Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)


We Just Have a Bad History with Freaks Dressed like Clowns.

Batman v Superman (2016)The only thing I can think of that attracts me to see a movie more than the fact that it’s a comic book movie is when I hear that it’s terrible.  Especially with today’s movie.  I was always a Marvel fan growing up, so when I hear that a DC movie is shitty, I feel the need to go revel in their failure … and act like there hasn’t been a Marvel that was terrible.  Elektra was great, guys!  The reviews for today’s movie, and some fear of spoilers, made me rush out to see it, and then I had me some thoughts.  So I will now write them down as I review Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, written by David S. Goyer and Chris Terrio, directed by Zack Snyder, and starring Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Jesse Eisenberg, Amy Adams, Gal Gadot, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Holly Hunter, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Lauren Cohan, Kevin Costner, Michael Shannon, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, and Ray Fisher.

In an attempt to explain why it was totally cool that Superman (Henry Cavill) destroyed the greater Metropolis area in his battle with General Zod (Michael Shannon), Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) is upset that his favorite corporate headquarters was knocked down in the fight … and he’s probably bothered that that people died and some dude lost his legs.  Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) also doesn’t like Superman, and decides to use the corpse of General Zod to take Supes out.  In the meantime, he sets out to pit Batman (also Ben Affleck) and Superman against each other.  It works and they V.  They V it up!

Disappointingly, the critics apparently thought they were going in to see Shakespeare or something.  This movie was not terrible.  It doesn’t blow the mind, but it doesn’t blow anything else either.  It’s what I wanted and expected.  Perhaps one could find it disappointing just knowing that it’s based on the Dark Knight Returns, which is one of the best Batman comics I’ve ever read.  This movie isn’t that good and doesn’t quite live up to the comic, but it’s solid.  It has its problems, but it delivers on what it promises.  One of those problems is that they went back to the stupid green rocks that are the major antagonist in every Superman movie.  I thought it was the big decree in Man of Steel that they wouldn’t be relying on those?  Well, I guess they need to use everything they can to make Superman interesting.  Another problem I had was with the constant dream sequences.  They did like 7 of them!  Just whenever they realized that they hadn’t done any action scenes in a while, they teased us with a fake one.  They even had a dream sequence WITHIN A DREAM SEQUENCE!  Fuck you movie.

Probably the biggest problem with the movie is that it’s fairly predictable.  Sure, I’ve read the comic that it’s based on, but it’s LOOSELY based on it, so you can’t say for sure where it’s going.  Then you could say it’s obvious because … well because it is.  Who would win in a fight between Superman and Batman?  The same person that would win in a fight between Superman and anyone: Superman.  Superman’s powers might as well condense themselves to be “Whatever he needs to do to win eventually.”  And you can throw green rocks at him and slow him down a little, but I’ve seen him lift an island made out of green rocks in Superman Returns, so that doesn’t mean that much.  But Batman is too popular and cool to let lame ass Superman beat him, so who wins?  I was asked this question shortly after this movie was announced and my prediction was, “Stalemate.”  They battle to a stalemate so that no fans have that much ammo to complain with and then they realize there’s a bigger problem and they team up.  The title gives that away!  “Dawn of Justice?”  Meaning it will dawn on them that they should create a League of some sort, with Justice in the name somewhere.  But I didn’t come to this movie to be surprised.  I just wanted to see them fight and for things to explode.

And explode they did!  The action was pretty good, but not without their problems.  For instance, do you all know how the best part of any Batman movie is when he kicks the shit out of a building full of bad guys, but we just hear about it from witness reports later?  Yeah, I don’t either!  The first two or three times Batman does something awesome, we find out about it when the police enter the building and find a bunch of unconscious bad guys and one of them has a bat branded on his chest.  And if we’re lucky, we’ll find out that Batman was goofily hanging out in the upper corner of the room hoping no one would turn their head and see him there.  Then, when we finally see Batman do something, he’s not great at it because he’s wearing a big chunky suit to fight Superman, but I did find that fight pretty similar to Dark Knight Returns and pretty satisfying.  And later, while fighting Doomsday, the writers really couldn’t figure out anything for Batman to do so he spent the battle hiding or running from laser blasts while Wonder Woman and Superman did all the work.  But between that, Batman did a pretty sweet Arkham City impression when he whooped up on a room of baddies in true Bat-fashion.  Does it sound like I’m only talking about Batman fights?  Well that’s true.  Because Superman can suck it and Wonder Woman is underused.

The loudest cries from the nerd community before this movie were about Ben Affleck.  He already ruined a superhero when he made Daredevil, so how could he do what Chris Evans and Ryan Reynolds did already and redeem themselves with their next attempt at a superhero?  Also, we liked the last Batman, and remember how we all liked the last Joker when it was Nicholson so we preemptively hated Ledger?  And then he was terrible and in no way blew the last one out of the water?  That couldn’t happen again!  Well he was good.  He did redeem himself from Daredevil with me and, though I wouldn’t say he blew Bale out of the water, he at least rose to the challenge and did not disappoint.  So I’m absolutely convinced that the next time an actor has to change, the nerd community will be understanding.  But one of the biggest complaints about these recent DC movies is their gross misunderstanding of the characters as we know them.  Man of Steel=Superman kills someone.  Supes don’t kill.  BvS=Batman uses a gun the first time we see him.  Bats don’t shoot.  Granted, it was just a dream sequence, but since I’ve already said those could go fuck off, I will say this particular one also goes to fuck off.  It’s like taking away Deadpool’s mouth when his nickname is The Merc with a Mouth.  And who would be dumb enough to do that?  Supes was fine in the movie though.  He seemed very Superman.  I hated him, but that that means he captured the character correctly.  Although he did feel at times like he wasn’t doing anything for the world unless it involved saving Lois Lane.  And when Superman tells Batman to stop being Batman?  Fuck you, Supes!  How are you gonna tell this man not to be violent?  ‘Cause he don’t need to go the same route that you went?  Forget about that!

A lot of the secondary characters were good as well, except maybe some of them shouldn’t have been so secondary!  Wonder Woman?  WAY underused.  Dub Dubs just spends most of the movie as a hot chick walking around all mysterious-like.  Way to waste a great female character!  Let’s step that up for the next movie, shall we?  She basically only Dub Dubs it for the last battle of the movie.  But her intro was rad.  It was strong, powerful, and COMPLETELY RUINED BY THE TRAILER!  It was awesome, but since it was pretty much the only time you used her in the movie, it was the only scene you could show in the trailer.  But she totally had the lasso, and that was worth it.  They had other superheroes too, but don’t get your hopes up.  They were just shown in surveillance footage.  It was cool to see them, but not significant.  Lois was there too.  I don’t know why she had to be in a tub at one point.  I assume people will complain about that in much the same way as that scene in Star Trek Into Darkness.  It was just unnecessary, but I’m not too bothered by it.  That’s for the rest of the internet to bother complaining about.  I found Jesse Eisenberg’s performance as Lex Luthor annoying for the greater majority of the movie, but it was pretty good once he started letting out the evil near the end.  He didn’t seem quite as smart as Lex is usually portrayed though.  Lex is supposed to be a super genius, so how is his big plan to fight Superman to reanimate the guy that Superman just beat?  It would seem that the real smart money would be to bet on literally anyone that Superman hasn’t beaten over the one guy that he has.  And lastly, why are Superman’s parents the worst?  In Man of Steel and in this movie, their big thing is trying to talk Superman out of doing anything good with the special abilities only he has.  Even when the option is either you let Clark be Superman just a little bit so that dad doesn’t get swept away by a tornado!  The Kents used to be so nice!

So that’s what I thought about Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.  Nowhere near as bad as most critics said it was.  It’s exactly what I expected.  Batman v’s Superman, and it’s pretty cool.  What more could you want?  Besides maybe a little more Wonder Woman.  I say go see it.  And if there were any chance of that, you probably already have or have made plans to.  But I’m gonna take credit for it.  Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice gets “That son of a bitch brought the war to us” out of “I thought she was with you.”

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?!

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Boyz n the Hood (1991)


Any Fool With a Dick Can Make a Baby, But Only a Real Man Can Raise His Children.

Boyz n the Hood (1991)I suppose the theme for my last week of my Film 100 class is “Make Whitey Feel Bad” because the last two movies we watch are Boyz n the Hood and Do the Right Thing.  I’m okay with it because my friend Forty had requested one of these movies so I can kill two gangbangers with one drive by, as it were.  But the problem I have with reviewing this movie is the same problem I had when I reviewed Menace II Society.  First, I want to avoid seeming racist.  Second, both of these movies spell their titles poorly.  Thirdly, I feel like I’ve already seen this movie because I’ve seen Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood.  Well let’s see if I like Boyz n the Hood better without the jokes, written and directed by John Singleton, and starring Cuba Gooding Jr., Laurence Fishburne, Ice Cube, Morris Chestnut, Angela Bassett, Nia Long, Tyra Ferrell, Redge Green, Dedrick D. Gobert, Alysia Rogers, and Baldwin C. Sykes.

A ten-year-old kid named Tre Styles (Desi Arnez Hines II) gets into a fight at school.  Because of an agreement he had with his mother Reva Devereaux (Angela Bassett), he must now go and live in Crenshaw with his father Furious Styles (Laurence Fishburne).  Here he reunites with some of his childhood friends … who are promptly taken to jail for stealing.  Seven years later, Tre (Cuba Gooding Jr.) is an upstanding citizen with good grades and a job, Ricky (Morris Chestnut) is now a star running-back with aspirations of getting a scholarship, Doughboy (Ice Cube) is in and out of jail, and Chris (Redge Green) is confined to a wheelchair from a gunshot wound.  Though things seem to be going well for Ricky and Tre, it’s hard growing up in the ‘hood … or so I am told.

I feel like I’m not the right audience for this movie.  I’m not saying I didn’t like it.  It was a very poignant movie.  But I’m so very white and I really don’t like dramas.  I don’t understand the compulsion to see a movie that will make you sad.  I know these kinds of things happen!  I just don’t like to think about it!  But the movie does seem to successfully capture the danger of that kind of life.  It’s exciting and suspenseful and sad most of the time.  I wouldn’t say it always makes sense to me, but as I said, “I am so very white.”  It’s not going to be too easy to draw from my own personal experiences in order to fully relate to this movie.  I still don’t understand Reva’s motivation for sending Tre to live with Furious.  First of all, this mother fucker’s name is “Furious.”  That seems like a bad idea right away.  I assume he’d have a temper that could perhaps have earned him this moniker, and I’d also assume that this is an awful name to give to a character.  Secondly, I don’t understand how the appropriate punishment for getting into a fight in school is to make your kid go live in the deeper, darker ghetto where he will be even more surrounded by bad influences and have to fight even more just to survive.  I got the feeling that Reva just thought that Tre was a drag and was too much of a distraction for her to get her career and learning on so she pawned him off on his father so he could be out of sight AND out of mind.  It turned out okay for the most part as Tre learned his lesson well from someone that turned out to be a pretty good influence for someone named “Furious,” but even he almost made the wrong choices at the end of the movie.  I also didn’t agree with everything that Furious said.  Most of it would at least lead Tre in the right direction while still being motivated in what I would call a bit of crazy racism, like his whole monologue about liquor stores.  I agree that the people in this neighborhood should stop drinking and killing each other all the time.  That’s a pretty easy idea to get behind.  But maybe we shouldn’t be blaming the white man for all of this as if it’s some crazy white man conspiracy to keep the black man down.  Maybe instead blame the people in this movie that are scarcely seen without a 40 in their hands.  Putting a liquor store there isn’t a conspiracy so much as it’s just good business.

The greater majority of the performances in this movie were worthy of applause, but I never really got on board with Cuba Gooding Jr.  First of all, he never looked like a 17-year-old.  I would say early 30’s at best.  He did some of the sad moments well in the movie, but I was not a fan of his reaction to what happens to Ricky.  Him walking into Brandi’s house and doing some shadow-boxing struck me more as goofy than convincing.  I thought Laurence Fishburne did a good job throughout the movie, but not a good enough job that I’m going to call him “Larry Fishburne” as he is listed in the credits.  He should feel happy that I didn’t call him Morpheus as we all know I want to.  I also liked Ice Cube in the movie while simultaneously hating his mom, played by Tyra Ferrell.  Yeah, he didn’t always (or usually) make the right decisions in the movie, but I put the majority of the blame on her.  She was a rotten bitch.  As was that black cop guy.  Bernie Mac’s character in Don’t be a Menace to South Central wasn’t even that much of an exaggeration for how confusingly racist this guy was.

Boyz N the Hood was a movie that I can call a good movie based on most of its quality, but not one that I feel like I’m really meant to relate to that much.  I didn’t grow up anywhere near this kind of thing really, but it is a very interesting and informative watch.  I would feel confident in saying that everyone should watch this movie.  Whitey can feel bad for themselves, people that don’t live around this kind of thing can get an interesting glimpse into a world they typically prefer to believe doesn’t exist, and the people who do live in this world can get some positive messages from a man named Furious that might help them get out of that world.  Stopping that kind of violence is a worthy cause, even if the white man must be blamed for most of it.  Boyz N the Hood gets “Stupid motherfucker!  Don’t you know you can catch that shit from letting them suck on your dick?” out of “That’s what we’re here to celebrate, right?”

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Man of Steel (2013)


KNEEL BEFORE BOB!!

Man of Steel (2013)Seeing today’s movie proved to be harder than it should have been.  Shortly after it came out, I made a trek to the theaters with Friendboss Josh to see this movie, only to find it sold out.  That worked out for us both because we went and saw This Is The End instead.  Later, I tried to get to see it with some of my other friends, but going to my sister’s wedding made things difficult because I needed to pack.  And then my dog died.  Jesus didn’t want me to see this movie in a big bad way!  After I got back from my sister’s wedding, my friend Phil had returned to town and he was the only other person in the world besides me that had not already seen the movie, but he didn’t really care to.  I gave him such a purple nurple that his nipple was fully removed.  I promised to give it back to him after we had seen Man of Steel, written by David S. Goyer, directed by Zack Snyder, and starring Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Anteje Traue, Ayelet Zurer, Harry Lennix, Christopher Meloni, Richard Schiff, and Laurence Fishburne.

The people of planet Krypton have mined the core of their planet to the point where the planet is beginning to implode, just as their head scientist Jor-El (Russell Crowe) had warned them.  Jor and his wife Lara (Ayelet Zurer) decide to send their baby, the first baby born naturally on Krypton in centuries, to the planet Earth in a shuttle to avoid the collapse of Krypton.  The planet’s military commander, General Zod (Michael Shannon), is the only one that agrees with Jor about Krypton’s state, but disagrees that Krypton’s genetic codex should be sent to Earth with Jor’s son.  He disagrees so strongly that he kills Jor while staging a military coup.  Jor still manages to send his son away with the codex, and Zod and his rebels are captured and sentenced to prison in the Phantom Zone, where they are released a short time later when Krypton is destroyed.  On Earth, Kal-El is taken in by Jonathan (Kevin Costner) and Martha Kent (Diane Lane) and raised in Smallville, Kansas.  As he grows up, life is difficult for him as he develops superhuman abilities.  When Kal – now called Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) – becomes an adult, he leads a nomadic life because he always ends up having to use his abilities to save someone and must then disappear again.  On one job, he meets a reporter named Lois Lane (Amy Adams) and finds a ship from his ancestors that tells him his past.  Shortly after that, Zod shows up in orbit and demands that the people of Earth turn Kal over to him.

I heard such mixed reports about this movie before I saw it that I had no idea what assumption to make going into it.  But that’s typically a good thing because expectations do more harm than good.  Overall I thought this movie was good.  It didn’t blow my mind, but it was an entertaining watch.  I guess part of the problem I had with it is that there’s nothing really surprising about the story.  I’ve seen this story so many times, and they really didn’t change it drastically from what I had seen before.  And I hate Superman, but I still know this story like the back of my hand!  But the minor changes they made were ones I appreciated, like the fact that Kryptonite was nowhere to be seen in this movie.  The greater majority of Superman movies that I’ve seen are all completely based around Kryptonite.  Superman is all awesome, someone busts out a shiny green rock making him less awesome, and he overcomes it by taking it super seriously or flying into space to charge up.  This one came close to that by having him weakened by the Kyptonian atmosphere, but they never had a green rock lying around.  It also made me wonder if people making future Superman movies would be pissed that they took away their typical major plot point.  But the atmosphere thing did make the same stuff happen with Superman.  He was weakened by the atmosphere when he had to take out that terraforming “world engine” but had to sack up and take a cue out of Randy Quaid’s book from Independence Day and fly straight up that alien ship’s butthole.  I did have a problem with Superman’s flying though, just because of the part where they were saying he needs to take a leap of faith before he starts flying.  That’s not a leap of faith.  A leap of faith is like what Indiana Jones did in the Last Crusade, where he stepped off a ledge with the faith that he wouldn’t die because of it.  Superman is invulnerable and can fly.  Not a lot of faith involved in such a leap.

The visual effects of the movie and the action were all very well done, which helped save the movie from the very typical story.  Everything in the movie looked great, though occasionally I found that the shaky cam look they went for got a little tedious.  But the fights were pretty dope, especially the ones involving Faora.  She was dope.  And hot.  I liked the fight with her, that unnamed Kryptonian, and Superman, even though they made a bitch out of Superman.  Superman should probably be able to hold his own a little better than he did in most of that fight.  On the other hand, I hate Superman.  Seeing him made into a bitch doesn’t bother me that much.

I liked the greater majority of the actors in the movie, but I took issue with a lot of the characters.  Superman, for instance.  What kind of protector did you turn out to be when your fights with the Kryptonians leveled a large portion of both Smallville and Metropolis?  The Superman I know is a little more concerned with collateral damage than that.  The Superman I know also doesn’t have a hairy chest, but I guess that’s okay because chicks seem to be into it.  And speaking of being into chicks: was I the only one that was disappointed when baby Superman didn’t come flying out of his mom in the beginning, fist first?  I also had some thoughts about his parents.  First, how well does Krypton train its scientists in combat that they can beat up their top military officials?  And what the hell is the deal with his mom?  I understand the concept of a parent not wanting to give up their child, but she’s fully aware that the planet is dying.  It’s better in her opinion to let the baby die with you than to live without you?  You’re a shitty mom!  Superman’s adopted parents weren’t much better either.  I don’t remember the Kents teaching Superman the valuable lesson that sometimes you should let people die so you can keep yourself a secret.  Jonathan Kent was spectacularly stupid.  He actually dies because he tells his invulnerable superhero son to stay under the safety of the overpass while the aging human Jonathan ran back into the middle of a tornado to save a dog.  Your son … IS SUPERMAN!  He could’ve zipped out and saved that dog so fast that no one would’ve even seen him do it.  He could’ve walked through the middle of a tornado like everyone else walking in front of an oscillating fan.  But you’re right that dying in a tornado is the best way to go.  That’s how I intend to go.

Man of Steel offered nothing new in the story department, but made up for it with some pretty decent action and some fantastic visuals.  If you’ve followed Superman at all, you know pretty much where the story is going, but it will at least be visually entertaining enough to make it worthwhile.  This movie didn’t exactly blow my mind with pure awesomeness, but I was satisfied with the experience.  I’ll recommend you check this movie out in theaters.  Man of Steel gets “You will give the people an ideal to strive towards” out of “That’s why we risked so much to save you.”

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?!

Predators (2010)


After 5:00?  Damn.  Time to Go Rape Me Some Fine Bitches.

Because of Predator 2, I was extremely cautious about today’s movie.  We’ve seen many times in the past that sequels tend to decrease in quality, but I feel that cinema has also shown movies can occasionally reclaim a bit of their former glory when they’ve been removed for a few more years and no longer feel that they need to shove out a sequel while the original is still hot.  The sequels that try to capitalize on the original are usually rushed and terrible, but the other ones at least have a fighting chance.  We’ll find out what happened when they rolled the dice with Predators, written by Michael Finch, directed by Nimród Antal, and starring Adrien Brody, Alice Braga, Topher Grace, Louis Ozawa Changchien, Walton Goggins, Oleg Taktarov, Mahershalalhashbaz Ali, Danny Trejo, Laurence Fishburne, Derek Mears, Carey Jones, and Brian Steele.

A group of seemingly random people wake up to find themselves plummeting through the air towards an unfamiliar jungle.  MOST of their parachutes open.  When they finally come together, they introduce themselves as Royce (Adrien Brody), an ex-special ops soldier turned mercenary, Isabelle (Alice Braga), an IDF sniper, Hanzo (Louis Ozawa Changchien), a Yakuza enforcer, Stans (Walton Goggins), a death row inmate, Nikolai (Oleg Taktarov), a Spetsnaz soldier, Mombasa (Mahershalalhashbaz Ali), a Revolutionary United Front officer, Cuchillo (Danny Trejo), a Mexican drug cartel enforcer, and Edwin (Topher Grace), a doctor.  Together, they find out that they’re actually on an alien planet, where they were all chosen to sharpen the skills of a group of Predators.  Also, there’s a crazy guy named Noland (Laurence Fishburne) that lives in the jungle after having survived an earlier season.

Predators is not without its problems, but I still felt like it was able to claim a decent enough chunk of the fun you can find in the first movie.  And, to its credit, it’s far superior to Predator 2.  The story is nothing super spectacular, but it never really has been in this series.  They’re all basically “Guy(s) fights a Predator(s)”.  That’s basically what you’re getting here too.  But it really doesn’t have a lot of stupid stuff going on in it.  That’s good for the enjoyment of a movie, but disappointing when my favorite thing to do is mock the movies.  It didn’t really give me that much ammunition, at least for this paragraph.  It didn’t try very hard in the story, the dialogue was mostly pretty basic, and they only attempt to surprise the audience a few times, and a few of them actually work.  It’s an action movie, pure and simple, and the action is pretty satisfying.  It’s mostly some good gunplay and some bits of the Predators being awesome, but that’s all I really want to see.  I did appreciate that it totally hits the ground running on the action, with the very first scene being Royce plummeting through the air.  And it keeps that fun going pretty much all the way through.

The characters of the movie gave me the most ammunition for jokes, though the performances themselves gave me no complaints.  The reason I found the characters so amusing is because so many of them were just stereotypes.  Take, for example, Nikolai.  He was a Russian!  WHAT?!  How long did they have to brainstorm to come up with that name?!  Speaking of which, Hanzo!  His character was also a stereotype.  In fact, it was more than one smashed together.  He was a Yakuza, but also exhibited signs of being both a ninja and a samurai, just like every Asian person.  For the first bulk of the movie, I was actually shocked that they didn’t give him a friggin’ katana to fight with … and then they did.  Danny Trejo was also a pretty stereotypical Mexican.  I mean in real life.  His character was too, though.  The African dude with the unpronounceable name (Mahershalalhashbaz Ali) seemed to basically be Joseph Kony, but much less of a monster.  Walton Goggins was a fairly basic white trash character as well.  Topher Grace’s character was the only one that had any kind of surprise to him.  Adrien Brody and Alice Braga didn’t really fit any particular stereotype for their race, but settled pretty nicely into the stereotypes of action movie characters.  Brody was a pretty typical gruff, raspy, mysterious action dude, and Braga was the tough chick, and more damsel in distress near the end of the movie.  And Laurence Fishburne was almost annoyingly over the top as his crazy character.

Predators has a pretty basic story and never really tries to be more than an action movie, but that’s not really a bad thing.  It knew what it was trying to do and it did it, and the movie was pretty fun and pretty fantastic to look at.  The characters were one-dimensional and usually stereotypical, but they were well performed.  Final verdict: the comparison between Predator and Predators is nowhere near the same as Alien and Aliens, and I’d say the original Predator is probably a little better, but Predators is pretty close, and way better than Predator 2.  Also, definitely worth a watch.  And, now that we’ve talked Aliens and Predators, I think we need to see what happens when they throw down against each other.  We’ll find out how that works out over the next two days, but for now, Predators gets “They’re bigger than us, stronger, but also heavier” out of “Looking good there, boss.”

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The Matrix Revolutions (2003)


It Ends Tonight

The time has come to finish another movie series.  As is typically the case, this movie is generally regarded as the worst in the series.  The first movie in the series was regarded as innovative and awesome, and the second one was less innovative but included some pretty spectacular action.  The third one … ties up the series.  But you aren’t coming here for me to regurgitate Rotten Tomatoes scores into your faces with a couple of dick jokes; you’re here to find out my opinion on these movies … with a couple of dick jokes.  So let’s penis this up with my review of The Matrix Revolutions, written and directed by Andy and Larry (Lana) Wachowski, and starring Keanu Reeves, Hugo Weaving, Carrie-Anne Moss, Laurence Fishburne, Jada Pinkett Smith, Mary Alice, Sing Ngai, Bruce Spence, Lambert Wilson, Nathaniel Lees, Harry J. Lennix, Clayton Watson, Harold Perrineau Jr., Nona Gaye, Helmut Bakaitis, and Monica Bellucci.

At the end of the last movie, Neo (Keanu Reeves) held up his hand and made some robots fall down.  Then he also fell down.  So he’s in a coma, his mind being stuck in the matrix somehow, even though he’s not plugged into it.  He finds himself trapped in a train station with a family that probably owns a couple 7-11’s.  It’s controlled by The Trainman (Bruce Spence) and the Merovingian (Lambert Wilson).  Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) go to the Merovingian to negotiate for Neo’s release, but Trinity decides the best negotiating technique she has is to pull a gun on the Merovingian.  With Neo out, he sets out to go to the machine city with Trinity while Morpheus, Niobe (Jada Pinkett Smith), and the rest of the crew to participate in a gigantic battle against the machines in Zion.  And then some more CG nonsense and the end.

Much as with Reloaded, this movie has a weaker story and must attempt to stand alone on its action.  But where Reloaded had a couple of epic, practical action scenes, this movie had two CG guys bumping into each other as thousands of other CG guys watched.  The story mostly seems like a desperate attempt to tie up the story they had started at whatever the cost, and then throw in some vaguely biblical imagery because, as we all know, Keanu Reeves is computer Jesus.  I still have no idea what would motivate the computers to reach a treaty with the humans, but it happened so we’ll just have to deal with it.  The dialogue continued to not impress, especially when Neo was talking to the Oracle.  Every question he asked was met with, “You already know the answer to that question.”  Well thanks for wasting our fucking time, Oracle/Wachowski’s.

Story had already been a bit of a problem in Reloaded, but the freeway scene was worth the price of admission all by itself.  In this movie, the action scenes were all pretty disappointing.  One action scene was when Morpheus, Trinity, and Seraph fought their way in to see the Merovingian.  The CG used in this scene was much more disappointing than it should have been with how much money I imagine they had at their disposal.  They also should just give up on using guns.  If I had an accuracy rating as low as they have in Call of Duty I would kill myself, but I’d probably miss my shot with my gun in my mouth.  I don’t even know why the Merovingian was intimidated with Trinity holding a gun against his head.  There was at least a 75% chance that she’d miss.  But then she’d just kick him into a wall with the jumping crane kick that she has in her contract that she must do at least once per film.  I also felt like the outcome of the fight between Neo and Bane would have been different if Neo didn’t just assume that being awesome in the matrix meant that he didn’t need to work out in the real world.  I would say that I didn’t mind the battle for Zion near the end of the movie.  Yeah, it was a lot of CG nonsense, and mostly involved some giant robots shooting at a hole in the ceiling, but it was pretty epic in scale and got the greater majority of the small characters the opportunity to be a hero.  The little wormy guy that loved Neo got to kick some ammo into a robot, Link’s pussy (Zee) got to shoot a giant robot with a bazooka, and Link and the crew of the Hammer got to sit in chairs and pint at things with joysticks.  Okay, that last part was boring.  They were having this epic scene where they were flying the Hammer through some narrow tunnels with Sentinels in pursuit being barely held off by turrets on the ship, and a couple of times they decided to show the excitement of that scene by showing the guys controlling the turrets in what could best be described as playing Xbox.  I admit to wanting to see an ending with some hand to hand combat, but what I didn’t want is a big CG mess of two collections of pixels smashing together in the rain.  They interrupt this occasionally with two real people kicking and punching at each other, but let’s not waste lot of time on that.  Look what computers can do now!

Someone came up with an interesting idea in this movie: “Let’s give Keanu Reeves some room to stretch his acting chops.”  Interesting, but not intelligent.  He sucks.  Trinity gets a new piece of jewelry through her chest and he has to try to cry over her.  It didn’t work out well for him.  Someone must’ve realized it wouldn’t work out so they burned out his eyes and covered half of his face with a scarf over his icky eye goo.  Carrie-Anne Moss?  Still a lezzie.  But her acting looks pretty amazing next to Keanu.  I think the star of this movie when it comes to performances is Ian Bliss as Bane.  That guy does a really good impression of Hugo Weaving.

Now we’ve finished the Matrix trilogy, and the Wachowski’s made good and sure that nobody would be asking for them to ruin a fourth one.  The story was a rushed attempt to tie up loose ends, the action was 90% CG, and they tried to get Keanu Reeves to act.  Bad decision, guys/guy and girl.  It’s not the worst movie ever, but it does kill all of the enjoyable parts of the previous two movies.  I don’t really recommend it … unless it’s cheaper to buy the movies in a trilogy.  I own it, but only out of my obsessive-compulsive completionism.  The Matrix Revolutions gets “Why do you persist?” out of “It is done.”

Let’s get these reviews more attention, people.  Post reviews on your webpages, tell your friends, do some of them crazy Pinterest nonsense.  Whatever you can do to help my reviews get more attention would be greatly appreciated.  You can also add me on FaceBook (Robert T. Bicket) and Twitter (iSizzle).  Don’t forget to leave me some comments.  Your opinions and constructive criticisms are always appreciated.

The Matrix Reloaded (2003)


You Always Told Me to Stay Off the Freeway

By now, I think most people have the feeling that the first Matrix movie was fantastic.  And, as with most fantastic things, the studio tried to capitalize on its popularity by cranking out a couple of sequels that sucked.  Going into today’s movie, I remember only that the series deflated me in the sequels, but I don’t really remember which one was the greater cause of it or why.  Because it was requested by Samrizon, because it continues the series, and because I can’t remember if I liked it or not, let’s check out my review of The Matrix Reloaded, written and directed by Andy and Larry (Lana) Wachowski, and starring Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Laurence Fishburne, Hugo Weaving, Harry J. Lennix, Anthony Zerbe, Jada Pinkett Smith, Gloria Foster, Randall Duk Kim, Lambert Wilson, Helmut Bakaitis, Harold Perrineau Jr., Nona Gaye, Daniel Bernhardt, and Monica Bellucci.

Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) has come across some information that a group of robotic Sentinels are tunneling towards the last remaining human city, Zion.  Commander Lock (Harry J. Lennix), commander of Zion’s military, orders all ships to return to Zion to defend it.  Morpheus asks another ship to wait around to get a message from the Oracle (Gloria Foster).  They do, and Morpheus takes his ship, the Nebuchadnezzar (which I only include because I like typing that word), back into the matrix so that Neo (Keanu Reeves) can contact her.  He does, but is immediately attacked by Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving), who was freed from the control of the matrix and is now trying to replicate himself into everyone in the matrix.  With the information received from the Oracle, Neo must battle his way through hordes of enemies, risk his life and the lives of his loved ones, and cost people their lives, all in order to get into a big room full of televisions and talk to a bearded jerk with a superiority complex.

By the time this movie came out, it suffered from the same problem that the first Matrix movie suffers from when watching it today: when it’s no longer innovative and impressive, it must rely too heavily on a story that’s not super impressive.  It’s fine enough, but it had the tendency to get a little talkie, which was a problem since about half of the dialogue was made terribly annoying by the fact that the Wachowski Brothers used the check from the first Matrix money to invest in a Thesaurus.  Especially the Architect.  The vernacular utilized by that gentleman was quite feasibly the most irksome and befuddling thing to attempt to cognize.  You had to virtually pick and choose the word you could fathom and try to formulate something comprehensible out of it.  Thank you, Thesaurus.  There was a little bit of love story in the first movie, but it was a lot heavier in this one, and I don’t really think it’s the Wachowski’s strong point.  For an example of this, I would harken back to the scene when Link was returning home to his wife Zee and was apparently about to enter the house and yell, “Where’s my pussy?!” until he realized that there were kids in the room.  Seriously, he walks in and gets out, “Where’s my puss…” before he sees them.  Is this how we’re supposed to do it, Ladies?  I’m going to get a girlfriend so I can introduce her as “the irrelevant skin and tissue that connects the boobs and the vag.”  They’re much better when it comes to scenes like the dialogue between Morpheus and Commander Lock.  That dialogue was thick with “Fuck you, I’m smarter than you” from Morpheus.  The Wachowski’s also begin to show themselves to be a little pervy, like the part where the Merovingian has randomly put the programming equivalent of Spanish Fly into a girl’s cake so that the Wachowski’s can vaguely mask their desire to zoom in on a computer code version of a lady’s vagina with some nonsense dialogue about causality.  But then perversion and the Merovingian came together for a good line that Persephone dropped about the lipstick that wasn’t on his face.  It’s so hard to tell where to stand with these Wachowski’s.

The action was sublime in this movie.  If they were going to teach a class about action sequences, they would show the freeway battle scene.  It’s spectacle at its best, and mostly done practically if I remember correctly.  There was some CG, but mostly it was just cars getting fucked up.  The movie also jumps right into some decent action, although it turns out to be a bit of a fuck you because it’s a dream sequence.  It also adds to my idea that people suck at shooting in the matrix.  Trinity’s falling out of a window and an Agent is falling right after her.  She’s unloading uzi’s at him and he probably can’t dodge very much in midair, but neither one of them can hit anything.  A single bullet out of the entire barrage connects.  They also had some pretty good hand to hand combat scenes, like Neo and the Merovingian’s henchmen.  The movie still looks pretty amazing, but it has a couple of faults with some of the CG.  I remember there being some pretty awful face replacement and fakey looking computer generated people, mostly surrounding the multiple Agent Smiths in the big fight on the playground.  There’s also an icky, sweaty-looking dance/Neo and Trinity fucking sequence that goes on a little long, but at least everyone in the dance sequence has their nipples out.  I also want to believe that the one guy that jumps really high out of the crowd was just doing that so he could be on camera.  I also liked the idea, and the execution, of the Keymaker’s skillset, turning a broom closet into a mansion foyer.  And the best thing about the look of the movie was that epic urinal in the Merovingian’s restaurant.  It was a waterfall!  I’d pee all over that!

The performances were roughly unchanged from the previous movie.  I think I might’ve liked Keanu Reeves a little less in this movie.  He still seems like a mixture of Ted from Bill & Ted and Johnny Utah from Point Break.  But this time around, he’s the savior of the world from the first moment.  He wasn’t all cocky about it, but you’d like to think the world was not in his hands.  Carrie-Anne Moss still looks lezzie and Laurence Fishburne is still spooky, but he pulls out a lot more rousing speeches this time around.  We’re also introduced to Jada Pinkett Smith’s Niobe character, which made little to no impact on me.  I found myself slightly irritated with Hugo Weaving in this movie, but it was more the fault of the writing that he kept saying stupid things when talking with his clones.  And thank the good lord up above for the inclusion of Monica Bellucci.  She didn’t do very much in the movie, but Gundamn is she good looking.  I like to think that Keanu slipped a chunk of change to the Wachowski’s to add a random scene where she wanted him to kiss her for no good reason, just so he could stop kissing the lezzie for a while.  And it was fun for me that they added Daniel Bernhardt to the movie as one of the Agents.  I think we all remember his debut performance in Future War (MST3k movie.  Check it out).

Not nearly as impressive and innovative as its predecessor, but still an enjoyable watch in its own right.  The Matrix Reloaded can spend a little too much time talking for my taste, but the action that the dialogue is filling the space between is worth the wait, especially in the freeway scene.  I definitely think Reloaded does a passable job of holding a candle for The Matrix, even though it has a cliffhanger on a movie that’s kept separate from its resolution by almost a year.  But I won’t have to wait that long because I’m reviewing it tomorrow.  For now, The Matrix Reloaded gets “This is Zion, and we are not afraid!” out of “I just love you too damn much.”

Let’s get these reviews more attention, people.  Post reviews on your webpages, tell your friends, do some of them crazy Pinterest nonsense.  Whatever you can do to help my reviews get more attention would be greatly appreciated.  You can also add me on FaceBook (Robert T. Bicket) and Twitter (iSizzle).  Don’t forget to leave me some comments.  Your opinions and constructive criticisms are always appreciated.

The Matrix (1999)


I Know Kung Fu

I don’t really know what lead to Samrizon requesting today’s movie, but I also don’t care.  The first part of this trilogy was one of the most badass memories from my high school days.  I can’t imagine I’ll ever complain too much about having to watch this movie.  Can the same be said about both of the ensuing movies?  Probably not.  But we’ll worry about that little problem tomorrow.  Today, we have to see how the movie that started it all holds up, 12 years after its release.  And with that we jump into my review of The Matrix, written and directed by Andy and Larry (or Lana) Wachowski, and starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Hugo Weaving, Carrie-Anne Moss, Gloria Foster, Joe Pantoliano, Marcus Chong, Anthony Ray Parker, Julian Arahanga, Belinda McClory, Matt Doran, Paul Goddard, and Robert Taylor.

First, a girl named Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) beats up some dudes.  Then, a dude named Thomas Anderson, aka Neo (Keanu Reeves), talks to his computer.  He follows a lady’s tattoo until he meets Trinity, who tells him that a man named Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) can help him.  But first, he’s gotta get some robot squid put into his stomach by the Agents – Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving), Agent Brown (Paul Goddard), and Agent Jones (Robert Taylor).  Trinity, Apoc (Julian Arahanga), and Switch (Belinda McClory) help him abort his squid baby and take him to meet Morpheus, who offers him a red Roofie and a blue Roofie.  He picks one and wakes up in an egg of red Jell-O similar to that one from Lady GaGa’s nonsense.  He’s retrieved by the Nebuchadnezzar, a hovercraft captained by Morpheus, and is told that he was saved from the Matrix because he is “the one”.  Neo says “Whoa” and tries to figure out what it means to be “the one”.

My opinion of this movie has not changed very much from my first viewing.  I still think it’s a badass movie.  It’s not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s cool and a lot of fun.  But the sad thing about this movie is that it’s not nearly as impressive when watched today.  You have to really try to remember the state of movies back when this one came out to really appreciate this one.  The bullet time things and other slo-mo things have been jacked by so many video games and movies since this one that watching it now feels nowhere near as impressive.  If you realize that this movie was the first to really do those things in a mainstream way, then you can appreciate it.  The premise of the story is good, but there are plenty of things that come up as funny to me while watching it now.  The basic story of the machines that we built taking over could easily be tied to the Terminator movies, but this movie takes it in a new and innovative direction by having them turn us into batteries and creating the world as we know it to keep us pacified.  Of course, this whole battery thing led to a part that annoyed me when Switch calls Neo “Copper Top” well before he – and the audience – had been let in on the fact that people were batteries.  At that point, unless Keanu Reeves is a ginger, that joke doesn’t make any sense.  And it doesn’t seem like good comedy for you to only be able to get a joke 20 minutes after it was told.  But I think the reason this movie was as popular with nerdy people like myself is because of the nerd superhero complex.  Who wouldn’t want to be “The One”?  And to be able to turn into a master of every martial art just by moving your eyes around when they’re closed?  I’m in!  Problem with that whole thing is when Morpheus beats the shit out of Neo for a while before telling him what he needs to hear to make him stop playing by the rules of physics.  Dick move, Morpheus.  Earlier in the movie, I had a bit of a problem brought about by the Agents.  While they’re interviewing Neo, he demands his one phone call.  Agent Smith responds, “What good is a phone call if you’re unable to speak?”  At this point, his mouth disappears.  I know that this would be frightening if it happened in real life, but the way it was presented made me think Agent Smith was about to show Neo a magic trick.  I wanted him to say, “How are you going to make a phone call when all of your quarters are behind your ear?!”

Though I like the story of this movie, I think we can all agree that the look and the fights are what really make it stand out.  At least at the time, this was probably as good as it gets for American martial arts movies.  The movie itself generally has a green haze over everything.  I don’t know why I wrote that because I have nothing to add on to it.  And I don’t know why I don’t just delete that.  …Moving on.  I feel like, watching the movie today, some of the slo-mo stuff doesn’t really hold up its end of the bargain as it once did.  Trinity’s little crane jump kick in the beginning looked a little goofy to me, as did Neo’s first attempt at dodging bullets.  I also laughed during the big gun battle in the lobby on their way to save Morpheus.  The scene itself was badass.  What made me laugh was the fact that Neo and Trinity were such terrible shots that they were only able to kill one security guard with a full clip from each weapon before discarding them.  The technology in the movie went back and forth between impressive and not.  Looking at green numbers and letters because the Matrix was too vast to show in picture form is funny to me now that we live in today’s world … of Warcraft.  They should probably make a Matrix MMORPG.  Not only that, but they should do it AND give me a lot of money for thinking of it.  The Nebuchadnezzar looked pretty sweet though.  I also laughed looking at the cell phones they used in this movie.  They weren’t quite Saved by the Bell phones, but I remember thinking how cool those phones were back when this movie came out.  Today, no one would be caught dead using those slider phones.

The performances were hit and miss.  I’d say they were mostly hit … and then there was Keanu Reeves.  In all seriousness, I don’t actually think he was that bad for this movie.  He seemed as dumb as a sack of hammers, but his role was mainly punching people in the face.  Every time I see him turn to Morpheus and proclaim, “I know Kung Fu,” I break into laughter.  When Morpheus tells Neo that you die in real life if you die in the matrix because, “the body cannot live without the mind,” I realized that Neo could survive death in the matrix because he has so much practice living without a mind.  The Oracle was also fine in the movie, but you don’t have to be able to see the future to decide that Keanu Reeves isn’t that bright.  Alright, that’s all of the “Keanu Reeves is dumb” jokes I thought of for this movie.  Laurence Fishburne was really good in this movie as the often spooky mastermind Morpheus.  Carrie-Anne Moss was pretty believable as a good tough lady character, but she also looked like a lezzie.  It’s probably not the best message for women that they can only be strong and stand up to men if they munch carpet.  Hugo Weaving was also fantastic as Agent Smith.  And Joe Pantoliano plays a fantastic asshole.  Matt Doran creeped me out as Mouse though.

The Matrix still definitely holds up as a great movie, but it’s nowhere near as spectacular when watched today because of how much other movies have borrowed from it.  The story’s still cool, the look is pretty great, and the action is still very much enjoyable.  Also, all of the performances are enjoyable, so long as you go into the movie knowing exactly how Keanu Reeves acts in every movie.  There should be no way that any of you have not seen the Matrix by now, but I definitely recommend it if you haven’t.  I have the trilogy on BluRay, and I’ll be making use of it over the next two days when I finish the trilogy.  But, for now, The Matrix gets “No one can be told what the Matrix is” out of “It’s good for two things: degreasing engines and killing brain cells.”

Let’s get these reviews more attention, people.  Post reviews on your webpages, tell your friends, do some of them crazy Pinterest nonsense.  Whatever you can do to help my reviews get more attention would be greatly appreciated.  You can also add me on FaceBook (Robert T. Bicket) and Twitter (iSizzle).  Don’t forget to leave me some comments.  Your opinions and constructive criticisms are always appreciated.