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A-Team movie review

6 Feb

A-Team (2010)
review by Illumin-Arte

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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.

Hot Tub Time Machine Review

9 Nov

Hot Tub Time Machine Review
by Illumin-Arte 11/09/10

hot-tub-time-machine-poster.jpg.728x520_q85

Starring:
John Cusack– Adam ( 2012, Identity, Grosse Point Blank, Con-Air, One Crazy Summer, Better Off Dead)
Clark Duke– Jacob (Kick Ass, Superbad)
Craig Robinson– Nick Weber (Shrek Forever After (voice of Cookie), Night at the Museum, Pineapple Express, Walk Hard)
Rob Corddry– Lou (Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanomo Bay, What Happens in Vegas, I now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, Old School)

When this movie first came out in the theaters I received mixed reviews from friends and family who had seen it. Some said it was not funny at all , some said it infantile to pre-teen humor, while others said it was hilarious, up to par with The Hangover (which was one of the funniest movies I had seen in a long time) and although I myself wouldn’t put it on the same level as The Hangover I found this movie hilarious and thoroughly enjoyable.

One of the highlights in the movie (for me anyway) was Craig Robinson whose dry sense of humor always makes me laugh, as Darryl in the TV hit, The Office. There is also John Cusack who brought to this movie an older version of Hoops McCann from One Crazy Summer and a little Lane Meyer from Better off Dead, even after all the movies he has been in these two are my Cusack favz.

164859__better_off_dead_l(Gee, I’m real sorry your mom blew up)

 I find it harder to talk about a movie I really enjoyed rather than one that I really disliked; because it is so much easier to tear something apart, than not. The premise is a bit weak and there are definitely a few holes in the story-line, but none of that really matters because the script itself is written with well placed one liners, puns, and sight gags (projectile vomiting on a squirrel, I’m laughing just thinking about it) One of the only problems I had with the story was “Why?” why did it happen at all?, why did it happen to them?, why were they sent back in time what did they have to fix? Their lives were no worse off than anyone else’s. There didn’t seem to be anything they did in the past that called for time travel to make right. So how do you get them there? Blame it on a spilled power drink.

squirrel

The script was peppered with references to modern technology versus eighties technology

hot_tub_time_machine_221
(“hey guy guess where I’m calling you from? On the mountain with my new phone”)

 IPods vs. sony cassette walkman, any normal haircut vs Nick Weber’s Kid n’ Play Hairdo. There were references to the internet, websites, and text messages. All of which were returned with blank stares and “what are you talking about” comments from the eighties crowd ( even though the internet and computers were around, just not widely used in homes in 1986).

There was the usual amount of sex, drugs, and rock and roll but not to much of each, just the right mix for this type of movie. Also there is a running joke through out the movie about when Phil the one arm bellboy loses his arm (played by Crispen Glover known for so many things but probably best known as George Mcfly in Back to the Future.) I don’t like to use spoilers but the last 15 minutes are really interesting after Lou Dorchen decides he has nothing in the future and stays in 1986.

Hot Tub Time Machine did it for me it gave me an enjoyable night of light hearted movie watching with some good belly laughs. And the review wouldn’t be complete without kudos to Chevy Chase good to see you still out there and funny as hell.

chevy chase

Well I think my review is done so I’m just going to Lougle my favorite album put on the headphones and listen to Motley Lou.

I Give Hot Tub 4 Bums up!

-Photos used are property of United Artists and Warner Brothers 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.

“The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” movie review

7 Jan

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (2005)review by Illumin-Arte

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Directed and Written: David Lee Fisher
Starring : Daamen Krall( as Dr. Caligari )
Doug Jones ( as Cesare)
Judson Morgan ( as Francis Geist)

This film is a remake of Robert Weiner’s 1920 classic film of the same name.

When I first saw this available on netflix instant viewing a light went off way in the back recesses of my mind. It occurred to me that I had read about this in one of my many film mags, but had filed it and forgot about it I remember being real excited about it, so when I saw it available I watched it then and there.

From the opening scene I was hooked it was almost identical frame by frame shot of the original. I knew this was going to be a modern black and white marvel. The first thing that I noticed was the make-up the dark rings around the eyes, the pale gray faces, the black lipstick on the lips, this was authentic pancake makeup applied in the silent movie tradition. If it wasn’t for the fact that there was actually sound (voices) I would of swore it was a silent.

The scenery was astoundingly similar. In the original the scenery was surrealistic ,it sort of looked like Salvador Dali, and Picasso worked hand in hand with a couple of 5yr olds. In the remake it was duplicated exact, the surrealism was hauntingly beautiful, the buildings, doorways, and windows were built at such extreme angles unsettlingly, yet the furniture in the houses and buildings were normal adding a reality contrast to the surrealistic feeling.

caligari_still1

What a lot of people don’t know is that at the beginning of film making the Germans ruled the large screen. the germans were responsible for such silent classics as Metropolis, The Golem, and Nosferatu, just to mention a few, also they brought to the film world some of the most talented Directors and film makers of their time, names like Robert Weine, Paul Wegener, Fritz Lang, F.W. Murnau to name a few. So David Lee Fisher had some big shoes to fill and to me he filled them just fine.

David Lee was not only the director also wrote this remake with the help of Hans Janowitz and Carl Mayer. They had to pad the storyline a bit to fill in their rendition of what might have been said in the original, and I think to put a bit more meat on the original bone.

The acting in this movie was as exaggerated and over the top, as the original silents ( with no voice sound they had to portray themselves and the story with emotion and body language back in the silent film era). All the actors did a fine job with this over the top acting. Daamen Krell’s Calagari was almost the twin of Werner Krauss’s, Judson Pearce Morgan who played Francis Geist, and Neil Hopkins who played Alan, Francis’ best friend and competitor for the love interest, Jane Stern, played by the lovely and alluring Lauren Birkell, all seemed to have fun running around the claustrophobic sets all looking like graduates from the Vincent Price school of acting in their 1920’s costumes. Now I come to my Favorite in the movie Doug Jones who played Cesare the Somnambulist, and although a little more animated and a little thinner build he was every bit the Cesare, that Conrad Veidt was. Stiff robotic movements, the skin tight black bodysuit and the bleach white face of someone who has slept for the last 20 yrs, never going out in the sun.

caligari~1(Honestly, I’m not emo)

This will in no way at all be a spoiler (I try not to do that when I review) there is a twist at the end of this movie. Now think about this the original 1920s film had a twist ending in it that as far as I’m concerned has set the bar for twist endings in movies for the next 88 years to come. ( I told you the German filmmakers were leaps and bounds).

If you are interested in watching this remake I suggest you start with the original and then the remake watch them back to back I don’t think you will be disappointed. Both are a hauntingly cinematic treat.

I give both versions 4 bums up

TimeIsShort

 

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