Michael Bay

It Is What It Is, with The Jackass! Episode 38: Teenage Mutant Gorilla Relationships

This week on It Is What it Is with The Jackass, BC talks about the Harambe The Gorilla situation. He also gets into some feels talking about relationships and commitment As well as a look back and forward into the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and the Phenomenal AJ Styles heel turn. Plus the debut of a new Segment, Asshole Motivation with Frankie Fisher!

Listen to this episode right here

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Can be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/13_Hours:_The_Secret_Soldiers_of_Benghazi

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

An action-war thriller directed and produced by Michael Bay. 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi tells the true story of six a secret team that fought to defend a diplomatic compound in Benghazi on September 11, 2012. It is based on the 2013 book 13 Hours by Mitchell Zuckoff. Starring James Badge Dale, John Krasinski, Max Martini, Dominic Fumusa, Pablo Schreiber, David Denman Toby Stephens, and Freddie Stroma. The film takes place on the eleventh anniversary of the September 11 attacks as a group of Islamic militants attack the American compounds and kill an American Ambassador.

From the moment the film gets going it is intense. And it truly never slows down. Filled with Bay-isms, 13 Hours and powerful and epic film. The explosions are big, the drama is gritty, and the soldiers are full blooded American heroes. This is the perfect vehicle for director Michael Bay to run with. The question however is what are we going to get? Will we get a raw gritty action blockbuster like The Rock? Or maybe we will be settled with a love story disguised as an action film like Pearl Harbor? Or dare I say are we getting another Transformers Age of Extinction? Well, I for one am happy to say while I don’t think this is a classic like The Rock, it is definitely more like it then the other two.

The positives of this film are while there are quite a few Bay-isims, they actually compliment this outing more than hurt it. The product placement of Budweiser, while noticeable, did not really detract from the film. The fire work explosions fit nicely and were used effectively. The slow motion shots of the sun, the flag, and the action were great. I really enjoyed the majority of the shots and cinematography of 13 Hours. I will say I was disappointed in the lack of hot girl bending of in slow motion Bay-ism. That one is my favorite

A side from Bay’s direction the cast was all very effective. I for one really enjoyed Pablo Schreiber as Kris “Tanto” Paranto. The film is filled with subtle one liners that really add to the tension. Bays signature humor is felt, and Schreiber had great delivery. Without a lot of back story, and very little time for character development, each actor made you know their character, and identify with each individual. Especially with James Badge Dale’s Rone. A character that could of come off as clichéd, but he gives a right amount of heart and gravitas to the role to make you understand him.

With a 144 minute run time the film is pretty long, but there are not a lot of down times, very little did I feel that the film was dragging or needed to a pass on the editing deck. That said, while it is called 13 Hours, there quite a bit of set up until we get to the 13 hour period. And in the middle when we start to gear up for it, the set up does move a little slow for my taste, but quickly gets back into the swing of things.

As I always say, as much I love the majority of films I see, no film is perfect. There are a few times within the earlier action scenes that Bay resorts to shaky cam. I hate when film makers do this, it is lazy. I know Bay can film action, so I don’t understand why he resorts to this. He does it all the time in the Transformer films and it is unnecessary. Also there is a character, played by French actress Alexia Barlier. I don’t know why she was in the film. The actress is fine, and I understand this was a true story, but most of her scenes seem rather pointless.

All in all, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi is a good film, and one to see. Not so much a film that you need to rush out to see, but never the less, one to see. An intense film, with intense action, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi delivers on most levels. Filled with Bay-isms that don’t take away from the film, Michael Bay brings us a war thriller of a story, worthy of the heroes that fought and died on that fateful day. While I couldn’t bring myself to give the film any bonus in pointes, sitting pretty at 3.7 ain’t that bad. What say you Jackass Nation? Jump down in the comments and discuss. Have you seen 13 Hours? Are you excited for it? What is your favorite Michael Bay-ism? And remember, It is what it is!

The Jeebus Score explained

The Jeebus score is out of a possible 6 points. Films are giving a max of 1 point each for Entertainment Value, Story/Writing, Performance, Direction, and Casting. There is also a possible bonus up to .5. Any film between 2.5 and 4 is considered a good film. 4-5 is a great film. Anything over 5 is an incredibly amazing film. To get a perfect score of 6.5 a film will pretty much have to be The Empire Strikes Back or The Godfather.

Butterfly Effect + Chronicle=Project Almanac

I first heard about Project Almanac late 2013 and was ready for it in early 2014. Then I forgot about it while it had been pushed back to 2015. That’s not something that screams “This is a good film”. Not to mention I hate found footage films. I think it is the cheapest and laziest way to make a film. There are a few exceptions, Chronicle, the first Paranormal Activity, but other than that I tend to stay away. Some films catch my eye and make me think “this one, this one is going to be a good found footage film”. Normally I am disappointed, but Project Almanac, this one surprised me.

Project Almanac stars relative unknowns Jonny Weston, Sofia Black D’Elia, Sam Lerner, and Allen Evangelista. It is directed by Dean Israelite and produced by Michael Bay. The film is a sci-fi adventure film that sees 5 friends who find the blue prints to a time machine that was once put together by one of their fathers. They decide using their intellect that they are capable of finishing this device. Once they get it up and running they use it to better their lives until they begin to realize they are interrupting the world, and causing tragedies.

If you had to describe this film, you would do so by calling it a combination of The Butterfly Effect and Chronicle. The film is very fun to watch. The cast is pretty functional. None of these actors and actresses are thespians, but that’s not to say they are not good, and won’t become great. Not to mention, D’Elia is incredibly beautiful. When they start traveling through time it really picks up and becomes really fun to watch. They do the generic things that we all would do with a time machine. Help them pass classes, play the lotto, go to concerts. And when things start to get south you get the main characters sense of urgency to fix things.

The problems with Project Almanac a pretty basic. Some of the dialog is cheesy, some of the acting a little bummy. Nothing that you’re unable to overlook though. The set up really takes some time. It gets to a point where they have been putting together this Time Machine and it’s been a pretty decent chunk of the film and you start to think “ok guys, let’s do this time to start Marty McFlying”. When they finally do get it off the ground the 2nd act takes you through all the fun they have. When the 3rd act comes around, it’s pretty much “we screwed things up” Boom, film wraps up. From the moment you hit the major dilemma till the end of the film is maybe 15-20 minutes.

All in all, Project Almanac is no Back to the Future, but it is still a fun film that’s worth a see. I’m giving it a Jeebus score of 3.3. But how about you Jackass Nation? Are you excited for Project Almanac? Are you planning on seeing it? What are some of your favorite time travel movies? Sound off in the comments below!

Go Ninja Go Ninja Go!

After numerous animated series’, and a very successful film series from the 90’s the Turtles are back on the big screen! I have been looking forward to this film for a while. Unlike most people, I am a Michael Bay fan. However I also realized, unlike most people, this was a Bay film in Production only! He was not the director. TMNT is directed by Jonathan Lieberman, and stars the likes of Megan Fox, Johnny Knoxville, Tony Shalhoub, Will Arnett, and William Fichtner allegedly as Shredder. This movie had a lot to overcome. The stink of Bay’s most recent Transformers installment, the rumors of the changes to the back story, and the fact that Fichtner was playing Shredder. Serially. A white guy as Shredder, the ancient Japanese Samurai. What the hell. However. I wanted to give it a shot. And hope for the best. So lets dissect it a little bit.

First off, minor spoiler, so skip the next few sentences if you haven’t read the actually casting list. Fichtner, is not the Shredder. So rest assured. Shredder, is played by Tohosu Masamune. And he is decent enough. The problem isn’t the actors. The problem lies in the script. There are some pretty bad problems with the script. From dialog set up choppy, to just flat-out dumb direction. There’s a scene where Megan Fox’s April O’Neil is sneaking around hiding behind pillars glaring out like a 1st grader playing hide and seek. It’s just cheesy. As well Shredder is given no substance. Fichtner was given no substance. They are basically mustache twirling bad guys, who are nada because, movies need bad guys. Arnett who I am a fan off, and I am going to steal this from Kristian Harloff over at SchmoesKnow.com, did nothing more than a bad Michael Keaton impersonation the entire film. The role wasn’t horrible, and he made for some fun times to watch. But again, a real lack of substance

Another problem I had been a few of the voices. Splinter was voiced by Tony Shalhoub. And there are times that you a definitely aware that you are listening to Monk be an Asian Master Rat. It is a little off. As well I was deafeningly aware that the Jackass himself Johnny Knoxville playing leader of the gang. And it can honestly take you out of the film sometimes. I am not one of those people who only see the big star when the star shows up. But these voices just didn’t fit for me.

As well the finale scene, is kind of a TASM2 rip off. Plus, damn, how many movies are going to make New York look dumb as hell. When a building is falling, bystanders shouldn’t be standing around watching. GET OUT! But then from the tower falling to the New Yorker’s, its bluntly a Spider-Man Rip off.

But it is not all bad. There are great things to it. Starting with Megan Fox. I know, everyone always wants to hate on Fox. But other then some stupid direction, and dumb plot points, she isn’t horrible in it. She’s actually fun to watch. And in the one major Bayism in the film, where it focuses on the humans not the Turtles, Fox’s April O’Neil is a good character to focus on. She’s fun, she’s functional, and she’s not the damsel n distress. As well Mike, Donnie, and Ralph are great. You don’t get enough interaction between them, but when you do, man o man is it fun. They did a good job in mixing the feel and fun of Turtles that we know, with the original dark intent that the writers had for the Turtles.

A plus, that I almost gave the film a bonus for was the character of Splinter. While the voice was off for me, there is apart of me, and probably all of us, I have wanted to see Splinter go off and kick some serious foot. And we get that, this Splinter is a focused and talented ninja. And it is awesome. When I came around to scoring it , while I had fun, I couldn’t quite in all good faith get it to a Good Time, so I’m going 3.7, Check out the Matinee.

The Purge: Anarchy

The annual Purge has commenced. The Purge: Anarchy, the sequel to 2013’s The Purge. This go around James DeMonaco returns to direct a new cast including Frank Grillo, Carmen Ejogo, Zach Gilford, Kiel Sanchez, Zoe Soul, and Michael K. Williams in Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes’ film. While the first film was wildly perceived as a let down due to its nature of nothing more than a home invasion horror film, this film takes the concept of the Purge to the streets. Which is what the fan base vocally stated in their distaste for the misconception of what the first film as about. SO the question is, do the fans get what they wanted this go around? I’d say, yes, yes they do.

The Purge: Anarchy follows a group of 4 people who are not into the Purge movement but find themselves in the middle of downtown stranded out on the most dangerous and deadly night of the Year. Shane(Gilford) and Liz(Sanchez) a couple whose relationship is in a rocky spot get stranded as their car breaks down on their way to their sisters home. Mother and daughter Eva(Ejogo) and Cali(Soul) find themselves out on the streets after well armed tactical group of Purgers break in and attempt to take them. The 4 get together following a Purger(Grillo) who saves Eva and Cali. Now the 5 must survive the night together, all while their protector has an agenda of his own.

As the first film attempted to be a horror film, this film corrected that mistake and went all out action thriller. The Purge series lends itself to action much better than horror and Anarchy proves that. The focus is now on the thrills and action rather than attempting to scare the audience and it makes the film much more enjoyable. There are so many ways they can now take this franchise in the future. All thanks to genre switch. The film moves from the home invasion to the streets and the characters attempt to make their way through a town with basically a war going on all around them.

The cast is much stronger this go round too. Nothing against Lena Headey, she was awesome in Dredd, just whiny and weak in The Purge. And I’ve never liked Ethan Hawke, Training Day not with standing. But this cast, of, well to me, relative unknowns fits well. They are normal people who attempt to stand up and do what they must in the face adversary and danger. And Grillo, mark my words, is the next Liam Neeson. He is a bonafide action star. Definitely miscast in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Don’t get me wrong, Grillo makes for a great Crossbones, but ill be damned if he wouldn’t make for the perfect Punisher. There is one character that is horribly miss cast in Anarchy, Samuel L. Jackson should have been in this movie. When you watch it, you’ll know exactly who I am talking about.

The direction is solid, the story is decent, the cast is great. It is refreshing to see a sequel to a not so good movie that the directors and writers listen to the fan base and give us what we want. The Purge: Anarchy is a fun action thriller. When I scored it, I gave the film a Jeebus Score of 4.0, a Good Time at the Theater.

Transformers 4: Age of Bayisms

Transformers 4: Age of Extinction! The fourth installment of the multimillion dollar franchise is here. This go around we have a whole new story arc, leaving the past human characters in the past. The film is once again directed by Micheal Bay and stars Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammar, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor, T.J. Miller, and Peter Cullen. I for one will start by saying I am a huge fan of Michael Bay, and the first three Transformer films. Coming into this one I was really excited, DinoBots, a new story arc, what was there not to be excited about?! Little did I know.

Walking out of the theater I fully planned to give this film a decent score. Not great, but decent. I felt that it had problems but was still at its core ok. Then I started thinking about it on the way home, and go to my score card and saw the final and just realized, this was kind of slap in the face. The entire freaking film. It has a few redeeming qualities which I will get into, but for the most part, it’s the first time I see what most people say about Bay films. I never thought I could be bored during an intense action scene, but I got actually got a little bored at one part during an amazing action sequence. So lets take a look at this

We’ll start with the characters. Human first. Mark Wahlberg plays generic guy number 1, who you shouldn’t care about, but since its Mark Wahlberg you kind of do. His daughter is played by Nicola Peltz, she has absolutely no redeeming qualities to her. I actually wanted to see her get taken out by a deception. Her boyfriend, played by Jack Reynor, also, no character development, and someone you don’t care about. T.J. Miller plays the early on comic relief, and is fun to watch while he’s there but once his minor role is over, they try to turn Stanley Tucci into your comic relief, and fails miserably! For the most part Frasier is good at his role as the generic bad guy. But not someone who really has substance.

The Autobots are pretty cool. Cullen once again is phenomenal as Prime. And John Goodman steals the show as Hound. Ken Watanabe does a great job voicing Drift. But at the same time, there is no focus on them. The film tryst to focus on the humans too much. I At least found myself caring about these AutoBots. The major Deception, or villainous Robot is Lockdown. A galactic bounty hunter that is on a mission to hunt down AutoBots and Deceptions. And he is cool, and villainous, but nothing can make up for a lack of Megatron. As a fan of the series, I want to see Megatron. No one will ever make up more than the Deception leader.

The story is horribly weak. It follows down on their luck family that gets thrust into a battle to save the planet. Some old story right? Just without any likeable characters, or redeeming Dialog! The dialog in this film was horrendous! The AutoBots were done all right, but the when the humans had to speak it was like a bad Saturday morning television show! The CGI as well was not on par with previous films. The Transformers looked alright at times, but the new transforming mechanisms of the new Transformers looked like cheap animation. And the blue screen effect were terrible. There is a part where someone is falling out of a building, and no joke, it worse the Dick Jones falling at the end of the Original Robocop.

And finally. The Dinobots. Or lack of. This film is built around the belief that the DinoBots were going to be there. Well, they are, for a very minor role. In a 2 hour and 45 minute film, you get 30 minutes of DinoBots, their back story makes no sense! Their arrival makes no sense. It gets set up, and you think you know how they will show up, then right out of left field, boom, crappy arrival. It made no freaking sense! And to be honest, again as a fan of the source material, THESE WERENT THE FREAKING DINOBOTS! THEY WERE CHEAP IMMITATIONS! It just makes me mad! And the mnore I think about it, the angrier I get!

So all in all, when I look at this one I can’t say it is the worst of the series, because Revenge of The Fallen had its flaws too, and major ones. But it definitely comes behind the original, and the Dark of the Moon. I looked at it, scored it, and went with a Jeebus Score of 2.7, Redbox It!

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.