July 20, 2008 by Ryan Livingston · Comments Off
Hype… things get hyped up… a lot. Just look at sliced bread… it’s the paradigm standard we hold everything to. “Is such and such better than it?” Yet by itself nothing to look at.
What does this have anything to do with The Dark Knight? Absolutely nothing. However when a film like this comes about, you’d like to start off a review with something more profound than OH MY FREAKIN GOD THIS IS 120 PROOF AWESOMENESS SAUCE!!!!111oneoneone…
March 9, 2006 by KaiserBlitzkrieg · Comments Off
A New Nicholas Cage?
I’ve seen a good number of Nicholas Cage’s films in my day, most left me wondering exactly who in their right mind would cough up 10 cents to produce those stinkers. There were exceptions, of course; “Con Air” comes to mind, as does “Gone in 60 Seconds” but most were just crap. So when “Lord of War” started getting hyped all over creation, I was curious, but not curiuos enough to waste time at the theater. I rented it the other day and was, well, pleasantly surprized. I can think of few other actors who could play the leading role as well as Cage did. Maybe Johnny Depp and Sidney Greenstreet being a ouple of that handful of exceptions. This leads to the title question are we witnessing a new Nicholas Cage? A Cage with more refined acting skills, or, like France, is there worse yet to come?
The story is simple: Nicholas Cage is an Americanized Ukrainian that goes out of his families resteraunt business and into imports and exports…of arms and munitions. No, Cage doesn’t stop at your mere AK-47/RPG/M-60. No Russian tanks, heicopters and pretty much anything else you can use to slaughter your neighbor and eat his kids can be found at his traveling emporium. Ethan Hawk is the federal agent whose sole mission in life is to run all over the planet trying to nail Cage for arms running. Throw in a coke snorting brother, a couple of Ukrainian parents for comic relief, a wife and a kid, the entire third world (including Russia), a few well known dictators, regional conflicts, and enough conventional weapons to slow even me down and you’re staring “Lord of War” dead in the eye.
Ratings and Rantings
Nicholas Cage has definitely prefected his dry, somewhat sardonic sense of humor for this role and considering the tone and flow of the movie, it jives more than the Bee Gees. However, whether this is good or bad, there is an underlying message to this film. It’s fairly obvious in several of the speeches Ethen Hawk gives and many of the events which take place throughout the film. Personally, I think the movie could have stood alone without getting preachy, but nonetheless, it does make for a good story and a relatively good message.
the first half of the film is basically Cage’s eary days getting started funding massacres and meeting/marrying his wife. For the most part this part of the movie is light hearted, and semi-Thompsonesque. But the secod half of the film shifts gears and starts down the preachy road of being poignent. This is a road I usually dislike this road and where it leads, but for this film I’m willing not to dock it too many points mainly because it makes it without sacraficing the entire film. the only other real downer of the film is the part which show Cage at home with his family. These aren’t particularly bad scenes, however they’re the equivalent of driving at around 140MPH then suddenly and abruptly slamming on the breaks and applying the e-break. They tend to be very slow and sort of screw up the overall rythm of the film.
Anyhow, the movie is well worth the time in front of the tube, so I’m going to give it a 4 1/2 out of a possible 6, 1 1/2 points docked for the reasons mentioned.
March 8, 2006 by KaiserBlitzkrieg · Comments Off
The Constant Gardner: Or Convoluted Plots and Non-sequential Story Lines Aren’t Just For Quentin Tarantino Anymore!
By Ray Macula
Not Something To Watch On A Mixture Of Alcohol And Pain Relievers
No, No. I know what you’re thinking, but no I was completely sober when I watched it. Promise. However, I thought I’d put up that title as a general warning to you, my target audience, as the plot is about as convoluted as Howard Dean is nutty and story jumps around about as much as a Tarrintino film. Because of the sheer mental exercize it gives you as you attempt to piece together just what in the HELL is going on, I’m going to leave my description short and sweet…well, short anyway.
Some British Diplomat Guy (BDG) falls in love with and marries some British Lefty Activist Girl (BLAG) than gets transferred to Africa and she tags along. After a whole lot of seemingly high school drama b.s. and what appears to be tremendous infidelity on her part, she apparently dies from torture, rape, and murder, in that order, out in the middle of nowhere…I think it was in that order…
Anyways, instead of just figuring that she was an unfaithful bitch and got what she deserved at the hands of some outback thugs, he starts noticing that there are some serious weird things going on, most of which point to extreme cover up. And thus begins his journey into a very bizarr and highly thought provoking movie.
Ratings and Rantings
This movie is very intelligently done, and about as orthodox as a black white supremacist. As I’ve mentioned, how many time now? the story jumps around alot. It starts off just before the murder, then back tracks a little, then goes to body identification, then back tracks to the start. That’s the first 20 minutes. This is pretty much goes on all movie long, several times going back to the murder.
The plot doesn’t just have a twist, it has a highway of twists, turns and loops that resembles the California highway system. The whole time you get to sit there, take in the new information, and attempt to process it into soem sort of coherent plot. The out come wasn’t what I expected, but it did flow well, and although there are those who will not be happy with the ending, it does make sense.
On the NWOt Rating Scale it gets a 6 out of 6
October 4, 2005 by Ryan Livingston · Comments Off
Travel back in time to 2002: A bold new show premiered on FOX. After only 13 out-of-order episodes (the pilot show last), the plug was pulled. The show was Firefly.
Three years later â€“ redemption. Universal bought the rights after record DVD preorder numbers and gave the showâ€™s creator, Joss Whedon, the greenlight to make a Firefly movie. And here we are â€“ Serenity.
In the distant future, the human race spread to a new solar system. The Alliance (boo hiss) waged war to control it all. They won and the Browncoats (independence fighters) were crushed.
Enter Captain Mal Reynolds, a former Browncoat (only in the sense that the browncoats dispanded), and leader of a band of space pirates. All they want to do is live their livesâ€¦ at the expense of the Alliance, of course.
Enter Simon Tam, and his dingy sister River, fugitives from the Alliance who get mixed up with Reynoldâ€™s dealings. Heâ€™s a doctor, sheâ€™s a weapon with a secret.
Fans of Firefly already know that this is an awesome movie, even before any filming took place. Why? Because Firely was awesome, both in writing and concept. However, weâ€™ll get to a Browcoats review later.
Let me speak to the uninitiated for a momentâ€¦
Thereâ€™s ample exposition for anyone to get into this movie. The characters one by one are developed in such a way that this can be considered a stand alone movie. The plot too becomes apparent early on (or so youâ€™d think). The twist comes later on.
Now, this is Whedonâ€™s movie directing debut, but you wouldnâ€™t think it. Serenity is spectacularly shot and choreographed. Action/sci-fi fans will be dazzled by Riverâ€™s â€œBallet-Fuâ€ and the ultra-realistic ship battles. Cerebral/sci-fi fans will love the always present witty and natural banter between the characters; as well as the twisty-turny storyline.
Non sci-fi fans will take to all that above, because even though it is a Space Opera â€“ itâ€™s not full of technobabble geared at comiccon regulars.
Now to any Browncoats who didnâ€™t see it by now (all one of you): it is indeed awesome; a lot of questions are answered; bring tissuesâ€¦ thatâ€™s all Iâ€™m saying.
Serenity is a very real movie for being an escapist flick. Joss Whedon is a prodigy that Hollywood is beginning to ebrace, and thatâ€™s a good thing. I recommend Serenity to all. I give it 6 out of 6 engine compressor coils.
But donâ€™t take my word on it, check out the NY Times:
Scene for scene, “Serenity” is more engaging and certainly better written and acted than any of Mr. Lucas’s recent screen entertainments. Mr. Whedon isn’t aiming to conquer the pop-culture universe with a branded mythology; he just wants us to hitch a ride to a galaxy far, far away and have a good time.
- MANOHLA DARGIS
September 29, 2005 by KaiserBlitzkrieg · Comments Off
Monty Python Does European Fables
Terry Gilliam of Monty Python makes yet another unique movie in The Brothers Grimm. Heath Ledger and Matt Damon wander the country side of Napoleon dominated Europe “ridding” small towns of their “ghosts” and “witches.” It just turns out to be a coincidence that all these creatures they vanquish happen to be based on the old fables they’ve chronicled for years. And it also just turns out to be a coincidence that these monsters are, in fact, two cohorts working with the brother to defraud these towns of their riches…oh yeah, I guess that wouldn’t exactly make much of a coincidence, huh?
Anyhow, they meet their match after the French capture them, and at the threat of death, are forced to flush out what seems to be an uprising in the back woods of Germany. From there on in, it’s no longer a cute little scam artist toying with french loot, they have to face a very real super natural fabel that seeks to ruin the whole continent…well, more so than what the endless wars of Napoleon did, anyway…yeah.
Ratings and Rantings
Gilliam yet again takes his knowledge of cartooning and movie making and combines them with good special effects, good actors, and a good script. The movie may keep you guessing as to whats going on, or for that matter which well known fair talethis actually is, but it never fails to entertain. Humor and action live harmoniously together in The Brothers Grimm and thus, bordum never makes an appearance. Overall, I’ll give it a 5 out of 6.
September 29, 2005 by KaiserBlitzkrieg · Comments Off
Or Terror Takes Place In An Entirely Different Movie
Good grief, there is no end to crappy movies, even ones which have a budget large enough to pull a third world nation into the black. Cillian Murphy plays the most unconvincing mercenary/assassin ever to rob you of a $6 movie ticket (which appears to be his most fiendish of plots). Rachel McAdams is the stereo typical ‘girl rising to the occasion’ to help foil Murphy’s plot to assassinate the head of Homeland Security. Apparently she was in on, or had no qualms about robbing you, dear friends of your $6 though. Apparently, she’s supposed to move the new HLS head to a different hotel room, at the threat of her father’s murder, so some Frenchy speaking tards can off him with a bazooka. I know what you’re thinking: hey at least we get a nice rewarding explosion, right? WRONG! Somehow even that managed to disappoint. Anyhow, half the movie takes place on a commercial airplane going from Texas to Florida. This is the place where Suspense exhibited the greatest amount of common sense of all the actors and failed to appear…ever.
Ratings and Ranting
Boredom runs wildly through this film like a five year old with scissors through kindergarten. When the actual “action” actually does make an attempt to counter weight the dull drums, things go from bad to entirely idiotic. There’s even a slap fest which extends this movie by eons between McAdams and Murphy in her dad’s house. Without giving anymore time to this film I’m heading straight to the ratings: it gets a 2 out of 6 only for making that grand attempt at being both clever AND tackling current social and global affairs at the same time, but of course bungles the whole operation and before the plane lands the movie’s essentially over.
June 2, 2005 by Ryan Livingston · Comments Off
Unlike most geeks, I read The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy late in life – 24. But I read it and I was glad. Then I learned Douglas Adams was no longer with us, and I wasn’t so glad anymore. Then I heard he’d been working on a screenplay that would be made into a movie, and I was glad again.
Then it hit me… HOLLYWOOD.
Would tinsel town be the unraveling of the guide just as it had been for everything else that fell into its event horizon?
Many of you can skip this since its old hat…
Arthur Dent, a hopelessly British fellow, is about to have his home turned into a freeway. However, unbeknownst to him the whole earth is about to meet the same fate. Equally unbeknownst to his is that his best friend is an alien and is going to take Arthur away from it all.
And much hilarity ensues.
One has to realize that the book did not come first. It was a radio series, then a book, then a stage play, miniseries, and then a computer game – each different in their own sort of way. So when you see the movie and see that it resembles little of the prior… Don’t Panic. It’s still Doug Adam talking.
Well, I can’t say it resembles nothing… it is in fact the BBC miniseries all over again – smashed into 2 hrs and given an actual plot to work with:
Trillian, the runaway earthling that only happened to meet Arthur at a party becomes his obsession (earlier on then normal). When he meets her again in space, she gets herself kidnapped and it’s up to Arthur to grow a backbone and save her. This becomes the Hollywood injected main plot, and the search for Deep Thought, Magrathea and the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything sort of become sub texts. John Malcovich is also cast as cult leader to help the new plot along.
Also taking the lead in this version are to Vogons, who get upgraded from plot point to full blown antagonists. And skillfully done as well, thanks to the Jim Henson Creature shop. That’s right, hundreds of 8ft tall giant Muppets thankfully take the screen instead of some cheesy CGI.
But never fear, there is a narrator who chimes in with Guide entries, there is Marvin (voiced by a wonderfully depressing Alan Rickman), and there is countless offbeat references and stabs to society to keep you going.
Mos Def, is very neat as Ford. I didn’t think he would be since he’s not British and didn’t even attempt fain the accent (probably a good thing), but it worked out very well. And Zaphod was a better Zaphod here then the BBC version – it’s what I pictured when I read the book – a schmoozing/annoying idiot rather than an annoying/schmoozing idiot.
Don’t take the word of people who walked out of the film – they were obviously n over their heads to begin with. This movie is great. The opening musical number alone is worth the price of admission. And get the soundtrack, because it channels the whole Hitchhiker’s spirit.
All the new stuff fits in with the old stuff, thus making it great. Adams would be proud.
On the arbitrary scale of 1-6 this is: one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen in a long while.
READ THE BOOKs!!!
May 11, 2005 by KaiserBlitzkrieg · Comments Off
Kingdom of Heaven
Reviewed By Ray Macula
Synopsis and Scimitars
Kingdom of Heaven takes place in a magical time where Christians Muslims and Jews canâ€™t copasetic ally live together and are busy killing each other off for a few scraps of desert waste considered to be the Holy Land. Hey does this sound familiar to anybody else? Anyway, the Christian rulers of Europe occupy and control Jerusalem as well as a few other territories with in the nearby area, outside them however are the unified Muslim hoards, and they want Jerusalem themselves.
Now I should point out that the king of Jerusalem doesnâ€™t bar anyone from worshipping in the city, for a reasonable tax, Christian, Muslim and Jew are all free to worship as well as live harmoniously with in the city walls. The hitch of course is that the king is dying, the next in line for the throne is a know-it-all Frenchman who wants to fight the Muslims, and all the while those darned Templars are out there causing havoc and destruction against an enemy who is himself spoiling for a war.
Enter Orlando Bloom, who gets stuck trying to defend the city out numbered and under armed after the French king leads the bulk of the army to the dismal failure only a Frenchy could bungle into.
Ratings and Riyadh
The movie is an epic starting off somewhere in Medieval Europe (sorry I was late getting into the theater) and rapidly progressing to the Middle East with ship wrecks, medieval sex, political scandals and blood shed galore. The main battles make up most of the middle to end of the movie, with lots of nasty little spurts hither and dither. In short itâ€™s a sort of history lesson woven into about 2 Â½ hours of people butchering each other. Iâ€™m giving it a 6 out of 6.
February 24, 2005 by KaiserBlitzkrieg · Comments Off
OH GOD THE PAIN!
The trailers for this movie had me all worked up and ready for grotesque tail about evil little things that went around eating people and the inevitable war that would engulf all the residents of some Victorian village. Well, when you get into it, you find out that on the surface there appears to be some truce between these local residents (villagers, you might call them) and rather large werewolf like things which live in the surrounding woods. So long as no one ventures into the woods, and the occasional meat sacrifice is given the monsters are happy to leave everyone alone.
But, oh no, we couldn’t leave well enough alone could we? This story goes on to prove that the only monsters in life are the ones we share a cup of coffee with on the way to work. Apparently (and no I don’t feel the least bit bad about giving the entire story away) the village elders are all 20th century types that lost loved one in the big cities because people are inherently violent and homicidal. They decided to set up a old timey village in the middle of a game preserve to keep themselves free of violence and the horrors of the modern era… of course they also deprived themselves of the medicines of the modern era and buried plenty of their friends and family because of that little over sight.
Anyhow they all find out the hard way that you can take the man out of the violence ridden modern era, but you can’t take the violence out of the man. They’re forced to reconsider their place in life and ultimately their little project collapses, much like the plot of this film.
Crimes Against Cinema and the Public
That is exactly what this damned thing is, a crime against cinema and the public. I don’t care who liked it or how much, it plain sucked. In fact it sucked on such a wide variety of planes, I’m not going to give a thorough break down, I’m going to skip straight to the sentencing.
It gets a 2 out of 6. I’d rather watch it than most of the horse shit I’ve had to wade through for these badness report reviews, but for its horrifying let down after a good build up, I’m docking points – as many as I can.
February 24, 2005 by KaiserBlitzkrieg · Comments Off
High Times and Highlights
John Cho (American Pie series) and Kal Penn (National Lampoon’s Van Wilder) return as two stoners in search of the American Dream and hamburgers. Kal Penn is Kumar, a slacker hippy type that’s avoiding med school in pursuit of a good time. John Cho is Harold a corporate slave and uptight closet smoker seeking the Spanish chick down the hall and perhaps some peace and quiet.
After a hard day they decide to light up, laugh at obnoxious anti-drug commercials and chill… until of course the munchies arise. Then they set out on a quest all over New Jersey in pursuit of what they crave: White Castle and lots of it.
Ratings and Rantings
Seldom does one find a comedy with so clearly a dumb name but so many laughs to be had. Truly every single skit in every scene of the movie was over loaded with comedy. Here’s to future sequels: Harry and Kumar get a 6.