Thor: Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok is an excitement bomb for your eyes straight out of the gate.  From the moment the movie starts you are launched in to a witty and wild adventure that doesn’t stop until the credits roll.

MPR Rating: A

Spoilers ahead.

Thor is locked up in an underground cave talking to a skeleton then is released to speak with Surtur.  Surtur can’t launch Ragnarok on the city of Asgard until Odin dies.  Thor defeats Surtur and returns to Asgard with Surtur’s helmet to be placed in the vault.  Upon returning Thor finds that Loki has been using an illusion to look like Odin as has run Asgard without anyone knowing it’s him.

Thor and Loki go looking for Heimdall as Loki banished him from Asgard to Earth.  This is when Dr. Strange finds them and leads them to the real Odin.  Odin explains that Hela, his first child and heir to the throne, was banished because of her evil and overpowered ways.  With this news, Thor is no longer the strongest Asgardian (or so he thinks).  After telling the story of Hela Odin passes away, and with his death Hela returns and assumes control over Asgard.  Not without first crushing Thor’s hammer and sending them on an unforseen detour of space, with Thor and Loki landing on Sakaar.

A planet of junk run by “The Grandmaster” who likes to hold brutal gladiator fights.  His main attraction is the big fight between his strongest gladiator and whoever Grandmaster thinks could beat him.  He lines Thor up for the next fight, but when arriving to the arena Thor finds himself fighting the Hulk.  After the Civil War the Hulk boarded a quinjet and sailed off in to space, apparently landing here and becoming the best gladiator and undefeated.  That is, until now when Thor unleashes lightning fury on him.  Meanwhile, Loki is here too making deals and you can’t tell if he’s helping Thor or trying to get him killed.

Now that Thor and Hulk are together, they find a way to get out of Sakaar and back to Asgard to stop Hela from destroying everything and starting Ragnarok.  Thor thinks that because he doesn’t have his hammer, that he’s not powerful enough to defeat Hela.  But with a flashback to Odin, Odin tells him that the hammer is just a way for Thor to channel his strength.  With this, Thor goes on to push Hela away long enough to distract her so Loki can grab the helmet of Sutur and combine it with the infinity flame that gives him everlasting life.  And now with Odin’s death, Surtur is able to destroy Asgard.

Thor, Loki, Hulk, and the Asgardians are able to escape Asgard while Hela and Surtur fight over Asgard.  Surtur defeats Hela and ends up destroying the entire world of Asgard along with himself.

 

 

 

John Wick

MPR Rating: A

Based on some decent reviews, we decided to watch ‘John Wick’ last night.  I was a bit skeptical, but I have to admit that I was rapt from the moment the movie started, until it was finished.  For a one-off Keanu Reeves movie, it really did well to maintain a gritty yet sleek look, and had a bunch of action.  I like that it had a quick ramp to the action scenes, and just kept going and going until he finished his job.  The beginning wasn’t origin, it was exactly what we needed to know to understand his thoughts and emotions that drove him to feed his vengeance.  Overall I give it an A.  We watched it again tonight and enjoyed it the second time around as much as the first time.  That says a lot about a movie in its own.

I would recommend to see this if you haven’t yet.  If you’re not a Keanu fan, watch it with an open mind and try it anyway, you may be surprised.

Brave

MPR Rating: B+

I enjoyed the story; wasn’t expecting how it developed. It was a nice surprise. The animation was fluid and very nicely done. It had a “How to Train Your Dragon” feel when it came to the male characters, and I specifically liked the Scottish/Irish accents and overall appeal. Being of Scottish descent (the red beard, and able to drink like one) I was immediately impressed with the colors. 

As for a children’s movie, I think that taking my 4 year old could have been a mistake. There were some darker, scarier parts that I wasn’t expecting for her to see. With that being said, I think it was a good mix of happy-feel-good, love, laughter, and a hint of danger. 

Overall, I give it a B+, because in the end it’s still not something I would rank up with some of the bigger titles that we know today. But, it has it’s own unique feeling and story that doesn’t deserve a worse grade.

Battleship: The Movie?

MPR Rating: B-

We’ve all heard of the game, and to fabricate a movie about the game seems a little far fetched.  I guess there could be worse things to write about, or they’ve run out of decent script ideas.  Then again, I’m no script writer so I can’t really hold a candle to the writers.  However, there are certain plot holes that can obviously be picked through.  For instance, how alien ships can travel through millions of miles of space, have advanced technology, exo-suits to help protect them from the sun, unparalleled targeting systems, and a giant force field.  Even with all that, they can’t fly and just take us out with their seemingly unlimited arsenal.  I especially didn’t like how the alien warships hopped from spot to spot in the ocean.  Not saying that I was rooting for the aliens, but come on.  And what were the purpose of those round things with tails?  I don’t remember that being in the game.


My biggest complaint about the movie though, besides the somewhat weak script and plot, is how similar the feel is to the latest Transformers movies.  When seeing that it was different studios, I was hoping that maybe it would have a different feel.  Perhaps it was my mistake for immediately thinking it would be similar to Transformers, but that was planted when seeing the previews.  Plus the sound effects were very “transform-ery.”


It had it’s moments though.  The explosions were good, full bodied, and appropriate.  I liked how the alien canister missiles were shaped like the little pegs from the board game.  And a few cheesy, but expected lines like “You aren’t gonna sink our battleship!”


Overall, with the light script, weak plot, and decent explosions, I give it a solid B.

Transformers: Past, Present, and Future

MPR Rating: B-

When I was a kid, watching trucks, cars, boats, and airplanes transform from their vehicle mode to robot mode was absolutely mind blowing and awesome.  I would sit and watch for hours, retaining nothing more than the sound effect and the transformation from one form to another.  Then playing with those toys, creating my own little scenarios and making that awesome transformation sound.. It was the life.

Upon growing up to the age where I could actually follow a story-line, understand the universe created, and begin to understand each of the characters abilities/strengths/weaknesses, I fell even more in love with the ever so popular franchise.
After watching the Transformers Movie that was released in 1986, that had set the precedence in my mind as who they were, how things should be, and if anything should ever get remade: this movie should be the template in which to create from.
Being 31 now, and after seeing the new Transformer Movies, I am disappointed.  Now, with that being said, if I had never followed so closely to the 1986 movie, and set my expectations higher, I think that the new movies are great – considering all the time, writing, design, CGI, etc etc..  There has to be a good applause for Bay’s vision of the Transformers.
BUT!!  I still don’t see the “essence” of the Transformers in his new movies.  The one big fail that I will bring up first is the Matrix of Leadership (outside of the Transformers looking like they are a morphed version of a Transformer and a Bionicle).  I’m not sure what the writers were thinking, but I could only wish that I was involved in the decision making process regarding that piece of the legacy (sha’right).  The Matrix is NOT something that was buried in a ancient tomb, created by other Primes’ bodies, and then once obtained, ‘stabbed’ in to the chest of a transformer to bring it back to life.
In the original story-line, the Matrix of Leadership was stored in Optimus Prime’s chest, and was handed over to Ultra Magnus for him to take leadership over the Autobots when Optimus was on his deathbed.  But, during the hand-off, the Matrix slipped out of Prime’s hand and before falling to the floor, Hot Rod saved it.  During that split-second moment that he held on to the Matrix, it reacted in such a way that it ‘chose’ Hot Rod as the next leader.  Hot Rod then continued his rescue of the falling Matrix and handed over to Ultra Magnus.  Ultra opened his chest, and inserted the Matrix for save keeping.  Later, after Megatron became Galvatron by means of Unicron, Galvatron killed Ultra Magnus and stole the Matrix thinking he killed the leader of the Autobots not knowing that the next true leader would be Hot Rod/Rodimus.
I don’t understand how the writers could have formed such a convoluted and different model for the Matrix in Revenge of the Fallen.  Considering it’s how Rodimus Prime ‘came to be’.  It’s just a giant hole in the story, and I wish I could have been on the writing team – but we all have our big dreams.
Enough of my rant about the Matrix, there are other rants I could go on-and-on about – but I won’t continue to bore you on the subject.
I hope that the 3rd Transformers will bring some elements from the G1 series that helps make up for the disappointment of the Revenge of the Fallen.
A couple things that I can see in the trailer for Dark of the Moon:
1. The SpaceBridge, which was used often in the G1 series.
2. Though the ship had crash landed in to the moon, the thrusters and shape of the ship look like a good realistic replacement for the ship that crash landed in to the mountain on Earth in the first season of the G1 series.
No doubt, I will be seeing the 3rd Transformers.  But, in the back of my head, I hope there are producers out there that are fans such as I am, that would want to take a shot at a reboot that would be a little more related to how the Autobots and Deceptions really are.

"Limitless"

MPR Rating: B-

After seeing the previews for this movie, I couldn’t wait to see it.  The story seemed so strong, and my mind was already plugging the holes of how the plot would unfold.  Yet, when I watched the movie I was sadly disappointed with the story-line.  By no means that I’m saying it’s a “bad” movie, but I was expecting to give it high marks, but I just couldn’t.  There were a few elements that were just so unrealistic, granted a movie a about a pill that unlocks your brain is a little far fetched, but still.  I would still recommend seeing it, but don’t get your expectation up there like I did.

Prince of Persia: Sands of Time

MPR Rating: B

Ok, so I know I’m little (actually a lot) late, but I just saw this movie.  Overall, I give it a B, but I’m not really here to write a review about the movie, at least tonight.  I wanted to point out a few elements that could have made this an Assassin’s Creed movie.  The scaling of the walls, the jumping from rooftop to rooftop with guards chasing.  The standing on a perch while the camera did a 360 degree pan of the city..  little things like this instantly had me thinking about the game.  I mean, even the little details like the white cloths (which in the game signified where a good run starts.)

I’m not complaining, just pointing out.  As for the story, his father gets killed and he seeks revenge (like the game) (which is also a general basis for many movies.. so I’m not really sure I can use that one in this case – but it’s still there.)  He kills corrupt people of power, much like the game.

In all honesty, I think they could have changed a few names in the story and pulled off an Assassin’s Creed movie with a time element twist.  Not to mention, in the game, the time element resides in the “Animus”.  So, time travel/time alteration is still there.

Just a few points to think about.  Have a different opinion?  Let’s talk about it!

Favorite Move of All Time

For me, it’s got to be Back to the Future.

1.  It’s got great script writing, obviously.  But the fact that Part 2 arrived 4 years later, and picked up EXACTLY where 1 left off is just sweet as hell.  You only get about 3 minutes of back story and that’s it.  Same with #3.  It’s impressively superb.

2.  Even with a casting change from Claudia Wells to Elizabeth Shue for role of Jennifer Parker; it was almost seamless.  I’m not saying that it’s not obvious, but Shue was able to deliver the lines and mimic mannerisms of the original that she was a great replacement.

3. It’s the ultimate science fiction, coming of age, underdog, comedy, serious movie I’ve ever seen.

4. The Timeline.  Back to #1, the timeline stays consistent throughout the writing.  Going from ’85, to ’55, to 2015, to Alternate ’85, back to ’55, then 1885 and finally ending in ’85.  The writing stays consistent, and almost impossible to poke holes in.  If you can find some, bring them up – let’s talk about them.

Check out this artwork for the movies, it’s pretty interesting the way the artist portrays the timeline:  Here

"Primer"

Great movie about a couple of friends that create a device that can suspend small objects in mid-air.  But what they don’t realize, at first, is the true potential of the device on a larger scale.  Enjoy this indy film shot right here in DFW (Las Colinas) on a budget of 7k.  Truly a great piece of work for such a small budget.