Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

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Justice League Flashpoint Paradox

Great voices like Kevin Conroy (Batman), Ron Perlman (Deathstroke), Dana Delany (Lois Lane), and Nathan Fillion (Green Lantern) join forces with many more in this 2013 DC Universe animated Justice League movie.

I haven’t faithfully followed the Justice League evolution, but it isn’t really complicated and I was up to speed on the characters and politics pretty quickly. Located in Central City, Barry Allen, Flash, is a hero and besties with other hero-types on a team called Justice League. Barry’s mom was killed in a home invasion when Barry was a kid; he never forgave himself for not being home from school quickly enough to save her. This is sort of an “It’s A Wonderful Life” movie, giving Barry a look at what the world would have been like if he had saved his mother.

I understand that it’s a cartoon, but I had some issues with the theories “explained” throughout. For instance, early in the movie Flash was attacked by his archenemy Professor Zoom, a person from the future who recreated the lightening accident that created the Flash. Thanks to the help of Flash’s Justice League friends, Zoom was apprehended. Then, later, after the whole world is being destroyed in the alternate timeline, it is revealed that Flash cannot go back in time to fix things because Zoom exists and is sucking up some of the energy or something. How does that make sense when the whole world went to pot because Flash went back to save his mom after defeating Zoom? I know I’m a geek, but I don’t think I am being to picky on this point…am I?

By the way, this isn’t your parents Justice League; people actually bleed and die in this cartoon. Aquaman even gets his arm cut off by laser beams from Superman’s eyes.

It was a good rent on a rainy Saturday night.

Earlier this year I reviewed Gillian Flynn’s book Gone Girl. You can check it out here. Well, Gone Girl the movie opened this weekend … And it was GOOD!! I give it the same 5 shiny, twisted stars I originally gave the book. Ben Affleck was an absolutely great Nick Dunne, but Rosamund Pike was the perfect Amy Dunne.

There had been rumors that they changed the ending, and I feared the worst. But put your fears to rest…they maintained the high level of twisted psychopathy captured in the novel. Just when you think “wow, that was nuts”… It gets even nuttier!

Go! Go tomorrow!

300: Rise of an Empire

Posted: March 16, 2014 in Movies

Did you see 300 and watch everyone die and wonder “… uh … a sequel? How’s that gonna work? Oohh! Spartan zombies??”

I kinda did too, but I loved 300 so much that I was totally ready! I won’t spoil too much, but I will say that there aren’t any Spartan zombies. There are, however, a badass chick out for some vengeance against her Greek ancestors; and some really upset Greeks out to stop her.

Surface level awesomeness aside, this movie is beautiful. I’m not talking about the “standing on the top of a Colorado mountain” beautiful, but there are many kinds of beautiful in this world. A dark beauty. I’m am the last person to stand in line for a horror film, but the violence seemed a dance and the blood really didn’t bother me. That being said, we will not be allowing our (almost) 16 year old son to see this yet.

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her

Posted: January 12, 2014 in Movies
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“her” explores the ideology of love and challenges social norms of relationships. In1948, the ban against interracial marriages was finally overturned however it wasn’t until 2000 when the state of Alabama finally amended its state constitution to allow interracial marriages. That’s 14 years ago! Likewise, in 2013 the Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act, but many states continue to deny these marriages.

Joaquin Phoenix plays Theodore; jaded and listless he lives each day weighed down by the past, haunted by ghosts of happier times.  After bonding with an unexpected new friend, he begins to see the wonder in life again. Realizing the walls he built to protect himself have actually imprisoned him, he is able to break through and feel again. Set in the not-so-distant future, this unconventional relationship is founded on interest, honesty, and open-mindedness.

Who dictates the rules of love?

This movie was fantastic. From beginning to end, Joaquin was captivating.

47 Ronin

Posted: January 2, 2014 in Movies
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Japanese history and culture has always fascinated me. The weight of ‘honor’ is greater than the idea of ‘self’; a concept which is absent from the evolution of Western Civilization.

While the knights in Europe were drinking and raping under the guise of pomp and chivalry, the Samurai practiced a philosophy of Bushido, ‘The Way of the Warrior’. Bushido is greatly influenced by Zen Buddhism which teaches a life of loyalty, frugality, honor unto death, and mastery over the body.
The Forty-Seven Ronin is Japan’s greatest example of Bushio. A group of samurai were left leaderless after their lord was compelled to commit seppuku, a ceremonial suicide. The lord’s samurai were disbanded as Ronin and forced to roam the countryside in disgrace. For two years this group of Ronin planned to avenge the death of their lord and return his honor. When it was all said and done, the Ronin had regained the honor of their lord and thus themselves. Because they murdered as Ronin, they were condemned to death but were allowed to die as samurai.

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The grave markers of the Forty Seven Ronin

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Grave Site at Sengaku-ji

 

This story of loyalty, honor and sacrifice grew into a fantastic legend and then a magical myth.

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Keanu Reeves plays Kai, a distrusted outsider.

Elysium

Posted: August 10, 2013 in Movies
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The year is 2154, and the classist gap has extended to about 10,000 miles (I am totally guessing, I have no concept how far away that thing is); the haves and the have-nots. Life is perfect and stress-free for the haves up in the orbiting station of Elysium while the have-nots still on Earth struggle to maintain a collective and productive society.

I would be interested in some sort of prequel depicting the conception of Elysium and selection of the residents. I’m sure it must have been a time of strife and turmoil on the surface of Earth. I font necessarily think it needs to be a movie, perhaps a graphic novel by Dark Horse?

It was a little surprising to me everyone speaks multiple languages, no matter the status. Perhaps that is part of the future; there will not be a universal language, instead everyone speaks every language.

I enjoyed the fusion of post-apocalyptic style of society on Earth and the sterile, futuristic technologies of Elysium. I was down with the physical and neural implants Max (Matt Damon) received, but I would have enjoyed a little more of a tour of what all those implants gave him; it didn’t really seem to hive him that much more of an edge, actually he seemed slowed down a bit…except the computer brain thing which I totally want.

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All that being said, we give this 3 1/2 thumbs out of 4. It was really good. And if you plan to see it at all, I recommend seeing it in the theater. The fights were seriously awesome, Max was the underdog the entire time, which make the excitement more intense.

Piranhaconda

Posted: August 6, 2013 in Movies
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Piranha + Anaconda?!? Sounds like a GREAT movie right? Well it wasn’t. In my cheesy SciFi movie grade book this one gets a D-.

First of all, where did this thing come from? It’s just there; giant and pissed off. Supposedly it’s some kind of a local tale, but a whole heck of a lot of white people see, and get eaten by, this thing in the remote Brazilian jungle to be some hidden local creature. We need the fake techno-bable mutation that created this thing. OR the bad historical data from where is has been in hibernation until some recent event awoke it.

Second, the main dude’s dad was killed by this thing and so he is on a mission to….steal an egg? He should be wanting revenge!!what kind of son is he?

And finally, you can’t just toss in random … what were they … drug cartel? … to bring I don’t even know what they were there for.

OK, I love junk science fiction movies; but the writing needs to be sarcastic and witty.