comedy, movie, movie review, romance

November 12th, 2018 Movie – Valentine’s Day (2010)

valentine's day

I am going to be 100% honest right now. I really am not in the right mind set to review this movie. Stan Lee died today and that really hit me as his creations have been a large part of my childhood and adult years. That coupled with long hours at work and dealing with a couple of crazy kids this evening honestly has me mentally exhausted. To top it off, this movie is a rom-com which is not exactly my preferred genre of movies. This movie is the last of the free movies that I received after signing up for my ultraviolet account so let’s get right into Valentine’s Day.

The plot: (too tired to focus on writing while watching so this is the plot outline from wikipedia) The film follows a group of related characters and their struggles with love on Valentine’s Day.

Florist Reed Bennett wakes up and proposes to his girlfriend Morley Clarkson, who accepts. However, Reed’s closest friends, Alfonso Rodriguez and Julia Fitzpatrick, aren’t surprised when Morley suddenly changes her mind and leaves Reed a few hours later. On a flight to Los Angeles, Kate Hazeltine, a captain in the U.S. Army on a one-day leave, befriends Holden Wilson. Kate is travelling a long distance to get back home only for a short time, and Holden states that she must really be in love to do so. When the plane lands and Kate has to wait hours for the taxi, Holden offers his limousine to allow her to be there on time. Julia, an elementary school teacher, has fallen in love with Dr. Harrison Copeland, but does not know that he is married to Pamela. Harrison tells her that he needs to go to San Francisco for a business trip: on his way, he stops by at Reed’s flower shop and orders two flower bouquets – asking for discretion. Wanting to surprise him and despite Reed’s warnings, Julia flies to San Francisco, convinced that Reed was wrong. Julia finds out that he is married and finds him at a local restaurant. Dressed as a waitress, Julia makes a scene at the restaurant, making Pamela suspicious. One of Julia’s students, Edison (Bryce Robinson), orders flowers from Reed, to be sent to his teacher. Julia suggests to Edison to give the flowers to a girl named Rani in his class who has a crush on him after telling Edison the meaning of love. Edison’s babysitter Grace Smart is planning to lose her virginity to her boyfriend Alex Franklin. The planned encounter goes awry when Grace’s mother discovers a naked Alex in Grace’s room, rehearsing a song he wrote for Grace. Edison’s grandparents, Edgar and Estelle Paddington are facing the troubles of a long marriage. Estelle admits to Edgar about an affair she had with one of his business partners long ago. Although she is deeply sorry, Edgar is very upset. Grace’s high school friends, Willy Harrington and Felicia Miller, are experiencing the freshness of new love, and have agreed to wait to have sex. Sean Jackson, a closeted gay professional football player, is contemplating the end of his career with his publicist Kara Monahan and his agent Paula Thomas. Kara is organizing her annual “I Hate Valentine’s Day” party, but soon becomes interested in sports reporter Kelvin Moore, who was ordered to do a Valentine’s Day report by his boss Susan Moralez, and who shares Kara’s hatred of the holiday. Substituting for Paula’s absent secretary is one of the firm’s receptionists, Liz Curran, who dates mail-room clerk Jason Morris. Jason is shocked when Liz turns out to be moonlighting as a phone sex operator. Liz explains that she is only doing this because she has a $100,000 student loan to pay off. Jason is upset, but eventually reconciles with her after seeing Edgar forgive Estelle. Sean finally comes out on national television, and Holden, Sean’s lover, goes back to him. Kate arrives home late at night to greet not her supposed boyfriend but her son Edison. Willy drops Felicia off at home after a date and they kiss. Kelvin and Kara hang out at Kelvin’s news station where they later kiss. Alfonso dines with his wife, and Grace and Alex agree to wait to have sex. Edgar and Estelle reconcile and redo their marriage vows, Harrison’s wife has left him because of his infidelity and Morley tries to call Reed, who is instead starting a new relationship with Julia. Paula receives a call from one of Liz’s masochistic clients and takes delight in expressing her dominance and sadism.

Valentine’s Day met with poor results from the critics, holding an 18% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Eager to please and stuffed with stars, Valentine’s Day squanders its promise with a frantic, episodic plot and an abundance of rom-com cliches.” Julia Roberts turned down The Blind Side (2009), in order to appear in this movie. Ironically, Sandra Bullock turned down Roberts’ role in this film, and went ahead to star in The Blind Side (2009). Despite the poor reviews, the movie was a success, earning $216.5 million off of a $52 million budget.

I have to admit, as disjointed as this movie was, it wasn’t that bad of a movie. There were too many stars to really single anyone out but they all did good jobs in their roles, even Topher Grace. The different stories were all pretty good but the bouncing around that they did to try and fit all of them into the movie made it hard to focus on them at times and I ended up just zoning out on some of the stories. That being said, there were a couple of parts that really did have me laughing, such as Paula’s (Queen Latifah) reaction when she starts talking to one of Liz’s (Anne Hathaway) clients. However, the whole romance aspects really were about as cliched as you could expect and honestly didn’t really give me much of the loving feels that you would expect form a rom-com. So it is a decent movie and does offer some laughs but there are better movies to watch for a date night type outing.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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action, comedy, horror, movie, movie review, sci-fi

November 11th, 2018 Movie – Tremors 6: A Cold Day In Hell

tremors 6

2018 was kind of a disappointment on the sci-fi front. See, there had been talk of a reboot of the Tremors TV series, with Kevin Bacon returning to star in it. They even made a trailer for the show but then Syfy decided to pass on it. The only bright spot on this bit of sad news is that we did get a new movie in the franchise. As soon as I heard that this movie was being made, I immediately made plans to purchase it as soon as it came out. So let’s see what new horrors are in store for us with today’s movie, Tremors 6: A Cold Day In Hell.

The plot: At the Nanavut Province in northern Canada, 3 scientist (Aussie, Yankee, and Dutch) are taking core samples of some ice when their drill hits something under the ice. As Yankee and Dutch work on the drill, a yellowish fluid starts seeping up, just as Aussie detects a seismic anomaly, as if something living was moving under the ice. Suddenly, a large graboid burst out of the ice and swallows Aussie, while whatever was struck by the drill begins moving, dragging Yankee with it. As the graboid burrow under the snow towards Dutch, he starts running and falls down an embankment, only to have the graboid kill him. Some time later in Perfection, New Mexico, Burt Gummer is approached by Special Agent Dalkwed of the U.S. Treasury Dept. Dalkwed tells him that due to Burt’s not paying taxes, the government is putting a lien on his property. As Dalkwed leaves, Burt’s son Travis shows up with supplies that he had gone to get and he argues with Burt over his not making more of an effort to work with him. Back in the arctic, Dr. Rita Sims, the head of the research team, heads out to the site of the attack with team members Valerie McKee and Aklark and when they see the carnage, Valerie recognizes what has happened. Back in Perfection, Burt is taking a nap on the roof of Chang’s store but is plagued by painful nightmares of the time he was swallowed by a graboid. As he falls out of his hammock, Travis tells him he has a phone call from a woman saying they have a graboid problem. Burt picks up the phone and speaks with Rita but when she tells him where they are located, he says that it can’t be a graboid attack as they are desert/tropical creatures. Valerie gets on the phone and tells Burt she is a graboid enthusiast, impressing him with her knowledge of the creatures, and tells him the site has all the markings of an attack and convinces him it is worth coming out there to investigate as it would be a new phenomenon for him to explore. Burt packs up for his trip and Travis packs to go with him, which Burt objects to his coming but Travis convinces him that he needs to teach him how to hunt and kill graboids for when the time comes that he is unable to do it anymore. The two head out to Canada and as they are flying to the site in a single prop plane piloted by Mac, they are attacked by an ass-blaster, which runs into the prop and forces them to land. On the ground, they are approached by Mr. Cutts, who is in charge of a DARPA facility next to the research station. Cutts confiscates the alcohol that Mac was smuggling into the area and warns Burt to stay out of his way, while Burt warns him that he should take his team and leave the area. As Cutts leaves, Valerie and Aklark show up and Valerie rushes up to hug Burt. Burt chastises her for not telling him about the ass-blasters and when she learns they saw one, she says her parents aren’t going to believe it, then reveals that she is the daughter of Valentine “Val” McKee and Rhonda LeBeck, whom Burt lost track of after they left town following the first Graboid attack. The head out to the Boite Canyon Arctic Research Facility, towing Mac’s plane behind them so she can repair the engine. They are approached by Rita and Dr. Charles Freezze, who is upset to learn that the plane is broken as he wants to leave as quickly as possible. Rita introduces Burt and Travis to the rest of the staff and Burt tries to tell them of the dangers they are now facing. Burt then asks Rita to step aside and asks her about Cutts and the DARPA facility and she tells him it is a joint US/Canada project but they are being secretive about it. Suddenly an ass-blaster appears at the site and kills a security guard while trapping Freezze underneath the communications tower, which it destroys while trying to get to him. Burt heads out to rescue Freezze, handing him an insulated pancho to hide his body heat from the ass-blaster when Burt suddenly has a seizure and collapses to the ground. As the ass-blaster flies towards Burt, Travis and Rita head out and start shooting at it and Burt recovers enough to shoot as well and they eventually kill the ass-blaster, but Burt passes out. When Burt regains consciousness, Valerie tells him he had surgery and the two talk for a bit before she leaves as Travis enters the room. Travis asks Burt how he is doing but Burt angrily asks him where he got the HK that he was using when they are interrupted by Rita, who says she has something Burt needs to see. Meanwhile, the DARPA team is at the Meltwater Hot Springs 8 miles from the camp taking reading of the water when they detect a high level of formic acid in the water. Suddenly, the scientist in the water hears something just before a graboid appears and kills her. Back at the research facility, Burt is told that he has a parasitic organism in his blood that is killing him and when they tell him that it came from a graboid, he figures he was infected when he was swallowed and had to cut his way out of one. Travis suggests that they kill a graboid to get the antibodies but they tell him they need a live graboid, which Burt says is impossible to catch. Suddenly, graboid tendrils snake through the window and grab the doctor, yanking her outside to be swallowed  by the graboid. Burt orders everyone to secure the area and since they can’t get any seismograph readings due to their comm tower being down, he asks for a satellite phone only to discover that Freezze has taken it and fled. Travis radios Mac and Aklark, telling them to stop their work on the plane, just as the graboid moves under the lab and away from the area. Realizing that it is chasing after Freezze, they look outside to see him heading for the nearby truck. Hart rushes off to try and stop him but the graboid knocks the truck over and kills Freezze while Hart climbs up a nearby tower. Burt has everyone else get back inside and they try to come up with options. Swackhammer says they have some dynamite and supplies to rig up a bomb to feed down the graboids throat but Travis comes up with a better idea, using the generator to fashion an underground electrical fence to keep them away from some of the buildings. As Burt splits the group into teams to head out, Cutts and his men show up and Burt taunts him, believing that they were somehow responsible for this. Cutts tells Burt that they aren’t creating bioweapons, but are trying to access the water and figure out a way to transfer it to cities. Suddenly, the graboid breaks through the floor and attacks them, killing one of Cutts’ men. Burt tells the other to head out according to their plan and Burt tells Cutts to get somewhere on high ground and stay there. Travis sticks a makeshift fuse into the gas can on Aklark’s ATV and drives off to create a distraction and as the graboid chases after him, he jumps to safety while it swallows the ATV, only to be blown up. Burt yells for everyone to head to the hangar but when a second Graboid appears, they are forced to take shelter, with Burt and Swackhammer heading to the tower Hart is on while Travis and Rita are on the flipped over truck. Burt has Hart pee on the ground to lure the graboid towards them, then tells everyone to continue towards the hangar but as he makes a run for it, Burt suffers another seizure. Valerie and Vargas spot a third graboid heading towards Burt and he manages to make it onto some rocks before he collapses. Swaghammer manages to make the makeshift electric fence, which stops a graboid from entering the hangar but it instead heads over to the DARPA facility, attacking the building and people in there. While it is gone, Burt recovers enough to make it to the hangar and tells everyone to start prepping the bombs. Travis argues with Burt about their needing to capture one of the graboids in order to save him, then reveals that he had gone to see Heather, which is where he got the HK from. When the core sampler starts up automatically, the graboids approach the tower that Hart is on and Valerie rushes over to shut it off. Burt tells Swackhammer to shut off the fence while everyone else uses powertools to make some noise and lire the graboid towards them, then Swackhammer turns the fence back on, killing it. Valerie manages to shut off the fence as the third graboid takes off and they head towards the base. Inside the hangar, the generator gives out just as Burt has another seizure and collapses into a coma. Travis takes the lead and tells Mac to get the plane ready while they head to medical but before they leave, they hear Cutts calling out for help. Travis tells Rita and Aklark to get Burt to medical and keep him alive while he and Swackhammer head out to rescue Cutts. When they get there, Cutts demands that they get a ladder so he can get down but Travis refuses to do so unless Cutts arranges to remove the lien on Burt as well as ensure that neither Burt nor Travis have to pay federal taxes ever again and Cutts reluctantly agrees to it. Travis and Swackhammer return to the base with Cutts and he goes to see Burt, who tries to get out of bed but Travis argues with him that he needs to stay down and let him handle this as he has a plan. Travis has Swackhammer cut out the ends of a shipping container, fashioning a trap for the graboid. They then set some bait and as the graboid grabs it, Mac is able to use her plane and it’s own momentum to steer it into the container, where everyone pushes some steel bars through the slots to trap it in place. They then open the other end of the container to reveal steel bars are keeping it from closing it’s mouth and they attempt to sever the three proboscis tentacles, with Burt shooting them from the base camp before passing out again. Travis crawls inside the graboid’s mouth and extracts the venom from it’s gland sac and they take it back to medical to fashion the antibodies needed to save Burt’s life. With Burt fully recovered, he and Travis prepare to leave and Cutts shows up with the signed paperwork ensuring that Burt is clear of any tax penalties or owes any taxes ever again. Cutts then comments about the graboid being a good bioweapon but Burt has Hart fly one of his RC planes carrying a bomb into the graboid’s mouth, then detonates it, killing the graboid. Valerie says goodbye to Burt and comments about how she is going to have a great story to tell her parents and he tells her to tell Val and Rhonda he said hi. Travis and Rita, who had become attracted to each other, say goodbye, with Rita telling him she will be back in the states in 6 months. Travis kisses her on the cheek and as he joins back with Burt, Burt chastises him for simply kissing her on the cheek, prompting Travis to go back and fully embrace and kiss Rita, to the cheers of the other staff. As Travis rejoins Burt, Burt tells him it was better and that they should head back to Perfection.

One thing I like about these movies is that even though the basic premise is the same, they manage to add a new twist to make things interesting. This movie was a lot of fun to watch. Michael Gross and Jamie Kennedy did great jobs reprising their roles of Burt and Travis respectively, and I liked that they still had the clash or personalities as Burt still struggled to accept Travis as his son. Tanya van Graan (Rita) and Jamie-Lee Money (Valerie) also did great jobs in their roles and I loved the interactions between them and Travis and Burt respectively. The story was good, with the new location being a nice twist, while also being a not so subtle nod to the climate change debate. Aside from the introduction of Valerie, there were also a couple of other nods to the original movie that were pretty funny if you caught them. The special effects in the movie were good and I liked that they used the new designs from the previous movie for the graboid and ass-blasters, as it felt like the right versions to use, as they were frozen in ice millennia ago and never thawed until the temperature warmed up along the Arctic, allowing them to move about. So a great entry into a fun franchise and hopefully they will continue on with the it, either with more movies or another attempts at a TV show.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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comedy, horror, movie, movie review, sci-fi

November 10th, 2018 Movie – Toxic Shark

toxic shark

I am nearing the end of my movie collection but at least I will get to review one more shark movie in the process. This movie was one of the new movies that debuted during the Sharknado Week last year and if I am to be completely honest, that was probably the best year of new shark movies in it’s 6 year run. While this was not my favorite in the series, I thoroughly enjoyed today’s movie, Toxic Shark, and when I saw it was available digitally, I decided to go ahead and buy it.

The plot: At a singles retreat on a tropical island near Puerto Rico, Maggie and Vince are racing on some ATV’s when Vince crashes on something buried in the sand and falls into the ocean. As Maggie goes to help him up, they end up being attacked and killed by a mutated shark. Later, Sam, Zane, and Ryan show up on the island as part of a guy’s weekend in order to help Sam take his mind off of breaking up with his girlfriend Eden. Meanwhile, Eden arrives on the island with her friends Audra and Gabriella for the same purpose and are told of the various things that are offered at the resort. On the dock, Reese, the resort’s owner, is talking with an EPA inspector that had been checking his island due to complaints of former guests getting sick. Reese asks if he passed and the inspector says that he did pass, then tosses Reese a water testing kit before he leaves, telling him to test the water every day before letting anyone swim just as a precaution. Elsewhere, the resort’s chef Damiano and his assistant Gregory are attempting to catch some fish, with Damiano commenting how the area was filled with fish a week ago and now there is nothing there, when they are attacked by the mutated shark, which kills Damiano while spraying Gregory before killing him. Later, Reese goes to the main hut looking for Damiano and Gregory but when he can’t find them, he asks Jesse and Erin to cook something, but they refuse to do so after he leaves. Meanwhile, Sam hits the beach with Zane and Ryan and while Ryan starts flirting with a girl, Sam and Zane bump into Eden, Audra, and Gabriella. Sam and Eden begin arguing about the other being there and both refuse to leave so their friends attempt to get them to keep the peace as they are stuck there for a week and suggest they just steer clear of each other. Reese greets the guests at the resort and tries to get them all hyped up to be there. Meanwhile, Jesse is on the dock attempting to fix Reese’s boat when something strikes it and he sees something in the water but quickly gets off the dock before anything else happens. On the beach, Sam, Zane, and Ryan see Eden, Audra, and Gabriella, and both exes are trying to make the best of things in spite of how uncomfortable they feel. Gabriella goes into the water to flirt with some guys when something hits her leg, leaving a large wound in her leg and she is carried out of the water and into the medical hut. Inside, Jesse treats her wound, telling her that it was probably a broken piece of fire coral. Gabriella insists that Audra take Eden and go have some fun and they speak with Erin, who suggests they join her exercise class. Before she leaves, Jesse speaks with Erin, asking if she has seen another coworker, and tells her he thinks something is wrong as the various people have disappeared. On the beach, the yoga class is finishing up their exercises and the instructor suggests going into the ocean to cool off but while they are there, the shark kills them all. Elsewhere, Eden and Audra attend the exercise class to find that Sam had also signed up and as Erin has the group pick out partners, Sam and Eden end up paired together. Erin has them doing team exercises but Sam and Eden end up arguing and leave the class. Meanwhile, Jesse is looking for the missing staff with Hayden and Liam when they discover that the phone cable to the main land has been bitten in half and a short while later, they discover Damiano’s severed arm. Eden and Audra are at the bar when Gabriella approaches them and tells them that she is going to go lie down but as she heads to their room, she collapses on the beach. Erin goes to help her, calling out for Reese and as they get her to the medical hut, Jesse approaches to tell Reese of the problem. Reese doesn’t want to panic the guests and tries to pass everything off as being fine, which shocks Erin and Jesse and they go to warn the guests to stay out of the water. Sam, Eden, Audra, Zane, and Ryan are competing in a tug of war game in the water when Erin and Jesse yell at them to get out of the water. Suddenly, the shark attacks the group, eating some of the competitors, including Ryan, and injuring others before swimming off. As Reese and the staff work on tending to the wounded, Sam, Eden, Zane, and Audra try to figure out how to get off the island. Audra goes to check on Gabriella and when she doesn’t find her in their room, she tells the others and they find her in the medical hut, as Jesse is still tending to her. Gabriella appears to be suffering form feverish delusions, causing her to react violently, and Reese tells them he will take her, and some others, to the mainland for medical help then come back with help to evacuate the others. They carry Gabriella to the boat and try to get her in it when she suddenly bites Jesse, then attacks Sam. Sam pushes her away as he tries to avoid her and she ends up being eaten by the shark. Reese starts the boat and leaves, with Audra the only one that was on board with him, but the boat stalls out and the shark kills Reese and the boat explodes when the shark’s acid hits the engine but Audra manages to swim to safety. Sam carries Audra to the medical hut, where she is already showing the same symptoms that Gabriella was showing. Jesse theorizes that whatever toxin the shark has on it is acting like rabies, and since Audra’s exposure is closer to her brain, it is infecting her quicker. Sam, Eden, Zane, and Erin discuss what they should do while Jesse bandages his arm from where Gabriella bit him. Erin goes to get all of the other guests to stay in their huts, enlisting Liam and Hayden to help her. As they all meet back at the medical hut, Sam suggests fixing the other boat and going for help and Hayden and Liam show some spear guns that they brought in order to defend themselves against the shark. Eden suggests getting the phone lines fixed so they can call for help instead and Zane, who works for the phone company, reluctantly agrees to take a look at the lines. Sam asks Erin and Jesse to show him the other boat so he can try to fix it, then comments on Jesse not looking too good but Jesse says he is fine. Sam tells Eden to stay with Audra and watch over her and Eden asks him to hurry, as Audra continues to show signs of dementia. On the boat, Sam tells them that the engine is an easy fix but that they will need to repair the hole in the boat and pump out the water. Erin finds the pump and starts working on that when Sam notices the damage to the boat appears corroded, and Erin says that whatever the shark is spraying into the water must be doing it. Not finding a repair kit on the dock, Sam radios Eden to look for one, unaware that Jesse is showing signs of becoming fully infected. Eden looks for the repair kit in the medical hut and finds the water testing kit that the EPA investigator gave to Reese and, telling Audra she will be back, she heads out to test a theory. Meanwhile, Zane, Hayden, and Liam go to where the phone cable is only to find it had floated back out into the water. The three head out to repair the line when the shark shows up and attacks Liam. Hayden shoots it with a spear gun and Zane fires his but accidentally hits Hayden and he helps her back onto shore. Eden heads to the beach and tests the water at various sites, discovering high levels of arsenic in it and tries to figure out where it came from. Back in the medical hut, Audra is suffering the full effects of the infection and, hearing some of the other guests outside, quickly leaves the medical hut. On the dock, Jesse attacks Sam and Erin but Erin is able to knock him out and Sam ties him up so they can take him back to medical. When they get there, they find both Eden and Audra gone when Zane shows up with the wounded Hayden and Erin has Zane help her tend to Hayden’s wound while Sam goes looking for Eden. Elsewhere on the island, Eden notices some debris floating in the water and goes out to see what it is when the shark appears and swims towards her. Sam shows up to save her just as the shark suddenly swims away, with Eden explaining it was because of her shark band. Sam chastises Eden for going in the water and Eden explains what she was doing and Sam apologizes to her, both for yelling at her and for their break up and Eden apologizes as well. The two head back to the medical tent, and Sam asks Hayden if Reese had a repair kit and she tells him where it is. Eden tells them about the arsenic in the water and says that is what has mutated the shark and is causing the infection in people. Sam and Zane go to repair the boat so they can leave but the shark attacks the boat, knocking Zane into the water. Sam goes to pull Zane from the water but not before the shark injures him and they are forced to drive off in the boat to get away from the shark, while trying to figure out how to get back to the others. Eden and Erin go looking for Audra but find no sign of her. When Erin comments about the boat not being a match for the shark, Eden asks her where they keep the yoga equipment. They head to the storage room and Eden has Erin grab all of the magnets, saying that they might work to repel the shark like her shark band did earlier. As they head back to medical, they see Audra eating one of the guests and they quickly run for it while Audra chases after them, joined by other infected guests, while inside the medical hut, Jesse gets free of his bindings and kills Hayden. Eden and Erin reach the beach and contact Sam and Zane, who tell them to run for it as they see the infected mob chasing them. Eden and Erin swim for the boat and the mob follows them, only to be killed by the shark. Eden and Erin reach the boat and they start heading for the mainland, with Eden and Erin using some of the magnets to drive the shark away but it only returns and spews acid on the engine, destroying it. With Erin warning that it will be dark soon, Zane worries that they will wind up like Reese’s boat, which is directly below them. Eden suggest diving down to retrieve the flare gun in Reese’s boat, saying that Arsenic is highly flammable and so she dives down with Sam, leaving Erin and Zane to keep watch for the shark. Eden and Sam find the flare gun and start swimming back to the boat only to see the shark approaching them. On the boat, Zane succumbs to the infection and tries to attack Erin and she ends up knocking him in the water, which attracts the shark’s attention and it kills him. Eden and Sam use the distraction to reach the boat and Sam is upset about what happened to Zane but Eden tells him to focus and worry about the shark right now. Opening the case, Sam sees they only have 3 flares and as he goes to load the gun, the shark strikes the boat, causing one of the flares to drop into the water. Sam fires the second flare and it hits the shark, wounding it but not killing it. Sam fires the third shot but misses and the shark hits the boat, knocking Erin into the water. As the shark charges at them again, Eden hands Sam the bag of magnets, which he throws into the sharks mouth, causing it to react violently. Sam and Eden are forced to jump from the boat when the shark leaps out of the water and crashes onto the boat. As the shark thrashes in pain, Erin surfaces with the last flare cartridge and Eden loads it and fires it into the shark’s mouth, causing it to explode. Eden, Erin, and Sam celebrate the shark’s death, then grab onto some floating debris and start swimming for the mainland. When they reach the mainland, Sam and Eden collapse on the beach together and Sam moves to kiss her but Eden tells him they should take it slow if they want to start a new relationship. Sam agrees but before they can say anything else, Erin suddenly exhibits signs of being infected and the two quickly back away from her as she approaches them.

This was a fun movie to watch but I will admit that they kind of went a little out there with the plot. The acting was good, with Kabby Borders (Eden) and Bryce Durfee (Sam) doing great hobs in their roles. I also thought that Michelle Cortes (Erin), Sean Samuels (Zane), Eric Etebari (Reese), and Jaime Wallace (Hayden) did good jobs in their roles as well. The story was interesting but it was lacking in some set-up. I mean, the shark was mutated by arsenic but they never explained where the arsenic came from, which could have been used for a more detailed opening scene, or better sub-plot. The idea of the people injured by the shark becoming arsenic poisoned, rabid, zombie like people was a nice little side effect but it wasn’t really necessary as it took away from the killer shark, which is what you don’t really want to happen in a killer shark movie. The special effects were ok and I did like the idea of it being able to spray out acid as a result of the mutation but I wish the special effects were a little better in showing it. A fun bit of shark movie goodness if you are in the mood for some B-movie fun with a bite to it.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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comedy, fantasy, movie, movie review, romance, Uncategorized

November 9th, 2018 Movie – Teen Witch

teen witch

*Sigh*. For the record, this was not something I purchased for myself. This is yet another gift that was bought for me by my friends because they will find it amusing for me to review it. Now this is one of those movies that most people have heard of but not as many will admit to seeing. I myself have seen it a couple of times over the years, usually during bouts of insomnia where I am up late at night with nothing to do but try and watch mindless television in the hopes that I will pass out. A while back, Teen Witch came up in conversation and once I saw the look in my friend’s eyes, I just knew that I was going to end up with a copy in my possession pretty soon. Sure enough, that happened so let’s get right into watching today’s movie.

The plot: Louise Miller is having a dream about her high school crush Brad when she is woken up by her brother Richie, who is eating the food he had hidden in her room. After getting ready for school, she heads outside to meet her friend Polly and they watch as rad picks up his girlfriend Randa, who is Louise’s neighbor across the street. When they get to school, Louise is late to her first period class and her teacher, Mr. Weaver, calls her out for her tardiness, then embarrasses her further by reading out an excerpt from her journal that had been stuck to the back of her assignment. Louise runs from the class and hides in the bathroom until Polly finds her and convinces her to come out but later that afternoon, Louise finds herself auditioning for the lead role in the school play, with Brad acting in the scene with her. Louise is excited to think she will get the part but is saddened to see it go to someone else while she is assigned as assistant costume mistress. Louise is riding her bike home that night when she is almost runover by Brad, who was distracted by Randa. Brad helps Louise get her bike up and offers her a ride home but Louise is embarrassed and tells him she is ok. Louise walks her bike home when she notices a strange mansion and knocks on the door, hoping to use the owner’s phone so she can call her parents for a ride. Entering the home, she is greeted by Madame Serena, the seer that owns the house, ans she invites Louise inside to have her palm read. Serena reads Louise’s palm and says that Louise is a witch, like herself, and says that she will get her powers on her 16th birthday party. On her 16th birthday, Louise is helping with the costumes for the play when the drama teacher finds an old necklace she doesn’t remember seeing before and gives it to Louise. As Louise is walking to another class with Polly, Randa stops her and says her cousin David is in town and asks if Louise would like to go to the harvest dance with them and Louise agrees. As the day of the dance arrives, Louise is upset by the outfit her mom got her but her dad cheers her up by showing her an old picture of her mother in junior high, revealing that she did not wear the most popular clothes back then. Louise is disappointed when she sees her date and decides to change her clothes once they get to the dance but he laughs at her. As Louise is sitting at a table and talking with Polly, they watch Brad dancing with Randa. Louise wishes that Brad would look at her and when he suddenly does, she wishes he would talk to her. Brad comes over and asks Louise if they can head outside to talk and Louise agrees, leaving an astonished Polly sitting there. Louise is nervous about talking to Brad but is disappointed to learn he wants to come to her house so she can help him with his English paper. Randa and David show up and Randa tells Brad to give David his car keys, as they are going to Kiki’s house for a party. As David is driving Kiki to the party, he keeps trying to grope Louise and when she says she wishes he would leave her alone, he suddenly disappears, leaving Louise to steer the car to avoid a wreck. Louise rushes to Madame Serena’s house to get her help only to find her shop closed so she heads back home. Inside, she finds Richie making a mess in the kitchen and as they trade insults at each other, Richie suddenly turns into a dog. Richie freaks out and Louise says that she will fix things and when their parents get home, she rushes Richie upstairs and throws him in a bath to hide, with Richie suddenly turning back to normal. The next day, Serena talks with Louise about what has happened to her when she notices the necklace Louise is wearing. Serena grabs an old book and shows Louise a picture of Louise in a previous lifetime from the 1600’s, also pointing out that Serena herself has been alive for centuries. She tells Louise that the necklace belongs to her and had been searching for her, like it had for centuries. When Serena shows Louise how to cast a spell to make money, Louise gets freaked out and goes to leave but Serena tells her she knows what she is going through in high school and tells her that with her help, Louise cna change how people treat her. Louise thanks her and takes a book that Serena gives her to practice her magic, heading to a closed amusement park to practice some of the spells, then continues to read them that night in bed. The next day at school, Louise tries a truth spell on Randa and her friends, keeping what she is doing a secret from Polly, and they both watch as the girls reveal what they really think about each other. Louise goes to tell Serena what happened at school and then asks her if she could get Brad to love her. Serena gives her some powder and tells her what to do but when Brad shows up for her study date with him, Louise is unable to complete the spell. The next day, Louise and Brad are talking when Mr. Weaver chastises them, then proceeds to embarrass Louise by commenting on all of the things that had fallen out of her purse when it fell over. Louise decides to get even by making a voodoo doll of Mr. Weaver and forcing him to undress in front of the class. When Louise gets home from school, Richie and her mom both handle the dog, resulting in Mr. Weaver falling down some stairs and later going through a car wash. Later, Louise and Polly are riding their bikes back from tennis practice when they spot Rhet and his friends rapping nearby. Polly has a crush on Rhet and wants to take a different route home but Louise subtly uses her powers to make Polly go up and rap back at Rhet, showing him up instead. Louise goes to see Serena, who asks her about Brad, and Louise admits that she couldn’t do it as she wanted Brad to like her for herself. Serena tells her that she should try to become popular instead. Louise takes Polly with her to a concert, where she is able to get them backstage, and the singer gives Louise her jacket. After performing the spell, Louise finds herself transformed and notices the difference when Brad and Randa tell her to ride to school with them and Louise accepts, leaving Polly to ride to school alone. As the days go by, Louise’s popularity continues to grow but as she revels in it, she continues to ignore Polly. Eventually, Louise ends up alone with Brad, who takes her out to a deserted farm house, where they begin kissing. Louise feels bad, as she doesn’t know if Brad likes her for herself or because of the spell. Meanwhile, Polly is feeling hurt that Louise has ignored her since she got her newfound popularity and when Kiki falls and breaks her leg during the play’s dress rehearsal, Louise is forced to fill in since she is her understudy and Polly accuses her of doing it on purpose. Louise tries talking with Polly the next day but Polly is still upset with her, calling her out for abandoning her since she became popular, and refuses to talk with her. As things get more crazy in her life, Brad asks Louise to the dance and she refuses, saying that none of this is real. Louise reads through the book to try and find a way to reverse her spell and when she doesn’t find anything, she goes to see Serena for help. Serena is reluctant to help her, as she was able to make her own life better as she was helping Louise but she finally tells Louise what she needs to do. The night of the dance, Louise shows up with Serena and as Louise stands on the dance floor, she tosses the necklace to Serena, who picks it up. Brad approaches Louise and the two start dancing and share a kiss, which Louise happily accepts as she knows he is doing it because he wants to.

Teen Witch did not fare well with the critics, currently holding a 38% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, many of the critics state that the movie is full of cheesy, 80’s teen fluff, but admit that that gives the movie a “so bad it’s good” quality to it. The creepy house Louise Miller walks into at the start of the movie, is the same house used by Michael Jackson in his 1982 music video “Thriller”. The movie was a box office dud, earning $27,843 off of a $2.5 million budget but would become something of a cult classic due to it’s regular airings on cable and on ABC Family’s 13 Nights Of Halloween.

Good grief. This movie is so ridiculously cheesy, and not in a good way (yeh, I said it.) That being said, this was an ok movie for the most part, even if it wasn’t exactly original. The acting was ok, with Robyn Lively and Zelda Rubenstein doing good jobs in their roles of Louise and Serena respectively. I also liked Mandy Ingber (Polly) but thought that Dan Gauthier (Brad) was kind of boring. The story was not that original, as it was essentially the stale story of the girl who was unnoticed or laughed at wanting to be popular and when she finally becomes what she thought she wanted, realizes she was happier as she was. The addition of magic to this movie didn’t really change the fact that the basic story was boring. The one thing that I did have to laugh at every time they were on screen was Rhet and his crew rapping during several of the scenes. I don’t know why but that just cracked me up. The drama in the movie was your typical teenage movie crap that honestly made me feel dumber for watching them. I understand why this became a cult classic but as far as bad movies go, this one isn’t for me.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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comedy, movie, movie review, romance

November 5th, 2018 Movie – So I Married An Axe Murderer

so i married an axe murderer

Ahh, the memories of this movie. I remember watching Saturday Night Live back during my junior high/high school days and so I was very familiar with Mike Myers and his comedy. My friends and I had gone to see Wayne’s World when it came out in theaters and so when a new Mike Myers movie was announced, we decided we would go see it in theaters as well. Granted, this was done during the time period that I was in town, as I had moved to a different state when So I Married An Axe Murderer came out but the point is that I still have fond memories of seeing this with my friends. Now lets see if those fond memories carry over to the movie itself.

The plot: Charlie MacKenzie is hanging out at his usual beatnik club with his friend Tony Giardino, who comments about Charlie always breaking up with his girlfriends over perceived faults simply because he is afraid of commitment. The next day, Charlie stops at a butcher shop to pick up some haggis to bring to his parent’s house for dinner and he meets Harriet, the woman that owns the shop. At his parent’s house, Charlie’s mother, May, is upset to learn about Charlie’s latest break up, then starts telling him about a honeymoon serial killer called Mrs. X, who has killed three husbands on their honeymoon. Meanwhile, his father, Stuart, is telling Tony about various conspiracy theories he believes in, while constantly deriding his younger son William about the size of his head. A few days later, Charlie stops by the butcher shop as it is busy and offers to help Harriet out, to which she agrees. The two start bonding as they work and after Harriet closes the shop, they go out to dinner. As they are walking along, some sailors comment about Harriet in Russian and Harriet responds back, revealing that she speaks Russian. As they continue talking and asking questions about each other, they end up at Harriet’s home. Harriet goes to make them some tea and Charlie comments on some of the items she has in her home, especially the collection of martial arts weapons and gear. Charlie and Harriet end up sleeping together and during the night, Harriet is dreaming and screams out the name Ralph and when Charlie questions her about it, she tells him that Ralph is a female friend. Charlie gets up to leave in the morning but seeing someone in the shower, decides to surprise Harriet only to discover that it is Harriet’s sister Rose. After apologizing, Rose reads a note that Harriet left for Charlie and questions Charlie about what he did with Harriet and tells him to be careful. The next day, Charlie is telling Tony how he feels about Harriet and asks him to make sure he doesn’t screw this one up, to which Tony says he will try. Charlie and Harriet continue to get closer and Charlie starts getting antsy but is still committed to having Harriet join him at his parents for dinner. As May shows Harriet some of Charlie’s baby pictures, Charlie uses the restroom and sees his mothers copy of the Weekly World News on the toilet. Realizing that the murder victims bare some semblance to some of what Harriet said about her past, Charlie starts getting suspicious that Harriet might be Mrs. X. Charlie tells Tony his suspicions but Tony feels like Charlie is just making up another excuse to break up with a girl. As Charlie continues to pester him to look into it, Tony relents and has a colleague check into the matter but she tells them that all of the supposed victims are simply reported missing, along with their wives. Charlie still gets suspicious and when he hears that the body of the third victim had been discovered, he decides to break up with Harriet. Charlie feels bad about the break up, as he really did love her. When Tony calls Charlie to tell him somebody turned themselves in and confessed to the murder, Charlie races over to Harriet’s home to apologize but she says that he blew his chance with her. Charlie doesn’t give up, having the club band perform outside her apartment while he recites a poem he wrote about her and Harriet forgives him and agrees to give him another chance. As the renew their relationship, Harriet receives a visitor and she introduces Charlie to her female friend Ralph, whom Charlie is excited to meet. At Charlie’s parents’ 30th wedding anniversary, Charlie asks Harriet to marry him and she says no at first but as Charlie’s father toasts Charlie, thanking him for the party and wishing him the same happiness that he and May have had, Harriet agrees to marry him. Charlie and Harriet get married and as Charlie talks with Tony, Tony says he is proud of Charlie and wonders how Charlie could have thought that Harriet was a killer, dismissing the fact that she sings “Only You”, which is what Mrs’ X’s first husband was famous for singing. Charlie and Harriet head out for their honeymoon but while they are gone, Tony’s captain tells him that his suspect has admitted to other murders and is simply someone that confesses for the attention. Tony sends Harriets picture to associates of the Mrs’ X victims and they all confirm that she was the wife to all of the victims. Tony tries contacting Charlie but when the phones are down due to a storm, he charters a flight to their hotel but the pilot falls asleep during the flight and Tony yells at him to land the plane. Tony is able to contact Charlie and warn him about Harriet before the storm knocks out the phones again and he attempts to commandeer a car to get there. Meanwhile, Charlie tries to avoid being alone with Harriet but the hotel staff constantly force them together before forcing them into the Honeymoon Suite. Inside, Harriet admits that she has been married before and Charlie tells her he knows, then grabs a nearby axe to fend her off. Harriet struggles with Charlie over the axe and he ends up locking her in the closet. As Charlie goes to try and phone for help, he sees a note on the desk telling Harriet he is leaving her, just as Rose tries to kill him. Rose yells at Charlie that he took her sister from her just like all the others but she will kill him and Harriet yells at Charlie to run. Charlie climbs out the window onto the roof but Rose follows after him and continues to try and kill him. Meanwhile, Tony shows up at the hotel and after breaking into the Honeymoon Suite, frees Harriet from the closet only to move to arrest her. Harriet tries to explain what is happening and as they head outside, they see Charlie on the roof and Tony races back upstairs to help him. Rose attacks Charlie but as he grabs the axe and struggles with it, Rose ends up going over the edge of the roof. Charlie manages to hold onto her long enough for Tony to grab her and Tony arrests her and takes her away while Charlie and Harriet embrace as they watch them drive away.

So I Married An Axe Murderer met with mixed results from the critics, holding a 56% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, the critics all seemed to enjoy Myers comedy and how the movie seemed to spoof classic marital murder mysteries but felt that it lacked focus in it’s idea. While shooting scenes in the butcher shop, Nancy Travis was distracted by Mike Myers’ antics and accidentally cut off the tip of her middle finger on her left hand when chopping vegetables with a kitchen knife. Travis kept shouting “Cut! Cut! Cut!” which she meant literally, although the crew initially thought she was referring to the term for stopping the shooting of a scene. A local doctor sewed it back on.The movie was a dud at the box office, earning $11.5 million off of a $20 million budget.

This isn’t a great comedy movie but it was a really good indication of how funny Mike Myers really could be. The acting was ok, with Mike Myers really carrying the movie on his back, playing both Charlie and Stuart MacKenzie. Anthony LaPaglia (Tony), Brenda Fricker (May) and Alan Arkin (Tony’s Captain) were also good in their roles but Nancy Travis honestly seemed kind of bland and Amanda Plummer (Rose) wasn’t much better. The story honestly did feel like it was a spoof of something Hitchcock would have made. The whole woman that had been married multiple times, only for her husband to mysteriously vanish, and her latest fiance suspects her to be a killer really does sound like a Hitchcock movie. Adding the comedy to it did kind of hurt the mystery angle of the movie but did make the characters seem more human, or at least more realistic. The comedy was mostly Mike Myers being goofy, which he is really good at. So it’s a fun movie to watch but it isn’t going to be on any lists of the greatest comedies of all time.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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comedy, movie, movie review, musical

November 1st, 2018 Movie – The Producers (2005)

the producers 2005

You know, I never saw the original version of this movie. That is kind of a shame as I love Mel Brooks films but then again, if it is a musical, I might not have enjoyed it as much. Anyways, the 2000’s brought a bunch of Hollywood remakes to the big screen. This movie was one of those remakes but I honestly had no interest in seeing it. Unfortunately, Vudu decided that I needed to own this movie so let’s see if The Producers (2005) is any good.

The plot: [Long and exhausting day at work really has me drained so I am just copying the plot summary from Wikipedia. My apologies for the laziness]
Following the flop of theater musical Funny Boy (based on William Shakespeare’s Hamlet) (“Opening Night”), the show’s washed-up producer, Max Bialystock, hires the neurotic Leo Bloom as his accountant. While studying Max’s books, Leo notes that as a flop is expected to lose money, the IRS will not investigate the finances of failed productions. Leo jests that by selling an excess of shares and embezzling the funds, a flop could generate up to $2 million. Max asks for Leo’s help with the scheme, only for the latter to refuse (“We Can Do It”). Returning to his old accounting firm, Leo starts fantasizing about being a Broadway producer (“I Wanna Be a Producer”). Leo quits his job and forms “Bialystock & Bloom” with Max. Searching for the worst play ever written, the duo finds Springtime for Hitler, a musical written by an ex-Nazi named Franz Liebkind. Max and Leo, in order to acquire Franz’s rights to the musical, perform Hitler’s favorite song and swear the sacred “Siegfried Oath” to him (“Der Guten Tag Hop-Clop”). In order to ensure the play’s failure, Max and Leo meet failing, flamboyant director Roger De Bris and his assistant Carmen Ghia. Roger is reluctant to direct, but when Max and Leo suggest he could win a Tony Award, he agrees on the condition that the play be more “gay” (“Keep It Gay”). Back at their office, a Swedish woman named Ulla appears to audition. Although Leo points out that they have not started casting, Max hires her as their secretary until they audition her later (“When You’ve Got It, Flaunt It”). To gain backers to fund the musical, Max has dalliances with several elderly women (“Along Came Bialy”), allowing him to raise the $2 million. Leo laments about the dangers of sex distracting him from his work, and shares a kiss with Ulla (“That Face”). At auditions for the role of Hitler, Franz, angered at a performer’s rendition of a German song, storms the stage and performs it himself (“Haben Sie gehört das Deutsche Band?”). Based on the performance, Max hires Franz to play Hitler. On opening night, as the cast and crew prepare to go on stage, Leo wishes everyone good luck, to which everyone warns it is bad luck to say “good luck” on opening night, and that the correct phrase is to say “break a leg” (“You Never Say Good Luck on Opening Night”). Franz leaves to prepare and literally breaks his leg in a fall. Max enlists Roger to perform the role in his place, and Roger accepts. As the show opens, the audience is horrified at the first song (“Springtime for Hitler”), and people begin leaving out of disgust until Roger enters as Hitler. Roger, playing Hitler very flamboyantly, causes the audience to misinterpret the play as satire, resulting in the show becoming a smash. Terrified the IRS will learn of their crimes, a dispute breaks out between Max and Leo, but stops when Roger and Carmen come into the office to congratulate them. Furious at Roger for making the play successful, Max angrily confronts Roger for his actions, and even goes as far to physically torture Carmen when he tries to defend Roger. Franz then appears and attempts to shoot all four of them for breaking the Siegfried Oath by mocking Hitler, only to attract the police. As Max and Franz attempt to evade the police, Franz breaks his other leg. Arrested for his tax fraud, Max is imprisoned while Leo elopes with Ulla to Rio de Janeiro (“Betrayed”). About to be sentenced, Max is saved by Leo, who returns to defend him (“Til Him”). The judge, realizing Max and Leo are inseparable, sentences them both to five years at Sing Sing Prison with Franz. Writing and producing a new musical in prison (“Prisoners of Love”), Leo, Max, and Franz are pardoned by the governor for their work, allowing them to collaborate with Roger and Ulla and release Prisoners of Love. The play’s success means Max and Leo go on to become successful Broadway producers. In a post-credits scene, the cast sings “Goodbye!”, telling the audience to leave the theater.

The Producers (2005) met with mixed reviews from the critics, holding a 50% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Despite the rich source material, The Producers has a stale, stagy feel more suited to the theater than the big screen.” The phrase “It was shocking, outrageous, insulting… and I loved every minute of it!” from a supposed review of “Springtime for Hitler”, was a rewording of a review by Peter Sellers written about The Producers (1967).The movie was a box office flop, earning $38.1 million off of a $45 million budget.

Still not really a fan of musicals but I have to admit that this was pretty funny. The acting was good, with Nathan Lane (Max) and Matthew Broderick (Leo) had some fantastic chemistry together as well as some great comedic timing. Uma Thurman (Ulla), Will Ferrell (Franz), and Gary Beach (Roger) were also great in their roles. The story was interesting as it is basically an embezzlement scheme using theater as the way to earn the money. The singing and dancing numbers were well coordinated and I will admit that some of them were kind of catchy. I can’t say how it compares to the original but I do have more of a desire to watch it now. On it’s own, it is a funny movie but there are better musicals to watch.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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action, adventure, comedy, comic book, movie, movie review, sci-fi

October 29th, 2018 Movie – Ant-Man And The Wasp

ant man and the wasp

Ok, I feel kind of bad for this but for the first time since 2008, I did not see one of the MCU movies in the theaters. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed Ant-Man quite a bit but when the sequel came out, there was just too much going on in my life for me to take the time to go see it. So I had to wait patiently for this movie to come out on video before I could watch it. As soon as I got it, I had to put it in because there was one burning question that needed to be answered; how does this movie tie in to Avengers: Infinity War. Well, let’s find out as I watch today’s movie, Ant-Man And The Wasp.

The plot: Sometime after Scott Lang stopped Darren Cross (Yellowjacket), Hank Pym is talking with his daughter Hope about when her mother had gone sub-atomic to stop a missile and never came back. When Scott did the same thing to stop Cross but came back, Hank wonders if maybe his wife Janet is still alive, and shows Hope some old plans he had developed for a Quantum Tunnel, which he plans on building to try and find her. In the present, Scott Lang is finishing up his last days on being under house arrest for his role in helping Captain America. As he entertains his daughter Cassie, he is also helping his partner Luis go over the plans for their security system proposal when he accidentally triggers the perimeter alarm for his house arrest. FBI Agent Jimmy Woo and his team search the house, as part of the terms of the deal Scott signed. As his team searches the house, Woo asks if Scott has had any contact with Hank or Hope, as it was his tech that Scott used, but Scott tells him that Hank hates him for getting involved with the Avengers and neither of them have spoken to him in the past two years. That night, Scott has a dream where he is back in the quantum realm and sees Janet, then finds himself in one of Janet’s memories. Waking up, Scott uses a secret phone to contact Hank and leaves a message about the dream but realizes how stupid it sounds and hangs up, then breaks the phone. The next day, Scott is eating when something buzzes by him and stings him, causing him to pass out. When he comes too, he finds himself in a car with Hope driving. Hope explains that they have left a decoy with his ankle monitor to fool the FBI, then explains that they are still mad at him but the only reason they are talking is because they need what is in his head. Hope takes Scott to their secret lab, and Hank explains that they had been building the tunnel for the past two years and had tested it the night before when a part overloaded. % minutes after the tested it, Scott called them which makes Hank believe that Janet had placed a message inside his head that they need to get. Scott still thinks it was just a dream he had but when Hope says the dream he described was how she and her mom always played hide and seek, Hank and Hope get excited. Saying Hank owes them for going to Germany and destroying the Ant-Man suit, Hank and Hope shrink down the lab and go to see a man named Sonny Burch, with Scott reluctantly going along but as they drive off, an almost invisible figure is watching them. When they reach the meeting spot, Hope heads inside, with Hank and Scott watching via ants that Hank is controlling, but as Hope speaks with Burch, he reveals that he knows who she really is and wants to change the deal they have. Burch figured out that they are involved in quantum technology and, knowing that it is the future in energy, has arranged for some buyers for their lab but when Hope refuses, he refuses to give her the part. Hope leaves but as Burch goes to leave, Hope returns wearing he Wasp armor and begins attacking Burch’s men, reclaiming the part they needed. As Hope goes to leave, the mysterious figure appears, constantly fading in and out of sight and tangibility. Realizing Hope is in trouble, Hank gives Scott a prototype Ant-Man suit and Scott goes in to help Hope but the figure disappears, then reappears in Hank’s van and steals his lab. Needing a place to hide, Scott takes them to his business office and they discuss what they can do. With all of the equipment they could possibly use to find the lab inside the lab, Hank says there is only one man that might be able to help; his former partner Bill Foster. Meanwhile, Ghost, as Scott and the others called her, takes the lab to an abandoned house, then gets inside a special chamber to help stabilize her condition. Scott, Hope, and Hank head to the college that Bill teaches at and meet with Bill, who continually makes snide remarks to Hank while they talk. When Scott notices that Woo is there, he realizes someone must have spotted them and they leave but Bill tells them a way to find the lab as they leave. In the car, Hank says that the problem with Bill’s idea of using their suit’s regulators is that he got rid of the regulators in the new suits but Scott reveals that he did not destroy his suit like he originally told them. Scott had mailed it to Luis before he was imprisoned, then placed it in a trophy that Cassie had gotten him but when Luis can’t find the trophy, Scott realizes that Cassie had taken it for show-and-tell. Scott and Hope head to Cassie’s school but while they are there, Scott’s suit malfunctions, causing him to change sizes randomly. Scott and Hope are able to retrieve the suit and after trying Bill’s idea, they get a signal from the lab and track it down. As Scott and Hope prepare to head inside, they discuss their former relationship and Hope tells Scott that had she been there, he would not have been captured. The two head inside the house and discover the lab, as well as Ghost in her chamber, but when they go to grab the lab, Ghost awakens and knocks them out. Scott comes too and finds himself strapped to a chair, with Hope and Hank still unconscious and tied up next to him. The ghost appears and says her name is Ava and she won’t hurt him but needs what is in his head. As she goes intangible again, she gets upset and wakes Hope and Hank up, just as Bill appears and reveals that he was working with Ava. Ava explains that her father was a S.H.I.E.L.D. scientist that was working with Hank but when they had a disagreement, Hank had him fired and discredited. Her father continued his work to restore his name but due to thae lack of proper safeguards, there was an explosion and her parents were killed while Ava was left in her noncorporeal state. Bill was still working with S.H.I.E.L.D. and worked to help Ava, but S.H.E.L.D. wanted to use her as a spy and assassin, then kill her. When S.H.I.E.L.D. collapsed, Bill helped Ava escape, and they had been watching Hank to see if he could help them when they learned of Scott’s message from Janet. Bill says that he wants to harvest the quantum energy that Janet has been soaking up to restore Ava’s body but Hank says that it will kill her if they do that. Bill goes to leave but Hank fakes a heart attack and Hope says his medicine is in the altoids container her carries. Bill goes to get the altoids container but when he opens it, a bunch of ants pop out and grow to human size. Then ants free Scott, Hope, and Hank, who are able to escape with the lab. As Hank, Hope, and Scott prepare to activate the tunnel and learn where Janet is, Ava wants to use Cassie to get Scott to get the lab back but Bill refuses to help her if she hurts Cassie so she says there are other options and leaves. Meanwhile, Burch shows up at Luis’ business and gives him some truth serum to learn where Scott is, only for Ghost to show up and disable his vehicle. Burch calls his contact at the FBI to tell him where Hank, Hope, and Scott are but tells him to give him the lab. At the lab, Hank and Hope activate the machine and Janet’s consciousness takes over Scott’s body, allowing her to help them locate where she is but she warns them that they only have 2 hours or else it will be another century before they will be able to try again. Luis calls and warns Scott about what happened and Scott tells Hank and Hope, who are upset and quickly work on powering down the lab so they can shrink it and leave while Scott grabs the Ant-Man suit and heads home so Woo doesn’t catch him. At Scott’s house, Cassie, along with her mother and stepfather, show up at Scott’s house and Cassie discovers the giant ant pretending to be Scott but keeps it a secret. When Woo shows up, Cassie stalls him and Scott is able to get back in time but Hank and Hope are captured. As they are being placed in a car, Burch’s man grabs the lab and puts it in the trunk of his car but Ghost appears and knocks him out and steals the lab. At Scott’s house, Cassie talks with Scott and asks if he is going to help Hope and Hank and Scott says he wants to but doesn’t want to hurt her and she tells him that he should help them. At the FBI office, Hope picks the lock to her and Hank’s restraints and they try to figure out a way out of there when Scott uses some ants to bring Hope’s Wasp suit, as well as an FBI uniform for Hank, and then cover the camera so they can escape, unaware that Burch’s men are following them. Scott, Hope, and Hank head to the lab, thanks to Hank placing a new tracker on it. When they get there, Hank tells them that he will be the one to head into the tunnel, as he needs them to protect the tunnel and deal with Ghost. Scott uses the ants to disrupt the machine, drawing Ghost out and Hank heads inside, using some large ants to keep Bill at bay. As Bill explains his reasoning, Hank tells him that he will help Bill find a cure as soon as he gets back from rescuing Janet and Bill wishes him luck. Ghost attacks Scott and as she does, Hank heads through the Quantum Tunnel while Hope shrinks the lab, allowing her and Luis to grab it. They go to leave but Burch and his men show up and they are forced to drive from them, with Hope shrinking and growing the van to deal with the pursuers. Scott catches up to them while Hope deals with the last of Burch’s men but Ghost shows up and steals the lab, while causing Scott to crash the van. Hope and Scott work on getting the lab back but as they deal with Ghost, Burch manages to grab the lab. Hope chases after her and Scott, still having issues with his suit, follows after them. Meanwhile, Hank makes it to the quantum realm and goes searching for Janet but as he collapses from the strain of the realm on his mind, Janet shows up and helps him but as they go to return to the surface, the learn that the lab is still shrunk down and they can’t ascend. Back on the surface, Luis finds the remote for the lab in the van and grabs another car to drive and meet with Hope and Scott. When he comes under fire form Burch’s men, Hope rescues him while Scott continues chasing after Burch. When Burch gets onto a ferry to escape, Scott grows to giant size in order to get the lab back from him but as he places it back on the dock, he passes out from the strain on his body. Hope and Luis arrive and Hope dives into the water to save Scott while Luis goes to get the lab but Ghost shows up and knocks him out, then enlarges the lab. Seeing the lab has returned to normal, Hank and Janet begin the journey back, unaware as to what is going on. Luis is confronted by Burch and his men but Kurt and Dave show up and uses tasers to incapacitate Burch’s men while Luis knocks out Burch. Inside the lab, Bill tries to talk Ghost out of harvesting Janet’s energy but Ghost shoves him aside and starts the process, which starts tearing Janet apart. Scott and Hope enter the lab and stop Ghost, then begin fighting with her until Hank and Janet return, with Scott rescuing Hope while Ghost is struck by the vehicle. Hank, Janet, and Hope all embrace each other and when Janet sees Ghost, she approaches her and gives her some of her energy to temporarily stabilize her. When Luis warns them that the cops and FBI are approaching, Scott uses his suit to create a decoy so that they can get away, while he rushes home, where a suspicious Woo can’t prove he had left and takes off the ankle monitor, warning him that he will be keeping an eye out for him. Burch and his men are arrested, and since Luis, Kurt, and Dave were credited with the arrest, their company gets a huge contract that they had been working on. Ava tells Bill to leave her, as she had hurt so many people trying to save her life, but Bill says he won’t leave her and she embraces him. Hank and Janet are shown to be on a tropical beach, where Hank reveals he had shrunk their house and brought it with them for them to live in. Scott, Hope, and Cassie are enjoying a makeshift drive-in movie night, where Cassie reveals to Hope that Scott wants her to be his partner. Some time later, Hank, Hope, and Janet have made a smaller Quantum Tunnel and Scott travels into it in order to get some quantum healing particles for Ava but as they prepare to bring him back, Hope, Hank, and Janet are disintegrated, courtesy of Thanos and the Infinity Stones, leaving Scott stranded in the quantum realm.

Ant-Man And The Wasp met with high praise from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 88% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “A lighter, brighter superhero movie powered by the effortless charisma of Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly, Ant-Man and The Wasp offers a much-needed MCU palate cleanser.” During the scene where Hank, Hope, and Scott first meet with Bill Foster, Bill says that he worked on the “Goliath Project” with Hank and had grown to 21 feet. In the comics, Bill Foster was Hank Pym’s assistant and would indeed become a super hero known as Goliath, who took part in Civil War as one of Cap’s allies but would be killed by a robotic version of Thor. The movie was a box office success, earning $622.4 million off of a $195 million budget.

I really feel bad for not seeing this in theaters because this movie was just as funny as the original. The acting was good, with Paul Rudd (Scott), Evangeline Lilly (Hope) and Michael Douglas (Hank) doing great jobs in their roles. Michelle Pfeiffer (Janet) and Laurence Fishburne (Bill) were also good, while Hannah John-Kamen and Walton Goggins (Burch) made for some interesting villains in Ghost and Burch respectively. The story was pretty good as, aside from the aspect of Scott bing under house arrest, it was essentially a stand alone movie that did not need to rely on anything from the other movies. There was simply the part at the end where the Hank, Hope, and Janet disintegrated that showed the events were occurring roughly at the same time as Thanos’ attack on the universe. One thing about the movie I did like was the various moral decisions that constantly came into play during the movie. I mean, you had Scott wanting to stay on the straight and narrow so he wouldn’t get his chance at probation revoked and losing the chance to spend time with his daughter, but also wanting to help Hope and Hank rescue Janet. Then you have Bill Foster, who wants to save Ava but in the end, doesn’t want her to risk harming Janet, though Ava is willing to do whatever it takes to save herself, including threatening Cassie until Bill warns her against it. The special effects were great, with the constant size changing during the fight scenes, as well as the car chase scenes, were incredible to watch and really well timed. The visual imagery during Hank’s journey into the quantum realm was also incredibly beautiful, even the tardigrades (water bears). A fun movie to watch and a good way to ease back from the emotions of Infinity War.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

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