Saturday, April 23, 2016

Batman


The city of Gotham is held in the siege of crime. Gotham's Mayor (Lee Wallace) and District Attorney Harvey Dent (Billy Dee Williams) are scrambling to find funding for a larger, more active police force before their city is overrun by the low lives. And while this is an issue at the forefront of their minds, the attention of the Gotham's people has been captured by a masked vigilante known as Batman. Donning a cape and hood that make him resemble a bat, this masked man of the night hasn't been spotted for longer than a passing glance but he's always tripping up criminals night after night throughout the city. Batman is the unseen hero that Gotham needs...but who is he really?

The Batman! Who is this masked marvel??

By night he races through the city in his Batmobile, but by day Batman is actually Bruce Wayne. Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton) is a billionaire, philanthropist, industrialist...he's a pretty big guy in Gotham. He's also considered the cities most eligible bachelor, which is fortunate for Vickie Vale (Kim Basinger) - a journalist who catches Wayne's eye at a social function at his home one evening. Wayne is careful to keep his secret identity as Batman from prying eyes...but as his relationship continues with Vickie he tells her his secret, which ends up being perfectly timed because a new foe has descended on Gotham. And this new foe is not going down without a fight.

Jack Napier (Jack Nicholson) was the right hand man to notorious Gotham crime lord Carl Grissom (Jack Palance), but Jack made a slip up. Grissom learned that his girl was cheating on his with Jack and decided he needed to put an end to that affair...but he may have gone a little too far. Grissom arranges for Jack to be murdered during a chemical plant raid, but when Batman crashes the party confusion rocks the whole scheme and Jack ends up being knocked into a vat of chemical waste! Naturally, all assumed that Jack was dead...but Jack emerged from the ooze with a newly mangled appearance, the sight of his own reflection drives him mad! Mad to the point that he decides to put on his own costume...and have a little "fun" with the people of Gotham.

"Who wants to play a little game?"

Jack Napier becomes The Joker, painting his face ghostly white with a garish red grin, and sets about coming up with terrifying ways to terrorize Gotham. His first scheme? Infusing every day hygiene products with a chemical that causes people to laugh themselves to death! Next on the list? Defacing art in the local museums! The Joker is running rampant in Gotham and he needs to be stopped! And naturally, Batman springs into action...which only turns himself into a target as well. Once the Joker finds himself on Batman's radar, he decides to attack Batman in the most painful way possible: his new found love. Can Batman stop The Joker before some horrible fate meets Vickie? Hopefully. But his judgment could be clouded when he learns a dark secret that he shares with the Joker from years past...

They're connected. Wanna guess how? 

Want to learn a secret? This is the second ever Batman movie I have ever seen! My first was The Dark Knight, which I highly enjoyed...but I'm not a crazed Batman fan so I never thought to pursue any of the movies further. Well my boyfriend is not standing for this so he is slowly introducing me to Batman movies of the past and I'm more than okay with this! I really enjoyed this installment in the Batman series, and I really enjoyed that it was directed by Tim Burton. Lots of people don't like Burton's work, but I felt like his quirky/eerie little touches made this movie really distinctive and memorable. And Michael Keaton was an amazing Batman!! He'll always be Mr. Mom in my eyes, but it was cool seeing him in a more serious role. And Jack Nicholson as The Joker? Woof! Talk about a creepy role... I loved him! As far as the actual movie itself, it did feel a little long but it was good. I'm excited to check out future Batman movies...especially the one starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze!

I've heard it's one of the worst...but I'm just so curious!!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films


Firstly, I want to thank all of you darling readers for holding out on my return to the blogging world. I’ve been in a weird place – emotionally, financially, job-wise, personally… - and really needed to take a break from everything. Trust me, I never stopped watching movies! Oh no, I’ve got a BIG ol’ stack waiting to be shared with the world! I just needed to take a breather. I’m not going to be posting nearly as much as I have in the past but I’ll definitely be around. And some of these movies are just too dang good to not talk about, like this one!

Here's the tiniest sampling of blog posts yet to come - keep an eye on this space!

I’m not going to preach to you guys about how I’m a huge fan of Cannon Films and act like I’m some sort of afficianado…because I’m totally not. I think I saw my first Cannon Film in high school – Super Man IV: The Quest for Peace – and I didn’t have any clue what Cannon was at the time. I started learning more about Cannon and their reputation thanks to my boyfriend/action movie whiz-kid The Cinemartyr who introduced me to such works as Cyborg, and Masters of the Universe – which is also how I learned about Electric Boogaloo. I didn’t totally understand Cannon Films and their notorious reputation, I just pretty much gathered that they were famous for making horrible movies quickly and cheaply, and that they shut down shortly after Cyborg was released. But to have a whole documentary filmed about their story? This was something I HAD to see!

Cannon Films didn’t start off as anything special, it was just a small production company that focused mostly on making horror and exploitation movies. Obviously, not something that was going to be raking in the big bucks. But Israeli film lovers Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus had bigger plans for this little company. Golan and Globus were both famous men in the film industry in Israel, Globus being known for his skillful business practices and Golan for his filming style. Together, the two men had made several Israeli pictures that had taken the country by storm…but they strive for more. More money, more audiences, more money, more opportunities…and what better place than America? So Golan and Globus bought Cannon Films and from there, it was history in the making.

Just two men with a dream to take over Hollywood!

To start things off, Cannon needed to make money quickly so Golan could fund the movies he really wanted to make in the future. So Cannon originally started out pumping out lower budget horror movies with lots of nudity, something that’ll bring in the audiences and not break the bank to make. But even as the money started trickling in, the movies that were supposed to make money in the eyes of the Israelis didn’t exactly match the interests of the American market. They pumped out cheesy, poorly scripted action and horror movies. They tried their hand at a couple of comedies and even a musical – The Apple is still considered one of the worst movies to ever be made. But how did were they able to keep making movies? Simple. Lots of big talk!

Cut the guys some slack - they put Chuck Norris on the map!!

Golan and Globus had a business model unlike any other in Hollywood, they would pitch a movie to film financiers based only on an idea or the poster art. Golan would weave this immaculate tale that would serve as the script – even though one didn’t exist for the movie he was pitching – and the money from the financiers would go toward finishing production on whatever current picture they were making at the time. And so the vicious cycle went, these two were basically scrimping from paycheck to paycheck to churn out these movies in the hopes of hitting it big at the box office. They were fueled by their dreams and literally little else! But unfortunately their ability to pull off these little stunts didn’t help them in the long run. The money wasn’t able to cover production costs – check out the end of Masters of the Universe to get a better idea of what I mean – so Cannon ended up shutting down and ending their legacy of tacky, over-the-top film making.

Did somebody say.... OVER THE TOP??!?!?

This documentary is definitely one of the more fun ones I have seen! I don’t know why but I love documentaries about movies and production companies…maybe it’s because I get ideas of new movies to watch? Regardless of why I like them, Electric Boogaloo was a killer watch! With input from former Cannon Films employees, directors and actors from many Cannon films, and pieces of previously filmed bits on Cannon Films interspersed – this movie is a plethora of knowledge that perfectly emulates the Cannon Legacy! If you’re not a fan of the cheesy, explosive, practical effects side of Hollywood than Electric Boogaloo may not be for you…but for those that love it, Electric Boogaloo is a pristine tribute film!

I am so crazy in love with Electric Boogaloo that now I want to see
the REAL Electric Boogaloo. Not even joking. 

I am super late to the game with this Trash-Tastic Thursday posting, but even though you've missed the usual TNWP madness that doesn't mean you've missed out on EVERYTHING! Every Thursday on realpunkradio.com you can find your source for unadulterated, Psychotronic rock n' roll starting at 6pm PT with Twin Cities-based rockabilly radio show Gone Mental, which is then followed at 7pm PT with the 3-hour long Psychotronic Zorch Radio!! If you're looking for a killer fix of the best in Rockabilly, Psychobilly, surf instrumentals, trash, garage punk, and other similar genres then these combined shows - dubbed the Thursday Night Wrecking Pit - are you sources to seek out! And even though you've missed the shows this week, I have a special announcement for Pacific Northwest listeners...

You seriously couldn't ask for a better line up on Internet radio!

Coming up on Saturday April 30th, 2016 Zorch Radio will be holding Zorch Invasion V at Slim's Last Chance Saloon in South Seattle!! Those in the Seattle area who have a hankering to check out a killer Psychobilly show need to come check out this line up - we've got local Seattle bands Raw Dogs and It Follows opening up the show, followed by Everett Psychobilly band The Repomen, and then the show will be headlined by the one and only Gutter Demons repping French-Canuck Psychobilly all the way from Montreal!!! It's a 21+ show and only $15 at the door BUT Zorch Radio is holding a contest that can land you on the guest list! For more details on how to enter the contest either check out the Facebook Event Page or check out the Zorch Radio Instagram! Hope to see you there!

Hope to see all you wreckers at the Invasion next Saturday!!

Monday, April 18, 2016

The O.C.


After I finished watching Gilmore Girls on Sunday night, I wanted to speed right along and talk about one of my long-time favorite teen dramas: The O.C. This was the first ever soap opera-esque show I ever watched, if you discount the snippets of All My Children I caught when I was a little kid surfing channels for cartoons. The O.C. was a show that came on when I was in middle school and I would watch it while on the phone with my best friend so we could instantly jabber about the juicy details!! So much scandal! So much sex! My little 13-year-old brain could hardly handle it! But thankfully The O.C. has been a show that I have been able to watch now - over 10 years later - and still love it to this day. Some things never get old, and apparently California-based teen dramas are one of those things!

Ryan Atwood (Benjamin McKenzie) is always finding himself at the wrong place at the wrong time. Growing up in the tough neighborhood of Chino, California Ryan has all the potential in the world but he tends to follow the wrong crowd. He goes to high school and gets good grades, but that doesn't stop him for getting arrested with his brother Trey for grand theft auto late one night. Ryan is assigned a state attorney named Sandy Cohen (Peter Gallagher) who helps Ryan get off with nothing more than a slap on the wrist...but for some reason Sandy's heart goes out to Ryan. He sees that Ryan is a good kid trying to make the best of his bad situation but he doesn't know what more to do for the boy. So he just gives Ryan his business card and tells him that if he needs help he can call any time. And later that day, Sandy ends up getting that call from Ryan.

 
He's a good kid...he just needs some help. 

When Ryan returned home he finds his mom and step dad all packed up and his house totally empty. No note, no nothing left behind. Ryan has been abandoned. Having nowhere else to turn, Ryan calls Sandy and asks if he knows of somewhere he can stay the night...so Sandy brings Ryan home with him to Newport Beach. Now, Newport Beach is a far cry from Chino - it's a town filled with gated communities, tanned women and buffed out guys, and more money than Ryan could imagine possible. Sandy brings Ryan to his home where his wife Kirsten (Kelly Rowan) is far from pleased that her husband - the good-hearted man he is - brought a juvenile delinquent into their home! But at the same time, Sandy and Kirsten's nerdy son Seth (Adam Brody) is pretty okay with having someone to lounge in the pool and play X-Box with. From the minute he steps through that door, Ryan makes it clear that he is only there for the night...but Sandy and Kirsten end up having other ideas.

Welcome to Orange County Ryan, yes it is a weird place. 

Thinking long and hard over their decision and realizing what they can offer the boy, the couple reaches out to Ryan and they offer to become his legal guardians. What does this mean? They will assume guardianship over him, move Ryan into their home, treat him as their son, and see that he finishes out high school. And it's true, living in Newport Beach will provide Ryan with all the privileges he never would have had in Chino. He could make a real start toward a decent future here. But Newport Beach turns out to be just as much, if not more, trouble than Chino ever could have been for him. It turns out that the people of Newport aren't nearly as squeaky clean as their fine cars and clothes make them appear...

Sure, they all look nice on the outside...

Ryan's next door neighbor is Marissa Cooper (Mischa Barton), a gorgeous socialite who also goes to high school with Seth and who's dad happens to be Kirsten Cohen's ex-high school sweetheart - Jimmy Cooper (Donovan Tate). Marissa is instantly drawn to Ryan's bad boy attitude...which her jealous water polo-playing boyfriend Luke (Chris Carmack) picks up on immediately. But Marissa's best friend Summer Roberts (Rachel Bilson) is also hot for Ryan's bad boy persona too...much to Seth's dismay because he's been harboring a crush on Summer since they were in grade school together. Between dealing with drama between all his friends at school and drama at home with Kirsten's work - her father Caleb Nichol (Alan Dale) is one of the most powerful, but sleazy, businessmen in all of Orange County - Ryan is going to have a hard time staying out of trouble. But hey, that's half the fun...right?

At the end of the day we're all just friends...with secrets...and sometimes
benefits....California can get a little intense. 

The first couple of seasons of The O.C. are just RIFE with insane amounts of sex, drama, scandal, glamour....anything that can be thrown into a dramatic television show is clearly present here! The characters all harbor secrets that get leaked out in the end, major plot twist after major plot twist gets detonated like landmines throughout the show - it's so much to take in! But it's also what keeps you begging for the next episode too. Sadly, it doesn't stay that way though. After making some unfortunate plot changes - including deaths of some really important characters and introductions of some bizarro ones - The O.C. really fell flat for the later half of it's short-lived career. But, Regardless of the shift, I still love this show! I love the drama, the relationships, the characters, the stories...I get swept up in all of it! Highly recommended for fans of teen dramas that lean a tad more to the serious side - think of a very PG-13 rendition of Gilmore Girls meets Mean Girls, sans all comedy.

I will love this show forever - "California...CALIFORNIAAA!!"

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Gilmore Girls


There is a reason why I choose to write my reviews instead of recording and posting video reviews - I am a weepy, puffy, sobbing mess right now and it's all because of Gilmore Girls. Up until January of this year, I never watched this show once. I'd always heard about Gilmore Girls in middle school and high school but I never felt an urge to find out more. But my friend Becca decided that that situation needed to change. 

Because of Becca I have been introduced to other wonderful movies and
shows such as Orange is the New Black, Broad City, and 
Hector and the Search for Happiness - be sure to check out Becca's awesome
blog HowDoIGrownUp too!!

In January of 2016, Becca was preparing to move to New York and attend grad school at Columbia University so between us both leaving our jobs in October 2015 and the upcoming moving date, we needed to spend plenty of girl time together. One of the last times we hung out together Becca came over to my house for a sleepover - which primarily would consist of us binge-watching a show on my Roku box while curled up on my bed. And unable to decide between the two, we flipped back and forth between episodes of Gilmore Girls - a first for me - and The OC - a first for her! Well tonight, I finally sat down and watched the series finale of Gilmore Girls and I am ready to shout from the rooftop to all those Gilmore Girl-virgins out there that THIS SHOW DESERVES YOUR ATTENTION!!!

Gilmore Girls is a show based in the small Connecticut town of Stars Hollow. It doesn't seem like much more than a tiny little rustic dot on the map to most of us, but to Lorelai Gilmore and her friends it's the best place in the world. Lorelai (Lauren Graham) has always been a woman to make the best of her situation and constantly push forward, which is what she had to do from a very young age. Pregnant at the age of 16, Lorelai moved out of her upper class parents' home and decided to make it on her own as a single mother. She got a job working at The Independence Inn in Stars Hollow and worked hard to create the best life she could for herself and her daughter Lorelai 'Rory'. And so our story begins 16 years after Lorelai made this change in her life...

Everything Lorelai has done has been for her daughter Rory. 

Rising up the ladder, Lorelai is now a manager of The Independence Inn where she works alongside her best friend and chef Sookie St. James (Melissa McCarthy). Lorelai loves her job and she loves her small town of Stars Hollow filled with all her eccentric friends like the town kook Kirk (Sean Gunn), her boisterous neighbors Morey (Ted Rooney) and Babette (Sally Struthers), and the lovable but grumpy diner owner Luke Danes (Scott Patterson). But more than anything, Lorelai is obsessed with and deeply in love with her daughter Rory (Alexis Bledel). Lorelai and Rory are much less like mother and daughter, and basically best friends - they agree on everything, share the same love for movies and coffee consumption, and have no secrets between them. Their witty banter alone is enough to make you fall in love with them! But the story of the Gilmore girls has much more to it than just what happens in little old Stars Hollow...

There's more to Stars Hollow than just the lives of  the Gilmore Girls...sort of...

Lorelai has always taught Rory to dream big and put her mind to doing anything she wants with her life, and with her natural talent at academia Rory has set her dream to attending Harvard for journalism once she graduates high school. From the time Rory could comprehend college and careers she has gotten straight A's and worked tirelessly to perform at such a high level that Harvard would be a fool to turn her away! But she's needed some help along the way. Rory is given the opportunity to attend a private high school that would practically guarantee her entrance into Harvard but her mom simply cannot afford the tuition...so that is where Rory's grandparents come into the picture. After feeling shunned and like a disappointment for getting pregnant as a teenager, Lorelai left home when she was only 16 and has had little communication with her parents - Richard (Edward Herrmann) and Emily (Kelly Bishop) - since she left. But because her parents are so well off, Lorelai goes to them to ask for help with Rory's tuition. Which they agree to help with. Yay!

Need a little cash? That's what rich grandparents are for!!

Striking a bargain where Lorelai and Rory have to have dinner with Rory's grandparents every Friday evening, they agree to pay for her tuition in full. And you would think that all the worries would be over...oh. How far from the truth! While we trail Rory's budding high school, and eventually college, career we get to see Rory and Lorelai both evolve and hold tight to each other through the most trying of experiences: Rory struggles with her workload at school and social pressures from first loves and new boyfriends, we watch Lorelai try to follow her own dreams and deal with the terrifying uncertainty of if they won't pan out. But we also watch the relationship of the people around them evolve too! Rory's best friend Lane (Keiko Agena) longs to pursue a rock star's life style, Sookie follows her heart and finds true love...new friends are made, relationships are shattered, love is found, and love is also lost. The people of Stars Hollow become family to us all, and we get to share every experience with them as Rory blossoms and blooms into a young woman. We truly are along for the adventure of a lifetime. 

So many people...so many stories...so much happens in all 7 seasons!!!

I will be the first person to say that this is very dramatic, very cheesy, and VERY very girly....but it is also so much fun! The comedy side to the show is light and silly, the drama is very realistic and can hit home on a lot of issues typically not addressed by teenage television shows - dreams being dashed, boys being jerks, making mistakes and having to live with the consequences - it's shocking and refreshing! I also deeply love the fact that this movie takes place in a realistic sense of time. All the actors cast for these roles are age-appropriate so we don't have gorgeous bombshell 20-something's trying to portray 14-year-old high school girls. Alexis Bledel literally grew up making this series and we get to see her grow as an actress and also grow as a character in the show. So unique! But this show isn't all butterflies and rainbow kisses and happiness all the time. There are some really dark moments in Gilmore Girls. There were moments where I blatantly hated the way that characters responded to situations and just didn't want to watch anymore. And this wasn't in an "But why can't the writers just do what I want!?" type of way. This was more of a "Why would you as a human being do this?! Oh, because you don't have the outside perspective I do?? Fair. But I'm still mad." type of way. See the difference? It's major. 

Trust me, everything in this show happened for all the right reasons!

But despite the roller coaster of emotions that you get strapped into during each episode, this show was so much fun and I love that I'm getting to watch it during a time in my life when I will actually appreciate the show and see it's worth. I want this to be a show that can open up relationships between mothers and daughters and show them that a friendship and understanding can exist. I want this to be a show that young girls can watch and see what it looks like to be driven and feel like they have a power over their destiny. I want this to be a show that women my age, and even older, can watch and see that you are only human and the things you are doing are rational and normal and totally okay. But clearly I'm also on a bit of an emotional rampage because I just finished watching the series. WHICH, I am excited to tell you, IS GETTING A FOLLOW UP SERIES RELEASED LATER THIS YEAR CALLED GILMORE GIRLS: SEASONS!!! Original characters will be returning to show us what our favorite Stars Hollow pals have been up to all these years! Here is hoping for the best! Overall though, Gilmore Girls is a fun, sassy, dramatic television show that I had tons of fun watching! Highly recommended!! I'm going to go blow my nose now...

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

My Mistress


Netflix recommended this movie to me a few months back when I added both the first and second Nymphomaniac movies to my Instant Queue. I'm not one of those girls who gets a kick of out kinky sex-dramas just because I saw Fifty Shades of Grey, I've always been mildly intrigued by them. I made a first attempt to watch this movie with my boyfriend...but in the first 5 minutes I could tell that we were in store for a moody drama and decided to immediately shut it off to avoid him hating this movie and potentially tampering the experience for me...should I like it. I had nothing better to do the other night so I figured that was as good a time as any. Well, it turns out that no time is a good time to watch My Mistress.

After discovering his dad's hanging body in the family garage, teenage boy Charlie (Harrison Gilbertson) is overcome with feelings of anger and pain. His own father, a man he loved dearly, is now gone from his life forever...and the person responsible is his mother. Charlie discovered that his mother (Rachael Blake) was having an affair and now he feels as though his life has no meaning. He cannot function, he cannot sleep...he doesn't know where to go from this point. But then he finds answers from a mysterious woman he bums a cigarette from in the park one day. She advises him to try a couple of simple remedies - a cold shower and a glass of whiskey before bed. And what do you know...it works.

Charlie could sleep for once...it's a miracle!

After waking the next day, Charlie still has this strange woman on his mind...he must see her again. He finds that she has recently moved into a large, gated home on the outskirts of town. He goes to the house and enters, knowing she has to be there because he saw a window open. But when he goes inside he discovers something shocking - this strange woman is dressed in a patent leather body suit, wielding a flog against a man who is stripped naked and sitting - gagged and handcuffed - atop a carousel horse!! Not understanding what he's seeing, Charlie flees from the house. But even after this strange encounter Charlie still wants to see her again...and so he finds a perfect in.

He needs this woman in his life!

Spying on the house the next day, Charlie sees the woman leaving her home and goes to a community bulletin board where she posts a sign asking for a discreet gardener. Perfect. Charlie arrives at the house the next day, but the woman instantly recognizes the boy and refuses to let him even inquire about the gardening job. But when Charlie points out that he needs to get his bike, she lets him in...and hears the boy out. The woman explains that her name is Maggie (Emmanuelle Beart) and she is a dominatrix - men come to her to forget about their inner pain through means of physical pain and role play. And Charlie is accepting of this. And intrigued...

That is not a sight you easily forget...

As time goes on, Charlie comes to find himself more and more intrigued by Maggie and her work. But the more time he spends working in her yard, the more he dreams and fantasizes about Maggie in her patent leather body suit...maybe Maggie holds the answer to Charlie's problems. Maybe she can help him forget about the painful loss of his father. At first, Maggie is hesitant to even consider engaging in her work with Charlie. But he's a handsome 18 year-old boy...who is she to say no? But the minute the two start engaging as dominatrix and submissive, it becomes clear that Charlie is much more invested in this unconventional relationship than Maggie is. After all, for her it's business. But for Charlie, it may be much more...and that is not something that Maggie is willing to tolerate.

Is it official? Have they gone too far? 

This movie felt awkward, out of place, and pretty desperate at times. Almost like the writers really wanted some kind of Dominatrix-MILF-sex-drama movie and tried to hard to make a dramatic story out of the whole mess. To be honest, there isn't even any sex in the movie. Or nudity to speak of, which was a weird twist for me. I understand that not all Dom-Sub relationships have to involve sex, but this movie gave the definite impressions that sex would happen. NOPE! Instead we get this strange, age-gapped love story type thing with really vanilla characters... I just never really cared. Also, I don't know if it's me or Australia but what's with the whole 'mothers-falling-in-love-with-teen-boys-in-a-dramatic-movie' thing that keeps going on? Do I just know how to pick them or is that all Australia cinema consists of? MILF-sex dramas like Adore and horror movies like Wolf Creek? No thank you Australia! Overall, this movie is not worth your time. It's gross, lame, and a painful bore.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Alien vs Predator


I have a serious hate-love-hate relationship with this movie. I've mentioned in posts past that Predator has been one of my favorite movies for nearly my entire life, and while I've just been introduced to the Alien franchise within the last year I've definitely loved what I've seen so far! Now, Alien vs Predator came out when I was in high school and even though I'd never seen any of the Alien movies I was absolutely LIVID that AVP existed! The xenomorphs and the predator exist in totally different times and universes - making them cross paths in a movie was the worst thing that could have entered my young mind! And even though I hated the idea of this movie, I did watch it....but I was so hell-bent on hating it that I didn't remember much of anything that happened. Well back in October 2015 I found a copy of AVP for about $4 and decided that I have calmed down enough to try watching this again. So I did!

Clearly I'm a fan of this franchise - why couldn't AVP be better???
Check out previous posts on PredatorPredator 2, and Predators!

Alexa Woods (Sanaa Lathan) - an environmental technician and guide - has been contacted by Weyland Industries for some help. Having backed away from her technical work to focus more on guiding, Alexa is hardly willing to find out what this multi-million dollar company would want with her. But when the correspondent explains that the topic of discussion is in Antarctica...well, Alexa just can't say no. Several days later, Alexa is aboard an ice breaking ship on the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica with several other specialists from around the world all brought together by Weyland Industries. There's Sebastian (Raoul Bova) and Thomas (Sam Troughton) who are archaeologists who have been digging up ruins in Mexico, Graeme Miller (Ewen Bremner) a chemical engineer, and a slew of men who are all mercenaries....quite a weird assortment. So, what have they been called for?

Ready to go exploring guys? 

Mr. Charles Weyland (Lance Henriksen), the founder of Weyland Industries, introduces himself to the team and explains that they are the best in their fields in the world and that he has discovered something extraordinary. One of his satellites that typically orbits over Antarctica looking for mineral deposits picked up a large heat bloom. This is odd enough on it's own, but the heat bloom image caught by the satellite revealed a shape similar to that of an ancient pyramid with hundred or rooms and tunnels inside!! What?! There's a pyramid in Antarctica!? Oh, but it gets even better. Not only does there seem to be a pyramid in Antarctica, but it resembles construction similar to the structures made by ancient Egyptians, Mayans, and Aztecs. Oh, and it's also 2,000 feet below the ice. This could be one of the most significant archaeological discoveries of the century and Weyland wants to be the man to make it happen.

So Weyland assembles this team asking them to come with him to the pyramid and check it out before reporting their findings. Everyone is really excited except for Alexa - this whole thing seems strange and creepy to her...but she doesn't want to leave the team in potential danger without a guide so she agrees to go along.Once on the ice, the team hikes through the blistering cold to a turn-of-the-century, abandoned whaling community that sits over where the pyramid is supposed to be. And from there everything seems to be really off. While inspecting the town for a good place to tunnel through the ice, the crew actually finds a tunnel already bored through the ice. It's large enough for the members to repel down too, and without a further question they go down. And sure enough, that tunnel leads them right to the doorstep of the ancient pyramid. But some things that are buried should be left that way.

You know that part in horror movies where the dumb teens decide to enter
a creepy house? This is that same exact moment. Turn back fools!!

The group cautiously approaches the pyramid and they enter the structure, but what they didn't realize by opening the enormous doors is that they have triggered a mechanism in the pyramid that brings to life a deadly surprise. Deep within the pyramid lies a shackled, frozen Xenomorph queen! The mechanism awakens her and the queen instantly starts laying eggs which are moved throughout the pyramid on stone conveyor belt-like contraptions. Oh no! We already know this will not end well. And as the crew begins to explore more and more of the tunnels and rooms in the pyramid they keep finding rooms dedicated to sacrifice...but the bodies have weird characteristics like chest wounds where the bones look like they've burst outward instead of being crushed inward. But what the crew doesn't know yet is that this pyramid is not only a place of sacrifice...it is also a place for hunting. And those Xenomorph eggs that are starting to hatch in the dark corners of the pyramid? Oh, they aren't the hunters. They're the prey. Those who hunt the Xenomorphs are on their way...and no one will be safe once the hunt begins.

You're gonna want to be on the sidelines for this fight!

I honestly, from the bottom of my heart wanted to like this movie so so badly! I wanted to prove my 14 year-old self wrong and boast that I am a fan of all things associated with my beloved Predator. Well, unfortunately I can't say that. AVP is not the worst Sci-Fi movie I've ever seen but it's far from good. The idea is solid enough even if it's not that exciting, but the story of how the  predators and xenomorphs came together in the first place is really hokey and lame. But the violence is good and there are some really neat fights between the beasties, the humans just seemed to get annoying and in the way most of the time. Honestly, this whole movie just felt like a desperate attempt to revive the Alien and Predator franchises and they just couldn't deliver. I do have to say though - thank you Predators and Prometheus for doing what AVP could not, which is bring back these franchises in a good way! If you are curious about AVP I would recommend this as a one-time watch if you have low expectations. But fans of the legit Predator and Alien movies should steer clear of this mess.

Well that was a waste of $4...

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Cradle 2 the Grave


Want to know something silly about me? I really like DMX. I think his music is great, his voice is amusing - I love that he barks at everything, and above all I am endlessly amused by the fact that his real name is Earl Simmons! Seriously! Earl Simmons!! How hilarious is that?! Tough guy DMX is really ol' Early Simmons ha ha!! No? Just me laughing it up over here? Okay... Regardless though, when my blogger buddy The Cinemartyr suggested we watch it one night I want a little bit ballistic. Ol' Early 'DMX' Simmons starred in movies?!?! PLURAL!??! As in more than one movie exists in this world with DMX starring in it??? Sign me on, I plan on seeing ALL of these!

Jewel thief Anthony Fait (Earl ‘DMX’ Simmons) has been ratted out. Fait and his partners Daria (Gabrielle Union), Tommy (Anthony Anderson), and Miles (Drag-On) were pulling one of their largest paying jobs – a bank holding safety deposit boxes mainly containing precious stones. Now diamonds are nice and all, but what Fait is after are black diamonds. He doesn’t know the value but his boss was very specific so Fait is on the job. But while making a call to the boss man – Dr. Chambers (Chi McBride) – Fait’s call is intercepted by a Taiwanese Intelligence Agent. And that’s when everything goes wrong.

Time to get down to business and bust that rat!

The Taiwanese agent, Su (Jet Li), calls to report the robbery in progress and stop Fait and his crew from making off with the black diamonds. But Su didn’t get so lucky! Fait and his crew make it out just as a SWAT team swarms the building. Talk about a close call! But why are these black diamonds so special? Later that night Su puts himself in Fait’s path and asks for the black diamonds. Fait doesn’t have the diamonds to give since he left them with an appraiser friend, but it doesn’t matter. The second Fait finds out that Su ratted him out a fight ensues!

If you're looking for a fight Su, you found the right guy. 

Su and Fait are really going after each other when suddenly a group of gang members enter the fight! They’re not with Su…and they’re definitely not with Fait – so the two enemies decide to team up and take down these jokers! Once the gang members are defeated, Fait calls his appraisal pal Archie (Tom Arnold) to learn about the status of the black diamonds only to discover that Archie was ambushed by more of those mysterious gang members and he lost the stones! And then the phone call comes. Ling (Marc Dacascos) has kidnapped Fait’s daughter (Paige Hurd) in order to get Fait to hand over the diamonds. With no options left, Fait and Su decide to team up to get back Fait’s daughter and stop those black diamonds from making their way to Ling!

Not today Ling!

I will be completely honest with you, this is definitely mot the best action movie I've ever seen. Don't get me wrong! The plot is good, the cast is fun, and the action is great...it just wasn't....astounding? I don't really know how else to put it. It was really fun seeing DMX act, because he definitely can and nothing brought me more joy than seeing him spouting off one-liners after sucker-punching someone, but this isn't a movie I think everyone has to see. Cradle 2 the Grave is no First Blood or Die Hard by any means, but it's a fun one-time watch for action movie fans who love excellent hand-to-hand combat scenes and appearances by rap stars.