Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Jacket (2005)

I watched The Jacket without knowing anything about the movie. If I didn't watched it to write post about it I would have stopped after few minutes. Movie starts quite confusing. I am glad I watched it because it turned out to be forgotten gem.

The Jacket start to work during first jump to future. Until that point movie is confusing mess. During first fifteen minutes there is only one important thing. Most of it could have been cut away. Jack Starks is war veteran who was shot into head. Now he has memory problems. He is put to mental hospital after he is found next to dead cop without remembering what has happened.

Doctors try experimental treatment on Jack which makes him jump 15 years into future. Jumps to future start the real story. Anything before them is premise. Goal was keep audience confused what was real and what was not. Until time jumps it made movie confusing series of scenes. After time jumps only confusing thing is if jumps are real or just in Jack's head and that is not too confusing.

I don't want to go deeper into the story. Movie is based on solving the mystery and less you know about it better movie works. All is clear in the end. There are couple questions because of potential plot holes. I think couple things should have gone differently but it may be because I missed something and it wasn't what it looked at first place. Some plot holes are easier to explain, some need more work. It depends on how much credit you want to give to movie how big you see the plot holes.

To be honest I realized plot holes after I started to plan this post. Because of those plot holes The Jacket is not masterpiece. It is not well known because it doesn't have big action scenes and it requires thinking. Nowadays big cgi action makes money and good intelligent movies like this fell into obscurity.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Ant-Man (2015)

If video is not shown, you can watch it here.

I have almost forgotten I saw Ant-Man. It is not good or bad. It is ok. It felt like product from competent movie making factory. We get two new superheroes to Marvel Cinematic Universe and Marvel Studios make more money. Marvel movies are not high art but this felt more like mass produced product than any other movie.

Ant-Man bring very little anything original to table. There are couple funny visual jokes during last battle but other than that we have seen these things before. Not in this mix but most ingredient are from other movies.

I had perfect lighting for this video. Then sun came from behind the clouds and went behind darker clouds. That is reason why lighting looks like it does.

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

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers - The Movie (1995)

I had to see what Ivan Ooze looked after seeing couple Apocalypse/Ivan Ooze memes. I haven't see X-Men: Apocalypse trailer. Only pictures of Apocalypse and in those he looks little bit like Ivan Ooze. I checked where Ivan Ooze has appeared. He was main villain of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers - The Movie. Because movie was available I had to check it.

I am not too familiar with Mighty Morphin Power Rangers tv series. I have seen few episodes. I have tried to binge watch it but it has turned out to be harder than I can manage. Power Rangers take footage from Japanese series Super Sentai. Power Rangers added footage of American teens. Mix it into 20 bits with some sort of good message and kids liked the mess they were given.

American shot footage was most painful part of tv series. Acting was bad and stories felt forced. Power Ranger parts were enjoyable because they were so crazy. Movie drops good message. It is insanity from start to end. This makes movie enjoyable. It doesn't try to make any sense and part of the fun is how stupid everything is.

Tv series had Rita and Lord Zedd as main villains. In movie they open Ivan Ooze's egg and let Ivan Ooze to do his thing. Later Ivan Ooze captures Rita and Zedd and they are out of the movie. Ivan Ooze's first target is Zordon who helped capture him in past. Ooze's leaves Zordon dying. He don't kill Zordon. This takes away Power Rangers' powers. Somehow they still have power to go to another planet to find new powers.

Ivan Ooze and Apocalypse have couple things in common. Skin colors are similar and both are ancient evils. This is where similarities end. Ivan Ooze is evil for being evil's sake and he want to rule the rule the world like all one dimensional evil characters. Apocalypse is more complicated. He thinks strong should survive and weak should perish. Apocalypse makes mutants stronger and then makes them to fight others to see who deserves to survive.

You don't want to see this kind of character to be compared to Power Rangers villain like Ivan Ooze. Probably moving pictures and sound stop these memes. Everyone started to like new Joker after they saw him on video.

No one expected Mighty Morphin Power Rangers - The Movie to be high art. It is just 90 minutes of same insanity tv series provided without painfully forced good message. CGI looks awful today. Toy effects of tv series had more charm. Movie is good way to check what Power Rangers was all about. It it more entertaining than watching four or five episodes of tv series. Fans may disagree but if you don't know anything about Power Rangers you should check the movie first.

Monday, July 20, 2015

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

If video is not shown, you can watch it here.

I wanted to do Ant-Man review this week but it is released later this week. I had another video planned last week. It is postponed even further because I want to see Ant-Man before doing it. Maybe Fantastic Four too. So I had to think something else for this week. When I saw new promotional photos for X-Men Apocalypse I realized I have not seen X-Men: Days of Future Past yet.

I am glad I waited this long because I could experience it as Rogue Cut which was released last week. Release was probably timed with release of promotional photos. 17 minutes of new footage makes movie better but some of the footage should have been left out. When I watched theatrical cut I saw problems of Rogue Cut. Somethings make more sense in theatrical cut and some in Rogue Cut.

I don't think Rogue subplot was needed. It changes the ending little bit but all important beats are still the same. What happens in between is changed a little. I can understand why Rogue was cut away from theatrical cut. It only added time and little action.

I checked more X-Men: Apocalypse photos while rendering the video and realized they are continuing rebooted version even thought Days of Future Past brought original cast back. This means we get new Storm and Jean and so on. And Apocalypse looks like Ivan Ooze. More about that next Thursday.

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

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Injustice: Gods Among Us - Vol 1 & 2

This post is about comics. Not the game. Comic has no reason to be any good. It is prequel to fighting game. All it needed to do was explain backstory of a fighting game and fighting games don't put too much effort into backstories. Game mechanics are more important for success of the game.

I don't know the reason why they put so much effort into this but this is one of the best Superman stories I have ever read. If you have read this blog long enough you know I don't like normal Superman stories where he is boy scout. My favorite Superman story is first 12 issues of Irredeemable. It doesn't feature Superman. Main character is Superman like superhero who loses his mind. Injustice and Irredeemable have many things in common. If Injustice keeps same quality it will become my favorite Superman story.

Superman loses his mind after Joker makes him kill Lois Lane and explode nuclear bomb in Metropolis. Superman kills Joker and start to force peace upon mankind. He gets help form members of Justice League. Sometimes things get out of hand and innocent get killed for standing against Superman. Members of Justice League start to have doubts if they are doing the right thing.

Batman leaves Justice League because he doesn't like what Justice League is doing. He collects his own group opposing actions of Justice League. Because this is prequel to fighting game there needs to be reason why normal people can fight against god-like superheroes. The reason makes story little bit worse than it would be with out it but it is the reason we have this story first place.

I like stories outside normal continuities. These stories can do things normal continuity stories can't. Superman can't get back to regular Superman after what he does in this story. In Injustice Superman has good intentions but he goes too far. It ask philosophical questions how far you can go making world safer place and how much you are ready to sacrifice for safety. It also shows reactions what happens when powerful force their way upon the weaker even though powerful may have good intentions.

Second volume ends in turning point. Story may continue as good or it may turn into being worse or better. I will review third and fourth volumes later.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Suicide Squad - Comic-Con First Look [HD]

Warner didn't plan to release this online at all. I kind of understand why they think it why a good idea. This eats exposure Batman v Superman trailer gets. Pirated low quality videos made Warner change their mind. I don't understand why someone wants to restrict their promotional material or their movies. Regional restrictions don't make any sense. If I want to buy something or am ready to pay to see something without localization I should be able to do that. If I have to wait until internet hype has died they may not get my money.

This trailer changed many people's mind about Suicide Squad movie. I know it will cannibalize their flagship movie for this being much more interesting. People had doubts about Jared Leto's Joker. I feel the trailer erased all the doubts. This Joker feels like Joker from comics. He has tattoos but I don't see it as a problem. I wanted to see video footage before judging. Now when I have seen it I like this version of Joker too.

Batman v Superman trailer have small hints of Joker. Will we see Joker in that movie too? That would be only thing to wait for in Batman v Superman. If I have choose one or the other I would choose Suicide Squad. I wonder what Warner is thinking when Suicide Squad is getting better reaction than their flagship movie series which is planned many movies ahead. I have not heard any plans of Suicide Squad sequel yet. Probably because this first movie is just a test and because Justice League will make money even if it is a total disaster.

I was waiting for Suicide Squad movie. Now I am waiting it even more.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice - Comic-Con Trailer [HD]

I guess I have to give my opinion too because this seems to be hottest thing at the moment. Suicide Squad trailer would be even hotter if it was released online too. Warner knows it is more interesting and don't release it yet to give this more visibility.

Batman v Superman is next entry on Warner/DC flagship superhero movie series. Next movies are already on production and more is on pipeline. First movie Man of Steel was disaster. Some DC fanboys and fangirls liked it but others had different opinions. I would be waiting Batman v Superman more if there wasn't Man of Steel which lost my trust to the director and writers.

Batman v Superman seem to take elements from Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns and Injustice: Gods Among Us comics. I am currently reading Injustice. There will be review of it later. I was surprised to see elements of Injustice here. It has Superman which is quite different from regular Superman. If they are taking elements of Injustice Superman here, will they take elements of Injustice Justice League to movie series' Justice League too? That would be exciting but it would also alienate many fans of the comics.

I didn't like religious imagery. It went way too far. Man of Steel hit us in the head with Superman being Jesus. This makes Superman god and angel and what ever. I am pretty sure I will hate movie's message. Zack Snyder's style seem to go too far in some shots. Movie tries to be realistic but some shots look too much like fantasy paintings.

Trailer didn't make me want to see Batman v Superman. It could work but I would not count on it. Suicide Squad trailer was shown to Comic Con audience last weekend. It seems to gain much more hype than Batman v Superman trailer.

UPDATE: Suicide Squad trailer was released after this post was written and scheduled. I will write similar post about it.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Pantani: The Accidental Death of a Cyclist

If video is not shown, you can watch it here.

July is Tour de France month for me. It will take way too much of my time. When I saw Marco Pantani documentary in Netflix I had to watch it and because it was so good I had to do a video review. I had another thing planned for this week but it will be postponed.

Marco Pantani was one of the best climbers the sport has ever seen. His results may not justify his status as a legend like Eddy Merckx or Fausto Coppi. Some of his status comes from potential he had. He was one of best ever when he was at his best. But he wasn't at his best for a long time. Pantani: The Accidental Death of a Cyclist gives us some sort of picture why some people are so fanatic about Marco Pantani.

Marco Pantani is still last man to win Giro and Tour same year. That will change in two weeks if Alberto Contador win Tour this year. Contador is one of four biggest favorites to win the race. But Pantani is still last man to win both races same year.

Marco Pantani had many problems during his career. I guess it is suitable that making this video had some problems too. I had some problems almost at all stages. There is one ghosting part in this video and I have no idea how to get rid of it. I don't know what caused it. It wasn't only problem I had. I hope my bad luck ends now when I have published this review.

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

Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Anomaly (2014)

The Anomaly was positive surprise. Sometimes weird science fiction movies turn out to be good. What made this so interesting was one story telling element. Without it The Anomaly would have been average and forgettable.

Ryan is ex-solder who wakes up in weird situations. By waking up I mean he can be in sleep for weeks and then wake up in middle of something like his body is doing something when he is not awake. He stays awake for nine minutes and forty-seven seconds at the time. Then he blackouts for sometime. We only see those moments when he is awake and tries to figure out what is happening.

This style of storytelling kept movie interesting. There was always sense of urgency. What could he do with time he has. At first he seem to wake up on totally random situations in different cities. As movie goes on things start to make more sense. Mystery has some crazy elements but style of story telling keeps it interesting.

End credits tell director and male lead Noel Clarke brought something original content to story. If I have to guess it was Russian mafia and fighting scenes. Russian mafia was there only to provide two long action scenes. There were too many action scenes during first part. It was like Ryan had to fight someone or someones every time he woke up. Later action scenes felt more justified from story's point of view.

I would have like The Anomaly more with less action scenes. They slowed the story telling and it felt strange how much Ryan wanted to fight when he knew he had so little time when he was awake. Acting isn't always best possible but other than that I don't have bad things to say. I liked it mainly because of style of story telling. Story wouldn't have been that interesting told otherwise.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Minions (2015)

If video is not shown, you can watch it here.

Minions review is bit shorter. If it is still too long and you want shorter review. Here it is. If you liked Despicable Me movies. You probably like Minions. It doesn't feel Despicable Me with different villain. It is Minions' movie.

I have done written and video reviews of new movies lately. One being first thoughts and one more thoughtful after I have had more time to process the movie. Minions is not a movie which I can do the same. More analytical review require spoiling the jokes and that is almost everything Minions have to offer. Which in other hand means there is very little to analyze.

I watched Minions in theater because I was curious to see what they came up with. Movie could have been terrible but ended up being ok, I wouldn't say it is good. More about that in video.

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

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Why Terminator: Genisys is so bad

This is not review as such. I made review video earlier. I will spoil the movie in this post. If you want to see the movie you should not read this post since it has spoilers and it might make you reconsider seeing Terminator: Genisys. I won't go into how the movie feels more like series of scenes rather than whole movie. I don't have issues with John Connor being terminator. It is one of the few things making sense. Or it would make sense if there wasn't one thing I get into later.

There are no character arcs. Characters don't grow, learn or question anything. Everyone buys the premise from get go and don't change during the movie. Only Arnold's terminator changes but it is more of a upgrade than growth and movie would have been better without it.

In first movie Sarah Connor goes from pushed around waitress to mother of future resistance leader. In Judgement Day John Connor is youth criminal who learns his mother was correct. Sarah Connor tries to kill innocent man to stop judgement day but learns she can't do it. Miles Dyson learns his life work will cause end of the world and he has to decide between his life work and believing woman who just tried to kill him. Third and fourth movies also had some character arcs.

Terminator: Genisys has no character arcs. Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese find each others but that is because everyone has planned them to be together. There is no-one questioning the premise. Every main character knows war between humans and machines is real thing. Because characters don't change this is just series of scenes.

Main plot in all previous movies have been terminators trying to kill John Connor or preventing him born. Terminator: Genisys throws that to trash and it is Sarah Connor whose action cause John Connor not born at the time he was supposed to born. And what does that do to John Connor? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. John says they are somehow outside changes of history. Even when John didn't born when he should have he still exists. This sounds extremely stupid but it really happens and takes away most important plot point of previous movies.

Reason why John Connor will never born is Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese time travelling to couple days before judgement day trying to prevent it. No-one even mentions this will mean John Connor will not born when he should born or question if this makes any sense. Argument was should they go to couple days before 1997 judgement day or new 2017 judgement day. What was the point of going to future just before judgement day to stop it? Why not giving more time to stop judgement day?

Terminator: Genisys is first part of trilogy. It means it does leave things open. Who send Arnold to save young Sarah Connor and who sent all the other terminators to kill her and Kyle Reese? Sequels probably try to explain these and other inconsistencies. But based on this movie I don't expect explanations to make much sense.

Only Arnold is good in his part. Emilia Clarke can't fill Linda Hamilton's shoes. Linda was iconic in Terminator 2. Emilia Clarke doesn't look athletic or tough enough for the part and she has no chemistry with Jai Courtney. Jai Courtney is there. I don't know what to say about him. He wasn't bad just uninteresting and lack of chemistry didn't help. Jason Clarke was ok as terminator but too robotic as human.

I have to take my words little back, J.K. Simmons was ok for the little time he had. He is only one outside main characters to get any sort of role. There are no characters similar to two detectives of first movie or Miles Dyson of second movie.

Terminator: Genisys is series of action scene divided by uninteresting and unintelligent slower scenes with uninteresting characters we have no emotional connection with. There is only one interesting main character and he is robot. Emilia Clarke it hot though. Movie steals too much from earlier movies. I don't say borrow because it is giving nothing back. Story is just elements of first three movies told again from little bit different angle. It doesn't bring anything good to Terminator lore. It only makes it worse.