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How To Make A Decent Justice League of America Movie

18 Feb

How To Make A Decent Justice League of America Movie
by SimplyKyle 2/13/13

jla1 header

It is inevitable. A Justice League movie will eventually make it to the big screen but many wonder how anyone expects to pull such a feat off. With the success of Marvel’s The Avengers and all the individual hero movies that led up to it, it’s a wonder why DC has not jumped on the opportunity to make their own superhero team movie. I mean it took them long enough to start hinting at the possibility, not committing to anything of course, just saying that the potential for the possibility might be there if they feel like it maybe someday.

I have a few suggestions to make it a successful movie and not just a rushed, capitalize-on-the-superhero-trend-while-you-can, poorly written, piece of garbage which is highly likely if not handled properly. After all, anyone could throw a JLA movie together with the common knowledge of the characters from the comics and ride on the coattails of the success of Christopher Nolan’s Batman films (as people will compare all future DC movies to)

It would take careful planning and years of rewrites to stitch together and compose an elegantly written and believable (in the comic movie universe sense) story that could do such an influential comic book identity justice (no pun intended).

Even the Avengers had aspects that could have been worked out better if they had gone into the first Iron Man (or Hulk movie) with definite plans to make an Avengers film, but that idea was a distant dream in the beginning. Given the time and money, building a Justice League movie should be something that can be produced fairly easily. Set aside contract issues, licensing, and all other real world stuff that causes problems in film making that the average person seems to forget about when their favorite characters have flaws and the film isn’t how they would have done it.

It’s not a perfect world and movies are fantasy (gasp) and they are made by people who encounter real world issues (gasp again) when making something. The same way that in theory running away and working on a tropical island sounds great but the haunting student loans and inability to uproot yourself holds you back. Sometime movie companies run out of money, or schedules don’t fit, or deadlines approach, or contracts don’t work out. I’m sure every producer would love to make the perfect movie every time but if that were the case a new movie would only premier every ten years instead of every friday. Hell, if that were the case and companies only put out “perfect movies” we wouldn’t have 6 Fast and the Furious films, or even one of the Scary Movie films.

In an ideal world, they’d have Christian Bale’s Batman, Man of Steel‘s Henry Cavill as Superman, Smallville‘s Giancarlo Esposito as Martian Manhunter, Rooney Mara as Wonder Woman (because why not), Ryan Reynolds as Green Lantern (just to save time on redoing the movie), and Aquaman would somehow not be made fun of.

But as this is unlikely to ever happen so let’s get real shall we.

Obviously the movie would have to include; Superman, Batman, Wonder woman, Flash, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern. Although I worry that with the apparent success of the new show Arrow, Warner Bros will likely try to fit in Green Arrow, aka Batman with a bow. Regardless this is about how I would make it, just keep in mind that Warner Bros will probably try and fit him in just like Hawkeye was tossed in the mix of The Avengers.

Anyway let me break it down…

What needs to be done

The JLA characters are so huge that they would each need solo movies that generated buzz and interest to reel people in for such a huge undertaking of the movie.

Marvel did this with The Avengers. It took years but Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger were great movies by themselves before they started producing The Avengers. (I am aware of the mixed feelings of the two Hulk movies, each showed a very different type of Hulk, a character that really didn’t get good representation until the team up movie.)

If DC wanted to attempt make a JLA movie work, they would have to recoup from their failed Superman Returns and the mediocre Green Lantern. Besides Nolan’s Batman trilogy there is no huge character from Justice League and there is no way Nolan’s universe or that Batman would ever exist in a Justice League movie if they made it now.

And face it, Batman can’t carry the Justice League movie on his own. He’s teamed up with some of the most overly powerful beings in comic book history and a movie featuring them needs to be so epic that Batman (no matter how cool he is in the Dark Knight) would look like an ant up against a giant. For instance, if it were Batman vs Doomsday, he would certainly lose, Batman vs. Anti-Monitor, he loses, Batman vs Spaceman X…you get the picture. It can almost be certain that the Batman we have come to love the past few years will have to be redone to fit in any Justice League movie universe.

So, they would have to introduce each member of the Justice League in their own solo movie that would be worthy of adding up to warrant a Justice League movie.

Superman really is the key component in making a successful Justice League flick and first they have to nail a Superman movie. There has yet to be one. It looks like Man of Steel is going to be pretty awesome and will be the Superman they use in any potential JLA movie. I know some people may argue that the original Superman movie was great but let’s be real here. It was cool for comic geeks back in the 70s, but that Superman could not hold a candle to today’s cinematic demand of superhero expectations. Let’s work on getting Superman to actual punch a guy into space first (or throw a punch in a movie for that matter) before we try and get him to head up the Justice League on the big screen.

superman-cake

But say they use Man of Steel‘s Superman and the 2011 Green Lantern as the characters for JLA movie, they still need to make a Flash, Wonder woman, Martian Manhunter, new Batman, and even an Aquaman movie.

Estimate two a year, if they were  all even in development yet, puts us about three years out. Most of them are not likely even being considered, nor developed, so we are closer to five or six years minimum form a JLA movie in order for it to be done right. They can’t nix a Batman redux because the Batman in JLA will be so vastly different from Christian Bale’s Batman. And if they just assume everybody knows Batman from Nolan’s films then the audience will be wildly disappointed when they go in thinking of that one and see whatever version of Batty shows up in the JLA movie.

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How they should approach it

First off, they’ll have to acknowledge the existence of the other super powered beings existing in each movie for it to make sense that they team up. Not necessarily in the sense that The Avengers had Samuel Jackson go around and yell at people until they decided to work together, but in the sense that if there’s a guy who can fly and shoot laser, you’d be damn certain the guy who can talk to fish knows about that red tight wearing guy from Metropolis.

This is one reason Spiderman as we knew him could not be in the Avenger’s movie, New York only seemed to acknowledge the one guy in tights when he battled Doc Ock. Same goes for the X-men not helping out in the Chitauri invasion. In their movies it was an international debate about mutant registration, but not once was this mutant menace mentioned during Tony Stark’s press conference or federal trial.

Of course, this could all be resolved they way they do in comics by throwing alternate universes into the mix (something X-men Days of Future Past may be playing with) but in a society that allows multiple seasons of Jersey Shore and only one of Firefly, theoretical physics may not pacify their desire for explanation, in what is a fictional cinematic world to being with.

We should be able to just say “because we fucking said so, it’s a goddamn movie” and leave it at that. But as internet debates have shown us, apparently everybody who has ever seen a superhero movies wonders why they aren’t all canon to each other and will nitpick all their inconsistencies and why they are terrible, despite making millions of dollars in the box office (as well as fitting in a way to horribly insult your mother).

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So as I stated, each member would have to have a worthy solo film.

Superman
superman-man-of-steel-close-ups-of-new-outfitThe upcoming Man of Steel version should be used to begin the JLA series. He’ll have to have a struggling, dark, and gritty past with initial protest or hesitation of trust from earth only to be redeemed by saving the earth or a large population from a great threat. I’ll entrust Man of Steel to do a decent enough job to create a usable, modern cinema friendly and appealing Superman.

Batman
Batman
Will be probably the toughest to redo. As I stated earlier, the Batman we have seen represented by Christian Bale the past few years would be ideal, but would not fit in any conceivable universe they would base an upcoming JLA movie in that includes other superheroes never mentioned in The Dark Knight trilogy. Unless of course it is based years after and Batman has to return to team up with the JLA as being the first “super-hero” the world had seen publicly, which led to the rise in super powered heroes and villains in years after. This could open up the Joseph-Gordon Levitt’s Batman/Nightwing character that The Dark Knight Rises alludes to at the end. You know what, that may work easiest instead of trying to remake a Batman that moviegoers can love that they won’t keep comparing to The Dark Knight’s version (the recent Amazing Spiderman remake comes to mind). They could make it a darker Batman but any darker than what we’ve seen and the screen would just be black. I’ll revisit how to attempt another (inevitable) re-imagining of Batman at a later date.

Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman
Not to keep relating the JLA to the Avengers (let’s be honest one is pretty much the other companies version of the other) but a Wonder Woman movie would probably have to be much like the Thor movie was, only it would not directly lead into the final team up movie (I leave that to Martian Manhunter later). This movie will have to take place on a magical island inhabited by gorgeous Amazonian women who have the powers of gods. Wonder Woman’s character would have to be curious of the lives of regular humans and ventures to our normal world and inadvertently saves someone and gets labeled as a hero. She would be sought after by military officials and would continue to protect humans, whom she has grown fond of, from danger. This intervening with normal people will upset her homeland friends and they will give her an ultimatum, she can either return or choose to live amongst the humans never being allowed to live in her homeland again. For good measure you obviously have to throw in a normal man who she falls in love with but he doesn’t know her secret. Hopefully this would stand a better chance at getting produced than the two failed attempts at Wonder Woman tv shows.

Flash
FlashHonestly, he probably doesn’t need his own movie. He could easily be slipped into one or more of the other movies like with Hawkeye in Marvel series. Because when you get down to it, he’s a guy who runs really fast. Yes, I know he has been known to phase through things and mess with time but how much can we fit into 2 ½ hours that doesn’t seem like we’re pulling things out of our ass?

Aquaman
aquamanAs much as I hate to say it, he warrants his own movie more than Flash because of the sigma around him. He would really need to be made a bad ass similar to how he is in the New 52. One of the top priorities would have to be getting the outfit right because orange and green, scaly tights can be very unflattering very quickly. I would suggest having his origin explain how he gained his powers from a meteor (tied to Superman) and he gets the aquatic powers because it lands in the water he is swimming in at the time. Obviously his friend who was with him will go evil and have similar powers and will be the main person he fights, symbolizing his struggle with himself as he battles the changes he is going through and the consequences of having his powers and how easily he could be turned to a darker side.

Green Lantern
Green LanternWill need to be redone because we’ll have to take each member seriously (also we need to get Ryan Reynolds out of the green tights and start making that damn Deadpool movie already!) I see this being the second to last movie released before the JLA movie, it would help begin tying the cosmic space themes to the way the JLA movie will have to incorporate. I think to separate this new Green Lantern from the Ryan Reynolds version, you would need to go the John Stewart Green Lantern route and make him an African-American character (because honestly the JLA needs to diversify). The origin can be tweaked to have the alien, Abin Sur, give John the ring which makes him Green Lantern. The reason behind Abin Sur’s being near earth is his tracking an alien being that is nowhere near the size of Parallax in the recent movie, it can’t be so earth shattering yet. This alien is a tough bad guy who is actually just a scout for the main bad guy in the JLA movie that Martian Manhunter will be tracking. Throughout this movie there will be a scientist, Dr. Saul Erdel, that Green Lantern knows who is trying to reach out to aliens and inadvertently calls the bad guy that Green Lantern  must battle.

Martian Manhunter
martian manhunterWould have to be the last movie before the JLA movie. It would flow as a report being documented by Martian Manhunter who has been away from his home world for many years in search of an evil entity that attacked his people. Once he finds one of the villain’s minions (the bad guy from Green Lantern film) he gets a trace on where the evil entity is. He too will pick up Dr. Saul Erdel’s signal that draws the evil to Earth and he will make his way to warn Earth of the danger that is coming, arriving after Green Lantern defeats the minion (so he’ll also show up at the end of that movie to tie it in, showing that both movies were happening in roughly the same time frame). We’ll end on Martian Manhunter explaining that he has learned of other powered individuals on Earth that can help protect the planet from destruction.

What it would be about

The evil entity that the JLA will ultimately be battling will be revealed to be Darkseid, probably one of the most powerful bad asses to walk in the DC Universe.

character_bio_576_darkseid2

In the JLA movie, Martian Manhunter and Green Lantern will be trying to convince the rest of the team to work together for the oncoming evil. Obviously, Superman will be first on board. Flash and Aquaman will be easily recruited, while Batman will likely want to work alone and would take more persuading and Wonder Woman tries to resist as she gave up using her powers to be with the man she loves (lame I know, but probably appealing to girls. maybe?).

Darkseid will be able to sense the powerful beings on earth and one mystical place that he first discovers is Wonder Woman’s homeland. He first attacks there and many of the Amazonian woman are killed, this will ultimately spark Wonder Woman to join the JLA.

Darkseid will be able to convert anyone into an evil minion of his if they are weak-willed and he can over come them. This will quickly create an army that will cause a problem for the JLA. After his initial resistance, Batman will show up with a device that can temporarily stop Darkseid’s hold over humans which will make it easier for the JLA. With their combined intellect and powers they will wage war against Darkseid’s evil, while trying to protect the innocent humans under his control.

Justice-League-darkseid

The movie will span the globe as the JLA tries to manage the worldwide attack as evil spreads like a plague. Eventually, good will triumph evil but only after we believe the JLA may lose, perhaps some of the members fall under Darkseid’s control? I have several ways they may manage to defeat Darkseid but its tough to say which would do justice for the Justice League of America (pun very much intended).

So hopefully Hollywood understand what their up against by taking on such a task of a Justice League movie. They have to realize the magnitude of the project and can hopefully take a few tips from my opinion (and I wouldn’t be opposed to helping write the scripts). Time will only tell, either the DC movies will triumph and we’ll see the movie in the next five years or they will become total flops at the box office and a mutli-million dollar budget Justice League of America movie will never see the light of day. We could always hold out hope for a Justice League of Antarctica movie

-Photos used are property of DC Comics, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Time Warner, and their  respective sources. They do not belong to GeekTheWorldOnline and are intended for use in character and media review in strictly entertainment and editorial means. Their use is protected by Section 107 under the US copyright law.

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Harpoon (a.k.a. Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre) Movie Review

6 Apr

Harpoon (Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre) (2009)
review by Illumin-Arte

Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre_poster02

Directed by: Júlíus Kemp
Starring: Ragnhildur Steinunn Jónsdóttir
Miranda Hennessy (Marie Anne)
Gunnar Hansen (Captain Petur)

” Twelve passengers set sailed that day for a three hour cruise, a three hour cruise”.
I just finished watching this little Icelandic gem, and I have to say it wasn’t a bad movie. A lot of it was your generic formulated slasher flick this time on boats while on a whale watch in Iceland. The inbred hillbillies who are usually in such flicks, are taken out of the hills, and put in the water for this movie (to borrow a term used in IMDB “fishbillies”).

It starts like all the formulated slasher flicks of its kind, but instead of a group of friends, it’s a group of tourists, from all parts of the world, who are there for a whale watch vacation. Unfortunately there was not enough time, or effort, on the scriptwriter’s, or director’s part to build any relationship between the viewers and characters, so like in a lot of the less successful films in this particular genre you just didn’t care. You didn’t care for the innocents that are being killed, or the fishbillies, that are doing the killing. So at this point, and hopefully without spoilers, I will start at the beginning of this meza meza, maniacal, murder, movie.

At the beginning all the tourist gather on the dock for the big whale watch, it is your typical diverse group you find in a lot of movies (and I don’t in anyway want to sound racist), but there is an unusual way the Icelandic people have of representing (or should I say the stereotyping of nationalities). I don’t want to go into detail with each and everyone in the group because it would just take too long, so instead I will give you just an example of what I mean, there was the domineering Japanese husband with lines like (and I write this just like he says it) ” so solly for my dumb stupid, ugry wife”, his subservient wife, and their girl servant, there is the black guy complete with Jamacian accent who’s gay (so they covered two birds with one stone) the typical air-headed blondes, three butch German women, and one very obnoxious French men (  a constant reminder of why the rest of the world dislike the French).  There is the whale watch captain, complete with white hair and beard and weather worn face played by believe it or not Gunnar Hansen

LeatherFaceGunnar
(uncanny resemblance)

For those hardcore horror fans you know the name, for those who don’t Gunnar Hansen played the original leatherface in Tobe Hooper’s 1974 “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, only this time he does the dying (due inadvertently to the frenchman). There is also his mate who turns out to be a rapist, and a coward, who screws with the only lifeboat, when it’s needed most. But wait there’s more, now the moment we’ve all been waiting for….. herrrres the fishbillies.

Harpoon-The-Reykjavik-Whale-Watching-Massacre

To make a long intro short when the Capt. died and the mate screwed, they used the radio to call for help, the fishbillies intercept the call, and one of them shows up in a small boat. They think they are rescued, but instead of taking them to a dock he takes them to his big ole boat. The fishbillies are your typical inbred family; a mother, the muscle, and the hunchback who thinks he is the ladies man. We find out that the reason they kill and torture everyone is because they blame the tourists for the fact that there is no more whale hunting in Iceland,(thank you Greenpeace or like the hunchback says greenpiss), and they have been lowered to making handmade souvenirs for the whale watching tourists, well that and they’re also freaking psycho.  As usual there are as few spoilers in my review as possible, so what happens on the boat you have to, rent the movie, or watch it on instant viewing to see the outcome.

The cool thing about this movie and here it comes (I said a few lines ago I don’t do this type of thing I lied so sorry).

***ENDING SPOILER ENDING SPOILER***

They all die except for one who turns out to be as bad as the fishbillies and you don’t expect who it is, ironically the black man dies like the hero in George Romero’s original Night of the Living Dead’s twist ending, one dies Open Water style, and one gets an Orca revenge, this whole ending made the movie worth watching.

I give this movie 2 1/2 bums up

 

-Photo(s) used are property of Kisi Productions and Bryanston Pictures respectively. They do not belong to GeekTheWorldOnline and are intended for use in character and media review in strictly entertainment and editorial means. Their use is protected by Section 107 under the US copyright law.

“Frozen” movie review

10 Nov

Frozen (2010)
review by Illumin-Arte

frozen-movie-poster
Directed and Written: Adam Green
Starring: Emma Bell ( as Parker O’Neil )
Shawn Ashmore ( as Joe Lynch)
Kevin Zegers ( as Dan Walker)

The overall premise of Frozen is Open Water on a ski lift. I found the characters in this film very one dimensional, and I really didn’t get the chance to form an attachment to any of them. I did find them portrayed like all Hollywood twenty-somethings; looking down at everyone except those in their little circle of friends, immediately alienating everyone else around them.

The movie starts with the 3 of them  at the ski lodge, and not wanting to pay full price for the lift ticket. So let’s send the blonde to flirt with the lift operator and get the tickets cheaper without waiting in line (they are too good for that and the world is full of shortcuts).

But I digress, you will find in my reviews I like to rant so bear with me I usually keep it short and to the point.

The story-line in Frozen was not bad and quite believable the way the circumstances happened that lead to them being left alone on the ski lift. I won’t go into to any spoilers for the ones who want to watch this for themselves and form their own opinion.

All this being said and done the rest of the movie goes downhill, just like all the skiers and snowboarders. Only not as fast and with much less intensity.    After about a half hour of watching them on the lift, I was cheering for the wolves that were howling all around them.

Let’s see if I can give you a two line synopsis of the hour long dialogue:

They talk about jumping (they are only thirty feet or so in the air) one of them does, with obvious results. Guys pee off lift, girl pees in pants. After 2 days, freezing guy gets idea to use overhead cable to get to one of the supporting towers and climb down the ladder. Why don’t they ever do the obvious when things first happen instead they always wait until they are almost dead or some of them are? (Again I was cheering on the wolves.)

I watched this movie last night and I can’t remember a thing they talked about for the 2 days they were on the lift. Usually there is a good line you can quote or something, there was nothing like that in the whole movie. Don’t get me wrong there was a lot of potential here. (Adam Green having done Hatchet sparked my interest.) Frozen was just not executed correctly. Can we blame the stars for their cardboard portrayal of their characters? or the less than claustrophobic cinematography?, of which again it had potential.

I say nay nay, when in the military it’s always the generals fault. I say blame the man with the stars on his sleeves (Mr Adam Green). Frozen could have been a good movie if it had the flair of an Independent film, if it wasn’t trapped by Hollywood parameters. For instance, here is an example; let the stars die. Don’t feel you have to have someone live, sometimes killing them has the biggest impact. It worked for Open Water, that last scene was intense and left you feeling like; what would I do? And Blair Witch, the same feeling at the last creepy scene knowing they were all going to die. Frozen should have stayed away from the generic Hollywood trappings and stuck to what it could have been… a really good Indie film.

I give this movie 2 Bums up.

-Photo(s) used are property of Anchor Bay Entertainment. They do not belong to GeekTheWorldOnline and are intended for use in character and media review in strictly entertainment and editorial means.

TMT – Zombie Nation

26 May

Zombie Nation
review by Illumin-Arte

Zombie ntaion
Directed by: Ulli Lommel
Starring: Gunther Ziegler, Brandon Dean, Axel Montgomery

Oh my word where do I begin, this movie made my shit itch. It has to be in my top 5 worst movies list, I wish I could say in my top 5 worst list of all time, but luckily for me there will always be bad movies made, and always be bad movies watched, so the list is always changing.

Lets get this burning pee fest started, I didn’t know what to expect when I first saw this on instant viewing. Anytime I see a Zombie movie listed I know it can go either way, I’d like to think there is a fifty-fifty ratio of good and bad, but unfortunately, it probably leans more toward the seventy-thirty ratio, odds I repeatedly bet on for the long shot, and this time I lost big time. My wife has, on numerous occasions, said that I have a soft spot in my heart for really shitty movies, and I’ll be damned if she isn’t right. But this movie is crap, it’s the crap that crap leaves,in big piles of steaming, hot, fresh crap.

The start of the movie, lead cop with german accent (who has a tough time stumbling thru his lines in English) who has a habit of arresting young women for apparently no real reason, taking them to warehouse (which is a working furniture warehouse with no visible staff) making his partner wait outside while he goes in with woman, and comes out with no woman, but carrying a big heavy duffel bag, and his partner doesn’t suspect a thing. During the killings there is a flashback scene which is never explained, and at first you don’t even realize it’s Officer deutchland’s ( actually you don’t care that’s it’s his) who (again it’s never explained why) keeps seeing a rather portly man being repeatedly whipped about the buttocks with a stick, while his mother, who is in a wheelchair, constantly berates him about his dirty fingernails. OMG who really cares, I’m talking about this movie like it has a story line. What I should be doing is just making a list of everything that this movie did wrong, because there is no story line, continuity, it has poor editing, and the acting is delivered by an ensemble of local drama society dropouts and those who would be even worse than dropouts.

The budget of this movie had to be around the grand total of $1500.00 and that’s giving it the benefit of the doubt that it even had a budget, every indoor scene was filmed in a warehouse,from the police station offices, with exposed sewage pipes running along the walls, and the original cement floors (they couldn’t even afford rugs), to the so called apartment that looked like they got the furniture from an Ikea closeout web site (maybe they got it all from the furniture warehouse they use for the killing site).

In the movie he killed four, maybe five women, but hell, I watched this 4 hrs ago,which when you consider the movie it was a lifetime ago, this movie was an intellectual vacuum the longer I watched the more I could feel my brains being sucked out of my ears, so how do you expect me to remember that long ago.     When the zombies do finally rise out of the dirt and water, the only way you can tell is they have black circles around their eyes (that must mean I’m a zombie just about every morning I get up), they walked, and, talked, and laughed, they even drove cars, as Count Floyd would say from SCTV ahhoooo pretty scary stuff ehhh kids.

It’s  killing me writing this review this movie was so bad I’m finding it hard to describe, all my descriptions pale in comparison to the real thing, as I read thru it, it sounds so fucking lame, but what the hell I’ll stick it out and keep going.

So here comes the wrap up. Crap, Crap, Crap, Garbage, waste of time, waste of film, waste of one and a half hours of my life (I want it back), shit, shit, shit, shit, zombie girl eating bloody penis, excrement, dropping kids in the pool, vomit, puke, hurl, ralph, girl gets snake up her bajingo, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch this movie hurts my balls, voodoo women with severed pig head zombie chicks told to eat cheeseburgers not people they laugh, time is moving slow, time is moving oh so slow, time is my enemy with this movie, cop becomes zombie, and the zombies become cops, going to take quite awhile to get over this. It’s a fartbox.

I can’t give this movie even a half bum up.

Watch it and decide, or better yet gouge your eyes out with a spoon it’s quicker.

“Monsters” Movie Review

26 Mar

Monster (2010)
review by Illumin-Arte

Monsters-Movie-Poster

Directed and Written by: Gareth Edwards
Starring: Whitney Able (as Samantha Wyden)
Scoot McNairy (as Andrew Kaulder)

Last year in November, we had the opportunity to go England yet again, It was myself, my wife, my daughter, and Kyle (SimplyKyle). It seemed that in every Underground (subway) station there were these 8’x5′ billboards advertising everything from movies, and books, to cell phones, and household appliances.

One of these billboards was advertising a small budgeted independent movie called Monsters. The picture itself did just what it was meant to do, and that was to tease, and entice, everytime I came across one of them I would just stand there and look at it and wonder, what was this all about.

After a little investigating when we returned home it intrigued me even more. I found out that this was an independent film, shot with basically no budget (I have heard totals ranging from $10,000 to $800,000), that it was self financed by the writer, director, Gareth Edwards, that the CGI special effects (which were said to be ground breaking), was also done by Gareth, on his home computer, and the locations at which the movie was shot was done so illegally at times.

Needless to say I couldn’t wait to see this little gem, and yesterday I finally did, they say half the fun is the anticipation well let me tell you the anticipation was all the fun. Maybe in my mind I was expecting more than the movie delivered. If you all don’t know by now I’m the first to jump on an Independent film, for instance I thought one of the best movies of 1999 was The Blair Witch Project (even though my friends thought it sucked) and I loved Paranormal Activity (Paranormal Activity 2, Why oh why?) just to name a few.

I wanted to love this movie in the worst way, and I didn’t. It in no way lived up to my expectations, the whole story line was weak, there was a kind of intro to the story at the beginning of the flick explaining how it started but then it jumped ahead six years, and it lost all intensity, I not only didn’t know why the infected zone was there, or what kind of battles there were for six years I didn’t care.  Most of the filming was done at night with poor lighting making it difficult to see anything, the acting was mediocre, the pacing was excruciating, and bottom line there was not enough of the Monsters.

monsters-poster(excuse me but is it not the name of the flick?)

Except for a couple tentacle shots, once in the river, once in a store, you only see the monsters one time (I want to tell you what they look like but I won’t ruin it). There’s also a part, I guess this was suppose to be important, where some glowing mushrooms on a tree are brought to  our attention, it is then explained by one of the locals that these will be hatched into the monsters, okay I know lets just kill the mushrooms, no more mushroom eggs no more more monsters.

There was one part of the movie, where the photographer played by Scoot McNairy was getting passage for his employers daughter played by Whitney Able ( yes they are a real life couple) they pay $5000 for the boat and she’s suppose to leave the next morning but due to circumstances beyond her control (he gets robbed by a girl he picked up that night) loses her passport so they have to cross the infected zone on foot. What could have been an exciting plot in the movie, just plain flopped.

After crossing the infected zone they climb to the top of a mayan pyramid and finally see the wall that was built to keep them out of the USA  (the monsters not illegals although not a bad idea guys) the only problem is there are no pyramids anywhere near the border of US and Mexico.

monsters-2010-infected-zone-chart-gareth-edwards

 Every other review I’ve read of this movie says I’m wrong in my opinion and I will probably watch this movie again to see if there is something I missed, but for now this is where I stand on a movie I wanted oh so bad to love. Maybe if there was a third party, a co-worker or friend of Andrew, filming this as they went (I know this technique has been done to death since Blair Witch, but some movies can get away with it and almost needs this et al Cloverfield) the movie might have had a different flow.

This is just one man’s opinion,

I give it 21/2 bums up

-Photos used are property of Vertigo Films and Magnet Releasing respectively. They do not belong to GeekTheWorldOnline and are intended for use in character and media review in strictly entertainment and editorial means. Their use is protected by Section 107 under the US copyright law.

A-Team movie review

6 Feb

A-Team (2010)
review by Illumin-Arte

T

Starring:
Liam Nesson – Colonel Hannibal Smith
Bradley Cooper – Face
Quniton Jackson – B.A.
Sharito Copley – Captain Murdock
Jessica Biel – Charissa Sosa

This review has been awhile in the making. SimplyKyle had originally asked me to do this review as kind of a comparison between movie and television show (yes I’m old enough to remember the show when it first premiered). The premise of the show was simple there were four men who were in the military together, who were falsely accused of a crime they committed under orders, arrested and escaped from prison and was now pursued across the country as fugitives of the law. Somehow, and I never quite understood how this entered into the scheme of things, they became modern day Robin Hoods and spend their time helping people with their outrageous problems, using handmade inventions ( I wonder if they were trained by McGuyver in the military), and they didn’t charge any money.

Watching this show I fondly remember that even though they made cannons out of old bicycles, and had machine guns made from old champagne bottles and cake pans (lol) they would have 15 minute shootouts and no one would die some shows not even a wounding, and the only time the bad guys would give up is when they were shot with a cotton candy gun, or a popcorn shooter, or a paint shooting cannon. It was pretty sad but people loved it young and old alike. The cast of the TV show were George Peppard as “Hannibal”, Dwight Shultz as “Murdock”, Mr T. as “B.A. (Bad Attitude) Baracus, and Dwight (Starbuck) Benedict as “Faceman”. The plot was thin ,the scripts even thinner, the fun was silly, and The tv action was full and never lacking it’s what kept bringing the fans back for 4 yrs. (1983 to 1987).

oldshowindexpic
(my how the times have changed)

Now on to the big screen (in reality it was roughly a 6 inch screen on the back of a plane seat on my way home from England). Ok it was such a small screen on the plane, I felt in order to do the movie justice I watched it again on my 62 inch. you know what ? I still wasn’t that impressed.

Let’s start at the beginning. I thought the opening scene with Hannibal getting the shit kicked out him and handcuffing two rottweilers ( I think they were rots I don’t know they were dogs and big) together by their collars was bad, but when he came out of the shadows lighting a cigar and there wasn’t a mark on him, That was my first clue.

The second clue came with the meeting of Hannibal and B.A. (Boscoe) Baracus. Here is B.A. driving in the Mexican desert and he comes across Hannibal who proceeds to shoot B.A. in the arm. Hannibal sees a Ranger tattoo on B.A. and shows him his Ranger tattoo and now the shooting is forgotten and he will follow the man who shot him to the end of the world. They go and rescue Face who is working with Hannibal, and then for some reason they need a copter, so they stop to get Murdock out of a mental ward (how they got his name and why they go for a nut with a death wish I haven’t figured out) and during all these first time meetings they kept lifting their shirt sleeves and showing tattoos like it had some kind of hypnotic powers, or some kind of charisma spell cast on it by a wizard, (these are not the droids you looking for, or, I am not the man who just shot you, follow me, follow me).

The rest of the movie is just as sad. At one point they even tried to show the sensitive side of B.A. reading oriental philosophy and quoting Ghandi.

MR.-T-COMPARED
(I pity the fool who ain’t in touch with his spiritual side!)

The weak story line, and poor character development, made the whole movie hard to get into.  So they really had no choice but to rely on outrageous action scenes and a pathetic attempt at humor to carry it. The problem with to many action scenes is they have a tendency for jumpy camera shots, and spastic editing, making it hard to follow without getting dizzy and sometimes if your prone to car sickness a slight turning of the tummy. The ending of the movie was so garbled with action and a choppy attempt at a sting operation when it finally finished you didn’t really care. I thought before I saw the movie that it had potential, especially when I saw Liam Neeson as Hannibal. The other cast members had some potential they are Bradley Cooper as Face, Quinton Jackson as B.A. Baracus ,and a semi exceptional performance by Sharlto Copley as Howling Mad Murdock, I was wrong, and they were two dimensional.

All in all my suggestion to you is if you want to experience the A-Team please rent a box set of the original series put on your Members Only jacket, grab a Coke Classic, put on the sunglasses you only wear at night, and enjoy. Unfortunately this is one plan that didn’t come together.

I give this movie 2 1/2 bums up.

 

– The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely that of the author and do not reflect the views of GeekTheWorldOnline.com.
– Photos used are property of Universal Television, NBC, and 20th Century Fox respectively. They do not belong to GeekTheWorldOnline and are intended for use in character and media review in strictly entertainment and editorial means. Their use is protected by Section 107 under the US copyright law.

Is Avatar sequel worthy?

11 Nov

Is Avatar sequel worthy? and Why it is not an original idea.
by SimplyKyle 11/11/10

It’s official James Cameron has announced he is going to shoot a sequel to Avatar and even plans to do a third movie. Haven’t heard this yet? Check out this article. With such an announcement I feel it is only fitting I finally give my opinion of Avatar. (Yes I am aware the movie has been out for a while.) To clarify I am talking about the 2009 US movie, not the 2004 Chinese flick or the 1916 silent film (oh wait there was more than one movie with the same name?) not that you’d really get confused because when you Google Avatar movie there’s only one that pops up, well that and the other blockbuster “hit”…

the-last-air-bender-movie-poster(lol “blockbuster”)

I just felt you should know this is one of several aspects that seemed to have been “borrowed” from other media. When I first watched Avatar, I began to recognize several elements, like I had seen them before. Then it hit me; I’ve seen Disney’s Pocahontos, read Orson Scott Card’s Speaker for the Dead, and I’ve got friends who play World of Warcraft. So I began to wonder if James Cameron just spent one weekend playing WoW, reading the Ender book series, and his grandkids happen to have the Disney channel on in the background when he suddenly realized; “oh snap. It’s been five years already, I better put together a new movie.”
It’s said that’s not the case. Cameron claims that this movie had been in the works for years. The special effects and 3-D technology I can believe, this would not have been possible to pull off years ago, but the story-line and plot is hard to believe to have been worked on for so many years (although that is what they said about Star Wars episode 1-3). The movie itself is absolutely visually stunning and utilizes new 3-D technology and motion capture techniques co-designed by James Cameron himself. Being into the technical aspect of filmmaking myself, that is pretty sweet.
We all know James Cameron has brought us great films like Terminator , Aliens, Terminator 2, True Lies, and  Titanic (like it or not it was quite the epic movie feat). Of course who could forget his most memorable and world renowned….

piranha-ii -the-spawning-poster

 Avatar being his latest in his usual every-five-years-or-so-come-out-of-the-woodwork-and-make-an-epic-blockbuster (very much like he goes through wives).  As I mentioned Cameron used new technology to film Avatar and has revolutionized the movie industry. Of course they also said that about The Matrix and we all know how those sequels were. So does Avatar warrant two more movies or is it just a means to squeeze movie goers out of more money? That is another article in unto itself. My discussion here is based on the fact that, set aside from the visual special effects (2 ½ hours of awesome scenery), the movie has a dull, unimaginative story-line and borrows elements from other works whether intentionally or not.

Avatar is far too much like an outer space version of Pocahontas, hell Neytiri even looks like her to an extent, especially when she’s peeking through the trees. I was surprised she didn’t start singing about the wind and the trees when she first told Jake about the connection the Na’vi have to Pandora. A connection eerily similar to the Pequeninos (aka piggies) have to their planet, Lusitania, in Speaker for The Dead.

For those that don’t know this story, Speaker for the Dead is a sequel to Orson Scott Card’s book Ender’s Game (if you don’t know that one, you best read it!). The story is about humans who arrive on this planet that is inhabited by animal-like humanoid creatures (the piggies) as well as other feral creatures the humans don’t understand. They discover the Piggies are in sync with the trees and they claim they are their ancestors and can learn from them and talk to them, even transfer their life and memories into a new tree when they die. Sound familiar?

The humans are also located in one settlement on the planet and when they leave to explore they find the piggies and don’t know if they are hostile or not, but most of the humans make them out to be, as they don’t understand their culture or their way of life (that’s like in Pocahontas too). There is no love story between any of the piggies and a human, but pretty much the same idea. Besides that part is told in Pocahontas anyway. Eventually both parties learn to live in harmony, to an extent…I think I know where the sequel will go. (read Xenocide).
You may be saying that could just be a coincidence. Maybe. And the creatures of Pandora are completely original and don’t resemble anything else…

Leonopteryx vs Pterrordaxdire horse vs horseThantaor vs nightsaber(nope I don’t see any similarities whatsoever)

I don’t play World of Warcraft, but I’ve talked to several of my friend who do and they pointed some these similarities out to me. Even I can see the question-ability and so do others, like this guy. Now I’m not saying Avatar is a rip-off at all, it could all just be subconscious connections. I mean they did create a bad ass AMP suit just for the movie for Colonel Quaritch to done.

aliens-ripley-powerloader_1193711350
(oh wait)

Now I did enjoy watching the movie. As I stated I love the technical aspect behind creating a film of this magnitude. But I would not go so far as to say it was the best movie of all time or get fanatic and obsessive over it. I mean people worshiping the movie and claiming it changed their lives is a little excessive. Besides Hindus have been worshiping Avatars for much longer, read more here. Some people even say they “were brought to tears” and “got shivers” when they watched it wanted to be in the world of Pandora. Those sensations were probably the result of the hallucinogenic they took before the movie, amplifying the intensity of the visually stunning scenes, because their friend said it would be a “great idea”. Still no one beats this guy when it comes to Avatar-related “great ideas”…

man-gets-not-one-but-five-avatar-tattoos-18970-1279759948-44
(this is totally going to be relevant in a few years)

All in All James Cameron did an amazing job at creating new film techniques, as he always does, and invented a new 3D camera for this film that would go on to shoot such epic films as Jackass 3D. I just wish he had stuck with the original idea to make a Spiderman movie (yes he was attached to the project for the first film) that has nothing to do with this but I felt like bringing it to light. We will see how the Avatar sequel panes out (in probably 5 years), I mean Cameron did give us Terminator 2, that far surpassed the first. Maybe Avatar 2 will blow Avatar out of the water, but I doubt it.

-Photos used are property of 20th century Fox, Blizzard Entertainment, and Nickelodeon Studios respectively. They do not belong to GeekTheWorldOnline and are intended for use in character and media review in strictly entertainment and editorial means. Their use is protected by Section 107 under the US copyright law.