Movie Night: Suicide Squad.

SuicideSquadIMBd Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1386697/

Rating: PG-13

Synopsis:  A secret government agency recruits some of the most dangerous incarcerated super-villains to form a defensive task force. Their first mission: save the world from the apocalypse.

Review:  I was skeptical about watching this movie. I’d heard it didn’t get very many favorable reviews (bloated cast) and something about the majority of Leto’s scenes cut out, but Husband picked it up and there was nothing on television.

I have to admit, I liked this movie.

Now I’m not a DC fan, and I think they do better on the small screen (The Flash, Arrow, Gotham, etc) and I think they’ve rebooted Superman and Batman more times than Marvel has rebooted The Hulk, but this movie didn’t make me reach for my tablet half way through to start playing Candy Crush. It took a bit to get started; explaining who each character was (for those who don’t read the comic), but unlike other movies I’ve seen it didn’t get bogged down with extra detail and explanation.  Once the action started it didn’t stop and the villain didn’t suffer from what I call ‘Terminator Syndrome’ (where the villain keeps coming back after we think he/she is dead). I was a bit confused as to why the joker was even in this movie, as he served no point other than being back story and a failed rescue attempt. A large cast ensemble can work; and it does in this movie. Each member of the squad was useful and served a bigger purpose. IF they make a sequel, I’d watch it. I might even pay money to see it at the movies. There was one plot hole that Husband caught, but other than that, I think he liked it too.

 

4 out of 5

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Movie Night: Fantastic Beast & Where to Find Them

fantastic-beasts-IMBd Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3183660/

Rating: PG-13

Synopsis:  The year is 1926 and Newt Scamander arrives in New York after a world-wide excursion looking for magical creatures. When several creatures escape from his suitcase, his journey becomes a lot more complicated than he wished, and ends up causing trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds. With the help of a No Maj, an ex-auror and her sister, Newt recovers the missing creatures and helps solve a series of bizarre and deadly magical occurrences that have been plaguing New York.

Review:  First off, let me say the tone of is movie is somewhat dark and deserves the PG-13 rating and was quite surprised by the tone and might be too scary for a younger audience; especially the final scenes.

Many reviews said the movie was slow, but I disagree. It wasn’t full of action the whole time but good story telling is a combination of both. I loved the special effects, and the magical creatures were fun as always. It would be nice if there was a sequel to this movie, picking up where this one ended and possible continuing with the hidden sub-plot (which doesn’t reveal itself until the end). Or perhaps that is what will happen? A second series in the magical world of J.K. Rowling?

Overall, if you’re a fan of the Harry Potter books, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Oh, and hats off to the set creator who fashioned the headquarters of the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA) in DecoPunk!

 

4 out of 5

Movie Night: Collateral

Collateral_2004_movieIMBd Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0369339/

Rating: R

Synopsis:  A cab driver (Max) finds himself the hostage of an engaging contract killer (Vincent) as he makes his rounds from hit to hit during one night in Los Angeles.

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Review: This movie was something I turned on for background noise while I wrote. I didn’t think I’d actually like it so I was pleasantly surprised. What kept my attention was the dialogue and interaction between the two main characters. Vincent might be a killer, but he has class. He’s clever; befriending one target right up until the moment he takes his life. Vincent understands killing is his job; this is what he chose to do. Max is a dreamer and has aspirations of being something more than just a cab driver, but never does anything but talk about it. Vincent berates Max several times about his lack of commitment to his dream, and it’s this alone that final prompts Max to take a stand against Vincent.

One thing I really appreciated with this movie; no extended final fight scene. I despise movies where the bad guy (whom everyone thinks is dead) makes one last ditch to kill the good guy. There were a couple things that bothered me, but nothing that really took anything away from the movie. Overall, it wasn’t all that bad.

 

4 out of 5

Scifi Sunday; To remake, or not to remake.

Hollywood has found a new cashcow; remaking old movies. There’s been a surge of remakes over the last couple of decades and the majority of them have been old scifi movies. Some movies like THE INVASION and I AM LEGEND, are on their third or fourth remake, with all of them having A List actors pushing the box office numbers and hoping for a big payoff.

Or so someone in Hollywood hopes. Check out the stats below. These are the numbers for the scifi remakes since 1997.

1. War of the Worlds (2005): $591.8 million gross vs. $195 million combined budget
2. I Am Legend (2007): $585.4m gross vs. $200m budget
3. Planet of the Apes (2001): $362.2m gross vs. $150m budget
4. Godzilla (1998): $379m gross vs. $190m budget
4. Vanilla Sky (2001): $203.4m gross vs. $102m budget
6. The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008): $230.8m gross vs. $125m budget
7. The Time Machine (2002): $123.7m gross vs. $118m budget
8. Total Recall (2012) (projected): $120m gross vs. $175m budget
9. Solaris (2002): $30m gross vs. $70m budget
10. The Thing (2011): $28.1m gross vs. $65m budget
11. The Invasion (2007): $40.2m gross vs. $95m budget
12. Rollerball (2002): $25.9m gross vs. $100m budget

Now I’ve seen seven of these, with War of the Worlds and Total Recall at the top of my *like* list. I haven’t seen 4, 6, or 9; 10 and 11 I consider horror, and I wasn’t thrilled with the original #12.

Here’s another list of scifi remakes since 1977.

http://www.boxofficemojo.com/genres/chart/?id=scifiremake.htm

Like I said I really liked War of the Worlds and even though it was a modern take on the story, I felt it stay true to the original. Same with Total Recall. I’ve seen three remakes of I Am Legend, and didn’t really care for any of them. Same for Planet of the Apes, and The Time Machine. I was REALLY disappointed with Godzilla, and have yet to see the remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still.

In the last few years I’ve seen very few original scifi anything (movie or television) that really grabbed me, and considering the numbers, is it any wonder Hollywood is turning to oldies? BATTLE LOS ANGELES was good, SKYLINE could have been better and BATTLESHIP….I’m not too sure yet.

What about you? What remakes have you seen? Did you like them? If not, what didn’t you like?

The video below is a song called Forever Autumn from the musical War of the Worlds. It’s a beautiful and haunting song.

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