Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Quick Reviews: Geostorm (2017)

After so many bad, but successful Films, someone like Dean Devlin was due something like this.  Let the storm of criticism begin...
In a wave of lazy Narration, we learn that the Earth was hit by massive storms in 2019 (oh no!) and a Satellite Network called 'Dutchboy' was built to stop it.

Oh and this Narrator is Gerard Butler's Daughter (in the Film) and you won't hear her again until the End!
After we see Butler fired, we are told that the Satellite would be out of 100% U.S. control in three years.

We then cut to 3 years later and strange 'accidents' keep happening.  For instance, this frozen Afghan Village.
After plenty of padding (I mean, tension), Butler (the creator of the Network) is sent back up to solve the crisis.

Gerard Butler as a Scientist vs. Mark Wahlberg as a Scientist- who is less believable?
Back on Earth, his Brother (sure!) and Domino team-up to uncover the mystery of who's to blame.
Before you confuse this with All of the President's Men, there's also disaster porn as 'accidents' keep happening.
Can they stop the (obvious) men behind the Plot?  Will the World be destroyed?

To find out, watch the Film.
Stupid, silly fun.  The Film takes itself very seriously, which makes it great.  This is not a Sharknado kind of thing where it is tongue-in-cheek.  This is the best kind of bad Movie- it wants you to take it seriously and respect it.  Yeah, you're Geostorm, so...I'm good.  The first third of the Film is kind of a drag as it sets things up though.  After you get past that, the Movie turns into pure crappy gold.  It has giant explosions, silly moments of CGI splendor and that silly thing where they follow one random guy/girl during all of the chaos to 'humanize' it.  They spent $100 million on this and it should have been a $1 billion Film.  Yeah, it lost around $70 million.  If you think that Geostorm is going to be good, what is wrong with you?  It is Geostorm!  The whole thing is kind of fun for all of the wrong reasons and I recommend it for those reasons.  For a Film with CGI explosions, giant storms and all of its ilk, the thing I find least believable is the fact that these two are somehow Brothers...
Bad stuff if you actually want a quality Film.  If you want something silly and ridiculous, this is for you!

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

DCE-Hulu: Titans- 'Donna Troy'

After a busy week, I need to get back to this Show.  Will things take a turn for the better?
In a Flashback, we see Dick and Donna (called it!) as they hang around while their Mentors work.

So is this supposed to be following the Film Justice League and the Show is somehow set 15-20 years from now?
In the Present, Dick leaves- AGAIN- to go 'find himself.'  He vows to return and the others go out of the City.
Back in the City, he meets up with Donna, who's also 'retired' and works as an Artist.  Something weird happens that night, however, that makes Dick act.
After some trouble getting there, the group tries to awaken Starfire's memories.  Is that a good idea?

To find out, watch the Show.
A decent Episode that seems to be aware of the issues.  This one still has lots of problems for me.  I like Donna and seeing her Introduction is nice here.  I wish that they could introduce a new Character without splitting up the group though.  This keeps happening!  Seriously, add Characters to the group at once!  With that out of the way, I liked that they keep changing up locations.  They don't quite do enough with the Train for me, but I appreciate the effort.  At least they're honest about how Kory can't blend in like this.  More murder, so yea?  I will give them credit for the creative way that they got to setting up the Third Act with Donna- no SPOILERS.  I'm curious to see where this Plot Point goes.  Will Donna be important for the final Episodes?  Will she step up?  Will she realize that using her powers in broad daylight might not be the best idea if you're 'retired?'
Next time, we get...a Filler Episode?!?  It had better be good to satiate my displeasure!  See you then...

Monday, January 28, 2019

Impossibly-Cool Cover Art?: Humongous (1982)

A big Film?  A giant success?

Until I actually *watch* the Film, I can't say.

In the meantime, here's a Poster for Humongous that is *likely* to be better than the Film itself...
Freaky.
Strange.
Kind of gross.

All of these things apply to this Poster, but, I have to be honest- it does make me want to see the Film.

Here's the original...
I suspect the color issue is due to the washed-out nature of the Scan, but other parts- like the Company Logo- are still bright.

Regardless, I might have a bit more flourish and color.  Go me.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Quick Reviews: The Hurricane Heist (2018)

While Fast & Furious Films make $1 Billion now (thanks, China), Rob Cohen could only pull in $30 Million with this one.  Time to see why...
Two Brother survive a Hurricane (somehow), but their Father dies.  Years later, one of them is now a Meteorologist and is back home for work- naturally.
The titular Heist is happening at the Federal Depository.  This brings the two of them together by sheer luck (or lazy Screenwriting).
She's fighting to stop the bad guys, while he's more concerned with rescuing his Brother, who is held by the bad guys.
It is a Rob Cohen Film- he also did xXx-, so many explosions ensue.  Also some of the worst plans ever conceived by 'normal' people in the history of Film.
Can a Meteorologist, a Repairman and a Federal Agent save $600 million during a Hurricane?
Or will their continually-more-ridiculous plans finally fail at some point?  To find out, watch this Film- now on Netflix (for more than 2 weeks).
Cheesy.  Over-the-top.  Silly.  Explosive.  Dumb.  All good words to describe Hurricane Heist.  It feels like a late-90's/early-2000's Film.  Has Rob Cohen not evolved in any way since 2001?  There's a somewhat sad Interview with him taken as part of the 'hype' for this Film (which bombed somewhat) wherein he says that he'd like to return to the Fast & Furious Films.  Well, duh.  Considering how this went, I would too!  It does feature some legitimately-hilarious-but-meant-to-be-serious moments that I love.  In a Mall, they enact the second-worst plan ever (the first still being from Riki-Oh).  In the climax, they are chased by a Storm that literally defies the Laws of Nature to be dramatic!  If you like Action Films and want to laugh at a genuine attempt to do one, this is a blast.  If you only like good Films, you know to avoid something called The Hurricane Heist.  The Script is what you could call Gumbo- with Characters and Plot Points from a dozen other Films- and you can entertain yourself keeping track of them.  Plus, this Poster is great!
Dumb, stupid fun that works because they take it so seriously.  If you want to laugh at a very-dated Film, check this one out!

Saturday, January 26, 2019

'80s Class: The First Deadly Sin (1980)

Also the last one, apparently.  Today's Film is The First Deadly Sin, a 1980 Crime Thriller notable for its Casting.  There's also some juicy bits of Hollywood intrigue to boot, but I'll get to that.  10 years after his last Film, Frank Sinatra came back to do one last Film (as a Lead).  Would he regret it?  I mean, regrets...he had a few.  Yadda yadda My Way.  Not only is he the Star, but he's a Producer (with his Company behind it) and he brought in a friend to score the Film.  So this is not only Frank's last Film as a Lead, but also that of his Production Company and the Composer!  It would be the Director's, were it not for one last Film in 1983 (aka the Year that Everything Got Better).  Said Director- Brian G. Hutton- is notable for such Films as Where Eagles Dare and Kelly's Heroes.  He wasn't the first choice to make the Film, however.  That honor belongs to Roman Polanski, who fled to France (where he still resides) to avoid criminal charges.  The Film is also notable for Faye Dunaway receiving a Razzie Award Nomination (she lost to Brooke Shields) at the first Ceremony.  It's the only nomination given to the Film though, so I guess everyone else was alright.  While I haven't read them, there are four more Books in this Series- Second Deadly Sin, etc.- and none of them have Films (yet).  Is this one-and-done worthy of Sinatra?  Did he go out with a bang or a whimper?  To find out, read on...
One night, a man kills another with some sort of hammer-spike thing.  Why?  
The Lead Detective- Sinatra- who is also going through some personal issues.  His wife- Dunaway- is sick and not seeming to get better.
Perplexed by the murder weapon, Sinatra consults a Professor about Old Weapons.  He's keen to help investigate, leading to some wacky shenanigans.
As for the killer, we see glimpses of him, but never quite know his deal until the end.

It's also hard not to see similarities with Glass out and a shaved-head crazy man killing people in this Film.
They finally figure out what the weapon is, leading to some interesting detective work that's necessary as this is before DNA Testing and Super Computers.
When I saw Joe Spinell in the Credits, I thought that he must be the bad guy.  It was later I realized that this was *before* Maniac, so he's just a Doorman with an extended cameo.

Regardless, he got to act opposite Sinatra- neat.
Breaking all sorts of rules, Sinatra gets into the suspect's Apartment and finds the weapon.  He just doesn't have enough to get a real warrant though.
As things get worse with his Wife, he makes a bold decision- he just straight-up kills the guy!

Fun reminder: Sinatra was offered the lead in Dirty Harry and turned it down.  I could kind of see it.
That night, he goes and retires, brushing off a call to investigate the murder he just committed.  He reads to his Wife as she dies.  Aww.  The End.
An interesting Film, even if it isn't as great as it should be.  Sin is a curious case of perhaps adapting a Book too closely in many cases.  For instance, the Plot about the killer is almost secondary to Sinatra's personal Plot, which feels right out of a Book.  Despite having First in the name, it is actually the third Book in the Series, so I could easily see the focus shift a little there.  The fact that he's working with the Widow and an Old Weapons Expert is interesting, but also a little bit silly.  He's working on limited time and working the case differently- granted.  It just feels odd here in this otherwise serious and grounded Film.  The biggest issue is definitely the focus, as they aren't sure whether this is Sinatra's personal story, that of a killer or that of an investigation.  It tries to juggle all three and kind of stumbles a bit at times.  That said, the dramatic parts were acted well and the bits of humor (as random as they were) were nice.  Sinatra really is quite good here, so the Film is at least a nice send-off for him.  I'm just confused as to why there was so little focus on the Killer or his motivation.  They just kind of dump a bunch of it in at the end like 'Sorry- here's all of it.'  It's kind of a letdown, but the ride is still good enough to excuse many things.  Are the Books any good?  Let me know, won't you?  As for me, I'll let you know the most common bit of Trivia about this Film- yes, that is Bruce Willis in his first Film ever.
Next time, another Singer-turned-Actor.  Will they have as much success in a Film made far earlier?  Stay tuned...

Friday, January 25, 2019

Quick Reviews: Reign of the Supermen (2019)

Did someone ask for an Adaptation of a famous '90s Story in 2019?  Well, we got it and let me tell you what you need to know...
In the wake of Superman's death from Doomsday, 4 new people have appeared on the Scene.

There's The Eradicator (think Superman, but acting like Punisher) and the Cyborg Superman (who's name is self-explanatory)….
There's also Superboy, a clone of the original Hero.  Insert Millenial joke here.
Rounding out the group, you have Steel.  He's a bad-ass Scientist who somehow posed for this picture.  And yes, it is the iconic Cover that he debuted on.
Something is definitely up with the Cyborg, as he claims to be the real deal and is really into Lois.
When disaster strikes, can we rely on Luthor and his Superboy to rise to the occasion?
Or will the real Villain behind the whole thing end up destroying us all?

To find out, watch the Film- now on Digital and Blu-Ray.
A solid follow-up that has some nice twists.  As a reader of the original Comics (they're still in a box somewhere), I was curious how redundant this would be.  Thankfully, they mix things up a bit.  Yes, they also add a little bit of that New 52 silliness (mostly in some of the Costumes), but take the good with the bad.  As a side-note, they still didn't give Hawkman any lines.  Why even bother putting him in if you aren't going to give him a single line in TWO FILMS?!?  Back to the Plot now.  Most of the changes are solid ones.  It is funny that they pretended that it was a mystery who Steel was.  They later lamp shade it- to be fair- by having Lois Lane joke about how if *she* could figure it out, anyone could.  I'm kind of torn on the changes made to Cyborg Superman, but you may not have an issue with it.  The reveal of what's going on with Eradicator is kind of interesting too- perhaps in a cheating kind of way.  The Action is nice and they have some fun with the big moments.  The problem is that there is ALOT to try and follow here.  There's the Arcs of all 4 Superman, the stuff with The Justice League, the stuff with Luthor, the secret Villain stuff and all of the attempts to tie it together.  Simplify, guys!  Having said that, this is still fun, even with the new twists and weirdness added.  The real winner- this guy's sense of dramatic posing!
A solid Film that mixes things up enough to keep the Story fresh.  The big issue is just that there is actually *too much* Plot here to follow easily.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

DCE-Hulu: Young Justice- Season 3 (Part 1)

I'm not going to be super in-depth on each Episode, since that's a job done by like 1,000 other people on YouTube.

Instead, let me talk a little bit about each Episode and what I thought.

As the Show is still 'dropping' in chunks, this will be updated as necessary.

Let's go summarize!
Episode 2: Royal We
Jumping off from where we left, the future Geo-Force tries to save his Country.  Meanwhile, the Team struggles to stop Meta-Human Slave Traders.
Thoughts: The overall dark tone continues and there's a lot of exposition here, but it still worked.

Episode 3: Imminent Threat
The team battles new threats as the situation escalates.  Two new Heroes may not be enough to turn things around.
Thoughts: They continue to keep things darker than I'd like.  That said, the Plot is nice and I'm still along for the ride to see how it plays out.

Episode 4: Private Security
Taking a break from the big Plot, we get Nightwing and others bonding over a villain fight and other Character moments as a palette cleanser.
Thoughts: A fun Main Plot for the Episode and some good moments in-between.  A nice break.

Episode 5: Away Mission
A Team goes to New Genesis to stop a potential Civil War.  Back at home, the new Heroes train.
Thoughts: A nice diversion, even if 'Family Member X is now evil' is a bit cliché.  The fun parts were nice and it was interesting to hear a New God voiced by the same guy who plays 'Patrick Star.'

Episode 6: Rescue Op
In the wake of a new lead, our Rookie Heroes go to rescue Terra from a dangerous place.  Will they regret this decision in the end?
Thoughts: A neat Episode that features Characters we don't usually see, has a nice dynamic and sets up some interesting stuff.  When did Black Spider become evil Spider-Man though?

Episode 7: Evolution
In a mix of flashback and narrative, we see the history of Vandal Savage as he battles a mysterious force.  We finally get the payoff to that ending of Season 2!
Thoughts: While it's a good Episode, it's placement feels really odd.  I like it, but with weird reservations.

Episode 8: Triptych
In a tricky Episode, we see three different Recaps of adventures by Teams.  If you know what the Title means, you'll know what the trick of it is.
Thoughts: A fairly high-concept Episode that will probably feel more important in the long run.  Many good moments and a nice hook.

Episode 9: Home Fires
An attack comes on two fronts- both unexpected.  Will it lead to a death or two?  Yes.
Thoughts: A nice, action-packed Episode with a bit of misdirection as well.  It gets half a point (out of who cares how many?) for a 'reveal' that was obvious to everyone though.  Ooh...not shocking.

Episode 10: Exceptional Human Beings
A trio of Heroes go on a covert Mission, while tensions build (and sparks fly) with the new Heroes.  Also Cyborg is being set-up...
Thoughts: A strong and interesting Main Plot, while the B-Plots are good too.  They might be coasting with some of the Heroes plot-wise, but it will presumably pay off big in the future.

Episode 11: Another Freak
A trio of Plots here for you.  In one, Cyborg is created.  In another, Halo and Forager go to School.  In the final one, Geo-Force and Nightwing come to blows.
Thoughts: Another good Episode, even if they get a bit graphic with showing the damage to Victor.  Did we need to see his exposed skull?  Aside from that, I liked it quite a bit and am curious to see where this goes next.

Episode 12: Ghost Monkeys
We learn Halo's full origin as Cyborg joins the group.  In the main Plot, we get a focus on...Beast Boy?!?  We see his tragic history and see him make a big change.
Thoughts: An interesting and serious Episode that played creatively with conventions.  The exposition dump for Beast Boy- as creatively-done as it was- was still a bit weird at this point.  Kudos for trying new stuff though.

Episode 13: True Heroes
A big break comes in the form of a chance to rescue Tara.  Back at home, trouble comes from within!
Thoughts: A strong finish that delivers with emotion, action and a turn to make June come far too slowly!  A nice end to many things built up since Episode 1.

Summary:
The quality is mostly-there. I just have issue with the tone- a common DC problem.  From the beginning, they delivered an interesting Plot, played with many unique Characters and built up some new ones.  It all feels solid, even if there are some hiccups along the way.  Bring on the second half already- dammit!

Also, you finally did something with Beast Boy, but what took you so long?!?
Stay tuned for more Updates as more Episodes appear.