Tag: Andy Serkis

Long Shot

After the decade plus of revitalization, comic book movies have finally given me what I have always wanted.

A live action film over the best mutant super hero ever in existence, Longshot. Longshot is an alien/cyborg futuristic dude, who deals with M.O.D.A.K. What is his mutant power? He is lucky. Things go his way. As long as he has pure motives, the hard to fathom things will just work. What a fun power!

Wait. Shit. No. This is a RomCom from the creators of Superbad. And it is Long Shot, two words, meant to show the likiehood of this couple working out. Ah damn it. If this film stays popular over time, we might never get a self titled Longshot movie now!

They say couples will start to dress like each other. Just a guess on which way it goes.

Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron) is a goddamn supernatural being. She is smart, beautiful, well liked, and currently Secretary of State behind an actor president. She isn’t super funny though, and she isn’t in a relationship. These are negatives on her profile, a profile she wants to improve while planning to run for president.
Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen) is a journalist that doesn’t work for a major media company. He hates that stuff. He is funny, and edgy, and has his own unique voice. But after he quits in protest, his friend (O’Shea Jackson Jr.) uses his connections to get him into a rich party. And that is where Fred and Charlotte meet for the first time…in a few decades. Oh they were neighbors as kids, she was his babysitter, only older by about 3 years. He loved her and she was (and still is) out of his league.
But driven by nostalgia, and a lot of good vibes, she wants Fred to be his staff writer, to raise up her humor levels. Staff sees it as a bad idea, but she just sees something in him. And maybe, this run for president and bills will draw them closer together in ways no one would have guessed. Just kidding, that isn’t a maybe at all.

Also starring June Diane Raphael, Bob Odenkirk, Alexander Skarsgård, Randall Park, Andy Serkis, Ravi Patel, and Tristan D. Lalla.

They say couples will start to dress like each other. Just a guess on which way it goes.

Look, I know I haven’t had at on of reviews over the last few months. I rarely review those I see at WorldFest, and I haven’t been to as many screeners lately. Random documentaries or movies I find on Netflix/Hulu can sometimes be worth the watch, but can also be often times easy to ignore for reviews.

But I am really glad I have now seen Long Shot. I can’t even tell you what I was expecting. It is a RomCom after all, with a strange pair of leads. And it had me smiling so much, and laughing quite often. Maybe this isn’t actually a 4 out of 4 film! Maybe it just is given that rating because of a hole this film has seemingly filled in my heart. And hey, that can happen with reviews, as much as we would rather it not. Sometimes our real life just interferes with a movie, so we can’t see how it truly is, which leads to good and bad ratings.

And for now? This film is one of my favorite of 2019. It might just be like Love, Simon, a really enjoyable film that stood out amongst a sea of shit, but one with less appeal by the end of the year. Rogen plays something similar to his normal self, but it works. Theron plays the anti-Tully in this movie, and her range is incredible, although this role is also probably similar to her real self. Jackson Jr. is a scene stealer and has been unstoppable in his films lately by always making a great impact with smaller roles.

This movie won’t change the world, and it doesn’t really even do something profound. But I love it.

4 out of 4.

Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle

A few years ago, The Jungle Book remake came out, and people were confused or impressed or didn’t see it. One of the first “live action” remakes (whereas everything is still animated but one character basically) from Disney and it was a good way to test the waters with their technology and realism.

The problem is, there was another Jungle Book movie trying to come out before that one. It was to be directed by Andy Serkis, and yes, also mostly CGI, but also a lot of mocap technology, the same stuff that made Serkis famous. HE wanted to see those famous actors pretending to be animals, really getting into those characters.

And because of the Disney release, they decided to delay this one. Wait a couple of years, and release it fresh with new eyes. But The Jungle Book announced a sequel, which means there will never really be a time when there isn’t a Jungle Book movie coming out, so they just needed to get it out at some point. People rushed things, advertising potential was low, so they instead sold it to Netflix, so that it can hopefully just be successful there.

Poor Serkis, there is no way he wanted his movie to premiere on Netflix. And at some point they changed the title to be Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle, because Mowgli apparently wasn’t good enough on its own.

Mowgli and the four realms wolves.

Look, I know and you know, that you are not here for the plot. We know that a boy has his parents get all murdered by a mean tiger (Benedict Cumberbatch), so some wolves take him in and raise him. He is also watched over by a panther (Christian Bale), who is soft or something, and really wants the baby to not die, while also being pretty darn afraid of a tiger.

And occasionally, a bear (Andy Serkis) is around to give advice/teach/protect. The snake? Well the snake (Cate Blanchett) is less evil and more godlike, with a bit of an oracle-sense, she is there to be unnerving, not just looking for a bite to eat.

Anyways, the boy (Rohan Chand) tries to be a good wolf, not realizing he is actually a human, and you know, not die to tigers.

Also starring the voices of Naomie Harris, Jack Reynor, Peter Mullan, and Eddie Marsan. If you want other real people, Matthew Rhys and Freida Pinto are also notable characters who have more than just a voice.

When bathing, make sure you focus on your bare niceties.

Really, to have two movies based on the same source book around the same time, those movies better be really different. They need a reason to exist and not just because they wanted to see who can do it better.

And regardless of who had the idea first, or how pitch meetings went, this just feels like a competition to try and see who can do it better. I would like to do a big list of comparisons of the two and argue which is better, but I saw The Jungle Book years ago and don’t really want to make that sort of review. This film has more zoomed in looks at the animals faces, probably for mocap reasons as they created animals around acing faces. None of them looked like people creepily, but the mouth movements felt a bit more natural to have human words coming out of them.

But that doesn’t make the graphics better. I am having a hard time to really figure out which one counts as better, so just put the movies as good enough graphics. They are telling the same basic story too, except this one is a bit darker at times. The monkey scene in particular is really frightening, as are some of the chase scenes. The snake scene is more confusing than anything.

However, this film has problems. Namely, when Mowgli gets to the village. That isn’t the end of the movie, but maybe two-thirds of the way through it. Once that happens all momentum is dropped. The movie seemingly comes to a stop and just takes forever to move the hell on. It loses its steam and can never really gain it back, as most people then decide at that time to start checking their watches waiting for it to end.

Voices are fine, graphics are suitable, darkness is less appropriate for a family movie, and holy shit does it take awhile to just end. Easy pass, but since it is on Netflix, you will see it large and around for weeks, and sure, it will probably frighten your kids.

2 out of 4.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

I was relatively excited going in to watch Star Wars: The Last Jedi, even with them deciding to drop the iconic episode numbers. For Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it was clear it was a step in the right direction, even if it wasn’t too original. And Rouge One was great.

But the people who let me see things early switched to a different PR company, specifically to the one company that I didn’t have. I found out late November when the change occurred, which made it clear that I wasn’t going to be seeing Star Wars 8 early at all. And at that point, all the pre-sale tickets had already happened for early showtimes.

So if I was going to see it, I knew I would have to wait at least a week after the fact, maybe longer. And then I waited longer, I waited to see how many times I could keep putting it off. I didn’t see this movie until mid-February, still on a nice big screen. And that is why it was never reviewed, and why I decided eventually to wait to put it as the final movie in my “2017 Movies I should have seen last year” list!

Jedi Master
I’m a Jedi master, bitch!

I don’t feel like tagging all of the many characters who are in this film, at least naturally through this review, so I will post them all at the end.

Yay Luke Skywalker was found by Rey! Boo, she is avoided because Luke wants to be alone and doesn’t think the Jedi should be apart of the world anymore. He wants to die and let the Jedi order die with him.

While she convinces him that he is stupid, the Resistance are getting fucked over by the Empire, First Order. A lot of ships are running around, people dying, pew pew pews. And the resistance has to run and get away to not die.

And that is the movie.

Starring, of course, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Frank Oz, Billie Lourd, Joonas Suotamo, and Jimmy Vee.

Also starring newbies to the galaxy, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern, Benicio Del Toro, Amanda Lawrence, Justin Theroux.

Pew pew pew
Yeah, but how many of those dozen plus names can wield a light saber and shoot out red dust!

Star Wars 8 clocks in at around 2.5 hours, because apparently we can never get enough Star Wars. It is the longest Star Wars film yet, cracking the other top place holders by about 10 minutes. And boy did it sure feel long.

You see, it is made apparent from this film that this trilogy is in no way planned out. We have a lot of plots that were set up from the first film that end completely out of nowhere in this film. Characters die off, questions get answered, and most of it is extremely disappointing.

The worst part of the film is a subplot that has a few characters going on a mission alone, in order to find a character in a casino. It lasts very long in terms of the overall movie and again, none of it feels justified or worth it by the end. It felt like this movie had filler, which is inexcusable given its rather long run time. That isn’t even getting into the really awkward Leia scene.

The only reason this film didn’t get a 1 out of 4, is because the ending was pretty rad. It still seemed to have a lot of poor plot developments, making what felt a side plot last the entire goddamn film. It was very character focused, even though a lot of the characters they decided to kill off. I just cannot help but think of the poor merchandise that was sold for the first two films that never really amounted to much.

2 out of 4.

Black Panther

In 2017, I was a bit disappointed with the superhero genre. It was the first time in awhile that a superhero film didn’t make it in my best of the year list. And that includes Logan, which I gave an average rating to.

As for Marvel, in 2017 they gave the average Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the decent Spider-Man: Homecoming, and the funny Thor: Ragnarok, but none of them really blew me away.

Black Panther I was really hoping would start the year off strong. I loved the character for years, he was amazeballs in Civil War, and for all intents and purposes, it looks like they took a lot of care to ensure this one would turn out right. To not be another Catwoman, if you know what I mean.

And somehow it exceeded most of my already high expectations.

Ah sweet! A duel between two panther orphans.

Days after the bombings that took out King T’Chaka (John Kani), and all that Civil War nonsense has ended, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) has returned home to his country of Wakanda to ascend the throne and become their leader.

And you know what? Things are sure going swell for Wakanda. Minus the death of their ruler and some missionaries, they are still prosperous as fuck, living mostly peacefully in their walled off community. They are rich, they have crazy good technology, all thanks to luckily living where Vibranium deposits are, from a meteor a long, long time ago. Yep, it pays sometime to be lucky, I guess!

The Queen (Angela Bassett) is ready for her son to rule, and his younger sister, Shuri (Letitia Wright), is a tech genius, helping beef up his Black Panther outfit. And there is a former love interest, in Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), a warrior champion of one of the many tribes who believes they need to be helping all of Africa, not just themselves.

Unfortunately, things are about to be not so peaceful in Wakanda. A combination of meddling white people (Martin Freeman, Andy Serkis), both good and bad, and the sins of their fathers, are about to change the way Wakanda is seen by the world and by the tribes who inhabit it. Because Wakanda is about to unknowingly welcome home a former son and member of the royal family back to their fold (Michael B. Jordan), and he has his eyes set on the throne.

Also starring Danai Gurira, Daniel Kaluuya, Winston Duke, Sterling K. Brown, Florence Kasumba, and Forest Whitaker.

Dual Pewpews
Ah sweet! A set of dual panther blasters.

Good news! Kilmonger is officially one of the best Marvel villains to date. You know why? Because he is a bad guy with realistic motivations, one who doesn’t speak in cliches, and arguably, he is right. He is right! Not necessarily in the methodology he ends up employing with his drastic measures, but he has justifications that just make sense. He is correct that Wakanda should branch out more and that it is totally fucked up what happened to him his past. He legitamately deserved some amount of revenge.

Okay, okay, I will not talk only about how great Jordan is and his character. The rest of the cast really shines too. I want way more Shuri and certainly more M’Baku. This movie celebrates its diversity in ways we haven’t seen in a blockbuster in almost forever, and that diversity shines brightly. There are vivid colors without relying on the Doctor Strange spectacles, and thrilling fight scenes without excessive explosions.

Hell, the best part about the climatic fight scene (besides the obvious repercussions as they are happening and the crowd pleasing moments) is that it for the most part took place in the open, during the day. It was well lit, we could see it all, and it wasn’t hiding behind quick camera changes and bad choreography.

There are some easy things to nitpick, sure. Like Vibranium becoming a catch all wonder cure. Like the excessive amount of violence involving stabbing items without a lot of consequences from those actions. Like this film following the general strategy of “Intro Marvel Film” means good guy fights evil version of himself.

But it does a lot of things right, from a cultural stand point, from visual stand points, from the plot, to the acting, to the action, and to the scale. It is a strong bar to set for Superhero films this year, and one that Marvel is hoping to actually surpass in just a few months.

4 out of 4.

War For The Planet of the Apes

The “of the Planet of the Apes” films have been met with some pretty critical acclaim in the last few years, especially after the rebooted Planet of the Apes film was so dismal.

And hey, for Rise? I totally agree. An amazing film, great acting and a plot that made me cheer for Apes instead of just humans. Just a silly romance subplot stopped it from being a great film.

Unfortunately, Dawn just didn’t really do much for me. It was an okay film, but I believe it received more praise for being a pretty standard plot, but with Apes instead of tribal humans. Some cool moments sure, but it was also forgettable.

I had no idea what to expect for War, but I would hope with a long run time, it would put an end to humans once and for all, so the Ape society can begin to grow into what we already know is the end goal.

Which is horses and apes riding horses in the future, right?

War is set only a few years after Dawn, where the apes have mostly gone into hiding in the woods. Koba (Toby Kebbell) is the one who started the fighting with the humans, and Caesar (Andy Serkis) ended it. A few apes are still pissed off and left to rabble rouse, but the rest of the apes just want to live alone. However, humans don’t give a fuck, blood was spilled, and they want revenge. So they keep venturing into the woods, hoping to take out Caesar and the rest of the apes will scatter.

Thanks to a scouting mission, a few apes found a desert on the other side of the mountain where the apes would be able to flourish. Humans are super dying out so they are likely to leave them alone.

But leave them along they don’t. A small raid enters their compound hoping to get Caesar, but get some other apes instead. Boo, hiss. Caesar mad. Caesar wants revenge on the soldier in charge of the humans in the area (Woody Harrelson). So he takes his very small band of soldiers on a potential suicide mission.

Starring Gabriel Chavarria as a human soldier, Amiah Miller as a human deaf girl, and a whole lot of people as apes. Like Judy Greer, Steve Zahn, Terry Notary, Aleks Paunovic, Devyn Dalton, and Karin Konoval.

“Well, are you feeling lucky…Ape?”

Trilogies usually go one of three ways. There is the the rare but incredible trilogy that is amazing with every iteration. There is the more common trilogy where the sequel surpasses the first and the last film is a let down. Or there is a trilogy where it starts off good, and each iteration loses a bit of its soul, giving us a worse and worse film.

And a lot of you would assume this might be the second trilogy because people loved Dawn, but to me, this is the third type of trilogy. Dawn was okay, War was kind of shit.

At almost 140 minutes with War in the title, you would expect a giant battle to, most likely, bring about the end of mankind to start this whole Planet of the Apes thing. Maybe. Well, the Caesar journey with his band takes awhile to follow the humans. On the way, they have another Ape who can talk who joins them, and a deaf girl. This part drags, and even when they make it to the human encampment it drags. I found myself falling asleep, despite being an early screening and having finished an energy drink before it.

The ending is about the apes being enslaved and needing to get to get broken out of a prison system where they are slaves, and the humans are fighting with each other. There is also a new iteration of the Simian Flu, that causes humans to lose their voice and potentially become aggressive, reverting them back into a more primitive form.

The ending break out is not a brilliant plan. It involves the humans being incredibly incompetent. When plot necessary, apparently no one is standing guard at the military compound, so a little girl can walk in and have a long conversation. When necessary apparently a guard will behave like someone who has no military training, and no one else will be on guard duty. When necessary, the fighting between humans will stop enough so that the humans can fire on some apes that none of them were able to notice even escaped. This scene includes a soldier that is so upset with these apes, that he cannot stop firing despite a looming other human threat, that he cannot turn around to get his own grenade launcher. When necessary, an ape looking for redemption will use a weapon to take out a single human, instead of just doing the more obvious move to complete the task that Caesar was trying to complete. When necessary, a giant deus ex machine straight out of Mulan will save the day, but this time no daisies are involved.

The ending is a mess, the middle is a bore, and the beginning is predictable. I didn’t even get into the ridiculousness of the Simian Flu change, and deciding to have a girl who was deaf for real, not deaf for flu reasons. War for the Planet of the Apes is a waste of a film that tried to go a deeper, personal route, and just left feeling a bit superficial.

1 out of 4.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Here is what I can tell you:

This review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be super unbiased. Why? Because I am not a hardcore fan boy of the series like most critics I know. I didn’t watch the original trilogy over and over as a kid, and didn’t even see them as an adult. Each film of the original trilogy I have only seen once, and honestly, I get why they were popular then, but think most of it is just nostalgia a la Tron love. Tron is technically terrible, it just did something no other film did before it, so it was a big deal and loved for that reason. If I saw Star Wars as a kid, I might be hooked as well.

I am not saying I hate Star Wars, as that would still be biased. I am just very neutral and ambivalent towards it. I liked KOTOR as a game, so that is one thing I enjoyed. And yes, Episode III might be my favorite Star Wars film, solely for the ending magma battle and shouting.

Here is one more thing I can tell you:

No, I don’t think this review will have a ton of spoilers. I didn’t watch any trailers myself to keep it completely fresh in my mind. I waited days after its released and walked through the internet like a minefield to keep my take on it fresh, despite the news stories of its success. I wanted to wait, so I could watch it in an enjoyable way with a small crowd to not sway my opinion one way or another. Will I reveal basic plot points? Of course, but if that is a spoiler, then fuck me, everything is a spoiler.

This is how I be dodging spoilers on the internet.

Set 30 years after Return of the Jedi, shit has once again hit the fan. Remember Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill)? Yeah, he was a big deal. He has been missing for a long time now though and might just be the last Jedi. Turns out there are still bad people. They aren’t the Empire anymore, they are the First Order. And they are looking for him.

So are the Resistance, which is of course led by Leia (Carrie Fisher), a General now. You can’t really call yourself a Princess anymore when your only claim to royalty blew up in the first half of A New Hope.

Either way, she sends her best pilot down to Jakku on hearing that there is a clue to his whereabouts. You’re thinking Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Chewbaccca (Peter Mayhew)? Hell no! We’re talkin’ Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac)! He is like the new Han Solo, I guess.

And that is the plot outline basically given to us by the rolling credits to start the film. Since I don’t want to freak anyone out. First Order bad. Luke is gone. And more question marks.

But there are still new characters! Rey (Daisy Ridley) is the new Luke and Finn (John Boyega) was a storm trooper, and also New Luke. I guess. Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is new Darth Vader and General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) is new Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin.

Maz Kanata (Lupita Nyong’o) is new Yoda, Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) is new Palpatine, and Anthony Daniels is still C3P0. Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) is a silver storm trooper commander, and I guess she is just a new thing completely. But she has almost no real reason to be in this film, to be honest.

Princess Leia really let it all go for this film.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is an entertaining film. It has likable characters. The new people seem to mostly be the focus, determined to tell their own story, and not let a bunch of old people steal their spotlight. What I might have loved the most was that it felt a lot more “realer” than the prequels. It didn’t feel like a giant CGI fest. It involved actors really running through sand. Real sand!

And sure, I liked Rey. This series will catapult Ridley into super stardom, I can feel it. I liked the Poe and Finn bromance. I really liked Poe. I liked Poe a lot more than I would imagine for someone who is just a pilot. Damn you irresistible Oscar Isaac. Even the new R2D2 was cool.

I didn’t like Kylo Ren when he took off the mask though. No offense to Adam Driver, who I tend to enjoy in his other films, but the look he had with the long hair made him just feel so un-intimidating. His characteristics, technically realistic, but not currently as BAMF as I had hoped. The storm troopers themselves were better. They had personalities, they could hit targets, they had various weapons, and obviously, one of them gained a conscious.

Bad guy
He does have the most sensical lightsaber at least.

But then. Then there are other things. Things not as good as those first things.

Of course a common complaint is this whole thing just feels like a rehash of events from the original trilogy. Some people would argue they are just a homage or mirror of events. Others will just call it lazy fan service / heavy winking. I am on the latter. This didn’t feel like a completely new movie. I mean, fuck, they already did two Death Stars. This time we have a really really really big Death Star, with similar dumb weak points with even more who gives a shitness.

Not everything is well acted. Some scenes are cringey, some seem forced. The worst scene for me to watch was unfortunately a scene between Fischer and Ford, talking about their old love. Neither seemed to be really into it at that moment (Fisher was unfortunately aloof for every one of her scenes), and it didn’t provide the power that it was striving for.

I think what I hated even more about this film is that it didn’t feel like a complete story. Yes, it is part of a trilogy. Yes, trilogies should have an over arcing plot and goal that is being worked towards. But each film in a trilogy needs to have its own beginning, middle, and end, and not leave us with almost literal cliffhangers. The ending to TFA reminded me of the ending of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, which pissed me off so much I still haven’t seen At World’s End. Will I see Episode VIII? I have to, it is my job, but I will go in on a slightly sour note.

In case I wasn’t clear, this film felt like it wanted to set up the trilogy and only hint at what is to come, instead of letting that come naturally through its own story.

TFA is an entertaining movie and one people can enjoy again and again, but it is not movie of the year material when it comes down to all of the bigger elements. I have hope for the future films.

As a side note, I enjoyed a few other things. Like Fisher’s daughter having a small role, and you may recognize her from Scream Queens. It is hilarious that Isaac and Driver are both in this film, when they were last together they sung with Justin Timberlake about not wanting to go to Outer Space. I hope JT is given future consideration for a small role.

And finally, there was a mother fucking reference to Clerks. Clerks, which made many references to Star Wars. Randall was wrong. He said that the average storm trooper does not know how to install a toilet, and that they’d have to hire independent contractors to make the Death Star. But damn it. Those storm troopers do have jobs. (Spoiler)? Finn worked in fucking sanitation!

3 out of 4.

Avengers: Age Of Ultron


Do I even have to write an intro? Yes? Well. Fuck. Okay.

The Avengers was stupidly successful. I knew it would be in 2008 or so. Everything Marvel has done has been covered in molten gold, but in a good way, not a Game of Thrones way. So of course everyone is excited about Avengers: Age of Ultron. Honestly, I am more excited about the next Captain America movie and some of the new heroes like Black Panther and Doctor Strange.

But hey. Ultron is cool too. I will take what I can get before we get 3 Marvel and 3 DC movies a year, plus random other franchises.

Cool to the touch that is. HA HA HA HA HA.
Shits crazy. If you haven’t seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier yet, then I can’t really help you. Spoilers on that front.

S.H.I.E.L.D. is gone, unless you watch the TV show then who knows. Hydra is fucking shit up. The Avengers have gotten together to stop them.

Our friends are all back, Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner).

Remember the twins after the credits of the movie I just mentioned? Well, Quicksilver/Pietro Maximoff (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) are also thrown into the fray. An evil fray.

Here’s the important facts though. The Avengers get Loki’s staff back pretty dang quick. And using its power, Tony Stark wants to return peace to the world. He would love to disband the Avengers because he doesn’t want there to be a need for them. So he uses the staff to help begin to build some AI to help protect the world from more outside threats. Shit goes badly. We got a robot that wants to take out all the Avengers now. The Avengers bring threats. They are dangerous. Without them the world would be better. Tony accidentally made an Ultron (James Spader).

What? Is that not enough characters for you? Well fine. We have some other appearances of course, and I won’t tell you how big or small their roles are. Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), War Machine (Don Cheadle), Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Heimdall (Idris Elba), and Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard). We also have newbie, Dr. Helen Cho (Claudia Kim), and of course Paul Bettany and ANDY SERKIS.

But Thor is my favorite so he gets his own picture, damn it.
For movies like this, there is no way I can get through these things without rambling and talking so much. So fuck it. Let’s go classic here. A simple pros and cons list of the movie. Well, a likes and dislikes. Yeah. And with fancy bullet technology!


  • Hawkeye. They heard the complaints about him in previous films and they made sure he was an important character. A lot was added to him. He had probably two of the best lines, did cool things, and was fantastic. Everyone should love him.
  • Hulkbuster. Hulkbuster guys. Hulkbuster. Amazing fight.
  • The plot elements in the film are definitely related to the first Avengers. Characters decisions are constantly determined to make sure they don’t redo what was done in NYC.
  • Characters shared the screen. It wasn’t just a one man show and his friends. A lot of characters got a lot of screen time. Most of the new guys got their motivations and back stories. Everyone got to fight and everyone fought hard.
  • It wasn’t an exact repeat of the first movie. There are similar elements, but the threats feel different, the arguments are different, and the jokes are different.
  • They didn’t dick around in the beginning, it starts with action and goes quickly into Ultron time.


  • Um. Ultron. I think. I mean. It is iffy. But from the many trailers, I expected him to be a bit scarier overall. He had creepy elements. Especially early on. But then he seemed to turn into a mostly joke cracking villain without the fear.
  • Vision. I liked him but I don’t think they did a good enough job explaining him or giving him more things to do. He felt a bit wasted.
  • Time. The movie is 140 minutes or so, but there are several times when the thing still feels rushed, especially in the 2nd and 3rd acts. There is a lot going on and a lot I liked, but some things made no real sense. Better explanation or more cutting would have helped a ton.
  • Love. There is a romance in this movie. It feels…forced and awkward the entire time. It helps lead to some of these moments where you’d like more explanation.

Also, under both categories I could say the Future. This movie does a lot to set up future movies. Future Thanos battle. Elements for the Black Panther movie. Elements for the next Thor and the Civil War (Although I thought they should have gone way stronger on that side). At the same time, this film kind of feels like a big stepping stone for the future instead of its own amazing event. Too much focus on the later movies, which we know the next many years for and not enough about Ultron.

Overall, AoU is really fucking entertaining. Make no mistake. It was a nice ride, and good action and all of that. The characters are the ones we love with new ones you will love as well. But I think it had enough disappointing aspects associated with it to make me not as excited as I had hoped. With all the set up, I think the Civil War movie will be the one that all this hype has been leading up to. Makes sense, because after it is when we start getting all the new characters outside of Ant-Man.

Go see it. Go see it multiple times. I will buy it as soon as I can for sure. But you know, not perfect.


3 out of 4.

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

Rise of the Planet of the Apes did something miraculously a few years ago. It was able to bring back a cherished series, put its own stamp on it, and not suck completely.

You know, like what Planet of the Apes couldn’t do a decade and a half ago.

But still! Well done Rise. It relaunched a series and gave us a good story. Outside of a really terrible forced romance, it was an exciting movie that I have watched many times.

So, no pressure Dawn of the Planet Of The Apes.

Pressure is Caesar’s middle name. Wait. No. That was Julius.

Dawn is set ten years after the events of the first film. The virus spread throughout the human race, killing most of them. Sure, there were people immune to the virus who are now survivors. But their numbers are few in small cities across the globe, running low on resources and technologies that once were plentiful.

Caesar (Andy Serkis) and his band of merryapes are living peacefully in the red wood forests outside of San Francisco. They haven’t seen humans in years. They hunt deer, protect their own, have rules, are teaching the youth. But then? Humans.

A group of them, including Malcolm (Jason Clarke), Ellie (Keri Russell), Alexander (Kodi Sit-McPhee), and Carver (Kirk Acevedo). They are to go to the nearby dam to try and turn it on. Supplies are low.

However Ape/Human relationships are quite tense. Caesar is willing to trust them and forgive, but other apes in the vicinity, like his general Kobo (Toby Kebbell) might not be as trusting. Add that with the human fear of the apes, lead by the San Fransisco ex-military leader Dreyfus (Gary Oldman) and you got the potential for quite a boondoggle.

Also, Nick Thurston plays Blue Eyes, the son of Caesar (because Augustus would be silly).

I know what you’re thinking, human. You’re thinking “did he fire six shots or only five?” and “Does that Ape know how many shells are even in a shot gun” and “Does he think that gun is candy?”

I will definitely give this movie one thing. It did a great job at world building after the events of the first film. Of course, we only get to see a small area, San Francisco + forest. It would have been cool to see more of the world. For instance, just how many humans are there? I assume that will be answered in future parts.

Caesar / Serkis was also really cool. Everything about him was awesome. Speech, movements, plot line. What a baller guy/ape.

But other than that? This movie disappointed in some ways too. At times the CGI was really jarring, standing out, and even looking kind of shitty. Some of the characters looked awful and I was taken out of the experience. When the Apes and Men clashed for the first big fight? That looked terrible. The other fire scene? Didn’t really work for me either.

The film also dragged on at different times. All of it part of the world building and getting used to this new civilization. And I kind of just wished it would get to the point closer. The ending itself felt a bit predictable too, offering not a lot new minus the fact that it involved apes.

The movie had a lot of good, and a lot of average going on for it. So although parts were awesome and the movie had a good vibe, I couldn’t help leave feeling a bit disappointed. Also for those who hate reading, 1) thank you for still reading my reviews, and 2) there is a bunch of subtitles.

2 out of 4.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Watch out everyone, movie event of the year coming through.

Sure, that is debatable. After all, Twilight Ended, the year isn’t over yet, and the end of Batman Trilogy and Avengers went down. But The Hobbit still may have been a greater buildup. After all, the previous LOTR movies were all nominated for Academy Awards, and the last one won!

This is a new trilogy, taking in more than just the Hobbit book, with tons of lore, and stretched into three movies. I AM ALLOWING MYSELF SPOILERS IN THE SECTION IN BETWEEN PICTURES, BECAUSE WELL, most people know this story anyways. The Animated Movie was a thing, after all. That middle section is normally reserved for plot anyways, and I feel like its hard to really give away shit, because its so well known.

Either way, spoilers in the middle warnings!

Spoiler: Only one hobbit is really focused on in this movie. That’s 75% less Hobbits than LOTR.

As most of you know, The Hobbit takes place before LOTR. Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) is a simple Hobbit, who doesn’t like adventure. Gandalf (Ian McKellen) comes by, fucks it all up, and without warning, thirteen dwarves have crashed the place and are eating all his food! Oh noes!

Why? Because they want to reclaim their ancient kingdom, that a terrible dragon named Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch) has taken over! Thorin (Richard Armitage) is the last line of Dwarven royalty, and technical king of a home they don’t control. He sent out a call for dwarves to help him take back the mountain, and only 12 answered. But according to Gandalf, they also need a Burgler, and he has decided that Bilbo will fit the bill.

The first hobbit movie ends after the encounter with Gollum (Andy Serkis) and the escape from the Goblins, and then the further escape from the orcs by Eagle Power. We also get an appearance of Frodo (Elijah Wood), Elrond (Hugo Weaving), Galadriel (Cate Blanchett), and a pre-evil Saruman (Christopher Lee). Balin (Ken Stott) is the next main dwarf, Azog (Manu Bennett) is the pale orc main antagonist, Figwit is now Lindir (Bret McKenzie). AND THEN WE HAVE RADAGAST THE BROWN (Sylvester McCoy). A mother fucking druid/crazy wizard?

Don’t remember him? Because like I said, this is more than the Hobbit. A lot of the Tale of the Necromancer is in here too, and was only set up in this movie. Gandalf left the Hobbit a lot to do his own shit, and he was doing the necromancer stuff. This added a lot to the movie that I wasn’t expecting.

One other thing I liked? Well, as most of you know the story, you know that Gandalf and the Eagles are a Deus Ex Machina on a stick. Rarely do they solve their own problems without one or both of the groups coming to save the day. Same thing happened in LOTR, and it was pretty annoying. One of the biggest examples is when they are in the trees with the orcs and worgs attacking, then the Eagles come and carry them away. Well, in the movie, that scene is QUITE longer and a bit more inspirational. Yes, it ends the same way, but damn it, the Dwarves don’t just sit their crying. They fight back, they give it their all, they show courage and bravery. I loved that change. Same result at the end, but I think the way they got there was a little bit better.

Pictured: Actual Trolls picking apart the Hobbit.

First off, no I didn’t get to see the movie in 48 fps. They decided to can the wide release idea, and only have it in select theaters. Sucks to suck, I might get to see it next week that way, all depends on if I want to see it again. The 3D on its own, was very nicely done, rounding out the movie in a good way, like Life of Pi did.

Martin Freeman felt really good as Bilbo. I understand the direction they took the character is a bit more witty and awesome, versus kind of a selfish asshole. Same with the dwarves, but really, I think it made the story better. There were like, three songs in this movie, maybe a throw back to the animated movie. None as silly as those songs, unfortunately.

I also read an article telling me the main 19 differences between the book and the film, and honestly, it mostly seemed like harmless fluff changes that didn’t matter. But when I left the theater, I heard lots of grumblings in regards to changes from the book still. Oh well, one day people might not have a shit. Just kidding, it will never got away.

It had its flaws, and some pacing issues in it. Personally the rock giant fight scene came completely out of nowhere for me, and didn’t really make…any sense. Just happened in the middle of traveling, no explanation, no buildup, and then it was done. Really disliked that scene.

3 out of 4.

The Adventures Of Tintin

When I thought about The Adventures of Tintin as a crazy CGI movie, I didn’t think much of it. I thought it would probably cost a lot of money and not do so well. I also knew that he probably wouldn’t go to Africa, given his old comics being racist and stuff.

Basically what you need to know about Tintin is he is a guy with a dog, that goes on adventures. He is a journalist, which means he gets around, investigates, and can also solve mysteries. He also knows how to do tons of things, like pilot all types of transportation sources. He probably speaks a lot of languages too, but doesn’t show off. What a well guy

Minus that guys nose, look at that “realism”!

Tintin (Jamie Bell) is just hanging out in Paris. The first time we seem him is actually hilarious. But I don’t want to spoil that joke for you. While looking for his dog, he finds a model Ship made by Sir Francis Haddock (Obvious reference to Drake is obvious), who was a famous sailor and rich, and had a ship named a Unicorn. Immediately after purchase, a guy tries to buy it from him (with a warning), then Rackham (Daniel Craig), an old rich guy tries to do the same. He seems evil, and this is a CGI movie, so he is.

Eventually Tintin finds a note stuk in the ship, written in another language and a poem. Eventually he also finds out that Rackham has a ship identical to his with a different note. Can these notes combined lead to a secret buried treasure?

Shooting, and kidnapping, and escaping happen, and Tintin finds himself on a boat (motherfucker, on a boat) where he meets Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis). The captain of the baot who is locked away in his room after a mutiny, with nothing but his rum. They eventually escape and realize there is a third clue. Also, clearly the Captain is a descendant Sir Francis, and wants to help out Tintin. But they have to race against Rackham and his crew, who want to stop them, and find the treasure first.

There is also Thomson (Nick Frost) and Thompson (Simon Pegg), two very similar bumbling constables, who want to help Tintin. I think?

T and T
Seriously. No idea if they are out to get him, or help him, or if all of their success is stealing the work he does and captures people?

Did you like that shitty plot description? I skipped a lot and left a lot out because A LOT OF THINGS happen in this movie. Holy crap, is there action.

Oddly enough this film is PG. The Captain is drunk 90% of his screen time, and one of the major plot points in the desert is that he gets sober and can’t remember certain things so they have to find him alcohol. What!? Also lots of guns. People in the movie die to guns, even. No blood spatter. But shot. In a pg movie! And smoking! I guess you can do anything in CGI eh?

I liked it all though. It was crazy to watch. Chase scenes, different countries, and a pirate hallucination that was super epic.

My one big complaint, which is true of the comic too (and thus true to the film?) is the dog. The dog just felt like one giant Deus Ex Machina, again and again. The dog was responsible for most of the plot advancement, randomly running away, randomly finding things etc. Just felt lazy that it kept happening over and over.

But really, it was a pretty nifty adventure that Tintin guy went on.

3 out of 4.