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Movie Characters You Want on Your Side. Always. Part Four!

If superhero movies have taught us anything, it’s a team of awesome and capable characters are better than one when it comes to kicking butt.

Iron Man? Good. Iron Man plus Captain America, Hulk, Thor, Hawkeye, and Black Widow? Skadoosh.

Without teamwork, you are lost. And without Lost, we never would have known about the Dharma Initiative.

Actually, not sure if that’s a bad thing.

Anyhoo, here’s another list of badass movie characters you’d want on your team when trouble comes calling.

rocketgrootNames: Rocket and Groot

Occupation: Bounty Hunters, galactic lawbreakers

As Seen In: Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Pros: Rocket is a technological genius, hacker, escape artist. Groot is Groot. Cons: Rocket is homicidal, Groot is….well he’s Groot.

The Deal: It would be hard as heck to find a duo that did more damage on screen in 2014 than Rocket the Racoon and his houseplant/muscle Groot. Rocket is feisty, murderous and angry, and Groot is kind, gentle and strong. They’re the Odd Couple for the new century! Who wouldn’t want them on the team? Plus Groot can really bust a move.

Shining Moment: We are Groot.

World-Of-Hunger-Games-katniss-everdeen-30213084-2560-1690Name: Katniss Everdeen

Occupation: Game Show Contestant, Over thrower of Evil Governments

As Seen In: A bunch of those Hunger Games movies.

Pros: Expert archer, brave and selfless. Cons: Dates idiots.

The Deal: Not just another pretty face, Katniss is a plucky gal who doesn’t like to play games; especially when  that game is a twisted reality show that’s a gory fight to the death. But Katniss took her first appearance on The Hunger Games and became a symbol of a strength and bravery, making her the perfect leader for a revolution. So if you need a team member to make a rousing speech, Katniss is the one to go to. Plus she can kill lots of bad guys with her bow and arrow. Winning!

Shining Moment: That flaming dress. All kinds of fabulous, girlfriend!

hellboyName: Hellboy

Occupation: Paranormal investigator, monster puncher

As Seen In: Hellboy (2004), Hellboy: The Golden Army (2008)

Pros: Practically indestructible. Cons: Smoker, eats a lot, cat person

The Deal: You want muscle? Hellboy has muscle to spare. It’s probably because he’s a demon from Hell. I hear most Hellspawn are pretty jacked. But it’s okay, he’s on our side. As a lead investigator for the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense, Hellboy has seen a lot of weird stuff, and has a huge assortment of weapons to combat weird stuff, so keep him fed and try to ignore his huge collection of pet cats, and things will be hunky and dory.

Shining Moment: Dropping a huge gear on Kroenen in Hellboy. Big time pwnage.

martin-riggsName: Martin Riggs

Occupation: LAPD Detective, suicidal loner

As Seen In: Lethal Weapon 1-4

Pros: Martial arts master, very good with guns. Cons: Uses lots of ammo, could be crazy, smoker.

The Deal: Look up loose cannon in Wikipedia, and you’ll see a picture of Martin Riggs firing hundreds of bullets at bad guys while destroying a ton of police and city property. He loves to break stuff. Like Hellboy, Riggs is pretty much indestructible. He’s been shot, stabbed, hit by cars, yet he keeps coming back for his weekly paycheck. Don’t let him show you that trick he does with his shoulder. Not pretty.

Shining Moment: Beating the crap out of Gary Busey in the first Lethal Weapon. You deserve a medal, dude.

And finally:

Morgan-Freeman-in-Universals-Bruce-Almighty-2003-1 Name: Any character played by Morgan Freeman

Occupation: Doesn’t matter. He’s Morgan Freeman.

As Seen In: Wherever he is needed.

Pros: Have you heard his voice? Cons: Shut up.

The Deal: Whatever character Morgan Freeman plays is really good at what he does. From outfitting Batman to fixing a crippled dolphin, the man has skills. Use them!

Shining Moment: Didn’t you get the memo?

This is DVD Critics Corner’s 100th post. Thanks for reading.



If You Build It, Everything Will Be Awesome!



Directors: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller

Starring: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Morgan Freeman, and Will Ferrell

Synopsis: Everything is awesome.

Rating: PG for Lego type violence and brick on brick action.

Every once in a while, a movie comes along that shakes the very foundation of your being and rocks you to your very core.

The Lego Movie is such a movie.

What exactly makes The Lego Movie such an exceptional standout in a sea of lesser movies?

Is it the wonderful visuals? The funny voice work by a very funny cast? The perfect blending of story and humor with a thoughtful message about learning to put down the instruction manual from time to time and follow your own path?

Nope. it’s the Legos.  Every movie should have Legos. And every movie that has been made would be better if it had Legos.

The Hunger Games? Decent movie. The Hunger Games with Legos? Super awesome!

Jaws? Great movie. Jaws with Legos? Boom.

R.I.P.D? You know what, let’s skip that one…

If you haven’t seen The Lego Movie yet, then for Heaven sake screw it together and buy a copy! I mean, here’s a brief synopsis lf this charming tale of fun and adventure:

In the all Lego universe, happy go lucky Emmet (Chris Pratt) happily goes about his life in the city of Bricksburg, getting up early, driving safely, and doing his construction job with a positive attitude and a smile on his face.  One day Emmet catches the pretty and mysterious Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks) snooping around the construction site, and while chasing her discovers the mysterious Piece of Resistance, an object that has been prophesized to save the Lego universe.

Now Emmet the ordinary becomes Emmet “The Special,” the being destined to stop the evil Lord Business (Will Ferrell) who wants to used his Kragle superweapon to freeze everyone and everything in the universe.

I know what you’re thinking – is Emmet truly “The Special?” Well…maybe. Not quite. Sort of. Not really. But thankfully he has a team of Master Builders in his corner to help guide our goofy but lovable protagonist along to find his courage and train him to become The Special. They are the aforementioned Wyldestyle, the mysterious blind wizard Vitruvious (Morgan Freeman) who offers all kinds of wisdom and advice, and superhero extraordinaire Batman (Will Arnett) who offers no help whatsoever.

Emmet and his pals travel from one amazing Lego world to another, trying to stay one step ahead of Lord Business and his Super Secret Police which is lead by Bad Cop/Good Cop (Liam Neeson), a cop with personality issues. Can Emmet become a Master Builder and put an end to Lord Business’ plans to really mess up Taco Tuesday?

The Lego Movie is a glorious, enjoyable action fantasy with lots of humor and a heartwarming ending.  If you watch this movie and aren’t charmed down to your shorts by this movie, we can no longer be friends.  Seriously, I will un-friend you on the spot if you don’t love this movie. This is what it’s come down to. I am drawing a line in the sand here compadre.

But I wouldn’t worry. You’re going to love The Lego Movie, and we’re going to be friends for a long, long time.  Can I crash at your place for a few weeks?


The Last Tom Cruise on Earth!

Oblivion_thumbLG2OBLIVION (2013) Director: Joseph Kosinski Starring: Tom Cruise, Andrea Riseborough, Olga Kurylenko, Melissa Leo, and Morgan Freeman Rating: PG-13 for near nudity, bad robots, and at least one F bomb. 

Hmm. I wonder what I would do if I was the only person left on the entire planet?

I could finally return that book to the library! It’s 28 years overdue… the late fee must be 4 dollars by now!

I could drive the zamboni at the ice rink. Then down the street, Then at the mall!

But most importantly I could practice my rhythmic gymnastics out in the backyard without the neighbors pointing and laughing. Sure I will spend the rest of my days completely alone, but my ribbon routine would be breathtaking.

I’m kidding of course. Being the last man in the world would be a major bummer. And if you’re the lead character in the Sci-Fi adventure Oblivion, not only would you be the last man on a desolate planet Earth, but worst of all…you would still have A JOB!!!

 In Oblivion, big time movie star Tom Cruise plays Jack Harper, a tech support/repairman who lives in a really sweet glass apartment high in the clouds with his co-worker/love bunny Vika (Andrea Riseborough). Since Jack is the last person on Earth he’s in charge of plot exposition, so as the opening credits roll he tells us why our beloved planet is now emptier than a Google+ hangout.

Around the year 2017, an army of space aliens called “Scavs” arrive in a big spaceship and blow up the Moon with a Moon blower upper gun. This causes huge environmental destruction on Earth, killing a great deal of the population who happen to be living there at the time. When the Scavs invade to wipe out the rest of humanity, the humans answer with nuclear weapons, which kill most of the Scavs and anything else that was still standing on the entire globe.  This plan is known in The Department of Defense as the “If I Can’t Have You Nobody Can” Contingency.

Now in 2077 the few surviving humans live in a huge space station orbiting Earth that they were somehow able to build after every form of technology and piece of building material was turned to ash only a few years earlier. A bunch of giant power stations (also built after everything on earth was destroyed) hover above the ocean sucking up sea water and turning into energy the humans will use to fly to one of Saturn’s moons and build a new earth with plenty of parking and robot butlers for everyone!

Jack and Vika are in charge of keeping the heavily armed drones that protect the power station things up and running, which isn’t easy because some Scavs are still on Earth and they just love breaking drones and vandalizing power stations.

Although he likes flying around in a cool dragonfly shaped ship fixing drones and picking off the occasional Scav with his future rifle, Jack feels like there are a lot of unanswered questions about his life. For example, why does Sally (Melissa Leo) his mysterious boss up in the space station want him and Vika to wipe their memories every five years? And what’s with the vivid and detailed dream he keeps having where he meets a pretty brunette girl at the top of The Empire State Building – a place that was destroyed before he was born?

And how do the power stations transfer their energy to the space station? Wi-Fi? Bluetooth? Really long extension cord?

Oh wait, that’s my question. Never mind.

Things begin to get complicated in Jack’s post apocalyptic world when an old Earth spaceship crash lands and Jack finds a woman in a stasis capsule – the same woman from his dreams! Jack brings his new lady friend Julia (Olga Kurylenko) home to meet Vika which doesn’t go well because Jack is too thick to know that THE ONLY GIRL ON THE ENTIRE PLANET WILL HAVE A HUGE FREAKING PROBLEM WITH HER BOYFRIEND BRINGING HOME ANOTHER WOMAN!

Even I know that! And I’m really stupid!

I’m not going to give away the rest of the plot to Oblivion, but it’s safe to say that after meeting Julia, Jack begins to doubt all the stuff he’s been told all these years. And when Jack meets Malcolm Beech (Morgan Freeman) and a bunch of humans hiding in a mountain fortress, he learns the truth about the invasion and the truth about the forbidden “radiation zone” Sally told him to stay away from.

Seriously, doesn’t Jack know that all “forbidden zones” you are ordered to avoid have to be explored? Hasn’t he seen Planet of the Apes? Logan’s Run? 

Oh yeah, he probably never saw those movies because there was a world ending war. All of the Redbox machines probably got buried in the rubble.

Anyhoo, Oblivion is a beautifully shot and sleek looking film with nice special effects that takes a while to get going, but has a pretty interesting climax and resolution.

Plus Tom Cruise fans will be amped beyond belief because the guy is in just about every frame of this movie.  I didn’t watch any of the “making of” featurettes on the DVD, but I bet they were also chock full of Tom Cruise.

Maybe there was too much Tom Cruise in this movie?

No way! That’s crazy talk!