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|06-23-2012, 09:48 AM||#51|
It was an Action-Adventure/Spy movie set in a future where the U.S. was at odds with the Chinese (a situtation that, given today's headlines, is getting more and more plausible). In some ways, it's not unlike the movie Total Recall, in that the main character has his memory erased and is made to live under a false identity (in this case, a fake re-creation of the 1960's).
The movie is noteworthy for also featuring some action scenes and depictions of the future that were animated by Hanna-Barbera and designed by Alex Toth of Space Ghost fame. It just came out on Blu-Ray in fact. I saw it once on the Sci-Fi Channel many years ago and I remember it being pretty cool. It's worth checking out.
Here's a Wikipedia entry about the movie. And here's a listing for the new Blu-Ray release on Amazon.
"Tell Meg, 'Thunder thighs are on the move! Thunder thighs are loose!"
|06-25-2012, 12:12 AM||#52|
Starring: Kelly Macdonald, Emma Thompson and Billy Connolly
Writers: Mark Andrews, Steve Purcell, Brenda Chapman and Irene Mecchi (Based on an original story by Brenda Chapman)
Directors: Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman
Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures.
Pixar was founded around 1979 under a different name but soon changed to said name around the mid-80’s after being bought by Steve Jobs. In 1995, they finally found success with the release of Toy Story. They always tend to strike at number one every time with consistent success and most of the time, earned critical acclaim. Brave is the 13th Pixar film and its production had its ups and downs considering Brenda Chapman, the original writer and sole director of the film, was demoted to co-director with Mark Andrews gaining full reign on the director’s position.
Added to that were apparently two other writers and there’s the finished product.
Not only that, the marketing led you to believe it’s sort of a comedy while a few Pixar employees have said that it’s a dark and epic story. Everyone who says either is a liar. Because here’s the thing about the film, it’s a mother-daughter story. That’s the main story.
Before I begin, I’d like to mention the short film La Luna. It’s a cute short and definitely seems like something straight out of a childhood dream. It’s very creative and a well directed short film.
Now where was I? Oh yes.
Brave takes place in an undetermined place in time around Scotland. Merida (voiced by Kelly Macdonald) and her mother Elinor (voiced by Emma Thompson) don’t get along to the best of terms and the tipping point is that she is assigned to mary suitors, the youngest sons from three different clans. After an argument in which she won an archery contest which vetos the arranged marriage, she runs away and meets a witch and demands for her fate to be changed. She gets her wish…only for it to backfire as her mother turns into a bear of all things. They must bond together and find a way to break the spell for her mother to turn back to normal.
I had to give out the basic premise because not only is the premise more than what it is with the two main leads, you could see where it was going at the same time even if I don’t tell you the plot of the film.
Which is essentially what can probably hold it back from being a complete classic, the story is predictable. It has heart and effort to the max but the story is very basic that anyone could pick up on where things are going to go. Which could be the result of the retooling. Some of the humor might seem low brow even for Pixar to try out but then again, they managed to sneak in a cross dressing joke in Toy Story 3.
But what works the most to the point of worth watching completely is the relationship between Merida and Elinor. Their interaction felt natural, neither character was demonized to be point of them being obnoxious like a sitcom character. Nothing felt forced, the actresses played off each other well and the animation was especially well done allowing the emotions to do all the talking. Every scene with them I enjoyed the most because it was that damn good, everything with them left me impressed.
I actually laughed at most of the humor. Granted, some of it was very much butt humor but the triplets and Fergus (voiced by Billy Connelly) tended to be the most hilarious.
The voice actors themselves were excellent in their roles. None of them sounded phony and had believeable scottish accents, well minus one being John Ratzenberger. Everyone had good chemistry but again, Kelly Macdonald and Emma Thompson were great in every scene together. Their chemistry worked the most.
And of course, Pixar still excels at animation, not much to say there. Though I got to say, the witch looked very much someone straight out of a Studio Ghibli film, a Miyasaki film specifically.
It’s not a gamechanger or a groundbreaking animated film but it’s a good film, a really strong one and it’s worth watching especially for the Merida and Elinor scenes. If you’re looking for a film that is usually on the quality of The Incredibles, Up or Toy Story 3, you’re not going to find it here.
I give it an 8/10.
Starring: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba and Logan Marshall-Green
Writers: Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof
Director: Ridley Scott
Distributor: 20th Century Fox.
Ridley Scott made a name for himself with Alien, his second film back in 1979. To this day, it’s still well regarded as a classic among the Science Fiction and Horror community with its intruiging creativeity, the mystery on the unknown planet and the fact that an unknown creature is hunting down people in a ship where going out of the airlock is not the brightest choice and also introduced the start of strong female characters.
The last science fiction film Scott directed was the 1982 cult classic Blade Runner and since then he had directed Fantasy films, dramas, thrillers, all the like.
Around 2009, Ridley Scott announced that after decades since the original Alien, he would finally return to the franchise he helped create. He was announced to make a prequel that would finally explain everything such as where the Space Jockey came from. Bad news arose months later however as he now recently annouced he wouldn’t make it a prequel but instead as its own original film.
But as 2012 came, details were given away with actor Michael Fassbender downright admitting that it’s a prequel to Alien. Ridley Scott himself denied it but it was finally confirmed when it was finally released overseas first before its US release. Did it work? Let’s see…
It’s near future of the year 2038, an expedition of a group of scientists led by the archeologist couple Elizabeth Shaw and Charlie Holloway (played by Noomi Rapace and Logan Marshall-Green respectively) discovered what seemed to be a starmap which could lead them to what could possibly be the actual creators of the human race. The crew consisting of David, the android (played by Michael Fassbender), Meridith Vickers (played by Charlize Theron), Janek (played by Idris Elba), Millburn (played by Rafe Spall) and Fifield (played by Sean Harris). Unfortunately, they entered into a planet of chaos and death that would either ultimately destroy them all or give them the answers they wanted.
I don’t need to say anything else if you’ve seen it already but in case you haven’t, without giving too much away; while some questions are answered but in the process creates more questions.
To which that is the biggest problem with the film, it created more questions. And worst of all, it acts like as if it were supposed to know all this. Not to mention, the entire film felt like a setup, evidenced by the fact that the filmmakers want to make sequels. It’s never a good sign when the answers you’re looking for can be found in an interview with one of the writers.
Another problem is the characterization. Every stupid moment they think of, they do it. For instance, one guy touched an alien cobra-like creature and surprise, surprise, he dies. Not really impressive. Actually despite not seeing The Cabin in the Woods, wasn't this the sort of thing the film was satirizing in the first place?
But depsite how the characters were written, the actors give it all they got to at least put in a decent if not good performance. That and Noomi Rapace is easy on the eyes. And really, Idris Elba is the best actor in the entire film.
The production design however is very stellar, really impressive to look. You could that the filmmakers at least put in a major effort into creating various setpieces, creature designs, the inside of the spaceship Prometheus, everything.
It really depends if you think it’s worth watching or not. On one hand, it’s disappointing to know that the entire film was nothing but a setup. On the other hand, the visuals are very interesting to look at and to be fair, it’s very intriguing enough for anyone to see how the entire film ends.
If you’re still interested, I at least recommend taking a look at it if you’re really curious about it. If you’re worried that it’s exactly what it is being a disappointment and all, then by all means, don’t see it if it’s exactly what you’re expecting.
I give it a 7/10 only for the production design, Noomi Rapace being easy on the eyes and Idris Elba being the best actor of the entire film
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Starring: Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Anthony Mackie, Jimmi Simpson, Rufus Sewell and Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Writer: Seth-Grahame Smith (Based on the novel by Seth Grahame-Smith)
Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Distributor: 20th Century Fox.
Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States of America. He was nicknamed Honest Abe, he freed the slaves, born in a log cabin and was unfortnately assinated by John Wilkes Booth. He left behind a legacy to which he still garners respect for. Then came a novel by a little known author named Seth-Grahame-Smith, the man behind the mashup novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies turned Lincoln into a vampire killer badass called Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.
It earned good reviews when it was first published and around 2010, it was annouced in 2010 that the novel would be adapted into a film with Tim Burton producing and Timur Bekmambetov (the director of Wanted) directing the film. Studios entered a bidding war for the rights to the film with 20th Century Fox winning with its detail pitch on the production and marketing. The original author himself ended up writing the script with that and a cast set, filming began. Did it work? Let’s see how it went first.
As a child, Abraham Lincoln witnessed his mother’s death at the hands of a vampire and over the course of his childhood up to adulthood, a now adult Lincoln (played by Benjamin Walker) swore vengence on his mother’s killer. He finally meets the killer himself and actually attempted to kill him only to find out he is not exactly human as his gun barely did jack to the guy. He was saved by Henry Sturgess (Dominic Cooper) who later reveals to him about the existence of vampires and how to kill them. In the process, he not only befriends the likes of his childhood friend William Johnson (played by Anthony Mackie), a shopkeeper by the name of Joshua Speed (played by Jimmi Simpson) and of course his wife Mary Todd (played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead).
At the same time though, he catches the attention of Adam, leader of the vampires (played by Rufus Sewell) vows to kill the man who has been killing his kind while Abe Lincoln himself is doing what he does, to get rid of slavery and ensure all men are created equal.
While admittingly I was entertained, the unforutnate truth is that the film is basically a total Hollywood-ized film. While I admit to not having read the book, I was told by a few things that deviated from the original novel as well as the fact that the William and Adam characters (along with a red head vampire chick) were not in the original novel.
Actually, a lot seemed to deviate from the original novel. Everything felt very basic especially by Hollywood standards. Things were changed because no doubt it simply wouldn’t sell especially if it was the studio’s decision.
But besides that, there were instances were narration was not needed, it basically comitted the crime of breaking the rule of visual storytelling: Show, don’t tell.
Lincoln in voiceover describes what he was feeling rather than the actor showing the emotion. That and off screen, Joshua Speed has been told of his secret and accepts it. There is no scene of it happening, we’re only told that he knows about Abe killing vampires.
Another unfortunate casulty is Mary Todd herself, while Miss Winstead was pretty good in the role, she wasn’t given much to do and it’s only until the very end she gets her moment of awesome and when she does show emotion, nothing comes out of it. She still stays with Lincoln after what she had to find out herself.
There are a few positives though, again, seeing Lincoln as an action hero killing evil vampires was great and at times, he was shown thinking outside of the box at one point out smarting the vampires. Benjamin Walker did a decent job as Lincoln himself and Anthony Mackie was equally awesome as William showing he was a competent fighter as well. The makeup job on older Lincoln and Mary Todd looked good, nothing to complain there.
Then there was the idea of vampires always having been resposible for slavery from the Jews in Egypt, death of Christians and African slavery. That in itself is an intriguing idea and admittingly, it was satisfying seeing the vampires get their comuppance. The action sequences are good though the CGI at times can be cartoonish, the scene with the stampede of horses being the worst offender.
All in all, you might like this if you want to see something like say if you’re bored and you want to waste time or if you want to see one of America’s greatest presidents killing vampires. But if you’re a fan of the novel or someone is expecting a good film or at least something fun, this isn’t what you’re looking for.
I give it a 5/10.
Last edited by Movie-Brat; 06-26-2012 at 10:08 AM..
|06-25-2012, 03:22 AM||#53|
TCL Junior Member
I watched Cliffhanger last night from my huge stallone collection. Havent watched this one for years and its still amazing.
Stallone = guaranteed great films that I never tire of watching.
(and yes im a stallone nut lol)
|06-25-2012, 08:38 AM||#54|
Pretty good write-ups there, Movie-Brat. Here's what I thought...
Brave- You said pretty much what every other review I've heard or read has been saying. The general consensus seems to be, "It's okay. But Pixar's better than this." They seem to be on a downward trend lately: Cars 2 was just a cash grab and hardly anyone remembers it. Brave by Pixar's standards is pretty underwhelming. And next year we've got the Monsters Inc. prequel, Monsters University, which I can't get too worked-up for either as Monsters Inc. was one of my least favorite Pixar movies. It's saying something when I'm much more interested in Disney's own Wreck-It Ralph coming out later this year than Pixar's current offering.
At this point, I'm thinking they should really try to get Brad Bird back and do that Incredibles sequel that everyone wants.
Also, the plot point of Merida's mother turning into a bear for some reason is being considered a spoiler by Disney. Although admittedly it's not much of one. And the toys pretty much gave it away anyway.
And finally, maybe it's just me, but while you said the Scottish accents are authentic, they seemed exaggerated to me...like Mike Myers as Fat B@stard exaggerated. But I think that's probably because I recently read Steve Alten's The Loch, and Alten is one of those authors who, when they write characters with a regional accent, writes their dialogue out phonetically so there's no mistaking that they are, in this case, Scottish (example: "Ya dinnae have tae go oot there, laddie.") So maybe I've just had my fill of Scottish brogue lately.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter- Most of the other reviews have said it was pretty cool. Granted, I haven't read the book. But I like the basic premise, as well as the conceit that the Civil War was really started because the Confederacy was made up of vampire aristocrats who really wanted to use the slaves a a food supply. Makes me wonder, then, if some fanfic writers will want to tie this in with True Blood somehow (you know they will).
It makes me wonder, then if Hollywood might want to tackle other mash-up works like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (although we've had several P&P adaptations already), Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters and Android Karenina?
Prometheus- Okay, I'll warn in advance there might be a wall of text coming from me about this movie. You probably read my impressions of this movie, so you probably know I really liked it. This is one of those movies, I think, that is really going to divide people. I'm getting the impression now that it really is a love it or hate it film. Then again, looking back, many of Ridley Scott's films have done this. Blade Runner is 30 years old, and to this day people are still talking about it and whether or not Deckard was a Replicant, for example. And that's what I think makes his movies great; he presents this world that's full of tantalizing clues and "what-if's" that makes you want to know more about them. And while that may leave some fascinated like me, for others it seems to leave them frustrated.
And like Prometheus now, Blade Runner wasn't very well-received when it first came out. It took almost 20 years before people warmed-up to it and it is now considered a classic. In a way, the situation with Prometheus also mirrors the situation Blade Runner had, as both movies came out in a summer against more commercial and accessible films. For Blade Runner it was E.T., and with Prometheus it's The Avengers. Both E.T. and The Avengers were very good movies, but compared to Blade Runner and Prometheus, they're pretty lightweight. E.T. was just a feelgood movie, and The Avengers really doesn't have much beyond, "Wow! They got all those heroes together in the same movie and they're kicking alien butt!" But in the end, I think Prometheus is the deeper movie as there's more to it to think about. And I think eventually, in time it'll be considered a classic in its own right.
It's funny that you mentioned Cabin in the Woods in your review, because it seems to me that's exactly the problem with audiences today; in that when they're presented with something that doesn't conform to their expectations, they get angry. Maybe it's always been like that, though, but nowadays it just seems more pronounced. But it just seems to me that the majority of movie audiences - at least American ones - don't like to be asked to think for themselves and draw their own conclusions about something.
I could go on about how it's symptomatic of the trend of anti-intellectualism that is plaguing this country, but the bottom line is I came to the conclusion years ago, based on firsthand experience and a cursory overview of what's popular: that people are stupid. And Nerds aren't that much better in that regard, hard as that may be for them to accept. Otherwise, why do they keep complaining about Michael Bay while they pay to see his movies? They just want mindless entertainment. So when they're presented with a movie that challenges them and doesn't spoon-feed them the answers they want, they get pi$$ed off about it. Because god forbid they're asked to use the brain that they have. I've seen it happen with Sucker Punch, and now I'm seeing it again with Prometheus. Both are movies that play with some big ideas and have many layers to analyze. But they get pilloried because people aren't willing to understand them or meet the movie on its terms.
So for me, I didn't have any problems with the movie. You and a lot of people seem to think all the characters made stupid decisions, but I didn't really see them. Only two of the characters, Millburn and Fifield, really fit that description. The others, however, reacted in ways I thought were appropriate given their circumstances and what they knew at the time. I will admit, I thought Millburn's encounter with the worm/cobra was pretty careless, but he was established early-on as someone who wasn't particularly with-it (just because you're a scientist doesn't automatically make you immune from being a screw-up). And Fifield? Well, he was smoking weed from his suit. I didn't expect him to be making clear decisions once that was known.
I left the movie feeling enticed rather than frustrated. So if Scott gets to do the follow-up to this (which is rumored to be called Paradise), I'm willing to sign on for another trip and follow him deeper down the rabbit hole. Maybe it is a set-up, but I think between Prometheus and Alien, he's really laid the foundation here for a fascinating and exciting universe. And I really want to experience more of it.
"Tell Meg, 'Thunder thighs are on the move! Thunder thighs are loose!"
Last edited by Lord Slithor; 06-25-2012 at 08:44 AM..
|06-25-2012, 09:10 AM||#55|
Oh don't get me wrong, Brave is really good. The story being straight forward is kind of what holds it back but the mother-daughter relationship is what solds it as being the best part of the movie. That's not to say the side characters are pretty good too just that Merida and Elinor are the best characters.
As for Prometheus, we'll see happens because maybe you're onto something. The problem is like I said, it only created more questions than answers.
Last edited by Movie-Brat; 06-25-2012 at 09:14 AM..
|06-25-2012, 01:30 PM||#56|
Prometheus: 2-times with one in 3D and one in 2D, an underrated and misunderstood prequel to the Alien saga, Scott is a talent.
The Avengers for the 10th time and this time with my mom and stepdad while on our 4 day trip to Laughlin after my birthday and saw it at the fashion mall, they enjoyed it. Can't wait to go to Las Vegas this October again as i've been heading to Vegas for 23 years since i was 7 as an annual thing every summer or fall but fall is better since it's cheaper and did brought back 15,000 bucks from jackpot at one of the casinos in Laughlin.
Brave: Enjoyable romp that was slightly better than the disappointing Cars 2 but just an average story from Pixar that has no good feel like Toy Story 3 but i gotta admit the heroine is kind of cute and it feels like a Ghibli movie at times.
|06-25-2012, 02:54 PM||#57|
TCL Junior Member
Battleship in theaters....Only because I had not watched it yet and it was kinda a good laugh.
Kung Fu Hustle at home.....I can never see enough of fat lips and toe smashing!
|06-26-2012, 09:51 AM||#58|
Wait, where was I? Oh yeah. Fritz. There's no doubt in my mind the Fritz the Cat contributed significantly to the Furry fandom, about as much as Cat Dancer Omaha did. Looking at it, I can see where a lot of it came from.
As for Urotsukodji, I'll cop to having seen that along with some other Hentai. And that's as much as you'll get out of me!
Saw a really interesting movie last night called C.S.A.: Confederate States of America. It's a mock documentary depicting and alternate history where the south won the Civil War, and shown in the from of a British-produced special on Confederate TV stations, complete with commercial breaks (more on that later).
The divergent moment in history occurs with the south winning the battle of Antietam. This convinced Britain and France to lend their support to the Confederacy, turning the tide in the war. The Confederates take Washington DC, and Lincoln flees. And Jefferson Davis becomes the first president of the Confederate States of America (C.S.A.)
In the immediate years, a fugitive Lincoln tries to escape to Canada with other slaves with the aid of Harriet Tubman, who disguises Lincoln in blackface. But he is captured before he can make his escape (as depicted in a D.W. Griffith silent film, The Hunt for Dishonest Abe). Both are imprisoned. Tubman is executed, but Lincoln is freed a couple of years later and exiled to Canada where he lives to the age of 96. In a filmed interview, an embittered and elderly Lincoln laments that he should have made ending slavery more of a priority in the war, which since comes to be known as "The War of Northern Aggression."
Meanwhile, in the aftermath of the war, northern cities like New York and Boston are burned (an inverse of what happened to southern cities like Atlanta in Sherman's "March to the Sea"). The National Anthem is replaced with the song, "Dixie." And the north is induced to accept slavery again with tax alleviations for those who purchase slaves. A group of northerners who refuse to accept this mandate flee to Canada, including such prominent figures as Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Mark Twain. The C.S.A. then outlaws all non-Christian religions; although a deathbed edict from Jefferson Davis allows some Jews to remain on a reservation in Long Island.
The C.S.A then asks Canada to return those slaves that escaped there. But Canada refuses, in part due to a stirring speech provided by an expatriated Frederick Douglas. This subsequently causes tensions between the two countries for years to come.
Meanwhile in the north, escaped slaves are rounded up and sold back into slavery again. This also includes people of mixed race. As such, anyone of a mixed race background is automatically considered a slave.
As the C.S.A. expands west, they gradually indoctrinate the native Americans into adopting the C.S.A'.s way of life; stripping them of their cultural heritage and identity. The C.S.A. also adds the Chinese immigrants into their ranks of slaves when they come to work on the trans-continental railroad.
In the 1900's, rather than getting involved in World War I, the C.S.A. begins to expand into the southern hemisphere; annexing Mexico, South America, Cuba and the Bahamas. They are met with heavy resistance the further south they go, but ultimately solidify their "Tropical Empire." The Latino populace is kept in check using segregation and a form of apartheid.
When the stock market crashes in the 1930's, the C.S.A. re-institutes the slave trade, which successfully gets them out of the Depression.
In the 1940's, the C.S.A. enters into a non-aggression treaty with Nazi Germany (calling their Aryan policies "biologically correct"). However, they disagree with Hitler's Final Solution, preferring to exploit inferior races rather than exterminating them. The Nazis still ultimately lose the war, though. And the rest of the nations of the world institute isolation policies and trade embargoes on the C.S.A., whose sole ally at this point is South Africa.
The C.S.A. declares war on Japan due to their concern over Japan's expansionism. And on Dec. 7, 1941, the C.S.A. bombs a couple of their naval yards and the city of Kyoto. However, the C.S.A. underestimates the Japanese, who they consider to be "small and weak in physical stature," and casualties are high. The dropping of the atomic bomb brings a swift end to the war.
In the 1950's, tensions between the C.S.A. and Canada escalate, mirroring the state of relations in our history between the U.S. and the Soviet Union in the Cold War. A "Cotton Curtain" is erected along the C.S./Canadian border, echoing the Berlin Wall. Paranoia and suspicion over Canadian Abolitionists, or "Abbies," are similar to that over Russian "Commies" in the 1950's. There are also a series of terrorist attacks commited by two Canadian-founded groups: The J.B.U. (John Brown Underground) and the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Chattel People)
However, Canada becomes a hotspot of popular culture, making it the birthplace of Rock n' Roll as many black musicians have fled there. Even Elvis Presley, who was arrested in his early performances in the C.S.A., defects to Canada and makes his mark there. Consequently, popular entertainment in the C.S. stagnates, leaving only propaganda and state-approved entertainment (which is shown to include televised vaudeville and minstrel shows, as well as the comedy "Leave it to Beulah").
In the 1960's, approval of slavery is at 29%; a historical all-time low. John F. Kennedy, a Republican, wins against Democrat Richard M. Nixon. Kennedy contemplates ending slavery, but is distracted by international incidents like "The Newfoundland Missile Crisis" and Vietnam (referred to as another C.S.A. expansionist campaign). And he is assassinated before he can implement his domestic policy. The assassination triggers slave riots in both Watts and Newark.
Since the Suffrage movement never gained traction due to Susan B. Anthony's leaving the country, women in the C.S.A. still do not have the right to vote. There is a Feminist movement of sorts in the '60s, campaigning for the right to vote as well as to have more control over their marriages (adultery between male slave owners and female slaves is tolerated and commonplace), but it is ultimately unsuccessful.
The C.S.A. becomes the first country to successfully land on the moon; their space program made up of Nazi scientists who were smuggled out of now Soviet-occupied Germany.
From the 1970's through the early 1990's, Senator John Fauntroy V (whose family's policies helped shape the C.S.A. from the beginning) takes advantage of current media to institute better training programs for slaves, and to reinforce both their and women's place in society. This campaign later grows to include homosexuals. In the early 2000's, Fauntroy runs for President. But a scandal costs him the election when it is revealed that he and his slave both had a common ancestor: his great-great grandmother, who was black. He subsequently commits suicide, although DNA tests are said to come back negative.
The Jefferson Memorial is blown up by Timothy McVeigh, who is identified as an Abolitionist. And while it's not clear that 9/11 happened, the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan still occur and are referred to as the "Second and Third Crusades."
Throughout the documentary, we are treated to commercials for products with strong racist themes, including Sambo Motor Oil, Gold Dust Twins Cleaning Powder, Darkie Toothpaste ("Helps keep your teeth jigaboo white!"), the Coon Chicken Inn restaurant chain, an electronic tracking bracelet called the Shackle ("Fits Uncles, Aunties and Pick-A-Ninnies"), The Cartwright Medical University for treating slaves (Samuel Cartwright was a doctor whose publications were influential in how slaves were treated...or mistreated) and there's even a Slave Shopping Network where bidders can either buy slave families as a whole or break them up and buy them individually. There's even a show patterned after Cops called Runaways, complete with a Dixie-flavored version of the theme song "Bad Boys."
C.S.A.: Confederate States of America offers an interesting, and sometimes uncomfortable, look at what America could have become had things gone the wrong way: an America where racism, paranoia, bigotry and xenophobia are all considered virtues. Fans of alternate history should definitely give this one a look.
"Tell Meg, 'Thunder thighs are on the move! Thunder thighs are loose!"
Last edited by Lord Slithor; 06-26-2012 at 09:56 AM.. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
|06-26-2012, 10:02 AM||#59|
Starring: Roger Moore, Lois Chiles, Richard Kiel and Michael Lonsdale
Writer: Christopher Wood (Based on the novel by Ian Fleming)
Director: Lewis Gilbert
Distributor: United Artists.
1977, Star Wars hit the big screens and became the highest grossing film of the year. Suddenly, every single studio wanted to cash in on the craze while the iron was sitll hot. Science Fiction was big again and studios wanted something to bring in the audience who enjoyed the wonder and fantastical elements of Star Wars even if they didn't get the film. 1979 brought in two unique Science Fiction films but for different reasons. Alien is still considered a Science Fiction-Horror classic. The other is Moonraker, the 11th entry in the James Bond franchise but it's not regarded as a classic by any means. People either see it as one of the worst in the series or a guilty pleasure. Either way, the Bond producers figured they should go with Moonraker even risking deviating from the original novel by Ian Fleming.
Originally they were going to go with For Your Eyes Only after The Spy Who Loved Me but because of how much of a hit Star Wars was, they flat out decided to get Bond into space. So what's the story then?
Bond is sent to discover the culprit behind the theft of various space shuttles who turns out to be a megalomaniac named Hugo Drax. He travels through various locations to stop his plans of genocide while Drax's men are sent to kill the guy even Jaws of all people is recruited to do the deed and of course, the latest Bond girl Holly Goodhead teams up with Britian's top secret agent to stop Drax's plans from coming to pass.
Let's start off with the biggest problem with the film, it's essentially The Spy Who Loved Me in space right down to Jaws being used as the main henchman of the film and the villain's plot. At least with Karl Stromberg he was a unique villain, Drax is full on Blofeld in-name-only just he doesn't have a white cat to stroke. And he's not bald either. And has a beard. Then there's the fact that it has a weak Bond theme song by the great Shirley Bassey oddly enough. Plus I imagine the campy tone of the film is enough to put people off. But really, telling people that the film is James Bond in space is enough to raise eyebrows though to be fair, he doesn't go into space until the final half-hour of the movie. And lastly, at times the film moved kind of slow. Not that it took forever to get to things just that it was paced oddly like that you know. That and there's a WTF moment regarding Bond dressed up as a Clint Eastwood character. There is no reason for him to do that after escaping a group of Drax's henchmen driving an ambulance. Oh, and did I mention the theme from The Magnificent Seven was playing at one point?
But the film is actually pretty entertaining regardless. The skydiving sequence is well done, the gondala chase scene is oddly humorous, the fight between Bond and Drax's original bodyguard Chang, the air track fight and finally the space battles. It's glorious to look at and the effects are really well executed. So the filmmakers at least deserve props for trying. As for the actors, Moore is still an entertaining Bond, he gets the best dialogue and one liners, Lois Chiles was an okay Bond girl, not bad but Triple X was better. Unfortunately, while Richard Kiel was having fun as Jaws, his character has been relegated to a punching bag and found a love interest. Huh. Michael Lonsdale delivered a good performance really, he at least built up his character as a threat. Oh, and kung fu monks are awesome.
Was it silly and stupid? Yes. Did I enjoy? Yes. It's a guilty pleasure, it's a so bad, it's good film and that's saying something considering I saw Birdemic and The Room. People can say those films but I say this and Battleship over them. If you're looking for good campy fun, this your film. If not and you want to watch a better Bond flick, this I don't recommend.
I give it a 7/10.
|06-29-2012, 12:32 AM||#60|
Batman Year One on blu-ray: Doing some Bat-movie viewing before seeing my movie of the year, this one is quite an enjoyable adaptation of Frank Miller's masterpiece but not as good as the source.
Shogun Assassin on Blu-Ray: one of my favorite Japanese movies and action movies of all time, this is a kickass samurai movie that is extremely gory and action packed as it's a cult fave even with Quentin Tarantino. If you liked Ninja Scroll and samurai movies or action, check this out.
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