Thor: Ragnarok (Movie)

thorragnorakThe only reason I watched this movie was to see Thor and Hulk either fight against each other or with each other. That is it. I found both previous Thor movies to be unenjoyable borefests.

Part of that is that I never enjoyed Thor as a comic book character, so translating him to the big screen doesn’t make me feel all squirmy and wriggly inside.  The other reason is that I don’t like Natalie Portman, and it really isn’t even her fault. When The Phantom Menace came out in 1999, I had been waiting for a new Star Wars movie since I could remember and I got The Phantom Menace. I wasn’t immediately devastated, but the scarring process had begun and Amidala was the face of the The Phantom Menace as far as I was concerned. It also didn’t help that her character in the previous Thor movies I recollect as the girly girly slap slap variety. So it helped that she wasn’t in this one and the Hulk was. Hulk good, Jane bad!

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Ok, I wrote the previous before watching the movie. I just finished. Holy smokes, I had SO MUCH FUN watching this movie.

I found the humor right down my alley. Physical humor interspersed with lowbrow banter. There were several times that I just laughed out loud. Not a slight chuckle, mind you, but a full laugh that lasted for at least 5seconds.  There was nothing serious about this movie and I’m glad they didn’t try to simply put in spots of humor while making it a grim movie. This was pure comic book and I loved it.

The fighting exceeded my expectations as well. The fight between Thor and Hulk in the arena was great. Wreaking half the arena showed just how powerful both of them were. The big fight scene at the end where Thor goes full on Thunder God was pure awesomesauce. I’m just kind of sad that it took until the end of the 3rd movie to get to that point. But I’m satisfied now that we got there.

I liked the characters as well. Jeff Goldblum was as weird as ever, Hemsworth and Hiddle WERE Thor and Loki and Cate Blanchett as Hela? Yeah, now there’s an evil elf queen for you! Miss Valkyrie lady seemed like the token tough girl but she was head and shoulders above “Jane” in terms of enjoyment. Finally, Hulk. I didn’t like that he talked so much. I know in the comic books he goes through various levels of toughness and braininess, but in this movie, there was no explanation for how he turned into a veritable fount of verbosity. But him fighting things made up for it.

To end, I enjoyed this so much that I’m going to be watching the previous 2 Thor movies again to see if my initial feelings were off or what. This movie didn’t make me a fan of the whole franchise, but it sure made me want to watch any future Thor movies (who knows how many more Thor movies there will be, if any though).

 

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Boondock Saints VERSUS John Wick

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Amateur Thugs getting Lucky

Past Due reviewed Boondock Saints recently and in the comments I was wondering why I had such issues with it when I watched it and yet didn’t have those same problems with John Wick.

Both are movies based on vigilante style violence. Death and Carnage and Violence  and Gore and Profanity. Both movies have them in spades. I found it offensive in Boondock but not in Wick and I wanted to know why.

Prime had Boondoggle Saints available so I watched it again. Yeah, I was not impressed. A couple of Irish brothers run up against some Russian mob guys, beat them up and then when the mobsters retaliate with guns, kill them. With a toilet. They then proceed to try to kill some other Russian mobsters and end up falling through the ceiling and shooting all the mobsters while hanging upside down from a rope from the ceiling in a hotel room. They then bring on board a friend who is as stupid as dirt and a drug addict but knows a lot of information. They get captured and with the help of a FBI agent who is trying to bring down the Russians, get free. And don’t forget their dear father and that rather silly scene in the courtroom.

So, what turned me off? The pure, unadulterated amateurness of these bozos. I don’t applaud someone who does something half-assed or counts on “luck” instead of good planning.  And the humor. That came across as annoying. A movie about Irishmen killing Russian mobsters shouldn’t be funny. You want funny, go watch that other bozo, Jackie Chan.  The only time that humor and violence should mix is in the Three Stooges. Seriously. Killing is serious business. Treat it as such.  I also didn’t like Willem Dafoe’s character. He’s the FBI agent but he’s also an abusive asshole who I ended up despising for his actions. His sympathy for the brothers and his actions in helping them simply made a mockery of the oath he took to uphold the law in the United States. The inclusion of homosexuality into the mix didn’t help at all either.

 

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A Professional doing his job

Now, on to John Wick. John Wick’s wife is dead. She is the reason he left the Assassin business and when she dies, she leaves him a puppy so he has a reason to go on living. Some spoiled Russian mobster breaks into Wick’s house to steal his car. In the process, the brat kills the puppy and beats up Wick but they don’t kill him. See, that was a mistake. John Wick begins a campaign of violence and death against the mobster family responsible and carnage ensues. He systematically takes out their resources, their people and their bases of operations. Even when captured, and gets lucky, it is because he has cultivated a friendship with a sniper, not because of mere happenstance. Basically, whereas the Boondoggle Brothers just winged it, Wick knows how to attain and accomplish his goal.

Another reason I liked this better was because of Willem Dafoe. Interesting that he was in both movies and played a supporting character each time and each time I had a very different reaction to him. In John Wick he was a good friend who had Wick’s back even though it ended up costing him his life. He had his code of Ethics and stuck to it. Whereas in Boondoggle Saints, he let the situation determine his ethics. Now, I’m not saying that a killer sniper is a good man and a pillar of my community. But, R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Sticking to your core beliefs says a lot about a man. Even if only in a movie 🙂

The profanity. Both movies had it and in both it burned my ears. Didn’t care for it or accept it from either.

I think that is as deep as I want to go into either movie.  They’re good for a fun post but I have no desire to delve into the depths. It all comes down to what I put in my captions for the movie covers. Boondock Saints struck me as a couple of amateurs getting lucky and John Wick showed a professional doing his job.  I admire a professional.

Anyone who has watched both movies, have any thoughts about them? The nice thing about movie things is that I while I may have strong likes or dislikes, I acknowledge it is just my opinion and let things go.  Simply put, I don’t care enough to care 😀 So if you loved Boondoogle Saints and thought it was the best movie ever, please say so and tell me what you liked about it. You won’t change my mind, but I’m not trying to change your mind either with this piece.

 

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The Bourne Identity: Movie vs Book vs TV Miniseries

I recently watched the Bourne Identity tv miniseries.  I then proceeded to watch the Matt Damon movie immediately after it and decided to write up my thoughts. When I remembered that I had read the book everything was based on, I figured why not do a 3way brawl and see which comes out on top?

 

The Movie:

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Bad Will Hunting. Haha

This was my first introduction to Jason Bourne and when I originally watched this, I had NO idea it was based on a book or had been made before, or anything. An amnesiac with super special forces training on the run across Europe, outwitting other assassins, governments and falling in love with a euro-chick. The deal clincher that pushed this into awesome territory for me was the closing credit song, Extreme Ways by Moby.  It was a techno-beat song that fit the movie, with its fast, furious and brutal fight scenes.

Speaking of fight scenes. The pen fight versus the first assassin in the apartment building in Paris, awesome. It was understated, limited and yet showed the utter ferociousness of trained killers.

Still like this movie and still love the ending song.

 

The Book:

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Should have been a hollowpoint!

Here’s my review from ’09:

The Bourne Identity

The long and short is that it was quite different from the movie in that it was set back in 70’s or 80’s, dealt with an international assassin (Carlos the Jackal) and Bourne was an undercover agent deliberately run amuck to attract his attention to bring Carlos to ground. Much more political, global and thriller than just an action fight book.

I was glad to have read it, but never had any desire to read it again. I read the next 2 books and the movies shared nothing with them besides the title and both books rather bored me.

This trilogy was the first, and last, Ludlum that I ever read.

 

The TV Miniseries:

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Jaclyn Smith. I miss the Big Hair days 😦

Here’s the wiki link:

1988 Bourne Miniseries

Richard Chamberlin stars as Jason Bourne and it’s easy to spot that this was made in a different era than the movie. It’s not just the clothes, but even the fighting style. Most of the fight scenes were more like bar brawls with lots of gut punches and gripping of throats and slamming of hands against door frames. It is painfully obvious that “fighting” wasn’t an art like it is today.  Their idea of “martial arts” was throwing an arm up to block a punch. Sigh. Also, he’s a rather thin, gentlemanly looking fellow, not what I picture as a special special special forces kind of guy. Of course, to be honest, Matt Damon didn’t look like it either in the movie, so call it a draw for that.

This was a 3hr special divided into 2 parts and that allows for a much more nuanced story. It follows the book a LOT more closely than the movie. But maybe because of that, it’s definitely a Cold War style movie and if that’s not your thing, this will definitely be a watch once and move on kind thing.

That’s what it is for me. Glad to have seen it, but not impressed nor does it tempt me to watch it again.

 

The Winner:

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Well, just in case you couldn’t tell from the descriptions, the Matt Damon movie wins hands down.  The ending song simply made any other choice impossible.

(Of course, you have to pretend that the latest Bourne franchise movie, Jason Bourne, doesn’t exist. Really, that’s one of those “they never made that movie” kind of movie, just like the supposed sequels to the Matrix.  They don’t EXIST!)

 

And just so I can stick this in the Food category as well, I was eating Gimbal’s Scottie Dogs Licorice. Getting to bite off little dogs’ heads, that’s just bonus, because nothing beats Black Licorice!

 

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Yes, I proudly bit off Toto’s head

 

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Ghost in the Shell (2017 Movie)

gitsblurayGhost in the Shell.  I’ve got a history with this franchise, so I’ll get that out of the way first. Going to be a long paragraph.

I got into anime in roughly 2001. Things like Tenchi Muyo and whatnot. In my quest to explore more anime, I joined various forums and heard tons and tons of praise for an anime movie called Ghost in the Shell. I watched it and was shocked at how graphic it was in terms of sexual content and violence. I wasn’t into paying attention to artists or directors at that time, just the name. So Ghost in the Shell, to be abbreviated GitS for the rest of this review, became something that I wanted nothing to do with. By 2004 I was more aware of things like artists, creators, directors, etc, etc. I became a huge fan of the Appleseed movies and realized that Shiro Masumi was the creator of them. That was when I realized that he was also the creator of GitS. So I figured I’d check out the source material for GitS and read the manga. That was one of the biggest mistakes I’ve ever made in regards to my anime/manga time. Halfway through the manga was a large section that was in color and it was a pornographic orgy between the Major and her lovers.  I’ve never read another manga by Masumi again and it cooled my interest even in Appleseed.

When I met Miss Librarian, later to become Mrs Bookstooge, we both had an interest in anime and manga. She started talking about this tv show, GitS: Standalone Complex (abr GitS:SaC). I was shocked that this lovely christian woman was watching something like that, as I figured it was at the same level as the original movie or manga. Thankfully, she informed me otherwise and we ended up watching it together after we got married and it became one of my favorite animes. GitS:SaC 2nd Gig was just as fun for me. GitS: Arise (a reboot/retelling of the origins of Section 9) was even better but had such a limited dvd run that I was never able to afford them.

Edited to Add: It appears that Amazon has the Arise franchise on bluray for pretty cheap. I now know what I’m getting myself for Christmas

So the long and the short of it is that I have a very mixed set of feelings about GitS. I love the ideas, what it means to be human in a world where robotics and humanity are almost interchangable. I just didn’t like the graphicness of the movies.

Ok, now on to the review for this live action 2017 movie.

First, I probably wouldn’t have given this the time of day, given my history with the movie side of GitS, except for all the ballyhoo by “social justice warriors” decrying the complete rascism and whitewashing of everything in Hollywood. I think Hollywood is already a pit of iniquity, so to hear people like the SJW’s suddenly getting up in arms about it just made me roll my eyes. It also kicked in my perversity gene so now I wanted to watch this. Yep, kind of the opposite side of the “it’s popular so I must hate it” coin.

This was the origin story of Major Kusanagi. I enjoyed my time watching this. There is a lot of angst about just what Major is, as she can’t remember things very well before her inception into the new robotic body.

Plotwise, I was afraid they were going to just copy a version of GitS:SaC and have the Laughing Man storyline. Thankfully they didn’t and had their own little cyber-hacker monster storyline. It did a good job of introducing us to the world of tomorrow. I did feel that Section 9, which deals with cyber-terrorism, wasn’t explained so well. I had no problems with it but I’ve also got some GitS experience to fill in the blanks.

I really liked that the head of Section 9, Aramaki, spoke in japanese. I’ve seen the guy in other japanese movies and enjoyed his performance. Aramaki was always in the background and that was kept the same here, as it should be. The guy they chose to play Batou was spot on and I enjoyed how he got his distinctive set of eyes.  I thought Johansson did a good job of playing Major and that the studio made the right choice in employing a big name actress in the lead role. They wanted to draw in more than just die-hard GitS fans and Johansson’s presence would definitely do that. With the Major being a construct, they can also easily replace her with other actresses in future movies and have it be explained by her changing shells. Bodies for the Major are like clothes, easy to change.

Overall, I enjoyed this more than Doctor StrangeNot a movie I’d want to own or even rewatch to be honest but if they make more and turn it into a franchise, kind of like the Resident Evil franchise, I’ll definitely tune in. If you liked this movie, then I’d definitely recommend watching the 2 GitS:SaC tv series.

 

bookstooge

Doctor Strange (Movie)

doctor-strange-blu-boxWell, this movie didn’t start out the best for me.  It starts out in a dark room with darkly robed figures. I HATE movie sequences where I can’t see what is going on. One of those pet peeves that will ruin the whole thing for me. So I’m not definitely not going to be buying this. I didn’t care how the rest of the movie went, that beginning sank it.

Stephen Strange’s introduction was perfect. Cumberbatch did a fantastic job of showing Strange’s arrogance AND skill. In many ways, his rendering of Sherlock served him well in this movie. I did find his fall rather precipitous, but considering the time space of the movie, to stretch it out any more would have cut into the rest of the movie.

And that is where this movie just kind of “meh’ed” me.  His training time, eh, it was just so mediocre. Mysterious hints of the badguys doing some ritual, his training with weapons magical and mundane, his voracious learning. It was all pretty boring to me.

When the badguys begin attacking the Sanctum’s and Strange defends the New York Branch, gaining the help of the Cloak of Levitation, that was pretty cool. The whole out of body fight experience in the hospital though, it made me wonder just how much time had passed? I mean, my last recollection of Strange is as a whining, poor me, acolyte and suddenly he’s going head to head with The Bad Guy? Where’s the Ancient One? I’d like to know why she’s slacking off and letting Strange get his butt kicked.

The battle in the Mirror Dimension, well, that just struck me as  a total ripoff from Inception. Escher-style buildings and scenery make my stomach go “ughh”.  The climactic battle in Hong Kong really didn’t show me just how much of a threat Dormammu was supposed to be. Strange’s little time battle with Dormammu was clever, but it made Dormammu look like an idiot. How much of a real threat can something so stupid be?

Overall, I did enjoy my time watching this but there was nothing special that made me want to buy it. I’m beginning to wonder if I’m starting to experience Super Hero Movie burnout. Definitely a must-see though if you have plans to watch the upcoming Infinity War duology. Strange plays a big part in that with his Time Infinity Gem. Well, at least he did in the comics.

 

bookstooge

Saving Daylight Movie Trailers

Tonight ends the tyranny of Big Government, at least for a couple of months. Thankfully, Brenton Dickieson put things into a slightly more awesome perspective. I’d never seen the trailer before and man, I sure enjoyed it.

If you hate trailers like I do and hate Daylight Savings like I do, then you might find this spoofy trailer and the trailer for the sequel as enjoyable as I did. Sadly, I can’t do videos here on WordPress, so I’ll just be linking to the respective Youtube Videos. The text under the pictures are the actual links.

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Saving Daylight

 

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Saving Daylight II: The Vanishing Hour

 

The really funny/sad thing is that you could see Hollywood actually attempting to make such a stupid movie. So enjoy your extra hour of sleep tomorrow! Since my body is a finely tuned killing machine aware of the slightest variance in all surroundings, I figure I’ll wake up at the same time as always 😦

 

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Time to hit the gym!

 

bookstooge

Death Note: Light Up the New World (Movie) (Nippon TV 2016)

dnbddvdOk, well, that was crap. Spoilers, but you’ll thank me if it saves you from wasting time on this.

Basic premise is that Light Yagami had a secret kid, L had his dna mixed with some other kid and the King of the Shinagami allows up to 6 Death Notes into the world. Of course, the actual story follows a Police Officer, Riyuzaki who is L’s successor (and pretty much called “L’s Successor” for the whole movie. It was beyond annoying) and Shien, a punk in white skinny jeans [skinny jeans. If you have a pair, you don’t wear. That’s my motto and I’ll gladly offend anyone who thinks otherwise] who is a follower of the original Kira.

 

All 3 are involved in trying to get all 6 Death Notes and stuff happens. It made no sense to me. One of the Death Note holders goes on a killing spree in downtown Tokyo, just walking along and writing down peoples names so they die. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Thankfully, she doesn’t last long.

A grown up Misa Amane makes an appearance and I have to say, she’s a beautiful woman. Much more attractive than the skinny little kid she was in Death Note: The Last Name.  Sadly, she isn’t any smarter. Speaking of smarter, don’t get me going on the 3 main male characters. Bunch of reactive, knee-jerk dip sticks. We get some more Shinagami but they’re one scene wonders for the most part.

It ends with everyone but the Police Officer dying and the 6 Death Notes scattered or destroyed. And the police officer? He was the Kira successor all along, he just forgot for most of the movie because he gave up the Death Note. It was not cohesively coherent and it left me feeling befuddled and angry that I’d wasted 2 1/4hrs of my precious time.

I liked the Netflix version of Death Note more than this sequel. With this movie, I am officially movie’d out and Death Note’d out.

m-deathnoteShien, Misa Amane, Mr Po-Po and “L’s Successor”

 

  1. Death Note Netflix 2017
  2. Death Note Vizmedia 2006
  3. Death Note: The Last Name Vizmedia 2006