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:

Monday, November 7, 2016

Doctor Strange Review

Take one relatively unknown Marvel character, add some trippy visuals, sprinkle in some Benedict Cumberbatch, and stir it up with actual magic instead of the usual pseudo science and you get the latest entry in the Marvel movie juggernaut called Doctor Strange.

Everyone thought Guardians of the Galaxy might just be the bridge too far for Marvel's comic book movie universe what with a talking tree and raccoon in it, but it was still a smash hit.  Then they gave us Ant-Man, which just straight up sounds ridiculous, and even that movie was a fun ride that raked in box office cash.  Now they've taken a turn for the outright mystical with Doctor Strange and the only real question is: has Marvel finally jumped the shark?  Or have they hit another one out of the park?  Here's what I thought:

Monday, October 24, 2016

Jack Reacher 2: Never Go Back Review

You all wanted a sequel to Tom Cruise's first Jack Reacher movie, right?  No?  Well too bad you got one anyway.  It's called Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, and surprisingly enough, the trailers made it seem like it could be a pretty awesome movie.

Unfortunately we all know a cool trailer does not automatically make for a good movie, which is what you have me for.  Was this a movie worth seeing, or would it have been better if Jack Reacher never went there in the first place?  Check out my review:

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Deepwater Horizon Review

A few years ago a drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico called Deepwater Horizon blew up, killing 11 people and dumping tons of oil into the Gulf.  Now they decided to make a movie about that, starring Mark Wahlberg of all people.

I went into Deepwater Horizon thinking it was probably going to be pretty terrible.  Was my skepticism justified? Well, you'll have to listen to the review to find out.

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Magnificent Seven (2016) Review

It's remake inception this weekend, as they released a remake of The Magnificent Seven, which itself was a Western remake of Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai.  My friend Allan Bourdius of calls this new one "The Suitably Multicultural Seven", since this one features a cast that looks like it was handpicked by an SJW statistician.

Still, it's hard to imagine where you'd go wrong putting Denzel Washington at the head of anything, and it's hard to think of anyone better suited to play Steve McQueen to his Yul Brenner than Chris Pratt.

But, is their combined charisma enough to save this from being yet another garbage remake of a better movie? Is the multicultural cast a warning sign of an SJW-panderfest?  Check out my review to find out:

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Sully Review

For some reason Clint Eastwood really wanted to make a movie about Captain Chesley Sullenberger, the guy who landed a plane on the Hudson River after a bird strike took out both engines on takeoff.  It became known as the Miracle on the Hudson since every single person on the plane lived to tell the tale and "Sully" was rightfully crowned a hero.

Eastwood apparently waited some time to make this movie because he wanted Tom Hanks for the lead, but was Sully it worth the wait? Here's what I thought:

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Suicide Squad Review

The DC live-action movie universe hasn't exactly gotten off to a great start.  After two movies featuring some of the most well-known heroes in the history of planet Earth (that pretty thoroughly sucked), they put together one that goes in an entirely different direction. This time they gathered up some of the lesser villains of the DC universe for an anti-hero flick called Suicide Squad, where a ragtag bunch of rogues gets turned into a team of extraordinary yet entirely expendable people Amanda Waller can throw at any problem that suits her.

Early critics absolutely savaged this movie, even worse than Batman v Superman.  Sure it's a Guardians of the Galaxy wannabe, but is it really as bad as Fant4stic like they're saying?  Because, to quote Jared Leto's new Joker, that movie hurt people really, really bad.

Well, pull up a chair and I'll tell you whether or not this is just another gallon of gas on the DCU dumpster fire or an actually fun time at the cinema:

Monday, August 1, 2016

Jason Bourne Review

Anyone else getting tired of pointless sequels?  The Bourne Identity is one of those movies that wraps up perfectly neatly but since it was such a surprise hit we're now on its fifth installment.  They even managed to drag Matt Damon back into it after trying to hand the franchise off to Jeremey Renner.

I guess they wanted to make that really clear to the audience too, since instead of calling this The Bourne Ascendency or something, they stuck with the simpler, Jason Bourne.  "You guys love this franchise! It's back! Matt Damon! Please God give us your money!"

So, is Jason Bourne the refreshing return of an awesome character, or a final mutilation of an already thoroughly beaten horse?  Here's what I thought:

Monday, July 25, 2016

Star Trek Beyond Review

It's no secret I'm not a fan of J.J. Abram's reboot of Star Trek.  Not only did it turn the franchise into incredibly generic and brain-dead action movies, but as movies go they're pretty terrible once you see through the extremely fast pace that keeps people from realizing how stupid everything is.

Of course they're also written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, who are the total and complete hacks behind such other well-written movies like...Transformers. Beyond, however, has been written mostly by Simon Pegg, and Justin Lin from the Fast and Furious franchise has come on board to direct, probably because Paramount didn't want to spend any more money on Lasik for the editing/CGI teams going blind adding JJ's trademark lens flare all over the place.

The question is, did that improve things or not?  Here's what I thought:

Sunday, July 10, 2016

So Sulu Is Gay Now...

The people behind Star Trek Beyond have added another reason for Star Trek fans who are already upset at either the way the reboot treats the characters or CBS/Paramount's treatment of fan film projects to skip their film: they've arbitrarily made Sulu gay in homage to George Takei.

Interestingly enough, he didn't care for it.  Here's what I thought about the whole thing:

Sunday, July 3, 2016

The Legend of Tarzan Review

Hey look they made a new Tarzan movie.  Even though Hollywood has been digging up and repurposing every franchise they can find, I'm still kind of impressed they remembered he existed.

So how does Tarzan stack up when you can use modern dieting and exercise methods to get the perfect ripped body and then combine it with the latest in CGI animals? Check out my review to find out:

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Independence Day: Resurgence Review

The made a sequel to Independence Day.  Apparently Emmerich was actually paid to write a sequel immediately after it came out, but he thought the script sucked so he gave the money back and shelved it. 

So did it take him 20 years to finally come up with a phenomenal script that he didn't want to stick in a drawer, or is this movie just another shameless cash grab?  Here's what I thought:

Saturday, June 18, 2016

New Movie Reviews: Central Intelligence and X-men: Apocalypse

The Youtube shenanigans continue. Last week I put up my review of X-men: Apocalypse:

...and this weekend I took in the Rock/Kevin Hart buddy cop movie, Central Intelligence.

Friday, June 10, 2016

DOOM (2016) Review

So I finally decided to do the whole Youtube review thing.  My first one is for the first game I've gotten to purchase and play all brand-new like in quite some time, the new DOOM.  To summarize, it's pretty damn fun, but it still makes me cranky:

Monday, May 2, 2016

Reviewing 'Going Red'

I've written a number of movie reviews in my short time blogging, but despite the fact that I am an avid reader, I've never had occasion to formally review a book.  This particular one is special though because it was written by my good friend Ed Morrissey of, and it happens to be his first.

The book is called Going Red: The Two Million Voters Who Will Elect the Next President - and How Conservatives Can Win Them.  Can I just stop here for a second to ask...what is it with political books and ridiculously long subtitles? Imagine if we titled movies like that: The Shawshank Redemption:  The Story Of A Man Who Crawled Through A River Of Shit And Came Out Clean On The Other Side.

Anyway, while I was helping to fill in for Ed over at HotAir, he was traveling the country talking to people about their their previous election experiences and their views on the Republican Party.  In particular, he visited counties in 7 states whose voters he believes are poised to determine the result of the 2016 Presidential election, and Going Red chronicles what he learned on his journey.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

A Final Warning About Trump

Well the Wonder Twins finally bumped their fists and activated their powers to try and take down Donald Trump.  I didn't watch that debate because I've seen enough of them now to know the score for all these guys so I don't know how it played out.  I suspect it was just another volley of impotent fire that will only succeed in growing the Dark Planet some more, but folks I trust that actually watched that donkey show think they finally did some 5th Element-style damage so who knows.

As I write this, the #NeverTrump hashtag has appeared and trended on Twitter, much to my amusement seeing as how this election started with people demanding Trump pledge to never ever ever go third party lest he split the Republican vote and give the election to the Democrats.The irony (and hypocrisy) is almost palpable.