Friday, January 6, 2017

Assassin's Creed Review

Hollywood doesn't exactly have a stellar history when it comes to turning video games into movies, especially thanks to Uwe Boll somehow finding his way in charge a huge chunk of them.  Most of the movies are almost unwatchable, and even the ones that are rarely have much to do with the games on which they are purportedly based.

Despite that, they keep on trying to get a piece of the video game industry juggernaut.  We started 2016 off with a couple of attempts to finally crack that video game movie glass ceiling in the form of Warcraft and The Angry Birds Movie, but Warcraft was "meh" and The Angry Birds Movie was absolute garbage.

Now along comes Assassin's Creed, and surely if a named actor like Michael Fassbender signed on to play the lead, this one has to be good right?  After all you've got a perfect action movie setup: a guy from the future is forced to relive the memories of his ancestor back in the 1400s who was a member of a secret organization of assassins famous for their awesome parkour skills and spring-loaded wrist daggers.

So, did they finally figure out the magic formula for creating a good video game movie? In a  Or in many words, here's my review:

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Passengers Review

Passengers had one of the most promising trailers of any movie this year.  They made it seem like we might be getting an interesting sci-fi mystery movie for Christmas about two people, namely Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, who inexplicably find themselves alone on some kind of spaceship cruise liner.  Worse, they've apparently "woken up 90 years too early" and the ship appears to be going a little haywire.

That's a pretty cool premise...but unfortunately Passengers flushes it right out the window by spoiling all the mystery right at the beginning, which might make it the biggest bait-and-switch movie of the year.  You can imagine this made me pretty cranky, enough to do this review while I was still being dogged by the Christmas flu:

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Rogue One Review

Well, we knew once Disney had control over Star Wars they were going to put that brand back to work, and so they have.  This year, they've given us Rogue One, a prequel about stealing the Death Star plans, to hold everyone over until Episode VIII comes out next year.  Since Episode VII was a total retread of the original Star Wars, it's a pretty safe bet Episode VIII will be a retread of The Empire Strikes BackRogue One though has a shot to be something we haven't seen before.

Unfortunately, it's a little hampered by the premise.  After all, if you've seen Star Wars you have a pretty good idea as to whether or not they actually get the Death Star plans and put them to good use.  But, sometimes you can overcome that with good character work and a fun, engaging story.  Did Rogue One succeed in doing that? Well, I'm sure most of you have seen it a few times already and have your own opinion on the matter, but here's what I thought:

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Moana Review

Hey look Disney decided to make another animated feature, and this time they brought Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson along.  I haven't seen Zootopia yet, but I didn't much care for the previous two non-Pixar Disney flicks, Big Hero 6, which was just kind of lame, and Frozen, which I have ranted at length about in various places.  Suffice it to say, that movie is completely broken because they simply couldn't bear to give their stupidly catchy song to the villain character since that would've undercut the whole GIRL POWAH message they were using their movie to send.

That's why I didn't rush out to see Zootopia, and almost didn't go to see this were it not for The Rock always being entertaining and the wait time at the bowling alley being long enough to make seeing a movie a better option.  So, did Moana turn out to be a bunch of eye-roll worthy feminist agitprop you should skip?  Check out the full review to find out:

Monday, November 14, 2016

Arrival Review

Every year we get one artsy, weird, and largely original scifi flick that everyone says is just the best thing ever put to film. This year it's called Arrival.  Ostensibly it's just another alien invasion movie, this time featuring Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner trying to decipher the aliens' language before they destroy us, we destroy ourselves, or something equally terrible happens. 

However, this movie is not quite what it seems. It was tough to review a movie like that without giving away spoilers, but I did it for you anyway.  Take a listen:

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Guest Post: "Enduration"

The following is a guest post by my good friend Jett Atwood. You may know her as Sarjex, the creator of the awesome cartoons attached to many of my posts. Like many she has some thoughts about this election and its aftermath. Here they are, presented without comment or modification:

First, I was not thrilled at the thought of a President Hillary Clinton. I was equally not thrilled with the thought of President Donald Trump. This election was like being forced into a dumpster fire and told I had to eat either a poop sandwich or a vomit salad...and by the way, I was still going to be trapped in the dumpster.

With that said, this country against all odds mounted and survived a revolution against the world's only superpower winning our freedom to enact the world’s greatest civic experiment: Can people govern themselves?

Thursday, November 10, 2016

So, what have we learned, America?

Right about now most of America is trying to figure out what just happened because against all odds, Donald Trump is going to be the next President.  While I didn't think he'd win in the end, I don't wonder why or how he did, nor do I need to join the myriad of people trying to explain it.  I already did that way back in August of 2015 both here on my blog and over at HotAir.

It's been a long couple years in that regard. I've spent an inordinate amount of time arguing with people who are wrong on the Internet.  I spent even more time trying to convince people of the importance of things like #GamerGate, which we now just watched play itself out all over again in the form of a national election. (Unsurprisingly, most of the people who seemed to really get what was happening with Trump are the same people who followed the happenings of #GamerGate.)

And as much as I would love to just spend a whole post gloating, I think the real question worth talking about is, what can we learn from this going forward?  So here are the things I learned from #GamerGate and our Trumpening: