Monthly Archives: September 2013
Hello blog readers. It’s Tom, your DVD Critics Corner pal. I hope you are well. How about that sports team that played that game the other day? Quite exciting, huh?
Anyhoo, in the part of the United States I live in, Fall has arrived. The kids are back at school, the wheat has been harvested, and the stores are decorated for Christmas.
The summer of 2013 was truly a magical time at the movies. There were Supermen, Lone Rangers, Wolverines, and whatever Matt Damon was in Elysium. We laughed, we cired, we grew to hate Jaden Smith. Let’s take a look back on the summer movie season that was!
Oh, despite what you may have heard about me being a dashing shut-in who only watches movies in DVD form, I managed to make it over to the multiplex to check out a few of the big summer blockbusters. I got my own box of Raisinets too!
Back to taking a look at the summer movie season that was!
Synopsis: Father and son space explorers crash land on earth thousands of years after humanity gets kicked out for not paying rent or something.
What Everyone Said: STOP MAKING US LIKE YOUR CHILDREN, WILL SMITH!!!
What Tom Says: I didn’t see it, and apparently neither did the rest of the world.
IRON MAN 3
Synopsis: HE. IS. IRON MAN. AGAIN!!!
What Everyone Said: Where are the rest of The Avengers?
What Tom Says: This movie kicked so much ass! We’re talking like a million asses! I counted! I had lots of free time this summer.
WORLD WAR Z
Synopsis: Dead men walking. And running.
What Everyone Said: Yay zombies!
What Tom Says: Didn’t see it, but I hear it was nothing like the book. Yes, I read the book. Tom read good!
STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS
Synopsis: The crew of the Enterprise meet a guy who does a horrible Ricardo Montalban impression.
What Everyone Said: Four years is too long to wait for a sequel.
What Tom Says: Four years is not too long to wait for a sequel if the movie is outstanding, you ungrateful fanboy losers!
What Tom Is Trying To Say: Into Darkness was awesome.
THE LONE RANGER
Synopsis: Hi Ho Silver! Hello? Is anyone watching this?
What Everyone Said: Who’s The Lone Ranger?
What Tom Says: I hear if you mention this movie while in a Walt Disney theme park or resort, a goon squad appears out of nowhere and beats you senseless with socks full of quarters. Consider yourself warned. Oh, and I didn’t see this one.
MAN OF STEEL
Synopsis: Superman returns, this time in a good movie!
What Everyone Said: Wow, Superman really likes breaking stuff.
What Tom Says: Finally! A Lois Lane who can see through Clark Kent’s foolproof disguise – a pair of eyeglasses!
Synopsis: Ryan Reynolds continues to destroy his career in another special effects laden mess.
What Everyone Said: Comments unavailable since nobody saw this movie.
What Tom Says: I didn’t see this movie. Oh wait yes I did, when it was called Men In Black!
DESPICABLE ME 2
Synopsis: Reformed supervillain Gru and his minions return for another adventure!
What Everyone Said: So, are the minions humans, clones, or horribly deformed mutants? All three? That’s messed up.
What Tom Says: Okay, I only saw this dumb kiddie movie because my 10 year old niece dragged me to see it. I lied. I dragged her to see it because I loved the first movie! Gru rules! I cannot wait for another sequel. In fact, I sent Steve Carell a 3,000 page treatment containing my ideas for six more Despicable Me movies! I framed the restraining order his lawyers sent me.
AND THE REST
THE WOLVERINE – Didn’t see it.
ELYSIUM -Maaaatt Daaaamon. Didn’t see it.
PACIFIC RIM – Didn’t see it.
FAST & FURIOUS 6 – Holy %$#!, there’s six of them?
WE’RE THE MILLERS – HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! No seriously, we’re done now.
G.I. JOE: RETALIATION (2013) Director: Jon M. Chu Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Adrianne Palicki, Channing Tatum, Ray Park, and Bruce Willis Rating: PG-13 for guns, explosions, swordfights, and fun with nuclear weapons.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation is a sequel to G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra which was based on a long running animated series which was based on a super popular line of toys from the 1980’s.
G.I. Joe fans were pretty psyched when the Rise of Cobra came out, because if any of you readers were around when those toys and the cartoon were popular, you remember how cool the Joes were.
And if any of you readers were around when the G.I. Joe dolls were 12 inches tall and featured the patented “kung fu grip,” then you’re an old person like me! I wonder when the nurse will be around with dinner. I hope we’re having Salisbury Steak tonight!
Anhoo, despite turning many of the popular G.I. Joe cartoon heroes and villains into living breathing human beings, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra was (as we say in the critics biz) a terrible movie, which is hard to believe because the film starred Channing Tatum and the youngest Wayans brother!
I know! A Wayans Brother! How could it not succeed!
Well, you know the old saying; if at first you don’t succeed, make another movie, so G.I. Joe: Retaliation exploded across the big screen earlier this year. It’s more of a reboot then a sequel, with lots of new faces and cameos by guys with old faces. But they kept what was really important to the whole Joe saga – guns, explosions, the eternal battle between good and evil, and Cobra Commander’s really cool helmet:
As the movie opens Duke (Channing Tatum) and Snake Eyes (Ray Park) are running the G.I. Joes because all the other guys from the first movie were smart and signed a one picture deal. Duke and his new best pal Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson, who is big enough to block roads) are ordered by the President (Jonathan Pryce) to lead the Joes on a secret mission to recover some stolen nuclear warheads at a remote base in Pakistan. Things go horribly wrong and Duke and most of the other Joes are murdered by a squad of mysterious soldiers in black helicopters because A) The President is actually Cobra secret agent Zartan in disguise and B) Channing Tatum had to leave the movie early to go film Magic Mike 2 or something.
Roadblock and two other Joe team members Lady Jaye (Adrianne Palicki) and Flint (DJ Cotrona) survive the ambush because nothing short of an atom bomb can kill Dwayne Johnson, and now they must figure out what the heck is going on and who they have to kill to set things right.
Cobra ninja Stormshadow (Byung-hun Lee, the only other cast member from the previous movie) breaks Cobra Commander out of a high tech prison withe the help of Cobra mercenary Firefly (Ray Stevenson) and his electronic fireflies that blow stuff up. Snake Eyes (who is also a ninja, remember?) and his assistant ninja Jinx (Elodie Yung) tail Stormshadow to a mountain fortress in the Himalayas and a huge battle ensues between Snake, Jinx, and other assorted ninjas on the side of a mountain. Snake has to bring Stormshadow back to Japan to wrap up the least important story line from the previous film, which is okay I guess.
Not for nothing Snake Eyes, but 99.7% of your unit was just murdered, but that’s cool – you go off to the other side of the world to settle an old family thing. No problemo dude, I’m sure Roadblock and the others will be okay.
Meanwhile, Roadblock, Flint, and Lady Jaye figure that there is something not right with the President who ordered them to be slaughtered in the desert, so they hatch a plan to unmask the impostor. They seek out the help of the only surviving member of the G.I. Joes who wasn’t in the fist movie to help them – General Joe Colton, (Bruce yippe kay yay Willis) who has enough guns hidden in his nice suburban home to take on Cobra personally.
Oh, part of the plan to stop Cobra from taking over the world involves infiltrating a Presidential Ball, giving Lady Jaye an excuse to squeeze into a slinky red outfit that flaunts her lady parts. She’s such a good soldier. Way to take one for the good of the unit, Jaye!
G.I. Joe: Retaliation moves to an explosive conclusion as Roadblock, Lady Jaye, Flint, General Joe, Snake Eyes, Stormshadow (who’s a good guy now) and Jinx spring into action to prevent the fake President/Zartan from destroying key nations with a bunch of killer satellites, rescue the real President from an underground bunker, and stop Cobra Commander from becoming king of the world and instituting a “no cool helmets except for mine” law across the land.
A big improvement over the previous movie, G.I. Joe: Retaliation had enough action and fun to make me want to see a sequel.
Hopefully the sequel will have a Bruce Willis who speaks more than five lines of dialogue and a subplot where Lady Jaye has to go undercover as a bikini model/mud wrestler!
Okay, that’s asking too much. They don’t need Bruce Willis in the sequel.
HANSEL AND GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS (2013) Director: Tommy Wirkola Starring: Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Famke Janssen, Peter Stormare Rating: R for Fantasy gore, horror gore, witch gore, gory language, and brief non gory nudity.
Okay, forget everything you know about the Hansel and Gretel.
Now forget everything you know about geometry!
No, no, no, I’m just kidding. Don’t forget your geometry. You’ll probably need it some day. Honest.
But you have my permission to forget everything you know about the aforementioned fairy tale. Why? Because the horror-action extravaganza Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters has taken the tired old Brothers Grimm story and juiced it up with everything you want in a movie: guns, gore, gratuitous hand to hand combat, and guns!
Plus that witchcraft spell stuff for the Harry Potter crowd. They love spells. And that red haired girl. What’s her name… Henrietta? Yeah, her.
As the movie opens, young Hansel and Gretel are dropped off in the woods by their Dad because it’s important to the plot later in the movie. They wander around and find a gingerbread house, a witch captures them – yadda yadda yadda – the witch gets broiled as the kids high five.
Since Hansel and Gretel are now orphans and need to get jobs, they become professional witch killers and in a montage that plays during the opening credits we see newspaper clippings of their Witch hunting exploits because in early 19th century European newspapers witch killings were featured every day since sports hadn’t been invented yet.
Hansel and Gretel (now played by adult movie stars Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton respectively) are hired by the village or Augsburg to kill the crap out of some witches who are abducting the towns children. Against the orders of the dickish Sheriff Berringer ( Peter Stormare at his most oily), the siblings begin their investigation and almost immediately run afoul of trio of powerful witches led by the evil Muriel (Famke Janssen) who is part superwitch and part Batman villain. Turns out Muriel wants to use the kidnapped children as a sacrifice in a ceremony called Blood Moon that will make all witches invincible, their hats pointier, and their cauldrons bubblier.
With the help of local teen Ben (Thomas Mann), a village girl Hansel has the hots for named Mina (Pihla Viitala), and a cartload of anachronistic weaponry (we don’t have repeating crossbows in this century), Hansel and Gretel face off against Muriel and her black magic women, and in the process discover why their Mom and Dad abandoned them and why they must continue their quest to rid the world of witches even if it takes two more movies and a possible TV spinoff.
Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters is a highly watchable action packed flick that delivers just what the title promises. You got Hansel, Gretel, some witches, and hunting.
I like movies that do that.
Ever see Waiting for Guffman?
Spoiler alert: They waited for Guffman, and he didn’t show.
What a ripoff! I never forgave that movie, and I never will.