0021 – Riddick


0021 Snapshot

CLICK ON MY FACE TO LINK TO THE VIDEO!

WATCH REVIEWS HERE!  YouTube  OTHER JOKES HERE!  Twitter  BE A FAN HERE!  Facebook  If you like these reviews so much, spread the word.  Keep me motivated!  Also, if you like them so much, why don’t you marry them?!

Advertisements

Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)


Enjoy These Final Moments of Peace.

Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)Tuesday again.  Time again for a double feature at my local theater.  It’s problematic for a film critic to hate crowds so much that he doesn’t like to go see new movies until the theaters have slowed down, but that’s the kind of critic you idolize.  Me.  This would normally be too soon for me to want to go see a movie of this magnitude, but there weren’t a lot of options in theaters right now, and my desire to see this movie was pretty strong.  I was never a fan of the TV series this movie comes from, and I didn’t see the greater majority of the movies that helped make the series so popular.  But I did see the movie right before this one and it made me a fan.  I absolutely loved it.  So when they put out a new one, it made me very excited.  Did it live up to those expectations?  Find out as I review Star Trek Into Darkness, based on characters created by Gene Roddenberry, written by Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and Damon Lindelof, directed by J. J. Abrams, and starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Benedict Cumberbatch, Peter Weller, Bruce Greenwood, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin, John Cho, Karl Urban, Alice Eve, Noel Clarke, Nazneen Contractor, and Leonard Nimoy.

On a mission to the planet Nibiru, Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) violates the Prime Directive in order to rescue First Officer Spock (Zachary Quinto) from danger.  This causes Admiral Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood) to be forced to relieve Kirk of his command of the USS Enterprise.  Elsewhere, a man named John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) offers Starfleet Officer Thomas Harewood (Noel Clarke) a way to save his dying child in exchange for blowing up a Starfleet archive.  Admiral Alexander Marcus (Peter Weller) calls together the captains of Starfleet to figure out their next move, falling directly into Harrison’s plan.  Harrison attacks the meeting, killing many of the Starfleet commanders.  In retaliation, Kirk is sent out with 72 prototype Photon Torpedoes with the order to destroy Harrison, while trying not to bring on a full scale war with the Klingons.  But all is not as it appears…

For the first half of this movie, I admit that I was feeling a little underwhelmed by it.  It was good, but it was not living up to my expectations for it.  Then shit started to get real.  Some might be embarrassed to say that they started to tear up near the end, mostly on moments between Spock and Kirk, but I’m not your usual man.  I’m barely a man at all!  What I am is a nerd, so it’s completely appropriate.  The story is also heavy with references to the past of Star Trek, which I’m sure I missed a bunch of because of my relative inexperience with the franchise, but I still got most of them.  I know Khan, for instance.  I know Tribbles.  I also know what happens to Spock at some point in a radioactive room.  But I like that these movies are taking place in an altered timeline so thing happen close to what happened in the past, but occasionally roles are reversed to be able to still catch the audience off guard.  But I was beginning to get trepidations in the beginning because a few things made me think they’d be treading the same ground as the previous movie, like when they took away Kirk’s ship and wanted to put him back in the academy, but they didn’t waste that much time in that.  Then Kirk would start getting at odds with the crew again, although he had a good reason.  I got most worried about how I’d feel about this movie when Kirk and Scotty parted ways.  BRING PEGG BACK!!  But then they did, and I could calm down.  But the end of the movie was filled with some great action and great emotional moments, and I’ve always said that ending strong is more important than opening strong.  I won’t spoil what was happening, but when Uhura told Spock to, “Go get him,” I got some wood, and surprisingly more because of the awesomeness than Zoe Saldana’s hotness.  I would have to admit that I saw the ending coming, making it not that much of a surprise when we find out Kirk’s fate.  I even wrote it in my notes just after I first saw the Tribble.  That being said, I didn’t feel like it was any less effective just because I knew how it would turn out.

There’s really no point even talking about the look of the movie, is there?  You saw the commercials and how awesome and epic they make the movie look, right?  Yeah, that’s what it looks like.  They were not lying to you.

I loved all the performances in this movie as well.  Chris Pine is great as Kirk.  He does the funny parts as well as he does the emotional parts.  He also plays a dick very well, easily making me silently curse him in the theater for making Simon Pegg leave.  I find it hard to talk about Zachary Quinto’s performance as Spock.  Through most of the movie, he’s acting really robotic.  On the other hand, that’s exactly what he’s supposed to be doing.  And he’s able to convey quite a bit of emotion through his performance while still being such a Vulcan, and he kind of breaks down at the end of the movie in an awesome way.  Zoe Saldana is hot.  Simon Pegg is awesome.  Peter Weller was Robocop.  I was unfamiliar with this Benedict Cumberbatch before I went into this movie.  I had heard him talked about a lot in nerdier crowds, so I knew he must have some nerd cred of some sort.  I think it’s because he’s in that Sherlock show, but I’ve never seen it.  And you never see him in The Hobbit because he only lends his voice to it.  That being said, I still thought he was pretty awesome in the movie.  Maybe not quite a Ricardo Montalbán, but pretty damned solid.  Even with the emo hair that occasionally happened in the middle of a fight, he maintained a certain level of quiet badassdom.  And the starring role in this movie for me is the white-haired chick on the command deck of the Enterprise.  I don’t know who she is, but I want to be in her.

Star Trek Into Darkness is another addition to the series that wins in my book.  The movie starts off a little slow for my taste, but ends strongly with a great deal of awesome action and emotion that actually made me tear up.  It looks great and all the performances were also top notch.  I’ve never considered myself a Star Trek fan, but if Abrams keeps this up, I might actually start watching the stuff that inspired the guy to make these awesome movies.  In the meantime, I recommend getting yourself to the theaters to check this one out as soon as you can.  Star Trek Into Darkness gets “If you test me, you will fail” out of “Because I am better.”

WATCH REVIEWS HERE!  YouTube  OTHER JOKES HERE!  Twitter  BE A FAN HERE!  Facebook  If you like these reviews so much, spread the word.  Keep me motivated!  Also, if you like them so much, why don’t you marry them?!

Dredd (2012)


Ma-Ma is Not the Law … I Am the Law.

Dredd (2012)Reviewing Total Recall got me thinking about another recent remake that I thought would suck.  Much like Total Recall, the original movie was a dumb, campy action movie starring one of the biggest action stars in history and, like Total Recall, it was a movie that I didn’t like nearly as much as everyone else seemed to.  I’m not really that forgiving of camp.  It can make a movie watchable, but not really re-watchable.  I just want to watch it once to laugh at it.  So, when they remake a movie like this, do they go heavy after that camp appeal, or do they instead try to make a badass action movie?  And do they succeed at either one of those things?  We’ll find out as I review Dredd, based on the British comic 2000 AD, created by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra, written by Alex Garland, directed by Pete Travis, and starring Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey, Wood Harris, Domhnall Gleeson, and Warrick Grier.

The future (as always) is bad times.  Most of the United States has become Fallout 3 and there is one city remaining called Mega-City One, where people do not typically get along.  To fix that problem (as well as making the judicial system more efficient), the police have been made into Judges, who are judge, jury, and executioner all in one.  A new drug that slows the user’s perception of time to 1% of normal (called “Slo-Mo”) is running rampant, dealt mainly by a ruthless drug lord named Madeline Madrigal, or “Ma-Ma” (Lena Headey), who punishes rival drug dealers by skinning them, giving them Slo-Mo, and throwing them from the top of a 200-story building.  Lead badass Judge Dredd (Karl Urban) is sent in to deal with the situation, bringing along potential recruit Cassandra Anderson (Olivia Thirlby), who has failed her aptitude tests, but still gets a shot because she’s a very powerful psychic.  When they arrive, Ma-Ma has her computer expert (Domhnall Gleeson) lock down the building, turning this shit into The Raid: Redemption.  Quasi-plagiarism is against the law, Dredd.  I guess that doesn’t matter.  After all, he IS the law.

I like to try to go into any movie with an open mind.  I usually try, but usually fail.  So I went into this movie pointing out a bunch of things that annoyed me, but we’ll get to those later.  We’ll get to those later because this movie was actually pretty badass and, much like the remake of Total Recall, blew the original bullshit out of the water.  And, by “original bullshit,” I mean the Stallone movie because I’ve never read the comic book.  The story didn’t annoy me or impress me, but it was leaning more towards good than bad.  It was just simple.  It really was basically The Raid: Redemption with Karl Urban in it.  But The Raid was awesome, and that still translates somewhat into this.  I guess there were some problems with the story though.  I took issue with the fact that Cassandra was in the situation that she was in.  I didn’t dislike the character, but she’s a psychic and she can’t pass her aptitude tests?  She seemed physically capable of the job, so I assume it was the Scantron section of the tests.  Were there no Asians in the class she could psychically glean the answers from?

The action in this movie was fantastic, and the visual effects were great, with only minor problems.  The action was great, and the violence was WAY over the top, but it was sweet.  Visually, the movie worked very well, but the Slo-Mo effects started to bother me after a while.  It looked good enough, but I started thinking that they chose this drug to pad out their movie because they didn’t really write enough of a story.  I also thought the drug didn’t really make sense.  I mean, it’s brutal to slow down perception of time when throwing someone over a balcony of a 200-story building, but what good does it do for regular times?  I could understand the appeal of a drug that allowed you to move through the world as if it was slowed down to 1% because you’d be able to get a lot more shit done, but just have it seem slower as you’re sitting around in a bathtub?  That feels boring.

The performances in this movie aren’t going to be winning any awards, but they do exactly what they set out to do.  Karl Urban is a fuckin’ boss.  End of story.  Olivia Thirlby did a good job, but I admit that I was scarcely paying attention to her performance.  I was too busy enjoying her hotness.  Lena Headey was in the movie too, and she performed adequately, but I was bummed out that they decided to ugly her up with a lesbo haircut and a gnarly scar across her normally pretty face.  I prefer to remember her face unscathed as it was in 300.  Also, Domhnall Gleeson is in this movie.  He did fine, and it’s cool that I recognized him from Harry Potter, but I really only mention him here because I hate myself and I wanted to punish myself for nothing in particular by making myself type his name again.

When I went into Dredd, I was wondering if it would even notice if I gave it a ‘D’ in my review because it already has three.  *Insert rimshot here*  But it doesn’t matter, because I’ll give it something it doesn’t already have, like a B or something.  This version of Dredd is way better than the original, corny version of the character.  Decent story, great action, Karl Urban is a boss, and the other performances were solid as well.  Definitely worth checking out.  I’ll probably be purchasing the movie on Blu-Ray.  Dredd gets “Judgement time” out of “The perps were uncooperative.”

WATCH REVIEWS HERE!  YouTube  OTHER JOKES HERE!  Twitter  BE A FAN HERE!  Facebook  If you like these reviews so much, spread the word.  Keep me motivated!  Also, if you like them so much, why don’t you marry them?!

RED (2010)


I Am Getting the Pig!

I vaguely remember someone I work with suggesting that I watch today’s movie, but I don’t really remember who.  I think it may have been Eric.  Who suggested it was fairly irrelevant to me because I’m always down to check this movie out.  I don’t remember the circumstances that first lead to me watching this movie.  There’s a possibility that I randomly purchased the movie without having seen it; something that is a rarity for me to do.  I may also have RedBox’d the movie and liked it so much that I immediately purchased it.  Either way, to fulfill this mystery request today, I needed only to walk to my DVD shelves and grab the BluRay.  Doing so brings us up to speed, so let’s review RED, loosely based on a comic book series created by Warren Ellis and Cully Hammer, written by Erich Hoeber, directed by Robert Schwentke, and starring Bruce Willis, Mary-Louise Parker, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, Julian McMahon, Richard Dreyfuss, Karl Urban, Brian Cox, James Remar, Rebecca Pidgeon, Ernest Borgnine, and Audrey Wasilewski.

Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) leads a pretty boring life in his retirement.  So boring, it seems, that he entertains himself by tearing up his pension checks so that he can call Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker), a customer service agent at the pension office, and talk with her for a bit.  The hum-drum life he leads is interrupted when one day he goes downstairs and a hit squad appear to attack him.  He kills the bejesus out of them with extreme prejudice and sets off for Kansas City.  CIA agent William Cooper (Karl Urban) is tapped to hunt down Moses and kill him.  It turns out Frank is no ordinary bald dude, but he’s a former black-ops CIA agent who has been tagged “R.E.D.”, or Retired, Extremely Dangerous.  Frank is forced to kidnap Sarah for her own safety and the two set out to get the band back together and find out what’s happening.  With the help of other RED agents – Joe Matheson (Morgan Freeman), Marvin Boggs (John Malkovich), Ivan Simanov (Brian Cox), and Victoria (Helen Mirren) – they find out that their deaths are part of a cover up for the CIA involving people high up on the ladder.  They will most likely kill the shit out of them too.

I really dig this movie.  It suffers a bit from a pretty predictable and familiar story, but saves itself from being too much of the same by telling it in a different and superior way.  The action is over the top and awesome, the movie is a lot of fun for something that’s basically about killing, the performances are delivered by people way over-qualified for such a movie, and the dialogue is very charming.  The action in this movie is a lot of fun.  It’s pretty much all over the top and exciting, and usually framed with some funny dialogue.  I really like the scene you probably saw in the trailer for this movie when Bruce Willis steps out of a spinning cop car and starts firing at Karl Urban, Willis’ legs narrowly being missed by the back of the spinning car.  John Malkovich also shoots a rocket out of mid-air, causing it to explode backwards and kill the person firing it.  I’m sure the Mythbusters would wipe their ass with this notion, but I thought it was awesome, so who cares if it makes sense?  The movie ends on a 20 minute or more action scene of the RED people doing a heist of sorts, but I never got sick of the action because it went on too long.  The movie also had a very satisfying ending.  The throwdown between Willis and Urban in Urban’s office served no purpose to the plot and also seemed a bit out of character for Moses to jeopardize the mission to show Urban that he was better than him, but it was a pretty awesome UFC style throwdown that was amped up by Aerosmith’s “Back in the Saddle”.  Pointless, but awesome.  Part of what made this movie work for me was the way it was filmed.  They used lots of creative camera angles and cool transitions to make it a very stylized movie, setting itself apart from other action movies.  These were small things that you might not necessarily pay attention to, but subconsciously stick in your mind.  Things like Bruce Willis’ eye transitioning into a bullet in the opening of the movie and John Malkovich flipping off a satellite, transitioning into Karl Urban watching the monitors.  I also liked the postcard things they used to show that we were switching locations.

The cast of this movie is probably the whole reason I went to see it in the first place.  There are so many big names and diverse actors in this thing that I just had to see how it worked out.  Well it worked out amazingly well and impressed me more when I saw who else was in this that was not top-billed.  Bruce Willis is one of the biggest action stars in the world, but he is aging a little by now, making him perfect for this movie.  He didn’t play it like a super-badass action hero, even while he was doing super-badass action things.  He played it more like a quiet, shy dude that was crushing on a girl he met on the phone … oh yeah, and also I’m a total badass.  I didn’t really know who Mary-Louise Parker was before going into this movie because most of her film credits are movies I would not be interested in, and also I never saw Weeds, but she could not have been cuter in this movie, both in looks and in personality.  She was totally fish out of water amongst the crowd Willis gets her involved with, but she had a lot of sass to her and I really dug her in this movie.  As much as I liked her, she had the misfortune of going up against John Malkovich as Marvin Boggs, and she could not compete with that character.  I don’t know that I had ever seen Malkovich do comedy before I saw this, but that dude was great.  He was so awesome and hilarious as the uber-paranoid Marvin.  He was crazy and paranoid so people rarely took what he said seriously, even though he turned out to be right more often than not.  He was the one throwing in the most jokes in the action situations, and if he wasn’t actually saying them, he was making me laugh by being downtrodden in the background holding a pink, stuffed pig.  Morgan Freeman was fairly underused in the movie, but was great in the parts he was in.  He was the one that had the part that bummed me out in the middle of the movie, but I got through it.  I don’t care how old Helen Mirren is, I think I would still throw down with her if she wanted.  Something about that lady is just sexy, especially if you have her shooting a 50-calibur machine gun wearing a white gown.  Karl Urban has played a badass before, but didn’t really go above that character to impress too much.  But I guess he was the bad guy for the most part, so you don’t want him to be too charming.

I dig RED a lot.  It’s not the smartest movie you can watch, and you won’t learn anything from it, but you will watch a stylishly-filmed movie with great performances, charming characters, funny dialogue, and over the top, fantastic action.  However I came to see this movie the first time is irrelevant.  I liked it enough to immediately purchase it on BluRay, and I feel comfortable saying you’ll have fun renting it.  SO DO IT!  RED gets “You guys want to get pancakes?” out of “I trained Kordeski.”

Hey, peeps. Why not rate and comment on this as a favor to good ole Robert, eh? And tell your friends! Let’s make me famous!

The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)


Convert Now … or Fall Forever

I certainly hope that douchebag friend of mine by the name of Fabio appreciates the hard work I went through to write this review for him. I tried many times to make my computer play this DVD from my collection, but I fear my computer is on it’s last legs. I installed two more DVD playing softwares on my computer, hoping it was my original software. This didn’t help. And since I was NOT going to pull myself off of Skyrim to watch a movie on my X-box, what was I to do? I finally brought my laptop into my room and was able to watch my movie wearing an uncomfortable set of headphones. So, yeah, my “hard work” never really involved me leaving the seat I’m writing this review from. …Fuck you guys. This movie is The Chronicles of Riddick, written and directed by David Twohy, and starring Vin Diesel, Colm Feore, Judi Dench, Karl Urban, Thandie Newton, Alexa Davalos, Linus Roache, Nick Chinlund, Keith David, and Yorick van Wageningen.

A group of bad people called Necromongers are slowly taking over the universe, lead by the Lord Marshal (Colm Feore). You either convert to one of the Necromongers, or die by their hand. Elsewhere, a group of bounty hunters lead by Toombs (Nick Chinlund) are chasing a Viking across the top of a labyrinth. Oh wait! That Viking is Richard B. Riddick (Vin Diesel) on a planet without electric razors. Well Riddick kills all of them dudes and throws momma from the train. By train I mean spaceship. And by momma I mean Toombs. But if you watch the movie, Toombs does look an awful lot like my mother. Anyways, Riddick goes after the people that put the money on his head and finds out that it’s his old “buddy” from the first movie, Imam (Keith David). Imam brings Riddick up to speed, telling him that the boy/girl from the first movie, Jack, went looking for him, killed some people, and is now locked up on the prison planet of Crematoria. Also, an Elemental named Aereon (Judi Dench) put the money on his head because Riddick ran out of minutes on his cell phone and she needed to talk to him. Cue Necromonger attack! Imam gets killed and Riddick decides it is good strategy to walk into the middle of the Necromonger army to kill the guy that killed Imam. This somehow works for him and he gains the respect of Lord Marshal. He gets on the bad side of Lord Marshal when he finds out that Riddick is the last of a race called the Furyan’s, who were prophesied to kill Lord Marshal, ‘causing Lord Marshal to slaughter them all. Finish up the movie with Riddick trying to get revenge on Lord Marshal – who may also have to worry about his right-hand man Commander Vaako (Karl Urban) and his treacherous wife Dame Vaako (Thandie Newton) – and save Jack (Alexa Davalos).

I’m beginning to think that I should stop pointing out when a movie has common story elements because it makes it seem like a criticism. It’s not really intended to be. I love it when a fresh concept I’ve never seen happens in a movie, but having seen so many movies in my life – and with so many more left to see – one can’t really expect every movie to be truly original. That being said, The Chronicles of Riddick certainly doesn’t break any new ground in it’s story, but it still makes for a very watchable movie. Riddick is a very cliche amalgam of every action star ever; you got a prophecy that makes a leader kill a group of people, you got a right-hand man getting manipulated into usurping power by his lady, you got a rescue, a prison escape, and you got a guy that becomes king by killing the old king. Every one of those things was in Hamlet … according to the SparkNotes … that I didn’t read. But, as I said, all good fun to watch. The action scenes were pretty spectacular, the visual effects were a big step up from the previous Riddick joint, and the lines (though usually corny) worked for the scene. Crematoria – though it’s one of the least imaginative names ever – was a pretty sweet location. The concept of a prison planet that only allowed about a five minute window of entry lest the sun melt your ship and sear your flesh, was great. Everything looked like it reeked of sweaty B.O. Also, the lava-panther looking creatures were pretty awesome. I want one of those as a pet. It also lead to part of it that clashed with Riddick’s over the top badassdom. As they were running along the surface, trying to stay ahead of the sun, he tells them that they have to keep up with him or they’ll die, but he also apparently has time to stop and make a cocky comment about how much faster he is than they are. There was also one part that was completely lost on me when the bounty hunters were transporting Riddick to Crematoria. Everyone was asleep on the ship and the female bounty hunter gets up and goes and sniffs Riddick, then straddles him and removes his goggles. He wakes up and makes some comment and she runs off. Did you wanna fuck him? ‘Cause he kinda indicated he’d go through with it, so why’d you run? This part was pointless and confusing. And it’s these kinds of questions that will drive me insane because they’ll never be answered.

The performances are every bit as good as you expect out of an action movie, maybe a little bit better. Vin Diesel spent most of his time raspying out one-liners, but actually had a few moments where he busted out the emotions near the end. I feel like I’m turning the corner on this guy, at least until I rewatch XXX and the Fast and the Furious movies. I don’t have much to say about the Necromonger crew of this movie because their characters involved them being fairly emotionless and mellow all the time, but they also maintained a good amount of creepy. Especially Karl Urban’s hair. Though she did a great job in her performance, I still wonder what inspired Judi Dench to be in this movie. Nowadays it’s easier to stomach because she was also in Pirates of the Caribbean 4, which was a much worse movie. I was happy to see that Jack grew up into a much hotter woman than the one that actually played Jack. She performed her part of being hot well, but the character herself annoyed me. It seemed that every decision she ever made was to try to impress Riddick, and I found that tedious. But she was hot, so I dismissed these complaints.

So there’s your review, Fabio. As per our agreement, you must start reading them all. But don’t worry, you’ve already finished one. That only leaves you 100+ to go, with a new one every day until I don’t feel like it anymore. ENJOY! The Chronicles of Riddick was no ground breaking movie with no ground breaking performances, but it was a fun action movie that’s pretty to look at. And with an action movie, how can you expect much more? The Chronicles of Riddick gets “Death by tea cup” out of “Been a long time since I smelled beautiful.”

Hey, peeps. Why not rate and comment on this as a favor to good ole Robert, eh? And tell your friends! Let’s make me famous!

Star Trek (2009)


I Like This Ship!  Y’know, It’s Exciting!

No one requested this movie and I think most people already know how I feel about it.  I watched this for me.  I bought it on BluRay, special edition style for the win!  I’ve watched it numerous times since purchasing it and I likes it just as much every time.  Let’s get right into it, shall we?  This movie is Star Trek, the revamped movie series written by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, directed by J.J. Abrams, and starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Leonard Nimoy, Eric Bana, Bruce Greenwood, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Winona Ryder, Chris Hemsworth, Clifton Collins Jr., and, unfortunately, Tyler Perry.

Alright, this little ship comes up on this black hole and this huge ass ship comes out and is like “WHAT?!” and then starts going “Pachew, pachew pachew”.  The USS Kelvin is no match for the Romulan ship, the Narada, so the captain of the Kelvin goes over to discuss a cease fire.  The captain of the Narada, Nero (Eric Bana), asks him a few questions about a person he’s never heard of, then kills him.  George Kirk (Chris Hemsworth) takes over as captain and orders an evacuation of everyone on board including his really, really preggers wife.  Kirk must stay aboard the ship and his wife leaves, giving birth to their son, James Tiberius Kirk.  Also, on Vulcan, baby Spock gets picked on for having a human mom.  Now grown up, James Kirk (Chris Pine) drunkenly hits on Uhura (Zoe Saldana) at a bar and gets beat up by her Starfleet buddies.  One of the shots to the noggin and a pep talk from Captain Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood) and he enlists in Starfleet.  On the way there, he meets and befriends Leonard “Bones” McCoy (Karl Urban).  Years later, Kirk and Spock (Zachary Quinto) get on each others bad side when Kirk cheats on Spock’s test and Spock gets Kirk suspended for it, which keeps Kirk grounded when the Starfleet leaves to check on a distress call from Vulcan.  McCoy gets Kirk on board the USS Enterprise where Kirk is able to stop the ship from warping into a trap from the Narada.  Some people are saved, but most of Vulcan is lost, and Captain Pike is captured by Nero.  Can Spock and Kirk settle their differences and take out this new threat?  No, Spock jettisons Kirk to a frozen planet instead.  But at least he gets to meet old Spock (Leonard Nimoy) and Montgomery “Scotty” Scott (Simon Pegg)!

Some may assume that my nerdiness would inherently make me a Star Trek fan, but this is not the case.  I’ve seen this movie, but I’ve never seen an episode of the TV show and I’ve only ever seen parts of the original movies.  As any self respecting nerd, I picked a side in the Star Wars/Star Trek war and irrationally disregarded the other half.  I’m a Star Wars man.  But something inspired me to watch this movie and I’m very glad that I did.  It rules.  Does it rule as much as Star Wars?  I’ve conferred with my nerdiness and determined that I cannot confirm nor deny that.  But this movie is very good.  The story took a dangerous concept and pulled it off.  Not only is it dangerous to remake such a beloved series, but time travel can be a dangerous, easy story device used by bad writers, but both are pulled off well.  I don’t think I heard too many Trekkies getting their panties in a knot about this movie after it came out, though most had preemptively tied up their panties.  But the story they delivered was well thought out, action-packed, emotional in parts, and charming throughout.  It also looked better than I assume every other incarnation of Star Trek, so it’s got that goin for it too.  The Narada looked awesome, but it was a little problematic for me.  It was apparently originally a mining vessel, but was also more menacing than any mining vessel ever was or should be, and apparently loaded with the most advanced weaponry of it’s time.  Seems a bit overkill for a mining vessel.  But it is comforting to know that we’ll still be able to listen to the Beastie Boys in the year 2245.  Also, why come they have all this advanced technology but they forgot that some technology can automatically time stamp things, taking away your need to start everything with the stardate?

The casting is the best part of this movie.  Every single person in this movie fits their characters and performs them excellently.  Chris Pine was a cocky douche, was funny most of the time, and pulled off the emotional scenes very well.  Zachary Quinto made a fantastic Spock.  When he turns down the Vulcan council early in the movie, I loved the way he practically spat “Live long and prosper” at them.  But for the rest of the movie I felt he was a little dry and unemotional.  Just kidding.  He’s a Vulcan.  He actually came close to emoting too much for a Vulcan.  I didn’t like the choice for his mom though.  Winona Ryder is too hot to pull off being Zachary Quinto’s mom.  Zoe Saldana was fantastic as well, and super hot as always.  She also managed to Navi-whip Spock.  Navi-whipped, p-whipped…get it?  No?  It sounded better in my head.  I got in a argument with myself over whether I liked Simon Pegg or Karl Urban better in this movie, but I wasn’t able to decide.  They’re my favorite characters in this.  Simon Pegg easily gets the win over Karl Urban in total career, but in this movie I give them equal.  Both were funny whenever they were on and both captured their characters.  I felt like Eric Bana may have hammed it up a bit, but not too bad.  Tyler Perry was my only problem with the casting.  Not because he didn’t do his small part well, but because his movies are awful.  I don’t want to go through every name in the movie, but every other name was great.

So, yeah.  This movie rules.  You should watch and own it.  And this is coming from a verified non-Trekkie, so this comes with no bias whatsoever.  I dig the look and the story of this movie a lot, but it wouldn’t be anything without the fantastic cast.  GO WATCH NOW!  Star Trek gets “I’ve never beamed three people from two targets onto one pad before!  I thought that was pretty good!” out of “I am grateful for this.”

Hey, peeps. Why not rate and comment on this as a favor to good ole Robert, eh? And tell your friends! Let’s make me famous!

Priest (2011)


I finally found myself in a place where a RedBox had something to offer me when they released Priest starring Paul Bettany, Karl Urban, and Maggie Q. Not that I went in expecting the movie to blow my mind, but I do find myself to be more fond of a simple, dumb action movie than the general populace, and that’s what I expected going in to this movie.

The first thing is a annoyance I’ve needed to get off my chest for a while. BluRay, you NEED to stop trying to sell me on the quality and awesomeness of BluRay WHILE I’M WATCHING A BLURAY MOVIE! What kind of sense does that make? I know you’re already watching one, but you should totally give BluRay a shot. I got it, I’m there, move on.

First, allow me to regale you with the conception (literally) of the movie Priest. Priest is what you get when you get Nosforatu into a 3-way with Tombstone and Dark City, then Nosforatu get’s pregnant, Tombstone and Dark City aren’t sure which one is the father, then they get mad and simultaneously kick Nosforatu in the pregnant belly and the baby, Priest, comes out retarded. It’s basically Van Helsing in the future.

Priest is the story of a dystopian future where vampires have become a huge menace. Humans get their ass kicked until these Priest people come along, trained in battle by Jesus I guess, and whoop up on the vampires, then they take them and put them into reservations (Which I guess the Native American’s aren’t using anymore). The vampires never get their casinos going, but the Priests do become irrelevant because the vampires are contained. Then, the vamps start making a comeback and kill this family and kidnap the daughter. The main Priest (Bettany) – who confusingly has no name other than Priest, even though that’s also the name of their group – is related to this family and goes against the Clergy to go find the daughter. He meets this gunman guy that loves the daughter and comes along with him. The Clergy gets all bitch-pissy and sends the other Priests after Priest. Maggie Q, who I guess is a nun, reaches Priest first and joins up with him. Turns out the big bad vamp is a former Priest turned vamp and played by Karl Urban dressed like a Steampunk Desperado. Then the vamps try to drive a train into the main city to take over and Priest, Nun, and other dude get to stop it and save the day … for Jesus!

The look of the vampires in this movie was strange to me. They were nowhere near as sexy as most movies and shitty teen-loved novels lead you to believe. They all look like Gollum with no eyes. They also have these familiars which aren’t really explained (as most of the movie’s plot isn’t) but I figure they’re humans that want to be vampires and are really ugly and look like Marilyn Manson changed their life. Karl Urban is as good as it gets in the vampire community, as I guess he’s the first human-vampire.

For a couple other comments about the movie, it seemed as most of the exposition was ADRed after the fact, either because they wanted to keep their “people getting onto motorcycles” scenes and just make them have a reason, or because they realized that without them no one would know what the heck was the plot of this thing after the filming was done. Also, there’s a scene where the gunman dude is holding a gun at the Priest because the Priest told him if the girl they were trying to rescue had been infected he would kill her. Priest says some touching words or whatever and the gunman lowers his gun. First off, why is everyone in these vampire and/or zombie movies so unable to comprehend the fact that the person they loved is now a vampombie and they won’t allow someone to kill them. That zompire will kill the shit out of you eventually in the movie for not getting that through your skull. The other thing is that, for me personally, if I get to a point where I pull a gun on someone, if I even allow them to get words out, they’d have to be mighty good to get me to lower that gun without a brand new hole being in that person. Also, as a positive shout-out, Maggie Q hits a mother fucker with a motorcycle! Nice.

So, I assume there was some attempt at commentary on the church going on in this movie, but I’m not sure what they were trying to say. See, the Clergy were a bunch of close-minded jerkfaces that want to just ignore the problem and act like it doesn’t exist, but on the other hand, the hero of the damn movie is a Priest … and a Nun and a gunman too, I suppose. So if there was a message there, I didn’t see it. But I only had to sit through like an hour and 20 minutes of this movie, so no big loss.

This isn’t that bad of a movie. Decent enough action scenes, lots of explosions and slo-mo, what seemed to be a really high production value on the scenery, and decent actors, but next to no story worth paying attention to. And if that bothers you, you probably don’t watch many action movies anyway. As a side note, I use the word “decent” too much as a reviewer and almost every time I type it, I type “descent” instead. Be forewarned before you read my eventual review of The Descent.

So, as with most action movies, this movie is a “meh”. Fun to look at, but make sure you shut your brain off while watching.