Posts Tagged ‘Movies’

The Equalizer

October 1, 2014

theequalizerHad a chance to see The Equalizer today.  I remember watching the TV show back when, though I don’t recall a lot of details about it now, so I can’t say how well the movie follows the pattern of the series.

What I can say is that Denzel Washington is awesome, and the movie is both violent and bloody.  Much more bloody than I expected.  That doesn’t bother me much, but if you don’t really like blood and gore, you may not like The Equalizer.

The movie is a tad too long; they probably could have shaved a few minutes off the beginning of the movie and it wouldn’t have hurt the story one bit.  Also, when Denzel’s Robert McCall is dispatching Russian mobsters, he does so with a dispassion bordering on the psychopathic, which is a little off-setting for someone who’s supposed to be equalizing the odds for the little guy.  Chloe Grace Moretz has an underwhelming role of a Russian prostitute-victim whom McCall decides to help, and who basically disappears during the heart of the story.

Still, it’s an enjoyable, if bloody, action film that starts a little slow but soon gains momentum.  If you’re a fan of Denzel Washington or violent action movies, it’s easily worth the price of a matinee ticket.

Cheers.

The Colony

September 25, 2014

Sthecolonynowmeggedon type post-apocalypse movies seem to be on the rise lately.  An interesting addition is The Colony (Laurence Fishburne, Bill Paxton; nothing to do with the TV series).  The Earth has frozen over due to misguided attempts to regulate the planet’s rising temperatures.  The few remaining humans survive in subterranean ‘colonies’ where they can grow hydroponic food, though disease is a constant worry for them.  A nearby colony has fallen off the airwaves, so Colony 7 sends a team to find out what happened.  As you can guess, it ain’t pretty.

The Colony features the claustrophobic isolation common in horror movies like Alien or The Thing, but ultimately the movie is about what makes us human.  To be sure, there is a good amount of blood and intense violence, so probably not one for the kids.  Also, Laurence Fishburne and Bill Paxton are the two big names in the movie, but they aren’t really the leads.  The rest of the cast does a decent acting job, the story is predictable but tight, and the special effects aren’t quite big-budget, but considerably better than your typical Syfy channel special.

If you’re in the mood for a decent post-apocalypse movie it’s worth watching on Netflix (instant view) or similar service.  The Colony could also make an interesting setting for a short post-apoc RPG campaign or one-off game; instead of a desert wasteland (ala Road Warrior), you’ve got a frozen wasteland with a whole new set of challenges for the PCs to face.

Cheers!

Guardians of the Galaxy

August 4, 2014

gotg

What are you reading this for?  Go see Guardians of the Galaxy…right now!

Yes, it’s that good.

 

Mad Max: Fury Road

July 28, 2014

Needles at the Swords & Stitchery Blog brought this to my attention:  the first trailer for Mad Max: Fury Road.

1) It’s nice to see the last of the V-8 Interceptors again, even if only for a few minutes.

2) It’s weird not seeing Mel Gibson as Mad Max.

3) There’s some criticism that it looks “Michael Bay-ish,” and it sort of does.  None-the-less, I’m excited about the new Mad Max movie.  I’m looking forward to this one.

Cheers.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

July 11, 2014

dawnoftheplanetoftheapesSaw this today and enjoyed it much more than the prequel, Rise of the Planet of the Apes.  It’s a tale of how fear, mistrust, hatred and, above all, stupidity lead to misunderstanding and inevitable conflict.

The story gets moving pretty quick, so you don’t feel like you’re waiting for a couple of hours for the movie to get to the interesting part (unlike Rise).  Decent story, decent acting, the story makes sense (for the most part) and a nice big battle towards the end.  They also set it up nicely for the sequel, which I’m guessing will be Battle for the Planet of the Apes (you’ll see what I mean if you go see it).

I was close to chucking this one into the Netflix queue but I’m glad I went to see it.  At the very least it’s worth the price of a matinee ticket.  Cheers.

Transformers 4: Age of Extinction

June 27, 2014

transformers4Pretty much like the first three movies, only with Mark Wahlberg, Dinobots and a bit of Chinese government propaganda.  Lots of shooting and explosions, frenetic action, rapid-fire dialogue (difficult to understand most of the time) and a plot that barely rationalizes all the action and violence.

If you liked the first three Transformers movies, you’ll like this one, too.  If you hated them, stay far, far away from Age of Extinction.   Cheers.

Edge of Tomorrow

June 11, 2014

edgeoftomorrowSaw Edge of Tomorrow a few days ago.  Overall, it’s a decent action flick.  It’s not very deep, it won’t make you think much and, like most time-travel(ish) movies, doesn’t always make a lot of sense.  But it has plenty of explosions and shooting (if that’s your thing) and a touch of humor here and there (think Groundhog Day, with guns and aliens).

Tom Cruise is, well, Tom Cruise; he doesn’t really change much movie to movie.  I thought Emily Blunt did a fine job, though she is perhaps a bit underused here.

If you’re itching for an action movie, Edge of Tomorrow is worth the price of a matinee ticket (or just wait and Netflix it in a few months).  However, if you can’t stand Tom Cruise, or you’re looking for some deep, introspective movie, you’re better off skipping this one.

Cheers.

Bounty Killer

May 21, 2014

bountykillerChart this one under inspiration for weird post-apocalyptic role-playing game campaigns:

In the future, corporations wage world war against one another in the pursuit of profits, destroying most of the planet in the process.  Bounty killers are commissioned to hunt down the corporate criminals and bring them to justice.  Yes, the premise is over-the-top, but it makes for a fun movie to watch, and could be a very interesting post-apoc campaign.

Bounty Killer is kind of a mix between a spaghetti Western, Mad Max and Deathrace 2000.  Not the greatest acting in the world, but decent enough for B-movie faire, and plenty of gunplay and action.

There is, however, gratuitous amounts of blood and gore, so if that’s not your thing then you probably want to skip this movie.  Definitely not a family friendly film.

If you’re interested, you can find it on Netflix.  Cheers.

Godzilla Movie

May 16, 2014

godzillaHad the chance today to watch the new Godzilla movie on IMAX (also 3D, which didn’t do much for me).  I wound up enjoying it much more than I thought I would, and it’s a vast improvement over the last American version of Godzilla.  I’ll try not to give away too many spoilers here (nothing that hasn’t already been given away by the trailers), but if you’re worried about spoilers, just stop reading now and go see Godzilla ASAP. 🙂

The movie does a good job of focusing on the human element, so it’s not all just about giant monsters smashing everything in sight.  Most often, the screen focuses on humans doing their best just to survive while the kaiju fight in the background.  This both makes the movie a bit more immersive for the audience and emphasizes the massive scale of the monsters and the destruction they cause.  At other times, the kaiju might be portrayed, surreally, fighting on the news, or glimpsed through a car window.

In many respects, Godzilla emulates the classic Japanese films:  Godzilla is the good guy fighting multiple “bad” kaiju, he’s modeled after the look of the guy in the rubber suit, and he’s got his atomic breath attack.  So, most of the classic elements of Godzilla are still there, from what I could tell.

And the movie still has the Godzilla “message,” that playing around with atomic energy is bad and going to destroy us all.  Make of that what you will.

I highly recommend Godzilla, unless you just really don’t like kaiju movies.  The IMAX experience was great, but the 3D element just really wasn’t there for me (but then, I’m not a huge fan of 3D in the first place, so I’m probably biased).  If you can see it on IMAX, it’s worth it.  And if you can do so without the 3D, so much the better.

Cheers.

300: Rise of an Empire

March 7, 2014

300riseSaw the new 300 movie today (on IMAX in 3D, no less), in all its bloody gory (really, lots and lots of blood, probably more than the first movie).  300:Rise of an Empire tells the story of Themistokles, Athenian admiral of the Greek fleet, taking place roughly at the same time Leonidas fought the Persians at the Hellas Gates.  There’s a bit more background this time, explaining why Xerxes was so keen on wiping out the Greeks (though this movie takes plenty of liberties with historical accuracy, much as the first one did).  Still, plentiful slow-motion battles replete with decapitations, amputations, disembowelments and general blood-letting.  If you enjoyed the slo-mo battles of the first movie (or the Spartacus series on Starz), there’s plenty more where that came from.

Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton), while compelling, doesn’t really carry the movie in the way Gerard Butler did as Spartan king Leonidas.  Actually, Eva Green, as the Persian admiral Artemisia, really steals the show and probably saves the movie.  She attacks the role with gusto and you can tell she probably had a lot of fun playing the Greek-born villainess; you almost want her to win in the end.  Lena Heady returns as Queen Gorga, Leonidas’ wife, and while she didn’t get much screen time, she does get to kick a little ass towards the end of the movie.

I have to say seeing 300:Rise in 3D didn’t really do much for me, but then I’m not really a fan of 3D movies in the first place.  But watching it on the big IMAX screen was very cool, though I’m not sure it’s worth the $11 ticket price (plus another $3 for 3D 😦 ).  Still, Guardians of the Galaxy should really shine on that big screen (just hope it’s not in 3D, so I can save a few bucks).

So, overall, I enjoyed the film, though maybe not as much as the first one.  The slo-mo battle thing, while okay, isn’t as fresh a concept as it was with the first movie.  But there were plenty of cool battles, the CGI was over the top (in a mostly enjoyable way) and Eva Green was a joy to watch as the villainous Artemisia.  If you enjoyed the first move, you’ll probably enjoy this sequel as well.  Cheers.


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