Month: April 2014

Brick Mansions Review

Brick Mansions, a remake of District 13, a film about Parkour and corruption in Detroit. The Film is Paul Walkers final full film before his passing. It also stars the original star of District 13, David Belle, RZA, and some other actors and actress’ that are laughable and forgettable. If you cannot tell by that, then just so you know, I was not a fan of this film.

Brick Mansions is about a future Detroit, where the projects have become too much for the city to bare. A wall is constructed around them and they are left to govern and live their lives on their own. However, that doesn’t stop the Detroit government from being corrupt and dealing with the city. Lino (Belle) is a good man living in the city, who ends up locked up because he is on the wrong side of corruption. Damien Collier (Walker) is a cop out to avenge his Father’s death at the hands of Brick Mansions self-proclaimed leader Tremaine Alexander (RZA). As the fight for the city and good people trapped inside ensues Lino and Collier must decide whose side they are really on.

With the possibly the dumbest story and even dumber finish, Brick Mansions is just not good. The 3 main stars are ok. All though RZA is still in no way a decent actor, his performance isn’t as terrible as past films. Belle and Walker have great chemistry, and are actual very good in the movie. Other than them I can’t tell you a single person that was in the film, nor do I ever want to see them again. But, I will say, as a wrestling fan, I totally marked out Kurrgan. He was awesome. The film isn’t all bad. The action was choreographed pretty cool, especially incorporating Parkour. Paul Walker is actually the best thing in the film. Brick Mansions is definitely not so bad that you never want to see it, or that I felt bad for seeing it. It’s kind of in that wow this is so bad it’s kind of entertaining. You have fun watching.

Paul Walker is honestly the absolutely best thing about the film. It kind of makes you realize how much we are really going to miss him going forward. The put up a picture of him at the end of the film and dedicated movie to him. Mad respect to them for doing this, true class.

When it comes down to it, I gave Brick Mansions a Jeebus score of 1.6 with a bonus of .2 for Paul Walker’s performance, bringing us to a full score of 1.8. You’ll see this one on Foxx a lot. Cause, well you know, they have the “movies”.

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Terminator, year 1. Wait, that’s not right. TRANSCENDENCE

From the cinematographer who brought us The Dark Knight Trilogy, and has not directed anything, at all. And starring Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Morgan Freeman, Kate Mara, Cillian Murphy, Cole Houser, and JARVIS, er Paul Bettany. Comes the film that could be considered the alternate reality of Skynet, Transcendence. So this is Wally Pfister’s first outing as a director, and I won’t say it was terrible. Maybe a little rough around the edges but if your first outing is helming a Johnny Depp and Morgan Freeman film, good job bro.

Transcendence follows Dr. Will Caster (Depp) working on an A.I. system with his wife (Hall). When a radical anti-technology group lead by The Invisible Woman, who I don’t think you ever get her name in the film, orchestrates a terrorist attack on multiple technology companies and figures, one of which being Caster who is left fatally wounded. His wife, and best friend Max (Bettany) decide they can upload his consciousness into a super computer so that Castor can live forever. From there Castor grows in power and intelligence becoming connected to the internet and everything. Max realizes the dangers and joins up with the government and the same terrorist organization responsible for Casters death to put a stop to all-knowing A.I. that Caster has become. But are they too late?

Is this Johnny Depp’s return to super stardom? Absolutely not, but is it the abysmal fail that Dark Shadows, The Lone Ranger, and The Rum Diaries were? No. It’s quite entertaining to start with. It is definitely more of a drama throughout the first act, dealing with letting go of a loved one. But then it begins to get a bit technical and hard to follow. Transcendence is full of plot holes as well. Once Castor is uploaded to the web he sends his wife to a tiny town in the middle of know where and they proceed to build an entire unground laboratory, in what seems to be the span of 2 years. Now I’ve seen construction on the highways here in Dallas Texas and go on for well over two years and they have yet to do what these people seemed to do. The film also makes the assumption that you are just going to figure out the random sci-fi like acts that go on, and again makes it hard to follow. You leave the theater thinking about the film, but end up picking it apart.

It’s not all bad like I said though. With Pfister being a cinematographer the visuals are stunning in Transcendence. Plus the casting is incredible. Everyone in the movie is believable in their roles. And for the most part it is very entertaining. It goes from a drama to the thriller, all though not the most thrilling of a thriller. Depp is great, it is always nice to see him outside of the eye liner wearing crazy characters that he has been doing lately.

All in all I gave Transcendence a pretty good Jeebus score, probably higher then I should of, but I couldn’t dispute the math. 3.8, Check Out The Matinee.

This Week in Movie News

Captain America The Winter Soldier, $476,706,000. Making 10.2 million on its Thursday night openings, more than double what Captain America the First Avenger. It set a single day record for April with 36.9 million, and an opening weekend of 95 million. Not too shabby. It has done about 46% better than the original. And Rightfully so. The Winter Soldier is an amazing film, that you should all go see. Numerous times.

With the sudden passing of Harold Ramis, Ivan Reitman made the decision his heart just wasn’t into a Ghostbusters 3. And rightfully so. In his departure Chris Miller and Phil Lord stepped in. However it looks like they are now leaving the potential project. The studio is in talks with other directors. Problem with this I have is Harold Ramis is gone, Ivan Reitman is out, and Bill Murray has no interest in ever doing another Ghostbuster sequel. What’s the appeal? Why not star fresh. Scrap what you have, and give us a reboot.

Matt Damon is in final talks to join the film The Martian. The Martian, tells the tale of a space crew on Mars when something goes terribly wrong, Mark Watney (Damon), thought to be dead, and is left on Mars. With no way to contact his crew, and very little supplies, Watney, must handle the obstacles put a head of him and try to survive in hopes that a rescue mission finds him. The film sounds entertaining, and Damon is a good choice, however Damon is a good choice for nearly any role. The film sounds nearly like Gravity meets Castaway. Which is a very interesting combination. I look forward to more about this film.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has released more viral marketing. This time the subject is actually very very exciting. In an article, written by Eddie Brock, Cletus “Killer “Cassidy has been caught, and placed in prison. It goes on to say that he gave very little struggle. What’s most interesting about this? The mention of Cassidy? Who eventually becomes Carnage? Yea that’s cool. But what’s even cooler is when you remember the past. During filming of The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Jim Carey visited the set while filming was going on. Rumors swirled that he was in talks to play Cassidy. And He would be, Killer, in the role. Couple that with the fact that Sony is releasing a Venom spinoff film, and think to yourself, who is Venom going to face off against? Can’t be Spider-Man, which would just be another Spider-Man film. Could we be building to Venom/Carnage? I sure hope so.

Schmoes Know have reported that Kick Ass 2 director Jeff Wadlow is going to take over the directing and writing duties of the He-Man Masters of the Universe film. If I’m not mistaken recently John Cho left the film, I think to do some dumb 80s cartoon that will be getting a big screen adaption. I like this move, because I was a huge fan of Kick Ass 2. However with script re-writes and new directors, I don’t know if this film is ever going to get made. But it truly deserves a new modern telling!

An abundant of X-Men news has come out this week. We will start with the absolute cheesiest and most pointless. The dumb Carls Jr. and Hardees commercials with rip off Mystique, and Quicksilver. This is some odd marketing techniques. The commercials are cheesy and dumb. As well the picture of Quicksilver released that has him running alongside the wall while Wolverine and the X-Men don’t even notice him. Again, looks cheesy, and actually even photo shopped. What is exciting is Lauren Shuler Donner has announced that they are looking at major spinoffs. She announced she wants Mystique, Gambit, and Deadpool. Too of which are expected. Deadpool we, and Ran Reynolds, have been waiting for since the X-Men franchise began. As well Mystique, of course she needs her own spin off. Not because of the character, but because of the actress, Jennifer Lawrence. But the most exciting is Gambit. We were so excited with the announcement of Gambit in Origins, and to be honest, Taylor Kitsch was a shining point in that film. And I hope that they bring him back. However, I believe that with Days of Future Past and Apocalypse are going to reset the timeline and bring the First Class characters into today’s time. I’ll be excited to see the turn out no matter what the outcome.

Draft Day

One of the most epic days in the NFL season, Draft Day! All the trades, all the excitement, all the anarchy! Players drop, players rise, paychecks, losses, diamonds in the rough! Sound exciting? Well it is, and I’m not just talking about May 8 2014, oddly enough, I’m talking about the brand new Kevin Costner film! Directed Ivan Reitman, and starring Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner, Denis Leary, Frank Langella, Sam Elliot, Chadwick Boseman, Terry Crews, Josh Pence, Diddy, and Arian Foster making his film debut!

Draft day follows the events in the biggest day of Cleveland Browns GM Sonny Weaver Jr. (Costner) career, as he desperately tries to build a team that he can call his own. Stressed out with life issues, and a trade early on that he regrets all day, trying to rationalize his decisions and save his own future with the Browns. Looking at the number 1 pick and the Heisman trophy winning QB (Pence), while he has own QB (Welling), and an option of picks down the line that include a linebacker a reputation(Boseman), and a running back with a Browns legacy(Foster). At the same time he’s dealing with a girlfriend (Garner) and slightly off Mother.

Draft day is very fun film. Kevin Costner is on a roll back to top. From Man of Steel, to 3 Days to Kill, to Draft Day. Ivan Reitman truly hits this one out of the park. His mix of comedy, drama, and the hint of romance is just what you want in a family fun film like this one. And if you were afraid that you had to be a football fan to like it, don’t be. Yes we fans of the greatest sport on earth enjoy the film, but it’s not just the sports aspect that will keep us entertained either. The film has some rather odd cuts and cinematography. It reminded me a lot of Ang Lee’s Hulk, when it would have 3 or for different shots in one scene. The scenes shift almost like sliding glass doors.

There are few negatives. The side story of the romance, and some of the family issues didn’t necessarily need to be in the film. And can kind of drag at times. They give Costner a good amount of back story and character development, but I think the film would be just as entertaining if the film stuck with nothing but the inner workings of the NFL GMs on Draft Day. A lot of the roles are not very full, they are almost reduced to cameos. I would have liked to see more of Foster, and even a little more from Diddy.

The cast is phenomenal. I already talked about Costner, but Jennifer Garner owns her role as a woman in “man’s world” and as people try to put her down she stands her ground, and Garner gives character to the, well character. To me, the big surprise was Tom Welling I’m a huge fan of Welling, from his role as Superman, er Clark Kent. Oddly enough, he’s one of 3 actors with links to Superman, Langella played Perry White in Superman Returns, and of course Costner as Jonathan Kent in Man of Steel. Boseman brings a great amount of heart to his role. It is great to see Crews in a role a little more dramatic, with an emphasis on a little. It’s rare, but sometimes he truly can show you more. Even Foster does a great job in his acting debut! Denis wary was perfectly cast as the coach, who left Dallas after they fell to the bottom. I was not happy with that storyline.

In the long run, Draft Day is a film you will enjoy. For guys on a date night, it’s definitely a good pay back for when your girlfriend made you see Sex in the City. It’s a good date night film, which you will truly enjoy. I gave Draft Day Jeebus Score of 4.2, Draft Day, A Good Time at the Theater.

This Week in Movie News

Once again I am a little late, I apologies, I was in New Orleans for WrestleMania this weekend. Perhaps one day I’ll step the game up and be on time. Anyway, let’s get right into this week in Movie news, we will start with the epicness that was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles trailer! I’ve been a hesitant about this one since day one. Not because of Michael Bay, or even Megan Fox. Truth is I love Bay films. How can you not? Bad Boys? The Rock? Transformers? Pain & Gain? Purge? Trust in Bay, yes there’s a lot of explosions, but hello, explosions are cool. And is Megan Fox a little one dimensional? Yes she is. But honestly, I’m not looking for the Ninja Turtles to be an academy award winning acting. Fox is hot. I’ll take her as O’Neil. My issue, was the changes in back story. The Alien turtles? No, wrong, The Ooze created the turtles. So that has been my quarrel. But this trailer, has got me excited. The Shredder voiceover is cool. Does it show us that the back story has changed a bit? Yes, there is no Professor Perry with TGRI that made the Ooze, but we do get a shot of what looks to be the Ooze. And so you change Professor Perry to Shredder and April O’Neil’s father. Still on board. The action looks big and fun, the foot look cool, despite not being ninjas. And the turtles look menacing. It looks as if it will be a good blend of Old school turtles, the badass vulgar comics, and the kowabunga pizza eating turtles everyone has come to know and love. SO the trailer looks good. What now has me back on the skeptical side, is the addition of voices, Knoxville and Shalhoub as Leonardo and Splinter respectively. Perhaps I’m looking too much into it. But Leo and Splinter as the leaders in most the understandings of the Turtles, these voices don’t make me think leader. They are a little more on the comical side of voices. So again, I am very skeptical.

Next up, looks like FroZone will be making a return in The Incredibles 2. Well, possibly. Seems Samuel L has been teasing his return, I expect that he will be there. He is an important character in that universe. Jackson said “Every time I run into Brad (Bird) he always tells me FroZone is going to be a part of whatever’s going on, so I have to believe that, I guess they would be the Incredibles without FroZone, but I think FroZone would be a wonderful, wonderful addition to what’s already there. I’m just looking forward to seeing what Jack-Jack turned into.” Like I said, just a tease, but sounds like they want him back, and he wants back so I have to believe he will be involved in some capacity.

Toby Kebbell has been cast as Dr. Doom. Who? Yea that’s what I said. I have not seen a single film of this kids. But he has some stuff coming up. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and Warcraft. On top of The Fantastic Four. These are big projects. Despite my feelings toward the Fantastic Four babies, this is the movie that will partake in the X-Men shared universe. Dr. Doom is a big key component. I wasn’t in the casting room, I don’t know the scripts going forward. But from an outsider’s point of view, I will remain skeptical of this film. Nothing they have done, including Mr. Cabell’s casting, has given me a reason to trust in them. Hopefully, I am wrong, and they really do know what they are doing.

Fast 7 has resumed filming. After the tragic and sudden death of Paul Walker production ceased. Understandably. Mourning had to take place, plus a plan of action had to be developed. And a plan seems to have been put in place. From what I can tell they have decided to use CGI and body doubles to replace Paul Walker, and script changes to retire the character. Which I like. Honestly, as cold as it would seem, I would like to see Brian O’Connor go out in the blaze of glory. But, retiring to the family life, well, that a pretty acceptable substitute for the actor. I look forward to Fast 7 with much enthusiasm.

Recently Kevin Fiege made an announcement that their “Marvel Map” looks to schedule films running into 2028. Is this big news? Not really. Sure it sounds exciting and amazing, but let’s look at this. Marvel knows what they are doing, they have their plans. All of these plans can be scrapped at a moment’s notice. An actor falls out, contracts don’t work out. It would definitely take more than 1 bombed film, but films could bomb. I wouldn’t look too much into this. I honestly wouldn’t look much further then Avengers 3 right now. We shall see what happens as time rolls on.

Looks like Star Wars has started filming. Well so has Man of Steel 2. Remember, they were filming during the halftime of a college game. Does it mean anything? No. Neither does the casting of Peter Mayhew. Yes Mayhew is back as the famous wookie Chewbacca. But honestly, anyone tall enough could have put on the costume. Blasphemy? I know, don’t hate me too much, but the actor didn’t make the character, the character made the actor. Without looking it up, what other films besides Star Wars has Peter Mayhew been in? Exactly. The only thing exciting is that they did tell us most of the cast is done. Which again we knew, they were just confirming it. BRING ON THE REAL ANNOUNCEMENTS!

Last but not least, the tease of Nathan Fillion has teased an appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy. Not a big surprise seeing as his connections with Joss Whedon, and director James Gunn. He was asked if he had wanted a part in the film, and his answer was “Wanting a part? Or maybe did?” he then continued “I’m just saying maybe…maybe there’ll be a surprise… maybe check the credits of the movie when you watch it.” What does this mean? Does this mean a fun post credit scene where Nathan sells Star Lord a pack of gum? Or are fan boys finally getting what they want, and Nathan is about to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Guess we’ll have to wait until August 1st to find out.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier(no spoilers)

Captain America is back! And this time he has a new squad of buddies. The question is, who does he trust? I really liked this film, Captain America is much different hero then you get with Thor, or Hulk, or even Iron Man. With those films you get your Destruction film, or fantasy film, or true action adventure. With the Captain, you almost get a Political Thriller, which keeps you on the edge of your seat and wanting more. Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, and starring Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Robert Redford, and Samuel L Jackson. Now I’m going to get in this with everything I can and not give away any spoilers. I will put out another one next week a little more spoiler filled. I’m even going to attempt to keep down my comic loving nerdism out.

Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier sees our hero adjusting to life in this decade. We open with a pretty cool action scene that shows us that Captain Rogers has decided to stick by S.H.I.E.L.D. even though he doesn’t truly trust the secrecy. There is an attempt on Nick Fury’s life, and Captain Rogers along with The Black Widow go on the hunt for who is behind the meltdown that has become S.H.I.E.L.D.! Along the way Rogers continues to attempt to adjust, but when his past comes back in the form of The Winter Soldier.

This film does everything a sequel should. It ups the ante in action, story, and suspense. It does a very good job moving along the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It takes the Universe they have created and turns it upside making you wonder where they are going. Never once becoming predictable, or stale. The story is easy to follow, yet keeps you guessing at who to trust. My only real negative on the movie, and this could possibly be construed as a spoiler, but The Winter Soldier who the film is named after, isn’t even the main story line that runs through the film. It’s almost where if you had taken him out, Captain America would of still had quite a problem to handle! Yet it leaves wanting more of this mysterious soldier, and where they will go.

Newcomer Anthony Mackie as the Falcon is a definite plus. He is going to be a fun force to watch moving forward and I hope he gets a bigger part then the Iron Patriot/War Machine does in the Iron Man franchise. The Easter Eggs as well will knock you away if you are a comic fan and looking forward to the growth of this universe, as will the after credit scenes. Yes I said sceneS, plural, make sure you stay until the very end!

All in all I scored Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier a Jeebus score of 5.6, with a .2 for Anthony Mackie, a .1 bonus for Scarlett Johansson, and .1 bonus for an Easter egg I can’t mention, giving us a final score of 6, and the first JEEBUS-TACULAR of the year!