Night at the Museum 2: Battle for the Smithsonian Review

May 23, 2009 at 9:28 pm (Movies)

In 2 years can we have a sequel to this with just Jonah Hill in it? Night at the Museum 2 transitions from the frigid Winter movie season to the big leagues in the opening month of the Summer Movie Lineup. While the results aren’t exactly what I had personally hoped for, the movie still packs a plethora of laughs for the big and little ones to sustain an enjoyable comedy. This time around Larry Daly has left his old friends over at the museum, and has become an entrepreneur. However, after the exhibits are all being switched over to be set in storage in the Smithsonian, the tablet that allows the exhibits to come to life is taken with them, and proves to unleash a whole new batch of problems in a new series of museums in the nation’s capitol. The movie does have a lot of comedic talent going for it in this new installment. Ben Stiller fills his shoes again, Hank Azaria does well as the villain, Paul Rudd is pretty great in what little time he has on screen and the same schtick he keeps re-doing, Steve Coogan is funny as Octavius like in the first, and Owen Wilson reprises his funniness as Jebediah. However, I still can’t stand Ricky Gervais. Jonah Hill, in what 10 minutes we see him, had me about to fall out of my seat. The sad thing is they bring in all of this epic comedic talent, and they hardly use it. The movie’s a little too quick trying to cram in all of these different varieties of wild creatures and different exhibits coming to life and blowing off the screen for quick two second gags, then flashing off the screen for the next gag, and that’s how the movie goes for 2 hours. The direction is often frantic, going point to point to point, showing the next exhibit after the next, which is kinda convenient considering it’s kinda like having a museum tour with a tour guide that has ADD. That’s completely satisfactory fun for the kids and did give me some enjoyment, but for a guy that’s all for hearing the next great comedian or rising funny talent that isn’t animated, it’s a little dissapointing. I really wanted to see more of Thomas Lennon, Jonah Hill, and Christopher Guest, EVEN ED HELMS , pretty much anything to get away from something that’s eyes are popping out of its head. I personally didn’t enjoy that quick of a pace, but I still enjoyed the movie. The plot behind Kah Mun Rah kinda gets lost in all the shuffle of the movie. The director and creative team do pay a good effort to the adults in the movie by throwing in a few almost Family Guy-esque drawn out humor lines in there. The movie does provide a great variety of new gags to keep the kids happy and the premise fresh. Even the battle at the end provides some good excitement, especially the 300 style spoof scene, even though I’m 99% percent sure noone in our theater got that joke. It’s not up to the caliber of the first (this coming from the guy who didn’t really care for the first and went into this one with low expectations), but is still worth the price of admission for fans or those with kids not old enough for the Star Trek crowd. Overall, Night at the Museum 2: Battle for the Smithsonian can be best summed up by the box of buncha crunch I had before the movie even started. Lots of small pieces to me, but big pieces that kids (or even I as a kid) would enjoy. I’m not enjoying it as much as the bigger, more fulfilling pieces of buncha crunch, but still worth buying the buncha crunch because it was still enjoyable, even though there are certain pieces that should have been bigger and it goes a little too quick with the other pieces. Basically this is a perfect, very fast paced eye-fest with tons of variety and variety of gags for the kiddiess, fun for adults with a sense of humor thanks to a few laugh out loud scenes.  Also below are a few points I’d like to make on the movie.

4 out of 5

  • The romance between Robin Williams and Sacajawea is gross. He’s like 90 years old!!!
  • Where was Mickey Rooney, Dick Van Dyke and the black guy!?!?!
  • I kept a stone face when they did the “That’s the way uh-huh uh-huh I like it” joke.
  • Amy Adams is hot. I don’t care if she is a mannequin.
  • The whole picture frame scene was my idea. 
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Quick Reviews-Walk Hard, P2, Baby Mama, and The Simpsons Movie

May 22, 2009 at 3:24 pm (Movies)

   

Yea, I’ve been recording a lot of movies lately with my new Dish Network DVR. (By the way that reminds me that I’m gonna post my review of the Terminator trilogy whenever I finish the 3rd.) Anywho, I recorded a few movies and instead of writing a bunch of drawn out reviews, I decided I’d just sum it all up in a few sentences. START THE TIMER!!!

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story-3 1/2 out of 5-I gotta throw my hat off to John C. Reilly in this movie, he does a really great job as the lead man trying to pull this movie that often gets dragged down. Just so you know this is basically a spoof of Walk the Line and Johny Cash’s life. There are several jokes that stood out and are worth mention-Jack Black’s Paul McCartney, House of Candy, and Jonah Hill portraying Nate Cox (freaking hilarious). The movie is can be hysterical at times-Cox’s obsession with tearing off sinks, “Dewey Cox always thinks over his whole life before he plays”, etc., but too often times it became evident that this is a one-joke premise, and over the course of 2 hours, they kinda beat the joke horse to death. Plus, although funny, they kept running the joke of his name into the ground. (We get it, his name is a wiener.) Reilly, Fischer, and Meadows are all funny. If you like these kinds of Apatow or spoof movies, especially if you’re a Reily fan, it’s worth a rent, but don’t expect all the jokes that are as fresh in the first hour to remain as fresh through the whole thing. Thankfully “Walk Hard” is gonna be stuck in my head for years. 

P2-3 1/2 out of 5-This horror movie caught my attention a few years back when it came out, and I took the opportunity to watch it. This is a horror movie that really follows the cat-mouse pattern about this girl being stalked and kidnapped in a parking garage. Sure, it’s gimmicky, sure, it’s popcorn, but from a guy who didn’t expect to like it and isn’t experienced in the genre, I enjoyed it. It’s relentlessly brutal in spots, and jump-worthy in other spots. I also really liked how it delved into the stalker’s mindset more than it had to. This one is worth the rent for horror or non-horror fans with strong stomachs. 

Baby Mama-4 out of 5- Don’t judge me. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are both pretty funny in this pretty chicky comedy. There are some really funny spots in the movie, but could get a little too-estrogen filled at times and had a few too many plot twists for me in spots. However, Fey’s really funny and charismatic in the movie (it almost felt like a spin off of 30 Rock), and it’s worth a rent to those into comedies, women, or fans of either. 

The Simpsons Movie-4 1/2 out of 5Best for last. I finally got around to seeing the animated full length Simpsons episode. The movie is just flat out funny, there’s no way of getting around it. I loved the sheer variety in the humor, whether it’s slapstick, the kinda McFarlane spurring, or breaking the 4th Wall and making fun of itself as the Simpsons often does. All the characters are here, each gets their moment of glory. The animation isn’t Pixar, neither does it aim for that (of course), but is more than easy on the eyes. I didn’t really like the direction they took the plot in that it’s just relevant to the events relevant at that time, and I also thought it could have been longer. However, this is a perfect rent or buy for fans of the series, and should definitely be checked out by any one in search of a good comedy. 

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300 Review

May 21, 2009 at 9:56 pm (Movies)

I started to place this into a mini-review, but then I realized that’d be kinda blasphemous. Nothing about 300 is mini, but mammoth and gargantuan in scale. In all the style of Watchmen (or I should say Watchmen is in all the style of 300), 300 proves to be a bloodbath of action, brutal style, and an incredible story that will bring you back to this movie again and again and again. The tale of epic proportions follows King Leonitus, the leader of the European country Sparta, which on the brink of war with the Persians. All these events begin to set off when Leonitus sparta-kicks a messenger for the Persian army, and is soon faced with the monumental task of defeating a “god” among men. I’m gonna try to keep this review quick and informational. First, the action in the movie is frickin’ brilliant. Snyder, as always, balances slow motion and emphasizes on just the right shots to make spectacular, awe-inspiring, and meaningful segments. Plus, it’s jaw-droppingly brutal. Heads slide off bone, legs are cut off, and there are more stabs than Ray Charles trying to find the food on his plate with a fork. The movie doesn’t quite hit Watchmen realistic violence, but does strive and succeed at brutal stylized violence. No matter what DS says, the slo-mo effects emphasizing certain deaths are appropriate and pack an emotional punch in a sea of testosterone. The whole movie strives at portraying this cinematic and red/brown/yellow-color-drenched-landscape, which perfectly emphasizes the action along with the perfect sense of shade and brilliant use of CGI. Snyder doesn’t need a real set. He made his freaking own out of a computer. All of the performances are also spot-on. Gerard Butler is epic and just terrifying as Leonitus. The movie is also chock-full of instant quotes. I don’t really think we need to say THESE-ARE—THE QUOTES!!! My favorite had to be-“Our arrows-WILL BLOT OUT THE SUN!!!”-“Then we will fight in the shade.” Plus all the mayhem that followed that. The movie does have a few flaws, mainly that it ends. The thees and thous got on my nerves a little bit in the beginning of the movie. Another that I kinda had was that sometimes the plot took a twist I didn’t really care for (mainly the end), but I can’t really hold that against it. 300 is a brutal action classic in my book that will have me re-viewing it over and over (and potentially buy the nerd edition for) thanks to brilliant visuals, an instantly quotable script, classic scenes of brutal action, and just an overall sense of style with enough meaty action to make it beyond worth a rent (This is how it’s done Spirit…).

4 1/2 out of 5 

I also thought it was worth mentioning that this movie which is full of sex, graphic nudity, brutal violence, and overall very adult themes being a hard R has been used, along with its pictures, as a template for our school and its yearbook. L-O-L.

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Sherlock Holmes Trailer

May 21, 2009 at 9:14 pm (Movies, Video)

Below is the trailer for the new Sherlock Holmes action/adventure/comedy starring none other than Robert Downey Jr. and humorously enough, Jude Law. The movie is set to come out in December, and I might just give it a shot. 

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Hands-On with Batman: Arkham Asylum

May 20, 2009 at 9:56 pm (Video Games)

This Pic Pretty Much Describes the Demo...

To be a little clearer, I didn’t get to play the story mode, however I did however get a feel for one of the most insanely fun and fluidly brutal combat mechanics I’ve seen for a video game in some of the combat arenas. I walked into Gamestop today, and there before me is a demo for some of the combat sections of Arkham Asylum, and I was blown away. Basically Batman is thrown into rooms full of henchmen devised by the Joker himself (voiced brilliantly by Mark Hammil) who is coordinating these events and narrating your success/defeat. Basically combat works like so-Each enemy that comes at you will try to kill you, of course. Batman is super-vulnerable to attacks, which is mainly b/c as you later realize you shouldn’t be being hit. Every enemy that comes at you will flash blue, kinda like a spidey sense. But instead of dodging, you break their arm. Each attack is rendered brutally (expect an M), and the animations are superb, even if a little repetitive. Once I got the swing of combat, I was dodging attacks, countering every move with devastating force, and clearing out rooms with incredibly fun, fluid, and increasingly difficult combat. It never really felt like a chore, instead I simply came to feel more and more like Batman. His attacks behave incredibly similar to those in the movies, and are fun to pull off. He takes on one enemy at a time with brutal force, and is able to counter each attack and dodge the rest. Pretty soon, I had cleared a room of ten or so armed henchmen, and the demo was over. I simply cannot wait to get my hands on the rest of this awesome game, and urge my fellow gamers to run to a Gamestop to check this demo out.

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Ah Yes, The Dreaded Scholarship Application…

May 19, 2009 at 10:09 pm (The Way Earl Sees It)

Yea, this is kind of a rant, but it’s my site, so deal with it, I need to get this off my chest. Any way, next week I have been “honored” with  being able to participate in the State BoysState, which is where they take two guys from every school (one’s real the other’s an alternate) and then they place you in hell. Anyway, I’m kinda dreading it, but that’s just b/c I didn’t know it was kind of a military thing. Plus I’ve heard some bad stories. Anyway if I don’t come back James gets all my Wii Games… But as part of the appointment, I get the honor of getting to fill out the Samsung American Legion Scholarship Application. Now I understand the process of scholarships. It’s free money, but you want to kill yourself before you finish them…. Right, right right…. I’ve been filling this jesse out all day. The first page is filled with the basic info, and that’s the easy part. Then my Talent Search coordinator somewhere is laughing her tail off b/c she told me to write all my community service down exactly, but I didn’t. This satanic hole of a paper asks me to lists all the hours I’ve been active in a club, their activities, 5 national accolades (yea that makes me feel stupid-BLANK) 5 local accolades (yea that makes me feel real stupid-Make up crap and the rest is second best). What my parents do, how old my sisters is, why I can’t pay for college (i’m not frickin Bill Gates’ kid), my most significant accomplishment, and of course, what I do in my spare time. So I’ve had to wrestle with just being able to fill it out all day long, and now I still have stuff left to fill out on it before I have to take it all back and have my guidance counselour (Who I’m sure is ready to strangle the life out of me) re-fill out her part and re-fill the part where she says I’m in 6th place for my class. Oh the joys of being 6th Best. This form also kinda reminded me of all I’ve done in high school. It’s kind of a mixed array. On one hand I’m proud of all my accomplishments, there’s the other that thinks I should/ should still have done/do more, then there’s the part that really thinks I should have wrote it all down. (Writing the biggest achievement was a toughy.) SO YEA, I’m gonna be filling out a lot of these in the next year, so I might as well start recording my community service and try to remember, and maybe, just maybe, start listening to my instructors…..

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Resurrection of Chuck and Scrubs

May 18, 2009 at 8:00 pm (Television)

 

While this may sound like good news/good news, I can’t help but be a little disappointed. As the Spring TV season draws to a close, it’s all too common for studios to start announcing which of their prime properties viewers can expect to be returning in the Fall. We all get to see which shows hit, and which missed, which shows nailed the mark and had millions tuning in, while others, sometimes the unsung cult classic, get the boot just because people didn’t try something new. After weeks of debate and speculation over at NBC, multiple reports have stated that the on-the-bubble show Chuck, one of my favorite and one of the most underrated shows now on, has been renewed for a third season. The show had some fairly low numbers rating-wise in the sophomore season, even though it was hailed by most critics. However, not all good news is well, good news. The show has only been picked up for 13 episodes, which should last around 3 months. Also, there have been major cutbacks on the show, including those in monetary funds, cutting back on the screen time of the minor characters, and even rumored is a cutting of one of the minor characters. However, beggers can’t be choosers, as I will be more than happy to tune back into Chuck this fall.

On a more unfortunate note, one of my other favorite series, Scrubs, has been renewed for a 9th season. Although I would normally love to hear this, the fact of the matter is ABC is just draining the life out of this great series. Up to the 8th season, this was a great show, we had JD, his son, all kinds of awesome and captivating stories to keep the audience interested and laughing. That is including the “finale” last week when JD left his hospital he had been since the very first episode, and the episode showed us what JD saw for his future, it even had a nice little wrap around style ending where they had a cameo with the show’s creator, and a neat little fade in of the show’s theme song. A classic finale. We could have just let the show die there. We should just let the show die there. It’s a near-perfect finale, it’s a great way to leave the show be. But the pigs down at ABC are gonna wring it until it’s dry. Zach Braff (JD) and Sarah Chalke (Elliot) have both signed deals to appear in 6 episodes, with the rest of the original crew expected to return for the season and are working on premieres. This show’s lifeblood is JD, now all you have is the cranky doctor and the wise cracking black guy. No more JD moments, no more funny, no more JD glue to hold it all together. I hope you’re happy ABC. Anywho, I will totally be up to seeing more Chuck, and will probably watch those 6 episodes, and just watch the series go from there. Here’s to hoping the show will still be good without one of its best doctors.

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2009 Summer Movie Lineup

May 15, 2009 at 11:47 am (Movies, Weapons of Mass Enjoyment)

   

   

   

   

  

It seems that the 2009 Summer Movie Season has sprung upon us once again, and once again it’s time for young teenagers, children, and adults to start shelling out cash to see the newest big budget sequel. (Hey, they paid $100 Million, you’re paying $10 to see it.) Here’s the lineup of big movies coming out this summer, and my personal take as to which ones are to be worth MY money. 

May 1st-

  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine-Marvel kicks off the Summer again this year with the origin story of the most famous X Man, Wolverine, and how he came to interact with some of the other mutants.

May 8th-

  • Star Trek-JJ Abrams reboots a classic franchise with new life in the origin story of the crew of the Starship Enterprise, and their battles with an alien species.
  • Next Day Air-Scrubs’ Donald Faison gets caught in the middle of a gang war after a delivery of cocaine to the wrong address in this dark comedy. 

May 15th-

  • Angels and Demons-Tom Hanks returns in the sequel to The Da Vinci Code as they investigate a Catholic massacre claiming hundreds of lives, and the spirits that have returned to seek revenge. 
  • The Brothers Bloom-The World’s greatest con men, The Brothers Bloom, team up for their greatest heist, all to be complicated by a female love interest.

May 22nd-

  • Terminator Salvation-In the year 2018, after a nuclear holocaust, John Connor leads a formatic resistance against the uprising war of machines, the future his mother warned him about, and a new, terrifying threat. 
  • Night at the Museum 2: Battle for the Smithsonian-Larry takes a new position at the Smithsonian while rennovations are underway at his old museum, and mayhem ensues as the curse takes its toll at the new museum. 
  • Dance Flick-The Wayan Brothers do a dance parody.

May 29th-

  • Up-Carl Frederickson, a man who’s always dreamed of adventure after living a crumudgeon life and losing his wife, finally gets his chance on a journey accompanied by a young boy scout. 
  • Drag Me To Hell-Sam Raimi directs a horror film about a woman who is haunted by the spirit of a woman she refused to help at work.

June 5th-

  • Land of the Lost-Will Ferrell steals the show to remake a classic tv series from the 1970s, and embarks on a new adventure to discover a secret world.
  • The Hangover-Ed Helms and gang struggle to figure out the deeds they’ve committed after a crazy night filled with debauchery. 

June 12th-

  • Imagine That-In a move similar to Bedtime Stories, Eddie Murphy starts spending much more time with his daughter after he realizes her drawings can help his job in this Nickelodeon Comedy.
  • The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3-This thriller starring John Travolta and Denzel Washington covers the tale of the hostage situation aboard a subway car and the mysteries behind it. 

June 19th-

  • The Year One-Jack Black and Micheal Cera star in this biblical comedy over the first few years of the AD. 
  • The Proposal-Sandra Bullock and Deadpool star in this new comedy about a woman who refuses to stop pursuing her newest boyfriend. Basically Bullock’s life story…

June 24-

  • Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen-The Autobots and Decepticons are back in this sure-to-smash summer blockbuster. The Fallen has come back to Earth to seek revenge against Optimus Prime, Megatron is to be revived, and new transformers are in the mix. 

July 1st-

  • Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs-The gang from Ice Age 1 and 2 are back in a new era, filled with new changes as they struggle to cope with a new species known as dinosaurs. The movie is also introducing a variety of different new characters. 
  • Public Enemies-Christian Bale and Johnny Depp star as rivals in this gang action drama about the life of John Dillinger and his escapades with the police. 

July 10th-

  • Bruno-Sacha Baron Cohen is back for another assault on America, this time as the fashion guru known as Bruno. 
  • I Love You Beth Cooper-After a nerdy valedictorian pronounces his love for the most popular girl during his graduation speech, she decides to give him a chance and show him how to live life. 

July 15th-

  • Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince-Harry Potter returns this summer with the 6th book in the series delving into the origin of Voldemort. 

July 24th-

  • G Force-A crew of talking hamsters save the world.
  • The Ugly Truth-Katherine Heigl is put through a series of tests by Gerard Butler to find love, but ends up falling in love with him.

July 31st-

  • Funny People-Adam Sandler has his life changed when after confronted with the possibility of death, realizes the potential of his life when realized he’s faced with the end along with his friend Seth Rogen. 

August 7th-

  • GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra-The GI Joe task force team are faced with the ultimate challenge as an opposing team, Cobra, threatens to destroy the world.
  • Tekken-Tekken

August 14th-

  • Taking Woodstock-This true life story follows the man who held the first and only music organization permit in New York and was involved with Woodstock.
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife-Eric Bana plays a man who is trying to build a relationship while dealing with the curse of time traveling whenever he becomes stressed.

August 21st-

  • Inglorious Basterds-Do you really need an explanation? Quentin Tarantino directs a violence and profanity-filled film sure to leave some jaws dropped.

August 28th-

  • Final Destination: Death Trip 3D-This next entry in the series follows death tracking down teens after a tragic day at the races.
  • H2-Micheal Myers is back in the sequel to Rob Zombie’s Halloween, and he comes back to wreak more havoc in his hometown. Sounds like a winner to round out the summer…

This summer looks to have a fairly sizable offering of summer blockbusters, new franchises, and series reboots. I’ve already seen Wolverine and Star Trek, and if the rest of the season is that great, we’re in for a treat. I’ve bolded all the titles, but the ones italicized are the ones I am really pumped, or at least plan at some point in time to see. As far as $ goes, there’s really no doubt in my mind that Transformers will dominate the competition in its late June release. As far as what the new TDK will be, I say it’s Star Trek personally. Public Enemies is starting to shape up to be one of my most anticipated movies along with Transformers 2. Below are the Top Ten Movies I am (or was) looking forward to this summer. So everyone reading this, I hope you all have an awesome summer, I hope that you choose your summer movie wisely, and that these movies are just icing on the cake to what can be an epic summer to come.

  1. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
  2. Star Trek
  3. Up
  4. X-Men Origins: Wolverine
  5. Public Enemies
  6. Night at the Museum 2: Battle for the Smithsonian
  7. Funny People
  8. Terminator Salvation
  9. Ice Age 3
  10. The Brothers Bloom/The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3

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The Spirit Review

May 15, 2009 at 11:44 am (Movies)

I just want to let everyone know that you should never make a bet with DS. Chances are you are going to turn out wrong. I’m just gonna quit trying to disagree with him in Heroes and pretty much anything else movie or TV related. His latest triumph was assuming that The Spirit was not worth my time, and he was exactly right. Where some movies choose the formula and exclude a particular style (nothing wrong with that) (Iron Man), and others exude style but still present a captivating story (300), others like The Spirit just decide to totally drop a coherent story all together and just focus on making the movie look good. The Spirit tells the story (from what I got) of a cop who was brought back to life so that he could fight crime and thwart the plans of the mastermind known as The Octopus (Samuel L. Jackson). There’s also a bunch of sub plots with the blood of the gods and all this other mess, but it didn’t really matter when you’re too busy being annoyed by the movie’s over-flashiness and consistency to make you want to like it or applaud it for being stylish. Yea, I get it Frank Miller, it’s black and white, yea, I get it, Jackson’s a wacko, yea, I get it, everything’s a parody, apparently of itself, quit beating me over the head with it. What started out as a neat art scheme in the first five minutes and a few zany characters that livened up the movie and entertained me turned into just a monotonous practice of annoyance. In lamens terms, it’s annoying and constant. I did slightly enjoy Samuel L. Jackson’s performance towards the beginning, and throughout the movie it never really got downright annoying. The swift blend and pacing of the action in the movie was enough to get excited over sometimes, but once again the style of the movie brought it down. Overall, this is just a 2 hour long reason why not to let Frank Miller ever direct a movie. Just wait 5 years and we’ll be seeing a reboot for The Spirit. I would only recommend The Spirit to those who want to get out of a good mood or those with incredibly weird superhero movie tastes, otherwise just wait for Watchmen or rent The Dark Knight again. I really wanted to like The Spirit, I kinda wanted to be able to go against DS’s opinion, however I just can’t. The Spirit had some awesome ideas behind it, and packed a good fun punch every now and then, however thanks to an annoying flavor to it and a style that, while originally fun, gets put in front of the actual movie itself, along with some annoying perforamnces and obscure plot, put this one behind the crowd.

2 out of 5

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Star Trek Review

May 9, 2009 at 5:55 pm (Movies)

If you have ever had any interest in science fiction, whether that be collecting every last Burger King Star Wars Toy or just briefly passed Doctor Who on the Sci Fi Channel, you can enjoy JJ Abrams’ new epic, Star Trek. JJ has exemplified the PERFECT (yes I said perfect) way to shoot a jolt of energy into the arm of what was a stagnant franchise, and has more than successfully redefined it for a new generation. The story, which is actually part of the Star Trek canon (spoiler free comment/review), takes place 129 years before the events of the past Star Treks, as an origin story. Jim Tiberius Kirk is born aboard a evacuation ship escaping the SS Kelvin, which was being destroyed by a Romulan known as Nero. Approximately 25 years later, James is a wise-cracking ne’er-do-well that has too big a mouth for his own good. He ends up enlisting in the Starfleet Academy, and, by chain of events, ends up on board the new Starship Enterprise. He is under the command of General Pike (Bruce Greenwood) and First in Command Spock (Zachary Quinto), and shares a ship with Uhura (Zoe Saldana), McCoy (Karl Urban), Sulu (John Cho), Scotty (Simon Pegg), and Pavel Chekov (Anton Yelchin). Where to Begin? Well for starters, all doubt in my mind that JJ Abrams (the devil behind Cloverfield) couldn’t perform on an action movie, was removed. The action in the movie delivers, and keeps you there right in the middle of it for the entire 2 hours. Whether it was bar fights or intergalactic travel, I was glued to the screen. All of this frantic action is accompanied by stellar camera work from Abrams. I gotta point out that the bar fight did have some really Cloverfield-like shakiness, but after that particular scene they were able to keep the action in full view. One thing the movie really did do spectacularly was the performances of the crew. Cho, Yelchin, Saldana, and Greenwood all do fantastic in what smaller screen times they have, but those the likes of Simon Pegg as Scotty are hilarious, those of Zachary Quinto’s Spock are riveting, and those of Chris Pine’s Kirk are just entertaining. Pine pulls off the smart-aleck, wise-cracking born leader of Kirk so well it makes you think “William who?”. Also, there’s Nero. Seeing each of these different characters on screen, each of them with their own distinct personality, was executed perfectly and was riveting to see each one fulfill their parts on the Enterprise.

Probably the aspect of the film that I acclaim the most is the film’s strong emphasis on visual flair. The film isn’t as sci-fi lenient as some of the stuff I’ve seen from the original series. The film possesses a more modern flair to it, however you never forget you’re watching Star Trek. There’s always a constant reminder, whether it’s the ship’s interiors, the look and feel of space, the uniforms of the Enterprise’s crew, or the alien creatures in the midst, you know this is Star Trek. It’s like somebody took Star Trek and just modern-ized it and made it more relevant and entertaining for a new generation, and that somebody is JJ Abrams. The film also can be compared to the smart kid in your science class, it knows all the answers. Besides talking the talk and walking the walk as a film, it just doesn’t beat your head in with action. Basically the message I’m trying to convey is that you should go, run to your theater and go see Star Trek. You will be gravitated toward the screen and you will love it. The only real fault I could find was that yea, it could get a little preachy sometimes with all the techno-babble. Also, as a personal request, I would have liked to see more of certain characters. Star Trek is one of the most captivating and most fun thrill rides I’ve been on this year, and is one of the best experiences I’ve had at the movies since Iron Man. This movie is just so epic, captivating, fun, fun-ny, and so guaranteed to be the first in many to come, so dare I say classic for our time, this could be considered the Star Wars Episode 4 of our time. JJ Abrams has destroyed the target with his vision of the Star Trek Universe, has re-created iconic characters, and modern-ized a classic franchise with a fun and frantic summer movie with a juicy center of perfection. 

5 out of 5

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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Review

May 6, 2009 at 8:18 pm (Movies)

Whilst watching the award-laden extravaganza The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, multiple questions came to mind: How much makeup did they have to use? Why does that old man sound just like Brad Pitt? Why is this movie so boring? The movie starts back in 1918, at the end of “The Great War”. Little does the world know, a child is being born, his name is Benjamin Button, and he looks like he should be hosting the Price is Right. Over the next 80 years, Benjamin Button reverse ages, from old to young, whilst watching all of his friends, loved ones, and family age normally, and of course, die. He goes through the years falling in love with his childhood sweetheart, goes to war in the Navy under Captain Mike, and lives under the house of Queenie. The movie really does have a great story going for it. In case you didn’t catch the vibes, it felt very Forrest Gump-ish. I thought the concept, originality, and story of the movie was one of its best features. The whole movie is told from the journal of Benjamin on the deathbed of his former love interest, which created some better drama towards the end of the movie when some personal stories and family mysteries begin to unravel. The performances in the movie are also really good. I was surprised at how convincing Brad Pitt’s portrayal of Benjamin Button  was. He wasn’t just Brad Pitt, he became Benjamin Button. Cate Blanchett is pretty good as Daisy, Jared Harris is strong as Captain Mike, but Taraji P. Henson takes the cake as Queenie. The drama in the movie was pretty choice stuff. I’ll admit I almost got choked up a few times like when Queenie died or when you start to realize the internal struggle Benjamin is going through as he is forced to live life backwards. The movie’s special effects were also top-notch. However, the main area this movie struggled with me was the fact that it got down right boring sometimes. Let’s see… Slower than John Goodman’s metabolism. WAIT! Slower than the lines at the DMV. NO I’VE GOT BETTER! Slower than The Blob’s heartrate! Point is, this movie got very very slow in some spots. I was playing with the zoom feature to keep myself entertained. I just got really really bored with this movie. It wouldn’t have been so bad if it wasn’t 3 hours long! Also, half the movie is taken in these incredibly dark shots, so I couldn’t really tell who was who in a lot of the scenes. Like Knowing, I’d like to grade this movie in parts. Beginning to the war is best, middle’s the most boring hour of my life, ending was better. I can see where people are coming from when they say they loved this movie. It has the makings to be a great movie to some, however to me it simply went way too slow during certain segments to capture my focus throughout the entire movie and make me fully engrossed by the movie and to love it. I expected to love this movie, and I started to blind buy it. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button has an excellent premise that I liked a lot and very promising first hour that I also liked a lot, but takes itself far too seriously, and failed to keep my interest throughout the next 2 hours (Yea it’s a LONG movie) to constitute it worth a rent, unless you’re a BIG fan of the genre or Brad Pitt. 

3 1/2 out of 5

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X-Men Origins: Wolverine Review

May 3, 2009 at 4:33 pm (Movies)

Last year the summer movie season was kicked off without a hitch with the Marvel superhero-too-fun-to-pass-up epic, Iron Man. This year Marvel kicks off the summer again, except this time it’s with our favorite mutant, Wolverine. While it’s not quite the experience of Iron Man, X Men Origins: Wolverine proves to be a fast-paced, super-heroic and fun display of sheer force. If you don’t know what this movie is about, you must be a vegetable. The movie, hence the title, centers around the experiences of one of the X Men, Wolverine. The 1 1/2 hour film mainly centers around his childhood in the 1800s, him getting his powers, him joining this group of mutants, then having to defeat this organization, all the while answering questions about how Logan lost his memory and how the actual “X Men” started. This was one of the best parts of the film in that we don’t just have to sit and watch Hugh Jackman be naked for nearly 2 hours, we get to see all of those around him that kind of shaped his beginnings, which was one of the best parts to me, but wasn’t quite fleshed out enough. I was thinking to myself sometimes “Okay we’ve seen enough Wolverine, let’s see more Wraith or Blob”, but I do have to take my hat off to the filmmakers for succeeding at something I didn’t expect them to even do. I’m just like that kid that “Just wants more”. As always, one thing Marvel really knows how to do well, is action. I, along with a lot of other people in our theater were gasping, applauding, and just laughed out of pure wonder at some of the awe-inspiring action sequences. Within the first ten minutes you’ve got tanks exploding, three different wars being fought, and DEADPOOL, and it only gets better from there. I don’t know why, but for some reason this movie just pushed the limits as to how big, how just amazing fighting choreography can be in a summer blockbuster. The fights between Logan and Victor are especially jaw-dropping, and just plain cool. This one also did really well at diversifying the locations. It’s not just the warehouse, the laboratory, the construction site, this team really kept the movie fresh with several different backdrops for the movie to take place in. The island, Gambit’s bar, Wraith’s Gym, the Test Area, the Farm, it felt like I was looking at a bunch of postcards with horrific violence attached! Back to the different variety of characters, Marvel did a cool job of designing each of these characters and bringing seemingly unimportant characters to the big screen. Wraith, Gambit, Blob, Zero (Kinda), Sabretooh especially, and DEADPOOL all are designed just so incredibly well and look so freaking cool. This kinda brings me to my first complaint. NOT ENOUGH DEADPOOL! He’s in there for like 10 minutes (Spoiler Free Comment), and although it’s a cool 10 minutes, you just want more. Ryan Reynolds does an awesome job of bringing Wade Wilson to life, jokes actually funny! Also, the movie could drag on in spots and gets its gears a little stuck in the mud. The rest of my complaint just comes together as one, that the movie needed to be a little longer, and would have been cooler had they fleshed out the extra mutants more. That’s not necessarily a deduction, just a suggestion. Marvel put so much unexpected effort into the extra characters and teams(although there could have been more), the mythology of these characters, cameos, special effects, and just so much more it’s hard not to like this movie. I went in expecting to not like it, so maybe that’s why I loved it so much. If you love Marvel or just superhero movies, you’re spending $10 wisely. Overall, this is THE reason I watch superhero movies. You get a cool story, awesome action, CHARACTERS THAT ARE COOL AND INTERESTING, and an experience that’s 100% worth my $10. 

4 1/2 out of 5

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