things these days. I feel she is just all about her job and keeping things going."

Clark GreggStellan Skarsgård, and Gwyneth Paltrow reprise their roles from previous films as Phil Coulson, Erik Selvig, and Pepper Potts, respectively.Paul Bettany returns to voice JARVIS. Frequent Whedon collaborator Alexis Denisof voices the Other, leader of the Chitauri. Avengers co-creator Stan Lee has a cameo appearance in a news report. Harry Dean Stanton also has a cameo as a security guard.

 

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Must Do’s for SCI FI junkies in Orlando

30 Apr 2012

 

After this vacation and learning that Disney is preparing to build an Avatar Land it dawned on my that there is so much for us SCI FI nuts that you can not avoid around the Orlando area. Most of them are in Universal and there is some in the Disney Parks. Over the years I have traveled with my family a number of times to the area and I have been lucky enough that my family likes the same stuff that I do. So it is real easy to become a kid once again and do all that geeky/nerdy/sci fi/ F-en awesome SH*T without any problems. So without going into to much detail on what is what . I will just list the rides in the parks they belong to and if possible find a Youtube video of them to give you an idea of what they are about via excerpts from the descriptions on Wikipedia. And these days that should be easy. Its like almost everyone post their vids of their experiences up on Youtube and there is always someone writing in Wiki in reliable and exact detail about those attractions these days. Since this is a lengthy one and most likely will have some add ons in the future as I find more and more I have broken this into pages with each of the attractions having their own page. You can go either find the ride your interested in by title or just click the next page. 

 My list of the top rides and attractions in Orlando Florida.

 

So I will start of at Universal Parks which contains more of those specialized attractions then any other I have ever seen. There are two parks that contain different types of rides. One is more movie based and has attractions and rides like Shrek and Men in Black called Universal Studios Florida. The other is Islands of Adventure and basically is more a thrill type of rides but also has its footing squarely in movies such as Jurassic Park, Harry Potter etc....

Both are a treat to visit and its a great alternative to Disney especially for the teens and older crowds like myself. Here is a list with videos of the better Sci Fi must see's and do's in Universal and Disney.

 

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Islands of Adventure) Universal Florida

First of all the whole area is set up to match the movie world of Harry Potter. That alone is awesome enough but the ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is a fanatics dream.

Here is one of the full experience including waiting on line . But there is so many cool features to see on line.

Description from Wikipedia

The area's flagship attraction is Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey which exists within a re-creation of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It takes riders on a journey through Harry Potter's wizarding world. Other attractions include Dragon Challenge, a pair of inverted roller coasters, and Flight of the Hippogriff, a family roller coaster. The area also features a re-creation of Hogsmeade which includes a full-sized model of the Hogwarts Express as well as many gift shops and restaurants from the series of Harry Potter books. These including Dervish and Banges, Honeydukes, Ollivanders, Zonko's Joke Shop, The Three Broomsticks and The Hog's Head.

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Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance Review

19 Feb 2012

Rating: ★★½☆☆

It never makes sense to me when you have a movie that has all the tools to make it a great film but ends up being a dud. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is one of those. The movie had a solid plot but the rest of the movie except for some bright spots was hard to watch. First of all when will directors learn that some films should not be artsy like in nature. This film tried to hard to be something it should of never been which made it hard to watch at times. It felt like Cloverfeild and the first Hulk movie all wrapped up in one. To many quick zoom in and zoom out shots along with shaky camera tricks for my taste. It did not work for those films why the hell did any one think it would work for this one. Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor should of known better.

The film loosely connected itself with the first but there was to much of the character of the Ghost Rider and Johnny Blaze that was changed that made many in the audience I was in asking WTF am I watching. If they were doing a reboot then they should of actually started in the beginning with a new actor and script. One of the changes that made little sense to me is in the charter himself . In the first Ghost Rider movie released in 2007 the the Devil, Mephistopheles (Peter Fonda), sends his bounty hunter of the damned, the Ghost Rider, to retrieve a contract for a thousand corrupt souls from the town of San Venganza. Because the nature of the contract would give Mephisto the power to bring Hell to Earth, the Rider refuses to give him the contract and goes into hiding. In this version the Ghost Rider is possessed by an angel from God that spent time in Hell and went insane. It kind of negated the premise of the charter that was established already . One that I thought could of been built on to make a great movie. Also the Devil himself is one of those changes made from the first movie . He is called Roarke in this one as played by Ciarán Hinds. You can almost get away with this one since evil goes by many names but the story arc of the Johnny Blaze/Ghost Riders genesis with the Devil was also fudged a bit to fit this movie.

Another significant change came in the charters profile of Johnny Blaze himself. This movie made him look like a crazed crack/ heroine addict looking for fixes. Granted having a demon in you would drive you a bit mad but there was something endearing about the way Johnny Blaze was portrayed in the first movie. The absent minded coolness and care free spirit . Something that was sorely missed in this film. There should of not been that total departure of the characters core structure.

It was not all bad though . There was some highlights that are worth mentioning. The ending fight sequence was well done. The fact that the Ghost Rider can turn any vehicle into an extension of himself like a huge crane or truck was cool. And then there was the French priest played by Idris Elba which was amazing. His portrayal of the character was one that saved the film from totally tanking out. It was shame they killed him off at the end It would of been something they could of used to salvage the franchise if they chose to do another film.

So bottom line is I tried hard to give this a 3 or 4 star but I could not. This film failed . It was like being given the Hope Diamond and using it for industrial drilling. If you expect a sequel of the first Ghost Rider you will be disappointed. The shot sequences are shaky and there was a huge amount of artsy type of shots however cool some were that were just wrong for this movie. The character was changed just enough to confuse most audience in the theater and to be honest with you it was a weak ass script with a strong plot. So this film gets 2 and half stars out of 5.


Plot

Johnny Blaze, still struggling with the curse of being the Ghost Rider, is hiding out in a remote part of Eastern Europe when a secret sect of the church asks him to save a boy from the devil. At first Johnny is reluctant to use his power, but it's the only way to save the boy and possibly rid himself of this curse forever

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Journey 2 Review

15 Feb 2012

 

Rating: ★★★★☆

This is a more of visual feast and a very fast paced movie then a cerebral remake of the Jules Verne's Classic the Mysterious Island.  So you have to take it for what it is and not for the Verne's novel. Like the prequel to this movie ( Journey to the Center of the Earth, 2008) Journey 2 takes a creative license and bases the story off a society of Vernians who search out clues from Jules Verne's novels so they can prove them to be a matter of non-fiction not fiction.  And continues on the young adventure  Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson) search for all thing Jules Verne's ( See plot summary below). The movie is intended to be a 3D feast for the eyes. No doubt about that and it delivers. A young and older audience that has that young at heart mentality will completely enoy it. I took my 6 year old and my 13 year old and they both sat riveted to the seat. Something they never do.  Seeing it IMAX also helped but it is not their first go with IMAX either and I have seen them get bored quickly with movies. My take on it  was better then the first movie . Something you rarely see in franchise movies. But to be fair the first movie in the series was a darker film because of the setting.  It was some what in the unbelievable realm with the action which made for excellent action sequences and effects in 3D and it was light hearted. The Rock ( Dwayne Johnson) played his character really well . And legendary Michael Caine playing a wily old  Grand farther with his dry English humor  was fantastic to see. The film had a good balance of all those things you want from a light hearted action flick with Sci Fi influences.

I gave it a 4 stars out of 5 because of its production and its family entertainment.

 

Plot by Wikipedia

Sean Anderson is caught by police escaping from a satellite research center where he was attempting to access a signal broadcast that was too faint to pick up outside of the facility. Escorted home by his stepfather, Hank Parsons, he eventually reveals that the mysterious broadcast he was attempting to access was a set of indistinguishable words that he is trying to decode. Hank, in an attempt to bond with his stepson, solves the code which tells them to look for Treasure Island, Gulliver's Travels and Verne's Mysterious Island and Sean suggest that they were all based on the same island. Hank then tears out each page with a map in each book and shines a light through them to make one map that reveals the islands co-ordinates. Sean believes that his long lost grandfather was the one behind the transmission, and that he has discovered the island. Sean and Hank immediately set out for the island of Palau. Both Hank and his wife, Liz, don't believe anything that Sean is convinced of, such as the fact that the Mysterious Island could exist and that his grandfather discovered it, but after Hank considers that this trip could help bring him closer to his usual anti-social step son, the couple decide it would be ideal. Once arriving at Palau, they board a private helicopter run by Gabato and his daughter Kailani, whom Sean immediately develops a crush on. The four travel to the co-ordinates until their helicopter is hit by a freak storm, causing them to crash on the island, where every big animal in the world is small and every small animal is giant (inspiring Jonathan Swift to write Gulliver's Travels). They are then chase through the forest by a giant lizard until they finally meet Sean's grandfather. He leads them back to his hut where they spend the night. Once it is determined that a radio signal for a distress call can only be sent once a fortnight, it is decided that the group will stay put until then.
The next day the five travel to the lost city of Atlantis, buried far back in the jungles. There Hank finds evidence to believe that the island is slowly sinking. It is revealed through Sean’s grandfather that the island sinks underwater once every 140 years or so due to shifting tectonic plates, and that they still have years before the next cycle begins. Hank’s recent discovery, however, shows that Sean’s grandfather’s calculations are wrong and that the island will sink in a few days. From there the group set out to Captain Nemo’s tomb, which contains his journal holding the whereabouts of the legendary submarine, The Nautilus, their only hope of escaping on time. Once the journal is uncovered, they set out towards Nautilus, encountering various obstacles in their path. Sean’s foot is dislocated after a dog fight involving a giant bird, and the group is slowed down. The next morning it is discovered that Gabato has left the group to return to a previously passed volcano of gold (inspiring Robert Louis Stevenson to write Treasure Island), which he believes is his and Kailani’s only hope of living a decent life. Kailani and Sean’s grandfather set out to find him while Hank and Sean continue to look for the Nautilus.
Once at the submarine’s entrance, the two are disheartened to find that the rising sea level has buried the cave underwater and that they must dive to where it is located. Using a simple breathing device, they manage to reach the submarine and open the entrance hatch, narrowly avoiding a nasty encounter with a giant electric eel.
Kailani and Sean’s grandfather eventually find Gabato and convince him to return to the submarine. Once there, they are distraught to discover that Hank and Sean are nowhere in sight. Unbeknownst to them, the pair are attempting to start the submarine, although the batteries are long exhausted. Hank devises a plan to use the eel to conduct enough electricity to kick start the Nautilus, and equipping a basic diving suit, exits the sub to confront the eel and throw a harpoon at it.
Once the submarine starts, they quickly travel to the surface and retrieve the other three. Six months later, Gabato is head of a successful tourism movement on Palau, and has enough money to send Kailani to the United States where she is dating Sean and attending college. At Sean's birthday, his grandfather gives him a copy of From the Earth to the Moon, and proposes another journey (to the moon), as a family. The film ends with Sean, Kailani and his family reading the book together, and a view of the moon.

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