Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Jurassic Park Review


Jurassic World is almost upon us and I shall certainly be checking it out. That being said, I’ve never been a huge fan of Jurassic Park. Come at me! Now, I do like the concept behind it and who doesn’t like to see a good T Rex? The main problem is that a film like this one tends to have quite a few animal violence scenes and this film was no exception. I have a bad feeling that Jurassic World will be using this as well so it may go the route of most animal films. That being said, let’s see just how it fared.

John is rich and decides that he wants to open a theme park where people can meet dinosaurs. That would be pretty epic for the whole world, but an accident happens and a member of the staff dies. The only way that he can open the park now is if he can get a pair of signatures from top line professionals to agree that the park is a good idea. That’s where Alan, along with his partner Allie, and Ian step in. These guys are skeptical about the operation and then the power goes out. The dinosaurs are free and they are ready to eat everyone all around the world. Still, they shall have to start with Jurassic Park!

Have you ever been face to face with a T Rex? I haven’t, but I’ve been face to face with my pet dog, Sonic, and I’m sure that it is a similar experience of terror and wonder. Ignoring that this is a film for a second, I don’t think that this park would ever be able to exist. People simply wouldn’t allow it too with all of the various protest groups that are around. Even if Jurassic Park was created, it would “leak” all over the world way before it actually opened. It would be hard to hide them even with an elaborate helicopter ride.

I’m not an outdoors guy so I wouldn’t check out the park, but I’m sure that it would certainly earn quite a bit of money. That was a bit of a detour so let’s go back to talking about the film. Many comparisons can be made to Attack on Titan. Jurassic Park really feels professional. The soundtrack is solid and makes the film feel theatrical. The characters quickly gain a lot of personality and it is a fairly exciting experience. Pretending that the animal violence was not present, I’d say that the film was a blast and a half all the way until the car scene where Alan goes to help the kids. That’s where the film quickly started to go downhill.

It may not come as a surprise to you if you’ve read a lot of my reviews, but I don’t tend to care for “kid” characters. If a character is around 13 or younger, then they’re probably going to be very unlikable. That doesn’t change here as I don’t like either of the two kids who join the adventure. They just slow the main character down and result in a subplot that is fairly boring the whole time. The guy risks all of their lives by clinging to an electrified net and the girl breaks down during their stressful adventure. The sneezing scene with the dinosaur was also very gross and one of the kids threw up at one point.

The film is very messy to the point where I would call it crude humor. You could also just say that the film is being way too realistic. The heroes get muddied and we are very far away from civilization. That doesn’t make for a good mix and it’s the primary reason why I want all films to take place in New York. Now, that’s the kind of backdrop that can make a film more exciting. In the jungle, it’s just not the same. It’s why the film lost a lot of its excitement and replayability once the heroes were all stranded among the trees.

Given the nature of the film, I’m not even going to talk about the plot hax. Just know that there is a lot of it, but you were likely expecting that when you walked into the film. Back to the positives for the film. The dinosaurs certainly look life like and I like the Raptor’s design. They remind me of Yoshi and I’ve always liked the Raptors. Those guys knew when it was time to win and when it was time to hunt. The T Rex is also a classic and it’s hard to picture him losing to a Spinosaurus. This guy was just invincible in this film.

Alan made for a likable main character even if he was a little overly rude to the kids at some points. I’m not a kid guy myself, but you have to at least put on a bluff face or whip out a Nintendo 3DS to save face. Alan knew his stuff though and didn’t change his mind about the park being safe towards the middle like I was expecting. Ellie is his partner and she isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty as she gets to the bottom of the dinosaurs being ill situation. She is also prepared to go into the battlefield when necessary as she proves to be critical in turning the power back on. She’s a strong heroine and made for a good supporting character.

Ian is a solid rival for Alan aside from the flirting at the beginning of the film. He sees the big picture that the other characters do not and he is the first guy to realize that Jurassic Park is not going to work. He’s certainly the cleverest character of the bunch and someone that you can root for. Things don’t end too well for him during his big fight with the T Rex, but it’s hard to picture anyone lasting long against that monster. He’s certainly an improvement over the average “rival” in this kind of film.

John is the rich guy in charge of Jurassic Park and he seems like a likable fellow. He uses his old age to his advantage to try to get the others to not want to vote against him, but the main characters are professionals so they make the tough calls. He got some good ice cream and he really did a good job on the park. While he made the wrong decision in continuing on with his adventure, he did mean well and was a nice person. The only guy that he didn’t get along with was the tech man who ended up betraying the team. It’s too bad that the guy was a villain since he had been one of the more humorous characters. He’s the kind of guy in real life who has nerves of steel. You can imagine him snapping at the President or insulting a would be kidnapper. This guy was always ready to make his case and nothing could make him back off. His end isn’t pleasant and will remind you of how tough the dinosaurs can be.

That being said, the film isn’t overly violent although still more than you would expect from a 90’s blockbuster. The main thing that cripples the film is the large amounts of animal violence. It gets so bad that I couldn’t even come close to saying that this is a good film. We see an animal part get thrown onto the car and several animals are eaten alive. It’s barbaric and reminds me why John is more cruel than he appears to be on the surface. Condoning such behavior is simply not right. Other dinosaurs are also eaten and the film really broke down when it counted. If it was just one or two scenes it may have been okay, but by the end, I knew that the film had been defeated.

You can have the best soundtrack, the most likable characters, and the best graphics that money can buy, but if you step into a big enough hole, the film is going to lose regardless of all the precautions that you could have taken. That’s what happened here and I fear that it will happen in the other three films as well. Hopefully it will be safe, but you shouldn’t count on it. I do fully expect at least one of the other three films to beat this one though, maybe all of them. We’ll see I suppose.

Overall, I’ve seen this film at least twice by now and other clips of it I’ve seen on numerous occasions. The kids really throw you out of the film along with the animal violence. It’s a classic that really has not aged well and the movie just isn’t my type. It certainly wouldn’t pique my interest aside from the fact that I do technically like creature films a lot. It’s like me and alien films, I like aliens even though their films tend to get really low scores. The holes are regrettable and stop me from giving it a good score, but the films are still fairly fun while in the moment. You are just thrown a curve ball every 10-15 minutes. If you are okay with the animal violence and kids getting in the main character’s way, you should enjoy this film. Otherwise, I recommend watching a classic film like the Bee movie if you want a film that is more about animals than humans. Now, I’m ready for the T Rex to continue to conquer all of the foes who stand in his way!

Overall 3/10

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Live Action Movies

42

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Jackie Robinson is one of the most legendary figures in sports. He played a good role in getting African Americans a step closer to equal right by proving his mettle in Baseball. It may seem like participating in a sport is hardly an important feat in the grand scheme of things, but it certainly was. Robinson showed that regardless of his skin color, he could keep up with any of the other players. He endured the ridicule and taunts of opposing players and it paid off. I am certainly familiar with Robinson’s life through several books, but it is fun to see it in movie format. (There are probably several more, but this is the first one that I have seen on Robinson) The film does a great job of chronicling his life.

It starts off with his induction into the major leagues as he starts from the bottom and works his way up, before concluding with the end of the season. While Baseball is a big part of the film, there isn’t a whole lot of Baseball action. That can be a good or a bad thing for viewers, but minor issue regardless. I would have liked more Baseball action myself, but it certainly doesn’t stop the film from being really good. The actual story is the important part after all.

Jackie is a likable main character. My only gripe with him, was his treatment towards the reporter. I felt that it was rather uncalled for and the reporter really tried to be a nice guy. Robinson gave a reason as to why he acted in such a way, but it still felt a little out of character. It is an issue that you would expect a person to keep on the inside as opposed to letting it out. Still, Jackie Robinson recovered from this and ultimately got along with his reporter. He was a fun lead.

The owner of the Dodgers, Mr Rickey, is the character who stole the show in this film. He was an incredible owner and I am glad that the film showed his Christian values. Rickey quotes the Bible on several occasions and he is a really upstanding character. It goes without saying that he was my favorite character in the film. Without him, Robinson may have never gotten a chance in the pro leagues and if he did, it wouldn’t have been this soon.

Naturally, we also have some characters who are here to stir things up. Several of Robinson’s teammates signed a petition to get him off of the team and a manager from another team harassed Robinson the whole game. A lot of these characters don’t change their tune, but some do and that’s the important thing. Slowly, but surely, Robinson got people to come around and root for him instead of against him. Pee Wee Reese was one player who had Robinson’s back during the film and it always makes a difference to at least have one ally on the team. Another vocal player helped Robinson out when he was being harassed by the other team. Whether it was because the guy felt bad for Robinson or because he felt like he needed to help a fellow teammate, it was a good act.

There really isn’t much of a soundtrack here, but that is really to be expected. I suppose that this film didn’t need one, but a few good songs during a film have never hurt one. Perhaps a theme from Rocky or an inspirational theme from that style would have been fitting. We never got to see Jackie train aside from one brief scene so that would have been good. The film would have just needed to add on a few extra minutes although it was already over 2 hours.

One reason why the film was so enjoyable was that it was focused. The average film would have started off with Robinson as a kid and then cram in the rest of his life into the 2 hours. This film decided to wait until he was ready to be scouted and that’s good since we get to have a more detailed encounter with this period of time. We even see some scenes with danger as Robinson had to get out of town right away. There were certainly many dangerous mobs back in the day and we can thank Robinson’s reporter once again for getting him out of trouble. (Rickey as well of course)

If there’s one thing that can help to break down racial barrier quickly, it’s sports. Once a player is doing well, his fans will start to accept him. After all, they want wins no matter what and if the Dodgers end up winning the World Series with an African American player, the fans will still want to keep the World Series. I believe that this is one of the reasons why things started to work out for Robinson. If he had been a terrible player, the whole strategy would have fallen flat. Naturally, Robinson trained his heart out to make sure that he did well and it really paid off. It’s certainly way different from nowadays when sport athletes are incredibly diverse. There will always be some racial elements around, but by and large, things have certainly gotten a lot better.

Overall, 42 is a great film and I highly recommend watching it. This is a story of perseverance and an example of how one person can always make a large difference in society. The cast of characters is good and the epilogue was fun to see because a lot of the figures were actually real besides the well known ones. 42 is a number that you will likely not forget after watching this film and this will be the example that I use when telling people how to effectively make a film based on a true story. Films based on true stories typically have a reputation of being dull or simply uninspired, but that shouldn’t be the case. Real Life can be just almost as exciting as fiction and when handled right, that ends up being the case with films. I’ve seen interesting documentaries on GMOs, so I’d expect one on Baseball to be even much better. Furthermore, this is a film and not a documentary so it should be another step above that. Now, we just need a film to be made on the Dallas Cowboys!

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Chronicle Review

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It’s time to review the shaky camera film that came out not too long ago. It feels a whole lot older than 2012 though since I could have sworn that it’s been more than 3 years since we rented it. Ah well, memory doesn’t always go in a linear fashion and mine in particular has never been great. I don’t care for the camera style and there has never been a good movie that has used it (Sorry Cloverfield!). Still, maybe this will be the exception right?…..

The plot involves Andrew Detmer as he decides to start recording his life on camera from now on. He gets bullied at school and he has no friends. At home, his Dad is always drunk so Andrew is really in a tough spot. It may not make for a good film to watch on tape when he grows up, but at least he’ll have proof for the cops. Did I mention that suspicious characters have practically formed a gang and taken over his neighborhood as well? One day, Andrew is called out by Steve to follow him and Matt into an underground tunnel. Andrew refuses every step of the way, but his body and his mind don’t seem to be on the same page as he dashes in. He reminds everyone that they shouldn’t be down there as they grab the crystal and are instantly defeated. When they wake up, the three heroes realize that they have advanced telekinesis. With this kind of power…they can do anything! Will they learn to use their powers for the good of humanity or will they decide to crush all of the obstacles that had been in their life?

Well, I can’t say that this film was a winner for me anymore than Cloverfield. The shaky camera certainly doesn’t help and I don’t think that I will be converting into a fan in the foreseeable future. It just takes away from all of the scenes since you’re wondering how long the film will be until the camera goes away. A person was mugged at a bar for using the Google Glass in real life so imagine how much worse it would be for a kid who is already bullied to start bringing a camera with him to school? Only the plot allowed his camera to survive and the bullying actually gets a little worse once he starts using it. It also helps Andrew to withdraw from humanity along with the viewers.

Andrew Detmer is the main character and he is part of the moral of the story. What’s the moral? It’s essentially that power corrupts and “what goes around comes around.” Andrew has been bullied by his family and schoolmates for a long time and once he obtains his powers, Andrew finally snaps. The thing is, Andrew had likely already snapped many times in the past, but he just couldn’t do anything about it without his powers. It’s one of the reasons why the gun control law debates are so fierce. There are many bar room brawls that escalate and if they had guns, I’m sure that we would get many reports of people being shot. Andrew wastes no time as he blows up a hole in a hospital and starts to rampage through the city. He goes from Hero to Zero (I love that Kingdom Hearts rhyme) or essentially from bullied kid to the deranged bully.

I didn’t like him from the start and he’s just not my kind of film lead. It’s really why I didn’t like Peter Parker in the first installment of the reboot series. There are plenty of anime leads who start out quiet and sad like Aichi and Haruyuki, but they learn how to be sociable as they make friends. Andrew made two friends, but the camera prevents him from truly bonding with them. He is actually doing pretty well until his big incident at the party where he tries to prove that he is a man through romance. If great power won’t corrupt a person, romance certainly will. Did he really think that it would be a wise move to get intimate with a girl that he just met for 2 minutes? Andrew didn’t think it through and everyone would have walked all over him as they absorbed the money that he would earn with his abilities. His whole situation is pretty messed up and it’s very tough to get out of something like that, but he definitely didn’t handle it well.

See, once you have great powers..then the situation should naturally get better. The main character can emit a barrier around himself with telekenesis so he doesn’t have to worry about his bullies or his Dad anymore. He doesn’t have to hurt them, he can just protect himself or freeze them in place for a minute or two so they understand their powerlessness. There are a lot of ways to improve the situation once you have such useful powers and Andrew made all of the wrong calls. It’s one of the reasons why he wasn’t really likable by the end.

Matt is the main character’s cousin and he means well. He seems to put more of an effort into helping Andrew than the others, but it’s not easy. He can’t always be there so he doesn’t truly understand Andrew’s plight and it’s tough to really talk to the main character. Matt is also dealing with relationship troubles of his own at this point and he wants one of the girls to understand why he is so much cooler than everyone else. He doesn’t participate in the High School popularity stunts and he can be pretty arrogant. At the end of the film, it’s up to him to make the tough calls. He was possibly the nicest guy from the main three, but it’s still hard to find him likable. He has some good moments and then he also has some bad moments. He’s really just interested in romance when he talks to the main girl and that’s not cool. I never cared for the romance stereotype, but it’ll likely stay around for a while.

Steve is the third member of the group and he’s the one who really links the three main characters. He involves both of them when they find the chunk of rock that gives them powers and he is pretty popular at school. His life is pretty perfect compared to the other two and he takes everything in stride. Of course, he does help the other two pull off some pretty mean spirited pranks and he’s also way too interested in romance and using his powers for pretty bad means. Yeah, Steve does beat Andrew, but he could still be a lot better. He looks pretty awful in his final moments though since he is basically sucker zapped.

Richard is Andrew’s father and he’s really here as an obstacle to be overcome. His personality is just that he likes to get drunk and make Andrew’s life as miserable as he can. An accident made him quit his job and even though he has healed..he doesn’t bother to do anything with his life. He has no point in the story except to push Andrew over the edge. He says that Andrew is responsible for his mother’s final end because he was looking for Andrew to mess with him when the wife was dying. It’s the whole blame game and it doesn’t end. Richard really has nobody but himself to blame for everything that’s happened to him in the last few years.

There is no real soundtrack so I’ll skip the audio section. (0/5 for the soundtrack by default…) The fight scenes are surprisingly good, which is probably the biggest plus of the film. Maybe it’s actually not too hard to do them and films typically just avoid these type of fight scenes for fear of reviews like in Man of Steel, but they’re very well done. We see the craters from the big clash and the telekinesis abilities are a little more refined than when Jean Grey used to fight in the X Men movies. (Granted..this is a 2012 film) The fight scene wasn’t totally satisfying since one of the fighters was trying not to fight while the other one was already pretty crazy, but I’ll take what I can get. You can definitely draw a lot of parallels to Superman in the way that they fought. Not a whole lot of punches are thrown, but they fly in Superman stances and the craters may remind you of the fight between Superman and Zod. It’s just a lot better than I would have expected for this film and it would have been even better with a different camera style.

This is not a film where you should expect a happy ending. One of the reasons why this film isn’t that good is that it’s not very enjoyable. This is the kind of film that you can call a downer. Everything goes wrong for the main character from start to finish. He made the wrong choices at the end, which result in his end, but there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. It’s very gloomy and we just watch everyone bite the big one in the end. The cops naturally decide to shoot at the good guy who’s defending the city instead of the villain. There is also a really unnecessary scene where Andrew literally rips a spider apart. That’s when we realized that Andrew had completely gone off the deep end along with his speeches on natural selection. (Remember that he is talking to himself on camera…just saying..)

The only time where things are actually going pretty well for the heroes is when they’re pulling pranks at other people’s expense or when they’re at the talent show and Andrew realizes that showing off his powers for romance and money is all that he really wants anymore. It’s just a very somber film that won’t leave you singing “Everything is Awesome” the way that something like the Avengers would. The film will leave you worn out even though it isn’t very long since the ending will leave part of the city in shambles and more than a few people are either down for the count or in the hospital. At least, the one person with powers left should be able to get by just fine. (Overpowered powers are overpowered after all)

Overall, Chronicle makes most of the classic film mistakes. It has animal violence and no real themes. The main characters are not likable since they have many of the flaws that you see in everyday life. They just spam swear words through their daily life and just care about romance and being “cool.” It’s safe to say that the camera didn’t help either. Chronicle did have some great action scenes though and a sequel could work out a lot better than this one if it follows Matt’s story and goes with a traditional camera view. That would give it a pretty good chance of not only beating this film, but perhaps doubling its score. That would be pretty impressive for a sequel! If you want to watch a shaky cam film then you’re out of luck as far as recommendations go since I wouldn’t recommend this one. However, if you want a film about people with super powers that isn’t Sky High, I would recommend checking out Naruto Shippuden Film 3!

Overall 3/10

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

2001: A Space Odyssey Review

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Have you ever seen a film that made you go to sleep? No, I’m not talking about the Lord of the Rings! 2001: A Space Odyssey surpasses that film in that category as the scenes are even more stretched out and the film runs for around the same amount of time. With less plot than a Saturday Morning Cartoon; A main character that makes Alex Hopper look like Tom Cruise; and an ending that would make Inception viewers cringe….we have this film! I hope that you’ve prepared yourself accordingly because watching this film is basically like throwing hours of your life out the window.

What is the plot? The film never figured that out so it’s barely worth mentioning. The first plot is about animal violence and how we descended from Apes. The Apes learned to destroy each other until they managed to become as brutal as the modern humans. After that, we go to David Bowman as he goes to the board meeting. It’s a big conspiracy between the members as they can’t let the press find out what they’re about to do. This journey will be dangerous after all so they convince everyone that there is a plague on board. David takes Frank and Hal 9000 as they head off into the great unknown. However, nothing is as it seems and the humans eventually start to distrust Hal 9000. Obviously, there is only room for one type of being so now they will have to fight. Man vs Machine!

It’s like watching a bad sci-fi film that doesn’t know if it wants to be a thriller, a political film, or a thematic sensation. As a result, the story telling is very convoluted and nothing makes sense. The writing makes the Amazing Spider Man 2 look amazing and it makes the Lord of The Rings appear to be a thrill a minute in comparison. It’s no shock to say that I’m giving this film a single star and it would be hard to say where that star came from. (Or not, Hal 9000 was pretty epic after all) Let’s quickly talk about the characters since there really aren’t many to talk about.

David Bowman is the main lead of the film, but it won’t matter all that much by the end since he has no real personality to speak of. He’s pretty careful around the news reporters, which is good and he doesn’t really gossip. He’s pretty much a no nonsense character and he seems to be pretty reasonable. Did he get a little too drastic in his plan to get Hal 9000? That’s something we’ll discuss later on. Overall, I would actually say that Bowman was a decently good main character. He was very bland and he didn’t have much of a personality, but that also meant that he didn’t really have time to make many mistakes. I can’t say that he fell into any character holes. He’s a perfectly acceptable main character.

Frank Poole is his friend/co worker. You could say that he’s a more aggressive version of David Bowman. Bowman never really voices his opinion about Hal 9000 being dangerous until Frank suggests that they take him out. Bowman was hinting at it, but he was very indecisive and he seemed to want Frank’s agreement before even suggesting it. Frank isn’t subtle like that and everything he does is direct. Because of this, Frank ends up being more likable than David and he’s the best human character in the film. Going outside when the ship is a suspect may be a little….optimistic at best, but every character makes a big error at some point right? Frank Poole was definitely a good character.

Hal 9000 is the big villain of the film. He’s famous and everyone knows about Hal 9000. Despite this, Hal 9000 isn’t actually a very big player. His screen time is a lot shorter than I would have thought. Despite this, Hal 9000 is still as sinister as I had pictured. You really can’t get past his sarcastic voice. “Hello Dave” “I can’t do that Dave” are some of his lines and Hal 9000 never lets up. He has nothing but contempt for humanity and it really shows. I can definitely see why he was remembered since he was one of the only really good things about the film. Right down to the end, Hal 9000’s voice will give you the chills and his end is probably where the film should have ended.

Unfortunately, the film did not end! After that, we just get a lot of scenes that don’t really have any relevance to them. There are a lot of meta readings that you can take from the scenes, but you can also just go to sleep and let the film end on its own. The problem with trying to have a lot of symbolic interpretations is that there is no correct answer. Once you put out a vague ending, the viewer can name any ending that they please and it won’t really be wrong. Thus, there really isn’t a point anymore. The film had no point and that’s one of the saddest parts. We never really begin to like the main characters so there isn’t a sense of relief at the end.

The whole film is really dragged out. The first 5-8 minutes of the film are pure darkness and we even have an intermission with more darkness. The final 15-20 minutes just consist of random oceans and other locations where we can appreciate the view. If I wanted a good view, then I’d pop in my Homer Price dvd and check out the realistic donuts! The main character eventually goes insane and that basically represents the audience by this point. I think it’s safe to say that you’ll lose interest before the halfway mark of the film anyway, but this would throw you off if you were still on board. Even eating a sandwich can take a while in this film as they slowly go for the food and they take forever to finish it. Don’t worry, they silently jog afterwards to burn off the calories. Another example of how the film is dragged out is the conversation with the media. “I’m not at liberty to discuss this” is something that the main character says when they try to get information out of him. What’s his next line? The same exact thing! The writers were just grasping at straws at that point as they just wanted to drag out the dialogue as much as possible. The characters make sure to cough and take deep breaths so that they can stop themselves from replying for a little longer. The camera also has a little lag to it so the scenes end up staying on the screen for longer than necessary. Not that we could expect anything less from this film!

Okay, we’ve established that the film is boring right? I could keep on mentioning this fact and give more examples, but I think you get the point. Still, that can’t be enough to give it a 1 right? Even the Lord of the Rings scored higher than that! Well, one big hole that the film charged into was the classic case of animal violence. Yes, there is animal violence in a space film that is about man vs machines. Why is animal violence present? Because the film forgot what it was about!

The first half hour or so is about a group of monkeys massacring each other. That’s it….there’s no plot, no point, and no fun. It’s just about the animals hurting each other and maturing into humans. It’s essentially a silent film at this stage and it makes the silent scenes of the Arthur tv show look profound and relevant. By this point in the film, I already had a sneaking suspicion that the film could not score above a three. Little did I know that it would never rise up from this error.

The end of the film is all about being trippy and we have a lot of inverted colors and random events that occur. You keep waiting for something to happen and it never does so you’re left with an empty feeling. This is why you shouldn’t make a film very crazy looking just so that you can try to win some awards and get recognition for being unique. Using the tried and true formula of the Mario Bros film would be much better.

Now, should the humans have decided to destroy/dismantle Hal 9000 and his upper functions? He did make a mistake with the satellite, but was it really on purpose as part of some conspiracy? I definitely think that he was trying to cover up his mistake as the film went on, but I don’t think he would have felt that it was necessary to murder the whole crew if Bowman and Frank hadn’t discussed their plan. (Talking in front of a window is never a really smart thing to do) It just seemed like the humans were a little rash in their thinking. Hal 9000 may have been in error, but he didn’t seem to be malicious. There were possibly some veiled threats in his dialogue with the main characters and if he’s so smart…then the mistake had to be intentional right? Nonetheless, while there are some doubts as to what side Hal 9000 was on, they should have given him a chance. At least wait until they’re back on the ground to disable him. Going on the offensive just wasn’t a wise thing to do in their situation. Then, sending out Frank to put the satellite back in place? That’s just asking for trouble. I can’t say with complete confidence that deciding to work with Hal 9000 would have helped them out in the end, but I do think that he wouldn’t have turned completely evil. (Not so quickly anyway)

Overall, 2001: A Space Odyssey is a lot worse than you may have guessed from the cover. There isn’t much of a plot and the events that could have taken 30-40 minutes end up stretching to around 3 hours. The director really wanted this film to be long so he used every artificial technique that he could think of to keep the film going. Because of this, over a third of the film consists of pointless aerial shots or stills of the characters thinking. The intro with the animals is also pointless and the ending doesn’t add anything to the film. The only part with any meat to it was the battle against Hal and that was all too brief. Stay away from this film and all of its animal violence. You would have more fun watching paint dry or taking a nap. The only slight positive would be the main characters, but that’s really not enough to save such a long film. This film may be known as a classic, but I’ll just know it as the film that was more tedious than Lord of the Rings. Watch the latest Star Trek film if you want a good spaceship film.

Overall 1/10

Live Action Movies

Noah

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I’m sure that we were all thrilled to see Hollywood finally start to adapt the events of the Bible. It was long overdo. We’ve had many films about the Civil War and other big events and these deserve just as much screentime. On the other hand, many Christians were pretty skeptical since the trailer did look pretty suspect. Unfortunately, they were right to be wary of this film since it’s example of how the theater can try to make the Bible “mainstream” and inaccurate.

As you may have guessed, this is a Very loose adaption of the classic tale. In the Bible, God decides to wipe out most of the human race by having a flood appear on the Earth to wipe everything out. He tells Noah to build an ark. 2 of every animal would go on it along with Noah and his family. The story was not very long in the Bible, but it was a very significant event in history. After all, it was where God said that he would never end the world by flood again. The film takes that plot and adds tons of stuff to it while “fleshing out” the characters to make sure that they are all pretty unlikable.

Now, adapting the Bible is a tricky matter in itself. I’ll definitely admit to that. Some of the events can be pretty brutal and it can be tough to see all of the animals being sacrificed on screen from the old testament. That being said, everything that is contained within the Bible is there for a reason so it must be kept in. It’s tough for me to watch as a big animal lover and the events can be pretty violent. Still, it must never be changed as it can trick new believers and they can miss out. So, I may still have a tough time watching a faithful adaption, but at least I would be watching it as it was meant to be seen. Dragging out the tale of Noah to 2 hours would be tricky for anyone and keeping it completely accurate would be challenging. That being said, the film didn’t need to be over 2 hours and the writers could have consulted with Christian scholars and pastors to get a better consensus of how the film should go. It would be more work, but it would be worth it. It would have also been worth their while to have made the film only run for about an hour or an hour and a half instead of adding tons of plot elements. Where did the film go wrong? Just about everywhere.

We have “The Watchers” who are fallen angels that disobeyed God because they wanted to help the humans while God had already decreed that the descendants of Cain would have to live by the sweat of their brow. God punished them by merging them with the soil of the Earth so that they became rock creatures. Then, the humans betrayed them and destroyed most of The Watchers. The Watchers became angry with humankind and they fled to a rocky area. Well….do you remember any of that from the Bible? I certainly don’t and I read that saga pretty recently. The whole concept of The Watchers is something that I don’t like. Personally, I have always pictured the Angels to be humanoid and made of light. (The Watchers transform back into this form when they die so at least their natural form was more in line with my thoughts) Of course, we won’t really know until we go to Heaven and their forms may not be so easily comprehended. Nontheless, I don’t believe that a human could ever destroy one of them, even if they were cursed to walk the Earth. Ever. That’s simply not possible and a complete insult to them.

It should also be noted that the word God is never used. They just refer to him as “The Creator.” The way that the universe is formed also makes it seem like it was a natural occurrence. God created the light and then everything just formed on its own….yeah right. The film likely didn’t want to offend atheists by mentioning God, but then why are they even making this film? This is supposed to enlighten more people to the word of God and to be a good way for Christians to see the story. If the writers won’t go all the way in making this a true adaption of the story of Noah, then there is no point.

Noah is also a pale shadow of himself. His big moment involves….disobeying God. He believes that God wanted him to murder two babies (You can already see how insane this is right?) so he does everything in his power to destroy them until he is finally next to them. Then he tells God that he will not do it and he leaves. One of the characters tries to tell him that God actually wanted him to spare the babies and he made the right choice, but it was handled poorly. Noah basically ended up choosing his family over God. He definitely misinterpreted God’s message as destroying the babies was not what he was meant to do, but it would have been better if God had told him to stop.

Another thing that I didn’t like was that God never actually spoke to Noah. Noah got brief visions about people drowning and other things, but God never actually talked to him. In the Bible, God told him exactly how to make the Ark, down to the specific size specifications. Again, the general audience may have found that hard to believe, but it’s what happened so that’s what should have happened in the film. We can’t alter the facts just to make things more “believable.” God never explains the visions either and Noah does everything by his own interpretation. In the Bible, everything was made clear to Noah. In the film, they act as if God barely cares about what is transgressing and the angels are the only real proof that he exists. (There are some minor scenes like a flower growing and the flood of course, but not talking at all is not a good move on the film’s part)

Back to Noah himself. He mostly just went around beating everyone up as he got the Ark ready. This just wasn’t the Noah that I was expecting. Self defense is good and all, but having him murder a bunch of people in one of the opening scenes isn’t how his character portrayal should have started. We’re supposed to see that he is a good man in a corrupt world, but we never really see this. He seems to be just another villain as he tries to murder the infants.

You can tell that my experience with the film was pretty negative. It’s just hard not to take a few shots at the film when everything was so wrong. Want to know another big problem with the film? One of the villains actually breaks into the Ark. That definitely did not happen in the Bible and it undermines everything. The whole point was that God protected Noah and his family once they were in the ark. They had nothing to fear because they knew that God would keep them safe. Not in this version and the villain actually murders a few of the animals. There is seriously no justice in this film.

The film has a ton of unnecessary animal violence and it’s very gritty throughout. We see many people dying and injured on the ground as they cannot leave. One of the worst scenes is when Noah walks into the enemy city and witnesses slave auctions and merciless animal violence. Don’t worry, I can possibly top that with another scene. Perhaps it can’t top that last one in terms of terribleness, but it comes close. Noah’s son helps a girl to escape this place and she trips on one of the bear traps. Noah’s son calls for Noah to come and help. So…Noah grabs him and runs away as we see the girl get trampled to death by the incoming mob. Noah regrets nothing since he believes that everyone in the village is evil with no exceptions. No exceptions. After all, he believes that his family are the chosen ones that God has deemed to live so any new life must be destroyed. Hence, why the baby must die.

I could likely go on for a while, but you get the jist of it and this technically isn’t a review. Just know that Noah is a really bad film interpretation of the story and I definitely would not recommend it. God’s Not Dead is a perfect Christian movie to watch that is fictional, but tells a good story. Son of God also came out recently and I can assure you that it is a pretty faithful movie about Jesus. Let’s hope that Exodus will be better as it will be hard to be worse…..but I wouldn’t get my hopes too high. Even if this was just movie that didn’t adapt the Bible, it would have still been a pretty poor one and you can bet that my score for it would have been extremely low. This is a story of brutality and of a man who lived through the great flood, but there is nothing about God’s kindness or anything to really show that he is alive at all. In the end, I’d say that the film….sunk.

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

I Frankenstein Review

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This time, I actually had heard of I Frankenstein before watching it. The trailer was easily one of the best ones that I saw this year and the only one that gave it any real competition was the trailer for the new Spiderman film. The trailer reminded me of the Underworld films and apparently it is from the same crew. I definitely had some decently high expectations for the film as I went in and I can safely say that it exceeded them. Considering that this film isn’t part of a big franchise or based on something that I’m familiar with, it did great. I Frankenstein is easily one of the best stand alone films that I’ve seen in a while. (Losing to The One as far as action films go, but it can even match up to DC and Marvel films)

The plot starts off with the usual Frankenstein story. Dr. Frankenstein tries to murder his creation, but he fails miserably, which results in his own death + his wife’s. When the monster goes to bury the doctor; he gets attacked by vampires demons. (I’m just going to call the monster Frankenstein from here on out to make things a little easier to read and type) Frankenstein is saved by some Gargoyles and they take him to their castle base. They are in a war with the demons and the humans have no idea about what has been going on. It’s a supernatural war and the demons are a part of the 666 legions that Satan sent to plunge the world into darkness. The gargoyles were ordered by the angels to hold the fort. (It was either Angel Michael or Gabriel who gave them this mission) The Gargoyles defend the peace and their leader is the only one who can directly communicate to the angels so they strive to protect her at all costs.

Frankenstein decides that he stands alone and he leaves. They supply him with a holy weapon and Frankenstein disappears for well over 100 years. The demons attack him again and Frankenstein decides that he’s going to fight back this time. No more running away…he’s going to end this war and take them all down. Will the Gargoyles approve? Frankenstein has a lot of battles ahead of him and he’s going to need to keep his guard up at all times.

Frankenstein is a pretty decent main character and this is my favorite interpretation of this figure. No longer is Frankenstein the slow monster that we’ve known him to be. No, he now possesses a mild degree of super strength/speed and he’s a solid fighter. He fights pretty well against the demon hordes. He may not be the most heroic character out there, but the film hints that he has softened up a little. (He better have since he starts the film off with a murder. It’s hard to forget that part) He deals a lot of damage to both sides through the film.

Prince Naberius is the main villain of the film. He’s the big boss and he is assumed to be much more powerful than the other demons. We don’t really see this because he takes a more diplomatic approach. He’s the kind of villain who appears to be gentle and nice in public, but he’s secretly as vicious as they come. He does get to mildly fight at the end of the film, but he doesn’t get any satisfying form of closure. As far as main villains go; he can be a little on the generic side and I was a little underwhelmed by his true form. That being said, it was amusing to see him in his human guise. It reminded me a little of Lex Luther in his actions. Naberius was definitely an all right character.

Terra is the main heroine of the film, but she doesn’t appear until we’re pretty late into the film. She’s all right, but I wouldn’t say that she stands out in any way. She’s experiments on animals and that’s something that I never like from scientists. That automatically meant that I would not like her in the film and she was never able to climb back from that. She helps out towards the climax and she’s supposed to be a sympathetic character that we can relate too, but she really didn’t have a purpose in the film. She could have been cut out and nobody would really notice.

Gideon is one of the highest ranking Gargoyles and he really doesn’t like Frankenstein. He’s so antagonistic that one would almost expect him to descend after he is defeated. He’s definitely no hero and he may be a decent fighter, but there isn’t much to suggest that he’s stronger than the others aside from the hype that he is given. I definitely didn’t care for him and I was rooting for him to lose in his fights.

Leonore is the Queen of the Gargoyles and she does not act as holy as you may expect. She doesn’t mind lying and using someone as long as it furthers her ambitions and she does give a kill order at one point in the film. (Again…this is why I’m glad that they decided to make the heroes work under the Angels as Gargoyles. I would be pretty incredulous to see Angels lie and decides to destroy people) She very unlikable, but then again…I didn’t care for any of the Gargoyles by the end of the film. The very first pair of Gargoyles that found Frankenstein were okay, but that’s about it. Leonore looks bad right up to the very end as she stabs a defenseless villain. At that point, they had to get rid of thousands of demons, but while her allies were taking them down by the dozens…she only defeated one. That’s not going to win her any fans.

Zuriel is the right hand man of Naberius and he was easily the best villain. He was a lot stronger than I had guessed and he proved to be more than a match for Frankenstein in a fair fight. Zuriel’s demon form was a little generic, but I can let that slide since he was fun to watch. He doesn’t get a whole lot of screentime, but each scene proves that aside from being a fighter; Zuriel is also a tactician. He proved to be smarter than Naberius when it came to planning.

Now, I have to address the gargoyles. They were supposedly sent here by the Angels so they should be pretty good people right? Unfortunately, that doesn’t really appear to be the case. I’m sure that some of them are heroic, but I just expect a lot more from them. They may not be complete Angels, but when I finally meet an Angel; I expect them to be nothing like the Gargoyles in the film. One of these holy Gargoyles happy tells Frankenstein that he’s doomed to rot in hell for all eternity and he’s really thrilled about this. (He’s also a little sore since he’s being terminated)

One plot in the film is how Frankenstein doesn’t have a soul. The gargoyles are mad at him and also worried because they say that he shouldn’t exist and now God is not the only one who has created life. They act as if Satan will destroy everything with this knowledge and that the world is doomed. First of all, I don’t see how Frankenstein would not have a soul. Even though he was created by another human; Frankenstein has emotions and he can feel pain. He’s completely alive and I would say that this means that he automatically has a soul. An interesting part is that he does something during the final part of the film that proves that he doesn’t have a soul, which contradicts what happens a few minutes after that. Do souls really grow that quickly? I don’t know…that part felt sketchy. He should have had a soul from the beginning.

One scene that I didn’t care for was the scene with the rat as they tried to perfect the regeneration process. Testing on animals will always be wrong. Many say that it’s for the greater good so that humans will be okay, but that’s not okay in my book. If we want to be healthier, then we need to test on ourselves instead of innocent creatures. That scene was pretty awful, but luckily it was only once and we didn’t have any other forms of animal violence.

Another part that I took issue with was how weak the Gargoyles base was. The demons were basically able to take it over at any time. When they finally decided to attack the Gargoyles; it was a blowout. The demons outnumbered them over 100-1 and the heroes quickly started saying things like “It’s Over.” Why couldn’t they call for backup from the other bases that were previously mentioned? They said that Satan only has command over 666 legions so the Gargoyles should definitely outnumber them at this point. It’s definitely a little on the iffy side to see such a gap in power.

The soundtrack is a little on the forgettable side, but it was pretty good. The tunes tend to be a little generic, but it’s generic action mood that fits the tone. It’s pretty fast paced at times and the dramatic themes were also well placed. You likely won’t remember the music in your head after a few days, but they will help to enhance the fight scenes as you’re watching the film.

The fight scenes were very good and this is the kind of action that I want to see in a film. There were sword fights and we also had some monster action, but it was all done smoothly. The blowing up effects for the demons were pretty neat and likewise with the ascending effect for the Gargoyles. The scenes were intense without being gritty in an over the top way.

Overall, this was a pretty fun film. We got to mix religion with an old myth like Frankenstein. I’m glad that the Angels were not the ones fighting because I would never want to see them look so much like the villains, plus the Gargoyles were so weak. I do not believe that a demon would be able to defeat an Angel. Frankenstein was a good lead and Zuriel made for a good villain, but the rest of the characters were either decent or just unlikable. The soundtrack and fight scenes made the film very enjoyable and it’s fast paced. There aren’t many scenes that will really feel dragged out, which is always a plus. I definitely recommend this film to action fans. There may be one or two violent moments, but nothing over the top. If you’ve seen Jason Bourne, then you’ll be okay to see this one.

Overall 7/10