Tag: Kevin Durand

Tragedy Girls

If it wasn’t for indie movie theaters in my area, I would have never heard of Tragedy Girls. It is the type of film with the type of name that is just so easy to ignore. If I saw it on a list of DVD releases in the future, I would have just assumed it was a Lifetime or CW film and just actively ignored it.

Back in the day I would have watched everything, but now I find myself with a semblance of a life, certain sorts of films just get ignored.

Thankfully I was given a screener and had enough free time to throw it on. Although to be honest, I wanted to watch the documentary 78/52 instead, but technical difficulties led me to Tragedy Girls (which again, I was only given an invite due to an indie film in the area).

Nowadays in school they don’t fight the cell phone problem but apparently just let it all run wild.

Two girls, one twitter account. Sadie Cunningham (Brianna Hildebrand) and McKayla Hooper (Alexandra Shipp) have dreams of one day being famous. They also have dreams of finding out who a local serial killer is in time, and using that knowledge to get them famous. They have a twitter account, called @TrageyGirls to post rumors and news or videos about death in their town, but no one will take them seriously.

And you know what they do right away? Catch the serial killer (Kevin Durand)! But a caught serial killer isn’t too interesting, if he goes away, how will they continue to talk about new deaths?

So the two ladies keep him tied up in a hidden shack and decide the best way for them to get famous is to keep killing in his name. Their task is a hard one, as they have to not get caught and make the kills look like real kills, not just accidents. The good news is, they can kill anyone they want, whoever is trying to get in their way to success. Or just anyone who takes the spotlight away from them.

Also starring Josh Hutcherson, Craig Robinson, Jack Quaid, Timothy V. Murphy, Savannah Jayde, and Rosalind Chao.

The most surprising stats are their cameos and how many of them were also in The Hunger Games.

Tragedy Girls seemingly came out of nowhere. A film I never heard about, with leads I have seen barely before, with smaller roles from legit stars, and it stood its own ground.

A bit satire/parody, a bit comedy/horror on its own rights, Tragedy Girls felt really fresh through a majority of the movie. Its gore never reached the level of Tucker and Dale vs Evil, but it had some very creative deaths to keep you shocked and amused. The leads are really charismatic and easy to cheer on their bad deeds.

The film is only a little bit creative though. The ending wasn´t too hard to determine, or where the plot would take the viewer. It is creative in how modern it made it, its take on serial killers, and a little bit of woman power. It is definitely refreshing in that it isn´t just a slasher, and the jokes are dark in nature and not just bullshit slapstick or references.

Tragedy Girls will probably become a cult classic at some point. Really, the only thing that could have made it better would have been some musical scenes. Or at least a tap dance number.

3 out of 4.

Resident Evil: Franchise

After the success of my Saw Franchise review as a Milestone Review, I knew I wanted to do it again at some point in the future. Films that were mostly too old to be reviewed individually on the website, but as a whole, could make a pretty decent Milestone Review investment, for whatever relevant reason I could think about. And yes, I was a bit surprised that it was review 550, when it doesn’t feel like that long ago.

And I knew the next one of those I would want to do would be the Resident Evil Franchise for a variety reasons. The fact that this is review 1750 makes it extra special in my eyes.

1) When I moved to Ames, I started to review EVERYTHING that hit our theaters, both new and the cheap-o theater. I made that declaration the week AFTER Resident Evil: Retribution left the main theaters apparently. I had no worry, I would watch it when it hit the cheap theaters, because I would even watch “horror” movies now. And then the cheap theater never got it.

2) End of January, a new Resident Evil film comes out, and hey, I need to watch these in order to prepare for it.

And finally, 3) I own all five of these films on Blu-Ray, bought a couple years ago on Black Friday real cheap. So, uhh, I really need to watch them already. Also, I never rushed to watch them, because I have never really played any of these games. I played like, 5-10 minutes of Resident Evil 4, found it too scary, and didn’t touch it again.

And I will finally have some context for The Kick Heard Around the Video Game Movie World.

Resident Evil

Let’s talk about Resident Evil, the first movie based on a horror video game, based on the first horror action video game. This film starts us in the Umbrella Corporation facility. They do tech stuff around the world, basically Google, but they also secretly did weapon stuff around the world, making them filthy rich. After some disease juice gets loose in their facility, the AI who runs the whole thing (The Red Queen), kills everyone inside the facility. Every single scientist, worker, peon.

So a military group of soldiers are being sent down there to investigate why and to turn off The Red Queen. Before this happens, we see Alice (Milla Jovovich) waking up naked in a bathtub, in a mansion, with some amnesia. And that is when the soldiers bust in. The group, led by “One” (Colin Salmon) bring Alice along into The Hive (the name of the underground research facility) and let her know that she works for the Umbrella Corporation as well and is meant to guard the entrance. The rest of the team includes Michelle Rodriguez and Martin Crewes. They also have Matt (Eric Mabius) as someone who they recently arrested, and Spence (James Purefoy), Alice’s husband and also guardian of the mansion.

Don’t get your pants in a twist, this monster is coming.

When they get down there, they find destruction, death, and weird shit everywhere. Getting into The Red Queen’s server room is difficult and people die, but damn it, they shut down The Red Queen. Yay! Time to leave and go back to the fun outside in Raccoon City, good job everyone. BUT WAIT. With the AI shut down, all of the locks and operations shut down as well. And it turns out that the virus, the T-Virus, basically made zombies. And shit like that thing in the picture above to deal with.

Somehow Alice is like, super incredibly, awesome. She fights so well. Turns out that Spence is the one who spread the virus, because he was trying to stop Matt and his sister from telling the world about what they were doing. So Spence has to die, and Alice and Matt barely escape to the top before bad things happen, with Matt dying from a claw mark, the antidote so close… And then they are found by Umbrella operatives and taken away.

When Alice awakes, she finds herself in an empty hospital. After she gets out of there, she finds Raccoon City in ruins. Crashed cars, fires, and apparently the T-Virus got out and it is zombie time in the real world. MOVIE 2!

2 out of 4.

Resident Evil: Apocalypse

Resident Evil: Apocalypse, the extremely high bar setting subtitle, take place right after the events of the first film. Because of the team going in to capture Alice and Matt, they accidentally also let off a wave of the infected zombies onto the city. And this spreads like wild, against Umbrella’s interests. They set up a perimeter wall around the city and only have one area for people to leave, assuming they pass the test to show they are not infected or bitten. But when the dead get to that area to, they close off the last gate and leave the people inside to deal with it on their owns, even willing to fire on regular citizens.

And this is a problem. This is what Alice wakes up to. Umbrella tried to get its best scientists out of the city as well, including the inventor of the T-Virus, Dr. Ashford (Jared Harris). They were unable to get his daughter out though, Angie (Sophie Vavasseur), clearly the inspiration for The Red Queen. So he wants people to go in and find her, anyone really, promising them a way out.

It takes a lot of skill to keep that outfit together in a high action zombie apocalypse.

People like Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory), an ex-cop who hated Umbrella, and her old friend, Sargeant Payton Wells (Razaaq Adoti). People like Umbrella soldiers Carlos (Oded Fehr) and Nicholai (Zack Ward). And eventually all of them meet up with a news reporter Terri (Sandrine Holt), and T.J. (Mike Epps), a guy with guns, and Alice and the girl.

Also running around the city is a giant monster, named Nemesis, working for Umbrella and killing soldiers, not citizens. He is controlled by Umbrella, namely Major Cain (Thomas Kretschmann). Eventually they find out that the monster is actually Matt, from the first on. He was experimented on, just like Alice, except she just got super strong and looked the same while he mutated as he was already scratched. Oh snap!

Also Dr. Ashford gets killed, a lot of fighting ensures, and the survivors escape on a helicopter as Raccoon City is fucking blasted with a nuke! Their helicopter crashes in the wave, Alice is killed saving the girl and Umbrella finds them some time later. Alice wakes up a few weeks later, in a Detroit Umbrella facility, by Dr. Sam Isaacs (Iain Glen), restores her own memories, breaks out and goes on the run with T.J., Jill, Carlos, and Angela, with Isaacs letting her run, knowing she is still controlled. Or something.

1 out of 4.

Resident Evil: Extinction

Exctinction takes us five years further into the franchise. The T-Virus has spread throughout the world, and basically life sucks. It is all desert-y and dead, very Mad Max-esque. Alice is now driving on her own, abandoning her friends because she is being tracked by satellite. She also has some sort of psychic powers now, thanks to experimentation.

Somewhere near Las Vegas is where we find them all now, Alice wandering and killing bad people and bad zombies alike. And a big caravan of survivors looking for a place to call home. It is led by Claire Redfield (Ali Lartner), and features some returnees like Carlos and T.J. Yay! No idea where Jill went. Some of the new “survivors” include a girl named K-Mart (Spencer Locke) and other actors (Ashanti, Christopher Egan, Matthew Marsden, and Linden Ashby).

Dust bowl
Shit, sand got everywhere. I hate sand.

And uhh, well, eventually Umbrella attacks them again when they are in Las Vegas trying to get supplies. They want to go to Alaska, where they heard there is a settlement. More people die, and Alice goes to the local Umbrella facility to put a stop to them and take their helicopter, so the survivors can go. And she does that!

Inside the lair is of course Dr. Isaacs again, but this time he was weak, so he injected himself with the T-Virus too. This turned him into a hybrid fighting entity, with arms that could be elongated with tentacles. Fun! Alice kills that guy, finds out that this facility has hundreds of Alice clones, and she plans to use them to take down Umbrella. Looks like they are located in Tokyo for sure now, they didn’t like Isaacs, and some guy in glasses (Jason O’Mara) is the new, bad guy. Survivors to Alaska, Alice plans to take out Tokyo Hive, end of film.

2 out of 4.

Resident Evil: Afterlife

Afterlife begins with showing how Tokyo got infected. Then we see Alice storm in after Extinction, clone army and all, and clear house. But Wesker (Shawn Roberts), Mr. Sunglasses himself, now played by a new actor, escapes. During their battle, he removes Alice’s super powers, of which she is happy, they both crash and explode and somehow, Alice survives. So she makes her way to Alaska.

There she is attacked by Claire, with a metal spider on her chest. Once she removes it, Claire stops, with some amnesia and doesn’t talk. But Alice finds no other survivors, just a lot of planes and emptiness. So she flies a plane to LA with Claire and lands on top of a prison with some survivors flagging her down. The survivors include Luther West (Boris Kodjoe), Crystal Waters (Kacey Clarke), Angel (Sergio Peris-Mencheta), Bennett (Kim Coates), and a prisoner who calls himself Chris (Wentworth Miller).

Indoor rain scenes are all the rage these days, not at all for sexual reasons either.

And yeah, they are now in a prison, surrounded by zombies. Not just zombies, but a giant one with a big axe/hammer weapon, called Axeman. Turns out Arcadia, the Alaskan settlement, was actually the name of a ship, which is off the coast. They want to get to the ship, to see the other survivors, makes sense. So they do that. They escape, some people die, but when they get to the ship, turns out it also is an Umbrella trap.

They have everyone in tubes under ground, for testing or who knows what. And surprise! There is Wesker again, this time, super super fucking powerful, and fast, and he can regenerate. Much fighting occurs, eventually he is on a ship that explodes and everyone is free! Yay, the survivors are freed from the tubes, when…suddenly! More Umbrella ships show up, with guns. And our old friend, Jill Valentine, now blonde and not at all looking like her former self. But she has a robot spider on her chest, and then…movie ends!

0 out of 4.

Resident Evil: Retribution

Don’t worry, at the start of Retribution, we will see what immediately happens to Alice in crew, but in slow motion and backwards! Then she will tell us about the first four movie plot, then it will show the attack in regular motion at regular speed. Then we find Alice waking up in a suburban house, with a husband, a deaf child Becky (Aryana Engineer) and no zombies. Weird. Okay. Until zombies attack their neighborhood! Lot of people start dying and of course, then real Alice wakes up, again, in an Umbrella facility.

Sigh. Okay. But the computer that runs it starts to malfunction. So she escapes, a lot of weird things happen, and somehow she finds herself in Tokyo right when the plague begins? What in the fuck? Blah blah action, blah blah plot, eventually we get some knowledge. She is in a large Hive base (They are all really big), but it is a testing facility in Russia. They built huge areas to simulate T-Virus attacks in a few major cities, to sell the tech to governments against each other. It is also underwater and under ice. But don’t work she is being rescued by…Wesker?! What, he survived?

Oh and Ada Wong (Bingbing Li) his assistant. Apparently they want to free her to finally bring down Umbrella, because now Umbrella is being run by The Red Queen herself. They now have to escape, with Becky (who things Alice is her mom, despite just being a clone), in a two hour timer before the facility explodes. Also rescuing her on the other side is a crack team of warriors. Including Luther West! Also Leon Kennedy (Johann Urb), Barry Burton (Kevin Durand), and two guys who are totally not as important (Robin Kasyanov, Ofilio Portillo).

Resident Evil always had the most appropriate outfits for fighting AND doing that BDSM thing.

That’s right, this is another movie where they have to escape a place before they all die. But this one features a lot of returning members, because apparently a lot of them were actually clones the whole time. So people from the first and second movie are back, just to fight her with Valentine, still controlled by a robot, while the base comes crumbling down. And more Axemen, zombies, infected, and guns.

Needless to say, eventually they win, and get picked up by Wesker. Where is Wesker? In the White House, with the “last remaining survivors” ready to finally rid the infected threat once and for all. Maybe.

0 out of 4.


Oh where to do we begin. I guess the first film. Despite having CGI that has aged terribly over the last 14 years, the first film in the franchise is dreadfully okay. The acting isn’t great, but the concept it is introducing is original for the time and it creates a potentially scary situation. Out of all the five films, it is the scariest because everything is new, but again, bad CGI takes away some of the frights. Some of the scenes felt straight out of a video game, but it still wasn’t high art in any sense of the word.

Resident Evil: Apocalypse introduces us to some video game characters and a lot more action. Action at the expense of horror. Like, there are no fears at all in this movie. The zombies aren’t scary, and Nemesis NEVER feels scary, just threatening and powerful. For a horror franchise to immediately drop large portions of horror is a terrible move to make. But at least this film feels like the next step in the franchise and continues the plot along decently, despite the dumb teaser at the end. It is still bad and should feel bad, but there were some attempts there.

Resident Evil: Extinction takes the series in a completely different direction than anyone expected. The point of it was to make a scarier movie with a lot of it set during the day instead of night like normal zombie flicks. The plot was a bit of a weaker point in this film as well, but it would have been stronger had the next two movies not done what they did. It did increase some of the horror elements from the first film, not to the same level, but that is why I left it as okay. Mad Max and Zombies is a fun crossover idea and the film once again got a closer to some sort of closure.

Wow how did Umbrella get their logo to burn on a building like that? Is that a metaphor?!

Resident Evil: Afterlife is where the franchise starts to hit garbage fire mode. To talk about both films, neither really seem to feature that strongly of a horror element. Once again, these films feel incredibly action oriented, with very weak plots. And by weak plots, I mean the films should barely exist. After the third film, we have Alice heading to stop Umbrella Corp’s main office in Tokyo. Awesome, she does that early in the film, then most of the film is instead dealing with this being stuck in a prison, trying to get on a ship situation. This is not really a new plot line from this franchise or from zombie films in general.

And in the fifth film, we start off once again LOCKED IN A GODDAMN UMBRELLA BUILDING. And the entire focus of the movie is to get out of the building. Just like movie one. Just like movie four. They are just rehashing the same plot line and not moving the plot along. Sure, at the end of the movie, they escape the place that they were. But they are solving problems that the films itself create.

After the third film, we can sort of assume where the franchise is going and will go. And instead of delivering that outcome, the fourth film is almost entirely a filler plot line. At the end of the fourth film, we know where the franchise should go, and instead of getting there, it is entirely filled with a different fucking filler plot line. They create and solve issues in the movie itself at the expense of telling a story and it is downright furious.

Sure, they might have some cool sequences in them. They were movies made for 3D and IMAX screens. But they abandoned the genre of horror, retold the first plot in worse ways, and refused to give us growth, which is goddamn necessary that late in to a franchise.

I can hope and hope amongst all things that the next film, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, will bring us the plot we have been looking forward to. But I honestly am just assuming it will also end on a bad cliffhanger and not actually be the final movie. Because money. And dicks.

2 out of 4.

1 out of 4.

2 out of 4.

0 out of 4.

0 out of 4.

The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones

The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones is the next book series turned film franchise to attempt to sweep us off our feet and make that preteen money. Twilight let everyone know that supernatural teen romance/action books could be popular.

Of course, I have never read this series. It is currently up to five books, with a sixth one on the way. What I do realize is that this title is far too long. It really should just be called City of Bones. I try to save time by watching movies, I don’t want the title to be as long as book!

If you look closely, you might be able to see that she is actually a moose.

Thankfully, TMI:CoB is set in modern times, in New York City. Clary Fray (Lily Collins) is your average almost adult girl and she lives at home with her single mother (Lena Headey). She is getting pretty angsty, because it is near her birthday, and she is obsessively drawing strange symbols around her house.

Her best friend is Simon (Robert Sheehan), and for whatever reason she doesn’t understand that she is totally leading him on. They go out to a club and she witnesses a murder that no one else can see. Yep, she is going insane. Then she realizes the boy she saw, Jace (Jamie Campbell Bower) is following her. Creeper alert.

What she doesn’t realize is that she is going to discover a world, hidden in our own. A world of shadow hunters, demons, angels, witches, and more, and it is her destiny to help and try to save the day. Or at least just find her mom, who has been kidnapped.

Kevin Zegers and Jemima West play Jace’s adopted family, Godfrey Gao a warlock, CCH Pounder a witch, Jonathan Rhys Meyers the evil guy, Aidan Turner the good friend Luke, and Kevin Durand as a regular bad guy.

Fight fight
Here are the other main members of the cast, also in the same club. Yay dancing.

I think The Mortal Instruments would have worked better as a TV series, a la The Vampire Diaries, and not a full fledged movie franchise. Like it or not the sequel, City of Ashes, is due for a release late next year, so they are really hoping this series takes off. Not all franchises are destined for greatness however. The Golden Compass at least had the brains to wait to see if the first one could make any movie before announcing the sequels would happen.

Unfortunately for them, it looks like TMI:CoB is destined for failure.

A lot happens in this movie, which is good news since it has a 130 minute run time. Outside of the things I listed before we are also given werewolves and vampires! Roughly all fantasy elements seem to be in this hidden universe, which gives them plenty of time for more shenanigans and future plot lines. It is almost as if they were just throwing different elements at the screen, to see what would stick with the viewers.

Outside of that, the film had to explain a lot about this new world. Despite trying to go over the new terms, I can honestly say I left the theater perplexed. I was left trying to figure out what was happening over and over again throughout the film. At the same time it was also full of every teenage fantasy cliche, so I was able to predict the minor events, and not understand most of the major ones.

Here are some things I am left wondering (Potential spoilers):

  • Why is the big bad guy so big and bad? In the film he really only kidnaps someone, but apparently he is way worse and way evil? I can’t tell what his end game was. Something about bloodlines.
  • There is a “twist” about certain characters being siblings…maybe. I am not sure because that scene seemed to imply truth and lies.
  • A character gets turned into a vampire during the movie, and then that fact gets ignored and/or forgotten about. The fuck?

There ending was a complete mess and they seemed to be making it up as they go. Characters die during it, mostly due to bad tactics. You froze a bunch of demons. Great! Now why do you just sit around until they unfreeze, then decide to try and kill them? Are you daft?

There was a big demon summoning beacon too, that for whatever reason had two separate off switches attached to it, against any sort of logic.

This movie is the type that will only make a lot of sense if you have already read the books. I have been told from my friends that this movie spoils the first three books of the series though. So watch out.

It is a real shame too, because this film could have been better. There was a lot of action and I never really felt bored. It just didn’t make any narrative sense and was an overcrowded mess.

1 out of 4.

Fruitvale Station

Fruitvale Station is the true story of the last day of Oscar Grant’s life in 2009. Who is Oscar Grant and why should you care?

Good question.

This Wikipedia article sums it all up nice and…well in great fucking detail. So much detail. Not an easy read at all.

Basically in an arrest, police officers were being rougher than usual early on New Year’s Day. One of the officer ended up firing a shot into the back of Oscar, killing him later. Thanks to technology, a lot of videos quickly surfaced on the internet, and brought the case to the national spotlight. Then, you know, this movie.

SPOILER. Someone dies in this movie.
Side note, this movie is hard to explain. You know what happens at the ending. Hell, if you didn’t read this review, you know how it ends? Why? Because this is how it starts:

Actual footage of Oscar Grant at the Fruitvale train station. One of the cell phone cams, about a minute long, a brief altercation, and the shot. Then the movie starts.

This is a pseudo-fictionalized last day for Oscar (Michael B. Jordan). December 31st also happens to be his mother’s (Octavia Spencer) birthday, so a lot of the day is prepping for dinner at her house and then plans in the city for midnight.

He recently lost his job as a butcher, and has gotten back into dealing drugs, but he wants to turn his life around. He has been in prison twice before, but just got out again a few months ago. He has a daughter, with his long term girlfriend Sophina (Melonie Diaz). He has a big family and a nice support network.

Shit, what else do I say? I don’t. He had a rough life, then he got shot. Kevin Durand also made a surprise small appearance as a cop. Not the asshole cop, just one of them.

Plenty of imagery to make sure you got the full emotions out of it too.
Some movies are just hard to describe, for sure. And after all, with a movie like this one where you KNOW how it ends, the experience is the entire point. But what kind of point was it trying to make?

Anytime someone dies, it is a tragedy. The death is worse if the age is low (he was 22) and the circumstances unjust (shot in the back during an arrest) and even worsier if it has authority overstepping their bounds. The timing of this movie couldn’t be better, with a different famous death just finishing its trial, with the George Zimmerman / Treyvon Martin case.

This only feels relevant because it is a movie distributed by The Weinstein Company, who are well known for advertising. Aka, the best money spent on advertising is free advertising. Just look at their Bully nonsense.

So I think it is unethical to release this movie around that trial for more money and exposure, but I think the movie itself is worthy of being made on its own merits. I don’t like lumping the two things, because the situations are very very different. I won’t get political, I will end it there.

The movie itself is VERY well acted, especially Michael B. Jordan. Everyone else is fine, but he is the only character basically on the screen 100%. The middle of the film had its boring moments, but that was necessary for the buildup. I think it was strange for them to show the actual footage at the beginning. It really took a lot out for me, since they recreated it at the end of the movie anyways. It seems like it could have been better incorporated somehow. Random scenes had extreme elements of shaky cam, just from walking through a room, or a quick run down a street. Those were annoying, not helpful.

I hope some of the smaller details were actual events. They had nice graphics for every phone call and text he made, all of which are records that could easily be gathered, so it would be nifty if they were the actual texts and phone calls he made that day.

Good movie, sad ending, great acting, some dull parts and questionable advertising. Very excited for Michael B. Jordan to be in more movies, that is for sure, brah.

3 out of 4.


For Legion, it is one the last of the main entries into Apocalypse Week.

I remember the trailers for this movie, and thought nothing of it. Random horror. I almost bought it cheap on Black Friday two years ago, but my brother said it was dumb, so I never bothered. But now, finally, I can see it. I love catching up on things I missed.

“…So then the bartender goes, why the long face?!”

The story begins with Michael (Paul Bettany) fighting off some demon looking mother fuckers, and being quite vague. Oh yeah, he totally had angel wings too, but has apparently got rid of them. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat.

Now we find ourselves at a diner in the middle of nowhere. We have quite a few people there, including: Bob Hanson (Dennis Quaid), the owner, his son, Jeep (Lucas Black), their cook (Charles S. Dutton), and a pregnant waitress, Charlie (Adrianne Palicki).

Well, they have some customers too, but who cares. We care about Kyle (Tyrese Gibson) a dangerous looking man who is going to LA. Yes, dangerous because of his skin color maybe. Either way, eventually, some old ass lady walks in and starts causing a fuss, turns into a demon, and tries to get her kill on. Kyle saves the day!

Mass confusion, then enters Michael. Oh, yeah, he seems crazy. He also has a lot of guns. Just because a small army of people who turn into demons attack the diner doesn’t mean he isn’t crazy still. You see, apparently God has lost all hope with the human race. He wants to smite them down, so has sent creatures to take out the Earth. Michael didn’t like that so he abandoned the Angel status to save the human race. How does he do that? By protecting the pregnant lady, whose child is apparently the key to humans winning out.

Great! One against many! Let’s do it. Kevin Durand is Archangel Gabriel too? Heck yeah. I am pumped.

Keamy from Lost has never looked more “cool.”

The plot of this movie actually excited me. Shoot out at a diner in the middle of nowhere, protect the girl at all costs, Angels are the bad guys, also demon things? Why not?

Well, the old lady demon was pretty dang silly. They used the climb on the ceiling tactic multiple times, one as an old lady, the other with a young little boy. Apparently that is all they had going. All the other demons had nothing special going on with them, besides awkward jaunts and large mouths. But still, cool fights and guns right?

Well, I wish. It seemed like post Michael arrival and the mini army, which was promptly dealt with, the movie went into a long lull of boredom before the next wave or anything really happened. Sure, things did happen. But I wanted more guns and demons, damn it. It felt like hours waiting for more things to attack. We are also left with a lot of silly different deaths, that bug me more than anything. Sure they are diverse, but they don’t feel creative, they feel lazy. Don’t take out my favorite character by having him be a hero for no reason, kay?

Just saying. Could have had a lot more cooler deaths and shootouts, and not a lot of downtime in between cool scenes. Really loved the Angel fight too, for some reason.

2 out of 4.

Robin Hood

It has taken a long time for me to see the newest Robin Hood movie, and honestly, I blame the internet. When I first saw a preview, looked awesome. Ridley Scott, on average, is an awesome director. What could go wrong? Apparently everything.

I heard tales that it wasn’t anything like Robin Hood. But that is probably a good thing. We’ve all heard the tale enough to know what happens, if it was the same, it might be boring! But because of that dang internet, I also know the truth of the script. You know what it was called originally? Nottingham. Why? Because it was going to be from his point of view, in a more sympathetic light. Yes! I love switches like that!

Some jerk Outlaw named Robin messing up shit, stealing his Marion and all? Why not?!

But Scott didn’t like that angle. So it was changed. To a more traditional, yet oh so familiar Robin Hood tale. Damn it, this is why we can’t have nice things.

Well, that is a reason. The other main reason is war.

AHH CRUSADES AND STUFF. Robin (Russell Crowe) is over there fighting, because that is all he does, around the world. Just a simple archer. But then something bad happens. He speaks his mind, King Richard (Danny Huston) gets pissed off, and he gets a bit imprisoned. Oh well, thankfully he can get himself free once King Richard gets killed. Wait what?! Richard gets killed early in the movie during the Crusades? Well fuck!

So Robin decides to book it, when he sees a group of men kill the man in charge of bringing the King’s crown back to England. They wanted to kill the king, but he was already dead. The new dead guy? Robin of Locksley. Wait what? Yes, Crowe is a different Robin. But now dying Robin has a request, to return his sword to his dad’s estate for him. Not weird at all. They just have to pretend to be knights and he pretends to be the other Robin to make it less weird.

Too bad the French people were lead by Godfrey (Mark Strong), another English Knight working for the other side? It can’t be true! Well it is, mostly because Prince John (Oscar Isaac) is a little bitch and ordered it.

Either way, Robin delivers the sword to the dad (Max von Sydow) and is met with an unusual request. Pretend to be the other Robin, live in the home, and marry Marion (Cate Blanchett). Or else they might lose all the land to the government when he goes, because a woman can’t hold the deed. Huh, alright then.

But don’t worry, if you are afraid of too much change, you still have some marry men to look forward too. Little John (Kevin Durand), Friar Tuck (Mark Addy), and Will Scarlet (Scott Grimes). The Sheriff of Nottingham (Matthew Macfadyen) is in here too, just not really that important.

Invading French army, working with the traitor king, and maybe some Sherwood forest bandits if we are lucky.

Water sword
Personally, I think this picture looks like he is attacking with a water scimitar.

Totaling at about 2.5 hours, the Director’s Cut is a monster of a movie. I could be getting trolled, since clearly the Theatrical Cut was basically a DC too with the amount of cutting from the original script Scott did. I am not bitter, I swear.

Actually, the acting in this film felt pretty good, as did the pacing. For me, the 2.5 hours went by without a hitch. There were slow parts sure, and they didn’t do enough that I wanted, but it was kind of enjoyable on its own.

But I feel like something was missing from it to give it that extra wow factor. Really, I think it was just okay, which is probably what pissed off the internet more. They kind of demand perfection, especially from Scott and Crowe. It is an interesting Robin Hood story, that allows for even more tales, but definitely not the best one.

2 out of 4.

Real Steel


Real Steel FIGHT
This is not training. This is about to be a bloody brawl.

Seriously Robot Fighting. Review done.

Real Steel is the name of a robot fighting championship. Robots are boxers now because actual boxing is dangerous. Concussions and shit. This is also in the future. Movie begins with Hugh Jackman waking up in his own sad life. He has his own robot fighter (And used to be a boxer before it stopped) and does okay. But he is in debt, especially to Kevin Durand, and needs a get rich quick scheme.

Enter the ex-wife. But not really. She is dead. Giving him custody of his son, Dakota Goyo (Thor as a kid!). But he doesn’t want the son. Who does? The wealthy aunt and uncle, who offer Hugh 100k (half now, half after the summer) if he gives up custody and watches him during their second honeymoon. Done deal. (You can see where this is going).

He gets a new sexy robot from Japan! Voice activated! And wastes all his money again. But when they boy finds an old robot in the dump that is functional, he cleans it up and demands a fight. A smaller robot, one of the originals that was more human like. Meant for sparring and taking a lot, not fighting itself.

You see where that is going too. Can they go all the way, and be the Real Steel champions? Or will other plot lines, like Hugh owing money, or the aunt/uncle wanting the boy get in the way?


Oh yeah. Evangeline Lilly (giving this movie at least two Lost alum) is in the movie as gym owner / helpful robot trainer / has a dad who used to train Hugh / might kiss Hugh by the end of the movie / bow chicka bow wow.

If I had to change anything, it’d probably be just the first fight scene. Robot goes head to head with a bull. I felt weird watching it, even though I know its fake. Poor bull.

I enjoyed a lot of the fights. I think they could have spent more time explaining how these controls work. They go from remote control, to voice controls, to imitation, and everything in between. Just how this stuff works would have been nice.

The ending was great, and I would watch the sequel. Overall, I’d have to say Real Steel was a very solid movie.

3 out of 4.