Sherlock Holmes (2009)


Cour, Petit Lapin, Cour.

Sherlock Holmes (2009)I’ve felt that my reviews have had a large gap in them for some time.  Not necessarily that today’s movie is such a classic or amazing movie that it was a shame I hadn’t reviewed it though.  It’s just that I’m a completionist.  I can’t have reviewed one film in a series without reviewing all of them.  Some people may refer to that as being OCD.  To that I say, “Shut up.”  I reviewed the sequel to today’s movie because I saw it in theaters, and never reviewed this movie because – though I was sure I purchased it at some point – I was never able to find it.  Eventually I repurchased it on BluRay, because I was obsessively compelled to have it since I also had the second movie.  Again, shut up.  After it sat around on my computer for a while, I eventually got around to reviewing Sherlock Holmes, based on characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, written by Paul Bales, Anthony Peckham, Simon Kinberg, Michael Robert Johnson, co-written and directed by Guy Ritchie, and starring Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Mark Strong, Rachel McAdams, Kelly Reilly, Eddie Marsan, Hans Matheson, and Geraldine James.

Detective Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and his partner Dr. John Watson (Jude Law) prevent Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong) from ritually killing a young woman, as he has killed five women before.  Three months later, Watson is preparing to move out of the flat he shares with Holmes to marry his fiancée Mary Morstan (Kelly Reilly).  Holmes is not taking it well.  The two are asked to attend the hanging of Blackwood; Watson to pronounce him dead, and Holmes because it was Blackwood’s last request.  Blackwood tells Holmes that his death is only the beginning, and that three more deaths will happen after he rises from his grave.  Holmes scoffs at it and Blackwood is hanged.  Three days later, Blackwood seemingly rises from the grave.  Holmes resumes his search, and he even convinces Watson to join him so that his reputation wouldn’t be damaged.  After all, who would want to marry a doctor who can’t even tell if a man is dead or not?  To get them started, professional thief and former adversary of Holmes Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams) sends them to find a ginger midget who was working with Blackwood.

If you connect the dots of me having purchased this movie twice, it will probably come as no surprise that I enjoy this movie.  I found the movie to be pretty well-written with well-developed characters.  I’m not sure how much of any of this credit goes to the writers of this movie or to Arthur Conan Doyle though.  I know he developed the characters originally, but I don’t know how much of the stuff in this movie is from his stories because his stories were written and Homie don’t play that.  But it doesn’t really matter.  There are already 20 writers on this movie, so credit is already getting spread pretty thin.  My favorite thing about the movie is how well they keep the question alive about Blackwood’s magical powers.  When I first saw this movie, I was asking myself, “Is Blackwood immortal?  Are his methods supernatural?  Or cheap parlor tricks to conceal his true identity?”  Being almost completely ignorant about Sherlock Holmes (meaning that I had never read any of them, but I knew the name and that he was a detective) I couldn’t be quite sure if it would be out of the question for someone to actually have magical powers in them.  Do they do that?  How am I supposed to know?  Why am I asking you when you can’t respond?  I also don’t know if most of the stuff they use to conceal the things he does as magic actually hold up to real world logic, but I don’t care.  It’s enjoyable.

The look of the movie is also very nice, albeit a bit dark.  Dark is what they were going for, so it’s okay.  It also looks exactly like England looks in my brain.  England either looks like a foggier version of this movie or like Harry Potter in my brain, and I refuse to go there so that it can be that way forever.  Also, I heard a lot of talk about this movie about the fights.  And not so much the fights, but the visualization that Holmes does before he actually fights.  It’s very polarizing, from what I’ve gathered.  I’ve heard people hate it and I’ve heard people love it.  I’m in the middle.  I really appreciate the fights because they’re well-choreographed, but I definitely understand that I don’t really need to see the same exact fight twice in a row.  It didn’t bother me either way though.

The performances were all great in this movie because they got exclusively great people.  Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law work great together.  They have great chemistry and Jude Law plays an excellent straight man to Downey’s crazy and generally funny Holmes.  I had a problem with Watson’s wife, Kelly Reilly, though.  Not the actress or her performance, but the character infuriated me when she threw wine in Holmes’ face for deducing her backstory correctly.  First, he was right and wasn’t saying anything that wasn’t true.  Second, you asked him to do it.  Third, you actually INSISTED that he do it.  Perhaps this was done to illustrate the exact moment in time when the phrase “Be careful what you wish for” was created.  I don’t know of anyone who could take issue with Rachel McAdams though.  I really liked her character in this movie, playing a very intelligent and crafty woman who had once outsmarted Holmes, and also playing it very selfish but with definite signs that she cares about Holmes.  I may have liked her character much more because of her extreme hotness as well.  But it was more than likely both.  But for examples of over the top beauty, you need look no further than the English bulldog in this movie.  That was a gorgeous sumbitch.

I feel a sense of satisfaction based on nothing now that I have finally finished reviewing both Sherlock Holmes movies.  I like both Sherlock Holmes movies.  The writing is well done and the mysteries keep your brain occupied while still allowing it to let the mysteries play themselves out as you just enjoy the funniness of the interactions between Holmes and Watson.  The performances and the look are also well done, and the fights are interesting and exciting, though I can definitely understand some people being irritated by with the parts where they are telegraphed before they actually happen.  Either way, I really dig this movie and recommend both Sherlock Holmes movies for a purchase.  Sherlock Holmes gets “Begging your pardon, my lord, but I’ve been wanting to do that for a long time” out of “In another life, Mr. Holmes, you would have made an excellent criminal.”

Let’s get these reviews more attention, people.  Post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, MySpace if you just awoke from a coma, and whatever else you can to get as many eyes on these things as possible.  Follow my fanpage on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, and subscribe to my YouTube channel to keep on top of all things Robert.  And don’t underestimate the importance of some constructive criticism.  Rate these reviews, like the videos, and comment on both with anything you’d like to say.  And don’t forget to request things you want a review of.  LOVE YOUSE GUYS!!

Battleship (2012)


You Ready for This?

Battleship (2012)I feel like the greater majority of the world knew better than to bother with today’s movie.  But the greater majority of the world isn’t aspiring reviewers.  I felt it was my duty to watch this movie, no matter how painful.  Even after making that decision, I still put off watching this movie for as long as I could.  Hey, I’m not getting paid for this stuff.  It’s not like it’s a legitimate obligation or anything!  Well, as the end of 2012 came up, I decided that I needed to see this movie in case it made it to my list.  And it did … in the bottom five for the year.  What else do I have to say about it?  Find out as I review Battleship, written by Jon and Erich Hoeber, directed by Peter Berg, and starring Taylor Kitsch, Brooklyn Decker, Alexander Skarsgard, Tadanobu Asano, Liam Neeson, Hamish Linklater, Gregory D. Gadson, Rihanna, John Tui, and Jesse Plemons.

Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch) is a slacker who gets arrested for robbing a store while trying to impress Samantha Shane (Brooklyn Decker), daughter of a Navy commander Admiral Terrance Shane (Liam Neeson).  He does not pass Go; he does not collect 200 dollars.  After his Boggle, Alex’s brother Stone (Alexander Skarsgard) sets his Cranium on making his brother join the Navy.  Later, Alex is dating Samantha and playing soccer, Scrabbling for a victory over the Asian team.  They then go out for a large scale version of Chess in a naval exercise against the Asians, designed to test their Stratego … I mean strategy.  During the exercises, five alien spacecraft land and throw up a force field, claiming a Monopoly on the area, taking down some of the Navy like they were Hungry Hungry Hippos.  Even though it seems like a Trivial Pursuit, Alex maneuvers the Chutes and Ladders of the ship to take over the ship, at considerable Risk.  But soon, he’ll Connect 4 ideas and develop a Clue on how to defeat the aliens, involving Pictionary and Scattergories.  I apologize for all the board game puns.  And by that, I mean I am Sorry.

It came as no surprise to me that this movie was stupid.  I get the feeling that they meant it to be stupid.  But what can usually overcome stupidity is fun, and this movie just didn’t have enough of it.  It had its moments, but the stupidity overrode that in most parts.  It was extremely painful to see a movie try to take itself while still being loosely based on a board game and actually using some really sweaty, contrived way to make firing at space E11 seem plausible.  But the entire premise of the aliens didn’t make any sense in the first place.  That’s probably why they chose to leave those out of the original board game.  It simply wouldn’t make sense for these super advanced aliens to have no technology to overcome their crippling weakness beyond waiting for something to fire on them so that they knew where to return fire.  Even if you can punch very hard, it seems like you might be a more successful boxer if you didn’t need to get punched first to do it.  And that being the case, why does our Navy not realize that they only retaliate and never attack first and decide we should just not attack?  Also, why were they here in the first place?  As best I could tell, their only motivation was to use the satellite thing that called them in the first place.  Is your story really just an adult version of ET?  The aliens just want to phone home?  For what purpose?  Do they need water?  Food?  Land?  Should they not find a place where they can see?  Because they can’t here.  And most importantly, why did I spend 10 minutes watching a gundamned soccer game?  It’s like watching Top Gun again with no volleyball and (thankfully) more shirts.

The look of the movie never really caused many complaints from me.  The odd moments tied with the look of the movie were more because of their strange choices in the action.  I don’t understand what the purpose was of the explosions that seemed to pull the person closer, push them back out, and then pull them back in was.  Why would a simple explosion or a singularity not be more effective?  Was it simply to pester your foe before they die?  And later, when they anchor the giant battleship and somehow make it drift like in the Fast and the Furious movies, would there really be no consequences for that?  Those things weren’t really built for that.  They made a few odd decisions with the music too.  They used a lot of good music in vaguely inappropriate places.  Like when they used the AC/DC song “Hard as a Rock” during the scene where Alex was quietly getting berated.  And then some other hard rock song while some amputees were exercising.

The performances in the movie were really hit and miss.  Taylor Kitsch has never really done anything I’ve enjoyed, but it may be the bad taste he left in my mouth when he played Gambit in X-Men Origins.  And, though his character was the hero of the movie, he was never really likeable.  It takes him until nearly the end of the movie to realize that there are consequences to his stupid actions.  He didn’t even realize it right after he told someone to unload on the alien spacecraft with a Gatling gun when there were battleships lining up to fail out there.  Liam Neeson surprised me in this movie.  Not with his good performance because he always brings that.  What surprises me is that he actually felt it was necessary to bring it to this movie.  Rihanna was also surprising in this movie just because I expected her performance to be awful like most of her music, but she was pretty decent.  Actually, I don’t know any of her music, so that’s probably unfair.  I don’t know what his name was, but as is typical with this character type, I hated the comic relief guy.

Battleship was exactly what I expected.  It was dumb.  There seems to be no reason for it to have been made, and probably less reason for me to have seen it.  The story was not great and only got worse when aliens were introduced.  And what’s worse is that the movie never really managed to reach the fun that would normally overcome that stupidity.  We can only hope that Hollywood starts looking away from board games (that have no story) for the stories of their movie, but I would not be surprised.  You can skip this movie.  Battleship gets “Sorry” out of “Backgammon!”

Let’s get these reviews more attention, people.  Post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, MySpace if you just awoke from a coma, and whatever else you can to get as many eyes on these things as possible.  Follow my fanpage on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, and subscribe to my YouTube channel to keep on top of all things Robert.  And don’t underestimate the importance of some constructive criticism.  Rate these reviews, like the videos, and comment on both with anything you’d like to say.  And don’t forget to request things you want a review of.  LOVE YOUSE GUYS!!

Looper (2012)


It’s Going to Happen to YOU, It’s Not Going to Happen to ME!

Looper (2012)When I originally heard about today’s movie, I had exactly zero intention of watching it.  It reminded me of the movie Premium Rush in more ways than just sharing a main actor.  It also just seemed like a super basic action movie that really had nothing to set itself apart from any other random action movie I could choose to watch instead.  But, as my end of the year review was coming up, my friend Greg told me that this movie would probably have to be his movie of the year, even after we had both just seen Django Unchained, which ended up making third on my list.  I decided that I had to see it, and was actually able to accomplish that before the year ended, it just still didn’t make my list in any capacity.  And, since it didn’t make top or bottom of 2012, what level of mediocrity did this movie attain?  We’ll find out as I review Looper, written and directed by Rian Johnson, and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Pierce Gagnon, Jeff Daniels, Noah Segan, Xu Qing, Paul Dano, and Piper Perabo.

In 2044, Joseph Simmons (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) works for the mafia as a “looper.”  With Minority Report going on, the only way to kill someone is to have them sent through time with silver strapped to their backs to be killed and disposed of by Loopers so that no one would notice, since they weren’t supposed to be there in the first place.  The only caveat is that their contract will eventually end as well.  They know that their contract is at an end when the older version of themselves is sent back with gold strapped to their backs to be killed by the younger version of themselves.  When this happens, they are no longer Loopers and live with this gold until someone takes them and sends them back to the point when they kill themselves.  But this creates a lot of problems if the Looper fails to kill themselves, as Joseph finds out when his friend Seth (Paul Dano) fails to close his own loop, leaving the mob boss Abe (Jeff Daniels) to have to take care of the situation in a brutal way.  That doesn’t really help Joseph learn from his mistakes though because Old Joe (Bruce Willis) gets sent back and knocks young Joseph out.  Joseph has to fix the problem before Abe takes it into his own hands.

This movie was pretty fantastic.  It wasn’t quite able to make its way into my top list of 2012, but it was not far off.  The surface of the movie feels like a pretty standard action movie, but the science fiction stuff compounded with the time travel stuff makes this movie have a lot more going on under the surface than I would’ve expected.  Time travel always tends to leave a lot of plot holes in a movie, but I felt like this one was handled so deftly that I didn’t notice any plot holes at all.  I’m not saying they weren’t there, but I was so riveted by the story that I wasn’t bored enough to pay attention to trying to find any.  And parts of it were just shocking.  Like what Bruce Willis sets to doing when he gets loose back in time and decides he needs to stop the Rainmaker.  I couldn’t believe they went there.  The story actually has a lot of surprises in it, all the way up to – and including – the end of the movie.  The situation did make me laugh a little bit just because it seems the character Joe would fall in love with anybody as long as they helped him recover from his addiction.  Old Joe fell in love with the Asian lady because she helped him out with that, and Joseph falls in love with Emily Blunt because she helped him through his withdrawals.  Thank God Joe never met Dr. Drew.  That could’ve turned out weird.

The effects and action in the movie were all solid.  The look of the future was never over the top like Back to the Future Part 2 makes it look like it will be in 2 years, but they had enough going on that it didn’t seem exactly contemporary.  The most futuristic thing was probably those jet motorcycles they used.  Those seemed almost over the top, and also sounded like the land speeders from Star Wars.  There were parts where they looked a little goofy, but never enough to take me out of the movie.

The performances in the movie were all pretty great, but none of them ever really did much to give me cause to talk about them.  I heard a lot of talk about Joseph Gordon-Levitt and how he did such an amazing job becoming Bruce Willis, but I didn’t really notice that.  He did a good job in the movie, but he actually felt more like DeNiro than Willis to me.  I also heard a lot about how good the kid, Pierce Gagnon, did in the movie.  That one I totally agree with.  That kid was pretty crazy.

My expectations for Looper went from complete disinterest because of the trailers to expecting a lot because of the opinions of my friends.  In the end, Looper ended up being a fantastic movie that far exceeded my original expectations while not quite making it to the point where they met up with the hyperbole my friends used.  The story was fantastic and surprising, the action and visuals worked really well, and the performances were all completely solid.  I can understand not completely trusting this movie enough to purchase it straight away, but I imagine any rental of it stands a good chance of leading to a purchase.  Check this movie out.  Looper gets “I’m from the future.  You should go to China” out of “This time travel crap, just fries your brain like an egg…”

Let’s get these reviews more attention, people.  Post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, MySpace if you just awoke from a coma, and whatever else you can to get as many eyes on these things as possible.  Follow my fanpage on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, and subscribe to my YouTube channel to keep on top of all things Robert.  And don’t underestimate the importance of some constructive criticism.  Rate these reviews, like the videos, and comment on both with anything you’d like to say.  And don’t forget to request things you want a review of.  LOVE YOUSE GUYS!!

House at the End of the Street (2012)


Honey, Sometimes People Can’t be Fixed.

House at the End of the Street (2012)When I get requests from people, the same question goes through my mind most of the time: “Is this being requested because this person wants me to share their love for this movie or because this person wants me to hate-fuck this movie with words?”  It was certainly what I thought when today’s movie was requested by my friend Tiffany.  It’s the kind of movie that I knew existed, but certainly never would’ve felt the need to watch on my own.  It basically just looked like a pretty standard thriller movie.  But, if nothing else, the main actress is hot.  I decided to watch the movie very quickly after the request because it was a 2012 movie that I could add to my list, so you may have already seen a paragraph about this movie.  But I intend to add a few more paragraphs as I review House at the End of the Street, written by David Loucka and Jonathan Mostow, directed by Mark Tonderai, and starring Jennifer Lawrence, Max Thieriot, Elisabeth Shue, Eva Link, Gil Bellows, Nolan Gerard Funk, and Allie MacDonald.

In the beginning, a crazy little girl kills her parents with a hammer.  Years later, Sarah (Elisabeth Shue) and her daughter Elissa (Jennifer Lawrence) rent a house … also with a hammer.  I’m not entire sure what that’s supposed to mean.  They find out that they have moved in near where those murders happened, and the crazy girl’s brother, Ryan (Max Thieriot), is still living there as the sole survivor in his family.  Because Elissa is herself crazy, she decides she’s gots to have her some of that definitely-not-psychologically-damaged man meat named Ryan, and starts developing a bit of a relationship with him, even though her mother frowns upon the eventuality that her daughter will be murdered with a hammer.

I didn’t get this movie.  I wouldn’t say I necessarily got to the point where the movie’s initials were accurate.  I didn’t HatE … otS this movie.  But I didn’t like it.  Most of it didn’t really make sense to me, and it wasn’t even remotely scary.  I’m not even entirely confident that they were trying to be scary.  I mean, one of their earliest ideas of a startle was a light in a house turning on.  The movie starts slowly with the scares, but it’s decent enough in the logic department.  Then they start switching places, letting the movie start to amp up as it takes a turn for the nonsensical.  The entire premise for the movie didn’t make a goddamned bit of sense to me, but let me put this up first.  ::SPOILER ALERT::  How the hell is a person fully aware of his own psychosis and still able to convince himself that it’s real?  “I know you’re not actually my sister, but I’m gonna kidnap you and imagine you are anyway.”  I guess psychos shouldn’t make that much sense to sane people, but movies should.  ::END SPOILERS::  Another thing that makes no sense is that a cop would draw his gun because he knows a situation is dangerous, but decides that it is far too much effort to reach up to his shoulder to use his radio to call in back up.  And later, when Elissa comes across the cop, she also does not find the situation worthy of using his radio.  I guess they didn’t want to bother anyone at the station.  And when the guy and the girl are running through the forest, am I supposed to know how the girl died?  He was holding her mouth to keep her quiet and she was suddenly dead.  Did she suffocate?  Did he break her neck?  Do you know that you should let us know these things?  Also, at what point are horror movies going to get over the idea of the malfunctioning flashlight?  The scene managed to be a little tense, but not in any way we haven’t seen before.  And we’ve definitely seen the flashlight malfunctioning in horror movies, but never in real life.  I’ve come across a large number of flashlights in my day, but never one that turned on intermittently.  I have a flashlight on my desk that has been dying for about 7 years, and the bulb remains on when I turn it on, but is just really dim.  There is no truth in this cinema…

The greater majority of the performances in the movie were fine, but I hated pretty much all of the characters.  Jennifer Lawrence did a good job portraying her character, but her character was an asshole.  She was randomly douchey to people, and makes the decision that all Ryan could possibly want to talk about in their very first conversation is the brutal murder of his family.  I realize that we needed to get caught up on the backstory, but I assume we’re also supposed to like the character.  As best I can tell, there was also no reason to have some stupid battle of the bands thing going on in the movie beyond Jennifer Lawrence wanting to sing and the director wanting to pad the movie.  Elisabeth Shue did a good job in her performance as well, but that mom was a bitch too.  It makes it really hard to decide whether douchiness is nature or nurture.  She decides she hates Ryan and doesn’t want Elissa hanging out with him.  Why?  Because his family was murdered?  He didn’t do it!  What does this chick do if she walks past an orphanage?  Yell at the confused kids that they should stay away from her daughter because they’re inherently evil?  The Ryan character was the exact opposite for me.  I thought Max Thieriot did not give a very interesting or appealing performance, but I kept siding with his character (aside from the spoiler bullshit from earlier).  Besides the other two instances that I mentioned in this paragraph, there’s also a point in the movie where four guys start to randomly beat the shit out of him for some insult that only they could’ve possibly understood, and everyone looks at Ryan like he’s a monster because he decides he’d like to stop getting kicked in his ribs, and puts a halt to it by breaking the dude’s ankle.  Everyone in the mob watching gasps and Elissa shuns him.  Of course Elisabeth Shue thinks he’s evil already, so we know which way she’ll go on it.  Look, I’m not a violent guy by any stretch of the imagination.  I’ve never been in a fight, and I assume I’ll never need to be.  But if the situation arises that four guys are beating me mercilessly, they should feel lucky if the only thing I break is their ankle if I get the opportunity.  Even if the other three guys stopped after I broke the other one’s ankle, I would go after them next yelling, “YOU EARNED THIS!”  And anyone that gave me an odd look for it would have a foot cast in their future as well.

House at the End of the Street did not work out for me.  The movie starts as if it’s got some promise, but then the logic starts to unravel.  It manages to build some tension, but none of it evolves into scares or even startles, and though the performances were mostly good, the characters that they were performing were generally annoying and nonsensical.  This movie wasn’t painful to watch, but it also has nothing it can offer that would give you a reason to watch it.  House at the End of the Street gets “HatE” out of “otS.”

Let’s get these reviews more attention, people.  Post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, MySpace if you just awoke from a coma, and whatever else you can to get as many eyes on these things as possible.  Follow my fanpage on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, and subscribe to my YouTube channel to keep on top of all things Robert.  And don’t underestimate the importance of some constructive criticism.  Rate these reviews, like the videos, and comment on both with anything you’d like to say.  And don’t forget to request things you want a review of.  LOVE YOUSE GUYS!!

Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)


Waiting for a Written Invitation?

Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)Why would someone feel so compelled to watch 5 movies in a series that was never really that good to begin with?  I don’t have an answer to that question.  I do know the person that would do such a thing: me.  Every time this series releases a new movie, I feel like there’s no way I’m going to watch it.  I let it get all the way through the theaters too.  But when it comes to DVD, I always check it out.  There’s no excuse for my actions.  I’m contributing to this.  It’s like I’m watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians or the Jersey Shore or something.  But I can’t help myself.  And so you will be dragged into my psychosis as I review Resident Evil: Retribution, written and directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, and starring Milla Jovovich, Li Bingbing, Shawn Roberts, Sienna Guillory, Aryana Engineer, Johann Urb, Kevin Durand, Boris Kodjoe, Michelle Rodriguez, Oded Fehr, Colin Salmon, Megan Charpentier, and Mika Nakashima.

Alice (Milla Jovovich) is a normal housewife that lives with her husband Todd (Oded Fehr) and their deaf daughter Becky (Aryana Engineer).  OR IS SHE?!?!  No, she’s actually a zombie killing machine.  Well, one of her is.  There’re a lot of clones in the Umbrella facility she wakes up in.  The real-ish one wakes up and is getting interrogated by Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory), who has been brainwashed by Umbrella.  Alice escapes to find herself in a giant, underwater facility designed to test the zombies or some shit.  We spend the rest of the movie watching Alice escape this facility with the help of Ada Wong (Li Bingbing), Leon Kennedy (Johann Urb), Barry Burton (Kevin Durand), and Luther West (Boris Kodjoe), who have all been sent by Albert Wesker (Shawn Roberts), who is a good guy now, I guess.  The Red Queen (Megan Charpentier) is also back, and she uses clones of Alice’s original team – Rain Ocampo (Michelle Rodriguez), Carlos Olivera (Oded Fehr), and James Shade (Colin Salmon) – to try to stop them.

This movie is exactly what you expect.  I think it was Jonah Ray on the Nerdist podcast that acknowledged that these movies are lower class cinema, but that he could not help but be excited that they were coming out.  I never get so far as to say that I’m excited for them to come out, but they are enjoyable in their stupid simplicity.  The same goes for this movie.  It’s definitely not a good movie, but it’s enjoyable if you just shut your brain down and watch.  That’s the way they’re meant to be watched; with an aneurism.  They don’t really seem to be trying too hard either.  First off, the story is really not much more than Alice trying to figure out how to get out of a facility.  And that facility is full of various landscapes representing different places in the world, so they’re going to act like Alice is spanning the globe on the poster for the movie even though she’s not leaving that one facility.  But don’t worry; if you forget that all these places are fake, everyone in the movie will need to remind Alice several thousand times.  But she’s pretty, so brains are really irrelevant.  The same kind of goes for the writers of this movie and their ability to pull off some sweet one-liners.  They all fell completely flat.  Alice hits some baddies with a, “Hey boys.  Bad idea,” when she blows a car up in their faces.  You’re not even trying now, guys.  Bad idea works if you blow up a light bulb in their face or something.  That situation demands more of a “Here’s your ride” line.  I’ll need to refer you to Batman & Robin for proper usage of horrible one-liners.  Then you miss out on another good opportunity after Leon proclaims, “We’re gonna be okay,” and you didn’t have the Red Queen pop up and say, “Activating ‘Famous Last Words’ Protocols.”  It also bummed me out that it seemed clear that this game was not made for fans of the Resident Evil games, or even gamers for that matter.  All gamers know about the concept of a weak spot.  And all Resident Evil fans remember that the way to beat brainwashed Jill was to shoot the giant red spider brooch in the center of her cleavage.  And it wasn’t just obvious because all gamers were probably staring at her sweet rack.  Well it took this killing machine lady about 15 minutes before someone else told her to shoot at the bull’s-eye between Jill’s tits.

The look and the action in the movie worked out pretty well throughout.  The first scene in the movie was interesting because they were basically playing the last scene of the previous movie in slow motion reverse.  And, for a while, I thought they were going to play the entire movie in reverse because it went on so long.  But the movie seemed completely aware of the fact that its story wasn’t going to support it, so it made sure it was decently full of action.  The hallway battle early on in the movie was pretty sweet, even though it didn’t really have anything to do with the story.  I didn’t really care though because I didn’t really care about the story.  That way, it’s perfectly fine to make your action scenes just a bit of jerkin’ off because it had been three minutes since something blow’d up.  When the executioners showed up later, I was a little bit thrown off over how much they were ripped off from Pyramid Head from Silent Hill, but I’m pretty sure I remember them from the game too, so I can’t really blame the movie for that.  I also realized that this movie had a total Star Trek thing going on because guys wearing masks were the red shirts of this thing.  Michelle Rodriguez and Oded Fehr would come out of battles unscathed because they had the sense to not cover their faces.

Most of the performances were entirely acceptable and not much more.  I thought it was cool that they got the original team from the first movie back for this one, but I also thought it got a little confusing that there were like 4 versions everyone.  The only thing I thought about Milla Jovovich is that her housewife character was fuckin’ stupid for throwing away her baseball bat after one use.  That shit still works.  Li Bingbing was also pretty good.  Her performance wasn’t anything special, but she looked good in that Ada Wong outfit.  I did have some problems with Sienna Guillory.  She definitely looked the part, and definitely had some sweet knockers, but she delivered her lines super robotic and paused in weird places.  I guess she could’ve decided that it was the way someone who was brainwashed would act, but I just felt like she decided to let her tits do the talkin’.

Resident Evil: Retribution is exactly what I’m sure everyone expects.  It’s a big, dumb action movie.  And it lives up to every bit of it.  It’s so huge in scale that it’s unsatisfied with the idea of having their movie appear as if it was filmed in only one global hemisphere.  And, even though the story was weak, the action was fun and frequent.  It will probably not be the last time I say it about the Resident Evil franchise, but you know what you’re getting and it always delivers.  I wouldn’t necessarily recommend you buy this, but it’s a fun rental.  Resident Evil: Retribution gets “I’m kinda enjoying myself” out of “I’ve heard that before.”

Let’s get these reviews more attention, people.  Post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, MySpace if you just awoke from a coma, and whatever else you can to get as many eyes on these things as possible.  Follow my fanpage on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, and subscribe to my YouTube channel to keep on top of all things Robert.  And don’t underestimate the importance of some constructive criticism.  Rate these reviews, like the videos, and comment on both with anything you’d like to say.  And don’t forget to request things you want a review of.  LOVE YOUSE GUYS!!

Assassin’s Creed III (2012)


The Future of Our Land Depends on Those Who Are Truly Free.

Assassin's Creed 3 (2012)I was incredibly excited to get to play this game and, truth be told, I beat the game about two months ago but was so back-logged with other reviews that it’s taken me this long to get here.  Some of you may have already seen a quickie review of this game in my end of the year recap because it took me so long to review it.  But I’ve been a big fan of the series since its inception, so the game was certainly deserving of a full review.  Plus, there’s a chance that this game is the final game in the saga, so I feel that I need to send it off properly.  This game is Assassin’s Creed 3, developed by Ubisoft Montreal, published by Ubisoft, and including the voices of Noah Watts, Nolan North, Adrian Hough, Kaniehtiio Horn, Roger Aaron Brown, John de Lancie, Neil Napier, Allen Leech, Robert Lawrenson, Robin Atkin Downes, Danny Wallace, Eliza Jane Schneider, Margaret Easley, and Nadia Verrucci.

Desmond (Nolan North) and crew – William (John de Lancie), Rebecca (Eliza Jane Schneider), and Shaun (Danny Wallace) – are still trying to access a temple with the Apple of Eden, and use it to stop the end of the world.  …I don’t get it either.  To do so, Desmond gets into a machine that sends him back into his ancestor’s memories.  First, he becomes Haytham Kenway (Adrian Hough), who then fathers Ratonhnhaké:ton (Noah Watts) – who thankfully gets called Connor – with Connor’s mother, Kaniehti:io (Kaniehtiio Horn) – who I will call Unpronounceahontas.  Connor must stop the Templars in their plots in the American Colonies while simultaneously helping the Americas gain their independence.

I really liked this game (as you may have guessed from the quickie review in the Games of 2012 review), but it was not without its share of problems, most of which will not be found in this paragraph.  The story of the game was pretty good.  I’ve always kind of taken issue with the Desmond side of the Assassin’s Creed games.  They tend to be a little on the strange side.  The guy gets into a machine to allow him to access memories stored in his DNA while talking to ancient but super-advanced aliens and save the world with an apple.  But that’s a fairly minor section of the game, and that’s how I like it.  I don’t give a shit about Desmond.  But Altaïr, Ezio, and now Connor?  Yeah, that’s the stuff.  And Connor’s part of the story holds up as well as Altaïr’s and Ezio’s, but it does take its sweet time to get started.  I wanted to get into the Connor part of the story quicker because I didn’t see much point in getting attached to Haytham when I realized that he wasn’t my guy.  There wasn’t anything wrong with it, but I was in this to be Connor.  I even really liked the scenes of Haytham and Unpronounceahontas and their burgeoning relationship, but this guy isn’t going to participate in the Boston Tea Party, witness the Boston Massacre, chauffer Paul Revere on his Midnight Ride, and watch the signing of the Declaration of Independence.  Connor was!  And it was pretty cool to take part in all of those things, so I enjoyed it thoroughly when it got going.  There were a couple of minor qualms to be had with the rest of the story.  First off, the names of things.  The Mohawks seem like they had absolutely no interest in making their names easy on me while writing these reviews, and I think that’s very inconsiderate of them.  There was our main character, Ratonhnhaké:ton, his mother, Kaniehti:io, and the place they were from, Kanien’keh(‘a):ka.  Come on!  That can’t be real!  What possible use for colons, semicolons, and parenthesis would the Mohawk have?!  I guess, much like their philosophies in hunting, they felt like they must use all parts of the keyboard as they use all parts of the buffalo.  The endings were a little weak as well.  The defeat of Connor’s mortal enemy was a little anticlimactic, and I wasn’t that pleased with what happened with Desmond either.  I was happy they didn’t go with the typical ending with making the audience make a choice.  I just want to see YOUR story, not make my own.  Or, more accurately, I don’t want to have to look up the other ending on YouTube.

The controls of the game were what gave me the most trouble.  Not all of the time as it controls very similar to every other Assassin’s Creed, but I had never had so many problems with glitches in the other games.  There were times when the controls wouldn’t respond, I would run into invisible walls, icons wouldn’t show up when they were supposed to.  The worst one was when I was trying to climb a wall and I was inexplicably fired up into the air, only to come crashing down to the Earth and die.  It didn’t happen all the time, but even just a few times in such a big name title is extremely frustrating.  Otherwise, the game is exactly as you’d expect an Assassin’s Creed game to be.  And by that, I mean it’s awesome.  It’s like Dishonored if it didn’t punish you for killing bad people.  And the parkour is great, and improved for this game a little.  It’s mostly what we’ve done in the other games, but this game takes us out into the wilderness a lot more than the other games does.  And that means free-running through the trees.  It works very well most of the time, though it’s occasionally difficult to see your path clearly when trying to figure out which way to jump.  The side missions in the game were fun, but some were extremely tedious and others I just did not play the way they wanted me to.  Like the hunting stuff.  Connor was an effective, but very impatient hunter with me at the helm.  It would’ve been a fairly common sight to see Connor running through the frontier, trying to bum rush a raccoon in the brush.  And the board games were a constant annoyance for me.  I realize that the only reason I was even bothering with them was because I wanted achievements, but I found them really annoying.  One problem with playing a board game against a computer is that the computer knows how to play and what is going to happen way better than we do.  Another problem is that I don’t really want to play these things.  I don’t need the money, so I’m just forced to play the stupid things for the achievements.  And Six Man Morris is a horrible piece of shit of a game.  I want it to die.  I resent this game for making me play it.  I don’t know anyone named Morris, but I will befriend one just so I can hate him.  I had a couple minor issues with the logic of the game as well.  Like why do guards attack me because 3 orphans are pestering me?  I would understand if they were already looking for me, or if I just killed them like I always wanted to, but just because they see a guy being bothered by kids?  They should attack the kids!  Or let me!  As much as I loved the regular gameplay of Assassin’s Creed, this game kind of overshadowed it for me with the new nautical battles.  I really dug these.  It made me wish Ubisoft would take over a really cool Pirates of the Caribbean game.

The look of the game is fantastic, with next to no complaints.  The landscapes are beautiful, and the seafaring levels are brilliant.  The only thing I took issue with was minor, but annoying.  The game gives you the ability to change the color of Connor’s outfit, but does not have the ability to change his costume color in the cinematics.  I’ll be wearing some badass black and red getup just to suddenly, and jarringly, be wearing classic white because I’m chatting with Sam Adams now.  Come on, Ubisoft.  We all know this technology exists.

I never was all that interested in the multiplayer of the Assassin’s Creed games.  That lack of interest, as well as the structure of the multiplayer, has not changed much.  It’s an interesting idea, and it’s nice that it’s different from the typical first person shooter multiplayer, but it also doesn’t really keep my attention very long.  The first problem is that they take so long to explain it in the overlong tutorials for it.  They actually show you how to free run!  Does anyone buy Assassin’s Creed for the multiplayer?  In which case, how would they not already know how to free run, and probably have played the entire story mode before even bothering to give multiplayer a shot.  Then, when you get into the multiplayer, it’s not usually the game of hiding and surprising that the tutorials make it out to be.  It’s mostly just people running around in circles trying to stab each other.

The achievements in this game weren’t insurmountable, but there were still some that I was not going to bother with.  Namely, the multiplayer ones.  But I did get the rest of them.  The only ones that I found very annoying were the ones involving the board games and the damned Encyclopedia of the Common Man stuff.  That was extremely tedious.  You basically have to take a look at everyone in your homestead doing three different versions of their jobs.  They may choose not to do their jobs for about 4 or 5 days because they’d rather be fishing, and you may not be able to kill them in punishment for their inefficiency, but you will have to stand around waiting for them to do it anyway.

Assassin’s Creed 3 was a great game that was hindered by a few minor problems that just should not have been there from a company that makes such polished games usually.  But they were only temporary hindrances in a beautiful game with highly enjoyable gameplay and completely forgettable multiplayer.  I recommend buying this game.  I bought it for $35, which it is totally worth.  I’d still probably get it for $60 though.  Assassin’s Creed 3 gets “My enemy is a notion, not a nation” out of “Better the world burns, than SHE is unleashed upon it!”

Let’s get these reviews more attention, people.  Post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, MySpace if you just awoke from a coma, and whatever else you can to get as many eyes on these things as possible.  Follow my fanpage on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, and subscribe to my YouTube channel to keep on top of all things Robert.  And don’t underestimate the importance of some constructive criticism.  Rate these reviews, like the videos, and comment on both with anything you’d like to say.  And don’t forget to request things you want a review of.  LOVE YOUSE GUYS!!

0001 – Mission Statement (2013)


Hey YouTube.  My Name is Robert, and I Review Stuff.

0001 - Mission StatementToday is going to be a quickie review, and a review of something I don’t usually review.  I haven’t gotten a lot of requests to review YouTube videos.  Well, technically, this video wasn’t requested either, but I felt it was necessary.  This guy just started posting videos on YouTube, and just posted his first video on Sunday.  Apparently, he’s going to do one every Sunday from now on.  And this mother fucker is trying to get in on my review game!  That’s what I do, baby!  Let’s see if this guy even deserves a YouTube channel as I review 0001 – Mission Statement by Robert Bicket at YouTube channel RobertReviewsStuff.

I loved this video!  I was surprised that I’d like it since this guy is totally trying to swagger jack me, but there’s a slight chance that he does this better than me.  How am I supposed to compete with this guy?  Have you watched the video?  Have you seen him?  He’s a good-looking son of a bitch!  You can’t even see my face here!  (I mean, that’s really more your problem than anything else)  But this is a simple YouTube video, but it shows promise of so much more.  I would say one major problem with the video is that the guy claims that he reviews stuff, but does not actually review anything in the video.  I assume that is something that is going to happen at some point in his bright future.  There are also a couple of parts to the video that indicate a certain lack of familiarity with his video editing software, but it’s his first video so I’ll give him a break.  I appreciate his self-defacing humor, his reference to a Twisted Sister song, and the ending makes me laugh every time.  But I would say that I’m perhaps a bit resentful of the fact that he hates reading, and that’s what I do!  I hope he’s not shitting on reading reviews, ‘cause that’s my bread and butter.  And what’s more is that he actually links to this website in his video!  I love this guy!

I love everything about the look of this video.  The backdrop he chose was great because it gives him a great credibility when it comes to reviewing movies since the entire background is a mere section of his DVD collection.  It does not really demonstrate any ability to review video games, but his alabaster complexion tells us all we need to know about his ability to review video games.  His wardrobe also deserves to be lauded.  Sure, it looks like a sweater that his sister probably got him for Christmas at some point, but I imagine that his sister has better taste in clothing than he does.  Not that he even needs them since he’s so friggin’ sexy that I would put down cold, hard cash to see this guy naked.  No homo.

So that’s it.  I totally recommend that you go to the YouTube channel of this “Robert Bicket” person and subscribe.  I probably shouldn’t have to tell you to like the channel because I assume you are a sane person and could not possibly dislike this video.  Sure, this first video doesn’t offer too much to the audience, but you should definitely subscribe because the videos will most definitely improve, even though you won’t believe that they could get better.  I give 0001 – Mission Statement “I WANNA ROCK!” out of “OR DID I?!  BUM BUM BUM!!!”

In all seriousness, this review was just my stupid way to tell you to go watch and “Like” my video, and don’t forget to subscribe.  Please leave comments telling me what you think and get this channel popular.  I had to really force myself to overcome my insecurities to put this video up in the first place (after having talked myself out of the channel about 20 times before the drop date) and it would do wonders to have people supporting me to keep doing this in the future.  Thanks in advance, Robert.

Let’s get these reviews more attention, people.  Post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, MySpace if you just awoke from a coma, and whatever else you can to get as many eyes on these things as possible.  Follow my fanpage on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, and subscribe to my YouTube channel to keep on top of all things Robert.  And don’t underestimate the importance of some constructive criticism.  Rate these reviews, like the videos, and comment on both with anything you’d like to say.  And don’t forget to request things you want a review of.  LOVE YOUSE GUYS!!