Monday, March 31, 2014

GRAVITY (2013)

WRITER(S)- Alfonso Cuaron and Jonas Cuaron 
STARRING- Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, and Ed Harris
DIRECTOR- Alfonso Cuaron 

Synopsis taken from IMDb
A medical engineer and an astronaut work together to survive after a catastrophe destroys their shuttle and leaves them adrift in orbit.

Talk about a movie that's been getting a lot of hype! It seems everywhere you go it's 'Gravity' this and 'Gravity' that. Whenever there's a movie going around like this there's two kinds of crowds: those who get the hype and agree with it, and those who don't get it and say it's overrated. Usually I find myself in the latter crowd. Usually films that get critical praise give me migraines because they're so dull and boring. I was hoping that was not the case with this film.

I knew that I'd eventually get around to seeing it, but I didn't really feel a rush. It was my fiance who made me feel the rush and urgency to see it. So, being the awesome fiance that I am, I brought it home as a surprise gift for her (on Blu-Ray of course). We pretty much popped it in the player before the blu-ray case was even opened (laugh). And I was actually really satisfied with the outcome, and I can say now that I do agree with the hype it's getting. It's just that good!

Although George Clooney has a minimal part, he makes his presence felt. And Sandra Bullock does a great job of supporting the film by herself. Though I would never have considered her for a best actress in this role because of all the cgi used, she does an amazing job! Very sincere character that clicks with the audience. She's scared and out of her element, same as everyone else who isn't experienced in her situation. For 90 minutes we watch her fight tooth and nail, with everything she's got, to survive being alone in space and make it back home in one piece.

What I didn't expect about this film was how non-stop it is. I had gone in expecting to watch Sandra float around in space for God knows how long, and what I got is a blistering outburst of chaos and special effects that are top-notch. The tension only eases up momentarily until a new problem arises. I said to my friend, "it's like the worst day you could possibly have, only it's happening in space" and that's the best way I can sum it up. I didn't expect it to be one disaster after another, but damn if it didn't keep me on my toes!

Towards the end of the film we get some heart to heart time with Bullock's character, Ryan Stone, who's still tormented by the death of her young daughter. She's wasted a lot of time in her life as of late due to being caught up in past agonies. And now that she has nothing and no one, she has a chance to either make a new life for herself and start anew, or die trying. Her performance at the end is gut wrenching, and had me hoping for the best for her, but i was uncertain it would play out that way.

I was also surprised by how short the movie is! Here I am expecting an over two hour long movie, and it's only 91 mins! That just goes to show you how much momentum the film has, because a lot happens in a short amount of time. It's an avalanche of disaster, and you're a witness to it. I love it!

After watching the bonus features, I came to understand how exactly it isn't a completely accurate film. And how some things had to be altered in order to make it work for the movie. Such things do lessen a movie for me because if you're not based in reality then your based in fantasy. And if you're based in fantasy you're not believable. This film attempts to blend the lines in order to allow cop-outs, such as having suits with made up zippers for easy removal.

And there's other small things, like the fact that the director Alfonso Cuaron threw in a quick shot in George Clooney's helmet reflection of the camera crew. Such little jokes go wasted on me. This film would have been better off staying as close to reality as possible, instead of looking for easy shortcuts and funny little inside jokes being riddled within.

So ultimately I absolutely loved the movie, but that doesn't take away from my disappointment towards some of the nonsense in it. It has a good leading actress who knows how to carry a film, and it's got a good story. Debris in space is no joke, and this film is an attempt to make more people aware of how polluted our solar system is becoming. I like the message, and I like the movie.

Sunday, March 30, 2014


RUN TIME- 112 Mins
WRITER(S)- Christopher Yost, Christopher Markus, and Stephen McFeely
STARRING- Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, and Tom Hiddleston 
DIRECTOR- Alan Taylor 

Synopsis taken from IMDb
When Jane Foster is possessed by a great power, Thor must protect her from a new threat of old times: The Dark Elves.

Right before the first "Thor" film landed in 2011, I ran to my local comic shop and grabbed a stack of Thor comics. 13 to be exact. I've never read about Thor, nor had any interest in doing so, but I wanted to do my homework and get ready for the film. Although I wasn't impressed with the comics, the film was entertaining for me, and I liked it more than some of Marvel's other productions. So yeah, the movie kinda made me a fan of the character, but I'm by no means claiming to be enthralled by it.

This time around, the hammer toting God (Chris Hemsworth), is back in a fierce and gritty sequel that takes things to a whole new height of epic proportions. This maintained a childish tone so kids can like it, but it's really dark and not what most people expected. I really like that this didn't get off track by trying to appeal to children. This is a film that keeps it's balls while staying likable to younger crowds.

Despite all the cgi and the unnecessary one-liners, this actually turned out to be a damn good sequel. And Loki (Tom Hiddleston) was actually my favorite part! For such an unlikable scumbag, I'm getting used to his antics and starting to see some appeal in the character. I also think that this time around, some effort was really spent on making you see a new side of him that makes him likable.

Once Thor's love interest, Jane (Natalie Portman) becomes possessed by the Aether, a weapon that is used by the dark elves to destroy the universe, things become complicated. Trying to find answers as well as save the woman he loves, Thor must call on his deceptive little brother to help him. Seeing Thor and Loki work together really makes you wish they weren't enemies, because they're a damn good team.

Asgard, home of Thor and his father Odin, is attacked savagely by the Dark Elves, and they make their point loud and clear, sending a message to all of Asgard. We get a little peak of what's to come as there's some scattered action battles, but nothing like the ending in which things get real thrilling. As a matter of fact the very end, right before the credits is probably my favorite scene in the movie. I expected it, but I didn't. Hard to explain, but I'm glad it ended like it did.

One thing that I find disappointing about comic films is that certain people are safe. There's always a looming danger, yet everyone always makes it out alive and kicking. Just like how in kids movies there's always a death that lasts about two and a half seconds before it's revealed that by some magical way they've survived and aren't going to die. I find that to be a  real bummer about films like this, and it's what is truly stopping them from reaching their potential greatness. And when someone is killed it's small characters that aren't really needed anyway. They're just kept around for comedic entertainment and have outlived their purpose for the story.

And I'm over the love story part of all these types of movies. I understand having love interests, but it's just too much! It seems every superhero has their head half up some girls ass and the other half is trying to save the world. I just wish that every superhero movie didn't have to end with a cheesy hug and kiss. I think that although there's still some creativity left in  comic book movie films, it's still becoming a bit repetitive. And I hope someone can come along and change that, before that light burns out for good.

Somebody needs to think of something new to start doing in these comic movies that makes them not so easy to predict. Ones that do, like The Dark Knight Trilogy, stand out higher above the rest.

"Thor: The Dark World" is a fun and tense ride, but don't expect to much from it. Or instead of being surprised, you'll be left hanging. For what it is, a movie about a God fighting evil elves, it's pretty good. After a second viewing, I think I'd place it above the first film.

3 out of 5 stars

Friday, March 28, 2014


RUN TIME- 126 Mins
WRITER(S)- Mark Bomback and Scott Frank
STARRING- Hugh Jackman, Will Yun Lee, and Tao Okamoto
DIRECTOR- James Mangold

Synopsis taken from IMDb
When Wolverine is summoned to Japan by an old acquaintance, he is embroiled in a conflict that forces him to confront his own demons.

I figured that since I've never reviewed an X-Men film before that I should start this review off with a quick summary of my feelings towards the mutant movies. First of all, the character Wolverine is my second favorite comic book character, right after Batman. So, having grown up a fan of comics, it's always a pleasure to see Wolverine on screen. Especially when you have Hugh Jackman knocking the role out of the ballpark every time. However, I've said this to friends before, and I'll say it now: Wolverine is very much like Hannibal Lecter, but not in the way you're assuming.

They're alike because when they're mixed in with a good cast supported by a good story, they shine and are everyone's favorite. They're the character you come out of the movies talking about. However, take the mystery away from the characters by giving them their own films, and it's a different story. It's very much the case of less being more! Without any mystery, very little is left to be desired about the characters. I understand the need to give them their own backstory, because they're such iconic characters but, I'd rather see no back story than a boring and uneventful one.

Much is the case with such films as 2001's "Hannibal", 2007's "Hannibal Rising", and 2009's "X-Men Origins: Wolverine". Now what do all of these films have in common? They suck! Just ask the popular consensus, not that what's popular ever meant a damn to me.

My point is, having Wolverine in a second solo film only sent off my spidey senses, and I totally skipped it in theaters. After the prior films disappointment, I wasn't holding my breath. Hell yes I was excited that the clawed savage was back on the silver screen, and hell no was I happy about it being another solo film. He by himself isn't enough to carry a movie, such was proved by the previous movie. Wolverine is at his best when he's a part of something bigger, like the X-Men.

All of that being said, this flick didn't turn out to be so bad, but it doesn't disprove anything that I've said, and I still stand by that. I'm just not overall impressed. Not to mention that towards the end it became completely predictable! Call me a Batman fanboy, but The Dark Knight Trilogy really ruined things for me. Watching this is like watching a Saturday morning cartoon. No comic book-based movies are the same to me anymore. I see the children's appeal in them, and at 26-years-old, I'm not a child. So the attention and action figures this film got is wasted on me, personally.

Unlike "X-Men Origins: Wolverine", this one actually brought something worthy to the table, and attempted to be creative and not ruin the character. I like the concept of the film, the fact that Logan is tired of living his life as an indestructible mutant, and lives like a hermit. He takes on the hobo look for a short bit, but that is all changed when an old friend of his from Japan wants to offer him the chance to rid himself of his healing ability. The same ability that Logan sees himself as cursed for having. Once he declines the offer, things go from bad to worse...

There's some non-stop action towards the end of the feature. Once Wolverine faces off against Silver Samurai is when I started to lose my interest. Although the fight scenes are pretty to the eye, they really did nothing for me. I think we've seen better fight scenes with Logan in previous films. Nothing particularly stands out to me about this flick. It's nothing memorable.

We've seen better, and we've seen worse. The thing that really killed it for me was the plot twist at the end. Completely uneventful. It just proved how these solo films are mere shells of the "X-Men" films.

I definitely don't hate this movie, and it's better than I expected. But, it's nothing more than cheap thrills to me. When going through the "X-Men" series I'm likely to skip over both Wolverine films. It's something I'd catch on the FX channel when there's nothing else on TV.

On the other hand, I cannot wait until Days of Future Past hits theaters May 23rd. If it's as good as it looks, this could be the best one yet. As it stands now, I think that First Class and X2 are the best in the series. So although "The Wolverine" wasn't very enjoyable for me, I remain positive towards the future of the series.

2.5 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

TUESDAY TOY REVIEW: Hot Toys' "Man of Steel" Superman 1/6 scale figure

Having never been a big fan of Superman, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed "Man of Steel". But once I knew Christopher Nolan was on board, I was sold and knew to expect good things. Despite negative reviews, the movie is really good in my eyes. And it's not as childish as some of the other comic films to come out...

So, having never expected to own a Superman action figure, it's a pleasant surprise to have such a great figure of him in my mancave. Although he's a simple figure, the realism is insane, and it sells the figure. The costume is amazing, and also the second reason this was worth the cash.

This one comes with a new body made to fit this Superman. It's broader, taller, and has over 30 points of articulation. Standing him next to my other Hot Toys collectibles, he looks like a giant. And the Henry Cavill likeness is on point! That with the overall skin texture paint job, and this bad boy is a winner for anyone's glass displays shelves.

It comes with one of the nicest bases/stands that I've ever seen Hot Toys produce. It's one of the best ones that I own, and it really makes the figure pop out even more than it already does. Only great figures deserve such a base, and it's very fitting. It actually has a bendable holder thingy so when you pose him on the stand, you can make him flying and just hover over the base, which looks bad-ass. However, unless you want to pose him flying in a vertical pose, it's useless because they didn't give his cape wiring.

So if you want to make him laying on his side or stomach in a flying pose, his cape just falls wherever it wants to, making it so that such cool poses can't be achieved. I'll never know why they didn't include wiring, and that will haunt me, because a stand that allows the figure to maneuver in such ways, it goes wasted on generic poses. That was just plain and simple stupidity on Hot Toys' part.

This definitely isn't the best Hot Toys figure I own, nor the best they've ever done, but that says a lot when you have something that looks this incredible and yet you have somethings that are better. I really just think it boils down to the simplicity of this piece that actually lowers its coolness. If it came with maybe, a set of clothes to change him into Clark Kent, or even an alternate sculpt with a laughing head or maybe a smile, such things would have upped this guy for sure.

Another problem that I have with this one, is that you can't achieve too many poses with the costume. It looks and seems to be completely accurate (aside from the S on his chest being slightly lower than in the film), but in actuality it doesn't allow much movement in the arms for if you want to pose him flying.Once his arms get to about where his nose is, you can see the arms of the suit bunch up and get tight. So for fear of tearing the suit, it limits the poses. He does come with four different sets of hands though, which allows him to do some cool stuff.

So basically, if you just intend to have him standing normally in a boring pose but looking super realistic, then it's worth a buy. I luckily found a descent pose for mine that included the hover look. But all in all it's a really nice and detailed figure. I believe the fact that he looks so real has to do with the fact that he's a simple figure. I think they beefed up and showed off how realistic they can make their products on this one to compensate the lack of accessories and a price tag of $200.

And no, I'm not going to mention anything about this figure being anatomically detailed. My lady friends have already said it all. So I'll let the ladies enjoy and talk about that amongst themselves (laugh).

If you'd like to purchase one of these crazy nice figures, click here.

Next Tuesday's toy review

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Machete Kills (2013)

RUN TIME- 107 Mins
WRITER(S)- Kyle Ward, Robert Rodriguez, and Marcel Rodriguez
STARRING- Danny Trejo, Alexa PenaVega, and Mel Gibson
DIRECTOR- Robert Rodriguez

Synopsis taken from IMDb
The U.S. government recruits Machete to battle his way through Mexico in order to take down an arms dealer who looks to launch a weapon into space.

Ever since Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino's Grindhouse double feature landed in 2007, I've been a fan of both films. I've also been a fan of "Machete" ever since the fake trailer in "Planet Terror", and I thoroughly enjoyed the first movie.

The biggest complaints that I hear about "Machete Kills" is that it's "cheesy" and "ridiculous". However, I came to find that those who make those remarks are just as idiotic as those statements. Anyone who's a fan of cinema, and watched the Grindhouse films, knows that these flicks are nods to the old 70's exploitation films. And back then, they didn't have all the money and fancy techniques that we have today. So, these films are totally authentic to match how things were done back in the day. So no, I don't want to hear any crap about how over-the-top it is.

If you don't like it because it looks like an old movie, that means you don't like older movies. And if you don't like old movies, or black and white films, or subtitles, then I'm glad to tell ya that you aren't a true film fan or buff. Real movie fans watch anything. Those who only watch films from the last ten years, aren't in my league, and this movie goes right over their heads.

Now on the other hand, if you dislike this motion picture for another reason(s), then you're allowed to have your own opinion. Can't please them all. I can appreciate someone who can take a step back from a movie and really assess it, not just discredit it because of nonsense reasons, regardless of if you like it or not.

Now, I happen to like my movies fun (when it's deliberate). And I happen to be a big fan of Robert Rodriguez. He's one of the most tactical and ingenious directors in the world today. Not many people can do what he does, the way he does it. You always know when you're watching a Robert Rodriguez film because they're a blast, and because they're always stuffed with all-star casts, as well as some sweet visuals.

Such is the case with this motion picture. Having liked the first "Machete" film, I actually made the mistake of letting the naysayers get into my brain when all the negative feedback for this movie came out. However, I didn't let that deviate me from seeing it. And I'm glad, because I made the right call. Now, I actually like "Machete Kills" more than the first film! I rented it from the nearest redbox after reserving it online, and I ended up watching the film three times as well as the bonus stuff before I returned it the next day. Then, I went and rented it again a few days later to watch it with my dad, who also loved it and wants to own it.

This film really stepped things up a notch, creating more deadly foes for Machete to fight, such as Voz, played by Mel Gibson. Gibson does a really good job at playing this role. It's not the best role he's ever played in, but he's awesome in this one. There's a lot of humor from all characters, even the president of the United States, Charlie Sheen. There's a lot of laughs all around, and if anything, Rodriguez did make this film more of a parody than the other film, but it's so cleverly well done that I can't help but think it's a really cool movie.

The fight scenes and gore are a plenty! Again, Machete finds creative new ways to butcher his enemies, using an array of weapons from defibrillation, to his trusty weapon of choice, the machete. I particularly like the scene where Machete a character's intestines into helicopter blades for a gruesome outcome. I won't say who meets this brutal demise to save it for those who've yet to see it.

Seeing Machete on his new journey, and getting to see new sides of the character is always going to be a good thing, and not a bad thing. I really enjoyed watching Machete do work and wipe people out in unheard of ways. I also liked seeing such a great female cast, such as Jessica Alba and Michelle Rodriguez, who reprise their roles, and the addition of Sofia Vergara and Lady Gaga. It looks as though Robert Rodriguez knows that having a bad-ass female cast definitely bumps a movie up to a new level.

It's not just the ladies that are great though, because the casting all around is superb. You've got Demian BichirAntonio BanderasWalton GogginsCuba Gooding Jr., and last but not least Tom Savini. Now take all of them and add to them Danny Trejo and the great job he does of playing Machete, and you've got a winning combination in my book. Also, the fact that all of these actors and actresses are in this film and are playing such radical characters, shows how much of a sense of humor they all have. You can tell they had fun making this movie, and that helps make the movie fun for the viewer. That is of course, if you're not judging this next to "The Godfather", and actually understand what kind of movie this is.

If you make a motion picture that's supposed to be taken seriously and it only achieves the fun and entertainment value to audiences, then the film failed. However, if you make a movie that's supposed to be an over-the-top cheesefest with lots of laughs and cool action, and it's received by audiences as fun and entertaining, then you did your job as a director. Such is the case with Robert Rodriguez and this flick.

Nothing really bad to say about this one. It's not the greatest film I've ever seen, but damn if it isn't fun as hell, and guaranteed for another couple dozen watches.

I can only hope and pray that "Machete Kills Again...In Space" gets made. Seeing as this one made nearly four times what it was made on at the box office, I'm sure the third installment is a go. Also, from what I've heard, it may already be filmed! One can only hope.

3.5 out of 5 stars

Thursday, March 20, 2014

ELYSIUM (2013)

RUN TIME- 109 Mins
WRITER(S)- Neill Blomkamp
STARRING- Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, and Sharlto Copley
DIRECTOR- Neill Blomkamp

Synopsis taken from IMDb
In the year 2154, the very wealthy live on a man-made space station while the rest of the population resides on a ruined Earth. A man takes on a mission that could bring equality to the polarized worlds.

Having enjoyed "District 9", I was very much looking forward to checking out this film. Neill Blomkamp made quite the name for himself with his first feature, so I figured he'd be someone to follow. Especially since this also tends to be a visual effects movie, the same way District was, I figured this one might be worth a watch.

As it turns out, I watched it twice (laugh). And although I liked it, I still found it disappointing. I think that there was a lot of hype on this film and on Blomkamp, because people now have an expectation of how good his films should be. But, this one just doesn't live up to it's potential.

I think the main reason that this doesn't go over as smoothly as  "District 9" is because it's far too political. You can smell it radiating off of the movie. It's very obvious and in your face, and very blunt. It's just as political and metaphorical as George A. Romero's 2005 zombie film "Land of the Dead", if not worse. Blomkamp has a tendency to incorporate messages through his films, but this just felt unnecessary and not what I was expecting. It's basically a futuristic way of trying to tell the story of people demanding equal respect from their government.

Only it's done with fancy trinkets and lots of special effects and cgi, to help you wash down the overly redundant topic. You can always go watch "V for Vendetta" if you want the same basic principal of story told, and better told while at it.

I think that's what was such a letdown to me. This film had myself and everyone thinking it was going to be epic, and it turned out to have no major performances in it, and ended up just coming off and being treated like an action sci-fi movie. I sound like a snob, but point blank, I expected a better film.

The action scenes, and special effects are well done, and very cutting edge and cool. But again, I wanted more than just fancy fight scenes and a lot of explosions, but I attended the wrong movie. This flick is good for all the wrong reasons. It's good because it's fun, not because it's a well made piece of cinema.

As the story plays out, it becomes a tad predictable. It's like a super breed of a generic movie. It's easy on the eye, and has a sense of intelligence to it. But, there's something missing, a vital piece. It's hard to put my finger on. In the end, I like "Elysium", but it should have been so much better than it is. It's not something I'd watch often.

On the positive side, I think that Matt Damon did a great job playing Max. Damon is very sympathetic and genuine in this role, and he does a good job at making it easy to side with his character. It's not the best acting I've seen from Damon, but it's still pretty good. I believe the character of Max is the common man in today's economy, just trying to make it by, and hope to get treated fairly. Only since this is a movie, he gets to get revenge and bring hell down on those who've earned it.

However, although Matt Damon plays a likable character, he's the only performance that really stands out. Sharlto Copley hardly gets enough screen time to allow us as an audience to really get any character development, so the performance isn't his best work. Add to that, he's a villain, so there's really nothing to like about his character, and there's nothing that stands out and makes his acting or the character memorable. As a matter of fact, I'm willing to bet that the only person people talk about after seeing this film is Matt Damon.

Not to mention, Jody Foster, who really doesn't do much for the film aside from add it's main villain. She does a good job at it, but her acting isn't anything worth mentioning, so I won't. It's easy to play a bad guy and good guy. It's hard to make the character read on screen as more than just  cut and dry, good or bad. There's no layers to her character, Delacourt. So I can't say that I'm impressed with Jody in this one. Let's hope she does something a little more memorable in her next flick, whatever that may be.

At the end of the day, "Elysium" is a fun film for lots of stylized fights and scenery. And if you don't let the thickness of it's political message cloud your air, you just may enjoy it!

3 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

TUESDAY TOY REVIEW: Hot Toys' "The Crow" Eric Draven 1/6 scale figure

Now, although I do despise the crowd it's become appealing to thanks to stores like Hot Topic, "The Crow" has always been one of my favorite films. I'd say it's in my top four of all-time. I saw the film back in 1994 when it came out, and although I was rather young at my age to be seeing such a dark and graphic film, I fell in love.

Something that most people know about me is that I'm a big collector of movie stuff and high-end action figures. If you're gonna spend, might as well spend big, right? Well, after about 12 years of collecting, and finally a worthy figure from "The Crow" has been unleashed by none other than the mad people over at Hot Toys. So of course, naturally, I purchased it. If you knew me, you'd know how much I have to have this figure. This marks my 12th Hot Toys figure too!

Now, I heard some complaints around the web about things that some people don't like about this figure, some of which I can understand, some of which I don't, and disagree. You gotta understand that there's just some collectors out there who you cannot please. They think that because they're spending $200 on an action figure that it's going to be a clone of the person the figure is of. That is not the case. I expect high-end collectibles that are easy on the eye and worth the money, nothing more. And that is what I've got.

This guy stands 12" tall and has over 30 points of articulation. So he's capable of just about any realistic pose you could want to put him in, which is always awesome. He also has three different sets of hands, a guitar, stand, and a crow that can either sit on him or be made to look like it's flying. And if you get the exclusive edition, like me, you get a weather vane as an accessory for if you wanted to pose him like he was towards the end of the film.

Fresh out of the box I was impressed! The outfit is spot on, and the Brandon Lee likeness is damn good. While I'll admit, and agree with others, it doesn't look as much like him as it could, we've seen better from Hot Toys. But still an impressive sculpt and paint job. And regardless, it's the nicest Eric Draven figure in the world.

I also like the crow itself. It's very rich in detail. There's very subtle things that make me enjoy this collectible, such as Shelly's ring on the necklace around his neck, and how it's actually sculpted. Up until now, all the toy companies were to lazy to actually sculpt her ring like Hot Toys did. Everyone else just puts a gold ring on a necklace, no attention to detail. And it's reasons like that as to why I collect Hot Toys.

Complaints would have to be that I'd like to have seen a more weathered look to his makeup, instead of it looking so fresh. But, I'm hoping that Hot Toys is saving that for a second figure release in the near future. Although the makeup looks fresh, the paint job is impeccable! A friend of mine who saw my figure was afraid to touch it for fear that he'd "rub the makeup off". So yeah, it actually looks like makeup, and it's applied well. I just think a more weathered look would have been great for more detail.

I also think that they could have gone bigger with his stand/base. Most figures nowadays get big diorama looking bases, and this one got the standard nameplate stand. Which again leaves me to believe that Hot Toys was just testing the water with this one to see how big the market is for a figure from "The Crow". It's funny, because I remember signing a petition for Hot Toys to make an Eric Draven figure years ago with a group of other collectors. And now here it is, in my hands. It's a cool feeling for the geek in me.

Anyway, if and when another figure is made, I'll be sure to grab it, just like I did this one. Hopefully they'll go a bit bigger next time. But until/if that happens, I'm just fine with this one.

For those of you interested in purchasing one of these, just click here.

4 out of 5 stars

Next Tuesday's toy review

Monday, March 17, 2014

ROBOCOP isn't the same machine

WRITER(S)- Joshua Zetumer, Edward Neumeier, and Michael Miner
STARRING- Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, and Michael Keaton
DIRECTOR- Jose Padila

Synopsis taken from IMDb
In 2028 Detroit, when Alex Murphy - a loving husband, father and good cop - is critically injured in the line of duty, the multinational conglomerate OmniCorp sees their chance for a part-man, part-robot police officer. 

I'm going to start off this review by stating that unlike most people, I do not hold the original 1987 "Robocop" in high regard. I mean, I like it, but it's no "The Terminator". So, going into viewing this, I wasn't worried about them sullying a film that I hold in high regard. I was however, completely turned off by the black suit. Even I was face-palming at how they made Robocop look like Cobra Commander from the awful "G.I. Joe" films that have came out as of late.

Like most reboots and remakes, there's things I like and dislike about this telling of the tale. I think that they were on the right track with the idea but, about halfway through the film, it seems it was just pieced together however it would fit. And of course, like most movies nowadays, there was little-to-zero character development. I appreciate the fact that they tried to give backstory with Alex Murphy and his family, but it wasn't enough to ever make me really care for the character. I was just looking for cool effects about midway through, when I gave up on the story improving.

In all actual truth, I don't think that there are many things that this movie improved on aside from the design of the suit, and the special effects and cgi. There's more negative to say than positive. Such as, Joel Kinnaman doesn't do as good of a job playing the half-man, half-machine cop as well as Peter Weller once did. However, I think part of that has to do with how the story seemed to rush any emotional scenes, so I blame the writing, not the acting. Had there really been time invested in getting to know the character, I might have said otherwise.

"Robocop" also seems to be a bit dulled down, besides having a cool looking suit (when it's not black). He just didn't come off as much of a bad-ass as he did in the 1987 movie. He isn't as tough or resistant, and his fighting isn't as impressive. He tends to need more help, and is hurt easily. I figured it was because in modernizing the film, they wanted to ground it and make it as realistic as possible. But, it didn't better the film. It took the some fun out of it to be honest.

I really enjoyed seeing Michael Keaton playing a villain. Hell, I've always liked Keaton. But even he couldn't save this film from becoming just another popcorn flick for the kids to watch. See, I don't mind that it's not taken seriously, and I don't mind it being a popcorn flick, but when the original motion picture is a serious Terminator-esque R rated picture, it really pales in comparison.

The movies main twist isn't nearly as impactful, and it's not as political or meaningful as a film overall. The deception angle is weak, and it just came off as too easy and simple. There was no complexity to anything, it is just cut and dry, fun. Nothing more. I find this an unnecessary reboot for such a mediocre story. Should have left "Robocop" series sleeping until something better came along as a worthy reason of awakening it.

So, aside from the fact that I can say "hey, that was a fun movie. Cool effects and some good laughs", there's nothing to praise this movie for. I remained entertained, but that's not nearly enough.

2 out of 5 stars

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