Monthly Archives: July 2014

Comic-Con 2014: Review.

Ah, Comic-Con, that one time of year when nerdlings such as my self, climb wearily out of our Mom’s basement, adjust our eyes to natural light and actually attempt to engage fellow human beings in social contact.* I was not there in Sand Diego, but I do want to post on some of the news that came out from this past weekend’s convention. I certainly will not be able to cover everything that went on, I will focus on those things that interest me and hopefully they will interest you.

Godzilla News:

Prior to the convention Legendary Pictures already green lit two sequels to this summers big hit. What was announced this weekend was that director Gareth Edwards will be back to helm Godzilla II. Currently Edwards is working on one of the stand-alone Star Wars movies that will be out 2016.

The big news that has my fellow Kaiju fans jumping up and down for joy is that classic Toho monsters, Rodan, Mothra and King Ghidorah will be in the sequels!!!! What is not known is whether or not all three of these monsters will be in Godzilla II or if they will be spread about over other sequels?

My Thoughts: As a Godzilla fan I am very happy with this news. I truly hope they redesign King Ghidorah with arms attached to his wings. Rodan is a favorite Kaiju and I am very happy to see him back. I am very curious to see how these monsters will be designed in CGI. What is unkown is when Godzilla II will hit the theaters. With Edwards busy with Star Wars we may have to wait until 2018 or 2019 to see the next installment.

King Kong news! Legendary pictures is in union with Universal Studios who owns the rights to King Kong. A teaser was shown this weekend of an up coming King Kong prequel titled Skull Island. The release date is November 4, 2016 and it is It is unknown at this time if it will be a prequel to the 1933 film, or the 2005 film.

My thoughts? I love King Kong and I am super excited to see this movie. I just hope the teaser trailer shown at the convention will be shown soon.

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. A teaser trailer was revealed at Comic-Con to the delight of many. Here is a description:

The trailer opens with Batman standing on a rooftop in the pouring rain. He’s dressed in an armor-type costume (different from the Zack Snyder released photo). The costume is very reminiscent of the armor costume that Batman wears in Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. Batman’s eyes are glowing bright whitish-blue (different from how his eyes looked in the Batman cowl photo).

There is something else on the roof. It’s revealed to be the Bat Signal. Batman pulls down a lever to light the Bat Signal, and its bright, shining beacon reveals Superman, hovering in the air. Superman is also in the middle of the pouring rain, and his eyes are glowing red.

The footage cuts back to Batman on the rooftop, staring intently at Superman. Batman’s eyes are still glowing a whitish-blue. The trailer ends with the Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice logo.

A high resolution shot of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman was released. I love the look of her costume. A Facebook member noted she and her costume looked like Xena, Warrior Princess and I do agree with that. I happen to like that she reminds me of Xena, Warrior Princess while I think my Facebook friend did not.

My thoughts: Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice will be in theaters May 6, 2016 (United States) and this movie I am looking forward to more than any other!!

* I cannot remember where I got that opening line…I think I got it from an episode of Family Guy.

RoboCop 2013 v. RoboCop 1987

There are some remakes that just beg to be compared to their originals and the new RoboCop movie is a good example of this. I read that some fans call the 1987 movie, directed Paul Verhoeven and starring Peter Weller and Kurtwood Smith, as a “Classic.” I guess that is true. While it may not be an  overall cinematic classic,  it certainly is a classic of the science-fiction genre and of the 1980s.

I have to say I do like the new movie but I do admit that I like the 1987 movie even more. Here are the reasons why. First of all I have to notice the irony. RoboCop 87 was rated R and RoboCop 13 was rated PG-13. Even though the 87 movie had more course language and graphic violence this movie had a sense of over-the-top fun, and despite the drama, it didn’t take itself too seriously. RoboCop 13 doesn’t have the level of graphic violence the original had but it is done in the style of  many science-fiction movies of today: that is gritty and realistic. My problem is that approach doesn’t always work. Sometimes by doing a movie with a gritty and realistic style it looses its sense of fun and that isn’t very entertaining for me.

I would call the 2013 movie a re-imagining rather than a remake. There is a distinctive difference in both Robocop robots. In the 1987 movie Murphy is killed and brought back to life and in the 2013 movie he is severely wounded but he retains his memory. Both movies do have a similar theme of searching for one’s identity though. While Murphy 87 is searching to remember who he was, Murphy 2013 struggles to maintain his identity.

In the 2013 movie Michael “Batman” Keaton is very good as the slimy CEO of OmniCorp. However, he just cannot compete with the scene stealing and scene chewing that Kurtwood Smith does in the original. I think that was the first introduction to Smith’s work. I have seen him in various Star Trek roles, That 70s Show and Dead Poets Society. A class act all of the way.

There is one disturbing scene in the new Robocop movie. In the 1987 movie they never really show just how much of Murphy is left and what is cybernetic. In the 2013 movie they show how much is left and it is pretty disturbing. We watch Robocop 2013, played by Joel Kinnaman, as his cybernetic parts are stripped away to reveal that what is left of Alex Murphey is nothing but his head, one hand, lungs and heart. I recoiled in horror along with Murphy at that discovery.

In the end both have very well told stories and good exciting characters. However the heaviness of the remake puts me off a bit and it is just not as fun and entertaining as the 1987 original.

I Frankenstein

I Frankenstein is another movie I think doesn’t deserve the bad rap that it gets. As I have said before tastes are subjective and it is very evident in this case. One of the complaints about this movie is that it is like a video game come to life. That is actually one of the reasons I like the movie. It is pure mindless fun filled with CGI porn. The movie is based of a graphic novel by Kevin Grevioux. The film stars Aaron Eckhart, Bill Nighy, Yvonne Strahovski, Miranda Otto, Jai Courtney and Kevin Grevioux.

Here is a brief synopsis of the plot:

The story begins in the late 1790s where Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein novel ends (although there are a few flashbacks to the story in the prolog). We find the Frankenstein monster, soon named Adam in the middle of a war between Gargoyles and Demons. Yes, the Gargoyles are the good guys defending humans while the Demons are seeking humanity’s destruction. Because Adam doesn’t have a soul he has an easy time defeating the demons. He is recruited to join the Gargoyles but he declines and departs after being given weapons that allow him to “descend” demons (destroying their bodies and trapping their souls in Hell). As the centuries go by we find Adam in our modern day and in  a battle with a demon a human is accidentally killed. Before he can be punished for this death by the Queen of the Gargoyles the demons attack the cathedral where the Gargoyles reside and capture the Queen. Meanwhile demon-prince Naberius who is disguised as billionaire businessman Charles Wessex, and his right-hand man, Dekar, employed scientist Terra Wade to conduct experiments  with reanimated corpses as7 he is seeking Victor’s Frankenstein’s journal so he can create an army of undead demons. 

That is the basic plot and I won’t give away too many spoilers. Sounds a bit silly doesn’t it? Well, it is and that is the fun of it. There is not a lot of gore and the violence is basically cartoon violence and nothing graphic. Aaron Eckhart does a spectacular job as Adam, the Frankenstein monster and I really enjoyed him in the role. Miranda Otto, From the Lord of the Rings, is also very good as the Queen of the Gargoyles, as is Bill Nighy as the prince of the demons.  This is not a horror movie but an enjoyable and fun action adventure story. The CGI is great and the morphing of the Gargoyles into human form is down very smoothly and flawlessly. People also cry about character development in movies and while I often think that is overrated I do think the character development of Adam, Frankenstien’s monster is very well done.

This movie is a B movie with state of the art special effects. The kind of movie you pop in the DVD player on a rainy Saturday night just to have some fun.

 

Olympus Has Fallen: My Review.

This was the first of two invasion of the White House movies. The second movie, White House Down,  came out November on DVD 2013. The movie stars Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman and Angela Bassett. I will review White House Down at a later date.

Olympus Has Fallen was rated R and in terms of action and violence it lives up to that rating. As I have mentioned many times on this blog, I have geared myself toward more lighthearted movies. This was not one of them. While I did enjoy the movie over-all, it was almost too violent for my enjoyment.

Gerard Butler plays a secret service agent who wants to redeem himself. I will not give that away, in fact this will be a spoiler-free review. The President, played by Echart, is trying to improve relations with North Korea when the White House is attacked by those very same North Koreans. With the president and vice-president incapacitated Morgan Freeman (as Speaker of the House) becomes the acting President. Butler and Freeman, along with Angela Bassett as the Director of the United States Secret Service have to team together as the threats and destruction continue to increase.

Pros: The action is very intense and the story did hook me into caring for these people. That is essential in any movie.  All the actors did a fine job in their roles. What I liked about Morgan Freeman’s portrayal and acting is that his character did not start out as the larger-than-life authoritative figure we know that Morgan Freeman is capable of playing. He gets thrown into this situation and you can see he is unsure of himself and does not know what to do. As the movie progresses his strength and abilities come to the surface.

Cons: My cons are that it was too violent and even violent in a graphic way. Scene of the President being hurt and his staff being tortured and executed are painful to watch. Also, I like these types of movies to have some fun and humor to them. This movie is grim and joyless. Although it is filled with patriotism I would not call this a fun movie to watch. This movie is like “Die Hard in the White House” and it is also similar to Air Force One. So in many ways the movie did not have anything new to offer.

I am going to begin a star rating system based on 5 stars being the best. Therefore this movie rates ***1/2.