Wednesday, August 30, 2017

New Streaming Flix: Netflix's Death Note

After doing the Anime and both Live-Action Films from Japan, I might as well do this new Netflix one...I guess...
We've only got 90 minutes here, so let's get moving...

Light (name unchanged) discovers a magic Book.  Yadda yadda yadda he kills people.  This time- Final Destination-style Gore.  Yea?
This time, Ryuk (named unchanged) drops all of the rules on him one big exposition dump.  We can thank a big name Actor being Cast as the Voice for that no doubt.

This Version of Light isn't all about changing the World though.  He just wants revenge and everything else is cherry.
L shows up in Japan (got to fill the quota) and instantly sees through Light's plan to make people think he's Japanese.

He's still a Mary Sue, but at least they vaguely-explain why.
Ryuk continues to push Light to kill more people, but the real manipulator is Mia- a Character who is the Amalgamation of Misa and Shiori.  She connects with Light and pushes him to expand his scope.
With L on the case, will Light be able to make it without being caught?
More importantly, what does this Version add with another Live-Action Adaptation TV Show from Japan already around?  Oh and a 2016 Sequel to the Films as well!

To find out, stream away.
It isn't bad, but it has many issues.  In case it wasn't clear earlier, I've seen and Reviewed both the Anime Series of Death Note and the Live-Action Films from Japan.  It makes me a bit biased as this is now the THIRD time I've seen some Version of this same Story.  As such, it is hard to talk about this just on its own.  I have to compare it to them- I just do.  The big problem is just the Pacing due to this being a Film and not a Show.  I did the Math back in a previous Review, but the length of the Show adds up to something like 800 minutes.  The 2-Part Live Action Film from 2006 equals out to around 250 minutes.  This one is 90 minutes.  Even assuming that this WILL BE the first of two Parts, there is still no way that this evens out.  Looking at this solely on its own merits for a moment (I'm trying!), the Acting is fine, the actual Story is still good (it is still Death Note) and the Effects look good.  I wasn't as sold on the penchant for big, bloody kills here though.  I'm not shy about blood, but they are almost a bit too distracting for me.  I would say that if you don't know the original Versions by heart, you will probably enjoy this one alright.  If you know the source material all too well, this is a bit of a confusing attempt to consolidate the Story into one Film.  Speaking of Films, what was wrong with this effect?
Not bad as a Film if you only see this Version.  If' you've seen longer, expanded Versions though, you'll know what is missing.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

New Flix: Batman and Harley Quinn

After all of the *stuff* that went wrong in regards to Batman: The Killing Joke, is this a return to form or...more of the same?  Let's see...
Some vague time after all of the Animated DC Shows, Poison Ivy is teaming up with Floronic Man (who once made super Weed for her).

Their plan- to make everyone Plants.  Ugh.
Batman spends his time threatening to out a Government Agent as a lover of BDSM (no lie), while Nightwing's night begins with a fight and ends with...ugh...I can't SPOIL this...but ugh.
They recruit Harley to find Ivy, even though she hasn't seen her in at least a year.  Clearly nobody could do it.

Oh and she farts in the Batmobile.  Repeatedly.
To find Ivy and save the World, they must...sigh...stop at a Henchman Bar.  Here are 2 dancing Robots.  

This is not even the dumbest part.  That would be the TWO Filler Music Numbers in this 74 Minute Film (with Credits).
In a Film full of deaths (including one man impaled through the heart!), this happens.
Can Harley be the one to turn the tide and save humanity?  Will the Film end on a high note?  Why is Swamp Thing such a big part of this Story all of a sudden?

To find out, watch the Film (or not).
Ow- my childhood!  This one is bad, but I feel like it bears truly exploring as to why.  First off- the Tone is all over the place.  In one Scene, Harley bemoans her sad, post-Prison life.  In another, she farts in the Batmobile.  In yet another Scene, she is consoling a dying Scientist (she didn't know).  In yet another another Scene, she is making a pouty face to try and save the World.  This Film has murder, 2 musical numbers, mostly-just-about-rape, a joke about Bat Boners, an Ecological Conservation message, people eating magic vegetables, Harley pleading for independence AND the most insulting anti-climax in recent memory.  What. Is. This. Film?  This is my best Theory- Bruce Timm helped Write an ode to his (alongside Paul Dini and others) Series.  Meanwhile, Doug Benson woke up one morning with his own Script (somehow).  Finally, the people who stitched the Suicide Squad Script together ground these two together into a Sausage that would make Upton Sinclair vomit & we got this Movie.  As some weird, stand-alone thing, this would be dumb, but acceptable.  However, this is meant to be following Batman: The Animated Series, Mask of the Phantasm, Superman: The Animated Series, SubZero and Justice League.  Those are good.  This is not.  I want to love Bruce Timm, but he makes it so hard these days!  While this is insulting, dumb and mostly a waste of time, at least they gave up on over-sexualizing Barbara Gordon after...dammit.
Considering the source material and the man behind it, this is a big disappointment.  Who are you and what have you done with Bruce Timm?!?!?

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Triple B Flix: Fit to Kill

Another one of these- why not?!?  I have 12 of these and I am going to watch all of them- dammit.  Today's Film is Fit to Kill, a Title seemingly chosen at random.  It doesn't have a thing to do with the Plot.  I'll explain what it means later- just because I'm an asshole.  The Plot is the finale of the Kane Trilogy- inside of the L.E.T.H.A.L. Series- and wraps up his Arc in a kind of silly way.  According to IMDB, this was meant to be the final Film in that one too...but I've got like 4 more.  This is also the final Film EVER for Dona Speir as, well, Donna.  She had a kid and stopped being in anything, so, I guess, good for her.  Thankfully, it was THIS Film as her last and not the previous one.  The Story involves a Russian Diamond, a Nazi Plot during WWII, a Chinese Billionaire, lots of shooting and even a Gerald Okamura Cameo.  As a bonus, Rodrigo Obregon gets to try out a new Ethnicity- neat.  I need to do this one before the mish-mash of L.E.T.H.A.L. Plots get jumbled any more in my head, so let's see what happened...
Our Agents are on a Paintball Tag Mission, but only after Donna and friend lounge in a bikini.  They also set up an attack helicopter, since Andy must have had stock in some Company that made them!
So here's the Plot: a Chinese guy was given a Russian Diamond from a dying Nazi that was stolen during WWII.  He wants to give it back, but Kane wants to steal it.

That all seems simple enough...so it will get much more complicated later.
Julie Strain appears as an Assassin working for an until-now-unseen rival of Kane.  She goes from trying to kill him to working for him in like one hour of real-time.
Kane hatches a complex plan involving a fake I.D., knocking out Donna, having the diamond stolen and flown away in a toy helicopter (a rival one!) and having HIMSELF knocked out to push suspicion off of himself.

Oh and Strain is doing something conspicuous as well.
There are two things to note about this one: Random Filler and PG-13 Sex Scenes.  They make the Film reach 80+ minutes.

Example #1: Wasting a bunch of time on a 'comedy' bit with recurring henchmen that just ends in an explosion and 'humor.'

Example #2: Both Kane and Strain (great Tag Team name!) celebrate the heist with their respective partners.  After a random Dialog Scene, two of the Agents proceed to have a 'shag' as well!  It has only been like 2 minutes between them- tops!
A rather pointless Sub-Plot has the always-in-lingerie DJ tell the Russian Ambassador that she likes tough guys.  In response, he has his Bodyguard pretend to be an attacker and then he 'fends' him off.

After the- of course it is here- Sex Scene, she finds out the truth...and is apparently not bothered by the sort-of-Rape!
Back in the real Plot, we meet the rival- Po- who actually had Strain on his side the whole time.  Her failed assassination was all planned AND the diamond stolen was also a fake.

Meanwhile, the Double Agent with Kane continues to do nothing AND Donna is captured.
They all meet up with the Billionaire, who is now trying to sell the REAL Diamond to Po, who is pretending to be a Chinese Government Agent.  When his obvious ruse is foiled, shooting and death ensues.

It is a battle of the toy helicopters!  Our Heroes win AND blow up the Yacht with a single, tiny rocket.  Of course they do!
In the aftermath, Kane has escaped and the Double Agent is still with him...for some reason.

However, we get Kane 'Redemption' Arc as we learn that his Dad was a Nazi killed by the guy who gave the Diamond to the Billionaire.  He just wanted to be rich to get revenge, so him briefly being Pat Morita and trying to kill them is A-Okay.  The End.
More silliness and more explosions.  This one continues the trend of mixing pointless Sex Scenes, shoot-outs and 'Comedy' into one strange package.  It adds a new layer of silly though: Dream Sequences.  At one point, the Boss is taking pictures of his lady and suddenly imagines this to be a sexy Indoor Photo Shoot.  That will burn 3 minutes of Screen Time.  After their capture, we see Kane fantasizing about Donna in an even longer bit.  Fun Fact: Kane was played by R.J. Moore, the son of the now-late Roger Moore.  I legitimately had no idea until this Morning, but it does explain why they kept putting him in a Tuxedo.  As always, the Plot is just a mess.  Between the Comedy, Sex and Filler- including a bit where the tracking device necklace is stolen from a Pawn Shop and then returned-, the actual Story is rushed.  How do you have too much Plot and not enough Plot?  Kane's whole Arc is not helped by the change in Actors.  Even if he was Moore the whole time, I fail to see how him becoming a Criminal Mastermind to get revenge on a Billionaire makes him alright.  It just doesn't.  If you've seen a Sidaris Film, you will have seen *most* of what this has to offer.  I guess I can't expect much more at this point.  So long, Donna/Dona...
Next time, I continue to find more random stuff to watch.  I'll give you something good!  Stay tuned...

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Twin Piqued: Part 13

After last week's bit of seemingly-random filler, will this one take a turn for the better?
Important Moments
- The Las Vegas PD confirm that Dougie Cooper has matching prints to BOB and Agent Cooper.  They don't believe it.
- BOB Cooper shows up to 'The Farm,' murders a few people (after winning an Arm Wrestling Match) and finds out who tried to kill him.
- Dougie Cooper is rewarded with a new Car and Play Set for giving The Mitchums their money.
- Shelly learns that her Daughter's dick boyfriend is still missing, so she offers her pie.
- Later, his Co-Worker is forced to try and kill him, but gives in to his conscience.  He confesses everything in a bout of Lynch-ian overacting.
- Audrey is still upset and still doesn't leave.  How are time and space working?
- Dr. Jacoby meets Nadine, who displays the Golden Shovel in her Showroom Window.
- The One-Armed Man places a ring on a desk in the Red Room.
- We learn that the Double R is a Franchise.  Meanwhile, Big Ed returns...to be a Background Player.
Theme(s)
The big Theme here is Success...
- Dougie is rewarded for the deal.
- BOB gets what he wants from The Farm.
- They delve into abrupt depth about the Double R's Franchise success.
- Dougie somehow solves a big case by sheer happenstance.
- The Las Vegas PD gets the information...but just doesn't use it.
Weird Moment(s)
This one was trying to be super-serious with all of the Plot.  That said, I have to admire the randomness of this giant view screen at The Farm...
The real winner is the whole part where BOB shows off while Arm Wrestling, wins with ease and then nearly Riki-Ohs a man's face!
Back to form, for the most part.  This one is all about weird Pacing in the Series as a whole.  Two whole Episodes without BOB appearing at all...and then he takes over the first quarter of the Episode.  Dougie gets nothing but a joke Cameo in the last Episode and then takes over another quarter of the Episode.  Was there no way to pace this out?  Furthermore, lets try to make sense of the timing.  In Episode 11, he celebrates with the Mitchums.  In Episode 12, he's suddenly at home with the kid playing catch.  In Episode 13, he's now back with the Mitchums in the immediate aftermath of the celebration.  Come again!  At least with the BOB stuff, he could have been just going to The Farm the whole time.  There's also a weird time-space issue with Audrey somehow still being at home at night, while a whole day passes for Dougie.  In the grand scheme of things, that's not even in the Top 50 strangest things in the run of this Show, but is still notable.  This one mostly-delivered on the good, while minimizing the bad.  I'm still over Dougie as a thing, but at least he was mostly used to forward the Plot.  Take us away, random End Credits Scene...
Next week, things continue to build.  Will it build to something worthwhile though?  See you then...

Thursday, August 24, 2017

*Fast* Reviews: The Fate of the Furious

See what I did there?  Huh?  Huh?  I don't care if you groaned, it was worth it!  Anyways...
We surely needed a almost-entirely-pointless Street Race set in Cuba.  It is not like this Film is over 2 hours long as it is!
Our new Villain- retconned like a mofo into continuity!- takes control of Dom with something mysterious.  I'd SPOIL it...but that would just get me started on a different rant entirely (which I just did on Facebook).
The Rock is put into Prison after Dom's turn, but immediately broken out one Scene later with Statham's Shaw, who they will turn into a good guy...even though he killed Han and tried to kill them all at least a dozen times.

This is all about Family alright!
The remainder of the team reunites, now with Shaw and a new bland, white guy (Scott Eastwood).  Can they take down Dom, Furiosa and Tormund Giantsbane?
Can Dom escape the control of Cipher (the most cliché Hacker name ever)?  Can he use his Producer Credit to make sure that he never looks weak or ever not in control during the action?
Beyond anything, this one is all about ridiculous (mostly in the bad way for me) Action and the idea of turning the team into armed government agents.

Can the save the World from the most impossibly-fast Sub?  To find out, watch the Film.
Silly, stupid and sometimes fun.  I don't want you to think that I'm some grumpy asshole who 'can't enjoy a fun Film.'  I like a lot of Films that aren't technically-great, but are fun for me.  I like The Guyver.  I like The Scorpion King.  I like The Protector.  I'm by no means the 'Arty Film Lover'- that's why I make Bob do those.  This one is just so disconnected from reality most of the time that it is hard to connect to.  There's a line where credibility is just plain gone and this is a cartoon.  Is it where Ludacris supposedly took the time to spray paint a smiley face on a wrecking ball?  Is it when Dom rams through a dozen metal beams without even slowing down?  Is it when Dom outruns a missile in a Charger?  Is it when Dom rips metal off of a(n old) car with ease?  Is it when the God's Eye is taken and used against our Heroes for the 2nd straight Film?  Is it when all of the cars but one drive fine on the ice...but then the other one doesn't AND they chide him for not having snow tires (when they don't either)?!?  Is it when Dom somehow hatches a plan involving four people while under constant observation and control?  Is it when Hobbs has his mostly-white Girls Soccer Team do a Samoan War Dance?  Is it when Dom hits a truck with his car and it JUST SO HAPPENS to make him fire all of his missiles from the pod and THEY JUST SO HAPPEN to hit every other truck following them?!?  Is it when they have a nice 'family' dinner with the guy who killed Han?

Wow, that was tiring!  In any event, the Movie is ridiculous- love it or leave it.  Now let's just enjoy how far Vin Diesel keeps The Rock from him the whole Film and in this Publicity Photo...
Another bloated, ridiculous mess of a Film.  Is the spectacle worth the constant head smacking?  That's up to you to decide, I guess.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Worst of the Worst: Carl J. Sukenick's Alien Beasts

Oh boy- this is a bad one.  No need for the question mark in the Title here...
So here's what happened.  Bob reviewed this back in 2014- seen here- as part of Project Terrible.  The memory of this has lingered ever since.  So when I came up with this idea- mostly as a pretense to make it through one Film- he really wanted to see ME watch it.

Well, I did.
After a solid 60-90 seconds of THAT static shot, we suddenly see a bunch of people we don't know 'fighting' on the front lawn of a House.

It is awful, amateurish and nonsensical.
This is the best summation I can give you of the 'Plot' here to help you make sense of this...

Carl leads a team that fights bad guys.
He also knows that his team are all traitors.
He needs to repeat all of his instructions repeatedly.  Repeatedly.

This make sense?
This Film is totally topical in 2017!

Just kidding- it is stupid, random nonsense and the 'Iranian Agents' are just people in face-paint.
Abe is watching the monitors.
Abe is watching the monitors.

Get used to hearing that phrase.  A lot.
And yes, that Title Card did say 'Carl J. J. Sukenick's' on it.

Between all of the random repeats, creepy bits of someone seemingly-being-molested, repeats of the Fight Scenes (sometimes with Filters) and the abrupt Ending inspired by a Peter Gabriel part of your soul dies.

Oh well, I wasn't using it that much.
There is both so much and so little going on here.  The 'Plot' involves Foreign Agents, Mutants, Lasers and good Agents who seem to be on some sort of drugs.  Aside from some half-decent make-up (like above), there seems to be no Budget here.  The opening bit takes place on what must be Carl's front lawn.  The bulk of the Film seems to take place in and around the same location.  Nothing looks good.  Barely anything sounds good.  In the infamous bit I mentioned near the beginning, he rambles the Plot to an 'Agent' who stands there confused in close-up.  He tells her right after that to not freak out...and then says the same 'Plot' again, only more slurred and stupid.  This was all done in Post-Production- assuming there was much of one- and he still picked the worst takes- assuming that there were more.  That is the really messed up part: this Film had a bunch of Editing and work done on it after shooting was done.  He added stuff like Filters, Insert Shots and more.  This wasn't something he did over a weekend and just used the first take of everything.  This one required actual work done after the fact- even if it was probably done on a bender.  He had plenty of chances to either 'fix' this or just scrap it entirely.  When all is said and done, this is *technically* a Movie, but just barely.  It has a semi-Plot and it does sort-of wrap up.  It feels more like the coke-fueled ramblings of a mad man (which it likely was) and it is time that I can never get back.  Even free on the Internet, the price is too high for this one.  What is Carl up to these days?
Seriously, this is just as bad as The Time Machine- just in a crazy, random and ridiculous way.  It is one of the worst things that I have ever seen in my life.