Thursday, May 29, 2014

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009) - What is wrong with action scenes

SPOILER WARNING!!! This post spoils movie G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009).

I didn't plan this post. I just felt I had to write this. Previous post was long enough without going into detail, what was wrong in action scenes. Action scenes were so full of stupidity, they deserve their own post. I will call McCullen's gang Cobra, because it is easier. Gang became Cobra, when Rex took over at the end, but they were like Cobra from get go. I don't go through every action scene, only major ones.

First action scene. Cobra solders don't take cover. They just walk against enemy fire. They may have heavy armor, but Baroness didn't have. She had leather outfit and no helmet. She walked into enemy fire with other solders. She must have known, she was on movie, where good guys don't shoot women even by accident. Special forces couldn't do anything against Cobra and every shot by Cobra did huge damage to special forces. Duke was member of special forces at this point. He was only one, who could hurt Cobra solders until G.I. Joe showed up. They could kill Cobra solders, but Cobra solders couldn't hit G.I. Joe. This was similar to cartoons, but as live action it looked stupid.

Second action scene. Cobra attacks to G.I. Joe base. They have Baroness, Storm Shadow, Zartan and few Cobra solders. Zartan is guy, who has trained for years to replace U.S. President. Now he is sent on suicide mission to enemy base. All he does there is to dress as G.I. Joe solder. Baroness and Storm Shadow can move around base in their own clothes and anyone could have dressed as G.I. Joe solder. So there was no point of putting Zartan on this mission. Only reason him being there, was to get shot reminding of director's earlier movie The Mummy. Cobra kills all G.I. Joe solders until they get to Hawk. They left him alive, able to trigger alarm. In following fight Scarlett has invisibility clothes. She attacks Baroness without turning them on. She puts invisibility on, when Baroness strangles her. By that time Baroness knows, who she is fighting against and can throw something sticky on Scarlett. Invisibility clothes were quite useless in this situation, because Scarlett didn't use then like she should have used them.

Third action scene. G.I. Joe chases Baroness and Storm Shadow in Paris. This is one of the most annoying chase scenes ever. It is so full of cgi, it is not exciting any more. Snake Eye jumps on Cobra's car. Cobra's car throws other cars onto Snake Eyes with some kind front spoiler. Snake Eyes jump over cars and manages to stay on roof of the car. Duke and Ripcord chase car in mechanical armors, which give them extra speed. They practically crash into everything. They shoot Cobra car with machine guns, when Snake Eyes is on roof. When Snake Eyes is on bottom of car they shoot with missiles. They knew, they were in movie, where there is no friendly fire. Cobra car shoots missiles and uses some kind of future weapon, that seems to hit something every time. Add Scarlett to this mess with motorbike. There is little point of her being there. Snake Eyes, Duke and Ripcord are already chasing car and they are better equipped. Scarlett is there to be saved by Ripcord.

After Baroness and Storm Shadow escapes, Breaker starts to read dead Cobra agent. When Cobra agent start to self destruct, Breaker puts on show how he failed. When Cobra agent is disintegrated, he tells he put that show for camera, that was on Cobra agents clothes. He does that in front of that said camera. Camera was on Cobra agent's clothes, so self-destruction of Cobra agent shouldn't have stopped the transmission. Breaker just told what he did to that camera too.

Final battle. Cobra's base has floor that triggers lasers, if it is pressured over size of a coin. That kind of system requires sophisticated sensors. It would have been easier to make floor trigger lasers, when weight was put on floor. That would have been Snake Eyes proof. All Snake Eyes acrobatics were for nothing, because destroying controls on another wall shut down the floor. They could have done that without touching the floor and it would have been quicker.

Ripcord shoots last warhead moments before it hits White House. He catched all nanomites on his plane. This time they attacked his plane and only his plane. On Paris cars near Eiffel tower got their share of nanomites. This time it was different. And once again ice sinks into sea. Snake Eyes, Breaker and Scarlett took elevator to top of the ice. But where they ended up, when ice sunk and Cobra base at the other end of elevator was destroyed. Did they got trapped inside elevator shaft. Movie doesn't explain how they survived. We know they survived, because we see them alive later. In real world they would have made to top of the ice since ice doesn't sink into ocean. But in this movie it did. So how Snake Eyes, Breaker and Scarlett survived? Did some of the ice work on real world rules and some worked on this movie's rules?


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Monday, May 26, 2014

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009)

SPOILER WARNING!!! This post spoils movie G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009).

There are movies, I know, I don't like as soon as I hear about them. This is one of them. Movie is based on toys, cartoons and comics. I am most familiar with the comics. They were released as Action Force in Finland. I am not sure, if toys had same name. Probably they were. Cartoons I remember watching had name G.I. Joe. Movie had original title in Finland. Only characters I remember from comics and cartoons were Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow. Later I have seen few cosplay versions of Baroness. But I have no memory, what she was in source material.

I expected this to be stupid, but not this stupid. I am going to spoil most of the twists, because they are stupidest things in this movie. Story between Snake Eyes ans Storm Shadow is from source material. That is least the stupid thing in this story.  When they add anything of their own, it will get really stupid.

Main character is Duke and his comical sidekick is Ripcord, played by Marlon Wayans. Duke proposes his girlfriend Ana before going to mission with Ripcord and Ana's brother Rex. Ana says yes on one condition. He has to bring her brother back from mission. During mission Duke calls strike on house and sends Rex to house. He does these things in this order. First call strike and then send Rex to house. This script passed many eyes and it had that thing in it. Duke give Rex five minutes, but house is bombarded almost as soon as Rex goes in. What have they achieved, if bombardment happened when scheduled? Five minutes is short time and whole thing put Rex unnecessary danger.

House had time bending properties. Rex found high-tech lab there. He downloaded everything to memory stick and had short conversation with scientist, he found there. This took more time than, what happened outside. Scientist locked vault and they barely survived the bombardment. Bombardment destroyer Rex's face and he became evil scientist. It felt more like he became evil scientist during conversation with scientist. Rex goes underground. Duke and Ana think, he died in bombardment. Duke can't face Ana after this. Ana breaks down. Rex inject her with nanobots, which make her Baroness, mindless servant of his boss McCullen.

McCullen has plans for world domination. He is a weapons dealer, who gets funding from NATO. He wants his latest weapon to himself. He wants to steal it from NATO. No point making more weapons in his plant. He should have knowhow and equipment. For some reason four warheads are only ones ever made. When he gets warheads, he launches them to make people fear him. After he has used warheads, why should people fear him? NATO should know, he has used every warhead he has and they should know, where they were launched. Warheads contained unstoppable nanobots. Only specific signal stops them. McCullen's plan assumes NATO doesn't know how to launch that signal. It is stupid to create doomsday weapon with only one cancelling signal device and keep cancelling signal devices at same place, where doomsday weapons are. No backups for cancelling.

When McCullen got warheads back, he couldn't arm them without help from civilian scientist. He didn't have means to arm weapons he made, but he could build underwater base under arctic. With all his technology, arming his own weapons shouldn't been a problem.

After lot of cgi action, Baroness and Storm Shadow take Duke to McCullen's base. There McCullen beats Duke. When Baroness sees this, she starts to fight against her nanobots and ultimately wins. She gets back to her normal self. Rex threatens to kill her, if Duke doesn't give up. Rex's character doesn't make any sense. He was one of the good guys until he stepped into high-tech lab. After that he started to work for McCullen, who owned the high-tech lab. I don't know, why that lab was on war zone, but that is another problem.  Then he makes her sister mindless servant of McCullen. He even threatens to kill her. In the end he injects something to McCullen, which makes McCullen his servant. After that he becomes Cobra Commander, which is main villain of G.I. Joe. I assumed McCullen would become Cobra Commander. It made very little sense, when Rex became Cobra Commander. There was no real character development. There were no real reasons why he changed.

There were no character development for any other character either. Marlon Wayans' character was his generic character we have seen in other movies. He tries to hit on Scarlett, who first resists, but then gives up. Duke is generic whole time. Almost nothing happens to him, even when story gave change for that. Baroness was just brainwashed. Movie didn't use her mystery any way. She just breaks her brainwashing. Before that there was one scene hinting Baroness may still care about Duke. Nobody else has anything. McCullen is so generic, his only character trait is his accent.

I don't get into everything stupid in action scenes. One thing I have to mention. In last battle ice sinks into ocean. Ice sinks into ocean. Rex explodes ice above underwater base and ice start to sink into ocean. Everything else is as unrealistic. I hate cgi action. This has almost nothing but cgi action. Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow have interesting action scenes as kids and as adults. Those were refreshing in middle of all stupidity and cgi.

Movie is kind of what you expect from movie based on action figure toys.  Just stupider. There was attempt to make characters deeper, but it failed miserably. They should have dropped all attempts to make characters deeper or given more time them. Action scenes were too stupid and too unrealistic. Whole movie is just a mess.


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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Arena (2011)

SPOILER WARNING!!! This post spoils movie Arena (2011).

Arena is straight-to-dvd movie. I expected it to be Rollerball remake done right. Premise sounded like that. I was wrong. It could have easily made to be that. In original Rollerball game was so interesting, stuntmen played it during breaks and people wanted to license it and play it for real. Makers of remake didn't want that to happen to remake. So they made game confusing and stupid. That made the movie confusing and stupid. It should have been against sport violence in media, but it missed the point, because game was more of a circus than game.

In this movie, there is internet gladiator games, where kidnapped people fight to death. If both survive, audience can vote, if loser lives or dies.  Audience is not sure, if this is real or make-believe like wrestling. Fights are disgustingly violent and losers are often decapitated. Audience sees how fighters are not there by choice, when they resist executions. I expected this to turn so violent, that audience turns off by it. It turned really violent, but audience got more exited. There was no message, this was just exploitation with blood and violence. You start to feel bad for main character, who is really hurt after every fight and turns more violent animal during the movie. But that doesn't lead into anything. You just watch him being hurt.

Movie's conscience is Milla, woman, who kidnapped main character David Lord. She start to feel bad, when he sees what happens to David. David resisted at first, but then he had to give in and become violent animal. Milla falls in love with David and start to help him. David promises to fight ten fights, if last fight is against the Executioner.  Boss of the Arena agrees, because he doesn't think David will survive past five fights. This start series of montages, where David has violent fights, hurt David is patched back together after fight and Milla start to question what she does.

Then movie gets to tenth fight. Until that point David has been guy, whose pregnant girlfriend gets killed in traffic accident. It looked like other cars deliberately crashed the car. But it is not get back to. After that David became suicidal and he was kidnapped. During fight David gets flashback, where we see, that car crash was hit where hit men tried to kill him. He won following gunfight. Then we learn David is actually undercover agent, that got exposed. After girlfriend was killed, he took suicide mission to infiltrate to these gladiator games.

David was drugged during the fight. It could have been so obvious, their hero was drugged and lost violently fight, that audience would have become angry or lost interest. But David won brutal fight and audience was excited.  Audience never learned anything during the movie. They were happy, they got their fix of violence.

After the fight David goes after the boss. Good guys are attacking the Arena at same time. David almost kills the boss, but good guys wake him up from the trance. Then he realizes, he killed all those fighter. His boss tells they were already dead and he saved other people from dying. When he starts to feel remorse, he is stopped right away. So David doesn't learn anything. Only one who learns anything during the movie is Milla. We don't know what happens to her. She is arrested, but we don't know will they be easier on her, because she helped David and exposed the Arena to good guys.

I was really disappointed how they handled things from last fight. That took the message of the movie away. This movie probably never meant to have message. Story was just excuse to show skin and blood. Violence was done so real and David was so hurt after fights, that it felt movie had anti-violence message. Movie was really brutal, but I liked it, until I realized, it doesn't have same message Rollerball remake tried to have. After that it felt disappointment with potential to be better movie. Movie had potential to be new Running man, but it wasted it.


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Monday, May 19, 2014

Oblivion (2013)

SPOILER WARNING!!! This post spoils movie Oblivion (2013).

Oblivion is movie I should like, but I don't like it. It tries to be intelligent science fiction, but fails, when little things doesn't make  sense. In many ways this reminds me of Moon (2009). And fewer ways some other better movies. First, let compare this to Moon. In Moon, there was one maintenance guy and his intelligent robot looking after him and the base. In this movie, Tom Cruise is maintenance guy, who has female colleague looking after him in their base. In Moon that made sense, because there weren't any real danger for the guy. In this movie, Scavengers try to kill him, when he is there on ground. He has security drones, who might come to help him, but security drones only come there to kill everything they see and then leave. If anyone waited long enough to security drones to leave, Tom Cruise would be easy target. What makes this even stupider, Tom Cruise does things way that puts him on harm's way instead of doing them more secure way. He should have one security drone looking for him all the time. This stupidity is annoying.

Intelligent robot and female colleague have similar roles in both movies. Female colleague was hotter, but they did exactly the same role. There is reason, why they were only team of two. But we don't know that at beginning of the movie. When we learn the reason, many things make even less sense. Why even have the team of two, to fix robots? If they needed humans to fix machines, why not put them together to fix robots? One was sitting in base while other was in danger fixing robots. Why security drones didn't follow Cruise, when he was on ground? They were sent to him, when he was in danger, but that always took some time. This movie just copied Moon and never gave second thought what their additions to story meant.

Earth should be dry wasteland. There is space station TET orbiting Earth. TET monitors earth all the time. But there is forest valley, that TET doesn't know and nobody sees Tom Cruise, when he goes there. Tom Cruise seems to visit there constantly, but his colleague doesn't see anything alarming, when constantly goes under the radar for long times. This is not total rip-off of Moon. Premise is like premise of Moon. After story starts to open movie start to add own things or rip-offs of another movies. Director Joseph Kosinski says this is homage to 70's science fiction movies. That sounds strange, because I see this movie ripping off small film from 2009 and blockbuster from year 1996. It probably does that to other movies too, but I can't point which ones.

I don't want to spoil this totally. Someone might find this interesting and twist of the movie is interesting even when it is partly rip-off and partly original. I just want to say, I hate the end. It cancels emotional moments from earlier parts and opens questions, which can't stand further analyses. Someone has said, they needed that kind of ending even when it eats impact of the movie.

Movie needed couple rewrites. Now we see too clearly, where inspiration came from. Original ideas were good. Rip-offs weren't though enough. What made sense in original movies, didn't make sense here, where world was different. It is like movies I like, but misses too many points.


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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Iron Man 3 (2013)

SPOILER WARNING!!! This post spoils movie Iron Man 3 (2013).

I stopped watching superhero movies after first Iron man movie. It wasn't that bad. I just felt I have had enough of these. I continued watching after Elektra. But after Iron man I had enough. I watched Incredible Hulk, which I liked, but Iron man was turning point. I haven't seen second Iron man and this have waited for some time at my streaming services. After two good Thor movies, I had to check this too. Next week won't be superhero movies. These three will do for now.

This felt more like movies I ranted about last week. You have schedule and you make movies to fill schedule. This movie had to be made even though there was nothing to be told. They put together few cool action scenes and let Robert Downey Jr do his magic. That was almost everything movie had. There were few clever things, but it was basically cgi action and Robert Downey Jr. Twist was something I didn't see coming. It is good to watch these movies unspoiled. I spoiled myself with The Amazing Spider-man 2, because I tried to make myself to go to watch it. For other movies I try to stay as unspoiled as possible.

There were good action scenes and bad actions scenes. Good action scenes were ones, where Tony didn't have suit or suit didn't work. When suit worked action scenes were bad. It was good choice to keep Tony's suit broken almost the whole movie. When he had suit on, there was not real threat to him. Final battle should have been epic, but it was shot badly and nothing killed bad guy, until he was finally killed. We know he was killed, because he didn't come back. I just waited it to be over.

Main villain was just not interesting. He was generic bad guy like in second Thor film. Is Marvel running out of interesting villains? Second Thor worked because chemistry between Thor and Loki. In this it is just Robert Downey Jr and people around him are there to support his comedy. Don Cheadle almost had few moments, but it was mainly Robert Downey Jr. There were other actors, who could have done much more, if given change. Rebecca Hall had interesting character, but she wasn't given enough time. Gwyneth Paltrow was totally wasted in this movie. She didn't have almost anything. Movie had three character, who had chemistry with Robert Downey Jr and didn't use any of them. Ben Kingsley could have had bigger role. His character was interesting and I wanted to see him more. We only got generic villains and Robert Downey Jr.

Movie's problem is, they had to release it at certain point and they really didn't know what they had. So they did what they knew have worked earlier. Even end credit scene shows, they had no good ideas, but movie had to be made. End credits scene doesn't have any reveals of future films like Marvel Studio's movies usually have. It is just two actors improvising old joke. End credit scene had to be done and because they didn't have anything to tell, they improved something.

I am not Iron Man fan, who knows all characters from comics. So I won't rant about that one thing. I actually liked it. To me this was entertaining, but forgettable movie. It showed, how talented people can make entertaining movie, even when they don't have anything to say.


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Monday, May 12, 2014

Thor: The Dark World (2013)

SPOILER WARNING!!! This post spoils movie Thor: The Dark World (2013).

I liked first Thor movie so much, I had to watch this one too. I didn't know what to expect, since this time story wasn't from JMS's pen. First movie was just like JMS's run on Thor comics. It suited perfectly for introduction. This movie turns more epic gear. To my surprise, I liked this even more. First movie had that one important scene I had problems with. This movie doesn't have similar problems. This is first movie, where Chris Hemsworth felt like real Thor. I guess it was hair. He had too short hair in first movie. Tom Hiddleston was as good as in previous movies.

Thor movies have one problem. Thor is in the Avengers and that causes problems for continuity of these movies. First movie ended, when Thor was cut off from Earth. In The Avengers he was fighting in Earth. Events of Avengers movie are brought in this movie. Thor's love Jane Foster ask, why he didn't come to her, when he was on Earth with Avengers. Thor couldn't give good answer. Comics have same problem, when heroes jump from one comic book to another. Thor movies would be little better without Avengers, but there wouldn't be Thor movie without Avengers.

This time there wasn't any build up for next Avengers movie. There was build up for one after that or one after that. More about that later. This movie didn't have to introduce new characters for Avengers movie. Everything was for this story. Movie started with scene, that reminded Lord of the Rings. After that bad guys went to scifi while Asgardians stayed in sword and magic era. It was weird to see Asgardians fighting against enemies with laser guns and scifi grenades. They had high technology, but their stick with swords and spears. They are like that in comics too, but in live action movies it looks silly. It wasn't problem in first movie, where enemies also had medieval weapons. Here enemies had scifi weapons and it as problem. There was no need for enemies have scifi weapons. Enemies with medival weapons would have solved that problem.

Villain is ancient dark elf Malekith, played by ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston. I don't know him from comics. In this movie he was generic powerful evil guy. He wasn't as interesting as Marvel's villains normally are. He just wanted to destroy everything. That was enough for movie's story. This was more about Thor and Loki than Malekith. Malekith just provided situation, where Thor and Loki had to work together. And epic final battle.

In first movie humans were there witnessing gods on Earth. That was how it was also on JMS's run on Thor comics. This time Jane Foster and and other humans help destroying Malekith. Jane Foster got Aether, super weapon of this movie. Aether made gods take Jane seriously. Malekith was after Aether. He needed it for destroying the worlds. In the end Malekith is beaten and Asgardians have Aether.

This is where build up for next moves start. After movie told its story. Aether is said to be infinity stone like Tesseract from Avengers movies. It is given to The Collector, who is character in upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie. The Collector says, there are six infinity stones. We have seen two of those. There are four more to be seen. After that we get to see Infinity Gauntlet story or something similar. If I have to guess, we see next in Guardians of the Galaxy. Then one in second Avengers movie. One in third Thor movie and last in second Guardians of the Galaxy movie. Then it will be time for third Avengers movie and Thanos with Infinity Gauntlet. Infinity Gauntlet needs proper build up. It will be something else, if they do it as it was in comics. I doubt it can be done like that, but I want to see what they can come up with.


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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Thor (2011)

SPOILER WARNING!!! This post spoils movie Thor (2011).

I liked this much more than I expected. Let's be clear. Reason we have this movie is, audience had to get familiar with Thor before The Avengers movie. That is the only reason this movie was made. But that doesn't mean movie itself is bad or there only to fill schedule. It felt like Thor movie should. It felt like J. Michael Straczynski's Thor comics. It felt like that, because J. Michael Straczynski was part of writing staff. For those who don't know who J. Michael Straczynski, he is guy behind Babylon 5. After Babylon 5 he went to write comics. Thor is one superhero, whose stories he wrote. I am not massive Thor fan, but I really liked Straczynski's run. That is how you make good superhero movies. You bring in people, who know the characters and respect the characters.

I didn't know JMS was involved. If I knew, I would have watched this earlier. Now I felt like I had to watch one superhero movie after my rant. I still stand on what I said in that post. Marvel makes Iron Man, Captain America and Thor movies to keep characters in audiences mind between The Avengers movies. I think everyone knows that. But at least this was good as its own. There was lot of build for The Avengers, but it wasn't clearly there only to build for The Avengers. Maybe Hawkeye was, but others weren't, they were just same characters we saw again in The Avengers. They could have been replaced, but not taken away.

I would say there was only one thing I didn't like. It was how Thor got back his powers. After Destroyer had killed Thor, Odin somehow knows that in Odin sleep and send Mjölnir to Thor and Thor becomes god of thunder again. He should have gone to get hammer and then become Thor. In comics there was time, when Thor couldn't be Thor unless he held Mjölnir. He became human shortly after he let go of Mjölnir. This movie should have remembered that. Also this solution ruined earlier scene, where he couldn't get Mjölnir out from the stone. If he got that second time, he would have grown to be worthy. Now it was Odin's mercy or survival strategy to give Thor his powers back.

Another thing that is not this movie's problem, but problem for The Avengers. In the end Thor destroyed rainbow bridge and cut himself from Earth. In movie's context Thor sacrificed his love to save people, he wanted to destroy at beginning of the movie. How he got back to Earth in The Avengers, if he was cut away from Earth in this movie? That showed, this movie was made best possible, not only to introduce characters for later movies.

I liked everything else. Tom Hiddleston is perfect Loki. He got better in The Avengers, but he is good in this too. He was guy, who could betray anyone and do anything, if it benefited him. I don't know, if Chris Hemsworth is best choice for Thor. He is good choice, but he is not as natural in his role as Hiddleston. I felt that in The Avengers too. It was nice to see Ray Stevenson. I couldn't have seen him being Volstagg before seeing this movie, but he made it work.


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Monday, May 5, 2014

What is wrong with superhero movies at the moment

I am a fan of superhero comics. I was a fan of superhero movies. But that has changed since Marvel found winning formula with The Avengers and movies leading to that movie. Now everyone wants to repeat the formula with varying results. Formula is, you introduce things in one movie, that you use in later movie. Marvel had Captain America, Iron Man and Thor movies before The Avengers. Those movies introduced characters to movie audience. I haven't seen those movies, so I can't say how much plot points those movies introduced. I could fully enjoy The Avengers, because I knew the characters. It was good for those who didn't know, to watch lead up movies. As far as I know lead up movies also worked by themselves.

Now I hear that Agents of SHIELD are so tightly linked to Captain America: Winter Solder, that you need to watch the movie to understand what happened between two episodes of tv-series. This is nothing new to comic readers. There are events that jump from comic book to comic book. After watching Green Lantern movie, I started to read Green Lantern comic. In order to fully understand what is happening, you need to read four comics: Green Lantern, Green Lantern Corp, Green Lantern: The New Guardians and Red Lanterns. Each have own storylines, which get connected during every event. So you can read only one comic until event comes and then you have to read all four to know what happens in event. And events happen annually or more often.

Events are later collected to collection books, but sometimes something is missing from collection books and you don't know what actually happened. For example in Marvel's Annihilation: Conquest, we see how one hero is chased by two brainwashed heroes. After that we don't see what happened to them until they return in the end with army and brainwashed heroes as their normal selves. This nonsense is now coming to movies. In comics it is little bit more understandable, since you can go buying other comics. With movies you might need to wait for year or two years and you forget what happened earlier. In both formats it makes following the story afterwards much harder. You may not have all parts of the story available.

Another problem is that movies are now promotional material for movies, that come later. This happens in comics sometimes, but there you have monthly schedule. In movies it is yearly schedule. I haven't seen The Amazing Spider-man 2, but what I have learned from more analytical reviews, it has character which reason to be there, was to be introduced for spin-off Sinister Six. Posters have half of  the Sinister Six. Trailers hint two other Sinister Six members. Without watching  The Amazing Spider-man 2 or knowing anything about Sinister Six movie, I know five members of the group. Sony announced two spin-offs and two sequels before movie even got to theaters. Sequels even have set release dates before movie got to theaters. Spin-offs probably have those too.

And why we are getting Sinister Six movie? Because Sony has rights for those characters and superhero movies make money at the moment. We are getting movie of villain group, because superhero movies are making money. I am curious to see what they come up with. I am not sure, which heroes they can use against Sinister Six, if they don't use Spider-man. They are not using Spider-man, since movie is not called The Amazing Spider-man 3.

Man of Steel has already two sequels set. We already guessed what movies will come and when they come. Next movie serves as build up for third movie. It will have Superman and Batman and some other Justice League members. DC wants to get to Justice League as soon as possible. So next movie will be only set up for Justice League. Maybe it has its owns story, but expectation is to be set up for third movie. There might be other movies to introduced characters for Justice League movie.

Marvel has its road map set for next fourteen years.  That sounds more like movie making factory than art. Comics are made same way. Now it is coming to movies too. Problem with comics is that quality goes down when original idea is used and comics are made to fulfil schedule. There are individual gems among grey mass. This happened with X-men and Raimi's Spider-man, where after two excellent movies, third one felt like it had to be done even thought they didn't have good idea for it. Same could be said for Dark Knight Rises too. Now we have set release dates for movies, they don't have any idea, what story they will do and they may not even have idea what earlier movies will be, because they are not made yet.

I will watch these movies, when they come to streaming services. I might even rent some of  them. I don't say things above make movies bad. It is annoying as movie fan to go watch movie, that you know is just part of something else and was made just to fill schedule. You may be happy with all cgi and action, but I want good story.

I know about end credit scene of The Amazing Spider-man 2. That just underlines my point. That scene was part of a deal between two competing studios. Nothing else. How much do you actually care about your movie, if you promote competing studio's movie in your own movie?


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Friday, May 2, 2014

Why I won't do The Amazing Spider-man 2 until it gets to my streaming services

I was hyped after watching the first movie. I mentioned this movie's problems in Finland on Toxic Avenger post. I have told only movie I wait this year is The Guardians of the Galaxy. Well that is still only movie I am waiting for. I felt like I should go watch the movie. Then I check the price and the length. I don't want to go to watch almost two and half hour movie, I feel no interest in and pay almost same, I pay to see one of my favorite bands live later this month.

So what happened after I was so hyped after the first movie. I have forgotten almost everything about the movie. It was kind of surprise to see sequel was coming this summer. Electro as main villain was disappointment. I didn't like him in comics. I guess they are trying to make this series long, when they start with lesser villains. Based on trailers, movie's Electro is different kind of Electro I remember from comics. In comics he was beaten by insulated gloves. Sam Raimi used more iconic villains. Here we get villains from the bottom of the barrel.

First movie was forgettable even when it felt like good movie after watching it. At the moment I don't feel like spending almost two and half hours watching cgi fighting and characters I don't see interesting. Aunt May seem to become stupid since first movie. Harry Osborne seem to be creepy and evil from get go. Electro is nobody, who feels betrayed, when Spider-man doesn't know him. Peter Parked doesn't feel likeable. Trailers don't sell this movie to me. They don't offer me anything interesting.

Movie will be released in USA week after international release. If that release doesn't cause praise from trusted sources, I won't spend time and money to watch this in theater. I tried to go there, but haven't been able to do that. If this was one and half hours, I might go. Two and half hours is long time to watch bad movie. Trailers point to bad movie. I have tried to go few times already. I was totally unspoiled. I only knew Electro was main villain. Didn't feel like going. Watched trailers. Didn't feel like going. Spoiled myself more. Still didn't feel like going. You get the pattern.

I wrote this post, because I felt someone might expect my post of the movie. I wanted to explain, why I won't do post now. This is current plan and it might change, but don't hold breath waiting.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Machine (2013)

SPOILER WARNING!!! This post spoils movie The Machine (2013).

If you are a fan of real science fiction, you should watch the movie before reading this post. It is one of best science fiction movies ever made and it loses some of its edge, if you know what will happen.

I love this movie. It drops scientific concepts and expect audience to know them. You don't have to know them to understand the movie. They are explained briefly and are not keys of understanding what is happening. But, if you know them, you get little bit more out of the movie. Turing test is mentioned by name and showed. Theory of mind is only showed. Both come during first few minutes and it doesn't end there. I am sure, there are much more scientific concepts, that I missed.

In near future western countries and China are in cold war. Vincent is researching how to building machine solders for military. He is making brain implants for injured solders. Implants help solders function, but they lose their speech after a little while. Vincent is working for army,because he wants this technology to help his mentally ill daughter. Vincent hire rebellious artificial intelligence genius Ava as his assistant. They map Ava's brains to use them as basis of their artificial intelligence. Chinese agents attack and kill Ava. Vincent uses their work to create machine that looks like Ava. Everyone calls it Machine.

Vincent start to study and educate Machine. His goal is to find out, if Machine is really alive or smart imitation of intelligence. If it is latter, he could use technology to transfer his daughter into a machine. How ever military has different goals. They do their own studies on Machine and try to make it a killing machine. Vincent start to believe Machine is really alive. Military think they can't have machine solder, who can think for itself. They blackmail Vincent to lobotomize Machine.

I won't spoil the ending. It is intelligent and though provoking. Main point of this movie is to analyze, where computer's imitation of intelligence becomes real intelligence and machines becomes alive. Movie doesn't make it clear which was the case with Machine. It feels like alive, but it is acting like imperfect copy of Ava, whose brainwaves were used to create Machine. It feels Ava is its mother. Currently there are programs, that could work as answering machines and solve caller's problems so good, caller can't be sure, if he was talking to human or program.  Machine has conscience or something that looks like it. That makes it more than just machine performing tasks.

Story is not the only good thing in this movie. Visually this will divide audience. It uses a lot of artsy effects. Sometimes effects distract and make it hard to see what happens. I liked it. It made movie feel more emotional and unreal, when it needed to be. If everything looked realistic, Machine wouldn't have felt as alive. I also liked how they used cgi and practical effects in this movie. Effects were not on main part. Only what they needed to tell the story.

It is shame, this is film festival/straight to dvd movie. In Finland this seems to be straight to streaming service movie, since it came there around same time it was shown on film festivals. Or maybe this is future of film industry, movies are released on several different formats at same time. Makes you think how much money this kind of movies will make, if they go straight to streaming and how much money next similar movie will get to be made.


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