Monday, October 31, 2016

Binge Watcher Review: Pride+Prejudice+Zombies (2016)


Pride + Prejudice + Zombies (2016)

Starring:
Lily James, Sam Riley, Bella Heathcote, Ellie Bamber, Millie Brady, Suki Waterhouse, Douglas Booth, Sally Phillips, Charles Dance, Lena Headey, Jack Huston, Matt Smith

Synopsis:
In the 19th century, a mysterious plague turns the English countryside into a war zone. No one is safe as the dead come back to life to terrorize the land. Fate leads Elizabeth Bennet, a master of martial arts and weapons, to join forces with Mr. Darcy, a arrogant gentleman. Elizabeth can’t stand Darcy, but respects his skills as a zombie killer. Casting aside their personal differences, they unite on the blood-soaked battlefield to save their country.


The Good:
How can you go wrong with a movie which includes martial arts and Zombies, make is a period piece and you really have a film.

The Bad:
I had no idea what I was watching the entire time, I wasn’t sure if it was a Zombie movie or a love story. 


Final Thoughts:
First, if you are going to watch this movie and are not expecting something in the line of Campy, than there is something seriously wrong with you. After all this was a Zombie movie and you can’t take this type of movie seriously, at the very least until there really is a zombie apocalypse.

This was as good as you could get for a Zombie movie, it wasn’t a masterpiece but it was solid. Great action and fun zombies. The only issue I saw with the film itself was I was confused with the premise. Was the Movie a Period piece, love story or zombie flick? 


This is definitely not one of those films you should watch because of reviews, no this is a film you should watch because its fun and action filled. It was also filled with great acting, which is a plus.


Have you seen Pride and Prejudice and Zombies? What did you think of the film? Leave your comments below. 


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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Storks - Box Office Review

Animation has really been improving as the years progress and that has benefited storytelling and the movie going experience. Plus, the better the films get the more involved acting talent gets involved and we’re often surprised by their vocal performance, or not. Sometimes we don’t even realize the voice talent performing and this movie carries both scenarios. So let’s dive in and take a look at my thoughts on “Storks” in this box office review…



The film takes place in a time where storks no longer deliver babies, but instead are the delivering force for a company similar to Amazon. We replace baby delivery with cell phone delivery and the story is off and running. We meet a young stork who is being considered to be the next head of the company and his last job before being promoted is firing the human who is still working for the company and causing chaos. Instead of firing her she is reallocated to the mail room and from there we get our first new baby in quite some time and this baby must be delivered before the boss finds out and all Junior (voice by Andy Samberg) has worked for is lost. 


The story is entertaining in that the predicaments the main characters get into keeps elevating the story in humorous ways. The wolves were by far my favorite but the weird pigeon was a massive annoyance for me. As hard as I laughed at the wolf pack scenes I was equally frustrated with the pigeon scenes. It was such a weird back and forth of emotions in an animated film. To the films credit, emotions were captured quite well on screen I thought while watching this movie. I believed the voice talent and the emotions they portrayed and the overall story smacked me right in the feels. The end of the film reveals how important adoption is and the special place in a families heart an adopted child takes. Being an uncle for an adopted niece I couldn’t help but catch the feels at the end of the film because it made perfect sense to me, personally. 



Storks” is in theaters now! If you enjoy a touching and humorous animated film about a families desire to add love to their family through adoption this is the film for you. If you enjoy animated films, also for you. I walked out of the theater feeling all warm and fuzzy because I couldn’t stop thinking about my niece and how special she is and how much I and the family all love her. This movie was definitely a surprise for me and I’m glad I took the time to see it in theaters. 


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Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - Box Office Review

It’s no secret to people I discuss movies with, or to listeners of the Maskerpiece Theatre podcast, that I’m a fan of Tim Burton movies. The visual style he has is unique to him and his vision for how characters and stories should look is something I look forward to when I hear he’s making a new film or I’m revisiting a film he’s already made that I probably own. So let’s dive in and take a look at my thoughts on “Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children” in this box office review… 


First, this film was everything I wanted from a story about kids with powers who live in a creepy home that’s stuck in time, forever repeating the same day. Every day, when the bombers are flying over the house about to destroy it with bombs Miss Peregrine stops time and rewinds it back to the morning of that day. The children all have chores they complete on a very strict schedule because any deviation from that schedule could result in the clock not being reset and the bombs landing on the home destroying everything and everyone. This is of course jumping ahead in the story quite a bit because the main character, portrayed by Asa Butterfield, is a loner who is trying to figure out the mysterious death of his grandfather who everyone believes was crazy or had dimensia. It is in fact the monster he sees after finding his dead grandfather that drives him to investigate his grandfathers life, while his parents believe him to be just as mad as his late grandfather. 


The characters in this story all felt mostly natural, assuming they had the “gifts” they possessed in the film. The only stand out character was “Franklin” the father of Jake, played by Chris O’Dowd. His character didn’t feel natural at all and the American accent he attempted to have was poorly delivered. Considering most of the movie takes place outside of America, I would’ve been fine with his character having a British accent. If he, perhaps, didn’t have to focus on sounding American, he might’ve been able to portray a worried but not overly concerned father who’s into photographing birds. 

The action sequences where the special powers are all displayed were entertaining and the villain, portrayed by Samuel Jackson, was also believable however campy. This would be the second film where I felt Sam Jackson was playing a caricature and not an actual villain, the first being his role in “Kingsman”. His performance didn’t bother me, in fact I found him to be a nice adjustment from the more intense characters the children portrayed and the reasons they hid from him. His over-the-top performance felt like a mustache twirling bad guy and considering he eats a bowl of eye balls and is caught fighting a rogue band of skeletons, I was perfectly fine with his performance. It fit in this film and that’s what matters.


Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children” is in theaters now! If you enjoy Tim Burton films or just a fresh story that is like nothing you’ll see this year, go see this on the big screen. It’s definitely worth it and you won’t be disappointed. It’s fun but not fun for the whole family if you have kids under the age of 13. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and I might even see it a second time while I wait for “Doctor Strange” to arrive in theaters next week.


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Binge Watcher Review: Not Cool (2014)


Not Cool (2014)

Starring:
Shane Dawson, Cherami Leigh, Drew Monson, Lisa Schwartz, Michelle Veintimilla, Kurt Angle, Kasey Daley, Garbie Dukes, Laurel George, 

Synopsis:
A group of former high school students come back home for Thanksgiving. During the few days back they undertake things like partying, relationships, and reconnecting with family. The teenagers experience how to let go of high school and move on with their lives.

The Good:
If you like a low budget version of American Pie, than this movie is for you

The Bad:
This is a low budget version of American Pie, with out the solid comedic writing needed to make it more.

Final Thoughts:
This movie was part of the Stars show “The Chair”, which saw two director chosen to create a movie based on the same script. Shane Dawson was the director of “Not Cool”, however during the process of the show Shane made some drastic changes to the script, which turned what should have been a more serious dramady. 


What we ended up with was a low budget version of every high school comedy one can think of. One of the big issues of the movie was how crazy it got. One scene in particular shows a homeless man eating his own shit, the movie would follow this trend of “Shock Comedy” until the very end.


However with the bad being stated, knowing where this movie came from, a documentary style TV show and directed by a Youtube star, I was shocked at how well the movie actually was. As for Shane Dawson, he not only directed the movie he also starred in it, Because of how he portrayed the main character of Scott. He was able to bring a softness to the character which evened out the film from all the crazy antics.


Was this great, no but it was a solid movie which you can watch on Netfix. However, to really enjoy it I will have to recommend streaming “The Chair” on star prior. You will end up with a greater appreciation for what you are watching. 


Have you seen the movie yet? If you have let us know your thoughts and leave your comments below. 

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Saturday, October 29, 2016

Keeping Up With the Joneses - Box Office Review

The cast looks good. The trailers looked amusing at best. So we make the decision to either take a chance in the theater hoping for a comedy that over performs OR risk the feeling that we’ve been duped by Hollywood once again. So where does “Keeping Up with the Joneses” fall? Let’s dive in and take a look at my thoughts in this box office review…


This movie was a snooze fest. I was so bored during the entire film. I did something I never do and because I’m always honest in my reviews I’ll continue that honesty in this review. I was playing on my phone during this movie. That is completely terrible of me I know. I was one of two people in the row and the theater I was in had a wall behind me shielding the people behind me from seeing the glow of my iPhone. I can’t recall a film this year that had me so bored I found google more interesting. I could’ve fallen asleep if I would’ve been tired on any level. This movie did nothing to keep my attention at all. They tried to catch me with Gal Gadot in lingerie but after seeing the trailer so many times it wasn’t enough to grab me. If anything, this movie was Jon Hamm’s audition for any future live action “Archer” film. It’s like his direction was, “just act like Archer”. I kept waiting for him to shout, “LANA!” throughout the entire film but he did not. Color me disappointed. 



Keeping Up With the Joneses” is in theaters now! Skip it. This was beyond boring and barely humorous at all. I won’t waste anymore words on a film this boring because I’m getting bored writing about it. Miss it entirely. Don’t even Redbox it. Just… Don’t.


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Supernatural: Season 12 Episode 3 “The Foundry” Review


Supernatural: Season 12 Episode 3 “The Foundry”

Director: Robert Singer

Writer: Robert Berens

Staring: Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Misha Collins, Mark Sheppard, Ruth Connell, Samantha Smith, Rick Springfield

Synopsis: Dean, Castiel and Mary  have a lead on Sam and set out to rescue hime. Dean is uncomfortable putting Mary in danger, but she insists on going. Meanwhile, Crowley is tipped off that Lucifer has take over the body of rock star Vince Vicente.

My Thoughts: Look at that, it’s the Supernatural we all fell in love with! This episode made it so easy to feel like we were watching an episode from one of the earlier seasons. The only difference now is Mary is the (well sorta) new hunter joining the boys on a hunt, rather than the boys being new and following in their fathers footsteps. Plus, I love episodes with ghosts! While they aren’t the craziest of episodes, there is always something a little different about each one.  


Mary reminds me a lot of Jo from a couple seasons ago, just older and you know motherly.  She is the one that found the case, convinced Sam and Dean to go on the hunt and does some soul searching while she is there. The boys get caught up in what they believe that they miss some of the clues, but Mary discovers that something does not fit with what the boys are focusing on. Even though she sorta falls under the damsel in distress, it’s her discovery that leads Sam and Dean to destroying the ghost that is killing people. One of the best parts of the main fight is when Mary is possessed and you see Dean and Sam struggle with that situation, very entertaining.

 

The Winchesters aren’t the only ones that are busy though, Crowley and Castiel are working together, oddly enough, to find Lucifer. Yes, that’s right, Crowley and Cass are on a hunt of their own. While I find it weird that Dean would just let Cass leave on his own to hunt down the likes of Lucifer, it is a fun dynamic to see these two work together. I don’t want it to happen for a whole season, but every once in a while is nice.  Plus, we can’t leave out Rowena. I mean she did handle Lucifer.  It’s a temporary fix, but it got the job done for now. Sadly, I wont be surprised if Lucifer kills her here pretty soon.



Over all, the episodes so far have me thinking Mary has to feel so out of place. I didn’t expect her to separate from the boys this early, but I am happy that some of the plot points that have been bothering me were finally vocalized. It is so easy for all of us fans to look at everything from the boy’s point of view because that is what we have been doing for the last 11 years, but look at this from Mary’s side. She was brought back to life with her husband gone, her sons fully grown into men and a world that has changed so much in the time she has been gone that it is a completely different world. While I didn’t expect her to up and leave the boys so soon in the season we all know she will be back. This gives writers a chance to focus on Sam and Deans struggle of their Mother being back without us having to dwell on every thing Mary has to go through to catch up with modern times as well. I’m still not sure where the season is going so hopefully a season arc will reveal itself here soon.

Also, I love episodes directed by Robert Singer. I see his name in the credits and I just smile. He has a few episodes that he has directed that have become some of my favorites. Just the same, Robert Berens as written a few of my favorite episodes as well. So basically, more Robert Singer and Robert Berens please!

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Birth of a Nation - Box Office Review

Slavery in American history is not an easy topic to tackle when making a movie. The tone, the mood, the characters, the story and dialogue all amount to what could be considered a herculean task to undertake. So what does Nate Parker decide to do for his directorial debut? He made “Birth of a Nation” and we’re now gonna dive in a take a look at my thoughts about this film…


First, I’m always honest in my reviews so I’ll continue to be honest, I was not aware this was based on a true story going into the theater. I consider myself a bit of a history fan and that reveal was surprising which caught me off guard. So I was glad I wasn’t just watching a story about history but a story about actual history. That elevated my enjoyment of the film up a few notches. 

The story revolves around “Nat Turner” (played by Nate Parker) who is a slave that was taught how to read the Bible and slowly becomes a preacher on the plantation he was sold to. Over time, word spreads to other plantations that the slaves on his particular plantation are more well behaved and his master is propositioned to take Nat on a plantation tour to help other slaves become more obedient and docile by his use of the scriptures in the Bible. Over time, and a very personal abuse, he realizes that subservient behavior is not the path he was destined for and he leads a resistance that ends in bloodshed and gun smoke. 


I loved this movie. Nate Parker captured so much emotion and, also as the director, got so much emotion out of the cast I was mesmerized. This film took me on an emotional journey that was not expected. Being unfamiliar with the actual story I wasn’t disappointed in certain creative liberties he and the writers took with this movie. I was completely entranced by every performance. I hated certain characters, was repulsed by others, saddened for some and felt incredible pride for a few. I was sickened. I was delighted. I was offended. I was inspired. I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen and I couldn’t help but let all the feelings rush through me. 


Now that I’ve gushed about all the wonderfulness this movie had, this is not a movie for the faint of heart. This movie is brutal and vicious in its portrayal of slave treatment. Nate Parker pulls zero punches when it comes the mistreatment of slaves and it will force you to examine your understanding of early, Pre to During Civil War America. One scene in particular, we see a slave who refuses to eat while chained up in a small wooden shed and the insane method of force feeding that takes place. You see it all. The audience is not spared the visual disturbances because Parker made the decision to give you realism that was necessary, in my opinion. My stomach turned and I’m sure yours will as well.


Birth of a Nation” is in theaters now! If you enjoy movies about America during the civil war times, or historical movies, this is a movie for you. If you want an oscar worthy film, this is also the film for you. I walked out of the theater talking about this film with the older black couple I sat next to in theater. We couldn’t help but continue discussing this film because it’s that good and that powerful. Be prepared to feel all the emotions and don’t be surprised if you find yourself talking with strangers walking out of the theater about your thoughts and feelings about this incredible film.


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Friday, October 28, 2016

Act 182: Popping the VR Cherry

Masked Blogster, Handsome J, GloryHoundd and Jessie talk about the new VR room at The Grid, the election, Star Wars, fantasy movie league and hot dog shits.

To listen, click here. To download, right click and "Save As..."

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Legends of Tomorrow Review: Season 2 Episode 3 "Shogun"


Legends of Tomorrow Season 2 Episode 3
“Shogun”

Starring:
Victor Garber, Brandon Routh, Caity Lotz, Franz Drameh, Maise Richardson-Sellers, Nick Zano, Dominic Purcell, Mei Melancon, Sab Shimono, Grant Gustin, Stephen Oyoung, Christopher Naoki Lee

Synopsis:
After learning he has powers, Nate accidentally lands Ray and himself in Feudal Japan; Sara, Amaya and Rory agree to find Nate and help him master his powers in order to defend the Japanese village from the Shogun.


Final Thoughts:
With Rex Tyler being killed by a time-traveler, Vixen decided to jump aboard the WaveRider in order to get revenge. Her assumption leads her to non other than Mick. While Vixen was attacking the crew we finally get our first glimpses from Citizen Steel. But without the proper training Nate Heywood doesn’t know how to access his new gained powers. While training with Palmer, Steel is thrown from the Waverider and The Atom jumps off to go after him in time. This leads us to this weeks episode, Shogun.


Trapped in 1700’s Japan, Ray is captured by Shogun and has his ATOM suite stolen, meanwhile Nate is found by the soon to be wife of the Shogun, Masako Yamashiro. Nate’s fondness of Masako, leads him into trying to help her with her current marriage problem.

The 3rd episode of the season centered around the growth of Nate as new Superhero and his struggles to harness his new powers and Ray’s struggle with not being a superhero. Even though Ray’s struggles have been touched upon in both the third season of Arrow and first season of Legends, it seems that the writers have been moving forward with this story in the second season. Now that he has lost the ATOM suite in a sacrifice to stop the Shogun, it will be interesting to see how is character development grows before he gets his suite back.


As for Nate, He seems to still have issues with harnessing his powers, but by the end of the episode, it looks like he has gained more experience. This is an interesting addition to team as the now there are three individuals with powers on the waverider. 

Interesting plot point which hopefully will be touched upon in the near future is the message in Rip Hunters hideaway from an older Barry Allen. How will it affect the team and there future missions? I am guessing it will have something to do with the Reverse-Flash. 



I find myself enjoying each week of Legends from Tomorrow, Its solid solid show, but not must see TV. Obviously this season will be different due to the need to catch up by the time of the crossover. What are your thoughts of the show? Leave your comments below. 



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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Arrow Review: Season 5 Episode 4 "Penance"


Arrow Season 5 Episode 4
“Penance”

Starring:
Stephen Amell, David Ramsey, Willa Holland, Emily Bett Rickards, Echo Kellum, Josh Segarra, Paul Blackthorne, Audrey Marie Anderson, Rick Gonzalez, Joe Dinicoi, Madison McLaughlin, Chad L. Coleman, David Nykl

Synopsis:
Oliver and Lyla team up on a secret mission for Diggle. Felicity finds out and disapproves of the plan and opts to stay behind. When Tobias Church launches a deadly assault against the city, Felicity must decide if she wants to send the recruits out sans the Green Arrow.

Final Thoughts:
I feel like I might be in the minority in the sentiment that Arrow’s 5th season has been solid if not one of the better seasons of the show through the first 4 episodes. The one consensus that I think I share with most is that each episode this season is truly getting better. “Penance” really told a complete and solid story where each member of Team Arrow had solid character growth. What is making this season work right now is that each story arc currently seems to be staying within each episode, yes there is some flowing stories like the young new team continuing learning curve but this not only is working but should be expected. If there was one fix the creators of Arrow should make to the show it would have to be the Flash backs. I’ve been a strong supporter the past 4 season of this story telling, however with the 5th season started I am finding little reason for this to continue and feel like the time used for the Flashbacks could have greater impact on the current storyline.


The 4th episode of the season see’s Oliver working with Lyla to rescue Diggle from military prison, while the rest of the team works to stop Tibias Church from attacking Adrien Chase and freeing Sergio from custody. Before the team sans Oliver, take on Church, Felicity works one fixing the issue between herself and Rory, the nice thing about this is season each character seems to have a understanding and growth to expect each member of the team as they are and it makes each issue that comes up more really for the hero’s they are. 


The last minutes of the episode show that Church has Rene and are going to try to break that spirit he has. Now that he is captured team Arrow will need to work to rescue Wild Dog. Obviously the results will be dire for Oliver, but will this be the end of Tobias Church? We know that he wants the Green Arrow dead, but what happens when he tries to accomplish this feat? Will Prometheus have something to say about this?


With Diggle back and more than likely going the team as spartan again, this should add an additional dynamic to the team, with what seems to be his acceptance Oliver we should be getting more of the Oliver/Diggle Dynamic which we saw in the first two season. 


Let us know your thoughts on the episode and leave your comments below.


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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Flash Review: Season 3 Episode 4 "The New Rogues"


The Flash Season 3 Episode 4
“The New Rogues”

Starring:
Grant Gustin, Candice Patton, Danielle Panabaker, Carlos Valdes, Keiynan Lonsdale, Tom Cavanagh, Jesse L. Martin, Wentworth Miller, Violett Beane, Danielle Nicolet, Grey Damon, Ashley Rickards

Synopsis:
Barry continues to train Jesse and when a new meta human, Mirror Master, appears on the scene he lets her tag along. Mirror Master has teamed up with his old partner, Top, and is looking for Snart to even a Score. Jesse is quick to join the chase but defies one of Barry’s orders which results in disastrous consequences.


Final thoughts:
It seems like we were finally introduced to a quality villain, however the episode didn’t really live up to that billing. Mirror Master has the potential to be a great villain, hopefully we see him again in the future in an episode which isn’t crammed with so much character development. What was nice about this episode was the tie to Snart, its been a few episodes now since we saw him last. I am waiting to see where he finally pops up and we know he will.


Now to the positive of the episode, we finally get Jesse suiting up as Jesse Quick, the episode saw her starting to learn the rope for being a superhero. Obviously there were many learning experiences, but one of the best parts was when Barry quotes Oliver. Due to Jesse’s eagerness, Barry ends up trapped in a mirror, Trying to get him free, the team needs a way to freeze the mirror. This is when we finally get a glimpse of Caitlin’s powers as Killer Frost.


Was anyone else as sad to see Harry leave to head back to Earth-2? I know we are getting another Harrison Wells in the form of HR. Who I am guessing will turn to be more evil than good. But How about Harry, I know we will see him again but it would have been nice to have a little more time with this version of the character. Harry has slowly grown on me since he debuted in Season 2. Hopefully I am not wrong, cause not only do we loose Harry, but that also means the lose of Jesse Quick. Two episodes don’t even see long enough for those characters. 


Finally the episode ended with more of the transformation of Caitlin into Killer Frost, what will be interesting is, does caitlin finally turn evil or will she become part of the team going forward. 


Let us know what your thoughts of the episode and leave your comments below. 


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