Archive for the 'Reviews' Category

Jun 04 2014

Six Lessons the 2014 Robocop Should Have Learned from the Original

Published by under Editorials,Movies,Reviews

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The 2014 Robocop remake sucked. Wow, I bet you didn’t see that one coming!

Picking on a corporate-driven remake is like picking on the kid in school with chronic gas; they can’t help it if they stink.

When a studio attaches a director to a project they don’t care about, it always spells bad news. Worse, the studio will constantly meddle to squeeze as much cash out of the branding as possible. Like it or not, the world must come to grips with an endless stream of exploitative remakes confusingly branded with the exact same title as their predecessor.

Even so, what irritates me about Robocop 2014 is that MGM stood to learn a lot from their source material. I’m not saying that they should have copied the first film outright, but because they failed so abysmally at understanding why the 1987 Paul Verhoeven Robocop worked in the first place, maybe they shouldn’t have bothered.

Here’s a couple of things the studio and director should have picked up on before cobbling together their bland, desperate, and unnecessary cash grab… Continue Reading »

3 responses so far


Jun 02 2014

Game of Thrones Review: “The Mountain and the Viper”

Published by under Reviews,Television

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It almost felt like a PPV match, tuning in to Game of Thrones this weekend. Yes, there was other stuff going on, but it was all leading up to the grand title fight of the evening. The prize? More valuable than money. The life or death of the most beloved character on TV, Tyrion Lannister.

The Red Viper of Dorne has proven himself a pro in the bedroom all throughout this season, but has yet to actually fight anyone other than a pair of seated Lannister lackeys. The Mountain has been butchering his way through the show for almost four years now (with three different actors playing him). Who will prevail? Continue Reading »

7 responses so far


May 27 2014

Hannibal Season Finale Review: “Mizumono”

Published by under Reviews,Television

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Hannibal’s theme this week was forgiveness, which I can only assume is a pre-emptive strike from Bryan Fuller against fans who will have trouble ever trusting this guy with their hearts again. Good grief; that was a hell of a way to close out the season.

As Bella and Hannibal discuss in one of the early conversations in “Mizumono,” endings grant meaning to all that came before them.* On that note, thank heaven this show got renewed. Can you imagine if that was the last we saw of this universe? Since the show gladly DID get renewed, however, we can comfortably talk about how massive it season finale wound up being.

Which, was pretty effing massive. Obviously, we finally return to the kitchen brawl that kicked us off thirteen weeks ago, but there’s so much other stuff going on in this episode it isn’t even funny. It’s really, really NOT funny, come to think of it. Hannibal’s iconic slow-burn style pays off as “Mizumono” comes out so hot it practically burns the show to the ground.

“Here’s to the truth… and all its consequences.”

Continue Reading »

7 responses so far


May 22 2014

Why Big Man Japan is the Ultimate Kaiju Film

Published by under Editorials,Movies,Reviews

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While Pacific Rim failed to make much of a splash last summer, Godzilla has been stomping its box office competition this weekend. Proving that kaiju still have a place on the silver screen, the film’s smart marketing campaign successfully avoided being lumped in with its nauseating cousin, the 1998 Roland Emmerich version.

Renewed interest in kaiju, coupled with Godzilla‘s extremely lucrative opening weekend means we’re probably going to see a lot more monsters stomping cities in the near future. Michael Bay has evidently preemptively cashed in, and many more studios are guaranteed to follow suit.

This buzz seems like the perfect time to stick up for what is easily my favorite kaiju movie of all time, Big Man Japan. The film is an interesting look from the inside-out about what it means to fight giant monsters as a career choice. Written, directed, and starring Japanese filmmaker Hitoshi Matsumoto, the movie explores the nitty-gritty of giant monster fighting, such as how a giant puts on his fabulous and enormous purple underpants. Continue Reading »

4 responses so far


May 20 2014

Unreal Movie Review: “Godzilla”

Published by under Movies,Reviews

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It’s hard to believe that in this age of endless superhero blockbusters, it was a Godzilla reboot that turned out to be one of the most buzzed-about blockbusters of the summer. It’s a film nobody really wanted, or thought would be a good idea, but a series of excellent trailers showcasing the skills of director Gareth Edwards (Monsters) and star Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) were enough to convince even the skeptical (myself included) that the film could be worthwhile.

And it is. It works well as both an homage to the Godzilla films of old, while being modern enough to entertain present day audiences who want a heaping helping of CGI destruction.

The film follows a family, the Brody’s, as their lives run parallel to the secrets of the massive monsters buried under the oceans and Earth’s crust. The father, Joe (Cranston), works at a Japanese nuclear power plant in the late ’90s, and watches his wife die as a result of a massive, localized earthquake with seismic patterns that seem structured, not random. Continue Reading »

5 responses so far


May 19 2014

Game of Thrones Review: “Mockingbird”

Published by under Reviews,Television

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Though Game of Thrones has appeared to slow down a bit this season after the tumultuous Purple Wedding, it’s still producing fantastic episodes. It’s hard to top the incredible ending of Tyrion’s trial from last week, but “Mockingbird” certainly did its best with yet another (relatively) major character offing.

We’ll start with that, as there’s not really any point in dancing around the most eventful moment of the evening. Continue Reading »

9 responses so far


May 19 2014

Hannibal Review: “Tome-wan”

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“Tome-wan” opens with a handful of fascinating conversations. But that’s not what you’re going to remember about it. What you’re going to remember is that scene.

Hannibal, the show, tends to portray violence as some sort of grotesque art installation. Despite the terrifying nature of what happens to the bodies in each episode, murder and mutilation are rarely played as pure horror. (Allow exceptions like that poor bastard who ripped himself out of the mural in this season’s second episode.)

In “Tome-wan,” though, Fuller and his crew take the plunge. There’s nothing particularly beautiful about the things covered in blood this time around, and it’s possible as much blood is spilled in this episode as in any that came before.

Continue Reading »

3 responses so far


May 14 2014

How Agents of SHIELD Became the Most Emotionally Resonant Marvel Story Yet

Published by under Editorials,Reviews,Television

ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." - Season One

Like a lot of other people, I gave up on Agents of SHIELD pretty quickly. After a promising pilot, it was clear to me I’d signed up for a procedural set in the Marvel Universe, and not much more. And since I’m not a fan of even good sci-fi procedurals (X-Files, Fringe), I knew if the show kept this up, it would soon lose my interest.

I lasted until about episode four before I threw in the towel. I didn’t quit out of frustration, it just never seemed worth the trouble to watch a full episode on my DVR every week. I got behind, then realized I didn’t care enough to try and catch up.

The cast seemed flat, the plots were annoyingly disconnected from one another. There was little relation to Marvel anything other than super obscure comic book characters and periodic Avengers inside jokes. I wrote it off, and didn’t look back.

Until last week.

I’d heard that SHIELD underwent a turnaround of sorts. Something changed about midway through the season where it “got good” according to a number of critics and viewers, and the last few episodes specifically, set after the events of Captain America: Winter Soldier, were a “must-see.”

I saw Winter Soldier, and afterward I did wonder what on Earth was going to happen to Agents of SHIELD as a result (spoilers ahead). In the film, it’s revealed that HYDRA has secretly been infiltrating SHIELD for decades, and a large percentage of the Agents and leadership were secret HYDRA operatives. In the end, Captain America, Black Widow and Nick Fury step in and save the day, but SHIELD is essentially shattered.

That got me curious enough to start the entire show over from the beginning. And I’m incredibly, exceptionally glad I did. Continue Reading »

2 responses so far


May 12 2014

Game of Thrones Review: “The Laws of Gods and Men”

Published by under Reviews,Television

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This may have been the least globe-hopping we’ve seen out of Game of Thrones in a while, with only a select few locations being visited this week. We checked in with a few long lost parties, and concluded with the trial of the century. More on that later.

First, we’ll start with Davos and Stannis, who have made the journey across the Narrow Sea to Braavos to…secure a bank loan?

It does seem rather odd in the world of Game of Thrones that a would-be king literally sits down with essentially a customer service rep to try and procure a loan that might win him the kingdom. But that is how the world works, as evidenced by the fact that Tywin Lannister has essentially done the same thing.

Davos pitch for Stannis was absolutely amazing, and perfectly tailored for his audience, portraying Stannis as the most level-headed potential king in the land, and far more likely to pay his debts than the Lannisters, despite their eternal motto. Continue Reading »

8 responses so far


May 09 2014

Sprinting Through The Maze Runner

Published by under Books,Reviews

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Alright, I’m back again with another trip through the literary wilds. Every so often I take a break from video games and movies and post about a book series I recently finished, now that my Kindle has changed my life and increased the amount of books I read per year by about a thousand percent.

I was on a fantasy kick for a while, chewing through A Song of Ice and Fire and The Kingkiller Chronicles, and I’m always reading some sci-fi novel or another. But I also like to check in with what the kids are reading, and therefore I dive into Young Adult series from time to time. I’ve tried all the major ones. Couldn’t bring myself to get through Twilight, loved The Hunger Games, was so-so on Divergent, and now I’ve arrived at The Maze Runner.

I’ve toyed with the idea of writing a YA book myself, but as I don’t really know what’s going on inside angsty teenage girls’ heads, I’m at something of a disadvantage. That’s why The Maze Runner seemed interesting. It’s written by a guy, stars a guy and loses the traditional first person narrative. All three of these things are unusual in the genre, so I was curious to see what type of series it would be.

As it turns out, pretty damn engaging at first. The book is being made into a movie soon, so you’ll get to experience all this onscreen shortly, but a quick rundown of the first book makes it sound a bit like one of the weirder episodes of Lost. Continue Reading »

5 responses so far


May 08 2014

Escape from Tomorrow Takes on Disney and Lives to Tell the Tale

Published by under Movies,Reviews

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When the microbudget indie horror film Escape from Tomorrow premiered at Sundance last year, it was declared a film that could not possibly exist; one that in the most literal sense could not possibly have been made. Furthermore, it was believed that one showing was all anybody could ever see of this remarkable project. The star player in this drama too powerful to be defied in the way they were in this film. It was destined to be ground up into dust and scattered to the winds, but somehow it made it all the way to DVD release late last month.

What the hell am I talking about? Well, Escape from Tomorrow represents something that almost never happens in our society: a staggering victory for independent art over the corporate machine that has nearly every law skewed in its favor in addition to limitless resources. And one of the biggest corporate machines of all in popular American culture is the Walt Disney Company.

Film fans have an interesting relationship with the company. We all grew up on the classic films and can agree that there’s no park quite like a Disney park. Our childhoods are so wrapped up in the sights and sounds of this corporate entity that we can’t help but love it. But then there’s always those nagging feelings that we’re being manipulated and fleeced by the most evil and cynical of capitalists. Continue Reading »

5 responses so far


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