Monday, March 30, 2015

Scooby-Doo: Wrestlemania Mystery (2014)

If video is not shown correctly, you can watch it here. Unlike most of my videos this will contain spoilers.

Scooby-Doo: Wrestlemania Mystery is pretty much what you expect from Scoopy-Doo gang and WWE. There is mystery and WWE superstars. It is hard to tell anything about the movie without spoiling it. That is why I did spoiler video.

Intro was there because I promised Kvesti on Movies video this week if things go according the plan. Things didn't go as planned. If you want to know more you should check this on my personal blog. That meant I didn't have time to make proper Kvesti on Movies video.

This was pretty unplanned movie. Sunday morning I didn't know what video to do and Sunday evening I had this. I remembered it was Wrestlemania Sunday and then I remembered this movie. To be honest I was more interested of this than Wrestlemania.

If you liked the video you can find more videos from here.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

You learn what is wrong with Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome even before the movie really starts. Music. That it the biggest problem. Movie starts with Tina Turner song which takes you away from Mad Max mood. The Score isn't any better.  Score of previous movies was made by Brian May. Not the Brian May of Queen but another Brian May. Those scores worked so well I didn't realize they were there. It is not the case with Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.

Score reminds me Conan movies in bad way. I like score of Conan The Barbarian so much that I own original score album. This felt like bad version of it. Movie's events are in future not in ancient past. Movie has same problem as A Good Day to Die Hard. There are moment when you feel like something is missing and then you realize there is no music. Most notable this is in Thunderdome scene. It should be exciting fighting scene but it feel boring because there is no music.

Music is not the only problem. Another problem is that this is Babysitter Max not Mad Max. Everything has been toned down and chase at the end is bad guys chasing Max and kids. You can imagine how much blood, death and destruction that chase can contain. Bad guys are like Max Mad versions of Home Alone villains.

I liked how movie completed post-apocalyptic Mad Max trilogy. Mad Max had decaying civilization. In Mad Max 2 there was very little left from civilization. In Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome survivors are building new civilization. I think this was worthy successor for Mad Max 2 at some point of writing process but then they decided to make this suitable for the whole family.

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome has too many story elements from Mad Max 2. Bruce Spence plays comic version of his Mad Max 2 character and this time he has son because this is for the whole family. It has to be said for Bruce Spence's credit that I didn't realize it was the same guy playing almost same role until I checked from IMDB. Ending is almost the same as in Mad Max 2. This time it just has different characters.

Mad Max 2 is best movie of the trilogy but it is harder to say which one is better, first or third movie. I have to say third is better one. It feels more professional even with all the flaws. Mad Max feels too amateurish. Mad Max has better action scenes but Beyond Thunderdome is more even. I understand people who like first more. Many ways it is better but I prefer having less bad flaws.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Mad Max (1979)

Mad Max would be forgotten film without sequel Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior. It has similar themes as sequel has but pieces don't fall in to their places. It almost feels like demo for the sequel.

Movie makes same mistake as The Colony. It doesn't explain the premise. It just tells this happens in near future. With Mad Max problem is not that big since not that much have changed compared to current time. It is easy to see that society is collapsing. Reason for that would have been nice to know. It was told in Mad Max 2 which also tells everything about this movie you need to know to enjoy that movie.

Mad Max tells about future police Max and his problems with biker-gang. Everything is collapsing but some people are trying to keep civilization working. How ever there are too few of them and too many of those who want to take advantage of the situation. Police is almost like criminals they hunt. They just happen to be other side and not doing crimes against civilians. On the road everything seem to be fair game. It is not an issue if criminal dies during the chase.

Mad Max is better to watch out of curiosity than expecting to see a good movie. It not good or bad. It is quite uninspiring. George Miller is still learning movie making and writing. He mastered both in second movie. He also had better cast in sequel. Mel Gibson is only one from this movie in sequel and he is much better in sequel. It felt like most actors were amateurs. To be fair the script wasn't best either.

Mad Max felt like it was out of phase. For example Max wanting to leave police was told in odd order. First nothing indicated he wanted to leave. Then he was shown a new car but it wasn't given to him at any point. Right after this his boss tells someone they bought the car to keep Max in police. Later after one police is hurt Max tells he wants to leave police. But before that nothing but that one weird conversation indicated he wanted to leave.

This was not only story arc that felt like there was too much into it or something was missing from it. Everything could have been easily fixed by cutting of couple scenes, shooting couple scenes explaining certain things and putting scenes in different order. Now that I think of it this is quite like The Colony. Both had similar problems. Addition to The Colony this had some over-acting.

I don't know what this felt 1979. Now after we have seen Mad Max 2 this feels bit uninspiring. Some of this feeling may come from the fact that I am not biggest fan of gritty 70's action movies but I am a fan of the sequel. You might like this more if you like gritty 70's action movies.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

If video is not shown correctly, you can watch it here. Video is spoiler free.

I will review all Mad Max movies this week. I start with second one because it is most worthy of a video. If you read this in future you will find links to Mad Max and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome reviews here.

These reviews are partly inspired by my broken glasses and partly by upcoming fourth Mad Max movie. That is why I mention Mad Max Fury Road so many times. Video review of it will come after it premieres in Finland. I assume that happens same time as the rest of the world.

I have seen Mad Max 2 dozens of times. It is one of my favorite movies. It is my benchmark for other post-apocalyptic movies. I can't find any flaws from it. Maybe if you want to nitpick they would not drive as much with their cars in real post-apocalyptic world. But everything else is very realistic.

It has been a while since last Kvesti on Movies video. If everything goes according the plan next will come next week. After that I get back to new movies and 5 Minutes with Kvesti videos.

If you liked the video you can find more videos from here.

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Colony (2013)

The Colony is science fiction movie where they forgot to write the story and make it a real science fiction movie. I could tell with few words what happens in this movie. Once you hear what this is about you can pretty much guess what will happen. The Colony tries to hide lack of story by not telling what has happened and where we really are. Narrator doesn't tell it. We just jump in the middle of power struggle and we have to figure out what is going on.

The Colony happens in future where humans tried to combat climate change/global warming with weather control towers. Something went wrong and mankind got new ice age. I don't understand why global warming causes ice age in movies. Day After Tomorrow (2004) was another where this happened.  When movie begins there are only few colonies surviving. Our colony loses contact to last another colony they have contact. Colony sends three men to investigate what happened to another colony. Telling anything more about the story would spoil the whole movie. There really is not much more of story.

Lack of science fiction is almost annoying. Only science fiction is in setting. There is almost nothing about climate change or anything else of what really happened. It is just ice age and people trying to survive there. Beginning hints of power struggle. That really goes nowhere because Bill Paxton's character is so badly written. Laurence Fishburne does what he can but his character  is as badly written. There is pretty much nothing to tell about other characters either.

The Colony doesn't have anything that would make it worth your time. Sole reason for that is the script. It doesn't have anything interesting. It might remind you of other better movies which did these things much better. Movie doesn't have any major problems that couldn't be fixed with adding more words to script. The Colony shows why you should tell the premise at the beginning. Movie lost me when I didn't understand what was going on. It was just waiting and hoping that movie would tell what was going on.

The Colony chose to tell as little as possible. This time it didn't work. For that to work movie should have told the premise at the beginning. If you think about Mad Max 2. It doesn't tell much either and it has very little dialog. But it tells what is going on at the beginning. After that it didn't need to get back to it. This movie needed similar beginning. Now I concentrated too much on everything because I knew nothing.

I wanted to like The Colony but as it is, it only reminded of another movies. Screamers (1995) comes first in mind. It has quite similar premise and it works better. What they find from another colony is totally different but feel of the movies are same.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Spawn (1997)

I have read the comics and seen this movie for dozen times but this was first time I realized how stupid the concept of Spawn is from Hell's point of view. They send their general to Earth and hope he doesn't get killed or change sides. I don't get what they gain with this.

Spawn is based on Todd McFarlane's comic with same name. Spawn comic started 1992 along with Image comics. Image comics were founded by big name comic artists who didn't want to give copyrights of their characters away. In Finland we got Spawn, Witchblade and Darkness. These comics were much darker and adult oriented than comics from Marvel where comic artists left to found Image comics. Spawn is one of most popular Image characters.

Movie is quite faithful to source material. Al Simmons was government hitman until he was betrayed and killed. He makes deal with devil to get back to his wife Wanda. He gets back to Earth five years later as hellspawn. Wanda has moved on with her life and doesn't recognize burned Al anymore. Spawn gets new friends. Violator is demon who's job is to make sure Spawn keeps his promise and lead Hell's army. Cogliostro is older hellspawn who changed sides and tries to mentor Spawn.

Biggest problems, aside  premise not making sense, are bad cgi effects and Violator telling three times what his plan is. Like we needed it at all. Bad cgi is underlined by how good Violator's demonic form look as practical effects. Devil Malebolgia is just plain awful. They didn't even try lip sycning. He just have his mouth open all the time. Not all cgi is bad, bad cgi just jumps on your face since practical effects look so good.

Comics had more of fighting between heaven and hell. In comics heaven wasn't any better. In movie Violator tell they had to get Al Simmons otherwise heaven would have got him. I guess war between heaven and hell was planned for potential sequel. Priest felt like she could have returned as angel in sequel. Movie never got sequel.

Spawn was made during time when comic book movies weren't that big thing and didn't get huge budgets. It looks like dark fantasy action movies from the time. Premise and plot don't make much sense but it looks cool and sometimes it looks quite good. If you liked the comics or like movies involving hell or dark fantasy you should check this movie. For others this may not be worth of your time.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Arrow - second season (2013-2014)

If video is not shown correctly, you can watch it here. Video is spoiler free.

I promised Kvesti on Movies video for this week but I could not deliver. Second season of Arrow became available for streaming and I got hooked. I just had to watch every episode as soon as possible. Kvesti on Movies videos require more work than 5 Minutes with Kvesti videos. This time I only had time for 5 Minutes with Kvesti video after binge watching Arrow.

I reviewed first season here. I think I complained too much this time. Second season was better than first season. It still has some flaws. Third season didn't look promising at the end. First two season have had almost every drama they could add to series. What ever they do it will make Arrow look more like soap opera. Second season almost went too far to soap opera territory.

I forgot to mention Summer Glau in video. She was as hot as usual until she put on her fighting gear on. That looked plain ugly. Luckily we didn't see that too much. It is always nice to see Summer Glau.

I hope The Flash comes available for streaming soon. I don't watch tv. Streaming is only way for me to see it. Barry Allen was interesting character during few episodes of this season. I have heard The Flash is better since it is not as dark as Arrow.

This time I used heavier color grading than usually. I might go to that route in future. I have done color grading for almost every video. I haven't gone this heavy before. I liked how this turned out to be. During shooting this video I learned where I should put my iPad to easily check the script. I still learn new things.

I try to make Kvesti on Movies video for next week. I have four movies planned. It is just that something else always comes up and I have to postpone videos. I try to make couple Kvesti on Movies during Easter. Then it is not depending if I have time to make those videos.

If you liked the video you can find more videos from here.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Do Jupiter Ascending and Chappie hurt other science fiction movies?

No reviews this time. I reviewed Jupiter Ascending (2015) and Chappie (2015) earlier. Movies are biggest science fiction movies so far this year and both have performed badly at the box office. Jupiter Ascending could be called disaster. Chappie was not as expensive and it might make its money back. This made me wonder if these movies hurt other science fiction movies.

Superheroes are doing well on big and small screen but I don't call them science fiction even if some do. Guardians of The Galaxy (2014) is close, but I still wouldn't call it science fiction. For me science fiction is more than going to space or having some science related happening. Stories have to study our current world or possible future somehow. Or at least movie's subject on some intelligent level. I can't give you good answer why I consider Invisible Man as science fiction and Hulk as something else than science fiction. To be clear I like superhero movies as you have seen from my reviews. I only think that they are not science fiction.

Back to the subject. Two biggest science fiction movies of first three months have done badly. Studios are in this business to make money. Cinemas are in this business to make money. If something doesn't make money, we don't get to see it in future. It is not about art or quality of the movie. Bottom line is what matters. If two biggest genre movies do badly people start to think if they should put money into genre in future. Not everyone in this business is in it for the money but at the end of the day they have to justify what they are doing based on money they make doing it.

For example it is quite common understanding that Jupiter Ascending will be last big budget movie from The Wachovskis. At least until they make next big hit with lesser money. After Matrix people were willing to finance their movies in hopes they will do as good as Matrix. So far The Wachowskis haven't been able to deliver similar success. Another question is will financial constraints help them make better movies. But that is totally different matter. Point is, you have to make money to get money to make more movies.

In Helsinki Jupiter Ascending premiered on biggest screens. Chappie premiered on smallest screens. Both probably had same number of viewers. At least on screenings I were on. I don't know if Chappie premiered on smallest screens because cinema don't believe in science fiction or because they don't believe in Chappie. If it is the former, it is  bad news for my favorite genre.

Jupiter Ascending and Chappie were bad movies. Problem is that good movies doesn't seem to get change. The Machine (2013) never got proper release. Moon (2009) got few screening at one movie festival in Finland. I am waiting for Ex Machina to get theatrical release but at the moment it doesn't look good. On January I was told in Twitter it will be released in Finland on April but I have not seen anything since. The Machine and Moon were really good science fiction movies that never got real change. Are bigger and worse science fiction movies ruining it for smaller but actually good genre movies?

Interstellar seem to do well, so there is still hope. It is still running in Helsinki.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A Good Day to Die Hard (2013)

What happened to guy who was supposed to make the score? Really, what happened to him or her or them? Movie had few times that lacked any music. Sometimes that could be effective but in those scenes it felt like something was missing. I heard this was really bad movie but honestly only thing that really bothered me was lack of music in some scenes and bad writing in some others.

This is not a good movie. It is stupid action movie. Generic stupid Bruce Willis action movie. It wasn't meant to be high art or anything. Realism was last thing it aimed for. I don't get why it is hated so much. Did anyone expect it to study foreign policy or Russian situation realistically? Yes, it is yankee cowboy BS at its worst. It felt insufferable at times. But in the end it was just generic stupid Bruce Willis action movie. Maybe if I paid to see it in cinema I would have felt more strongly.

When I say generic I really mean generic. There were times when I was not sure if I was watching Die Hard sequel or The Last Boy Scout sequel. The Last Boy Scout is one of my favorite action movies. It was the ultimate 80's action movie and same time the ultimate Bruce Willis action movie. John McClane felt more like Joe Hallenbeck that John McClane and with little changes McClane Junior could have been Darian Hallenbeck.

I think this would have been better as The Last Boy Scout sequel. It could had darker humor. As it is now it made me want to watch The Last Boy Scout more than to watch other Die Hard movies. The Last Boy Scout wasn't available for streaming. You have to wait for to review little bit longer. I have it on blu ray and my blu rays are stored in way that takes as little room as possible, which makes getting one bit harder. But The Last Boy Scout review is coming in future when I watch movies from my blu ray collection.

Back to this movie. To be honest I am surprised I have written this much of the movie.  There really isn't much to say if you don't want to complain how stupid the movie is. First half is almost painful to watch but second half is better when you have lost all hope of it being any good. I might like movie more that others because I liked how it looked. And I still think it was quite average movie. It is only one and half hours which is good length for this kind of movie.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Chappie (2015)

If video is not shown correctly, you can watch it here. Video is spoiler free.

Chappie is strange movie. It had some great moments but it had so many things wrong. I could make much longer video if I wanted to tell what was wrong with the movie. I did two posts complaining what was wrong with Neill Blomkamp's previous movie Elysium. I could easily do same with this if I spoiled the movie.

I literally hated Die Antwoord when I walked away from theater. They felt like they were promoting their band rather than making science fiction movie like others. Some of their scenes didn't make any sense because there was almost no build up for things that happened.

Chappie was only good thing in this movie. He was well written and well acted. He had some deeper questions. But everything around Chappie was total mess. Based on comments and reviews I have seen movie has polarized the people. Those who can forgive all the stupidity may get something out of this movie. Those who can't forgive the stupidity will not like Chappie.

It is kind of shame because this could have been really good movie.

This was last new movie for a while. Next Monday will be another Kvesti on Movies video. Unless there is something current I have forgotten and I have to make video of it.

If you liked the video you can find more videos from here.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Kick-Ass 2 (2014)

When your movie has character like Hit-Girl, you shouldn't make her try not to be Hit-Girl for majority of the movie. Have I told you I like Hit-Girl? I think she should have own movie without Kick-Ass. And I don't mean movie where she tries to be like real teenage girl. That is not Hit-Girl.

Movie starts almost where first movie ended. Hit-Girl has aged four years, for everyone else first movie was like yesterday. This is not realistic movie so I won't complain about that anymore. Hit-Girl is still Hit-Girl. Kick-Ass has quit being superhero but he is finding normal life boring. He joins Hit-Girl, who trains him to be real superhero.

Movie is like first movie was at its best for these ten or fifteen minutes.Then Hit-Girl's guardian finds out what she has been doing and make her promise not to be Hit-Girl anymore. Hit-Girl goes teenage girl drama mode. There are few hints of Hit-Girl until the end when she becomes Hit-Girl again. I don't consider this as spoiler because every one knew she will became Hit-Girl again.

Hit-Girl mentoring Kick-Ass worked well. I guess only problem was that Hit-Girl was under aged and Kick-Ass was adult. Maybe we see more of that in Kick-Ass 3. Ending promises that. In three years Hit-Girl will be 18 and they could be together.

After Hit-Girl becomes normal teenage girl movie lose its momentum. Kick-Ass find other superheroes who are nearly as clueless as he was in first movie. Other heroes are quite forgettable. Even Jim Carrey's Colonel Star and Stripes is quite boring character. Most of them feel like they are only for one joke but they hang on. The joke being when they are introduces.

Movie is saved by the villain. First movie's Red Mist has moved away from Kick-Ass' city. His mother keeps him from revenging his father's death. When he accidentally kill his mother, he becomes supervillain MF. He doesn't call himself MF but I can't say his name because I want to keep this blog's language clean. I think you can guess what MF stands for. In this movie characters choose offensive names. They don't need to sell comics to kids.

MF puts together team of supervillains. Only Mother Russia gets more attention. Others only get racist names, weird costumes and hang around. This choice was made so Kick-Ass could fight against MF and Hit-Girl against Mother Russia in the ending.

Kick-Ass 2's theme is teens becoming what they want instead of what their parents want. Parents don't want Kick-Ass and MF being superheroes or supervillains. Hit-Girl's guardian want her to be normal girl. Everyone disobeys for various reasons.

I didn't expect much from this movie after I saw trailer where Hit-Girl was normal girl. Movie has few great moments. Middle part suffers from boring superheroes and lack of Hit-Girl. MF carries movie during that time.

At times it felt like this was set up for Kick-Ass 3. Uncle Ralph felt like main villain of Kick-Ass 3. This couldn't have Hit-Girl and Kick-Ass together. That could be in Kick-Ass 3. At the end Kick-Ass started to train to be real superhero. Everything this points to darker third movie. Are we getting that in three years? I hope so. This was entertaining movie and after this third could me more action oriented without teenage drama.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Kick-Ass (2010)

As I promised in my Kingsman: The Secret Service post, Kick-Ass. Kingsman made me want to see this again. I had forgotten how good movie Kick-Ass actually was. It would have been better with only Big Daddy and Hit-Girl. Kingsman showed what that could have been. Matthew Vaughn is becoming my favorite director. X-Men: First Class was also good. I have not seen anything else from him.

Kick-Ass tells about teenage comic nerd who decides to become superhero Kick-Ass. He doesn't have any skills but after first fight he gets injured so badly he doesn't feel pain. He does what he can without powers or skills. When he help one guy in fight against three other guys, he became famous. Everyone thinks he is only superhero. But he is not only one.

Big Daddy and Hit-Girl are Batman and Robin like duo with exception that they have no problem killing criminals. Unlike Kick-Ass they are real deal. Criminals think Kick.Ass is killing them and they want him dead.

Kick-Ass starts slowly with Kick-Ass trying to became superhero and teen drama of his civil persona. Things start to work better when Big Daddy and Hit-Girl appear. Kick-Ass build up is also done at that point. Before that there was only Kick-Ass who didn't know what he was doing. He didn't know what he was doing after that either but there were also Big Daddy and Hit-Girl who knew what they were doing.

Movie is well written. It doesn't fall into normal pitfalls of teen drama. Even minor character get their moments. For example mafia boss' henchmen are so incompetent they accidentally kill people they interrogate and one brings bazooka into skyscraper and attempts to use it there. Some action scenes are so over the top they feel funny instead of violent. There is something funny watching eleven year girl killing though men.

Kick-Ass shows what superheroes would be like in real life. Big Daddy and Hit-Girl are unrealistic but Kick-Ass is realistic. He almost dies in every fight he gets involved in. Real life superheroes wouldn't have long careers.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)

If video is not shown correctly, you can watch it here. Video is spoiler free. If you want to read my reviews of other Matthew Vaughn movies, you can find X-Men: First Class review here. If everything goes according the plan I will review Kick-Ass next Wednesday.

It is kind of strange to add year 2014 to movie that was just released but movie got limited releases last year and IMDB says it is 2014. So it is 2014.

Kingsman: The Secret Service was surprise for me. I didn't even plan to see it at theater. Then reviewers I follow started to praise it and some even mentioned it in other reviews. Mark of a really good movie. So I had to watch it. I had planned Kvesti on Movies video for this week but it got postponed since Kingsman is current movie and one I will do Kvesti on Movies is not. Next week is also 5 Minutes with Kvesti week since this Friday is premiere of one interesting scifi movie.

Video is bit short and I probably should have said what I didn't like in the movie. There are not many things I didn't like. It is great movie and you should see it. One of the best action movies I have seen. Only thing I could complain is quality of cgi effects. Those felt cheap at times. At one scene they looked terrible. I guess they had to use them in that scene because plot demanded them. In other scenes they could cut in way they didn't need to show cgi.

I have to make one correction to video. I told how trailer didn't show best parts of the movie. Well, the trailer I saw didn't show. Later I have seen ones that show.

I don't know if you could see it in video but I changed the rendering format for this video. On previous format videos tended to be darker than in my editing software. New format looks more like what I see when I edit videos. Another bonus is that they render faster and are much faster to upload to YouTube.

At one point I thought about dedicating this to Leonard Nimoy who passed away last Friday. Kingsman: The Secret Service didn't feel like right movie to do that. So I honored his memory other way.

If you liked the video you can find more videos from here.