Monthly Archives: October 2014
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)
Stars: Megan Fox, Will Arnett, William Fichtner, Alan Ritchson, Noel Fisher, Pete Ploszek, Jeremy Howard, Danny Woodburn, Tohoru Masamune
IMDB Rating: 6.3
Plot: When a kingpin threatens New York City, a news reporter find a quad of mutants which makes an alliance to unravel Shredder’s plan as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Review: We all know the story by now. 4 mutant turtles are raised in the sewers on NYC by a giant rat, who teaches them the way of Ninjutsu, to protect the city from the likes of Shredder and the Foot.
The action and SPX were good to a point, then it started to comes across more like Transformers. (Especially when Shredder dons his armor suit).
Megan Fox plays the role of April O’Neil. The wanna-be journo who is stuck with doing bits on trivial going’s on in the city, while she desperately aspires to be “a real journalist”. I will just say here that her character comes across much like Fox’s acting… Desperate. Ms Fox may be attractive, but, her acting abilities are very much lacking. It is obvious she struggles with any real depth in making a character believable. A good portion of this film seemed to be dedicated and focused on Ms Fox, rather than the story of the TMNT.
Will Arnett plays the role of Vernon Fenwick, April’s “sorta” love interest and partner in filming crime. Vernon is the stereotypical character who constantly makes with the bad pick-up lines, and always helping April out of at a drop of a hat. (Doesn’t this guy have a real life?)
Tohoru Masamune plays the role of Shredder. The badass of the film. While the back-story on this guy goes completely off the rails compared to the original films, his acting was okay.
I did think that the film could have stuck with the original plot, of Splinter being raised (more or less) by Shredder, to give the film more credibility. But, in this version, our pal, Splinter, is the “lab rat” (no pun intended), who is injected with test mutagen to see what the effects would be. When a fire destroys the lab, April (the child) saves the turtles and rat by dumping them in the sewer (great job!). It is in the sewers that Splinter becomes a ninja master, all by reading a book he so “conveniently” finds. With no sparring partner or mentor of his own to instruct him in the ways of Ninjutsu, Splinter becomes a ninja master and then instructs his clan of 4 mutated turtles in the ways of being ninja’s. Hmmmm. Too many plot holes here that it does my head in 🙂
I was sadly disappointed that this film went completely off track from the original storyline. And for those who watched the original animated cartoon series, and the original movies, you will know the back-story all too well.
The only redeeming feature of this film was the epic fight scene between Shredder and Splinter. For that I give a huge thumbs up. But the rest of the film was sadly lacking.
I will say that as far as appealing to kids, this is not a film I would allow my 6 year old son to watch. The original films, yes, but not this.
Verdict: Watch the original instead. More entertaining!
My Rating: 5 out of 10.
Into The Storm (2014)
Stars: Richard Armitage, Sarah Wayne Callies, Matt Walsh, Nathan Kress, Max Deacon, Alycia Debnam Carey
IMDB Rating: 6.2
Plot: In the span of a single day, the town of Silverton is ravaged by an unprecedented onslaught of tornadoes. The entire town is at the mercy of the erratic and deadly cyclones, even as storm trackers predict the worst is yet to come. Most people seek shelter, while others run towards the vortex, testing how far a storm chaser will go for that once-in-a-lifetime shot.
Review: Into The Storm is a film told through the eyes and lenses of professional storm chasers, thrill-seeking amateurs, and courageous townspeople. Not since Twister have we seen Mother Nature at her most extreme. Probably with one exception.. This tornado is bigger!
The film is set in the town of Silverton, Oklahoma. While students and people of the community are at the graduation day for the seniors, a deadly storm is about to hit town. At the same time an experienced storm chaser and his team, have tracked the storm to Silverton; they’re hoping to capture tornado footage for a documentary movie they’re filming. The storm turns out to be much bigger, and more dangerous, than even they anticipated.
The special effects in this film were absolutely brilliant, and the plot development of each of the characters was nicely put together. While there was some comedy relief from two yoboo’s (Donk & Reevis) – who set out in the blind ambition to become famous amateur YouTubers – I do personally think that their stupidity could have been left out.
It was awesome to see Sarah Wayne Callies in this film, as one of the storm chasers. (For those who are fans of AMC’s The Walking Dead, you will remember her better as Lori Grimes). Allison is doing this gig for the money, and having spent the last three months away from her mom and little girl, she is looking forward to finishing this gig and heading home.
Matt Walsh plays the role of Pete, the self-absorbed storm-chaser who is determined to get the footage he wants for his movie to get more funding, so he can do what he loves most…. Pimping his Storm-chaser mobile and getting footage of awesome tornadoes.
While the main plot focuses on Pete and his team, the sideline story comes nicely into play with British actor, Richard Armitage playing the role of Vice-Principal, Gary Morris, who has asked his two sons, Donnie (Max Deacon) and Trey (Nathan Kress), to film a “time capsule” video of the seniors to review in 25 years. During the first of several storms, he finds out that his oldest son, Donnie, is missing. Gary sets off on his own mission to find his son. His efforts see him team up with the storm-chasers and eventually find his son, and his son’s hopeful girlfriend.
This film explores various angles, and the lives of 3 groups of people (the storm-chasers, the VP and his boys, and the 2 rednecks). Combine this all together with a series of tornadoes, and you have a winning combination.
Watch for the tornado of fire, and the “monster tornado” which throws airplanes like they are tissue paper 🙂
Verdict: What Twister Should Have Been…
My Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Today marks a milestone for this blog. 300 posts. Yep, from the first post I made in June 2008 til now. Such a long time in the making but it has been entertaining sharing my thoughts, ideas, news and reviews.
300 may seem like a lot to some, but I am along way from being finished yet as I will continue to bring you the news and reviews of TV shows, films and books. And I may review places and business of interest.
If there is anything in particular you would like to see on my blog, give me a holla!
Thank you everyone for your support.
Reel Evil – (2012)
Stars: Jessica Morris, Kaiwi Lyman, Jeff Adler, Tessa Lane, Jamie Bernadette, Kate Bowen.
IMDB Rating: 3.4
Plot: Struggling filmmakers – Kennedy, Cory and James – finally catch the break they were looking for when they are hired to shoot a ‘behind-the-scenes’ documentary for a major studio production. But their dream job quickly turns into a nightmare when they explore the legendary, haunted location and find something far worse than anything Hollywood could create. Terror becomes reality for the filmmakers as they uncover the malevolent secrets of the hospital, and the sinister doctor who once ran it. Trapped inside the hospital with no apparent way out, our crew is tormented by the evil, unspeakable fear.
Review: Another one in the “found footage” stockpile. Reel Evil opens with three struggling film-makers, Kennedy (Jessica Morris), James (Jeff Adler), and Cory (Kaiwi Lyman), finally getting their big break when they are hired to film a “behind the scenes” documentary for a major film studio.
What should have been an easy paycheck for the trio, soon becomes their nightmare, as they find themselves trapped in a parallel world where ghosts are hunting them down, one by one.
The story gets a little slow and quite predictable in what could have been a good film. I don’t mind a good horror film, and “found footage” films tend to be bland and dry for the most part, to the point where you can tell that everyone is going to die. And this film is no different. The ghosts of the dead have their day (or night) and not only do our trio of wanna-be explorers get killed one by one, but so do the rest of the film crew who hired them.
While the film did explore a little on the former Doctor of this establishment, I did find that there could have been more to his backstory rather than just see brief glimpses of his ghost roaming around, wielding surgical tools. Why was his ghost haunting the hospital to begin with? Did he die of natural causes or was he murdered by one of the patients? I guess we will never know, and that is just one reason why this film was a bit of a let down for me.
There were moments there when I actually thought that the gang would decide to leave before the shite hit the paranormal fan, but if they did, then we wouldn’t have seen them get killed off, and that wouldn’t be any fun now would it 🙂
Some interesting appearances in this film to say the least from the likes of Tessa Lane (pretty much playing herself), who happens to get into her natural environment of filming a porn with Cory, Kate Bowen (Bunnyman Massacre) as the MU artist, and Jamie Bernadette (Bunnyman Massacre) as Claire. (Although Kate an Jamie didn’t get much screen time).
Filming was done at the Linda Vista Hospital, which is a place that should be familiar to many. After all, it has been the hot-spot for filmies and ghost shows alike. Such memorable ones include Ghost Adventures, Paranormal Challenge, ICU Movie, SX Tape, just to name a few.
This film was okay, but it could have been better.
Verdict: I’ve seen better…..
My Rating: 5 out of 10.
Stars: Melissa McCarthy, Susan Sarandon, Kathy Bates, Gary Cole
IMDB Rating: 4.8
Plot: Tammy, who was recently fired from a Topper Jack’s fast food restaurant, returns home only to find her husband enjoying a romantic meal with the neighbor. She quickly packs her necessities, and travels down three houses to her parent’s home. Upon denied use of her mom’s car to drive to Niagara Falls, she quickly resorts to an “ailing” grandmother, who also lives in the home…Only instead of traveling alone, Grandma Pearl wants in on the road trip. After realizing Grandma Pearl has the funds, they hit the road. Pearl soon proves to be quite the alcoholic despite her diabetes, and Tammy quickly turns into the “baby-sitter.” From finding love in a bar to robbing a Topper Jack’s in order to bail Pearl out of jail,the quirky adventure will have you finding yourself riding along for the misadventures of Tammy.
Review: After Tammy (Melissa McCarthy) had a bad day of getting fired for being late again, and catching her husband cheating, she goes on a road-trip with her alcoholic grandmother, Pearl (Susan Sarandon). The pair get crazy on their trip, purchasing a broken jet ski (that Tammy destroyed), holding up a franchise of Topper Jack, (a fast food brand where she was previously employed), setting fire to their car, giving the jet-ski a “viking funeral”, and finally Tammy ending up in jail where she becomes “a better person”.
Tammy is a loud, foul-mouthed, simple woman who seems to be the bunt of most people’s jokes (and slander), but despite her failings, her outlook on life is one of a woman who has some form of hope that she is not as stupid as people think she is. (Her grandmother gives her a good lashing at a party, which you wont want to miss).
As in most comedy films made in the US, there is always that sense of drama added to the mix of a film, and in Tammy, the mix of drama blend nicely into the storyline.
The film has a great line-up of co-stars such as Susan Sarandon, Kathy Bates, Toni Collette, Gary Cole and Dan Aykroyd, who do a splendid job in their own right to pull together to make this film a nice light-hearted comedy that most people will enjoy.
Granted, this film wont appeal to everyone, but I found that Tammy had it’s moments of being bland, but in all, an enjoyable film to watch.
Verdict: Don’t underestimate people. They may surprise y’all
Rating: 5 out of 10
Stars: Brittany Allen, Freddie Stroma, Melanie Papalia, Jesse Moss, Gil Bellows, Michael Ironside, Anja Savcic, Emily Perkins, Sean Rogerson
IMDB Rating: 5.4
Plot: A group of friends on a weekend trip to a cabin in the woods find themselves terrorized by alien visitors.
Review: Still reeling from her parents divorce, April, played by Brittany Allen (Defiance) is dragged back to the vacation cabin she spent fond summers at as a child accompanied by a group of friends. Her trip down memory lane takes a dramatic and terrifying turn when a fireball descends from the sky and explodes in the nearby woods. Lead by her boyfriend, played by Freddie Stroma (Harry Potter & The Half Blooded Prince, Pitch Perfect), the group venture out toward the crash site and discover the remnants of a ship from another planet along with footprints that suggest its alien occupants are still alive. The college friends soon find themselves caught in the middle of something bigger and more terrifying than anything they could ever imagine.
Alien invasion movies have been recycled more times than toilet paper, but instead of going for the found footage genre the Vicious Brothers are known for, they decide to go the route of reinvention (Grave Encounters).
This movie won’t go down in history as one of the best ever alien invasion movies of all time, but if you’re looking for a horror flick about the Greys going on an all out safari to eliminate a group of outmatched humans, then this is the flick for you.
The film starts out with a group of five friends traveling into the middle of nowhere to a secluded cabin-in-the-woods. From here it’s simple – survive the night. Yet surviving the night seems to be stacked against them, as they are being stalked by gangly alien greys who are out for their own night of fun and revelry.
The film certainly did borrow from other such films such as The Matrix (watch the scene where April escapes the cocoon and explores the ship) , The Forth Kind, Fire In The Sky, Signs. Not to forget the conspiracy theories thrown out here and there by Michael Ironside.
The film is creepy, and delicious for horror buffs. Keep watch for the anal probe scene. These guys sure put a new spin on that meaning 🙂
Verdict: If you go out to the woods, whatever you do, don’t go killing any Greys 🙂
My Rating: 7 out of 10
Coverband NZ (2014 – )
Stars: Johnny Barker, Matt Whelan, Wesley Dowdell, Laughton Kora
IMDB Rating: 8.0
Plot: COVERBAND is a story of broken hearts, broken dreams, sex, drugs and …other people’s songs.
From the makers of the acclaimed and award-winning Hounds comes the new comedy series Coverband, about a group of almost-famous-once musos reduced to playing other people’s music.
Review: When I first saw the title, my first thought was that this show was about different coverbands in New Zealand. So I decided to watch this, and for a moment I thought I would be treated to see some people I knew many moons ago when I lived in NZ.
I am glad that this wasn’t a reality show 🙂
Coverband NZ is a comedy TV series about a group of hapless guys who are left with nothing more than a pocket full of wishful thinking, (after their lead singer, Ivy, scores a major record deal on the basis she dumps her band).
Stranded and broke, Matt gets his brother to pay for his flight back from LA, then he starts to make plans to “get the band back together”.
One pitfall after another ensues with the band, as they struggle to get one gig after another and find that being a rock ‘n’ roll star is not all what they had hoped it would be.
This series does remind me of other shows like Housos, and The Inbetweeners. This New Zealand grown show is down-right good fun and bloody hilarious to watch. With names like Knuckles and Jukebox, this show is bound to be a hit not only in NZ but maybe in Aussie too. Lets hope that this series gets the funding to go beyond the 6 episodes it is currently scheduled for.
Not only is the storyline fun to watch, but has some really cool songs from the likes of The Chills, Split Enz, Dragon, The Clean, Exponents, Chris Knox, Tim Finn, The Datsuns, and many many more.
Verdict: It’s A Long Way To The Top If Ya Wanna Rock ‘N’ Roll
My Rating: 7.5 out of 10