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The Emoji Movie… Not the Piece of Poop I Expected!

Published February 5, 2018 - 0 Comments

Last year when I saw the first trailer for The Emoji Movie, I laughed. It looked cute. Not gonna win any awards, but it certainly didn't look like the worst movie I'd ever seen.

Then came the reports that the movie was cancelled because of poor public reception to that trailer. The number of thumbs down on YouTube was insane. The comments were horrid.

But then word came that the movie was not cancelled. In fact, not only was it NOT cancelled, but Sir Patrick Stewart was voicing the poop emoji! How awesome did THAT sound?

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 – Not Quite the Soundtrack I’ve Been Waiting For

Published May 28, 2017 - 0 Comments

If you're anything like me (and good luck to you, if you are!) then you probably didn't quite "get" the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie.  I distinctly remember walking out of the theatre feeling somewhat underwhelmed.  In fact I wrote a very strongly worded blog post about it, calling it "meh".  If you're up late some night because you're having trouble falling asleep, feel free to jump over and take a look-see

But one thing about me is that my opinions of these things tend to evolve over time.  While I was initially less than thrilled ​after that first viewing, I think part of it stemmed from the fact that I was comparing the movie to other Marvel franchise blockbusters and truly did not understand what Guardians was attempting to do.  After watching it a couple more times (Thank you, Netflix!) I've developed a much deeper appreciation for the ragtag group of misfits who seem to save the galaxy almost by accident.  My initial rating of meh translated to a 6.5 ... something that I now think I would easily upgrade to an 8 or 8.5.  It hasn't become my favourite movie, but it's certainly better than I gave it credit for in that review.

​And that brings us to the second instalment ...  Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2.  Let's be clear here... Sometimes I write about movies and leave out spoilers.  Sometimes I spoil the shit out of them.  This is one of the latter.  So please... if you intend to watch this movie, please stop reading.  Maybe bookmark this page and come back to it later.  Or not.  It's up to you.

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Robin Williams: Make God Laugh

Published August 12, 2014 - 3 Comments

Celebrity deaths are nothing new.  Hardly a week goes by where we aren’t shocked and saddened that someone has passed away.  To say that I’m getting used to it would be a little too cold, but most of these celebrities mean very little to me personally.  So when news began to spread yesterday that Robin Williams had died, my reaction was very different from similar announcements.  I felt a sense of loss.  Maybe it’s because Robin Williams was a part of my younger years. Maybe it’s because he made me laugh.  Maybe it’s because he apparently took his own life.  Whatever it was, the loss is real.

The world we live in can be a very dark place.  Sometimes people come along who make it better, but even those people battle their own demons.

I saw this on Twitter this morning, and I think it’s brilliant…

Genie, you're free.

Genie, you’re free.

Movies, Movies and more Movies

Published July 11, 2013 - 3 Comments

As my vacation quickly nears its end, I am forced to think back to what I have actually accomplished over the last nearly two weeks.  And I’ve come up with the following…

NOTHING!

It’s been great.  Resting.  Relaxing.  A few minor projects here and there.  But for the most part… not much of anything!

Oh, I have watched a fair number of movies in that time.  Wow… everything from pure talentless shit…  to Oscar award winning masterpieces.  Here’s my quick and dirty on the last 2 weeks worth…

Identity Thief

I had high hopes for this comedy.  I’d seen both Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy on The Daily Show talk about this movie.  They showed a couple of clips that were quite funny.  Unfortunately those were the only funny parts of the movie.  It was pretty disappointing.

Lincoln

If you haven’t watched this movie, you really should.  The story is compelling, and Daniel Day-Lewis IS Lincoln.  I really only knew bits and pieces about the man who ended slavery, and this was a real eye-opener.  I think everyone should watch this movie, regardless of whether or not you live in the USA.

Now You See Me

Of all the movies that I watched during my vacation, this was the only one that I went to the theatre to see.  I’d heard good things about it, and the previews certainly looked interesting.  A group of 4 illusionists who rob banks during their performances, and then give the money to the audience.  What’s not to love?  It was a lot of fun to watch… right up until the last 10 minutes.  I hated the ending.  I really did.  So much so that it really ruined the experience.  It’s a shame because I thought that it was a pretty good movie until then.

Django Unchained

Quentin Tarantino.  You either love him, or you hate him.  I’ve never been a fan.  I will say that this movie was far more tolerable for me than some of his others.  Jamie Foxx is great.  Still not a Tarantino fan though…

Spring Breakers

I’ll admit it… the only reason I watched this movie was to see Selena Gomez riding around on a scooter wearing a bikini.  Four college girls get into trouble during Spring Break and get bailed out by a crazy drug dealer?  Sign me up!  Unfortunately no amount of copious gratuitous flesh could save this abysmal attempt at a movie.  I feel sorry for the actresses who attached their names to this project.  Wow.  The best part of this movie (other than the moment the ending credits rolled) was actually James Franco as the crazy drug dealer.  What a nut.  But everything else?  Even with the eye candy… stay away from this one.  Horrid.

Despicable Me

After seeing the previews for Despicable Me 2, I decided to go back and re-watch the first one.  What an awesome movie!  It’s funny.  It’s smart.  The kids loved it.  I loved it.  I really hope that the second one is as awesome as the first one is.

Flight

If flying isn’t your thing… this movie isn’t going to help!  The crash scene is a little intense.  I’m pretty sure that I had to remind myself to breathe more than once!  But this movie isn’t really about a plane crash… it’s about the investigation into that crash.  I enjoyed it.  And for fans of My Name is Earl‘s Catalina… there’s a treat for you in the very first scene!

Zero Dark Thirty

This is the hunt for Osama bin Laden (who shockingly has his own page on IMDB).  I have no doubt that Hollywood took some liberties to make it more exciting, but I don’t fault them for that.  It was a good movie.

Californication

Sure… it’s not a movie, but it’s a hell of a lot more entertaining than some of the above mentioned!  I sat and watched an entire season 4 with my partner in crime, Jess, until 3 in the morning.  Hank Moody is my hero.  I worship him.  I want to BE him.  Yup, I said it.

Star Trek: Into Darkness… Again!

Published May 30, 2013 - 1 Comment

Please be aware:  I am going to spoil the hell out of this movie… so if you have not seen it yet, I suggest that you skip this post and come back after you’ve had a chance to watch it.

Last night I watched Star Trek: Into Darkness again.  Yes, again!  I don’t think that I’ve ever gone to the theatre twice to see a movie.  That should tell you immediately what I think of this one.  It’s awesome!  Not only would I tell you to go see it (regardless of your prior Trek knowledge… or lack of it) but I’d even tell you to see it in 3D if you don’t mind that sort of thing.  And I generally hate 3D movies!  Last night we chose to see it in regular old 2D, and it was still awesome, so 3D is not a necessity… but I found that it “worked” for this movie.  Right from the initial scene of the natives throwing spears at Kirk and Bones.  The warp scenes.  Khan putting his arm through the glass to allow Bones to draw a sample of his blood.

Khan?!?

I told you there would be spoilers!  Before the movie was released there was a lot of speculation that the villain would be Kirk’s arch nemesis Khan. JJ Abrams somehow managed to keep a tight lid on it, so even when I walked into the theatre, I wasn’t 100% sure whether the speculation was true or not.  It wasn’t until about 30-40 mins into the movie when the bad guy spoke those words that I am still repeating today…  “My name is Khan!”  And let me tell you… the guy who they got to play Khan, Benedict Cumberbatch, is perfect for the role!  His low, rumbling voice sent shivers down my spine when I first watched the movie. Even again last night I couldn’t help but feel excitement leading up to that scene.

A movie like this has to be seen on the big screen to be properly enjoyed.  It’s amazing how they can take the old style Enterprise and make it look awesome again.  The detail is beyond belief.  My brain doesn’t even process these scenes as anything but a real star ship.  When the Enterprise comes out of the water… or rises through the clouds… it just LOOKS REAL.

All is not perfect with the movie, though.  I might be nitpicking but where were the Klingon ships while the Enterprise was stranded at the edge of the neutral zone?  You’d kinda expect to see a few ships around the home world, but then again… Star Fleet never seems to have any protecting Earth either.  I just don’t get it.

What about Khan’s blood being able to cure people and even bring them back from the dead?  Does this mean that no one ever dies or gets sick from this point on?  It should!  If they were able to synthesize enough to bring Kirk back to life (oops, another spoiler!) then you’d think that they can synthesize enough to cure everyone else and stop death.  By the way JJ, beautiful reversal of key roles from Star Trek II : The Wrath of Khan and this movie.  From Kirk saving the Enterprise and dying from radiation poisoning, to Spock using Kirk’s famous line… “Khaaaaan!!!”  I do have to agree, though,  with people who said that Alice Eve’s underwear scene is pretty gratuitous.  Don’t get me wrong!  She’s stunning… but from a plot perspective… getting undressed in front of Kirk served absolutely no purpose.  She might as well have just stripped down on the bridge while saying that it was too warm and sipping on a frozen lemonade.  Even THAT would have made more sense.  But it’s Alice Eve, so we’re all good.

Old Spock (sounds like a deodorant) was a nice touch, especially breaking his rule for not telling young Spock about things that happen in the future.

And Zoe Saldana’s performance as a pissed off girlfriend should get her nominated for an Oscar award.  I’ve seen that look!  When Uhura glares at Spock, and then says that nothing’s wrong… oh boy!  Been there!  If that was acting.. wow!

All in all, I thought that Star Trek: Into Darkness was awesome, and can’t wait until it comes out on video.  I will be ordering my pre-release copy from iTunes as soon as it becomes available, and can’t wait to watch it again!

Disney Short Film – The Paperman

Published May 20, 2013 - 6 Comments

I’ve watched this twice since first seeing it as an “iTunes extra” for Wreck-it Ralph…   Choked up both times… my daughter asked me why and all I could say was that she’ll understand someday… (I hope)…  Maybe it’s the whole Jim and Pam thing from The Office… maybe it’s something else entirely… but this short film made an impression, and I’m glad that people still spend time to make these sorts of things…

 

Paper man on Vimeo.

Movie Time – Iron Man 3

Published May 5, 2013 - 1 Comment

This blog post is going to contain spoilers, so if you have any desire to see Iron Man 3 in the theatre, I suggest that you stop reading this now, and go find something else to do.

No really.  Go.  Get outta here.

Still reading?  Fine… you’ve been warned…

IRON MAN 3 SUCKED!!

OK, no it didn’t… but I just wanted to put that in to throw off anyone who might still be on the fence whether or not to read this post.  Did it work?

First of all, if you are a big Marvel Comics fan and you have forgotten about the awful taste left in your mouth after reading my post on The Avengers, I suggest that you go back and read that one.  It’s a great segway into this post.  Actually, that movie is referenced a few times in Iron Man 3, but it’s not required viewing for this one to make sense.  Or nonsense, depending on your viewpoint.

My buddy and I went out to the Empire Theatres in Rothesay, where thankfully you don’t have to go through their ridiculous “assigned seating” bullshit.  It’s just like the old days… you get your ticket, walk into the theatre, look around.. and decide where you want to sit based on what you can see is available.  And if you decide that you don’t like that seat, you get up and move to another one.  It’s a perfect system.  I wonder if it’ll catch on?  But I digress.

This was yet another 3D movie that had no business being 3D.  I’m getting really tired of the money grab called 3D Movies.  I would have watched a non-3D version, but that wasn’t an option.  So for an extra $3 added to an oh-so-already-affordable ticket and concession price, I got to watch a movie that barely took advantage of 3D technology in any way.  Trust me, your experience will not be lessened in any way if you decide to save yourself a couple of bucks and suffer through good ole fashion 2D.  Just be thankful you’re seeing it in colour, and no sub-titles!

At 2 hours and 10 mins Iron Man 3 is pushing my limits to comfortably sit still.  I’m an old man.  My attention span is waning.  Then throw in a two-hander mega-gulp fountain Coke… and well.. 2 hours and 10 mins (not to mention the 20-30 mins of sitting there waiting for the movie to start) is just too long.  This movie could have easily cut 20 mins out and not skipped a beat.  It just feels like they are adding things to movies now just for the sake of adding them.  I don’t get it.

Plot wise…  Iron Man faces off against The Mandarin, who is terrorizing the American people with one hell of an explosive weapon.  There’s a really neat plot twist that I never saw coming, and as much as I warned you about spoilers… I think that this one is big enough to hold onto and let you experience it for yourself.  Let’s just say that Ben Kingsley is awesome!

I’m not a Gwyneth Paltrow hater, but the role of Pepper Potts is getting out of hand.  I understand that Tony Stark needs Pepper… I get that.  But when she’s wearing an Iron Man suit or going toe to toe with a bad guy because she’s all juiced up…. Yeah, stop that.

I will say that Robert Downey Jr is once again excellent as Tony Stark.  He truly was meant for that role!  I just wish that these movies didn’t try to rely so heavily on the special effects… but then again… it’s a comic book, so I’m probably putting too much thought into it.

 

Movie Time! The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Published December 14, 2012 - 0 Comments

New-The-Hobbit-Poster1I got a chance to go to a special early screening of The Hobbit last night, thanks to Saint John Hyundai. I was surprised that more people did not take advantage of the pre-opening night.  Our theatre was probably not even half-filled.  Nothing wrong with that though!  I had room to move, and NO RESERVED SEATING to have to deal with.

Let’s jump into the movie, shall we?

This showing was in 3D.  I’m generally not a fan of that format, and this latest experience has done nothing to change my mind.  There were some neat effects… flying sequences looked spectacular… I flinched once when a knife was thrown at me…  but overall I really could have done without the 3D.

If you’ve seen The Lord of the Rings trilogy you know that they spend a lot of time walking.  A lot.  This film is no different.  An Unexpected Journey should be called An Unending Journey.  They walk.  They walk some more.  And then when you’re pretty sure that they must be getting close, guess what?  More walking.  This begs the question.. is there no faster way to get around Middle Earth?  Giant birds can whisk them to safety when needed.  Why not just hitch a ride the rest of the way?  Because that would cut out the walking.  Did you know that The Hobbit is broken into three movies?  I was unaware of that until a couple of days ago.  A single book is broken into three movies.. that’s an epic amount of walking!

If you’re watching The Hobbit and feel as though you’ve already seen it, you’re not alone.  Obviously it’s going to have the same look and feel as The Lord of the Rings.  That’s to be expected.  But there were points last night where I just felt like I could close my eyes for 20 mins, and I wouldn’t miss a thing because I’d seen this all before.

For all its similarities, it’s important to remember that The Hobbit is not The Lord of the Rings.  The former was written for a slightly different (younger?) audience.  There is dialogue in this movie that would never take place in The Lord of the Rings.  Just silly things that some of the bad guys say… A Jabba the Hut-like character who speaks like Shakespeare .. Certain spots are less “dark and gritty” than The Lord of the Rings.

Something that I noticed immediately… I don’t know who Martin Freeman is (according to IMDB, he was in Love Actually.. which I pretty much slept through and refuse to believe is as popular as it seems to be) but he is such a convincing Bilbo Baggins, I don’t think that they could have cast anyone better.  Soooo much better than Elijah Wood as Frodo.

Once again New Zealand shows off its beautiful scenery.  I don’t know how much was computer generated, and how much was real… but wow… even if only part of it is real.. it’s absolutely breath-taking!

In short (har har… Dwarfs and Hobbits are vertically challenged.. get it?) … if you’ve seen The Lord of the Rings, then you’re going to want to see The Hobbit.  Just make sure to use the bathroom beforehand… At 2 hrs 49 mins you’re going to be there for awhile.

My precciiioooouusss…

Finding Nemo 3D

Published October 4, 2012 - 0 Comments

I haven’t been back to the theatre since my rant about Empire Theatres’ new reserved seating garbage.  Not that I’ve really been avoiding it.  There just haven’t been too many new releases that I’ve wanted to pay to go see.

So last night Jess and I were out, and noticed that Finding Nemo 3D was still playing.  It’s been something that she’s wanted to see, and we didn’t think that we’d get the chance because of my pneumonia and the fact that the movie is only in theatres for 2 weeks.  Well… I figured that I could probably hold myself together for an hour and a half, especially if I had a drink with me that I could enjoy when the coughing started.  So into the theatre we went… to make select our reserved seats.

Ever been the only person in a movie theatre?  Me neither… until last night.  Apparently $14/ticket to see a 10 year old movie where everyone already knows how it ends (yeah… they found the little squirt) was too much for most people… even in 3D!

I still maintain that 3D is mainly a gimmick , and that most people simply don’t care about it.  The empty theatre last night did nothing to dispel that feeling.  Was it fun to watch?  Absolutely!  There were scenes that looked fantastic in 3D.  If anything, animated movies are far better equipped to take full effect of 3D technology, and Finding Nemo certainly benefited from this.  But did it impact my life differently than seeing the original in 2D?  No… Finding Nemo 3D is still Finding Nemo, no matter how you dress it up.  It’s cute.  It’s funny.  It’s touching.  It’s all the things that we’ve come to expect from a Disney Pixar film.  2D?  3D?  It doesn’t change much.

But we can now cross “Have an entire movie theatre to ourselves” off our bucket lists…

Empire Theatres Introduces “Reserved Seating”

Published June 8, 2012 - 11 Comments

I’d heard the advertisements on the radio.  “Empire Theatres introduces Reserved Seating!”  Sure… makes sense… maybe… if you’re home and want to purchase your ticket online, maybe you’d like to make sure that you get your favourite seat too.  Maybe it’s premiere night for the latest summer blockbuster, and you absolutely must sit in the front row.  I can see that.  Maybe.

But when I’m standing at the counter trying to decide whether I want popcorn or nachos, and the kid shows me a seating plan and asks me to make my selection for my reserved seat… I start to get grumpy.  [Here is my public apology to my date that night for making a little scene… I was really tired…  I’m sorry.]

I don’t want to choose based on a little diagram of what seats are available.  This is a movie.  Not a play.  Not an opera.  Not a hockey game.  It’s a movie.  I want to walk into the theatre and look around and make that decision on the spot.  If I see an 8 foot tall man, I’m probably not going to sit behind him.  I’m also not likely to sit in front of the group of teenage boys with their feet kicked up on the seats in front of them and throwing popcorn at a group of girls 3 rows over.  It just doesn’t make sense for me to be forced to make that decision before getting in there.  But don’t even try to say that you don’t want reserved seating.  You have to take it.

In fairness to Empire Theatres one of the supervisors did tell me that I could switch my seat for any reason once I got in there… although I would have to notify the usher that I was doing so… presumably they carry handheld devices to update the seating plan on the fly.  [And if that’s the case, why not allow me to choose my seat when I get into the theatre and have an usher simply mark those seats as “occupied” in the computer?]

The big question I have is why bring in Reserved Seating in the first place?  It has been suggested that they are trying to enhance my movie experience, that perhaps they are losing revenue to pirated copies being traded on the internet.  There’s no doubt that does happen, although it’s never been proven that the movie industry is hurting because of online piracy.  Here’s a thought… maybe if they made better movies people would flock to the theatre to watch them?

But Empire Theatres has no control over what movies are being produced, so perhaps they could enhance my viewing experience in a different way.  The first thing that jumps to my mind is pricing!  Remember when you could take a date to a movie and buy popcorn and pop to share, all for less than $25?  I think that’s a pretty good price point.  It’s ridiculous that a night out is easily $40.  And don’t get me started on that $3 fee for those 3D glasses that I’m supposed to return after the movie is over.  If Empire Theatres is serious about trying to bring more people back into their premises then they want to give some thought as to why some people may have stopped going in the first place.

I doubt that it was because people couldn’t reserve their seat at the concession counter.

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