Friday, May 25, 2012


Superhero shows are hard to come by, GOOD superhero shows are even, since I grade on a curve, I usually take it pretty easy on TV shows that help push the superhero agenda. This show is no different. Was it a great show? No. But what it lacks in greatness it more than makes up for in cheesiness...which is pretty underrated most of the time.

I don't mind a TV show being a little cheesy sometimes. It can be a little endearing. When you are dealing with subject matter like this, an excop that fights people with a mystical can't go in to it expecting a whole hell of a lot. If you start watching this series, like I did, with no hopes of it being good in any way... you might find that it is a lot better than you were expecting it to be. At least that is how I felt.

Storyline: Vince Faraday is a cop who has been framed for murder leading him to fall off the grid and become the super hero known only as "The Cape" -

Thoughts? The show is silly. It should be. It's about a guy that runs around in a cape and fights a guy named "Chess" that has contacts that make his eyes look like chess pieces. So, you cant take it too serious. The show pokes fun of itself a good bit too, which I personally like. Overall, I think that for a 10 episode series (seriously, they pulled the plug QUICK) it is worth a Saturday Marathon on Netflix.

PS. David Lyons, the man that plays The Cape, is the ugliest human ever born. Sorry. But he is.


I hate to jump on a bandwagon after a show has already gotten a great fan base, but I'm not going to let that get in the way of me getting to watch a great show. So, since I had heard so many good things from the rabid fan base that is the Jericho fan base...I had to check it out (even though the show has been off the air since 2008).

Storyline: When Jake Green returns to his Kansas small-town home Jericho, where his dad Johnston is mayor, everyone is preoccupied with petty private business and family matters, but that changes drastically after a completely unexpected explosion. It soon becomes clear there has been a nuclear attack, but neither by whom nor on which scale. Suddenly life in Jericho, and as the inhabitants gradually discover all over the disintegrating USA, becomes a more primordial struggle for survival, where dangers, primitive as well as technological, have to be weighed against pressing primal needs, such as food, fuel and self-defense against plunderers, invaders and even each-other. Jake, whose private story like that of other main characters slowly becomes disclosed to us, proves extremely resourceful and a smart hero, while his father's mayoral authority and even that of the only available medical professionals is soon challenged and undermined...FROM IMDB

Thoughts? I know that this show had a hard time finding an audience, but I can't really figure out why. It is a fun show with lots of twists and turns. Not only that, but has one of the sweetest love stories that I have seen on TV in a while (Stanley and Mimi). Overall, I think that the show deserves the 8.0 rating that it has on and I am anxious to see if it does get picked up on Netflix as a regular series again (as it was mentioned earlier this year).


(MOVIE REVIEW) Battleship (2012)

Hey! Bad acting and too much CGI sank my Battleship!

People who say that there is no sign of evolution in the world must not have watched a movie in the past 10 years. If there is one that that is abundantly clear it is that CGI is something that evolved from a need for “quick fixes” in the effects demands of movies into a staple that can be seen on everyday TV shows and commercials. It is a part of modern cinema that we can’t escape…so we must embrace it. The fine line these days rests on the debate of CGI being used to help tell a story or CGI being heaped onto a bad movie in the hopes that people will be dumb enough to mistake lots of things blowing up for a solid story and good acting. If this movie were to be thrown into one of those categories, it would be the latter.

Storyline: During an International Naval War Games, a small group of ships are cut off from the rest of the world and forced to battle an alien invasion.  

A person of low morals might take an opportunity to take cheap shots at this movie…which is what I am going to do. I didn’t want to waste too much time telling you about the story because there really isn’t a story to talk about.  This movie looks like it was made ONLY to sell video games. The CGI is overwhelming and underwhelming all at the same time. You are hit in the face with CGI at every point of the movie, but a lot of it is subpar and only helps to cheapen the feel of this abomination of an action film. The acting is ATROCIOUS! Seriously. I commend them for giving Greg Gadson, a real life double amputee, the chance to add some authenticity to the film, but his acting is so bad that you can’t figure out what in the world prompted them to give him so many lines. That sounds harsh, even as I am reading what I typed, but he could have contributed to the film without having so much dialog which was, honestly, unbearable.

Worth the admission? NO! This movie is the anti-Avengers. Where The Avengers had special effects that were well done and seemed to help progress the story, the CGI in this movie was like taking a sip from a fire hose. Just too much CGI with no story and NO ACTING to help bring it all together. Taylor Kitsch is getting a bad reputation in Hollywood. Between this and John Carter, his stock is sinking faster than one of these destroyed battleships.

If there is one thing that I didn’t flat out hate in this movie, it was the integration of how the board game rules (not being able to see your opponents ships and having to make intuitive decisions on where to bomb them) apply to the fight with the aliens. Other than that, everything is else was trash.
Let me know what you thought

Friday, May 18, 2012

(MOVIE REVIEW) Dark Shadows (2012)

Dark Shadows shows that you can’t get blood from a turnip…a poorly written, poorly executed turnip

I like the term “exception to the rule”. It is thrown around a lot in life but it really comes in handy when you are talking about entertainment. There are some remakes/reimagined films that are the “exception”. Friday the 13th (2009) , Dawn of the Dead (2004) and 3:10 to Yuma (2007) are all movies that were, at their worst, on par with their source material. Even 21 Jump Street (2012), while deviating drastically from the original television show, still offered a fun movie. So it is always with a heavy heart when I watch a movie that is “the rule” when it comes to making bad remakes. This movie is one of the worst offenders.

Storyline: Barnabas Collins (Depp) is a successful business man and has helped build the town of Collinsport with his family’s successful fishing empire. When he shuns the advances of Eva Green (Bouchard), a witch, she curses him to live for eternity as a vampire. She has the town’s people encase him in a coffin for 200 years until he is accidently set free by construction workers in 1972. When he awakes he returns to his beloved home, Collinwood Manor, to find that his beautiful mansion has fallen into ruins, his family is on the brink of losing everything that he worked so hard for, and the witch that cursed him is still alive and has taken over the town. Barnabas vows to return the family back to the glory that they once came from…by any means necessary.

There is only so much a man can to do save a movie. Depp, while incredibly talented, can only carry some of the movie and then the writing has to carry it the rest of the way. This movie just fell flat. Depp gives some fantastic one-liners, he plays the part as well as it could have been played, and he puts this movie on his back and totes it for almost two hours. That is all that anyone can ask from a single actor.

 The problem with this movie is, pretty specifically, Tim Burton. He is so out of touch that this kind of movie shouldn’t even be on his radar any longer. Since Planet of the Apes (2001), Burton has produced more flops than fish out of water. I think that he is the biggest problem with this movie. This is most easily noticed in the clumsily directed “love” scene between Barnabas and Eva Green in which he uses a treasure chest of gimmicks to try to make it look dangerous and exciting. It just comes off as bad and boring.

Worth the admission? No. Do yourself a favor and skip it. You will thank me. Paying someone to punch you in the face would be a better investment…and less painful.
Let me know what you thought of the movie.

(MOVIE REVIEW) The Avengers (2012)

Do you remember what it was like the first time you succeeded at something? I do. I remember learning to tie my shoes. I would get so frustrated when I would fail at tying them, time and time again, I just couldn’t get it right. Then, one day, it all worked. Loop, swoop and pull! After that moment I started thinking about how silly it was that I had gotten it wrong so many times before and how I was so close but never just right. That is the exact feeling that I had while watching The Avengers this past weekend (TWICE). More specifically, that is how I felt watching The Hulk in The Avengers. It seems like every other Superhero film has been a failed attempt and Joss Whedon’s Avengers finally “tied the shoe”.

Storyline: An extraterrestrial invasion, led by Loki (Hiddleston), threatens Earth and it is up to Colonel Nick Fury (Jackson) to stop it. Utilizing the connections that he has made with the Superhero community he implements The Avengers Initiative. Iron Man (Downey), Hawkeye (Renner), Black Widow (Johansson), Captain America (Evans), Thor (Hemsworth) and Dr. Bruce “Hulk” Banner (Ruffalo) are all on board to do their part against the threat. Egos and infighting cause a tremendous amount of tension and distrust within the group and it doesn’t appear that the “team” will ever get on the same page. But when tragedy befalls one of their own, the heroes put their petty differences aside and put their lives on the line to save earth from the alien threat.

Worth the admission? 1000% YES! Not only is this the best that we see the actors playing these parts (the dialog is sharp and fantastic) but this is the first time that anyone (EVER) has written The Hulk properly. Mark Ruffalo gives us the single best incarnation of Bruce Banner to date, but the introduction of The Hulk is something that has been attempted numerous times by numerous groups and has failed, in one way or another, every time…until now. Joss Whedon (writer and director) knows how to write for a character with dual personalities. How to make “the moment”, when the dark side is revealed, to not only count…but to be memorable. Kudos to him for finally getting this character right.

The writing in this movie is amazing. The character interactions are quick and meaningful. There are some lines that sneak up on you a few seconds after they are delivered and there are some moments that hit you right in the face (again, The Hulk is responsible for 3 of those big moments in this movie). This is an incredibly balanced and well executed movie and I DARE anyone to disagree. It is that good!
NOTE: Make sure that you stick around after the credits. There are two EXTRA scenes. One during the credits and one after. You will enjoy both.

Friday, May 4, 2012

(MOVIE REVIEW) The Five-Year Engagement

One of the worst things that a movie can do is barely making contact with its audience on the premise that the movie is sold on (through previews/trailers). What I mean by this is if a movie promises big laughs and only delivers low key jokes and amusing perspectives on a situation. That is not to say that the movie isn’t funny, just that it is “sold” to us as a different movie than what we actually see. It would be like someone promising you a tomato and bringing you a bottle of ketchup. Both are enjoyable…but you can’t slice ketchup.

Storyline: Tom (Segel), an up-and-coming chef, and Violet (Blunt) a psychology student finish her PhD, are on the verge of becoming engaged after a year of dating. They are, if there ever was such a thing, the perfect couple. Shortly after the engagement Violet is offered a position at the University of Michigan. This results in the couple relocating from sunny San Francisco to the harsh winter climate of Michigan. While Violet is thrilled to be pursuing her dreams, Tom is struggling with finding a way to fit in to this new world. Forced to take a job in a sandwich shop, endure the freezing cold, and trying to make new friends, Tom is in this for the long haul. But when Violet’s position in Michigan is extended, and the engagement is postponed even longer, the couple is faced with some truly difficult decisions. Is there a way for both of them to be happy or will they choose their careers over love?

This is actually a funny movie. There were not as many guffaws (loud laughs) as the previews made me think there would be, but I giggled during the whole movie. There are some things that were pointed out by my lovely wife that helped me see that Jason Segel might not have been the best choice to the male lead (we both thought Paul Rudd would have been better). However, you will enjoy the movie if you go watch it. Especially with a date.   

Worth the admission? yES (with a little “y”). If you are going out this weekend to watch a movie, you are probably going to see The Avengers, but if it is sold out and you are looking for a cute and funny rom-com, check this one out. The chemistry between Segel and Blunt is what makes this movie fun.

Shout outs to Kevin Hart and Brian Posehn. They have smaller parts in this movie, but Brian Posehn is one of those guys that everything that comes out of his mouth is weird and funny. Really enjoyed him in this movie.

(TV REVIEW) TORCHWOOD: Children of Earth

I FINALLY got around to watch Torchwood: Children of Earth last week and I have to say that I loved it. Torchwood is one of those shows that grew on me after a while. For those that do not know, Torchwood is a spinoff series from Doctor Who (Torchwood is actually an anagram for Doctor Who) that follows the adventures of Captain Jack Harkness and his crew of misfits that help solve the intergalactic problems that plague this world. The Torchwood team has lost almost all of its members over the course of the series. They are down to three members. Ianto Jones, Gwen Cooper and Jack Harkness and must find a way to save the children of the earth from an alien threat.

Storyline: On a day like almost any other day, we see a few children stop what they are doing and stare blankly at nothing. This catches the concern of many officals but the concern is intensified when it happens again... but this time the children speak. In unison the children of Earth began chanting "WE ARE COMING". The world is in shock and in a panic to get answers. When it is discovered that an alien race is using the children to deliver their message, Torchwood springs into action to find a way to stop this event.

Thoughts? A very cool 5 part mini-series. I think that anyone that like scifi should check this out on netflix. While you are at it you can watch all of the Torchwood seasons there too (except for Miracle Day).

(Movie Review) The Darkest Hour (2011)

Since I grade on a curve, this movie is doomed. Why? Because Emile Hirsch was in an amazing movie in 2007 called Into The Wild and has been making trash since then. Maybe his Independent movies that I have yet to see redeem him, but his wide release movies has been horrible. Need proof? Go rent Speed Racer. You will be the only person that has EVER waited in line at redbox to rent that POS.

Storyline: In Moscow, five young people lead the charge against an alien race who have attacked Earth via our power supply. - IMDB.COM

So the whole movie you end up with sub par acting and a poorly executed (yet interesting) apocalyptic movie. So you are probably saying "well, it might be worth it just to see some really cool aliens"....and you would be WRONG. The aliens are invisible. You don't really see anything scary or cool, just a few red lines that snap out at people and that is about it. This movie looks like it was made for about fifty cents. Now, I have to admit that it is not all bad...nothing ever is, but I wouldn't break my neck to watch this one.

(Movie Review) The Sitter (2011)

I don't know why but I always love movies where kids are being REALLY bad. There is just something funny to me about watching a kid rain down havoc on those that are in charge of them. Obviously I am not a parent, as parents always tell me that I will change this point of view once I unleash a mini-me into the world. So it should be really easy to figure out what I liked most in this movie.

Storyline: A college student on suspension is coaxed into babysitting the kids next door, though he is fully unprepared for the wild night ahead of him. - IMDB.COM

Thoughts: Is this the funniest movie Hill ever made? No. It's no Superbad. But it is pretty funny. The kids had me laughing pretty hard in a few scenes. The one liners that some of these kids drop are just great. That being said, the movie isn't just one big giant dirty joke, there are actually some nice moments where Hill's character connects nicely with the kids. Kinda like Adventures in Babysitting...on meth.

(TV Review) Doctor Who (1964 -1978)

I have talked about Doctor Who on here in the past, so I wont take too much time explaining who he is. Basically, he is the last of his race (Time Lord) and bounces around in time and space looking for adventures. He frequently picks up passengers along the way in an attempt to show a select few the wonders of space and time. These lucky few are known as companions.

I have seen classic episodes before, but never really paid much attention to them. My love for Doctor Who came in 2005 when they restarted the franchise. So, in an effort to see the roots of one of my favorite fictional characters I decided to go back and watch some of the earliest work that  I could find.

The Aztecs(1964) , Spearhead from Space (1970), The Three Doctors (1973), The Ark in Space (1975), Pyramids of Mars (1975) and  The Pirate Planet (1978). While there are things that I absolutely hated about all of these movies (they are all multiple episodes compiled into one single movie), there are also traits that I have seen show up in the most recent incarnations of The Doctor.

There are two things that I felt were lacking the most. one thing was the overall finished products was so "cheap". I know, this show was always done on a thin budget, but that doesn't excuse them using green bubble wrap as the infection in The Ark in Space. Seriously. Green bubble wrap.

That is really the tip of the iceberg when it comes to my #1. Props move around, fighting scenes are boring and poorly executed, and, I kid you not, The Doctor spends the entire time he is on screen in The Ark in Space with a mouth covered in fever blisters. That is disgusting.

The second thing that is lacking is the charisma that is so easily found in the actors that play the characters in "New Who". David Tennant (the 10th Doctor) being the most charismatic out of the most recent doctors is the type of energy and acting that I have come to expect from The Doctor. The actors from Classic Who were mostly old men. Even more discouraging, they were all jerks. Talking down all the time to their companions. Just not as likable or dynamic as the actors playing the part since 2005. Jon Pertwee (the 3rd Doctor) is my favorite of the Classic Doctors so far.

For the's still Doctor Who. For all the complaints and all of the things that I didn't like about the older episodes, it is still better than most classic TV. The character is still recognizable and heroic...just different. I will keep watching them as I find them because it is interesting to see where one of my favorite characters came from, but I will take the New Who episodes over Classic Who any day of the week.