More of the same. I’m just having fun with this.
Dave I: Oh goody. Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson is going to remake Big Trouble in Little China. Finally the last excuse I need to kill myself.
Dave C: Interesting. They are developing games focused on helping kids with autism relate to others. I’ll show you previews sometime. The games look fun and high quality.
DC: What the hell? I didn’t mean to send that to you.
DI: The ghost in the machine strikes again.
DC: Starring Dwayne Johnson
DI: Next he’s going to remake the Godfather.
DC: I’ll pay one MILLION DOLLARS for the shirt on fire.
DC: Constantine shirt.
DC: I liked it. I have a great movie idea: ZOMBIE JAWS!
DI: What about Zombie Bridges of Madison County?
DI: Zombies are uncool now though.
DC: Exactly. I’m counterculture.
DI: But not the big cool Trasnformers. I want to see Bumblebee and the small annoying racist Transformers go out under a scrum of zombies while Optimus Prime and the rest are getting their oil changed. (image from the Transformers t shirt category)
DC: Hawkeye movie! Corporal Klinger or Gomer Pile?
DI: I liked Klinger better at least after he stopped wearing dresses. (Note-no dislike of transgendered people. I just thought he looked awful in a dress)
DC: Klinger was actually a soldier.
DC: LOL the heels would tip the balance. Zombie Godzilla vs Optimus Prime.
DI: Zombie Godzilla as long as Prime doesn’t learn to fly.
DC: I want to see Zombie gaijin.
DI: Let’s do all the dead trends. Zombie ninjas vs zombie pirates in a vampire love story.
DC: Zombie LOTR.
DI: I’d pay to see zombie Shire. Ever see Zombie Strippers?
DI: If you ever need another reason to distrust women or strippers see it. It’s more gruesome than funny.
DC: That’s what I thought. I don’t want to mix horror with boobies.
DI: That’s the problem with the vampire romance movies.
DI: Well, one of the problems.
DC: Existing in the primary one.
DI: When your very existence is an abomination and contrary to all natural and moral laws maybe you shouldn’t make a sequel.
DI: Plus if you star a terrible actress.
That’s it for today.
the Infamous Dave Inman
Dave and I do these who would win/who is cooler/who would you rather be or have hang out conversations periodically. This one was pretty good.
Dave I: Who would win? Voltron vs Godzilla?
Dave C: Godzilla. He’d get his ass beat for a while then get pissed and tear them appart.
DI: But Voltron can fly and shoot him from the sky.
DC: Yeah but he’s nigh invulnerable. I love Godzilla and Voltron is a bitch.
DI: True. Plus if flying could defeat him Mothra or King Ghidorah would have kicked hi ass. Also Voltron always tries to to finish opponents with his sword.
DC: Mothra vs 2012 Kraken for stupidest monster.
DI: Don’t forget Mothra was awoken by hot chicks chanting at him.
DC: Their Asian powers hold no sway over me. Graboid vs T-Rex
DI: On rock T-Rex on dirt Graboid. Voltron vs Omega Supreme. (Image courtesy of the Transformers t shirt collection)
DC: Omega Supreme.
DI: So who can Voltron beat?
DC: Bumble Bee movie form.
DC: Stalemate vs Thundercats.
DI: T-Cats. Graboid vs Morlocks.
DI: Morlocks vs CHUDs?
DI: CHUDs vs Sleestaks?
DI: Hmm. They move pretty slow.
DC: They have poison spit darts and are scary as hell. Gremlins vs Gollum?
DI: I need more info. Good gremlin or bad gremlin? Gollum with Ring or withoug?
DC: No Ring. Gremlins are what you get after you feed a Mogwai after midnight.
DI: No Ring Gremlins easy. Gollum will eat a couple and die.
DI: Gremlins could jump in the ocean and conquer the planet.
DC: Indeed. Until the next morning.
DI: Mogwai vs Smurfs?
DC: LOL stalemate.
DI: They’d just sit there looking cute at each other.
DC: Yeah. Conan vs He Man?
DI: I want to say Conan but my gut says He Man.
DC: Dunno depends on magic.
DI: Gloop and Gleep from the Herculoids vs the Smurfs.
DC: LOL Herculoids. 6 Storm Troopers vs Predator.
DC: Storm troopers wearing real armor? No plastic s&%*.
DI: In the jungle still predator. In the open 50/50. Skeletor vs old Obi Won Kenobi?
DC: Skeletor. Young Obi FTW though. Luke Skywalker vs Predator?
DI: Episode IV Predator. Episode VI Luke.
DC: Good qualification.
DI: Gargomel vs Harry Potter.
DC: Harry Potter year 3.
DI: If Harry Potter wanted to eat and/or turn Smurfs into gold how long would they last.
DC: Not long. ALthough being magical creatures they may have a resistance to magic.
At that point we both had to get back to work or something interrupting the flow of our high brow high geek conversation. If you knew every reference in this conversation and can come up with a qualified opinion on each match up you are very cool.
the Infamous Dave Inman
Honestly I don’t know. I have listed all the pluses and minuses a couple hours of thought can generate and still can’t make up my mind. It could be awesome. It could suck like a sarlacc. My biggest worry is that is could be just plain mediocre.
There is one thing I am certain of and that is I won’t be sucked in again. You stick your hand in fire a few times and you learn to not get burned (thanks dad. I’ve always appreciated your Darwinian approach to child rearing). I refuse to let my pulse get amped up until I am sitting in the theater and saying “Hey this is pretty cool”. I expect the special effects and CGI to be amazing and flawless so the only things this film has to distinguish itself from any given Micheal Bay Tranformers movie is going to be the story and the characters (Decepticon logo courtesy of the Transformers t shirt collection). JJ more or less had a crap story in both of the Star Trek films and his characters were pale parodies of existing characters so I honestly think he needs to truly step it up a lot to impress me. Regardless of these factors I’m sure it will be a commercial success so I guess I am just tilting at windmills again.
However to be fair they’d have to screw up pretty major to do worse than George Lucas did.
the Infamous Dave Inman
There is one thing about this film that I love and that is it shows that once in a while Hollywood can learn a lesson. You see this is another Hasbro property and after they massive success they had with the Tranformers series they clearly thought that the nostalgia of their toys and games is what sold that Micheal Bay brain drain and so they sank a ton of money into Battleship, the worst navel film since the Final Countdown. When their nine figure exxxxxxxxxxxxxxtravaganza went on to suck and die they must have had a “What the hell are we doing??” moment and took the budget for their huge horror release Ouija down from a ridiculous $100,000,000 budget to a much more reasonable teenage slasher $15,000,000. Net result: a decent box office return on a reasonable property. Let’s hope they keep this lesson in mind when it comes time to do the Candyland movie. (Image courtesy of the Transfomers t shirt category)
But the warm feeling I get from that lesson does not diminish the issues with this film. Characters in films are appealing when they act smart in the face of difficulty. These kids were freaking idiots. A key plot point was in order to appease the ghost they twice had to sneak into a basement and find the corpse of a girl and either free or burn it. At no point did any of them think to call the police and say something like “Um, we think there’s a human corpse in the basement over here. Could you like send over the coroner and take care of it?” Nope instead let’s load up on flashlights Goonies style and creepy crawl into your impending deaths. Everyone keeps dying solo and so let’s all split up to expedite the killing. Of course beautiful early 20 year olds playing high school students (plus guys who more or less look and act like more like chicks) are at the top of my list of people I like to see die horribly in horror films so by the end of this movie I was seriously rooting for the ghost.
Of course it should go without saying putting a PG-13 stamp on a movie that claims to be horror is laughable in every sense of the word. PG-13 is the worst. In fact you can rearrange the letters in PG-13 and get it to spell suck.
So should you see this film? Yes, yes you should. I can highly recommend it. In a world full of explosions and giant robots it is a true character study (image courtesy of the Transformers t shirt category). A very rare egg indeed. If you rate your movies by how many cars get wrecked and arms get broken accompanied by the sound of celery being bent odds are you will not want to see it but I say to you, sir, that this film experience is even more valuable. See what happens when characters are not armed and hardly ever fight. However for you there is a scene where Vincent teaches Oliver to fight a bully with hilarious results and another scene where Vincent gets drunk, slips on some ice, and ends up unconscious on the kitchen floor that you should find hilarious.
I’m even going to rate this one a good date movie BTW. It’s got enough touchy feely stuff to keep her engaged while being funny enough to keep you happy. Plus seeing Bill Murray in a good film will soften the blow for when he finally capitulates and does Ghostbusters III. Is there even the slightest chance that film will do anything other than suck? If you believe so contact me immediately as I have some Nevada beachfront property and a big bridge I’d like to discuss with you. 4.5 of 5 Phasers.
Incidentally let me know if you like these shorter, more broken up reviews. I actually find them easier to read. Those big ones I used to do could get ponderous and I like to think I still keep my rapier like wit and manage to retain more of my day to engage in my rock ‘n roll party lifestyle. Thanks and have a great day.
the Infamous Dave Inman
There were a couple other annoyances. The Candlemaker was another “let’s force the audience out of whimsical Mexico and into a movie theater that smells like feet” character and he did it every time he opened his mouth. He was as out of place as Megatron in a line up of kids picking teams for dodge ball and by the end of the film contributed nothing more than another set of fingernails scraping the blackboard in my head (image courtesy of the Transformers t shirt category). The entire film was much longer on comic relief then it needed to be up to and including the big bad bandito everyone was terrified of.
The story itself was kind of meh too. The whole thing played out as a lovers tiff between La Muerta, the queen of the Land of the Remembered, and Xibalba, the king of the Land of the Forgotten (played, BTW, by none other than Ron M-F-ing Perlman. That part was cool) and was about as interesting as watching a typical couple fight and purposefully leave the toilet seat up or down to annoy each other. Again as a kids movie I know I can’t expect Donny Darko level complexity or story quality but a little more motivation for anyone to do anything would have been appreciated.
For all that I can’t say it’s not worth watching. I’m sure your kids will love it and it’s pretty enough to keep you entertained as well. The visuals are truly stunning and I absolutely loved the animation. It has a couple of cool messages about loving and cherishing your relatives (although when you think about it there is also a pretty grim message about what will happen to us all once we are forgotten) and ancestors while being true to your own nature. There are a couple of good action scenes and the fight at the end bordered on excitement.
I don’t want to disparage any of my actual friends but there are days when I wish they did more exciting things then release engineering or biological science. My friends are great people and I love to hang with them, but every once in a while you can’t help but wish you had a cadre of really, really cool fun friends who would make even more people want to hang out with you.
Thus we come to this list of fictional characters I wish were real and would hang out with me on a Friday night at the local coffee hole. These aren’t necessarily the coolest characters ever but just people I think would be great to have as friends. When you think about it does hanging out with Darth Vader or the Predator really sound like fun? Not really but these are all other characters that I think would be a blast to chill with who may or may not have some kind of super power or technology. So here we go:
Everyone needs a friend who owns a truck, and what could be better than that? How about a friend who IS a truck? Talk about making your next move easy. Plus he seems to have a pretty good sense of humor, and his fatherly voice just oozes comfort. This is a good example of a character who might not be the coolest but who would make a better friend. Megatron is actually cooler but if you called him to help you move a refrigerator he would probably just finger flick you into the next county.
Why would Optimus Prime want to be my friend you ask? Good question. I suppose I could give him a good wash once in a while. Plus I’m really good about not eating food in the car so he wouldn’t have to worry about that. If he and the rest of the Autobots were going into action and he told me to stay back at headquarters I would be totally OK with that. I specifically would not sneak aboard his trailer or talk Bumblebee into giving me a lift to the battle so I could totally distract him or be used as a hostage. I would also work to become friends with the guys who run the local police impound yard so if he is ever towed I could get him out quick.
Optimus Prime image courtesy of the Transformers t shirt category.
Not as headache inducing as the last one.
I have definitely been remiss in writing up my reviews lately, which is too bad as I have seen a couple of movies that are deserving of reviews. The fact is just when I think my life cannot get any busier somehow it finds a new, higher gear I didn’t even know existed. I need to stop doing so much stuff (for example, this last weekend I spent in Hartford getting my ass handed to me at Warhammer. ETC restrictions suck).
So I saw this film and have to admit it was much better than the Hangover Part II. Of course they could have shown us file footage of bowel cancer surgery and it would have been funnier and less disturbing that that pile of tripe. However, even without the last one to compare it to this would have been a fun, enjoyable film at least worth putting on the same shelf with the original Hangover.
The one thing they brought back that was completely missing from the last one was consequences. In the first film every thing they did had some kind of unpleasant payback; steal a police car, get used for Tazer practice. Steal a tiger from Mike Tyson, get punched in the face. In the second film they guys bumble their way through Thailand with nary a single major consequence worth mentioning. The thing is it’s consequences that make movies good. As soon as you figure out that there is no way that anything of a serious or potentially deadly consequence can happen to the main characters all tension bleeds from an action film. Likewise in comedy in order for a situation to be funny there has to be some kind of repercussion for stupidity.
In this film the paybacks are back, and they even call back to the last film and inject some consequences for those actions. I don’t want to spoil the film too much but sufficed to say every time the guys (especially Alan) do something dumb they pay the price for it.
I will throw in one complaint and that is the whole premise of the film is the guys get hammered and drugged and wake up dealing with the consequences while trying to piece together what happened. Thus the title the Hangover. This one is more about dealing with the further repercussions from the first film than anything else, and has no drug induced blackouts whatsoever. I can’t complain too much as I bitched mightily about how the last film was a blatant remake of the first one and at least they wrote an original script here.
This film is also the darkest of the three (where have we heard that phrase before?) with guys actually dying (or being killed). That does cast a slight pall over what is generally supposed to be pretty light fare, but honestly the humor was still decent and it didn’t detract from the enjoyment. The real strength of the Hangover has always been the chemistry between Phil, Stu, and Alan and this film definitely captures this. The humor is there, but unfortunately there is a slight smell of desperation as they studio tries to wring the last bit of milk from this otherwise dry cow.
The movie starts Chow (Ken Jeong-Hangover, Community, Transformers Dark of the Moon. Image courtesy of the Transformers t shirt category) escaping from a Chinese prison (ever see the Shawshank Redemption? If not you won’t be annoyed at the clear rip off here). Meanwhile Alan (Zach Galifianakis-the Hangover, Due Date, the Campaign) is being weirder than usual. His antics with killing a giraffe cause his father (perenial supporting characater actor Jeffrey Tambor-Arrested Development, There’s Something About Mary, Branded) to die of a heart attack. His family is concerned with him and wants to get him committed to a rehab clinic. Is brother-in-law Doug (Justin Bartha-the Hangover, National Treasure, Dark Horse) calls in the remaining wolf pack members Stu (Ed Helms-the Office, the Lorax, High Road) and Phil (Bradley Cooper-the Hangover, Limitless, Silver Linings Playbook) to convince Alan to go.
They go on a road trip but on the way are stopped by a local gangster (John Goodman-the Big Lebowski, Argo, Monsters, Inc.). It turns out the Chow stole $21MM worth of gold from the guy and he wants it back. He kidnaps Doug and gives the rest of the gang three days to find Chow and his money.
With that flimsy premise set the gang are on their way to hilarity. Honestly the story doesn’t do much more that give the three set piece after set piece to have their wacky adventures in. Chow is funny and messes with the gang. Turns out that he and Alan are great friends. The story actually leads up to a conclusion and lessons about friendship are (sort of) learned.
The stars. Better than the last one. Normally that would not warrant a star (I always feel movies need to stand on their own) but the last one left such a bad taste in my mouth I feel like I need to say something. One star. The great chemistry between the three main characters is as strong as ever. Two stars. Mr. Chow is as funny as ever. One star. A few really good laughs in there like delicious chocolate chips in a kind of bland cookie. One star. I can’t really put my finger on it but in general I was entertained and pleased. One star. Total: six stars.
The black holes. A lot of this film was sucking on humor fumes, and looking for the funny in anything. One black hole. It’s hard to find funny in a scene where two guys just got shot in the head. Kind of sets the tone off. One black hole. Calling it the Hangover when no one is actually hung over. One black hole. Total: three black holes.
So a grand total of three stars. You can take it or leave it, honestly. If you saw the other two and the last one sufficiently lowered your expectations you will probably enjoy it a lot. If you are a massive fan of the first one and managed to miss the second I don’t know if this will help you at all. Nothing visually screams for a big screen so I think this is very NetFlix-able. Date movie? Meh, not so much. I don’t see this helping your campaign out much at all. Bathroom break? Nothing sticks out in my head as being truly worthless, but nothing really sticks out as being a must see (except for the Chow escape from the hotel room. Don’t miss that. In fact most of the Chow scenes are pretty good).
Thanks for reading. More soon I promise. I need to get back on the case. Follow me on Twitter @Nerdkungfu. If you have comments on this film or my review feel free to post them here. Off topic questions or suggestions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a great day. Talk to you soon.
So I read yesterday that Obama is gutting the space exploration in favor of all the other lame stuff our government does, and I am really freaked out. Space exploration is the only thing the US government does that I support wholeheartedly. We absolutely have to get off this rock and onto other planets. Even the moon would be great, just like in the last Trasnformers movie (Transfomers image courtesy of the Transformers t shirt category)
Honestly, there are very logical (haw) reasons to keep pushing the space program besides my personal desire to meet green women. First and foremost, control of the world will fall unto the country that controls the gravity well. The Chinese are actively working on it, and the Russians as well. If we give up the space race in pursuit of a health plan that is probably going to suck anyway it might look good for a few years, but 20 years from now when the Chinese are threatening to drop asteroids on our heads (for the record, an asteroid dropped from orbit can hit with pinpoint precision and can impact with the force of several thermonuclear bombs) we are really going to regret it.
Furthermore, at some point we are going to have to get some of our population off of this planet. Large orbital living stations and moon bases could easily be in our future and help us with excess population control.
I wrote a letter to the White House and got a kind of bland response about how hard Obama is working on health care and nothing on my concerns about NASA. Please help the human race by sending him an email here. If enough of us do it maybe we can swing him back to believing in our future.