Sunday, May 25, 2008
or download this specific link for specifically episode 16 - Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Geek - http://recordings.talkshoe.com/TC-14391/TS-117747.mp3?dl=1
WARNING! This show contains spoilers! So if you haven't watched Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull then download the show and listen to it later!
5 movies ruined by last minute changes - I Am Lengend, Superman 2, Dawn Of The Dead, Live Free Or Die Hard, Blade Runner
Jake Gyllenhaal will be tapped to play the Prince in Prince Of Persia
Mania.com has the transcript of a Saturday Q&A that Peter Jackson and Guillermo Del Toro did with respect to the upcoming Hobbit movie
Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull - Notes
These are just some of the points we talked about. Feel free to add others in the comments section and we'll even read them on the air!
- I called what they would find in the warehouse
- Wanted to see more than the bloody Ark - wasn't even a good inside joke
- Definitely had a "today's movie" feel to it
- Had a lot more archeology to it and less action
- Story moved along quick
- Shia didn't nervous geek stutter at all
- Didn't like the ancient astronauts theory, the use of aliens, or UFOs and I'm a sci-fi nut!
- Nice to see Indy take out big guys and soldiers left and right
- Nuke explosion and fridge was kind of stupid
- Didn't really understand the alien at the end or what happen to the bad chick
- Nice to see Karen Allen come back and be the love interest rather than some 21 y/o chick
- Too much use of CGI
- Nice nod to Marcus and Jones Sr.
- Vine swinging was moronic, why did the monkeys attack?
Next week's topic is good and bad satire/spoof movies. Join us on Sunday at 8 PM EST for FILM GEEKS!
Saturday, May 24, 2008
We can give credit to "Shawn Of The Dead" for really taking the reigns of what the "comedy horror" genre is suppose to be. Not only does it have to function completely on it's comedic elements if the movie were split in two, but if you take out all those parts it'd have to work as a great horror movie. What "Shawn" did for the zombie flick, "Slither" is intended to satisfy the comedic horror of the B movie genre.
James Gunn, writer of the 2004 hit "Dawn Of The Dead", takes over the role of both writer and director in this flick. This also gave Firefly/Serenity fans another chance of seeing Nathan Fillion on the big screen and in a charming, egocentric character like he was in Firefly. Fillion plays Sheriff Bill Pardy. He is also joined by Elizabeth Banks who plays Starla Grant, Michael Rooker as Grant Grant, and even a short appearance by Jenna Fischer (aka Pam on "The Office") as Shelby.
Our story takes place in a small southern town. A meteor crashes in the town's woods and a creature emerges. Grant Grant (yes that's his character's name) stumbles upon the creature after a trip to the bar. The creature injects Grant with an organism that burrows through his chest and into his brain. Grant begins to crave raw meat of any kind and slowly begins to deform into some sort of creature. Before he fully transforms too noticeably he gets into a fight with his wife, Starla, and almost kills her. However, not before Sheriff Pardy and his deputies come to the rescue and save her. They too witness Grant's metamorphism where he appears almost squid like.
Grant runs away and we also learn that the creature inside of him has tendrils that have attached and injected a woman he captured with thousands of offspring...slithering offspring. She looks a little like the picture below:
She is huge! After a few days of cattle, livestock, and other animals constantly go missing. Pardy rounds up a posy to try and get Grant down before he kills someone. They stumble upon this woman filled with the creature's offspring and also witness her being torn asunder and letting loose thousands of squirming offspring. They enter through a subject's mouth and take over their body in a zombie like manner. The impressive thing about the offspring is that they share the same memories and present experience as the host and each former individual. Basically it's a network of intelligent zombies. Not only do the little ones enter people, but they also enter animals such as deer. There is a hilarious exchange between Pardy and a deer that is just one of the many hilarious bits this movie has to offer.
Now Pardy, Starla, and a young girl who was almost over taken by one of the little creatures are the only ones left to try and stop Grant before he can birth new offspring and take over the entire planet!
Grade - A-
Even though this movie wasn't received well by the box office or some critics, I believe it to be one of the best horror/comedies of all time; it is even on par with "Shawn Of The Dead". The writing is great. Not only can you take out the comedy and watch this as a really fun horror movie, but you have some really funny parts. Nathan Fillion plays a type of character he did in "Firefly" that was really great to see him play after coming right out of "Serenity". The comedy alone is well worth the viewing. It does work as a funny B movie in the way that most B movies are funny, but it has some really hilarious lines and scenes that make you appreciate it as a top notch horror comedy. If you took one part "The Blob", one part "Dawn Of The Dead", and one part "Firefly", you would get a pretty good picture of what this movie is like and the greatness that comes from it. I really need to see Fillion in more of these types of roles and more of these types of movies need to be bad. This is a movie well worth a scream and a laugh!
Friday, May 23, 2008
We find ourselves in 1989. "Batman", "Honey I Shrunk The Kids", "Ghostbusters II", "Back To The Future II", "The Little Mermaid", and "Driving Miss Daisy" are in theaters. The final installment of the original Indiana Jones series, "Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade" is released, grossing almost 200 million dollars.
This movie is my favorite for many reasons. This was the only movie out of the original three that I was alive and old enough to watch in theaters. This was also the movie that inspired me to get more into science and even made me want to be an archaeologists for a while. Come on, after seeing the awesomeness "Crusade" is can you really blame a 5 year old kid to pick up a fedora and a whip and go find the Ark or the Grail?
Harrison Ford reprises his role of Indiana Jones and two other former characters show up. Denholm Elliott plays a bigger role this time as Marcus Brody and John Rhys-Davies shows up as Sallah. We also have some new people show up. Most notably is Sean Connery who plays Indy's father, Henry Jones Sr. Alison Doody plays the ever radiant, Elsa Schneider and Julian Glover as Walter Donovan.
It is my opinion that this movie is vastly superior to any of the other movies for many reasons.
The movie starts out with a flashback to Indy's youth. We follow him (played by River Pheonix) as he steals the Cross of Coronado from some grave robbers. This flashback is important for four main reasons of Indy's character. First of all, when Indy runs to a circus train after stealing the Cross he is chased by the bad guys. He winds up falling into a vat of snakes and is completely freaked out by the experience. Thus we see where Indy's fear of snakes comes from! Also, young Indy falls into the car that holds a lion and we see him use a whip to defend himself, but not before scaring himself when he accidentally whips himself. So not only do we see where Indy gets his love of whips from, but we also get to see where Indy gets the scar on his chin from (although it was really caused by a car accident Harrison Ford was in). Finally, the leader of the expedition catches up to Indy and regains the cross, after a few parting words he gives Indy his fedora hat, thus we get to see where Indy got his hat from!
A quick note, the "Woo guy" is almost as annoying as Willie (from "Temple Of Doom") was...almost.
The flashback ends and we see Indy regaining the Cross of Coronado from the same guy who pilfered it when Indy was young. So unlike "Raiders", Indy actually gets what he was looking for at the beginning of the movie and he's able to donate it to the museum.
Indy is tapped by Walter Donovan to help and find the Grail, but to also tell him his father is missing, who was the Donovan's first choice to look for the Grail with new information discovered. Indy and Marcus go to Venice, Italy where they are met by the uber hot Elsa Schneider. She takes them to the library when Indy's father was looking for a second clue as to where the Grail was located before he disappeared. Indy finds the tomb he needs to go to to find the next clue is actually under the library. As with the previous two movies, this movie has some freaky aspect to it to ("Raiders" had snakes and "Doom" had bugs). This movie has rats! There's also a nice inside joke with a painting of the Ark in the tomb.
After getting the clue to lead to the Grail, Indy and Elsa are chased by a group that has sworn to protect the Grail and a tense boat chase takes place. Indy is not only escaping by boat but he's also taking out the men that wish to do him harm. He even captures one who tells him where his father is being held.
Indy and Elsa break into a castle where his father is being kept. They sneak past one of Indy's old enemies...the Nazis! Indy swings into his room and his father (played by none other than Sean Connery) is there only to knock him on a head with a vase, thinking he was a Nazi. Before they can escape, father and son are captured and taken to be questioned about Henry's (Indy's father) Grail journal, a book that has all the clues to get to the Grail in it. It is revealed that not only is Elsa a Nazi agent but so is Walter Donovan! Indy and father are tied up only to have henry accidentally set the castle on fire. They escape and after a great chase sequence with motorcycles Henry convinces Indy to go to Berlin where the Grail diary is being kept.
The reason this movie works so well is the way Indy and Henry relate to each other. For and Connery had a real chemistry between them and the relationship of their two characters really shown through the movie. Henry has some great lines and there is a lot of good comedy between the pair. For example, they reach Berlin and get the diary back from Elsa. However, Indy and Henry are swept up in a crowd and they come face to face with da fuhrer himself, Adolf Hitler! Hitler sees the diary in Indy's hand and he snatches it...and autographs a page in it, hands the book back to Indy, and proceeds along his way. That's just one of the many great scenes this movie has.
So to book it out of Berlin, the lion's den if you will, Indy and his father book passage on a Zeplin. I know my Indy movie reviews have been a bit more revealing that most of the other reviews have been, but I figured many people have seen them so it's not like I'm spoiling anything. Plus you can always read the summary after the grade in any of my reviews to get the over all feel of the movie. Yet, I'm not going to ruin all the good gags and jokes. So I'm going to move forward a bit.
After rescuing Marcus from the clutches of the evil Nazis; Indy, Henry, Sallah, and Marcus follow the Grail diary to the location of the Grail. The Nazis are there trying to get past the first of three tests. Once again, Indy and company get captured. Donovan shoots Indy's father in the stomach so that Indy will be forced to find the Grail. Again, I don't want to give everything away so I will stop here but only say that Indy's great adventure is wonderful to watch.
The movie ends perfectly too. This was one of the reasons why I really, kind of didn't want them to make a sequel. At the end, our four heroes ride off into the sunset on horseback. I can think of no other perfect ending for the Indiana Jones franchise.
Grade - A+
This is my favorite Indy movie. The script is written perfectly, there is great use of comedy, and Ford and Connery as Indy and father have the perfect chemistry and relationship for the movie. The action sequences are the best possible, and I believe this movie not only had better quality fight scenes, but also quantity. This movie brings back Indy's best foe, the Nazis, and the better storyline of following something based on Christian history. Indy did less fist fighting in this one but the action performed by Ford was top notch for the movie and for his career. Connery even gets a few great licks in and it's wonderful to see him regain some of his old James Bond charm and action back. The three tests that Indy has to go through at the end, I believe rival what he had to go through in "Raiders" and I think it's one of the most dramatic sequences in movie history. There is also no better ending to the Indy series that seeing him and his friends and father ride off into the sunset on horseback. It says that, the sun is setting on what we will see of Indy's adventures...but you know that he went on to have many, many more.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
The year is now 1984. The year of "Ghost Busters", "Gremlins", "Search For Spock", "The Karate Kid", and a number of other well known classics were released. 1984 also marked the year of the second Indiana Jones movie which is actually a prequel to "Raiders Of The Lost Ark". While it took in more than 175 million, the reception by critics and some fans were not as thrilling as they were for Dr. Jones' first adventure. The darker feel and the greater amount of violence actually made the MPAA (*spits*) create a classification stronger than PG but less than R. "Temple Of Doom" helped to create the PG-13 rating.
There is just one side note this time that I have to make regarding "Doom". Many people consider this to be the "worst" Indy movie. While I don't think it's the best, I definitely don't believe this to be a horrible movie. I believe many people are basing their opinions on what they read today of what the critics back then said. If you were young when you saw this movie, I don't think any of us thought this was a horrible movie. After all, Indy is back with his hat and whip!
This movie starts out a little bit different than what the other two movies do. It's different in that the opening is not a separate mission that ends when Indy returns to the museum and gets his real mission. This opening give us our characters we'll be following right off the bat.
So Indy starts out in China at "Club Obi Wan" (get it?!) where he exchanges the ashes of an early Chinese emperor for a diamond. Right off the bat, I have a problem with this film. Dr. Jones is trading a historic find for a measly diamond? We're not even told why the diamond is significant and Indy ends up leaving it behind anyways. So Indy gets poisoned and a fight breaks out where not only does Indy skewer a guy with a flaming kabob but he literally punches a woman for no reason. Wow, I'm glad I watched this movie last or my image of Indy would have been soiled. Indy rescues and escapes with a singer from the club, Wilhelmina "Willie" Scott (played by Kate Capshaw, who would later become Steven Spielberg's wife). They make their break out of China with the help of Indy's partner, Short Round (Jonathan Ke Quan), a little kid that Indy took under his wing. Indy drinks the antidote he took from the guy he was trading with and they head back to America. On a side note, the weirdest cameo in movie history is in this movie. Dan Aykroyd shows up for five seconds to get Indy, Short Round, and Willie on a plane. Talk about random.
To bad the pilots flying the plane work for the guy who tried to poison Indy. They dump the fuel and jump out of the plane while the three are asleep. Before the plane crashes, Indy and company inflate a raft and narrowly avoid being in a fiery crash. However, they do get to sled down a treacherous mountain and over cliffs only to make it to a river and finally land on an India village shore. The villagers believe Indy was sent from the heavens to help them get their kids and a magic rock back from an evil sect that worship an evil god.
This is my biggest problem with the movie. In the other two movies, the adventures were about big historical treasures from the Bible, the Ark and the Grail. This movie is just about some rocks that glow. They don't really do anything. Do they melt people's faces? No. Do they turn people old really fast? No. They don't do anything but glow. Not to mention they look like big bread rolls.
The trio make their way to a palace where Indy believes the stones are being help. While staying there he finds a secret passage that leads to an underground cave where the sect is worshiping their evil god, Kali. However, unlike "Raiders" that had snakes, this movie has bugs...lots of bugs in the secret passage. I can handle snakes and rats, but with all those bugs I would definitely get freaked out. Indy and company witness a human sacrifice to Kali in which the high priest rips out a man's heart but the man is still alive before he is cast into a pit of flame and lava. This scene is probably the coolest part of the entire movie. This also marks the spot when you can start to tell the difference in how this movie is darker than the previous.
Indy, Short Round, and Willie get captures. Indy is made to drink this blood that makes you into a blind follower of Kali...somehow and somehow you know all the rituals, Short Round is put with all the other villager kids to work in the mines to uncover the remaining two rocks needed to complete the set, and Willie is going to be offered as a female sacrifice.
Who saves the day? Indiana Jones? Nope! Short Round breaks free and goes in to rescue his friends. He ends up burning Indiana which knocks him out of his trance. Indy fights the guards and saves Willie from certain demise. He then gets so ticked off that he decides to liberate all the kids from bondage. This marks the first really decent action sequence of the whole movie. You have Indy fighting the bad minions and you have the infamous escape with the mine cars. Even Short Round gets to beat up a kid who is under the influence of the Kali blood stuff. Willie...well she just screams in a high pitched voice and says "Indy!" a lot in a shrill and ear piercing way.
They make it out of the mine and are caught on a rickety suspension bridge by the high priest who wants the stones Indy took back. What does Indy do? He anchors himself on the bridge and then cuts the rope, sending most of the high priest's minions to the alligator infested waters below. Indy and the high priest fight on what's left of the bridge where Indy almost gets his heart ripped out. However, he somehow knows the words to make the stones do something. In fact, all they really do is set the bag on fire and all but one drop into the waters below. The high priest grabs the final one only to burn his hand and fall to the depths of alligator way. Indy has saved not only the children but also the village's sacred stone. Woo hoo?
There are just two small gripes I have with a couple of the final scenes. First of all, towards the end, Indy is fighting with two guys with swords like the big guy had in "Raiders". Indy reaches for his gun only to find that it isn't there, unlike in "Raiders" (see my review of that movie for further details). However since this movie technically comes before "Raiders" chronologically. This joke only works for the audience and not Indy who has not done his "guys with sword skills get ironically shot with a gun" trick.
Second, when Indy and his gang first enter the village they are offered food that Indy says is a lot for the starving people. So what happens when these thousands of kids come back who are scrawny and tired of working in the mines? They are going to need a lot of food which the village is limited on. Even if the "magic rock" helps the harvest, it won't be quick enough. A lot of the village will probably die, maybe even more since the kids have returned. My point? Well I can't really say that the kids should have been kept in bondage, but food doesn't grow on trees!
Grade - A-
This movie is my least favorite of the three, but as I said, I am using the grade I thought it was before I heard all the negative opinions about this movie. You still have some great Indiana Jones fight sequences, his humor, and great locales. It's hard to determine who is more annoying...Willie or Short Round. I'm glad neither has made an appearance since then. Also the love interest in this movie is a little awkward in that it goes from the two of them fighting to all of a sudden wanting to get it on and being all lovey dovey. You don't have that tension and then slowly winning her over like you had in "Raiders" with Marion. Yet, who cares? Indiana Jones is still knocking heads and finding treasure to the entertainment of the 10 year old me and even the today me. I get to see Indy punching people with the force of concrete, escaping traps in the knick of time, and using his whip to swing, to hurt, and even to get a little sugar. Sure it has many faults, but Indy still has the honor and glory in this one as well.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Indiana Jones And The Raiders Of The Lost Ark
There are just a couple of things to go over before the review takes place. First of all, I am well aware the original title is "Raiders Of The Lost Ark". However, I am a stickler for patterns and alphabetical order. So in my collection I don't want "Raiders" to be back in the "R's" while the others are in the "I's". Second, when reviewing these big movies that have cultural and childhood significance, it is unlikely to expect people to give reviews of these movies a fair shake. I might mention only a few points of the greatness and leave out some others. I might not cover every little thing, every bit of trivia, every background story to fans liking. So if you get through reading this and you find yourself on the verge of writing a nasty email, then just ask yourself one question..."Where are my legs?" The answer..."Blow me." Lastly, I am writing this review, as well as the other Indy reviews, in a retrospect way. With most of my reviews, I have only watched the movie once or a few times and very recently. With this movie, it's a little hard for me to give it a fair shake without relying on some of the nostalgia stemming from watching this classic when I was but a wee one. With that being said, I hope you enjoy and I hope George Lucas doesn't screw over another classic franchise! YOU HEAR ME GEOGREY!
The year is1981. "Chariots Of Fire", "On Golden Pond", "Das Boot", "The Evil Dead", "Mad Max 2", "Escape From New York", and a bunch of other movies are release. Two of Hollywood's most respected directors team up to bring a character they loved reading in serials to the silver screen. The movie that still inspires kids today just as much as it did the day it was released was shown to a generation that was just waiting to be inspired.
Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones Jr., professor of archeology was brought to live by the vision of director Steven Spielberg and producer George Lucas. The role of the adventurer was originally going to go to Tom Selleck. However, after turning it down to do "Magnum, P.I." (oh how history might have turned out), Harrison Ford was tapped by Spielberg and given the part.
Also staring Karen Allen as the love interest Marion, Paul Freeman as the evil yin to Indy's good yang Belloq, and John Rhys-Davies as the lovable Sallah; this movie took one of history's most relished forgotten treasure, the Ark of the Covenant, and pitted the evil Nazis against Indiana Jones. Not only must Indy battle the forces of darkness, the Nazi army, but he must also uncover clues as to where the Ark is located, venomous snakes which Indiana Jones has a phobia of, and not to mention making sure he isn't spited by the Power of God!
When someone asks you for a definition of an action-adventure movie all you have to do is slip in your copy of "Raiders" and nothing more needs to be said.
Indiana Jones is not only a man's man but I'm sure he's the reason why so many little boys stopped wanting to be firemen when they were little, but instead switched to being an archaeologist. And who could blame them?!
The movie starts out with Indiana avoiding deadly traps and just as deadly natives in the search for a lost treasure. With the use of his trusty side arm and his iconic whip and fedora hat Indy looses the idol to his rival Belloq but escapes with his life. This opening scene has been one of the most iconic and spoofed scenes in movie history. The obtaining of the idol, the sliding under the closing door in the nick of time, and probably one of the most well known scenes, the boulder chasing Indy to the opening.
He is later tapped by the US government to find the Ark before the Nazis do (this being 1936, we are not yet at war with the Nazis). Jones enlists the help of his old teacher's daughter, Marion (played by the very cute Karen Allen). They travel to Cairo and with the help of Indy's friend, Sallah (Rhys-Davies) they set out to find the map to tell them where the Ark is buried.
While in the market place, Indiana and Marion are ambushed by Belloq's Nazi goons. This market place scene is just the very tip of the iceberg for the movie's overall great action sequences. Indy uses his fist and whip to try and buy Marion enough time to escape. A very interesting scene occurs that has some entertainment value apart from its place in the movie itself. A big guy with a huge Arabian sword is doing some fancy sword play. As the guy finishes, Indy just looks at the man and pulls out his gun and fires. The villagers cheer and hold the sword up in victory. What's interesting here is that a lot of the cast and crew, including Ford, had dysentery. In the script, Indiana Jones was suppose to have a big fight sequence with the man with the sword. However, Ford was so weak that he ad libbed the scene and Spielberg and Lucas loved it so much they kept it in. Also the villagers who were used in the scene were real villagers of the shooting location and actually did run off with the big sword.
Moving ahead, Sallah and Indy locate where the Ark is buried and dig up the site. A great number of asps are guarding the Ark (Indy's phobia!). Indy almost makes it out with the Ark only to be discovered by those no good Nazis. Indy and Marion are locked inside the tomb, to become a part of history...YA RIGHT! Indy knocks out a wall and exits up and out of the would be tomb. Indy and Marion take out a plane that was going to fly the Ark to the "Der Fuhrer". Jones fights a huge bald guy that gets cut up by the plane's propeller and Marion unleashes some machine gun action on Nazis and gas canisters.
The Nazis then move the Ark by truck. In any other movie, a truck scene would be the most boring scene in the movie. Not with Indiana Jones on the case! Indy hijacks the truck and takes out a few Nazis only to get shot in the arm, thrown under the truck, re-hijack the truck and throw the guy out the way Indy went...this time the Nazi scum isn't as lucky as Indy was!
Indy gets the Ark put on a ship heading back to America. Does the movie end there? Heck no! Those Nazis are crazy bad guys! The Nazi get the Ark back and put it on a submarine that's heading to an island where the Nazis can open it and make sure the 10 Commandments are in it before they show it to Hitler as his prize. After I knew more about Nazi history, I kind of found it ironic that Nazis would put so much effort into finding a JEWISH artifact. I can understand the Spear Of Destiny and the Grail, since those would inspire more of the Christian people to rally around Hitler. However, what was Hitler's plan with the Ark going to be? Ok, Jews, we have your Ark, now let's go...into the camps! I wonder...what if?...
Indy hops on the submarine and knocks out two Nazis for their uniform (the first one didn't fit). Let me say, that this scene is great. In movies like "Star Wars", you knock out a few lackeys and the uniforms fit perfectly. Not in this movie! This is true movie history right here! There's also a funny scene where Indy, with hat low over his eyes, bumps Belloq on purpose. Here Indy is, surrounded armed bad guys, and just because Belloq is a jerk, Indy has to get a little shove in there. Classic.
So the Nazis get to the island where they go to perform the Jewish ritual of opening up the Ark (just for the record they don't do it correctly at all and who found some Levities to be able to touch the Ark...but I digress). So Indy threatens to blow up the Ark but the archaeologist in him doesn't allow him to destroy one of the most sought after artifacts of antiquity. So Indy and Marion are tied up while the Nazi goons open the Ark.
The Ark is open. Belloq and his men peer in. What do they find? Sand. But, wait! Lights and spirits arise from the Ark. Indy tells Marion to shut her eyes and not look at it. What we get to see that Marion and Indy don't is the Power of God wiping out the Nazi arm and melting the faces off!
Watching the ending today, the ending seems a bit hokey. Not so much the face melting, but all Indy and Marion had to do is shut their eyes. Seems kind of lame. I know the reason behind it but still. Also, take this into account. If Indy would have let the Nazis ship the Ark back on the plane he destroyed. Hitler would have opened it up and WWII never would have happened! Thanks a lot, Dr. Jones!
Indy takes the Ark back to the US. The government ends up putting the Ark is a crate and putting it among a bunch of other crates. What do the other crates hold?
This is the quintessential action-adventure movie. You have a great hero who's job in real life is about wiping away dust for the most part. Not with Indiana Jones! He uses a whip and his fists to find lost treasure. Along the way, he must battle traps, giant boulders, snakes, and Nazis! The action is magnificent. The use of the whip is probably the coolest weapon ever to be on screen, maybe even more so than the lightsaber. The sound effects make this movie come alive. Along with the whip crack you also have the classic and well known Indy punch sounds. I would hate to have one of those land on me since they sound like a chunk of concrete hitting bone. The score is splendid, once again conducted by John Williams. No other movie has been such a big inspiration to kids in real life, in what they want to do when they grow up, than Indiana Jones. He is so cool and smart and tough. This isn't a man's man...he's a man's man's man! "Raiders" is a timeless classic that should be shown to each new generation. The visuals still hold up as well. It really is timeless. So George! By some off chance that you read this and don't want to have little boys who grew up to be ticked off for not being as exciting as Indiana Jones, but still own and know how to use a whip...don't touch this movie!
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Help The Film Geeks!
Point Break Sequal
Bad Leutenant Remake - Why?
Men Who Stare At Goats movie
Jurassic Park 4
Robocop And Red Dawn Remake
Thursday, May 15, 2008
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We are celebrating Episode 15 by turning control over to you!
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Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Bio-pics can be really interesting movies if they are done about interesting people and the story isn't over dramatized or too romanticized. This applies more to today's bio-pics where we want to see a more human side to the characters the movies are about. For example, "PT 109" is a great movie. However, the story came from the somewhat fictionalized story of John F. Kennedy's naval experiences that were printed by his family in the Reader's Digest. Today, "PT 109" would probably show Kennedy not as a wholesome, lone hero but as more of a scared and unsure leader. Either way, a bio-pic should not loose the intention of being the subject about a life or a series of events in a celebrity figure's life.
In 1959, Truman Capote (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is a man out of place for his time. He is openly homosexual and has a very feminine sounding voice. He's also a world regarded author. His previous work, "Breakfast At Tiffany's" has already become a classic cinema and now he starts working on what would become his most famous writing. On November 14, 1959, in Holcomb, Kansas, two men break into a house and kill a family of four. Truman sees the news article for the murders and travels to Holcomb to see if there is a story to be had. Capote becomes very interested in the case and he believes it would make a good book; it's what would later become "In Cold Blood". When the killers are arrested, Capote arranges for him to have access to the prisoners and strikes an affinity with them and one in particular, Perry Smith (Clifton Collins Jr.). Truman helps the men to get a better lawyer but this has unintended consequences for him since a longer period before the two are to be executed means the author has no real ending. Truman Capote must deal with his feelings towards the two men and carrying out what will become his most famous book.
I have two questions. How did anyone like this movie and how did it get nominated for five academy awards and win one?
This movie has no direction or semblance of a coherent storyline. The directing was done by Bennett Miller and Dan Futterman did the screenplay. I don't know if it was the script or the directing but this was one of the most shotty movies I have ever seen. This movie loves to end scenes for no reason, it has scenes that last for about five seconds before it moves on, and it has elements that I couldn't figure out. I'll give an example of each respectively. Capote is talking to Perry Smith for the first time and after saying "They put you in the womans cell" and padding out the scene for a few minutes, it just ends. There's a scene where Capote goes to Spain before he can get Smith to talk about the murder that just shows up for a fade in and a fade out and then a year passes. Lastly, there's a scene where Truman is making a phone call from a phone booth and a man is starring at him. I thought maybe the man was following him for helping the two murderers but nothing is ever said on that subject or anything else. This movie has OCD; it does or the editor just cut stuff out randomly. The movie cannot stay on any one scene and it makes for a discombobulated movie. I almost felt seasick watching it.
How did Philip Seymour Hoffman win best actor for this role? It is nice to not hear him talk like he's been up for three weeks straight (like he's talking a bit like Henry Kissinger) but I've seen kumquats emote more than he did in the movie. This movie didn't take a risk and show Capote's homosexuality either. On top of that, this movie failed at showing either he cared for the two murderers or he was only using them. What's worse is that last half of the movie is watching him yo-yo between these two emotional states and see his almost relief that the two men he claimed to care for are finally going to get killed so he has a good ending to him novel. Hoffman might have been judged more on his portrayal of how Capote acted, but if that's true, this movie wasn't even worth making. David Strathairn deserved the Oscar for "Good Night, And Good Luck" over him.
It must have been a slow Oscar season for 2006 because I don't see how Catherine Keener got nominated for supporting actress. In fact, no one, other than Clifton Collins Jr. seemed to have an important role in this movie. In fact, I think Collins should have gotten the nomination over Hoffman, because the only good scene in this movie is when he's describing how the murders took place. Other than him, no one else stands out in the least.
I do have to admit that it's interesting to note that the real Truman Capote was ahead of his time in how he wrote "In Cold Blood". In fact, I'd go so far as to say he helped to set up Hunter S. Thompson's typical style label. Truman Capote seems to have been the first Gonzo journalist with this book. He becomes part of the story and gets involved with a main element of it. He also tends to blend both fiction and fact, or as he calls it, a true crime novel.
Grade - F
Nominated for an Oscar for best motion picture, best performance by an actress in a supporting role, and best writing for an adapted screenplay, and winner of best actor? Really? This movie should have been laughed off the screen. The cinematography is atrocious. The director seems to think that if he plays out a scene or stays in one place that the audience will become bored. The acting is nothing to compliment anyone on, other than maybe Collins. Also scenes not easily figured out as to their importance are thrown in and never mentioned again. I've never read the book, knew anything about Truman Capote, or anything about the case. As a result of this movie, I never will. This movie should not have been nominated or received any awards. I remember why I try to forget the movies that came out in 2006. Optimus Prime should have won best actor over this movie.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
If you haven't yet, please read this first - The Next DVD Review
I have to admit, right off the bat, I was pretty skeptical of this movie. My first thoughts were that this movie was going to be another “X-TREME!” movie and was only made to capitalize off the release of the Wachowski brothers’ 2008 “Speed Racer” movie. By “X-TREME!”, I am referring to those shows that have to have "X-TREME!" thrown in the title and lots of pointless computer graphics with little to no storyline. The box cover to the
I first have to tell you a little of where I am coming from when I watch this movie. While I have seen a majority of the older “Speed Racer” cartoons, I am not a big fan. I like them enough and can appreciate them for being one of the earliest Japanese anime influences in the
The first thing to know, right off the bat, is that this series is entirely Speed Racer canon. So it builds onto the original story with this series. A young orphan, Speed (voiced by Kurt Csolak) is starting his first year at an elite racing academy. His goal is to become the best driver since Speed Racer! Yes, just like his namesake. The only problem he has is that pretty much everyone else at the racing academy has the same goal. To make matters worse, the best driver at the school is none other than Speed Racer’s son, X (voiced by Robbie Sublett).
Speed seems out of place. He is coming in as a new student with no friends, with no team, and even no car. That means some of the bad kids of the school are quick to sniff out this fresh meat and make him uneasy right off the bat.
Their rude and cruel behavior isn’t going to stop Speed and get him down. In fact, he’s actually pretty cordial to them, which is refreshing to have in a character for once. Speed even sticks up for himself later in the movie which is a good change of pace from the standard “just take it and walk away” message we usually get. Yet, X and his friends can’t lay down their pride or contempt for Speed. Anyway, if they did, who would be the antagonist peer group? Speed is quick (ha ha get it?) to make his own friends. His roommate, Conor (voiced by Carter Jackson), is a Speed Racer fanatic.
Yes, he is a Speed Racer geek. This movie is playing right into my soft spots! Conor is not a racer but a genius mechanic who can build just about anything, including a robot monkey, Chim Chim. Speed also befriends Lucy (voiced by Sahra Mellesse).
She’s a workaholic, determined, type one personality woman. She also decides to head Speed’s pit crew and work with him to help him become the best driver since Speed Racer.
Not only does Speed have to deal with tough classes, bullies, finding a car, winning races, and trying to be the best racer since Speed Racer; but he must also fight off Zile Zazic (voiced by David Skigen).
Zile Zazic is a very wealthy businessman with controlling interests in the oil industry. He is also a big financier of the racing school. Zazic is leery of Speed and his natural born talent to race. So he decides to spy on Speed and the happenings in the racing school.
To encourage Speed in his career at the racing school is Headmaster Spritle.
If that name sounds familiar to then you must be a viewer of the classic “Speed Racer”. In the original, this was Spritle:
To make this an even better geek out moment, the person who does the voice for the Headmaster is none other than Peter Fernandez. That’s right. The guy who did the original voice of Speed Racer and Racer X in the original series is in the new series.
As a geek, I am always happy to see people from an original series come back into a new series.
It is later revealed, although it really wasn’t a secret, that Speed is…dunt dunt dunnnnn…Speed Racer’s son! The fun thing is, the movie doesn’t even really try to hide the fact. Conor even makes a joke about it, before it’s revealed, that Speed has a lot in common with Speed Racer. This, of course, means that X and Speed are brothers!
Speed has a lot to live up to and also to fight against. He gets some help from a special key that Speed Racer left him before he put Speed up for adoption. The key leads Speed, Conor, and Lucy to a junkyard full of old parts…parts…for the Mach 5!
Later, Conor rebuilds the Mach 5 with the help of a new engine Speed Racer designed that would work without gas. Therefore, Speed now gets to race in his very own Mach 6!
To start things off I want to talk about the opening credits. As I stated above, I thought this movie was going to be an epileptic inducing movie and I figured the first time I’d see this is in the opening credits. I was shocked that I did not flop to the floor with seizures. The opening credit sequence had a straightforward approach that had a little class to it. Also, the original song is back but updated with a punk version. It was kind of a relief not to hear the now cheesy 1960’s theme music. Also, this punk version doesn’t make me want to shove an ice pick in my eardrums like a lot of punk cover songs do.
The other big thing that I was worried about was the use or over use of computer generated images. I really didn’t want to see a “Reboot” version of “Speed Racer”. Once again, my fears were abated. I didn’t see disproportionate polygons for characters and very unrealistic racing sequences.
That is not to say there weren’t some flaws. The character models at the beginning of the movie are stiff and remind me a bit of the marionettes and how they moved from “Team
However, this look changes later in the movie somehow. The characters look different and look more like they have a classic animation style. They are done sharper and more fluid in their movements. I like the look to all the main characters save one. That’s Speed himself. For some reason his eyes are freaky looking and misshapen. I don’t know why.
X doesn’t have these grey-alien-like eyes, nor do any of the other characters in the movie. It’s really a minimal gripe overall, but I don’t understand why you’d want to make your main character so different in appearance.
The car models look really great.
They have a realistic look to them and look pretty cool. The best ones are the shark cars.
What can I say? I’m a guy and a kid at heart! They’re metal, have teeth, and have weaponry!
The biggest problem I have with this movie is its use of the virtual track. Everything today must be virtual and “futuristic”. The virtual track is way too overused and takes a lot of the drama away for me. The movie makes a point of clearly stating that even though everything’s virtual, you can still be injured. However, I was always told that what happens in video games is fake and I should never do anything I see in those games in real life. That’s how I feel about the racing on the virtual track. Sure, the terrain and obstacles can be different, but you lose all sense of realism with it. The very first time the virtual track is employed, I felt like I was watching “Tron” and this time…that wasn’t a good thing.
The worst visual mistake I saw was with the very first race. Speed is driving a beater that starts smoking right before he gets to the finish line and it stops, engulfed in smoke. The smoke looks atrocious. The picture below shows it looking just kind of bad. However, in the movie it looks a whole lot worse.
There are some really great camera shots that show a nod to the original series. They are not overused so as to turn you off, but just enough are show to make fans of the old show draw connections between the new and the old series. There is also some really great memorabilia that Conor has in regards to the old show and the old Speed Racer. Like I said, I have an affinity for him and his geekyness.
Classic Peddle Shot
Speed Jumping Into The Mach 5 Just Like Speed Racer
Other than Speed’s weird eyes, I really ended up liking his character. He would stand up for himself when pushed too far and he didn’t constantly whine when the going got tough or he didn’t get his way. He’s also given some really great lines such as, “Just don’t spy on me with a robot monkey again…now that’s something I never though I’d say.” Also, when he’s racing on the ice tundra he gets the classic line of, “Time to put you on ice! Was that too corny?” I love characters that poke fun at their own cheesy lines. Of course, I love cheesy lines so it’s a win-win for me.
Conor is not as annoying as he seemed he was going to be. He is a really funny person and he definitely gets some of the better comedic lines. It’s also good to see him be able to carry himself with his talent and not leech off Speed’s like so many sidekick characters tend to do. He can literally build anything and he does a good job at it. It’s refreshing to see a secondary character that is funny and not a screw up.
Lucy is a great character. She is a black woman in a predominately white, male dominated world. She can work on the cars and be a leader. Again, it’s rare to see a secondary character who can take over the leadership role instead of letting Speed lead the group. Lucy makes a great role model for little girls who might want to work in a field that isn’t considered “female work”.
X, Speed Racer’s other son, is a moronic bully. His thinking is that Speed Racer is his father and so his pride tells him that he will already be the greatest racer since his father. Not until later, when he finds out Speed is his brother, does his character change from being a bully to being a great rival for Speed. X enters a race whose prize is unlimited car parts. Since X has sponsors and doesn’t need the parts we see two really great things come out of him. First of all, he says that he’ll race because he likes to win. He says it with enough bad guy-like gull that you know he’d do almost anything to win. Also, he delivers the best written line in the movie. He tells his cronies that when he wins he’ll give the parts to Speed so he can build the Mach 6. Why? “I’d give him my parts because then each time he goes behind the wheel he’d remember he’s there before of me.” Now THAT is a great rival quote!
Headmaster Spritle seems kind of like a pushover character as of right now. He knows when to stop trouble before it gets too out of control. However, he seems to have quite a few secrets he’s keeping. Once again, it’s great to see Peter Fernandez doing the voice of one of the original characters.
Zile Zazic is one character that I didn’t really get a good grip on. I know he’s evil because he wants to sabotage Speed and he use to be enemies with Speed Racer. However, he’s not really that menacing and the movie doesn’t really give a reason why he’s got it out for Speed so much. He also has some of the most awful lines in the film. From “Oh, he won’t see my strangeness coming.” to, “That’s how we put the baby to bed.”, I don’t know how these lines even work! They were good for a laugh but they made my head hurt afterwards.
Chim Chim…ah, Chim Chim. I wanted so badly to talk about how much I hated the robot monkey. Why does he have to be a robot? He doesn’t even wear a jumpsuit and his beeping is annoying. Why can’t he have a mechanical chirp to him at least?
Yet, he grew on me through the movie! The monkey has some really funny scenes, especially with a bird, and he made me laugh quite a few times. I do have to admit to having an affinity for monkeys, but I usually can’t stand things being turned into robots for no reason. Robo-Chim Chim worked for me.
Other Items Of Interest
The use of the word “noob” in this film is annoying. It was just thrown in so as to relate the young viewers to the characters. It drove me nuts each time it was said and I felt saddened that this movie has ruined the word for me from now on.
The Mach 6 looks really great, but why couldn’t we have gone with a better color than grey?
There are two really great math related gags in the film. The first is when Speed is faced with a difficult racing procedure; he instinctively knows the physics in order to pull off the trick. We, the audience, get to see him work it out and as a math geek, I really got a kick out of it. It's real math!
The second actually comes from Chim Chim. Speed is talking about how much better X is and he has so much to learn from the school. Chim Chim helps out everyone by clarifying the mathematical configuration for what Speed just said.
There is a really funny Star Wars reference. I won’t ruin it, but Chim Chim and Conor had me laughing really hard.
The making of was really good to watch. It’s nice to see the new show creators giving props to the older show. They recognize what people think and like about the show and didn’t try to change it too radically from what’s loved about it. They also talk about paying homage with the new series to the older one. They talk about bringing some of the older elements into the new and that it’s actually a continuation of the old series without fully relying on it. We also get to see Peter Fernandez in here. He talks about the old series a little bit and talks about how he was tapped to do this one.
The game is pretty simple and involves pushing arrow on the remote at the right time. It’s pretty simple and quick and would only be interesting to really young viewers.
The gallery of characters gives some nice background information on all the main characters in the movie. You do learn quite a bit more about the characters’ history and motives that you didn’t know from watching the movie. Of course, if you don’t like to read then this may not be for you.
I am no fan of any car racing sport. However, for a racing cartoon, this was actually pretty entertaining. The pacing was good and it didn’t drag. I didn’t ask myself once during the whole 66 minutes, “When will this be over?!” The characters were strong and the comedy wasn’t completely cheesy and I laughed quite a bit. I don’t think I’d watch the show on Nickelodeon, but if I had kids I think I could get hooked on it with them. Speed is a good role model for sticking up for yourself but at the same time turning the other cheek when you need to. Conor shows a kid what hard work can accomplish but you don’t need to stop having fun to do a great job. Lucy shows, most of all, girls that they can do anything they want to in life if they really want to. On top of all that, the geek in me loves the continuation of the canon and the recognition of the older series instead of just throwing it under the bus and pretending it never existed.
It was not all good though. The animation was a bit ugly on both characters and environments and the overuse of the virtual track was tedious. Some of the characters weren’t that well fleshed out to get a real sense for them and some of the script lines were just awful.
Since this movie is really the first three episodes of the TV show I think the show has a lot of potential. I’d be interesting to see what else happens at the racing academy and what other lessons Speed, Conor, Lucy, and Chim Chim could teach kids. I would really love to see the love/hate relationship between Speed and X flourish and be teased out more. If you have kids, this could become a classic for them like the original Speed Racer was for you.
Grade - B
Before I get to the review there are just a few things I want to cover since this is my first time reviewing a movie for a group in particular, rather than writing for just my own purposes.
First of all, this review will be different than what you are use to reading. It will be more in-depth, have more pictures, and cover the entire DVD rather than just the movie itself. Are we giving this movie special treatment? Yes we are. We were culled from many and asked to give our honest opinion on the film. We were also sent a copy of the DVD free of charge without so much as a written agreement to say anything whatsoever. If any other company, group, individual, or anyone at all would have done this same thing, we would feel just as honored to do a write up on the movie whether we liked it or not.
So if you are anyone who wants to promote a movie, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org . You can be independent or Harvey Weinstein himself and you will get the special treatment from us like you will read shortly. That also includes any other movie we have already done a review for. We'd also like to set up promotions for our Film Geeks podcast that we do weekly at the following link - http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/14391 . This would be a great benefit for you to get your movie or promotional material out to movie fans and it would work beneficially for us as well. Again, you can contact us at the email provided above.
Second of all, in wanting to be as crystal clear that I can be I want to make one thing certain to all. Just because we are treating people who give us free DVD special treatment in the way we review movies we are going to be just as fair with them as we are with all other movies. If we don't like a movie, you will hear about it. If we loved it, you will hear about it. If we thought it was so-so, you will hear about it. You will hear what the Film Geeks think no matter what, just in greater detail. However, we will do it without bias or bribery. What you will read will be our honest opinion of the movies we cover, just as you always have been. We thank the people who allow us to write a review of their movies, but we will remain true to our journalistic, and geekic, principles that we hold. Good, bad, or ugly, you will know what we truly think about these movies.
So enjoy the following and keep watching the skies!
- Patrick Studabaker
Monday, May 12, 2008
With many Christian documentaries out there most tend to be a miss rather than hits. I'm talking not only about providing correct material but also presenting it in an entertaining manner so that you aren't bored to tears. Many documentaries are really great in the way of info, but tend to have a guy sitting behind a desk and reading from his Bible. While that can be the proper format at times (usually with difficult subjects), not all call for that format.
Edmund Purdom narrates and briefly stars in this documentary about...well the title says it all, the seven signs that will mark Jesus Christ's Second Coming. To be clear, this will be the Coming that will have Christ ruling the entire Earth and not the pre-tribulation Rapture Second Coming. This is about what will happen before the Final Coming.
The seven signs listed in the movie are the following:
1) A return of to the Holy Land (Israel) by the Jewish people (which started in May of 1948).
2) The reunification of Western Europe into one superpower.
3) Coming of the Antichrist.
4) A one world religion
5) The building of the Third Temple in Jerusalem.
6) The invasion of Israel by Gog and Magog and God stopping the invasion
7) The battle of Armageddon.
Grade - B-
Overall this isn't a bad little movie. At just under an hour, it doesn't feel like it drags as some other Christian documentaries do. Purdom does a good job of narrating, however I didn't really see a need for the movie to show him. The biggest pit this movie falls into is also its greatest strength. With each sign the movie provides background detail that leads up to the point when the prophecy was made and even shows some historical events that show these signs happening on a smaller scale. The downfall with this is that the movie, at times, spends too much time going off on a tangent. When covering signs 3 and 4, the movie stays too long on the history of Hitler and it tries to draw connections that don't really matter. Another good thing this movie has is showing movie clips to help illustrate what has, is, and will happen. The movie has a really good balance between dialog and visuals and there aren't too many cheesy dramatizations. There are two other big pitfalls in this movie that I have to take issue with. The first is that there is no mention of the Rapture being one of the signs. Whether you believe in Pretribulation, midtribulation, or posttribulation, the Rapture will come before Christ's Return. I doubt the maker of the movie, Rolf Forsberg, doesn't believe in the Rapture. So why no mention of it? The other really big draw back to the movie is that very few Biblical passages are giving. More time is spent on drawing parallels or describing what the future might look like. I would have liked to see more Biblical passages used. Overall though, it was a nice and simple movie that describes seven of the big signs of Christ's Return. The only question remains is, "Are you ready?"
I was kind of disappointed with the live action version of "Hellboy". I didn't think the movie did enough to flush out the reasons why the characters fought for what they did and the story was a bit lacking. However, the cast was perfect. Ron Perlman as Hellboy was the only choice for the role. He has the talent and the personality to pull of the perfect Hellboy, which he did. Selma Blair also is perfect as Liz Sherman and Doug Jones plays Abe Sapien like no one else could or should. So while I didn't like the plot of the movie so much, I loved the roles. Ya, I know, I'm a bit messed up. So when I see that the magnificent three reprise their roles in a few Hellboy animated movies, I didn't dread checking them out.
In "Hellboy Animated - Sword Of Storms" we once again join the ranks of the BPRD (The Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense) which Hellboy, Liz, and Abe are members of. This time they must fight the mess created by a Japanese professor who is studying a folklore myth of ancient Japan. The myth turns out not to be a myth at all when the demonic minions of two mega-demons, Thunder and Lightning, are released. The minions mission, like in all these movies, is to release their masters so that they may reign on Earth. Hellboy is transported to another dimension where he must protect a sword, that if broken, will release the demons on Earth. Abe and Liz must stop a dragon from waking and helping Thunder and Lightning wipe mankind from the face of the Earth. Two other BPRD agents, Kate Corrigan (Peri Gilpin) and Russell Thorne, must track down the professor who is possessed and stop him from releasing any more demonic minions to get Hellboy to break the sword.
Grade - B-
I actually liked this movie more than the live action movie. This probably stems from the fact that with animation, it is easier to bring out the comic feel to the story than a live action version. The animation in this is very solid and amazing. Some of the scenes, however, have very poor lighting and take away from a lot of its beauty. Hellboy tends to look more boxy in scenes, but that is probably more like the comic book design than the live action (whose Hellboy costume I loved). Overall though, Tad Stones and Phil Weinstein do some amazing animation work.
The story is decent enough. It makes some good use of Japanese culture and history and the story could have almost come right out of a real life Japanese tale. I do have to gripe that the "dragon" in this movie looked more like a tentacle with a venus flytrap for a head. The story is a little weak in places, more so in the different dimension that Hellboy gets sent to. This story, though, was better written than the movie. However, I wasn't looking for background stories or motivation in this one as much as I wanted in the live action movie.
What made this movie for me, though, was the perfectly written humor. Each character is unique in their style and carried out perfectly in this animated flick. Hellboy has a great lackadaisical sense of humor since little can hurt him. There's one scene where he steals Thunder's hammer and misses hitting Thunder with it. Thunder is looking back to his hammer to Hellboy to see if he should get his weapon or attack Hellboy. Hellboy then dryly replied, "Just go get it." It's a perfect match from the comics. The same applies to Selma Blair's portrayal of Liz. Her humor is dry and adds a lot of laugh out loud moments in the film. Abe's sarcastic and straight to the point humor makes for some good laughs as well.
The solid animation, the good use of actors and humor styles, and a decent storyline made this movie worth the watch.