Michael Keaton

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.

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This Week In Movie News

Welcome to this week in Movie news. The debut blog was supposed to go up last Saturday but I got wrapped up in my buddies wedding stuff and just didn’t have the time. So to counter that, we are going to chat the last 2 weeks of movie news. Most of which you probably already know, I’m just going to go over the big news and give a little bit of my own opinion on that. So, let’s get to it.

First thing we will get into is Marc Webb has announced he will be leaving the directors duties of The Amazing Spider-Man series after the third film. Honestly I think this is a good thing. Creative director’s risk getting stale sticking with a franchise so too long. Look at Sam Raimi and the first Spider-Man franchise. Bringing in a little bit of new blood will keep the franchise fresh. Which I believe is something we need. We are in an era when Reboots are inevitable, and I think if we could just sit back, and let new faces take over we could see fewer reboots. Kind of like the James Bond series. New bond, same series for years upon years. 20 or so films. Plus Webb has said he would like to stick around and perhaps consult a little here and there, and will probably be given a producers credit. Sony has shown they are ready for a shared Universe. A Universe that will be full of villains, which is new to the hero movie world. So fear not Spider-Man fans, we will be just fine.

Now what we are really waiting for, finally a tad bit of Star Wars news! Episode 7 will take place 30 years after Return of the Jedi. Good call. If you want to bring back the Big 3, at this time it’s not like you can make the film take place the day after the Ewok party. As well we have gotten the information that the film will focus around 3 new young Jedi, and some familiar faces. Now this got everybody excited. Everyone except me. Because let’s face it, we know this. We know there will be new Jedi in training, and we know the Big 3 will be back. This isn’t real news. Give me some casting, give me a plot hint. Give me something real. You are starting production in 2 months, TELL ME SOMETHING! I’m sick of these irrelevant subtle “news” stories that aren’t news!

We got Cars 2, who cares. We Got Monsters University, who cares. We are getting Finding Dory and Cars 3, who cares! Other than the Toy Story films, no one wanted sequels except to one! And finally, it is coming! The Incredibles 2! This is what we have all been waiting on! If any of the Pixar films was set up and deserves a sequel, it’s this one! And what excites me is not just that Incredibles 2 is finally coming but think about: Disney Owns Marvel this go around. We could see some Marvel cameos in this go around. I don’t expect anything big. Iron Man is not going to show up and save the day. But random little fun cameos in the background or so? Awesome! Not to mention that seeing the progression of these characters is going to be great! Seeing little Jack Jack come into his own? Shut Up and take my money!

Concept art and some photos have been released for Marvel’s The Avengers 2: Age of Ultron. We will start with the most recent then go back to the more exciting. Action shots of Quick Silver, Scarlett Witch, and Hawkeye. Pretty basic, what I can say is I am already more excited for Marvel’s Quick Silver and Scarlett Witch better than the version we are getting g from Fox. What’s weird is Marvel can’t even hint at their true back stories, yet they look to be on top of the game. Hawkeye seems to have a new look and I like it. It’s a lot more comic like. The Ultron picture is a little more off, but I assume there will be a ton of CGI around him. So last up is the Hulk Buster concept art. This is what’s exciting. Yeah Banner’s trick is that he is always angry, but it is the Hulk. Eventually he is going to Rage out and the Avengers are going to have the deal. Even if this is just a small battle in the film it will be exciting to see Hulk and Iron Man go at it.

So Marvel pretty much runs the Hero game when it comes to films. Between Marvel Studios, Sony’s Spider-Man, Fox’s X-Men and soon to be Fantastic Four universe, Marvel is on top. DC gave us a decent film in Man of Steel 2, but are having problems gearing up for the sequel, or a shared universe. Now they have pushed back from their 2015 date to a date in 2016 already taken by what was then an untitled Marvel film. What was DC thinking, probably that it was going to be Doctor Strange or Black Panther. They probably felt that going against these lesser known films would make them move and they would gain a step in this game of Chicken. Well Marvel fired back hard, Captain America 3 going Head to Head with Man of Steel 2. And everything I have heard about The Winter Soldier, makes me think that MoS2 is in for a rude awakening. Sure film fans have been waiting since both Michael Keaton and Christopher Reeves suited up to see Batman and Superman together on the screen, but look at the track record! How could you not put your money on Marvel! I’m going to bet MoS2 moves their date, but if they don’t, if this game of chicken goes all the way down to the crashing point on May 6 2016, who will you see? I know where I will be at Midnight, Captain America 3.

I would like to say something about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle trailer, but, I didn’t watch it. I am waiting until I see it on the big screen before Captain America 2, so I can’t really comment on it. However after I do see it, I’ll put something up about my opinion. The Trailer I can comment on is Hercules. No not Kellen Lutz, I’m talking The Rock! The most electrifying man in all of entertain main playing the most legendary hero of all mythology! Some people are calling the voice over cheesy, but personally I loved it. We get scenes of Hercules fighting mythological beast, an epic shot of a giant lion attacking our hero, and a shot of Herc in the famous lion hoodie! If I wasn’t already, I’m all in now! This going to be a true epic!

So that’s what I got for. Just a little opinion from a guy that doesn’t really matter. I don’t really even know why you read this, but thank you. So feel free to jump down in the comments and tell me what you feel about these topics. Or what news this week stuck out to you?

Need for Speed

I feel the need, the need, for speed! No this isn’t Top Gun, and we aren’t talking about XBOX or PlayStation! Need for Speed directed by Scott Waugh, and stars Aaron Paul of Breaking Bad fame, and Howard Stark, er Dominic Cooper, Kid Cudi, and few other people I’ve never seen. I was pretty excited for this one and went in with high expectations. After all I’m a huge Fast & Furious fan. However, this is not Fast and Furious.

Aaron Paul plays Tobey Marshall, a mechanic and well of racer who with his crew rebuilds the fastest mustang on the planet for Dino Brewster (Cooper). When Marshall is framed for the death of a friend during a high stakes race, he spends 2 years in prison. Upon his release he and the old crew get right to work to avenge their fallen friend with the worlds fastest mustang, racing across the country to make the deadline for the one big race.

The story is pretty weak. And by pretty weak, I mean insanely weak. I honestly made the mistake of going into his hoping for a decent story in between races. What you get is a mess of a plot that starts out decent enough but quickly becomes more and more unbelievable. There are times when you are completely taken out of the film wondering, who in their right mind come up with this plan. I mean the whole plot is centered around the fact that this is the fastest car on the planet. Yet there are constantly people in trucks, and cops right in toe.

The casting was pretty off as well. I don’t know Aaron Paul from Breaking Bad I’ve never watched the show, but he is not the problem. All though his character is very one dimensional, as is almost every character, he does a good job in the part. The rest of the cast seem like they have no business behind the wheels of these vehicles. Kid Cudi adds a little comic relief but not enough to save the film. Imogen Poots is cute and fun to watch but also seems a bit out of place. The one shining star is Michael Keaton. Keaton plays the underground race kingpin that commentates via web cam as the film goes on. It looks as if Waugh just told Keaton, “Go, play, have fun” and he did.

Need for Speed is not all bad though. The race scenes and cars are spectacular. This where the film shines. And with absolutely no CGI. The stunts and races all performed with practical effects, and they are a blast to watch. The cars include, among others, a 66 Pontiac GTO, a 65 Gran Torino, a Saleen S7, McLaren P1, Bugatti, Koenigsegg Ageras, and of Corse the 2013 Shelby GT500. They are all phenomenal! It actually hurts watching some get destroyed. If you are going t\for the car chases and races and cars, then you will be thoroughly entertained by them, just don’t hope for much substance around them.

If you can suspend you disbelief, and completely overlook the lack of character development, and sub-par plot filled with plot holes and lack of common sense, you might have a good time with this film. Especially if all you are looking for is cool cars, chases, and races. All in all I gave the film a Jeebus score of 2.6 with a .3 bonus for Beetlejuice-like character Michael Keaton gives us rounding out with a 2.9, Go head and Redbox this one.