Monday, December 25, 2017

Bright (2017)

Few months ago I saw trailer which reminded more than little Shadowrun. Shadowrun is role playing game series in science fiction/cyberpunk world with magic and fantasy races like elfs and orcs. Similarity to Shadowrun peaked my interest. Trailer didn't look that bad.

Bright is not related to Shadowrun. It just uses fantasy races and magic in different genre as Shadowrun does. This is about dirty cops and two police officers having really bad night. And magic and fantasy races of course. I am not sure if I liked it because it is similar to Shadowrun or was bit disappointed because it wasn't as good as Shadowrun. This is last time I mention Shadowrun in this review.

Bright has little tone problem. It has moments of grittiness but it isn't gritty enough. In first act movie shows police violence and racism. It hits you in the head with them. After first twist these are dropped completely. Movie becomes two police officers and elf trying to survive the night. There were reasons to tone down racism angle but not forgetting it almost completely. It wasn't only thing totally forgotten.

Movie expects sequel. It introduces groups and people only to forget them and it forgets to introduce some concepts. Somethings just happen without us being given any head up or reason why they happened. I enjoyed the movie for the most parts. There were even great moment. Bright looked like great movie at one put but then something happened. I can't say what in spoiler free review but you can probably guess at which point I thought this was great movie only to be disappointed moments later.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (spoiler review)

If video is not show you can find it here.

This is spoiler review. You can find my spoiler free review from here.

Original plan was to make spoiler free video review last week. It would have required me do shoot and edit during night and get very little sleep. Spoiler review makes more sense in long run. That is why spoiler review. I know another camera looses focus few times. I don't know why it does that. There isn't anything interesting besides my head in shot. Next time I will use smaller aperture.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)

This is spoiler free review. Spoiler review will come Thursday.

The Last Jedi is best Star Wars movie since original trilogy. Right after the movie I wasn't sure if I would put it before Return of the Jedi. After some time to think I say it is not on level of Return of the Jedi. It has too much problems. Main ones being there is too much from Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi which makes it have too much content. It is too much like Star Wars fan film. Unlike The Force Awakens this has something of its own.

I will get to too much content part in spoiler review. Explaining what I mean requires spoilers. Story follows bit too much of Empire Strikes Back. It even brings some of the Empire's problems. Getting into that in spoiler review.

I liked what was new and different from earlier movies. Rose was great addition to main cast. Her introduction was one of the best scenes of the movie. Heroes making errors was fresh addition. Usually in this kind of movies heroes can do nothing wrong. It made movie more interesting when you knew they could fail. Few jokes could have been dropped. They made it movie feel too much like parody of Star Wars.

The Last Jedi goes bit too much of epic route. It would have been epic with less epic scenes. Some scenes lose impact they needed because there were too many epic scenes. John Williams' music saves most scenes but too much was too much even for one of the greatest film composers. Some scenes worked only because of John Williams' music.

The Last Jedi gives you everything you expect from Star Wars movie. It could have been on level of Empire Strikes Back if it didn't give everything you expect from Star Wars movie. It is still enjoyable movie. It will probably be best of the new trilogy JJ Abrams will return for next one. His work with existing franchises have been copying old material with minor changes. Sometimes making things worse in process. The Last Jedi left everything open for something new. Thanks to JJ Abrams I expect next movie to return to same old.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Let's Be Evil (2016)

Terrible name. Interesting premise. Doesn't work. Somewhere along creative process the point was lost. Premise is much more interesting than what we got. I might be painting too bad picture but I didn't like how movie ended without answering anything. The whole story was there to showcase what director can do and ending was "It was me all along Austin" level disappointment. There were moments when movie looked like it started to work but then all hope was taken away.

Let's Be Evil follows three young adult caretakers in top secret underground facility. Facility tries to unblock intellectual potential of its child subjects. Inhabitants of the facility have to wear augmented reality glasses all the time to see anything. Once movie enters the facility everything is seen through augmented reality glasses. There were couple scenes where writers understood what potential this setting had but there were only those couple moments. Which makes me think they were lucky those times.

Highly intelligent children taking control of high tech facility was clever idea. Making these kids physical threat to adults wasn't. It made big dramatic scenes look ridiculous. Showing everything through augmented reality glasses made movie look like video game. I though that was point and it would pay off. Movie never used the fact everything characters saw was augmented reality. There was one point where it look like it used but I guess that was mistake. Augmented reality glasses were there as cameras and on plot wise their only function was to let characters see in facility.

I wanted to like this because of the premise but this was horror movie in science fiction setting. Science fiction movie with horror elements would have worked better for me at least. As it is movie drops interesting science fiction concepts to use its time creating horror elements with visuals and audio.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Space Truckers (1996)

Space Truckers has really boring name and quite low IMDB score. I was bit interested but not enough to watch it before this. It is low budget scifi movie about one independent space trucker. Movie is mix of comedy with some action and horror elements. It looks like average low budget scifi movie at first. Until half way point it is that with some clever bits. When action starts it start to work better.

Space Truckers have better world building than story arc. Story arc is quite simple story of space trucker, his love interest and youmg space trucker taking mysterious cargo to Earth. It is enough to make us care and take movie to different places. Those places and characters there make movie interesting. Main arch is pretty lighthearted. World where it happens is not. It is really dark world where little people try to manage somehow.

I would put this somewhere along Outland (1981) as a lower key science fiction movies. Unlike serious Outland this is lighthearted action comedy but both have this same unspectacular science fiction feel. Science fiction isn't about big visuals and grand space battles. Worth checking for any science fiction fan.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Chronicle (2012)

Josh Trank will be remembered from this movie and Fant4stic. This is his first feature and Fant4stic could be his last. Fant4stic was disaster but people who had seen Chronicle said it was good. After seeing it I can understand why people like Chronicle. And I can see why having Josh Trank directing big budget superhero movie might sound good idea. But that movie shouldn't have been Fantastic Four movie.

Chronicle is found footage movie. It doesn't have too much shaky camera. Most of the footage is from protagonist's camera. Some footage comes for other sources but it is always camera which would shoot these events in real life. I am not sure if found footage is correct term because no-one would get all this footage. It is the style where all footage look like characters shot them or it came from security cameras.

Protagonist is guy who is abused at home and school. He starts to shoot video of everything in his life. One night his cousin and cousin's friend find mysterious hole in the ground. They want him to shoot it. They went into hole and gained superpowers. Three become best friends when they learn to use their powers. Chronicle likes to play with audience's expectations of superhero movies. It pretend to go into regular superhero movie way until it starts to miss some expected beats or twist them little bit.

I don't want to spoil the twist. It is twist if you expect regular superhero movie. Movie is slowly going there all the time. It is a twist if you expected something else. It sets the movie apart of other superhero movies. First hour didn't work for me that well. It is build up without much payoff. Last half hour work thanks to all the build up of first hour. Found footage gimmick hurt first hour and some of last half hour.

Things making Chronicle good movie are the things which made Fant4stic bad Fantastic Four movie. Fant4stic had other problems too. It was wrong source material for Josh Trank. His style works on darker stories. Fantastic Four should be bright positive adventure. I hope Trank can make more movies which suit better for his strengths. Chronicle is good movie but I expect he could do better with right story.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Another Earth (2011)

I am not sure if I like this or not. It wasn't what I expected. This is one of those science fiction movies which are dramas set into science fictions settings. This is much more drama than science fiction. Science fiction is there to give closure to the story. Another Earth is there from the beginning but it is on the background all the time. Sometimes literally.

If you liked Solaris (2002) or Eternal Sunshine of Spotless Mind you might enjoy this. I love both movies but I wasn't enjoying this all the time. Movie has same tone as both mentioned movies. Phasing isn't as good and budget is much smaller. Budget wasn't the problem. Phasing was. It was like watching a car crash slow motion at times. It was clear where the movie was going. You just wanted it to get there faster for it to be over.

Story was too slow at the times but I wanted to see what will happen with another Earth. Getting to ending was drag. Ending was ok. I not good enough to make this a good movie but it had idea. Maybe not the most original idea. It is almost there but not quite. Like the rest of the movie. Soundtrack had moments but something was missing. Same with cinematography and story.

They had nice science fiction concept suited for drama like this but something was missing. This is kind of movie I usually love. It was close there but not quite. I don't want to get into spoilers. Wondering where this is going made the journey better. It might be better less you know about it before watching it.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Sunshine (2007)

I don't usually spoil movies I talk about but this time I will do that. I didn't like Sunshine that much and telling why I didn't like it requires some spoiling. Sunshine was one of those movie I wanted to see but never found the time or it wasn't available when I remembered it. I like the soundtrack and premise sounded interesting.

Sunshine has hard science fiction feeling without being that exact with the science. It was bit distracting but it wasn't the main problem. Characters and the twist were the problem. Most characters don't have any personality.

Chris Evans is only one who has some. He and Cillian Murphy are main characters. They don't like each others. That was Murphy's characters personality and he was main character. One guy is going crazy but doesn't. His craziness makes him sacrifice himself when it was needed. One guy lost it in one scene and died in next. Others didn't have even that much personality.

Crew is humanity's last hope. They don't act like it. They send two of their most important members outside to fix ship and then turn the ship in a way that puts them in danger. They had only one person who can restart the sun and he is sent to do dangerous tasks because why not. All decisions were done without too much calculations. They wouldn't have had any problems if they acted like professional crew of scientific minds.

I understand what they tried to have with the twist but it didn't work the way they wanted. It was mistake to have two ships and follow the second. Having first ship missing and then appearing didn't bring anything one ship with one guy losing his mind wouldn't have given. At least to what they tried to achieve with the twist.

The twist is first ship's captain lost his mind and sabotaged the mission because "god wills it". He lived alone inside first ship for seven years. When second ship docked to his ship he went to second ship and tried to sabotage it too. Biggest problem was he was made some kind of supernatural villain. He was never show normally like everyone else. There were always effects on him. We never saw him clearly. I am not saying he stayed in shadows. Even when we should have seen him clearly there were heavy effects blurring him.

Having someone sabotaging missions because he thought they shouldn't mess with destiny, god's will or what ever was clever idea. They had one crew member going crazy who could have done that. Having supernatural villain ruined the idea. Having one guy losing his mind would have been interesting. Having crazy guy in other spaceship and coming from there meant one less character arc in movie where there we no clear character arcs.

Sunshine is frustrating movie. It has talented people and good ideas but it fails in few key areas. I might have had too high expectations after waiting so long to see this. Having just average movie was disappointment.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Star Trek Beyond (2016)

I didn't want to pay anything for another movie in series JJ Abrams started. Both of his movies disrespected Star Trek and only used names and story elements without understanding why we liked them in first place. I heard this was best of reboot movies. I am not so sure about that. If you forget movies were Star Trek movies and can look past the disrespect the movies were ok as brainless scifi action.

Star Trek Beyond doesn't have JJ Abrams on board. It tries to bring spirit of old Star Trek back without dropping action scifi reboot brought. There are scenes which remind old Star Trek without taking anything from old Star Trek which is more than first two movies could do. But this only makes it like worst old Star Trek movies with updated special effects.

This is fifth Star Trek movie in a row with some sort of revenge story. I think Into Darkness also had one even when it had something else too. I won't watch it again to be sure. Old Star Trek was good because it had interesting and different stories. Often there weren't any villains. Movies have regressed being revenge stories with clear villains.

When I said I am not sure if this is best of reboot series I mean if you forget disrespect of first two movies they are better than this. This don't respect old Star Trek but trying to be between old and new makes movie quite boring. It doesn't have interesting concepts of old Star Trek and it is not as brainless scifi action as first two movies. If you count disrespect this is best by not having it.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Stranger Things season 2 (2017)

If video is not shown you can find it here.

I didn't like first season as much as most people. It was good but it had issues. Main issue being characters' actions didn't have consequences until something had. Then you wondered why this had consequences and all the other didn't.

I saw second seasons unspoiled. I didn't watch trailers. I didn't read anything which could have spoilers. Even minor spoilers. I say this because until first break at the middle of third episode I had learned almost nothing new.

First few minutes have reveal which was easy to guess if you saw first season. We had few new characters. We learn what happened to Eleven which was what you expected at the ending of first season. Will has same vision he had at the end of first season. And there is something mysterious going on. And the new pet.

When I started second session everything started to work. It was what was good in first season without what was bad in first season. Almost like remake of first season. Plus this was Aliens if first season was Alien.

They learned their lessons from first season. Including not revealing too much at then end of the season. It hurt first episodes of this season. I am not sure is having complete story arc with conclusion each season is good idea. Each season has to establish the story with slower start when previous season ended with bang.

It is problem with most series but with this is was most noticeable. It was only thing I can really complain. New characters were as good as old ones. Story didn't have too many side steps. There was one planted in first season.

You can discuss if the story was too close to first season. I am not sure but for third season they need something different. This worked because it changed enough and did same things better.

I wonder what the third season will be. It surely has to have something new. Much more than including metal fan or any other new music style fan. This season had some build up for third season but nothing which told what it can be.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Scouts Guide to Zombie Apocalypse (2015)

When I saw trailer I thought this could be interesting. Then bad reviews started to come. After seeing the movie I am not sure why all the bad reviews. It is not great movie but it is not that bad. If you have seen too much zombie movies and tv series you might dislike this for not having much original ideas and trying to have little humor without going into parody territory.

Scouts Guide to Zombie Apocalypse tells about three scouts and bartender during zombie apocalypse. That is almost everything that is not seen countless times before. There is zombie apocalypse and boys trying to get girls. It is pretty much what you expect from this kind of movie except that there is more drama and less comedy than you expect from the premise.

This is not new Shaun of the Dead or even Zombieland. It is just average horror comedy. If premise sounds interesting you might enjoy the movie.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Approaching the Unknown (2016)

Quite often when Hollywood is making something interesting there will be another similar movie. I am not only talking about mockbusters. Approaching the Unknown is that movie to The Martian (2015). If you thought The Martian had too much humor in it Approaching the Unknown might be the movie for you. It is really hard science fiction with some inaccuracies.

In The Martian protagonist wanted to get back Earth from Mars. Here protagonist is trying to get to Mars on one way mission when something goes wrong. That is the whole story. You really have to like this kind of movies to enjoy this one. Not saying it is bad one. It is just so serious and aims to ultra realistic tone. It is surprisingly good for low budget copy of a big budget movie.

I would have liked it more if it didn't have some unrealistic visuals few times. Movie didn't need them. They just should have stick with ultra realistic hard science fiction. All steps to other directions were missteps. At times movie was hard to watch but overall I liked it more than I disliked. I understand if someone hates it for being boring. I liked how protagonist started to losing it and thinking weirder things as he got further from Earth. It made the movie worth of watching.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Arrival (2016)

Arrival went under my radar when it was in theaters. I knew it based on poster controversy but I thought it was one of those alien invasion movies. Afterwards I learned it is closer to original The Day the Earth Stood Still than Independence Day. It was too late to see it in theater then.

Arrival is one of the better science fiction movies. I can see its merits. I appreciate all the technical aspects and will probably see the movie again to learn something about cinematography and storytelling. But it just didn't touch me like Solaris (2002). Without going into spoilers movies are quite similar in more ways than one. I think main difference why I like Solaris more is it concentrated more on human story. Arrival is more sterile hard science fiction.

It is hard to talk what makes Arrival good without going into spoilers. Most of it was how the story was told from the technical point of view and how it was written. Story builds up slow and then there is kind of twist which is build by the way story was told. Story itself is not that spectacular. It is the way it is told which make the movie good.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

Blade Runner is my favorite movie. I have hard time finding any flaws from it after the first scene. I didn't have high hopes for sequel. Best sequels to great movies can do is not to make fans of original to hate it. You can only lose touching great movies.

I didn't hate Blade Runner 2049 but it didn't need to be Blade Runner. Being Blade Runner didn't make it a better movie. Changing replicants to synthetic humans and dropping Deckard wouldn't have changed much about the movie. It might have made it better.

Blade Runner 2049 don't try to make Blade Runner again. It doesn't have film noir style of the original. Story is so far from original movie I expect it wasn't written to be Blade Runner sequel. Maybe it was changed to be Blade Runner for marketing purposes. If it wasn't named Blade Runner I wouldn't have compared to Blade Runner.

But it is called Blade Runner so here we go. Worst thing sequels or prequels can do is to make original lose something which made it good. Blade Runner 2049 explains what happened after the original. But because we saw replicants aging we can still have our was Deckard replicant discussions.

New movie doesn't have any characters as interesting as original. No one is close to Roy Batty or even JF Sebastian. Even smaller roles had memorable characters in original. Luv could have been memorable. She has moments when she show what could have been. By the end she regresses into one dimensional character. K's virtual girlfriend Joi ends up being most interesting character.

Not having clear villain made original movie so good. You can say replicants and Roy Batty were villains. But they had understandable motives. Outside one case they only killed for self defense. No such luck this time. We have villains doing villain things.

All this may sound I didn't like the movie. It is good science fiction movie. But nothing more. Movies like Ex Machina and Moon are better movies with similar themes. When you name your movie Blade Runner you make us compare it against the very best. It is not on that level. It could be best we could get from Blade Runner sequel. It has so much original story and style it could have been original movie and not sequel.

Running time of over two and half hours may sound lot. Movie didn't feel that long. Scenes were slow and took time. It never felt too long or slow. There is one really clever twist. That itself would be worth the ticket. But there is more. You shouldn't expect to see film noir scifi or anything like original movie. As its own thing movie works. It doesn't try too much to be Blade Runner sequel. Which saves it.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Blade Runner - The Final Cut (2008)

Blade Runner is my favorite movie. Couple movies get close but it is the favorite. It was on the place with Director's Cut. I don't remember much about the theatrical cut. I have seen it couple times long time ago. The Final Cut is the version I watch when I want to watch the movie. I have all versions on dvd somewhere. I might do comparison in the future. This time I want to tell why Blade Runner is my favorite movie.

Blade Runner is one of those movies where you find something new each time you watch it. This time I realized how similar looking eyes Roy Batty and Gaff had. Does this mean Gaff was replicant too? There have been lot of discussion if Deckard was replicant. Even makers of the movie have different opinions. It would make ending more interesting if Gaff was replicant.

Harrison Ford was sort of action hero when Blade Runner was made. He had done first two Star Wars  movies and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Here he is more of a anti action hero. He is blade runner who doesn't want to be blade runner. Everyone thinks he is best there is but he is really lucky surviving each replicant. Each had chance to kill him but he landed close to his gun or someone interrupted replicant. Maybe he knew he wasn't as good as everyone thought he was and he wanted to get out while he was still alive.

I can't say anything that hasn't been said about soundtrack. There are reasons why internet is full of videos people making Blade Runner sounds on different synths. Most scenes have been analyzed on what makes them so good. Movie is not perfect. There was no point for Holden to test Kowalski. They already had images of replicants. Test was there to introduce test so we knew it when Rachel was tested. After the first scene it is hard to find any flaws from Blade Runner.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands: War Within The Cartel (2017)

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands: War Within The Cartel has two good things. First is color grading and another is length. It is only 30 minutes long add for a video game. I didn't know it when I started to watch it. I watched it because it was short but I expected it to have full story. It doesn't. It gives you a reason why you can shoot everything that moves in a video game.

I guess it  is faithful to source material since it feels like long video game cutscene. Except that video games doesn't have that shaky cameras and not so many extremely tight shots. It was more interesting to spot thing they got right in this mess than follow the story. Not that they got many things right. Story is one big cliche. Bad guys are really bad to point of ridiculousness. They shoot their employees to show how bad they are. Player shouldn't feel bad killing these characters and their henchmen.

Movie has 5.9 rating in IMDB. Probably only fans of the game and me have seen it. You shouldn't bother with this if you are not going to play the game. I watched this to make this review and then do something more interesting. Now I have watch something else to get this garbage out of my mind.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Road Cycling World Championships 2017

Little bit different post this time. I didn't realize I have used my backlog of reviews and did everything else last week. I watched something I could have reviewed this time but I want to make video review of it. Road Cycling World Championships were raced last week. Races were shown free on YouTube.

Races were held on Bergen Norway. Norwegians had found really interesting routes for the races. Everything went well until the last few kilometers of the last race. Power outage took away few kilometers before the last one.

Time trials made next year's Tour de France more interesting if Dumoulin participates. He and his team were unstoppable in both races. Having win Giro earlier this year and almost catching Froome in time trial makes him biggest challenger next year if he rides the Tour. Route was interesting with tough climb in the end. I thought it would have been better to ride with normal bike but both Dumoulin and Froome rode it up with their time trialing bike in time trial position.

All previous road races avoided bunch sprint. However men's race was really interesting even when it ended in bunch sprint. It was never clear who would win. We didn't know if big climb was tough enough to make selection. Picture went after last climb. At that point it wasn't still sure. Men who got away were still clear. The race ended Sagan taking historic third championship in row despite doing anything at all before the end. Anything we saw.

Next week I will get back to normal reviews.

Monday, September 18, 2017

American Gods (2017)

American Gods is based on graphic novel of same name by Neil Gaiman. Neil Gaiman is one of the producers. This surely feels like Neil Gaiman's work in both good and bad. My exposure to his work is limited to Sandman and its spin-off Death. This has everything I liked in them and what I didn't like.

Based on eight episode first season it is hard to see where this is going. It ends when it starts to get really interesting. If you have seen Star Trek episode Who Mourns for Adonais you know what this is about. God needs to be worshipped to live. Nowadays people don't care about old gods. New gods have taken their places. This is what our protagonist Shadow Moon learns from mysterious Mister Wednesday. It took way too long for me to realize who he actually was even when it was clearly hinted who he is.

Neil Gaiman is good telling interesting stories. However he want to tell so many different stories at same time he loses the focus. There are interesting short stories and awesome scenes. Series jumps too much from place to place. It is not enough to have two groups series follows. It gives half episode to stories which have very little to do with the main story arc. At the end of first season each main character have had their moments and more. It ends with most all main characters at same place and the story can really start.

American Gods is good series but I wanted to like it even more. Only thing I didn't like was all the jumping. It hits you hard with symbolism. We get American Gods don't like foreigners. We didn't need to see it in each episode with short story which had nothing to do with main story arc. Unless these stories introduced something for later seasons. First season of American Gods is more collection of short stories than one big story.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Castlevania (2017)

Castlevania has got lot of praise for being first really good adaptation of video game. I thought Mortal Kombat was the first. At least it is older and good adaptation. I think I understand why it gets the praise. However I don't think it is as amazing as people say it is. It is quite good and I see why people like it.

Castlevania is edgy in many ways. There is lot of gore and language. This certainly is not for kids. I guess part of the praise comes from the edginess. I could have done with less of it. That one discussion in bar went bit too far. Edginess wasn't only things which saved the series. This is really dark series. There are no boy scouts. Everybody is more or less bad guy or just trying to survive. It even makes Dracula relatable.

Castlemania is only four episodes long and under two hours total. It is only first act. It introduces main characters and settings. It ends when main characters get ready to fight against Dracula. Next season probably has another boss they have to fight before they get to Dracula. Castlevania is frustratingly short. It ends when it gets you hooked. It is all set up without payback. With all the positive feedback this will certainly get next season where we should get some payback.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Inferno (2016)

Inferno is sequel to The Da Vinci Code (2006) and Demons and Angels (2009). It really feel they wanted to repeat winning formula of The Da Vinci Code. It didn't work too well with Demons and Angels. It doesn't even that well this time. Plot is so forced I couldn't take it seriously. Someone is trying to release some kind of plague to save the earth. He has left hints where his plague package is using references to Dante.

Robert Langdon wakes up at hospital wounded and hallucinating. He doesn't remember anything from last few days. When he tries to find out what has happened everything gets weirder. Felicity Jones plays woman who helps him. She is not anywhere near of Audrey Tautou. I don't even remember who played the role in Demons and Angels. Here you remember Felicity Jones' character because of plot twist. She is as forgettable as she was in Rogue One.

I would be lying if I didn't say I was excited at the end. I have no idea why. Maybe it was professionalism and talent of filmmakers. Movie didn't deserve my excitement. Ending worked for some reason. Setting was cool looking and music worked. But it was only the ending. Everything before it didn't excite me. Many parts of the story didn't make much sense. Movie just want to repeat successful formula of the first movie without thinking if the story makes sense. Book is probably the same. If you liked both of the previous movies you might enjoy this too.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Death Note (2017)

I feel like I have to justify my opinion by saying I have not seen the anime or too many similar movies. I liked concept, story, cinematography and soundtrack. Anime might have done this better. Since I have not seen it I can enjoy this for what it is. I only knew what the book was about.

Outcast student finds weird book with several rules. Anyone whose name is written to pages of the book will die. Demon Ryuk follows the book and anyone who owns it. Student decides to use it for good. There are few plot holes and characters make weird choices to get all the pieces to correct places. When everything is at correct place movie start to work better.

There are five main human characters. Student's father connects them together. Movie's problems culminate in him. Few of his key scenes are missing. He is too clearly the guy who makes the story go to certain direction when it needs to go to that direction. Worst of all he doesn't seem to have any personality. His personality seems to be what story requires him to be at that time. His character needed those missing scenes.

Movie needed more time. It has to take few short cuts to get where it needs to be. It has good twists all the way but when movie gets ready for the ending it is really good. I really liked the ending. Script has some issues but everything else works.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Defenders (2017) - spoiler review

If video is not shown you can find it here.

Here is my spoiler review of The Defenders. I don't spoil the whole thing. There are some spoilers to make a point. Video was shot at Pasila. There is some footage from Pasila Street Art District.

Monday, August 21, 2017

The Defenders (2017)

The Defenders continue stories of Iron Fist and Daredevil's second season. Jessica Jones brings three characters from her series and Luke Cage brings only one who weren't in other series. Iron Fist was only generally disliked Netflix's Marvel series. His character was still problem but it didn't destroy this series.

It was fun to see characters meeting each others when they were investigating same case on their own. Series starts as continuation of Iron Fist but later Daredevil's story arc gets big role. Iron Fist was as problematic here as he was in his own series. I hope he grows in future if we have to see him again. He was still his own biggest enemy and annoying. He was only character with whom I had problems.

The Defenders continue to have great villains. This time it is dying woman looking for eternal life. She wasn't typical one dimensional comic book villain. None of these series have had one yet if you don't count second villain of Luke Cage as one.

All previous series  have had 13 episodes which felt too long. This is only eight episodes. It helps keep the story tight. There is the big twist and some story elements other series used. I keep this spoiler free. I get to those next Thursday on my spoiler review.

The Defender is probably my favorite of these series. Previous series have had their problems. This is not perfect either but shorter length keep it tighter than others. Length felt right for the story. You probably need to see Iron Fist and second season of Daredevil before you can fully enjoy this one.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Ghost in the Shell (2017) revisited

I saw Ghost in the Shell (2017) before I saw any of the animated Ghost in the Shells. I was curious to see how it works now after I have seen animated movies and Stand Alone Complex. I expected I would be comparing it to animes. It didn't do it. I could watch it without thinking about anything else.

However movie's biggest flaw is it takes too much from animes. Many scenes and shots are from animes and it is distracting at times. Some scenes took too much from animes. They contained story elements from animes which didn't make any sense in this movie. First time I didn't see all of these. This time I saw them because I knew story elements from animes.

I still enjoyed the movie. It is not great movie. It could have been if it went bit further from animes. Some scenes show what the movie could have been. Movie is better than its reputation. It may become bigger when people find it on their own without expectations it had when it was released. When I feel like watching some Ghost in the Shell next time I am not sure if I will watch this or Ghost in the Shell (1995). 1995 movie is better in every way but I like how this looks and feels.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Blame! (2017)

Blame! is Netflix original anime. I would like to know if it is standalone movie or beginning of movie series. Knowing it would change how I would rate the movie. Movie feels more like beginning of the series than standalone. It introduces important concepts close to end of the movie and it doesn't end the big story arc. It just introduces big story arc. As a standalone it is quite let down.

In far future mankind has lost control of automated city. There are no humans who have gene needed for controlling the city. City has declared humans as illegals and kills them at site. Small human village lives inside the city in area where robots can't enter. Their time is running out when food is running out and getting more of it is killing more of them and they are losing their equipment doing so. Mysterious traveller finds them and gives them some hope.

As stand alone movie Blame! doesn't work but it left me wanting more. At the end it introduced new story elements I wanted to know more. This movie didn't use the elements. They were there for the next movie or follow up series.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2 (2017)

If video is not shown you can find it here.

This video is really late. It was late when I uploaded it to Youtube. It is more late here because I forgot to upload it here.

I went to see Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2 in theater. It wasn't my original plan. I planned to buy the movie when it comes available but there were reasons to go to theater and Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2 was most interesting running at the moment.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Zootropolis (2016)

True story. I had Zootropolis open in browser's tab for months waiting me to get into correct mood for the movie. I never got into mood. Then I saw movie was leaving streaming service in five days and I had to watch it even without getting into mood for it.

Zootropolis starts as a story of following your dreams even when whole world is against it. It is about first bunny police in animal town. After few twists it turns out to be overcoming prejudices. No-one is free of prejudices and someone might turn out to be what everyone expects them to be even when they want to be something else.

Zootropolis has quite deep message for kid's movie but it is one we should hear these days. I wouldn't put it among my favorite animations. Main characters aren't that memorable. Most characters are stereotypes. This could be because movie is about prejudices and characters change to show they are not like stereotypes after all.

Jokes don't always hit the mark. Story starts to works after it leaves regular following your dreams territory. There are good twists. Some of which are something you don't expect to see in kids movie. Zootropolis is worth of your time. Being different and taking chances is worth it this time.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

13th Doctor

If video is not shown you can find it here.

It is my time to talk about 13th Doctor.

I am little bit late with this one. I shot last week's video before 13th Doctor was announced. Female doctor was only matter of time. They had planned and foreshadowed it for years. If it wasn't this time I would have been next time.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Max Payne (2008)

Max Payne is one of those movie you forget how bad it is. It tries to get similar feel as Cobra but fails miserably. It looks like movie I should like but it doesn't work. First it is Max Payne who is unlikeable. His introduction was badly written. In fact all the dialog at the first half hour is badly written.

Story could have worked if it was told differently. Now we follow unlikeable guy who tries to make us care him even less. Character can be unlikeable if he or she is interesting. Max Payne has no interesting characteristics. We should root for Max and Mila Kunis' character. I couldn't care less about them.

Movie introduces many characters without ever getting back to them. If it gets back to them they are different than what they were introduced. Something has happened off screen and now this guy who didn't like Max previously is his best friend or something. Then you get scene where armed to the teeth office security guards start war in full office and no-one calls police because that is normal day in said office.

Movie looks ok and has ok soundtrack. It would probably work better is you could mute everything other than the score. Score is not great. It is better than rest of the movie. Movie is based on a game where you could slow down time. So there had to be slow motion shots which destroyed the rhythm of the scene.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016)

If you want to watch this movie you should stay away from the trailer or at least wait until you have forgotten what was there. Trailer was full of spoilers. I watched it after watching the movie. I don't understand why they wanted to spoil so many scenes in trailer. If the name sounds fun and interesting you want to see this movie.

Based on response I expected something boring where the name was the best thing. It was not. Story was more than lazy joke based on the name. Without knowing anything it kept me hooked for the whole movie. It treated Pride and Prejudice part as parody and Zombie part was martial artists fighting zombies and each others.

I had my reservations about Pride and Prejudice part but I was wrong. I liked it as much as everything else. I remember one review criticising movie not going far enough with the gore. Gore is cut almost completely. I didn't have problems with it. To be honest more gore would have made movie better.

Movie didn't make its money back which means we won't be getting many similar movies in the future. It is a shame. I liked the movie. It is not a masterpiece by any means. It is just fun costume drama zombie action movie. When it was in theaters I had no idea it could be this good. If you think movie named Pride and Prejudice and Zombies could be fun done correctly you should watch it. I think it was done correctly.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Sharknado: The 4th Awakens (2016)

I guess I don't have to explain what Sharknado is. If you don't know what it is you can read my reviews of first movie, second movie and third movie. Third movie started to be painfully bad. Fourth movie is bad but it is not as bad mess as third movie was.

Sharknado: The 4th Awakens happens five years after third movie. There is sharknado prevention technology everywhere. It can stop sharknados but this time they don't have regular sharknados. Whole story is build around what-ever-sharknados. There are sandsharknados, firesharknados and nuclearsharknados.

Movie tries to get low budget aesthetics. Some shots have no post processing, some lack color grading. Effects look terrible. I wouldn't be surprised if this was cheaper to made than third movie. It might also be that they tried to get low budget look on high budget. Third movie was mess where they threw everything they could think. This one stays better together. In is still senseless running but it is not all over the place.

SyFy and Asylum can make these every year and get enough audience to justify next movie. They just make movie they think audience want to see. We watch these movies to see what insanity they have this time. It doesn't matter how good or bad the movie is. We will watch them anyway. Sharknado movies are like chain restaurant hamburgers - you know what you will get and know if you like it or not even before watching the movie.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Gods of Egypt (2016)

Gods of Egypt was one of big flops of 2016. It is not the worst movie. It is expensive and uninspiring. I didn't pay full price to see it and I didn't see it in theater where my full concentration has to be on screen. Maybe that is why I didn't feel it is as bad as it's reputation.

Don't get me wrong. It is not a good movie. It starts painfully bad. Then turn almost interesting until ending destroys what good it got. There is something wrong when you root for bad guy who enslaves humans and treats everyone badly. Good guys are that uninteresting. Horus is god who is set to be king. He didn't take things too seriously. Bek is thief who doesn't take things too seriously. Horus want to kill Seth who almost killed him and became king. Bek wants to save his dead girlfriend. They don't get much more character development or character traits.

It is hard to pinpoint where Gods of Egypt went wrong. Main characters have some of the blame. Story could have been better. Other than that it is quite competent movie. Boring but competent. There are too few movies using ancient mythologies to this extent. They failed to go further in gods and men living together. There is almost a subplot of gods not caring humans enough to keep their words. But only almost. Only to get our hopes up movie could have something interesting to say.

If you have seen action movies heavily based on ancient mythologies Gods of Egypt doesn't have much to offer outside big budget. Cheaper movies have more character. More expensive movies tend to take less changes and lose personality. Gods of Egypt is boring big budget effect fest. Maybe worth checking if you like movies heavily based on ancient mythologies. Otherwise you can skip this. It is not so bad it is entertaining.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Daemonium: Underground Soldier (2015)

Sometimes movie is such a complete mess you can't stop watching because you want to know where it goes. Daemonium: Underground Soldier is one of those movies. Weird things just happen. You don't know what is going on or who these characters are. You just want to see where this goes next. Even after seeing it I am not completely sure what happened.

This happens in dystopian future where demons and angels are real. Wizard is forced to open portal and summon demon. Soldier makes deal with demon and he becomes some kind of gang leader or something. He has limited time. He wants more time. His ex-wife is brainwashed to become dominatrix assassin by disfigured assassin who wants Soldier killed. Wizard is thrown back in to mix with brainwashed archangel.

All this happens very little explanations. Things just happen. Movie is series of weird scenes which may not make any sense. Some things may be explained but most are not. Director had clear vision he just didn't bother explain what is happening.

I have no idea where subtitle Underground Soldier comes. Soldier makes deal with demon but he is not soldier nor stays underground after that. If you want cheap weird bloody science fiction action fantasy Daemonium: Underground Soldier might work. Otherwise you shouldn't bother. There is no satisfactory payoff unless weirdness and violence is enough for you.

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Pyramid (2014)

The Pyramid starts as bad found footage movie. At some point they drop found footage gimmick. Beginning is bad because it feels forced found footage. It jumps from scene to scene and it doesn't know what it wants. When they get into pyramid found footage gimmick is almost completely dropped. It is the point movie starts to work better.

Movie never gets really good but it starts to work better. Group of people get lost inside pyramid. There is something waiting for them. The Pyramid have few interesting twists. When it starts to work it becomes average but working people trying to escape from somewhere horror movie.

The Pyramid works as short horror movie. It doesn't have anything memorable. After they drop found footage gimmick there is nothing annoying. It is just a movie about a group who get killed inside pyramid. Movie has good cinematography and sound which makes it work better than it deserves.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Superhero movie fatigue

If you can't see the video you can find it here.

I decided to make video update to my most read post. I go through what I think is wrong with superhero movie genre at the moment and tell why I didn't see Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2 in theaters and why I skip Wonder Woman.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Gantz:O (2016)

Gantz: O is science fiction anime based on manga series Gantz. It expects us to know the source material. If you don't know you have no idea what is going on. You can follow the story but you don't know what is happening or why it is happening. There is some kind of game where dead people are fighting demons and getting points doing it. Protagonist doesn't have any idea what is going on. He even ask it and gets no reply.

Watching Gantz: O is like watching random episode of Dragonball Z without knowing anything about the series. Sure there is lot of action but you don't know if characters are in danger or not. We should feel they are in danger but you don't know what actually hurts them when nothing seems to stop them. In Ganzt: O it is players trying to kill demons. Nothing seem to work and then demon dies for some random reason.

I kind of want to like it. It looks good. It have few good ideas. Story had its moments. But then it gets to action scenes which don't seem to end. Ending left me wondering what just happened. Sometimes style is enough even if the backstory and world doesn't make sense. That is not the case with Gantz: O. Looking good and few good moments are not enough.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Hellboy (2004)

I reviewed Hellboy 2 some time ago. I didn't remember much about first one when I watched it. When I saw first one available I had to check it. After watching the movie I can understand why I didn't remember much about it. Everything making Hellboy different than other similar movies was boosted in sequel. When Hellboy was released it had its own identity but after Hellboy 2 it doesn't feel as different because Hellboy 2 took everything further.

Sequel was dark fairy tale with too much tone changes. Hellboy is more lovecraftian. It has tentacle monsters without being hentai so it must be lovecraftian. Ok, it has more lovecraftian themes than only tentacle monsters. Hellboy keeps the tone better than sequel. Humor fits better to everything else.

Hellboy tells origin story of Hellboy. Hellboy is demon from another dimension who is fighting for humans. Bad guys who brought Hellboy to our dimension are back to finish what they started. Bad guys are the problem. One of them is interesting. Other two are quite forgettable and rather boring.

It is hard to say which one was better. Both are entertaining and fun while they last. Hellboy is more even without as great moments as sequel had but lowest points are not as low as sequel's lowest points. For me Hellboy is better because it stays together better, keeps the tone and I like summoning demons from another dimension stories better than dark fairy tales. Granted Hellboy doesn't have anything getting even close to death of elemental scene of the sequel.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Ghost in the Shell conclusion

If you can't see the video you can find it here.

This is conclusion video of all the Ghost in the Shell reviews. I tell what I think of movies and Stand Alone Complex now after I have seen all of them. Well, Ghost in the Shell Arise and new animated movie have to wait for next time.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (2004)

Ghost in the Shell 2 is sequel to Ghost in the Shell (1995). I review this last because it was only one I had to get physical copy. Others I could get digitally. I might have Ghost in the Shell fatigue but I liked this least of animated Ghost in the Shells. I have to watch live action again to form opinion how this compares to it.

Major is still missing after what happened in first movie. Batou and Togusa investigate case of homicidal pleasure bots. Other Section 9 members get only brief cameos. This movie had completely opposite problem than Solid State Society. There is almost no content. Story would have made good Stand Alone Complex episode. As one and half hour movie it was full of filler. There is no memorable antagonist. There doesn't seem to be one at all. It is just faceless corporation.

Ghost in the Shell 2 mix drawn 2D animation with computer generated 3D animation. At times it looks amazing while other times it looks terrible. Most of the time it is in between. Movie has long establishing shots which serve nothing but showing animators' skills. I like slow movies but this one takes it too far to make movie longer. Interesting story is replaced by pseudo philosophical dialog.

Ghost in the Shell (1995) is one you should watch if you want to know what Ghost in the Shell is all about. Then Stand Alone Complex and Solid State Society should be next. This will be last Ghost in the Shell review for a while. I checked ones which have got praising reviews. There is more animated Ghost in the Shell but those will have to wait. There is something special Ghost in the Shell related next Thursday and then I am done with Ghost in the Shell for some time.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Ghost in the Shell: Solid State Society (2006)

Solid State Society is sequel to Stand Alone Complex. Stand Alone Complex seasons had 26 half hour episodes. Closer to 20 minutes if you take away credits and ending animations. Solid State Society feels like third season cut into four or five episodes. All stand alone world building is gone. Main story arc, which is all this is, gets less than half the time it would get in full season. This is biggest flaw of Solid State Society.

Solid State Society happens at least two years after second season. Major has left Section 9. Section 9 is investigating Solid State Society case. They don't know it is Solid State Society case. They run into Major who is in investigating same case. Movie doesn't have time to tell us what Major has been doing after she left Sector 9. There is no time to build interesting antagonists. They just appear and tell what they have done.

Over all Solid State Society feels like ideas for third season of Stand Alone Complex were crammed into under two hours movie. It is not bad. It is quite good if you don't compare it to Stand Alone Complex. Movie builds the story well until it runs out of time and has to explain everything it can with dialog.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: 2nd Gig (2004-2005)

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: 2nd Gig is second season to Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. It starts some time after first season when Section 9 gets its official status back. Second season has more political drama and darker tone than first season. It is also closer to 1995 movie. In one episode characters acknowledge they are not free but that was one of the stand alone episodes.

Second season follows Section 9 as they solve Individual Eleven case. Case involves refugees which make it feel current. Like first season this has 26 episodes which are stand alone episodes or Individual Eleven episodes. Individual Eleven episodes were called individual episodes and stand alone episodes something else. Like first season second season has one episode which doesn't fit to other episodes. This time reason is it being stupid. Court house episode didn't have same level of quality as other ones.

I wonder how criminals get caught in Ghost in the Shell world. People can change bodies and take control of other people. Both happened more than once in second season. How police can be sure it was that person and if he or she was not controlled by someone else. There are episodes where police has these problems and they were solved more based on luck than skills.

Both seasons of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex are among best anime ever made and close to the best even when live action series are included. This was fourth Ghost in the Shell review in row. There are still two more to go.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (2002-2003)

Ghost in the Shell (2017) got me hooked into Ghost in the Shell. Stand Alone Complex is not same story arc as Ghost in the Shell (1995). In 1995 movie characters were in Section 9 partly because Section 9 owned their cybernetic parts. In Stand Alone  Complex they are totally committed to Section 9 no matter what happens. That is biggest difference between two. There are some other differences too but otherwise both are quite close to each others.

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is 26 episode anime tv series. It follows Section 9 as they hunt mysterious Laughing Man. Series has two types of episodes. Complex episodes follow Laughing Man story arch and have stories spanning over several episodes. Stand Alone episodes are short stand alone episodes which contain episode long stories which are never returned.

Series feel like kids' anime at first but soon turn into darker and more complex themes. There is episode where serial killer skins his victims alive. I thought that went bit too far. Other episodes stayed more intellectual level. Some stories suffered from half hour episode length. Some ideas stories had required more time than they got. Series is not as philosophical as the 1995 movie until last episodes and couple moments in earlier episodes. It is must see if you liked the 1995 movie.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Ghost in the Shell (1995)

After watching and liking Ghost in the Shell (2017) I had to watch this one too. I am glad I saw movies in this order. I wouldn't have enjoyed new movie as much if I had seen this one before. I still don't think new one is bad. This one is so much better comparison would have made it feel worse.

Ghost is the Shell (1995) is best animated movie I have seen. It is pretty much everything I wanted new movie to be. Scenes taken from this one to new one make more sense here than in new one. Even the "boss fight". This had philosophical aspect lacking from new movie. Now I understand reputation of this movie.

Ghost in the Shell happens in world where line between human and machine is blurred. Human brains can be read and programmed like computers. Security police section 9 is hunting cyber criminal Puppet Master who can reprogram humans to do his dirty work.

I knew this movie but I thought anime is always like Dragonball Z or Pokémon or something really weird. Ghost in the Shell is not like that. It is serious and philosophical. It is one of the best science fiction movies I have seen. I recommend checking it if you haven't seen it yet.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Ghost in the Shell (2017)

I had no intention to watch Ghost in the Shell in theater. I just felt I could watch something and it was most interesting movie available. I am glad I did see it. It is not great movie but not as bad as I expected it to be. It has same problems many remakes have but it had many things I liked.

Ghost in the Shell has burden of whitewashing. I would have liked to see asian actress as Major but Scarlett Johansson does ok job in the role. Takeshi Kitano was only asian actor in major role. He seems to be Hollywood's go to guy for these roles. I would like to see someone else sometimes. Not that I don't like him. I just like to see other asian actors in these movies.

Ghost in the Shell is science fiction action movie. Action was part I liked the least. Some action scenes felt bit forced and "boss fight" at the end wasn't necessary. I would have prefered Blade Runner style where action scenes happened for good reason. Movie tried to be Blade Runner like. There were slow moments but there was too much of everything.

I would have liked more explanations. Movie concentrated on Major without telling about world it happened. World felt interesting but without knowing the source material I didn't always understood what side characters motivations were or where the characters were. This and action scenes were only things I didn't like. Otherwise I liked the movie. I am not familiar with the source material. I can't tell how the story was ruined.

Story was interesting. Movie looks good even though some scenes had too many visual elements and looks didn't stay consistent throughout the movie. Movie could have taken more time with different characters. With few changes this could have been great movie. Now it is good movie which takes many steps to right direction. I plan to get back to this movie after I have bought it and watched it few times more.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Pandorum (2009)

Mankind has send spaceship to colonize another planet. Two crew members wake up from hypersleep not remembering anything. They realize something is wrong. They don't find anyone from previous shift. I remember seeing another movie with similar name and premise. It surely was different movie since ending was different.

Pandorum is more horror movie happening in spaceship than science fiction movie with horror elements. It was turn off for me even though story is quite hard science fiction. Most of it is survival horror. Science fiction parts are short exposure scenes in between survival horror.I wish they put more effort into science fiction and less into crew members losing their minds.

This was second time I tried to watch this. First time I managed to get to through first 20 minutes. Movie reveals the story too slowly. There isn't much to reveal. Story is quite simple and characters are not too interesting. I need more than characters running and hiding from danger.

I remember seeing review by some horror guy who liked the movie. I am more of a science fiction guy. There wasn't too much for me. Story happened in science fiction setting and had good science fiction elements but they were too few and far between. The twist was good but I don't want to spoil it here.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Wrestlemania 33

If you can't see the video you can find it here. This is bit late. I forgot to upload this video here earlier.

I am not huge wrestling fan. I have on/off, mostly off, relationship with wrestling. WWE offered few free months of WWE Network and I thought I could check what is going on at the moment because Wrestlemania is their biggest event.

I reviewed WWE Network couple years ago. I might do short video review of its current state later when I have checked it more. It still seems to have same problems which made me cancel my subscription first time.

Yes. I know it doesn't sound as good as other videos. I thought I could do this without external audio but I was wrong. Now I know I have to use external audio in future videos.

Monday, April 10, 2017

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)

I don't get the hate The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen gets. It was Sean Connery's last movie. Since it Connery has only two voice acting credits in IMDB. But I don't think you can say it is so bad it ended Sean Connery's career. It is not good but it is not that bad. It is kind of guilty pleasure for me. I watch it every now and then. Like with other guilty pleasures being too analytical eat away the enjoyment.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is team of public domain 19th century literature characters. They try to stop world war starting at 1899. I am not sure if this should be our world or world very similar to ours. Some inventions are out of the time. I am not talking about Nemo's technology which is few decades from the future or something never happened. Other technologies are also few decades from the future. All is done in 19th century style. This becomes bit confusing when you think too much about it.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen has comic book movie feel of comic book movies before Hollywood realized they can make comic book movies serious. They wanted to show they are making silly comic book movie. All this shows in characters, dialog, acting, sets, makeups and directing. There are many plot holes and everything happening Venice is just plain stupid.

I have soft spot for steampunk and dieselpunk. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen has enough of both for me to enjoy the movie. It has few interesting characters. It is stupid and have many problems. But I like to watch it every now and then. You just should not think too much when watching this.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Van Helsing - Season 1 (2016)

Is it spoiler to say why this is called Van Helsing? It is one twist in last episode but it is quite easy to guess one of the main characters is Van Helsing in series called Van Helsing. This is zombie apocalypse series with zombies replaced with vampyres. It was done to be cheap Walking Dead rip-off but it turned out to be more than that. It is based on comics but series got made because someone wanted their own Walking Dead.

Van Helsing happens three years after vampyre uprising. Vampyres rule post-apocalyptic world. They have enslaved most surviving humans. Few are still there to fight vampyres. Vanessa was attacked first of the uprising. She felt into near death state. After three years she wakes up into very different world. Her blood turns vampyres back into humans which makes vampyres try to capture her.

Van Helsing is not meant to be binge watched. Each episode is too packed. After few episodes you feel you need a break to let everything to sink in. Fast phase don't give enough time for characters to grow. Some deaths are not impactful because of this. Too many times heroes find easy way out of hopeless situation.

First couple episodes have pointless flashbacks. After them series start to work better. Story has clever writing and good twists.Anything could happen to anyone. Situation could change in matter of moments. Characters are flawed which get them into troubles.

I am not sure what to think about Van Helsing. It does many things correctly and has great things going on. But it feels bit rushed and heroes get out of troubles too easy compared how dark and realistic everything else is. Last episode ends in few big cliffhangers. I surely want to see where this is going.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Van Helsing (2004)

I remembered Van Helsing to be 90 minute stupid fun steampunkish action movie. I remembered wrong. This is over two hours. I only remembered one scene. Everything else I had forgotten. Why I had forgotten almost everything? Van Helsing is what you can almost call painfully bad. I had to watch the movie in two sessions because I had enough after first hour.

Van Helsing is a mess because it has too many ideas stuffed into one movie. There is too much of everything. You have Dracula, Frankenstein, werewolves, Mr Hyde, secret vatican organisation and too much of effects and near escapes. Movie doesn't know what it wants to be. Story feels different than what the movie looks. Story wants to be serious, characters look like they are in comedy. Dracula feels more like sitcom character than evil villain.

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Underworld did everything Van Helsing tried to achieve better previous year. Neither is great movie but both are better than Van Helsing. I wonder why League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is considered as really bad movie when we have similar but worse movie in Van Helsing.

Van Helsing just have too many ideas for one movie. Penny Dreadful showed how different characters from literature can be added to one story. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen wasn't as successful but it made more sense then Van Helsing. Van Helsing should has dropped at least half hour of length and werewolves, Frankenstein and Mr. Hyde and had shorter action scenes. Then it might have worked.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Netflix's Iron Fist (2017)

If you can't see the video you can find it here.

I almost gave up on vhs look. It took long time to render and I had to do it several times before I found what end the flashing. I wanted to try this look since Iron Fist has roots in old kung fu movies and vhs aesthetics are linked to them.

I forgot to mention couple things in the video. There were too many flashbacks which didn't tell anything new. They were there only to make episodes longer. I almost hated the last episode. It has so many things wrong. It felt out of place because it introduced new concept which didn't have proper build up. There was some build up but it needed more and story should have been spread over two or more episodes. Now it had too much on one episode.

Iron Fist was first miss in Netflix's series but it was not as bad as some say it is. It could have been much better.

Fun fact: Background music was originally made for Daredevil review. Since that it has become my most used background music.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Ragnarok (2013)

Ragnarok is Norwegian action adventure. If you are familiar with Hollywood action adventures you probably feel action part missing. In many ways it is like Jurassic Park in viking mythology. It takes some elements from Jurassic Park movies including kids hanging with adults when they go to dangerous places.

When I started to watch the movie I expected to see regular horror movie with lot of deaths and gore. It has some horror elements but cast is too small to have many death scenes. When your realize what this is you pretty much can see what is happening to every character during the movie. At least if this is not your first horror/adventure movie. But it doesn't matter because movie is so well made.

Ragnarok is another good Norwegian horror movie. Another is Død snø aka Dead Snow (2009). It is refreshing to see good horror movies from outside Hollywood. Recommended if you can watch non-English movies and like horror movies and/or Jurassic Park.

Monday, March 13, 2017

The Adjustment Bureau (2011)

There was I time when I had all Phil K. Dick movie adaptions on dvd. This included famous movies like Blade Runner and Total Recall but also less known movies like Screamers. I wanted all of them because Phil K. Dick stories had interesting and original concepts. Since that there have been several other Phil K. Dick movie adaptions and I have not kept track of them. Maybe I should. The Adjustment Bureau is Phil K. Dick movie adaption.

In good Phil K. Dick fashion everything is not what it looks like. Part of the fun is to figure out what is really going on. Which is why I won't tell much about the story. The Adjustment Bureau is much like Eternal Sunshine of Spotless mind. Main theme is romance where both want to be with each other but something goes wrong. Both are romantic movies with twist.

The Adjustment Bureau is not as good as Eternal Sunshine of Spotless mind. It is good choice if you want to watch something similar. Same goes for Phil K. Dick movie adaptions. There are better ones but this is good choice if you don't want to watch better ones for some reason but want to watch one.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Meet the Spartans (2008)

This is what you expect it to be. Really bad movie telling the story of original movie with adding stupid jokes to every scene. What happened to parody movies? There was a time when parody movies were more than just remakes of original movies with lazy jokes.

300 was over the top and was not meant to take seriously. All the one liners were on steroids. I never got the homosexual undertones. Maybe someone sees them when there are muscular men with little clothes. To me it was always this warrior thing. In real life men would have more armor but 300 wasn't meant to be taken seriously. There is a movie called The 300 Spartans if you want serious movie of the story.

Meet the Spartans is full of gay jokes. Yes we get it. They are muscular men who don't wear too much clothing. Another joke was having fat guy in group. Fighting is replaced by dance battles because that is so original. You see guys using modern technology. Fight with wolf replaced by fight with penguin. Beautiful girl was actually ugly. And so on and so one. It is always the laziest joke unless it is totally obscure reference which makes no sense.

300 is close to a perfect movie. Everything works. It is full of spartan alpha male BS and it looks amazing. It is so over the top it is almost a comedy. To be honest I don't know how you could make parody of it. Some movies just shouldn't be parodied. Meet the Spartans doesn't even try. It has the look which makes most of the jokes feel out of the place. You get more comedy and humor from 300.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Crimson Peak (2015)

I can understand why people like Crimson Peak. I understand where all the praise comes from. I can't deny cinematographic values of the movie. But I found it rather boring. I want good story and that is the part where Crimson Peak is lacking. I am not fan of period pieces and I probably wasn't the target audience.

First part was 19th century upper class period piece. I endured it because I had heard all the praise and I wanted to see what it all was about. When they get to Crimson Peak I started to get into the movie. It was still slow but I liked the visuals and sets. I wanted to see where this is going to because it wasn't clear. Big reveal was let down. I was expecting something more.

If I remember correctly this was marketed as horror movie. This is more mystery than horror. Movie kind of knew it. There is book with ghosts in it but author says it is not a ghost story, just story with ghosts in it. Crimson Peak is not horror movie. It is a movie with horror elements in it.

My main issue was with protagonist. She was just drifting from one scene to another. I didn't understand why she didn't think something was wrong when her new husband took her to broken sinking house. She was introduced as progressive woman. Then she just drifts to Crimson Peak just because Tom Hiddleston said some nice things to her.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Sleepy Hollow - Season 1 (2013)

Headless Horseman, witches, demons, magic, purgatory and so on. Ichabod Crane and Headless Horseman were killed in fight during 18th century. Both were resurrected in modern day small town Sleepy Hollow. It is mix between Supernatural and Elementary without being on level of either. It is interesting enough to keep watching but feel like you have seen this before.

Sleepy Hollow suffers from making main characters chosen ones. Ichabod Crane was in many key moments of 18th century and was friends with key persons of the era. Key persons sent him messages to him into future because they somehow knew what will happen in future. He partners with police Abbie Mills who is also chosen one and whose ancestors were key persons of 18th century. When they are in danger you know they will survive because they are the chosen ones.

First episodes have soft resets between episodes. Later episodes didn't have which made series work better. First season had few clever twists. How ever story never goes above average cliche fest. There are too many too convenient coincidences. They always find a way to get out of the problem too easy. You don't feel the stakes if heroes find something laying around and it helps them get rid of their problem.

First season of Sleepy Hollow is only ok. There isn't anything dragging it to bad territory. It just isn't as good as other similar series.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 3

If you can't see the video you can find it here.

I know fourth season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is currently running. I get these late and I like to binge watch. That is why you get this now.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Vanishing on 7th Street (2010)

Vanishing on 7th Street's premise sounded interesting but I didn't expect much from it. I was surprised how good it is. It is not for everyone. If you want to be explained what is going on you will be disappointed. Movie is all about the mood. We don't get to see backstories of characters. Only enough to let us know what they were in previous life.

There is only couple minutes before lights go out and almost everyone disappears. Few people happened to be in light when lights go out. They are walking around city trying to find batteries and stay in light. They disappear if they go into shadows. Shadows are alive. They hunt survivors. Four people end up into bar with emergency power supply.

Movie follows these four. All actors do good enough for the job. Even the kid and Hayden Christensen. This is by far best movie Hayden Christensen has been in. He is not the greatest actor but his style suits the movie. Movie had some same feeling as Sanctum (2011). In both people are surrounded by death and they can't stay where they are.

You shouldn't expect everything to make perfect sense. Vanishing on 7th Street is all about the form. Form is so good I can forgive other aspects not working so well. If you are able to do it you like this. If not you won't like it. I am pretty sure writers didn't spend much time trying to invent backstory of what is actually going on. Story only gives us the minimum to know what the stakes are.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Piranha 3D (2010) & 3DD (2012)

I think I can review these movies in same post. Piranha 3D is creature horror comedy of piranhas hitting spring break beach party. Piranha 3DD is sequel which feels more like bad parody. Piranha 3D is one of better creature horror movies. These movies can rarely be called good. I wouldn't call Piranha 3D but it is better ones of the genre.

Underground earthquake let prehistoric piranhas escape their underground lake. Lake has spring break party at the same time. Movie mixes spring break party insanity to more realistic characters trying to figure out why some people are missing and what earthquake did to the lake. Spring break part is there to show how sinful the students were. So we could feel they deserved what happened to them. Movie actually have few intelligent ideas.

Piranha 3DD happens near different lake. Spring break party needs new venue. Too bad owner of new venue gets his water from underground lake. This time we don't have realistic characters or anything realistic at all. It feels like they didn't even try. 3DD is to 3D what Scary Movie sequels are to Scream. Piranha 3DD is bad parody of the whole genre. Movie is only 70 minutes long. Last 10+ minutes are bloopers and random scenes.

Piranha 3D is worth of your time if you like the gende. It is real movie. You really have to like the genre or bad movies to enjoy Piranha 3DD. They made sequel with little effort to get money from fans of first movie.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)

It's been a while since I saw first Hellboy. I don't remember much about it. There have been talks about the third movie but nothing has materialized yet. Probably it is too late to get third movie.

There are two things I didn't like. Movie changed tone too much between scenes. Another was you knew how the movie will end when you learn connection between siblings. After it you just wait it to happen. Movie tried to have sad tone showing Hellboy killing creatures last of their kind and main villain trying make him change sides. Right after that Hellboy and Abe Sapien drink and talk about their love life. Movie's combination of humor and sad dark fantasy didn't work for me.

Probably someone else like this more. It is well made and Guillermo Del Toro's creatures look amazing as does everything else. I just hope they had less forced humour. Scene with elemental was magical. Dark fantasy parts worked best. Other parts either worked or ruined dark fantasy feel.

I see what they were aiming for but too different tones make movie less of what it could have been. Relationship between Hellboy and Liz didn't need to have problems. They had problems and then they didn't when scene needed it. New character Johann Strauss was interesting but needed more consistency. If you don't remembers first movie you have no idea why Hellboy treats Suit trying to control the team so badly. He just tries to do his job.

Hellboy II is ok movie which could have been better. Amazing scenes are coupled with less amazing scenes.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Death Race (2008)

Death Race is very loosely based on Roger Corman movie Death Race 2000. This time racers are prisoners racing on closed track. Two things remaining same are racer named Frankenstein and they are racing cars. Almost everything else has changed. Original was really dark comedy. This one is dark and gritty action movie. I am not sure can this be called science fiction. At least it is borderline science fiction.

For profit prisons have pay-per-view events where prisoners fight to the death. One such event is death race. Fan favorite racer called Frankenstein dies during race. Prison warden frames old race car rider for murder of his wife and talks him to take the role of Frankenstein.

I was surprised how good the movie was. I thought it would be another one of those random action movies. It had potential to be science fiction classic but it is not. Most of the movie works really well but then they go over the top or add Fast & Furious bling bling. Death Race would be exciting enough on itself but they had to introduce armed truck killing racers. It made no sense. Why would they want kill their racers. To make it even more stupid it gave better options for the guy they didn't want to win. There are also few obvious inconsistencies and scenes which make little sense.

Death Race is ultra violent and gritty. Story is something we have seen in other similar media critical science fiction movies like Gamer, Running Man and so on. Without few flaws this could have been classic. Now this is entertaining and interesting ride.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Sherlock - Season 4 (2017)

If you can't see the video you can find it here.

Here are my thoughts of fourth season of Sherlock. I didn't like it as much as first two season. It was not bad season but not as good as first two.

I decided not to save this background music only for Westworld reviews. I like it too much and we have to wait for next Westworld season for at least next year. Fifth season of Sherlock will come after that if it comes at all.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Planet Terror (2007)

Planet Terror succeeds in what Machete Kills failed. It is entertaining deliberately bad movie. It is a rarely successful feat. Planet Terror is one part of Robert Rodriguez's and Quentin Tarantino's Grindhouse two parter. Another one is Tarantino's Death Proof. Movies are homage to cheap exploitation movies.

Planet Terror is mix of science fiction, splatter, action and zombie movies. With all the added noise and other imperfections it feels like watching obscure movie in small outdated theater. Having one reel "missing" was nice detail. I would like to see what was in "missing" reel but I probably prefer it being "missing".

Planet Terror works if you are into obscure violent movies and splatter. It wears you down. First it feels stupid but little by little it starts to work. Characters are written like badly written characters. El Wray is my favorite. He is "ultracool" action hero who no-one wants to give gun for some reason. His backstory was told in "missing" reel.

Movie started with Machete trailer. I can't pinpoint why Planet Terror works and Machete Kills doesn't. Planet Terror tries to look authentic. Machete Kills looked too digital with awful cgi blood. I doubt it is only reason. Both try to achieve same thing. One works, one doesn't

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Mass Effect

If you can't see the video you can find it here.

This is game review but I thought readers of this blog might enjoy it since it is science fiction game and I mostly review science fiction movies.

How to change field of view in Mass Effect 1-3:

This is not first game review on my channel. I probably make more of these in future. At least for Mass Effect trilogy. After Mass Effect I have other games I like to play through. At the moment I have no intention to do these all the time. Would I be casual gamer if I played all the time.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Machete Kills (2013)

I don't remember much about Machete. I remember it was enjoyable but forgettable. Machete Kills is forgettable but not enjoyable. It is weird to think same guy, Robert Rodriquez, directed this and Desperado. It's like he made this bad on purpose. Desperado, From Dusk till Dawn and others have shown he can make cool action movies.

Machete Kills was meant to be second movie in Machete trilogy. Meant because we have not seen the third movie Machete Kills in Space. Machete Kills in Space is bit overdue by now. Machete was released on 2010 so third movie was due 2016 if they wanted to keep the schedule.

First Machete was based on fake grind house trailer. Like I said I don't remember much about it. This movie has fake trailer for Machete Kills in Space. It is better than Machete Kills. The joke worked better in trailer form.

There is little to tell about the movie. It is just series of scenes where actors try to be cool. Movie has many actors who have been cool in other movies but this movie just doesn't work. It is series of would it be cool is ideas which aren't cool when you see them with this delivery. This might have worked better with practical effects. Terrible cgi was real turn off. There is only little to turn you on. Actor have been better in other movies. Most of the time you feel you have seen this done better in other movies.

I am curious to see Machete Kills in Space if it ever gets made. It is probably same joke done third time when second time was already too much. But I am still curious to see it. Movie had one good thing. It reminded me how good Desperado was and made me want to watch it again.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Doctor Who: The Return of Doctor Mysterio (2016)

If you can't see the video you can find it here.

I am little bit late with this one. I had other things during Christmas and published more videos than usually. I almost forgot a little thing called only episode of Doctor Who in 2016. Here are my short thoughts of The Return of Doctor Mysterio.

It is shorter video than normally and it is has connection to comics. So I tried to have more cartoonish look. Cartoonish look take ages to render. Even though I like it I don't want to spend time rendering if I don't have any excuse to use it. Now I had.

Monday, January 2, 2017

The Descent (2005), The Descent 2 (2009), The Cave (2005) and Sanctum (2011)

Group goes into underground caves. Something blocks their way back up. They have to find another way out. In first three movies they find something living down there. I expected Sanctum to be horror movie too but it wasn't. It just shared the premise with first three movies. If I needed fourth horror movie I could have added As Above, So Below which I thought I had reviewed but couldn't find the review.

I am not a horror guy but I had time and I wanted to check what is available in this trapped underground horror genre. Sanctum is disaster movie. I liked it most of these movie basically because not being a horror movie it had more time to study interesting topics. Others had to have the horror elements which took some time from character studies. Otherwise Sanctum suited this group.

Best horror movie was The Descent 2. It and The Descent didn't go overboard like The Cave. The Descent movies stayed more realistic in story and sets. The Cave was just grand sets and big action. Big sets took away the claustrophobic feel of being trapped underground. In other movies you felt like protagonists might end up in dead end and not make it.

I liked The Cave the least. It has many issues. It is too big and tries too much for its own good. The Descent movies are smaller in every way. You have to watch The Descent to get everything out of The Descent 2. Movies were made four years apart but they feel like first and second part of the same movie. They happen within days of each others. Second movie closes some open ends of first movie in a good way. I expected them to be closed in first movie but we had to wait for second movies. In this rare case second movie made first movie better.

There is very little to tell about stories without going into spoilers. Every movie tells about group of people trying to find new way out of the caves. Sanctum and The Descent 2 are actually good movies. With Sanctum you have to endure some time before tone changes. Horror movies follow more familiar formula and you know what you are getting into. Sanctum don't show where it is going from the start. It is disaster movie but it doesn't show how dark it gets.

I watched all these movies back to back in order they are in title. I had seen The Cave before. Others I saw first time. I didn't like The Cave that much first time either. Maybe it was more interesting when I didn't know what will happen. Overall this was interesting marathon. None of the movies were really bad. If you want to have all horror movies you should change Sanctum to As Above, So Below. It is more supernatural than these four so maybe Sanctum is better choice. Or you can watch all five movies.