Friday, February 10, 2017
American Ultra is a movie I thoroughly enjoy. It's really as simple as that. It's funny, violent, and is a perfect example of how awesome Kristen Stewart can be when she's not shackled by the turgid prose of Stephanie Meyer. Also, Topher Grace is in here as the villain, who chews epic amounts of scenery. Then Bill Pullman shows up, basically being Bill Pullman. I mean, is there anything not awesome about this movie? Sure, it's cinematic junk food- but that puts it right alongside such epics of cinema as Deadpool, Kingsman: The Secret Service and Kick-Ass. That's pretty good company to keep.
It seems comic book reviews are becoming a regular staple of my blog as of late. I haven't gotten any complaints (not like I get any feedback, period...) so I'm just gonna keep em' coming as I see fit. Next up on my plate here is a breezy little ten issue story by Mark Millar (Kick-Ass, Wanted) with art by Sean Gordon Murphy (Tokyo Ghost) and hot damn is it a lot of fun. It's 120 pages of no-holds-barred time travel craziness. It's clearly mined from the imagination of a guy who wanted to see an F16 fighter jet in the same panel as a T-Rex and figured "What the hell? Why not?" That is the kind of comic book that Chrononauts is.
Thursday, February 9, 2017
I am a person who has at one point in his life, referred to himself as a "Jean Claude Fan Damme". Just so we're clear on that, on where I stand. I love JCVD's movies. I've seen like 90% of them. Especially some of the later DTV stuff. I can quote Bloodsport like the back of my hand. So, when I saw Maximum Risk on Blu Ray, on sale for $3.50 at F.Y.E. I figured that it was divine intervention, because I had never seen this one before. I'd say it was $3.50 well spent, doubly so since I'm such a shameless Fan Damme. Yes, I said it again. Deal with it.
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
I'm not a huge fan of the Millennium series of Godzilla movies, I like the Heisei era films better, but Godzilla vs. Megaguirus is still a fun ride, and one made all the better by having copious amounts of popcorn and soda on hand. See, for me, Godzilla movies are still child-like escapism. Sure, I can appreciate the horror and allegory of the original, but this franchise will always boil down to me being five years old, laying on the living room floor- my chin propped up in my hands as I watch Godzilla and his buddies duke it out with giant robots, living gods, and whatever the hell Gigan was. It was silly, it was fun, it was a good damn time. This movie recalls that same kind of entertainment.
I don't really review many comic series on here, for a number of reasons- one, this is very obviously and primarily a movie blog, and two, comic series are so frickin' long that it's hard to review any ongoing title as a complete story. I'm very much used to reviewing the beginning, middle and end of a story as a whole. But, with comics, I have to sorta make an ongoing recommendation without knowing how the story is going to end. However, I have no qualms about recommending Saga right out of the gate. Author Brian K. Vaughan is telling a great story here, and I'd be remiss if I didn't tell all of you right now that you should be reading it too.
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Have you ever wanted a good ol' fashioned Contra-like sidescroller with TOTALLY destructible environments? Have you ever wanted to play a game where you can be Rambo, The Terminator, RoboCop, John Matrix, B.A. Baracus, Indiana Jones, James Braddock, Ellen Ripley, Judge Dredd, The Rocketeer, Blade, Max Rockatansky, Luc Deveraux, Walker Texas Ranger, Conan The Barbarian, The Boondock Saints, Max Walker, John McClane, Machete, Snake Plisskin, Ash Williams, and more? Well, Bro, I've got some good news for you...
Sunday, February 5, 2017
The Accountant is a movie I did not see coming. In no way did it exactly fly under my radar, but I had leveled no expectations at it one way or the other. I was a blank slate as I put the movie on, and I feel that's a practice I should get into more often. Either way, The Accountant was a refreshing experience. It's a layered espionage thriller with a fascinating character at its core. It's so full of twists, turns, revelations and surprises that you'd need a spreadsheet to keep track of it all- which would be no problem at all for the eponymous character of this not-so-little thriller.
Once again, Scott Adkins is quite literally picking up JCVD's mantle in this quasi-sequel to Van Damme's early 90's action flick, Hard Target. Of course, Hard Target was more than just a Van Damme flick- it was a John Woo movie. Woo is the undisputed action of gun flicks, slow motion, and motherfreakin' doves. Hard Target might've been ridiculous and over the top, but that's exactly why it's well loved among action fans. So how does Hard Target 2 stack up? Well... it's no John Woo movie, but not for lack of trying. It's a serviceable action vehicle for Adkins, taking cues from just about every 80's and 90's action flick- from Rambo to Terminator 2.
Friday, February 3, 2017
In an age where most modern action stars can only be seen in safe, PG-13, blockbusters- Scott Adkins is out there, cranking out violent hit after violent hit. Even guys like Jason Statham, with both Crank movies to his credit- is most famous for the Transporter trilogy. All of which are PG-13. Even the last Expendables movie was PG-13. I'm getting sick of it. Yet, my man Scott Adkins is absolutely picking up the R rated slack. The quintessential 80's action movie formula is not dead, not while Adkins draws breath. And, if these movies are any indication, he's pretty hard to kill.
Thursday, February 2, 2017
As a fan of the original Universal Soldier, and the 2009 sequel, Universal Soldier: Regeneration, when I first saw this one, I hated it. Shut it off halfway through and stomped out of the room angrily. For some reason, I revisited the movie today and was completely blown away. Most action franchises ask us to believe that good guy Joe Policeman will just HAPPEN to run into a fresh batch of terrorists with each new sequel, and nobody will bat an eyelash. Hollywood logic. But, Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning leans hard into the grotesque backstories of its characters, and places them at an uncomfortably logical place in this sordid world that director John Hyams has created.
Naughty Dog delivers a stunning conclusion to the Uncharted franchise with A Thief's End- a game that is a fully realized and truly epic swan song for the saga of Nathan Drake. I could end the review right there and I'll have said all I really need to say, because this amazing game really does speak for itself. Nevertheless, I don't pour a ton of hours into something and then not write about it. Anyways, the Uncharted series is special to me in a way that few are, and Uncharted 4 is, quite simply... the best one yet. Zero hyperbole there, seriously.
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
If there's one thing I'm a sucker for, it's a good ninja movie. And while neither of the leads in this movie is a ninja himself, that doesn't mean there isn't plenty to go around in Duel to the Death. Easily harkening back to the early days of the Shaw Brothers, this HK actioner delivers wholesale, straight-faced, chop socky action by the pound- and it is glorious. The story is simple and straightforward (mostly) which is a relief. I enjoy these movies more when I can follow them- but let's be honest here, you didn't come for the story (which isn't bad). No, you came for the legions of motherfreakin' ninjas. Am I right or am I right?
Monday, January 30, 2017
I'll see just about any movie with Kevin Bacon or Kiefer Sutherland in it. Together? Well, that's definitely going on my watchlist. Why then, it took me so long to get around to Flatliners is well beyond me. Sutherland and Bacon are joined by Julia Roberts, Oliver Platt and William Baldwin all as med students who end up running an off-the-books experiment to see if there really is life after death. Now, I was personally hoping for a movie with a stronger science fiction inclination, but what I got instead was maybe even better. Director Joel Schumacher delivers a (then-)modern Gothic cautionary tale in vein of Frankenstein- only in reverse.
Saturday, January 28, 2017
Carnage Park is probably one of the worst movies I've seen in a long while. It recklessly bounces back and forth between rip-off, homage, and pastiche so furiously that it's impossible to give a shit about anything that's going on. This is a 77 minute wankfest to the tune of Tarantino, Peckinpah, and Rob Zombie. And honestly? The only thing that carries it is the the strength of the actors. Everything else is god awful. The editing is mind-numbingly bad, the story is convoluted, the plot goes virtually nowhere, and the ending is horribly anti-climactic.
James McAvoy and Mark Strong star in this UK crime thriller about personal vendettas, gun running, and a dangerous conspiracy. If you're like me, you just say "Say no more- I'm sold!" and you've already departed your sofa to go find a copy. However, if you're still reading you're probably not a fanboy of McAvoy and Strong- or at least, not as much as I am. Oddly enough though, it wasn't their names that spurred me to watch the movie when I first saw it. It was the reckless and ill-fitting comparison that some amateur keyboard critic made, likening this movie, to John Woo's Hard Boiled.
Screw that guy.
Thursday, January 26, 2017
When I first heard they were doing an Ouija horror movie, I knew it'd be dumb. It was- or so I heard. It was mercilessly panned by critics and audiences alike, a true sign of a bad movie. But, then, something odd happened. Universal Studios green lit a prequel, that would be directed by Mike Flanagan... the director of Oculus and Hush. Like, damn. Then, the movie came out and started getting some great reviews. Is the movie as good as they say it is? Offhand, I'd say hell yeah. Flanagan knows what he's doing, and even with sloppy seconds he turns it into something chilling.
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
There was a point in Arrival where I caught myself holding my breath. Something that I rarely do while watching movies unless it's a horror movie. It's the anticipation, you see. In Arrival, it was as we were getting our first glimpse of the aliens. It's such a thunderous and powerful moment, but not in the same way that Hollywood has been doing lately- or really, ever, for that matter. I'm hard pressed to recall more than a few movies about extraterrestrials that don't end with a patriotic display of heroism involving a ton of explosions and one liners. Arrival is one that doesn't.
It's almost a year since Deadpool came out, and I seem to be the last person on the planet to snag it on blu ray. But, better late then never- right? Don't attribute my procrastinating to a dislike of the movie. On the contrary, I was quite surprised by how much I enjoyed Deadpool. Especially since I was all but cheerleading for the movie to absolutely flop before it came out. (In my defense, all the halfwit "fans" out there calling this "the first R rated comic book movie" got on my nerves in a big, BIG way.) Nevertheless, a year later- would my feeling about Deadpool maintain? Or would the movie end up losing it's charm like a 2 billion dollar box office shit commonly known as Star Wars: The Force Awakens? Hmmm...
Sunday, January 22, 2017
It was probably wise of the marketing team to eventually drop the "End of the World" subtitle when bringing this sequel to home video, because frankly it really is just a part 2. It's a wrap-up to all the dangling plot threads that the first movie left hanging. It's a sequel by the strictest definition only considering that the first movie left on a big cliffhanger. Full disclosure, I loved the first one. It's imperfect, but a hell of a fun time. If you don't like fun, then go ahead and listen to all the rabid fan-hate and reviews that criticize everything from the actors' haircuts to the choice of the song that plays over the end credits. Me? I'll be over here with a fresh batch of popcorn and a big-ass grin on my face.
|Note: This review is for the live action movie, not the anime show.|
Thursday, January 19, 2017
I found myself browsing my eternal watchlist of movies today, and decided on watching this early 00's comic book movie. But, of course, like any good little nerd, I did my research first. I got my hands on some of the comics and checked them out. Sex, violence, more sex, more violence, and more satanic imagery than you could shake an entire 80's heavy metal band at. Sounds like it's right up my alley! So how would the movie approach such graphic and vulgar material? You get Brian Yuzna to direct it, that's fucking how.
Why on Earth this movie is called Dark Angel is beyond me. Its more appropriate, yet still terrible original title is "I Come in Peace". A combo of crappy titles and lame box art probably kept this early 90's gem from finding a larger audience but make no mistake, this is a heck of a fun ride. If you like cop flicks, crime thrillers, aliens, and shootouts, you'll dig Dark Angel, It's an action/mystery/buddy cop movie about a loose cannon and a by-the-book (I'll let you guess which one star Dolph Lundgren is) who start to realize their simple drug war case, may not be so simple after all.
Sunday, January 15, 2017
If you like your zombie movies with a massive helping of melodrama, Train to Busan is right for you. What is baffling is also how easily this could've been a surefire popcorn movie- if only it had taken itself a little less seriously. Punctuated with some stunning action set pieces, Train to Busan has all the ingredients to be a genre game changer, but it's too focused on its own human element. For once, it's actually the excessive character development that drags this movie down. It seems almost afraid to just go nuts with its own concept in a futile effort to stay grounded. Even though its a mixed bag for me, there's no denying that Train to Busan is thrilling and exceptionally well crafted.
Saturday, January 14, 2017
Maybe it's because I read all the negative reviews beforehand, which lowered my expectations, but I really enjoyed Phantasm: Ravager. It's quality is on par with literally all the others, don't let the fact it's a newer movie fool you, it's still a direly low budget shlockfest. And fans need to get real. Low budget today is not the same as low budget 20 years ago. A minuscule budget nowadays means lots of computer generated elements. In fact, I was surprised as how slick some of the effects looked, and how many practical effects there ended up being. In fact, this flick was a blast.
I've realize that at this point, the Phantasm movies have moved beyond the horror genre. This is just sci-fi absurdism. Phantasm IV is the abstract apogee of a franchise known for being weird, nonsensical and confusingly dream-like.