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Nov. 4th, 2020


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Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy


The fact that I even watched this film says positive things about its promotion.  Initially, when I saw the first trailer for the film, I was put off.   Then, as more promos came along, my interest was slowly piqued.  And finally, the positive reviews for the film won me over.  I know sometimes positive reviews aren’t a guarantee that I’ll enjoy a film, but in this case it worked out.

When I first looked at the Guardians, they didn’t look like your normal (if there is a normal) superhero team, but therein lies their charm.  Part of what makes them entertaining is the fact that they are this unlikely grouping of criminals turned heroes.  It also helps that all of the right people seem to have been cast in all of the right roles.

Each character gets some focus and has his or her own alluded to backstory, so no one plays a wallpapered extension of the ship.  They start out as equal partners, and through a series of antics and obstacles they begin to bond quickly.  The heart of the plot centers on an infinity crystal that, in the wrong hands, can wipe out an entire galaxy.   I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that by the end of the movie, the galaxy is still intact, our heroes have won (for today), and you feel like you’ve just been on an amusement park ride and want to get back on again.

There are some nice funny bits (especially Quill’s dance moves), tender moments, and moments of solidarity, but nothing gets too serious.  It’s clear that the idea is to deal with serious issues while keeping things relatively light.  And it works.  I had wondered how I might take to a large walking tree who only says “I am Groot,” and a raccoon armed with a bad attitude as main characters.  All I can say is that I had nothing to worry about.  Both characters ended up being great, and they had some of the best moments in the film. 

What I am most happy about is what I did not see in this movie:  No Nazis.  No one unrealistically made out to be less just so someone else could seem like they are more.  No long and drawn out action scenes that go on and on.  No destroying everything and everyone around in an effort to protect and preserve those very things and people (which is always a head scratcher when I see it).  And I’m happy to see that the women were featured well in this film.  I am officially a Gamora fan, and that Nebula seems very interesting too. I certainly hope to learn more about them next time around.  :)

I hope the production can keep up the great work.  I look forward to Guardians 2 coming out. 

Final Analysis: Finally, a fun Summer-time action film.
Grade: A-

Is LJ Hijacking Your Friends Page Too?

I just happened to look at my Friends' Page while not logged in, and I notice that about a third of it is taken up by LiveJournal choosing to advertise other journals in the same space under a "LiveJournal Today" section.  That needs to go.   I've sent in a complaint about this because I don't see where this can be changed and I am hoping for a solution.  I also don't like the fact that while I wasn't logged in my friends' page was in that awful default format that LJ is using now.  The letters are over-sized and it has no personality...  I don't know what LJ is doing, but they need to stop.  The only things showing on a person's friends' page should be journal entries from their friends/communities.  That's it.

It's not like I'm here a lot or posting much anymore, but this sort of thing makes me want to spruce up the dreamwidth account I don't use.  Geez.

This Just In: GoT Can Make A Bad Episode

Okay, so it wasn't all bad, but it certainly wasn't all good either.  This is the first episode of Game of Thrones that I didn't really like.  What a disappointment, and it all comes down to shoddy writing.  I've seen plenty of things I wasn't happy about in this series, like most recently the death of a certain character, but I could always say to myself that at at least for the most part, it made sense for the direction of the over all story.  Not tonight.

SPOILERS.  Don't read if you haven't seen the season 4 finale, or at least unless you don't mind being spoiled.


The beginning stuff with the war and Stannis coming, Mance and Jon Snow was all okay.  Not particularly riveting, like last week, but okay.  It seems to go downhill from there.  Before I go into detail about what I didn't like, I'll just say that I've only flipped around in the books.  The show got me into the books, and not the other way around.  So, I read more about things that interest me, but I don't read everything because I do want some surprises.  Now, on to what I didn't like about this episode.

1.  The whole thing with the old teacher/ex-slave was handled very sloppily and poorly and didn't really make sense to me.  The man comes to Daenerys and says that since he's been freed from his master he doesn't know what to do and that the newly freed young take advantage of the old.  Dany says that she'll provide the support of the Unsullied to maintain the order.  Then the teacher/ex-slave (who teaches languages and history) asks what will he have to do after that.  I fully expected that Daenerys would make the quite obviously needed announcement that the newly freed young (and old) needed to learn now more than ever.

They could build a school where the old could teach the young.  Also, the construction and maintenance of the school would provide jobs for those with nothing to do.  Sounds like a great plan to me, but Daenerys says nothing of the sort (even though she has pretty much the same situation going on with Missandei teaching Gray Worm to read, so you'd think that the idea would be easily present in Dany's mind), and the old teacher/ex-slave never asks for a job.  Instead, Dany tells him to get a contract with his old master where he'll essentially be a slave again.  Ser Barristan pretty much tells her that, but she does nothing to change the situation.  I'm sorry, but that's just bad, bad, and bad.  And they called her Mhysa!  I truly hope that this scene wasn't taken as-is from the books.

2.  I don't like how the bones thing was handled.  There is a place where this scene quite obviously should have been earlier in the season, and I was a little surprised that they left it out.  "Okay," I figured.  Maybe they didn't have enough time...  Then it pops up in this episode, and I feel like the only reason why this was done was so they could milk this scene for all is was worth during the finale.  The problem is, like the teacher/ex-slave scenes, this was handled poorly to, just to a lesser extent.  I honestly think that if they had pretty much just left it the way it really happened in the books that it would have been better.

3. Dany locks up the 2 dragons that she has on hand, but did they have to be locked up in complete darkness where they can't even see?  And these are the 2 that didn't kill a child.

4. It just felt like this episode was trying really hard to milk emotion at every turn, from Dany locking up the dragons, to the close-up of Jon Snow squeezing out tears for Ygritte, and onward.  They also seemed to lay the music on thickly in this episode, like they were trying to tell you when it was time to cry.  This is the first time that the music in a GoT episode didn't actually add the story.  In some parts it took away.  And Jon's burial of her is really disappointing to me because just last week, their moment together when she died was perfect.  Perfectly worded, acted, and filmed.

5. The fight when Bran and company go to see the tree Targaryen was surprisingly boring.  Although, I have yet to become a fan of Bran's story so maybe that's a part of it, but I just wasn't into any of the scenes that dealt with his story in this episode.

Finally, I can break to say we get some good interaction with Brienne and Arya.  So, at least the count of good things in this episode starts to tally at one, but this happens more than halfway through!  And, like all good things in this series, it doesn't last.  The scene turns sour quickly.  At least Brienne's exchange with The Hound was interesting.  And then the fight...  Arya's scenes with Sandor were interesting too.

6.  Okay, so Jamie never tells Tyrion what his part in what happened to Tysha was?  Tyrion just goes up to kill dad anyway and with no prompting?  I think it might be a mistake not to have this happen the way it happened in the books.  I'm not sure about how they did the thing with Shae either...  At least that wasn't too far off.  But then there's the fact that he says he loved Shae and that's the reason why he's got a crossbow pointed at his father.  I think the combination of revelation of what happened to Tysha, that his own brother had been used against him, how his father had treated him his whole life, and what happened with Shae should have been set up as the motivator.  The thing that pushed Tyrion over the edge.  How it happens here just doesn't seem like enough.  It's believable, still, but not nearly as good.

And finally, the other good thing about this episode was how Arya got to go to Bravos.  I'm looking forward to seeing that.

Watching this episode felt like watching the quality of the show go from the penthouse to ground level in some ways, but I do believe there's a good chance that this is a temporary dip.  May season 5 come soon.

X-Men and Sex Abuse?

Well, I was already hedging a bit on watching Days of Future Past when the director (Bryan Singer) said that he might not include my second favorite character.  Finally, that's all cleared up and okay and then a month before the film comes our there's a sex abuse scandal involving the director.

The accuser is a man who says he was raped by Singer and other powerful men in Hollywood starting when he was 15 years old and continuing on for 2 years, although it sounded like Singer wasn't involved until he was 17.  That's at least what I am understanding at this point, but you can read some of the details here and here.

I don't know what's true and what's not, but I do know that I take sex abuse charges seriously.  At first I thought this could be an attempt at a money-grab, but after reading more about it I don't know.  It's possible that none of this happened, but I also think that there's a good chance that at least some of it did.

Today I read this article, and it got me thinking about some of the comments from people I've read that were either indifferent or that read like they condoned what might have happened.  MY issue is with the tone and take that the author of this article has.  He basically says "So what?"  He said movie goers won't care, but in saying that, he also made A LOT of assumptions, like the idea that most movie-goers get their information from talk shows and tabloids.  I'm not too sure about that.

All I can do is speak for myself and say that if this is true, then I don't want to support that with my dollars at the box office.  So, I guess I might not be seeing this at the theater if this isn't resolved by then.  I know I might be in the minority, but I think that sex abuse is serious and not something to disregard because it's more important to see what Wolverine is going to do without his metal claws in this one.  If Mr. Singer is guilty, then I do hope X-Men: Apocalypse can get a different director.  I would say Brett Ratner, but the fans of the comics seem to hate him.


Some Sci-Fi Stuff... (and Fantasy)


I recently saw this short Sci-Fi film on YouTube called Signal.  Nice.  I hope they can continue on with it.

It stars Michael Ealy from Almost Human.  And about that.  I've seen the first 2 episodes and it's not bad but not a "must see" show either.  I really like Michael in it, but I don't think that's going to be enough to make me a regular viewer.  Following up on another post, I'm still liking and watching Sleepy Hollow (the last 2 episodes were GREAT!!), but I was done with Agents of SHIELD after 3 episodes.  Going off of the ratings, I'd say most of their initial audience has made that choice.  That's too bad.

On a fantasy front, I saw Thor: The Dark World this weekend.  It was alright, but not great.  I'd give it a C+.  Here's the trailer:

I don't feel like writing up a real review for it, so here's a mini-review:

Why you might want to see it - The first reason, aside from watching it if you like Thor, would be because it will inevitably tie into the next Avengers movie.  So, if you want the best amount of context possible, it wouldn't hurt to watch it when it comes out on video.  The second reason is Loki played by Tom Hiddleson.  He was the best part of the film and he's not even the star.  I'm not taking anything away from Chris Hemsworth who does a great job as Thor; it's just that there's always something "extra" you get from Tom in these Loki scenes and it's great.

Why you might not want to see it - Over all, it just wasn't the best.  It was o-kay.  The CGI and imagery was great, but the helper intern girl whose name I can't remember was just flat out annoying.  And Jane Foster (played by Natalie Portman) is just bland and boring.  Her love story with Thor is flimsy at best and it doesn't really add anything on it's own to the story.

Movie Review: The Wolverine

I'll start out by saying that I am not a comic book fan, but I do love (for the most part) the X-Men films.  My favorite characters are Wolverine and Storm, followed by Jean.  So, there was no doubt that I was going to see this film.  I'm a little late reviewing it, but, what's that saying?  Better late than...

Possible Spoilers Inside...Collapse )

So, there you have it.  I walked away from this film with two thoughts really present in my mind.  1. No good deed goes unpunished.  2.  Can't wait for Days of Future Past. :)  There's a scene during the credits that I have literally been waiting 8 years to see.  It's about time they got the old gang together and followed up on The Last Stand!

This movie was definitely better than X-Men Origins: Wolverine if you were disappointed in that one, as I was (but I liked his love interest, how he got his Wolverine moniker, and his story with Stryker, but that's another review, lol).  I recommend seeing The Wolverine if you like the character, good action movies, the X-Men movies, and especially if you like all of the above.

Grade:  A-
Final Analysis:  This is a movie you can definitely sink your claws into. :)

Movie Review: Man of Steel

Superman.  What can I say?  Well, this movie started off with some real promise.  As a new reboot for the Superman franchise, this movie starts off well enough.  There are some clunky parts, or rather parts that didn't flow very well.  But, all-in-all it did what it needed to do to pull me into the story it was telling.  Reviewing this movie is kind of hard because I have some mixed feelings about it.

I'll start off with what I liked and what I think worked and move from there.

Possible Spoilers Inside...Collapse )

I don't want to sound like I'm being harsh with some of what I've said here, because I really do like the new Superman/Clark Kent.  I think this movie did what it needed to do to get the rebooted Superman story off to a halfway decent start.

Final Analysis: Almost Super.  Almost.
Grade:  C+ (or a B minus on a good day)

Photoshop: Wallpaper (IM3)

Well, here's that wallpaper I talked about making for Iron Man 3.  The larger version is under the cut. It's 1600x1067px.


For Large IM3 Wallpaper...Collapse )

.I hope everyone is having a great weekend. :)

Movie Review: Star Trek Into Darkness


How do I put this?

Do you remember that high you felt at the end of the 2009 movie?  Yeah, that one.  Well, it’s completely absent at the end of this film.  “Into Darkness” is aptly named because you come out of it slightly feeling like you’ve just crawled out of a pit.  I’m not being spiteful.  After a four year wait for this film, I truly wish I could give it a better review.  To be fair, it’s worth it to see it once if you are invested in these characters, but you might not have that “can’t wait to see it again,” or that “can’t wait for it to come out on DVD” feeling that I know I had with the last one.

Still, this film has its merits.  So, I’ll start off with the bright spots.

Possible Slight Spoilers Inside...Collapse )

So there you have it.  For better or worse.

Final Analysis: It wobbles, and at times it even twitches, but it gets there.
Spoilers Below

My interest in Person of Interest is hanging by a thread.  This started out as a wonderful show about 4 individuals (Reese, Carter, Finch, Fusco) and how they worked as a team to carry out saving the people represented by numbers coming from Finch's machine. This season, they pretty much broke up "the team," and if this finale is anything to go off of, Shaw and Root pretty much took Fusco and Carter's places.  Fusco wasn't even in the finale and they breezed over Carter's story so fast I found my self upset by it.

In all of this time, why hasn't Reese taken her to Finch's secret hideout? Now, I'm going to guess she's been there because she had Bear in a previous episode, and I doubt Finch dropped him off with her, but it's possible.  Still, that could have been shown.  I know Reese took Shaw there this episode because he had to, but the way it happened and the personal stuff that was covered made it seem like... I don't know.  I just feel like Carter keeps being sidelined and she's a main character, meanwhile "recurring" characters get better focus and inclusion.  It just reminds me of Teyla on SGA, and that's not something I want to sit and watch again.  In fact, I won't.

Anyway, the bright spots in this finale were Finch and is ex-fiancee (I absolutely LOVE them together, and to think, they're married in real life ;)) and Finch realizing what an "irrelevant" number really means. I might watch the premiere of season 3, might not.  At this point, they'd have to sell me on the team (the real team) being a major part of the series again for that to happen.   I'm ready for Shaw to get her own show so people that like her can watch her and the regular team can be a team again.

Mini-Rant:  It's time for Carter to learn about the machine so she can help more.  That "it's for your own good" bs isn't cutting it anymore because she's already in waaaaaay too deep.  She already helps them with their missions, so I don't see why knowing how they get their info is going to change anything.  She can already be "tied" to Reese, and he's "tied" to Finch, so really, her not knowing is just another way for the writers/producers to sideline her.  /end rant.

Movie Review: Iron Man 3

Okay, it's official.  I think I'm in love with Tony Stark.  Iron Man 3 was everything Iron Man 2 should have been, but wasn't.  It has action, love, good buddy moments between Stark and Rhodes, believable danger, and a formidable opponent.

Rather than giving a detailed run-down of the story, I'll just point to the things that either I liked or had some issue with:

Possible Spoilers Inside...Collapse )

So there you have it.  There are far more reasons to watch this film than not.  Iron Man 3 was just as good or better than the first Iron Man movie in all ways but one:  The way the first movie took the "War on Terror" and used it to humble a selfish, egotistical, billionaire, bringing him into a fold of reality he never had see or even acknowledge, is hard to top.  Thank goodness for Iron Man 3 that it doesn't have to in order to be a worthy sequel.

Final Analysis:  Lots of heartfelt fun with bits of danger and comeuppance thrown in.  Save a few bucks and see it in 2D.
Grade:  A

Game of Thrones Icons!

Okay, so since GoT is about to start soon, I decided I'd make some icons to celebrate the series coming back for its third season.  Here they are:

AryaColorIcon JaimeKingslayerIcon DanyIconside TyrionLedgeicon

More Icons Inside...Collapse )

Enjoy! :)

This Looks Good...

So, this is the new trailer for Iron Man 3.   This is THE number 1 movie I want to see this year, and this trailer makes me wish that May was here already.  Just thought I'd share.  :)


And I'd like to thank the Academy...

I think I'm done with the Oscars.  They just gave Django Unchained Best Original Screenplay.  That should have went to Zero Dark Thirty, but no.  They'd rather give the "award" to a Blaxpoitation/Norse Mythology/Spaghetti Western mixed in with American Slavery.  Disgusting.  I know that there are people that liked the film, but really...  And the award that Christoph Waltz got should have gone to Robert De Niro.  Just saying.




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