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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November 8th, 2018 Movie – Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi

star wars episode vii - the last jedi

It’s funny, but I just realized that it is almost exactly 1 year since I started reviewing the Star Wars movies, and I now find myself watching the most recent one. Now there was a lot of buzz about this movie but the biggest surprise was what happened after it came out. People went absolutely ape-shit on the internet over this movie, for all sorts of reasons. I can kind of understand the one bit about Princess Leia but the trolls that attacked Kelly Marie Tran really took things too far. Anyways, all of the negative media buzz concerning this movie weighed in on my mind when I finally went and saw Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi, but I refused to let it ruin my day and set back to enjoy the movie.

The plot: After the destruction of the First Order’s Starkiller base, General Leia Organa orders the Resistance base on D’Qar to evacuate but a fleet of First Order Star Destroyers arrives before they can flee. General Hux, the former leader of Starkiller base, prepares to open fire on the base when Poe Dameron approaches his flag ship and opens a communication with it. As Hux speaks with Poe, Poe acts like he can’t hear him in an effort to stall for time, then he makes an attack on the First Order’s dreadnought, taking out it’s surface cannons. The ruse works as the Resistance is able to escape the base before it is destroyed and Leia orders Poe back to the fleet but Poe disobeys her orders, saying that they need to destroy the dreadnought while they have the chance. With the last of the dreadnought’s surface cannons destroyed, Resistance bombers head towards it, with Poe and other fighter craft covering them. As the bombers get close to the dreadnought, most of them are destroyed when a tie fighter crashes into one of them, causing it to explode and take most of the others with it. The last surviving bomber makes it over to the dreadnought and though badly damaged, manages to drop it’s bombs and destroy it, which brings a cheer to the Resistance members but Leia is saddened by the massive loss of life that the victory cost them. As the fleet escapes into hyperspace, Finn awakens from the injuries he sustained fighting Kylo Ren and wanders out of the med bay, only to be spotted by Poe and as Poe goes to help him get dressed, Finn asks where Rey is. On the planet Ahch-To, Rey hands Luke Skywalker his old lightsaber and he stares at it before tossing it over a cliff. Rey is shocked by his actions and after retrieving it, goes to try and speak to Skywalker but he refuses to open the door to his cabin. Rey gets Chewbacca, who knocks down the door and roars at Luke and when Rey says that Luke is coming back to the Falcon with them, Luke asks where Han is. Elsewhere, Supreme Leader Snoke hears Hux’s plan for how they will destroy the Resistance and is pleased to hear what it is. As Hux leaves to carry out his plan, Kylo Ren approaches Snoke and Snoke admonishes him for his defeat against Rey, causing Kylo to get upset after he leaves the throne room. Back on Ahch-To, Rey explains why she is there to Luke but he refuses to help her and goes about his day. Rey refuses to give up and follows him around but after a bit, she senses something with the Force and is drawn to an old tree, where she finds some ancient books inside. Luke confronts her and reveals that the books are the original Jedi texts and then questions Rey again about why she is there and when she tells him about what is happening with her, Luke tells her that she needs a teacher but he refuses to teach another generation of Jedi as he had come to the planet to die. The Resistance fleet comes out of hyperspace and as Leia chastises Poe, then discusses what their next plan should be, the First Order fleet appears behind them and starts opening fire. Finn says they should do another jump but Leia realizes that they tracked them through hyperspace, which should have been impossible, and if they did another jump they will be stuck with no fuel and at the First Order’s mercy. Poe goes to lead an attack squad against the Star Destroyers but Kylo and his squadron attack the Resistance flagship, destroying their fighter bay and all of the fighters in it. Kylo then goes to attack the bridge but when he senses Leia’s presence on board, he hesitates but his wingmen don’t and blow up the bridge, sending Leia hurtling into space. Kylo is called back as the Resistance ships have moved out of range for the Star Destroyers to cover him, but they continue chasing the fleet, picking away at their shields. Meanwhile, Leia uses the force to head back to the flagship but the effort leaves her exhausted and she is taken to the medbay, while Finn picks up the signal/tracking device Leia had to contact Rey. Back on Ahch-To, Luke sneaks onto the Falcon and is surprised to see R2-D2 on board. When Luke tells R2 that he won’t be going back, R2 plays the old message of Leia begging Obi-Wan Kenobi to help her, and Luke reluctantly agrees to train Rey. Back on the Resistance flagship, with Leia incapacitated and the rest of the leadership dead, command of the fleet has fallen to Vice Admiral Holdo and when Poe approaches her to find out what the plan is, she refuses to tell him. Meanwhile, Finn attempts to escape with the biotracker in an escape pod but he is stunned by a technician named Rose. As Finn recovers, Rose is taking him to the brig when they start arguing about the First Order being able to track them through hyperspace, which causes them to come up with an idea. Finn and Rose tell Poe their idea about sneaking on the lead Star Destroyer and taking out the tracking system long enough for them to get away. Poe contacts Maz Kanata to see if she can help them crack the First Order’s security codes but she is tied up in a labor dispute but recommends a first class hacker that can be found on Canto Bight. Meanwhile, Rey wakes up to begin her training only to see a vision of Kylo, who is also able to see her. Rey tries to attack Kylo and Kylo speaks to her but when Luke appears, the connection is severed. Luke takes Rey up to a cliff and teaches her the first lesson about the Force but as she opens herself up to it, a darkness within the island calls out to her, causing her to react via the force. As Rey stops her efforts, she comments that Luke has closed himself off from the force and Luke tells her that he has seen this much power once before and he wasn’t scared then but he is now. Meanwhile, Finn, Rose, and BB-8 head to Canto Bight to locate the master hacker but as they search for him, they end up being captured for illegally parking their shuttle on a private beach. Back on Ahch-To, Rey has another vision of Kylo, who wonders why the Force is connecting them and when she tells him she found Luke, he taunts her by asking her if he told her what happened the night the temple was burned. Luke continues the lessons and tells Rey how in the end, the Jedi were failures due to their own pride in their abilities with the Force. Rey disputes the notion but Luke tells her about how the Jedi allowed Darth Sidious to rise to power and create the Empire, and how his own pride allowed his nephew Ben to become Kylo Ren and slaughter his students. Back on Canto Bight, Finn and Rose try to figure out a way out of the cell when DJ, a hacker who is in the cell with them offers to help them. They refuse his offer but when DJ picks the lock and leaves, they leave as well, escaping into the sewers, while DJ encounters BB-8, who is knocking out the guards with coins he acquired. Finn and Rose find themselves in a stable and as the kids working in the stable move to sound the alarm, Finn and Rose tell them they are with the resistance and the kids help them escape by opening the stables and letting the racing fathiers out. Finn and Rose ride on the back of one through the city and out to the beach but the police blow up their shuttle before they can get on board so they continue riding up the cliffs. They manage to elide the police and set their mount free when BB-8 appears in a shuttle, driven by DJ, and they quickly get on board and speed off. Back on Ahch-To, Luke finally opens himself up to the Force and uses it to reach out to Leia, who calls out his name. Meanwhile, Rey continues to have conversations with Kylo and he tells her that Luke had attempted to kill him because he feared Kylo’s strength in the Force. Shaken by what Kylo told her, Rey heads to the hole that is strong in the Dark Side of the Force and ends up falling in. Inside, she finds a strange, cracked mirror, which shows myriad reflections of herself and when she tries to see her parents, she only sees herself again. Rey talks with Kylo about her experience and as they continue talking, they tell each other they are not alone and touch each other through the Force. Luke enters Rey’s cabin and seeing what is happening, yells out for them to stop, destroying the cabin in the process. Luke angrily yells at Rey to leave the island and Rey asks if what Kylo told her is true. The two end up fighting and Rey ends up besting Luke when she uses the Force to grab Anakin’s old lightsaber and uses it on him, causing him to stumble and fall to the ground. Luke tells her that he had sensed a darkness in Kylo and when he looked into his mind, realized that Snoke had already turned him. Luke reacted on instinct and activated his lightsaber but couldn’t bring himself to kill Kylo but Kylo realized Luke’s initial intention and struck down Luke and destroyed his school. Rey tells Luke that she had sensed Kylo’s turmoil and feels that she could bring him back to the light and despite Luke telling her not to leave, she takes off with Chewie and R2-D2. After they leave, Luke goes to destroy the ancient Jedi texts and the tree/temple when he sees the Force Spirit of Yoda watching him. When Luke can’t bring himself to do it, Yoda summons a lightning bolt to destroy the tree and texts and when Luke argues about it, Yoda tells him that they offered nothing that Rey didn’t already know. Yoda then tells Luke that he needed to pass on what he had learned, and that included his failures as they were more important to learn from. Meanwhile, Finn and Rose are making their way to the First Order fleet and when DJ tells them he expects to be paid for his services, they tell him the Resistance will pay him when they are done and Rose gives him her necklace as a down payment. Elsewhere, the Resistance fleet has lost both of it’s escort craft and when Poe goes to see Holdo to demand to know what their plan is, he discovers that she is fueling the escape craft and plans on having everyone abandon ship. Poe is angry that she is willing to risk everyone’s lives in unarmed ships and tells her about his plan with Finn and Rose and when Holdo refuses to change her plan, Poe leads a mutiny and takes command of the ship. As Finn, Rose, DJ, and BB-8 sneak onto Snoke’s ship, Rey tells Chewie to jetison her in the escape pod and wait for her signal to return, then leaves the ship and heads to Snoke’s ship as well. She is met by Kylo, who places her in manacles and takes her up to see Snoke. Finn, Rose, DJ, and BB-8 make it to the tracking system but are captured by Captain Phasma and as Poe, who was in contact with them, despairs over their capture, he is shocked to see Leia break through the door to the bridge and stun him. Lei has Poe loaded onto one of the escape shuttles and as she discusses the plan with Holdo, Holdo says she has to stay aboard and pilot the flagship to make sure the shuttles are able to escape and though Leia is saddened by the sacrifice, she knows Holdo is right. When Poe recovers, Leia points out the nearby planet Crait and explains that there is a former Rebellion base on the planet that is heavily fortified and should allow them to contact their allies in the Outer Rim while the First Order passes them by. On Snoke’s ship, Snoke reveals that he had facilitated the connection between Rey and Kylo, as he knew Rey would fall into his trap so he could either kill her or turn her. Meanwhile, DJ is revealed to have cut a deal with the First Order and told them of the Resistance’s plan and they begin firing on the escape shuttles. Meanwhile, Snoke continues to taunt Rey and reveals the Resistance shuttles being destroyed. Snoke orders Kylo to kill Rey but as Kylo moves to do so, he secretly maneuvers Anakin’s lightsaber so that it is facing Snoke, then activates it, cutting Snoke in half. Rey and Kylo then proceed to fight off Snoke’s guards and after killing them, Rey tells Kylo to call off the attack on the shuttles but he refuses, saying that they should get rid of the old and she should rule at his side. Rey refuses and they end up fighting over Anakin’s lightsaber, eventually causing it to be split in two, knocking them both out. Meanwhile, Holdo maneuvers the flagship towards the First Order fleet and jumps to light speed, sacrificing herself by crashing into Snoke’s ship and destroying or damaging several of the smaller Star Destroyers while buying time for the remaining shuttles to make it to the surface. Finn and Rose, who were about to be executed, attempt to escape in shuttle but are forced to deal with Phasma and her stormtroopers but manage to escape with BB-8’s help, who had taken over an AT-ST. Meanwhile, Hux heads to the throne room and sees Snoke dead and Kylo lying unconscious on the floor. Hux moves to kill Kylo when Kylo regains consciousness, saying that Rey killed Snoke and demanding to know where she is. When Hux tells Kylo that she escaped in Snoke’s escape pod, Kylo orders their troops to the planet’s surface to finish off the Resistance and when Hux questions Kylo’s authority, Kylo force chokes him into accepting Kylo as the new Supreme Commander. On Crait, the Resistance prepare to hold off the First Order, Finn sees that the First Order has a battering order cannon with them and warns that it will crack open the shield door in seconds. The Resistance starts to lose hope, especially when they learn the shield door is the only way in or out, but Finn says they have to have hope that their allies will come and they should hold out until then. The Resistance forces head out to the surface, while Poe, Finn, and Rose lead a squad of pilots in ancient Rebellion speeders to take out the battering ram cannon. AS Kylo orders the support Tie-Fighters to take out the speeders and ground troopers, the Tie-Fighters come under fire by the Millennium Falcon, with Rey and Chewie on board, and the fighters all go after it. Poe leads the speeders towards the cannon but as they start getting picked off, he tells everyone to break off the attack. Finn refuses to listen and continues towards the cannon, intending to sacrifice himself to destroy it, but Rose crashes her ship into his, knocking them both out of the way as the cannon fires and blasts a hole in the door. Finn rushes over to Rose’s ship to see if she is still alive and asks why she did that and she tells him that the way they will beat them is not by destroying what they hate, but saving what they love. Inside the base, the Resistance learns that their distress signal has been received in numerous systems but nobody is coming to help them and Leia says that they must have finally run out of hope. Suddenly, Luke appears in the base and speaks with Leia, apologizing for what happened to Ben (Kylo) and saying that he is there to face him. Luke heads outside to confront Kylo and when he sees him, Kylo orders his troops to open fire on him but Luke is seemingly unfazed by their attack so Kylo orders his shuttle to land so he can confront him. Poe and the remaining Resistance troops watch Luke and Finn wants to help him but Poe realizes that Luke is stalling so that they can escape. As Poe tells everyone to try and find another way out, he notices that the crystal foxes that were in the base have vanished. Bringing that to everyone’s attention, they all see one last fox staring at them before making it’s way down a tunnel and they all follow after it. They eventually catch up to it at the site of a recent landslide and Poe starts to give up hope when Rey, who had been searching for them, uses the Force to lift the boulders away, allowing the Resistance to escape. Meanwhile, Luke and Kylo are fighting when Luke suddenly stops, as he knows his stalling has worked, and when Kylo moves to kill him, his blade goes right through Luke, revealing that Luke was simply a Force projection all along. As Luke disappears, Kylo realizes he has been tricked and sends his forces into the base but they find it empty. On Ahch-To, Luke ends up dying from his exertion battling Kylo, with both Leia and Rey feeling him pass. Kylo senses Rey and the two stare at each other through the Force before Rey closes the door to the Falcon and they leave. As the surviving members congratulate each other on surviving, Leia and Rey speak about feeling Luke’s passing, With Leia saying that the Rebellion is reborn. On Canto Bight, The children that helped Finn and Rose escape are reenacting Luke Skywalker’s stand against Kylo and the First Order when the stable manager yells at them. As they rush off to get back to work, one of them uses the Force to summon a broom to his hand and starts sweeping before staring up into the stars.

Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi was highly praised by the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 91% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi honors the saga’s rich legacy while adding some surprising twists — and delivering all the emotion-rich action fans could hope for.” When filming, Laura Dern said “pew” every time she shot her blaster. Although not audible, one such instance even made it into the finished film. It can be noticed in the close-up shot when Holdo is stunning her opponents. With the passing of Kenny Baker, Anthony Daniels is the only actor to appear in all 8 of the main Star Wars films. Though it didn’t earn as much as it’s predecessor, the movie was a box office smash, earning $1.333 billion off of a $317 million budget.

Here’s the deal. When you watch any of the new Star Wars movies, you have to ask yourself one question before you start; Was this movie worse than Episode I? With that being said, this wasn’t what I would consider a great follow up but it was a good movie, and definitely better than The Phantom Menace. The acting was good, with Daisy Ridley (Rey), John Boyega (Finn), Oscar Isaac (Poe), and Adam Driver (Kylo) doing good jobs reprising their roles. I also thought that Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher were good reprising the roles of Luke and Leia respectively, while Kelly Marie Tran did a good job as Rose. The story was honestly a little disappointing because you had so many side things going on at once. Granted, the movie seemed to resemble Empire Strikes Back in some regards but while George Lucas did a good job keeping the different sub-plots flowing smoothly, the sub-plots in The Last Jedi seemed to keep jumping around at random in such a way that they felt disjointed with each other, until the last 30 minutes or so where they started to rejoin each other. Speaking of resembling Empire, the last battle on Crait really did feel like it was the Battle of Hoth, just with different equipment. Now, for the scene that brought about so much anger. Seeing as how she was the daughter of Anakin Skywalker, there was always a chance that Leia would be Force sensitive. In fact, she showed her abilities starting to emerge at the end of Return Of The Jedi. So to assume that in the years after the fall of the Empire, that she would not have undergone at least some basic training with Luke is pretty silly notion (in the old Star Wars books, Leia was actually trained by another Jedi, as she felt Luke was going to soft on her). Now, I will admit that the scene itself was quite a bit over the top, okay it was REALLY over the top, but it wasn’t as far fetched of a thing as the haters claimed it to be. The special effects were incredible and the colors and imagery in the scenes were amazing to see. I loved the battle in Snoke’s throne room, where Kylo and Ren fight the guards against the solid red backdrop of the walls and curtains, with the curtains catching fire and falling among them adding to the raw emotion in the scene. I also liked the sand that turned red on Crait, as it made for a nice way to liven up the otherwise barren battle scene. So it is a good movie and did do a good job in being the midpoint in a trilogy but it needed to nail down a couple of issues to be considered truly great.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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October 28th, 2018 Movie – Avengers: Infinity War

avengers infinity war

This is it. This is the movie that has been 6 years in build up and anticipation. Ever since Thanos first appeared in the post credits of The Avengers, this is the movie that everyone knew was going to happen. Now I have to admit that while I was always a comic book reader back in the day, the Infinity Gauntlet story line was the one that really got me into some hardcore collecting back then. I mean, this was a three year story arc that was spread out over dozens of titles, not including the main 6 issue mini-series for the main story arcs, and that was an awful lot of comics to be buying. So I was really curious to see how they were going to be translating this movie onto the big screen. Surprisingly, I did not rush out to watch this opening weekend but would wait a few weeks before I went to see it in theaters but I bought it almost immediately after it came out on video. Now, let’s get our hearts ripped ut once again with today’s movie, Avengers: Infinity War.

The plot: Out in space, the Asgardian refugee ship has come under attack by Thanos’ flagship. Thanos teleports on board with his acolytes (Ebony Maw, Cull Obsidian, Proxima Midnight, and Corvus Glaive) and they kill all of the Asgardians and wound Heimdall. Loki is left alone and he watches as Thanos grabs Thor and reveals that he has the Power Stone, which he had taken from Xandar. Thanos approaches Loki and demands that he turn over the Tesseract or else he will kill Thor and Loki tells him to kill Thor but as Thanos proceeds to blast him, Loki relents and reveals the Tesseract and moves to give it to Thanos, only to pull it back and rescue Thor as the Hulk leaps out and attacks Thanos. Obsedian goes to help Thanos but Maw holds him back as Thanos, using the Power Stone, is able to overpower the Hulk and beat him down. Heimdall uses his sword to summon the Bifrost to transport Hulk back to Earth to warn them of Thanos’ coming and Thanos kills him for that. Trapping Thor within some wreckage of the ship, Thanos breaks the Tesseract to reveal the Space Stone within it and places it in his gauntlet. He then orders his acolytes to go to Earth to retrieve the two stones that are there, then bring them back to him on Titan. Loki volunteers to help them on Earth but as he approaches Thanos, he tries to stab him only for Thanos to stop the attack and break Loki’s neck, dropping the body in front of Thor. Thanos then uses the stones to destroy the ship and teleport himself and his acolytes back to their ship and, with his bonds broken, Thor crawls over to Loki’s body just before the ship explodes. On Earth, Dr. Stephen Strange and Wong are discussing getting lunch when the Hulk is dropped through the ceiling of the Sanctum and as he transforms back into Banner, he tells them Thanos is coming. Tony Stark and Pepper Potts are walking in Central Park when Strange appears before them and says he needs his help, bringing Bruce with him to prove the seriousness of the situation. Stark goes with them back to the Sanctum, where Strange and Wong explain the history of the Infinity Stones to Stark, and how they are the protectors of the Time Stone. When Banner says that they have to find Vision, Stark admits that Vision has turned off his transponder and been missing for 2 weeks. He says that Steve Rogers might be able to find him and when Banner says to call him, Stark tells him that they are no longer speaking and about the Avengers breaking up. Banner tells Stark that Thor is dead and Stark reluctantly pulls out the phone that Steve had given him when they notice something happening outside, only to find a giant spaceship has appeared over the city. Peter Parker is on a field trip with his class when he sees the spaceship and while his classmates are all staring at it, he quickly changes into his Spider-Man costume and goes back to the city. Maw and Obsidian appear on the street and demand the Time Stone and Stark, Strange, and Wong prepare to face them but when Banner tries to change into the Hulk, he refuses to come out so Strange teleports him away to safety. Stark ends up facing Obsidian, with Peter arriving to help him while Strange and Maw face Maw. Maw easily knocks Wong aside and manages to capture Strange but finds Strange has placed a protective enchantment on the Eye of Agamotto, which holds the Time Stone, preventing him from grabbing it. As Maw attempts to leave with Strange, his Cloak of Levitation flies him away and as they pass by the battle with Obsidian, Stark tells Peter to help him. Peter attempts to rescue Strange but Strange ends up being beamed aboard Maw’s ship, with Peter clinging to the side of it. Stark tries to get away from Obsidian to help Peter, with Wong teleporting Obsidian to another part of Earth so he can do so, and as he flies after the ship, he orders his computer, Friday, to activate a set of armor. The ship rises above the atmosphere and Peter starts to pass out when the armor attaches itself to him, becoming a nanotech version of his spider suit, and Stark orders Friday to send him home while he breaks inside the ship but Peter manages to stay on the ship and sneaks inside as well. Back on Earth, Wong returns to the Sanctum to guard it while Bruce picks up the flip-phone that Stark had dropped and calls Steve. Out in Space, the Guardians of the Galaxy had heard the Asgardian distress call and go to help only to find the wreckage and bodies scattered in space. Thor’s body lands on their ship and when they see he is still alive, they bring him on board, where Mantis revives him. Thor tells them what happened and says that Thanos will be going to Knowhere next, as that is where the Reality Stone is being held. When they ask why he will be going there next, Thor says that Thanos has the Power and Space stones, the Time and Mind stones are safe on Earth with the Avengers, and nobody knows where the Soul Stone is (which causes Gamora to get a sad look on her face). Thor then says he needs to borrow their scout ship so he can go to Nidavellir, so he can have Eitri the Dwarf make a new weapon so he can kill Thanos. Rocket agrees to go with Thor, telling Groot to come with them, leaving the others to go to Knowhere to stop Thanos from getting the stone. Back on Earth, Vision is in Scotland with Wanda Maximoff, as they have secretly been seeing each other for 2 years. As they walk along the city, Vision asks Wanda to stay with him when they see the news footage about the events in New York. Suddenly, they are attacked by Midnight and Glaive and they try to fend them off but find themselves outmatched but before they can finish off Wanda and retrieve the Mind Stone, Steve shows up, along with Sam Wilson and Natasha Romanoff. The three manage to wound Glaive so Midnight teleports them away and Steve helps Vision onto their ship and tells Sam to take them home. Back in space, Gamora remembers her first meeting with Thanos, where he had slaughtered half of her people, including her mother, then adopted her. When Peter Quill approaches her, she asks him to kill her if Thanos looks like he is going to win, as she knows something that Thanos can never find out, and Quill reluctantly agrees to do so and Gamora kisses him. The group arrives at Knowhere and find the place is deserted but as they make their way to the Collector’s room, they find Thanos questioning the Collector about the Reality Stone’s whereabouts. Seeing Thanos, Drax wants to attack him in revenge for his family and when he doesn’t listen to reason, Mantis puts him to sleep. Gamora attacks Thanos and seemingly kills him but as she breaks down in tears over killing her adopted father, Thanos reveals that he already has the Reality Stone and had used it to make a false reality. Thanos grabs Gamora, then uses the Stone to tear apart Drax and Mantis, leaving only Quill to face him. Gamora reminds Quill of his promise and he reluctantly points his gun at her, with Thanos taunting him over it, and after they both admit their love for each other, he pulls the trigger only for bubbles to come out of his gun. Thanos smiles, telling Quill he likes him, then disappears with Gamora, leaving Quill with the restored Drax and Mantis on the ruins of Knowhere. Back on Earth, Rogers and the fugitive Avengers return to Avengers HQ, interupting a meeting that James Rhodes is having with Secretary of State Ross. After Rhodes shuts off the meeting, disobeying Ross’ orders to arrest them, he greets Steve and the others. Steve and Natasha are surprised to see that Banner is there and after he tells them what is going on, he asks about Clint and is told that both he and Scott Lang had signed deals to protect their families. Vision tells them that they need to destroy the Mind Stone as it is the only way to ensure Thanos doesn’t succeed in his plan but Wanda refuses to do it. Bruce suggests finding a way to remove the Stone without killing Vision and Steve says there is only one place where they have a chance of doing that. In Wakanda, T’Challa and Okoye are discussing their resources for the upcoming fight, with T’Challa saying they should send a message to M’Baku and the Jabari for help, as they approach Bucky BArnes and give him a new cybernetic arm to use in the fight. Back in space, Maw is torturing Strange to try and force him to give him the Time Stone. Stark discovers that Peter had stowed away and is upset with him for not listening but agrees to let him help him rescue Strange. Stark blasts a hole in the side of the ship, sucking Maw out into space while Peter, and the Cloak of Levitation, rescue Strange. Strange wants to turn the ship around and return to Earth but Stark refuses, as he wants to take the fight to Thanos rather than let him do any more damage to Earth. After arguing for a bit, Strange relents but warns Stark he will let him and Peter die in order to protect the Time Stone and Stark says he is ok with that, then tells Peter that he is an Avenger now. On Thanos’ flagship, Thanos and Gamora argue about his plans and how he wants to right the cosmic imbalance he sees. He then says he knows she lied about not finding the Soul Stone and takes her into a room, where Gamora sees Nebula has been captured and pulled apart while still alive. Thanos begins torturing Nebula and Gamora tries to lie but when he accesses Nebula’s memory banks and plays a file showing that Gamora had found the map and burned it, she reluctantly tells Thanos where the Soul Stone is in order to spare Nebula. Elsewhere, Thor, Rocket, and Groot continue towards Nidavellir and, after Rocket talks with Thor and gives him a cybernetic eye to replace his missing one, they arrive only to find the massive forge has gone cold. Heading inside, they find the place empty and Rocket sees a mold for a Gauntlet similar to Thanos’, just before they are attacked by Eitri. Thor gets him to stop attacking them and Eitir blames Thor for not protecting them but when Thor tells him that Asgard has been destroyed, Eitri says that he made the gauntlet in order to save his people, but Thanos killed them anyways, then poured the molted metal over his hands, ruining them. Back on Thanos’ ship, one of Thanos’ soldiers works on repairing Nebula only for her to kill him, then send a message to Mantis telling her to have the Guardians meet her on Titan. Stark, Strange, and Peter crash land on Titan, only to be attacked by the Guardians, who mistake them for working with Thanos but after a brief standoff, the Guardians realize that they are the people Thor was talking about. Knowing that Thanos will be coming to them, Stark tries to come up with a plan, arguing about it with Quill when the Guardians seem uninterested. They notice Strange doing something and as the approach him, he tells them that he had been using the Time Stone to look through future outcomes of their fight with Thanos and of the over 14 million futures he looked through, there was only one in which Thanos loses. Meanwhile, Thanos and Nebula arrive on Vormir and are confronted by the Red Skull, who is the Keeper of the Soul Stone. The Red Skull tells them that in order to obtain the Soul Stone, he must sacrifice what he loves most. Gamora laughs, saying that Thanos doesn’t love anything, but the Red Skull says that isn’t true, and Gamora realizes that Thanos did love her as a daughter. Gamora tries to kill herself but Thanos wills the knife away, then throws Gamora off the cliff to her death and as he sheds tears for her death, he is given the Soul Stone. Back on Earth, The Avengers arrive in Wakanda and are greeted by T’Challa, Okoye, and Bucky and as they take Vision into Shuri’s lab, she says she should be able to remove the stone but it will take time. The Acolyte’s ship arrives and sends a landing party outside the country’s borders and while Steve tells Wanda to blow up the Stone as soon as it is removed from Vision, T’Challa marshals his army and tells them to bring Steve a shield. Back on Nidavellir, Eitri explains that there was a weapon called Stormbreaker that was to become Thor’s when he became King and it would be strong enough to kill Thanos but with the rings frozen, he won’t be able to forge it. Thor has Rocket help him restart the rings and when the mechanism fails, he holds it open long enough for the metal to heat, but passes out from the pain and Rocket saves him and brings him back to the forge. Eitri manages to pour the molten metal into the mold, then looks for the handle, as the axe is the only thing that can save Thor’s life. Groot uses his own arm to form a handle for the axe, then breaks it off and as it clatters to the floor, Thor’s fingers start sparking with electricity as the axe moves towards him. Back on Earth, the Avengers, with Bruce wearing Stark’s Hulkbuster armor, stand beside the Wakandan army and watch as the landing craft descend. Steve, T’Challa, and Natasha approach the barrier to speak with Obsidian and Midnight and when Natasha asks about Glaive, Midnight says they will pay for his life. Midnight summons her amry of creatures to attack the barrier and the creatures kill themselves forcing their way through, with the Wakandans picking off the stragglers. When the creatures move to flank them, T’Challa orders a section of the barrier to be opened, then he leads his army forward to face the creatures, with the Avengers joining in. The Avengers and Wakandans try to hold off the creatures so Shuri can finish removing the Mind Stone but they find themselves being overwhelmed when Thor suddenly appears with Rocket and Groot and they join the fight. On Titan, Thanos arrives to find Strange waiting for him and they talk briefly, with Thanos explaining his plans but Strange was merely a distraction as Stark pushes one of Titan’s destroyed satellites onto Thanos. Quill, Drax, Peter, Strange, and Mantis join in the fight as they try to take the gauntlet from Thanos. As Thanos appears to get the upper hand, Nebula appears and distracts him long enough for Mantis to try and put him to sleep. As she struggles with Thanos, Drax and Strange hold him down while Peter and Stark try to take the gauntlet off of him. Quill asks Thanos about Gamora and when Mantis says he is mourning, Nebula realizes Gamora is dead and an enraged Quill begins hitting Thanos in the face. When Stark tries to calm Quill down, Thanos recovers and is able to send everyone flying then knock out Mantis, Drax, Quill, and Nebula, leaving Peter, Stark, and Strange to fight him. Back on Earth, the battle continues and when Midnight summons some war machines onto the field, Wanda leaves the lab to help her friends and Midnight, seeing her on the field, contacts Glaive and tells him to make his move. Glaive, who had managed to sneak into the palace, kills the guards and knocks out Shuri but Vision grabs him and shoves him out the window, falling out as well. Falcoln sees what is happening and tells Steve, who yells out for someone to help Vision. Banner shows up and ends up fighting with Obsidian and when he tries to summon the Hulk again, Hulk still refuses so Banner is able to kill Obsidian by using the Hulkbuster armor to send him into the barrier, killing him, then says that he and Hulk have a lot to figure out. Wando goes to help Vision but is knocked down by Midnight and as Natasha and Okoye fight with her, Wanda recovers and uses her powers to send Midnight into the path of the war machines. Steve reaches Vision’s side and fights with Glaive, telling Vision to get out of there, but as Glaive overpowers Steve, Vision stabs him with his own spear. Back on Titan, Thanos is able to overpower Stark and the others, stabbing Stark with his own armor, and as he moves to finish him, Strange offers him the Time Stone in exchange for Stark’s life. Thanos takes the Stone and as Quill recovers and fires at him, he teleports away. Stark asks Strange why he did that and Strange tells him that they are in the end game now. Back on Earth, the Avengers and Wakandans are winning the battle when Thanos appears on Earth. Steve and the Avengers work on fighting him but he is easily able to overpower them so Vision tells Wanda to destroy the Stone. Wanda manages to do so but Thanos uses the Time Stone to turn back time, then grabs the Mind Stone from Vision’s head, killing him. As Thanos places the Stone in the gauntlet, Thor attacks him and manages to stab him in the chest with Stormbreaker, but Thanos tells him he should have aimed for his head, then snaps his fingers, causing a massive flash of light to appear. When it subsides, Thor asks Thanos what he did, as Thanos stares at the damaged gauntlet before teleporting away. As Steve asks where he went, Bucky calls out to him before he disintegrates, as does T’Challa, Wanda, Groot, Sam, and many of the Wakandans. On Titan, Stark and everyone regroup when Mantis senses something has happened just before she disintegrates. Drax and Quill disintegrate and Strange tells Stark it was the only way, just before he and Peter disintegrate, leaving Stark and Nebula the only two left on Titan. As the heroes left on Earth try to come to terms with what has happened, Thanos is seen on a distant world, recovering from the injury he received from Thor. In New York City, Nick Fury and Maria Hill are driving when they see vehicles crashing as their drivers are disintegrating. As Maria disintegrates, Nick races to his bag and grabs a special pager from his bag and sends out a signal just before he disintegrates and the pager falls to the ground, with a star atop a red and blue background showing on the screen.

Avengers: Infinity War met with mostly praise from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 84% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Avengers: Infinity War ably juggles a dizzying array of MCU heroes in the fight against their gravest threat yet, and the result is a thrilling, emotionally resonant blockbuster that (mostly) realizes its gargantuan ambitions.” Tom Holland was not allowed to read the script for this movie, since he revealed too many secrets for Spider-Man: Homecoming. In one of the promotional videos for the movie, several of its cast members are in an interrogation room refusing to reveal any spoilers, and Holland’s mouth is conspicuously taped shut.The movie was a box office success, earning $2.05 billion off of a $400 million budget, making it the 4th movie to break the $2 billion mark and the first superhero movie to do so while breaking several other box office records in the process.

As much as I hate to say it, perhaps there is some truth to the old saying that too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. This was a great movie to watch but because there was so much going on, I feel like they weren’t able to give it quite the justice it deserved. The acting was great, with everyone doing great jobs reprising their roles from the previous movies. I really liked the interactions some of the characters had with characters from different movies, such as Thor with the Guardians or Stark with Dr. Strange as well as his interactions with Quill, Drax, and Mantis. The story was pretty good in the way it explained Thanos’ motivation for wanting to find the Infinity Stones. It also did a good job in explaining how the different heroes managed to come together to fight Thanos and his acolytes, and how some of the Earth heroes ended up fighting Thanos in space Rocket and Groot ended up on Earth. One thing I wish they had done a better job of is clearing up some plot holes, such as what happened with Valkyrie, as well as Korg and the surviving gladiators that were on the ship at the end of Thor: Ragnarok. Were they killed as well or were they not on the ship when Thanos attacked them? Also, I wish they had shown Thanos collecting the Power Stone from Xandar. I mean, you kind of see him get the Reality Stone but your first appearance of him is with him already having the Power Stone and you just casually toss out that he destroyed Xandar to get it. That’s it? Every other stone was a fairly decent scene but the Power Stone was reduced to just a casual line that Thor blurts out? That is lame. The special effects really were incredible and they went all out with this movie. From the various planets and locations to all of the battles, this was a true special effects extravaganza. A fun movie to watch and while not perfect, did a good job in tying the MCU together against a single enemy.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

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October 23rd, 2018 Movie – Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle

jumanji welcome to the jungle

At this point, I don’t think anyone can argue that Dwayne Johnson has succeeded in Hollywood just as he did in the WWE. I mean, in 2017 he starred in 3 movies that made over $2 BILLION combined at the box office, granted one of those movies was Baywatch so it was really the other 2 movies that made up that amount. One of those movies was today’s movie, the sequel to 1995’s Jumanji. Now when I first heard that a sequel was being made, I will admit that I was a little hesitant to get on board with it, as Robin Williams really made the original movie special. Still, they were assembling a good cast to take part in it and the premise sounded pretty good so I decided to give it a shot. Needless to say, I enjoyed it and decided to buy Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle when it came out on video, which is what brings us to today.

The plot: In 1996, a man is jogging along the beach in Brantford, New Hampshire when he discovers the Jumanji board game buried in the sand. He takes it home to his son Alex Vreeke, who sets the game aside and continues playing the video game he had paused. That night, a strange green glow appears in Alex’s room and the drums starts beating, causing Alex to wake up. When he examines the board game, he discovers that the board has changed into a video game cartridge, which he decides to play and he ends up getting sucked into the game. 20 years later, Spencer Gilpin is writing an essay for his friend Anthony “Fridge” Johnson so that Fridge can stay on the football team and after he finishes, he gets a text from Fridge telling him to meet at the “Freak house”. When they get there, Spencer hands Fridge the paper and tries to invite him to hang out during the weekend but Fridge blows him off and Spencer feels hurt at the fact that they don’t hang out anymore. Suddenly, Spencer is startled by the appearance of Old Man Vreeke, who tells him to loiter somewhere else. During school, Bethany Walker is making a video call during a quiz and ends up getting detention. As Spencer is in gym class, he sees Martha Kaply get detention for not participating and thinks she is “bad ass” when he is suddenly called into the principal’s office. When he gets there, he find Fridge in the office along with Principal Bentley and Miss Mathers, Fridge and Spencer’s history teacher. Miss Mathers says she knows that Spencer wrote the paper as it has several sentences and key words that he used in other papers and Spencer tries to pass it off  as all his doing but they both end up getting detention. Principal Bentley takes them to the school’s basement and has them removing staples from old magazines so they can be recycled, telling them that they will finish on Saturday what they don’t get done that afternoon. As Spencer and Martha work on removing the staples, Bethany keeps trying to get a cell signal on her phone while Fridge looks around the room. When he finds an old video game console with the Jumanji cartridge in it, he shows it to Spencer, who hooks it up to a TV. After turning it on, they see the character select screen and when Fridge tries to pick Jefferson “Seaplane” McDonough, he finds he can’t choose that character so he chooses Franklin “Mouse” Finbar. Stephen chooses Dr. Smolder Bravestone and then he and Fridge convince Bethany and Martha to play. After Bethany chooses Professor Shelly Oberon and Martha chooses Ruby Roundhouse, they press start only to have the sound of drums and jungle noises fill the room. When the game system starts sparking, Spencer unplugs it but it turns back on, then sucks all four kids into the game. The four kids fall out of the sky into a jungle and as they try to figure out what happened, they discover that they are all in different bodies. Spencer realizes that they have somehow become the avatars they chose in the game. with Spencer being a muscular explorer, Fridge being a dimunative man with an oversized backpack, Martha is a martial arts expert, while Bethany is an overweight middle-aged man. Martha discovers a strange tattoo on her arm, with Spencer and Fridge saying they have the same tattoo, but before they can figure out what it means, Bethany is eaten by a hippo. As Spencer, Fridge, and Martha react in shock over what happened, they see Bethany fall out of the sky, seemingly unharmed. When more hippos chase after them, the group runs away from them until they encounter Nigel, who tells them to get in his car. As they drive away, Nigel introduces himself and tells them he is glad they have arrived as they are the only ones that can break the curse. When Spencer asks about the curse, Nigel tells him to read the letter he sent them and Spencer suddenly finds a letter in his hand. As he reads it, the four kids find themselves in a cutscene within the game, where they see Van Pelt, Spencer’s character’s former partner now turned bitter rival. Van Pelt stole the Jaguar’s Eye, a magical emerald that is essential to Jumanji’s well being and allows the user to control the wild life in Jumanji. Nigel, who was Van Pelt’s guide, stole the jewel from Van Pelt, then wrote the letter to “Bravestone” asking for his help. Back in the present, Nigel hands the gem to Spencer, then tells them that the only way for them to return home is to finish the game and lift the curse. After Nigel hands Spencer a map, he tells him to head to the bazaar to find the missing piece, then drives off. Spencer manages to access his player menu, learning his character’s strengths and weaknesses, and the others do the same for their characters. Spencer can’t see anything on the map but Bethany, whose character is an expert in cartography, is able to see it and tells them what it says and where they should go. Suddenly, they are attacked by a motorcycle gang and they manage to get away by jumping off a cliff and swim to shore. As they recover from what happened, Martha reveals that she had been shot and suddenly disappears, only to drop down from the sky onto Fridge. As Martha gets off of him, Spencer looks at her tattoo and notices it is now 2 bars instead of three and tells them that it is their life bar. When they ask what happens if they run out of lives, Spencer says it means game over, and that they could die for real in the game. Meanwhile, the motorcycle gang return to Van Pelt’s camp and when he learns that Bravestone and the others escaped, he says he will have every creature and soldier in Jumanji search for them, telling a vulture to go find them. Elsewhere, the group starts heading out, with Martha and Bethany starting to bond a little over their situation. Meanwhile, Fridge and Spencer are arguing about why they are no longer friends and Fridge gets mad and pushes Spencer off a cliff. When Spencer returns, he and Fridge fight some more before Spencer stops Fridge from falling off a cliff, telling the group they can’t waste lives and have to work together. The group reaches the bazaar and start to look for the map but when they hear a man calling out rations, Bethany and Martha go over to get some food. Fridge gets some as well but when he learns that it is pound cake, he suddenly explodes as one of his character’s weaknesses is cake. After Fridge reappears, a small girl approaches them and leads them to where the missing piece is. Inside the room, they find a large basket and when Spencer lifts the lid, a snake pops out. Fridge recognizes it as a black mamba and Bethany, thinking of what the kid said, thinks it must be a staring contest. Spencer lifts the lid and Bethany tries to stare down the snake but the snake hisses at her, then lunges at Martha. Spencer manages to catch it before it can bite her and Fridge defangs the snake to make it harmless. Bethany reaches into the basket and finds a wrapped package containing an elephant token and a note saying “when you see me, begin the climb”. Suddenly, Van Pelt and his soldiers show up and Spencer begins fighting them but when they are about to get shot, a masked figure throws a smoke bomb into the bazaar, then leads the group into a sewer tunnel. As the man leads them through the tunnels, they realize that he is the 5th player and after making it out of the tunnel, he introduces himself as Alex. Alex takes them to the tree house that he has been living in, which was Alan Parish’s home when he was stuck in Jumanji. Spencer asks Alex how long he had been there and he tells them at least a few months, then explains how he couldn’t get past the transportation shed, which is the next level in the game, and when he was down to 1 life left, he stopped trying. Spencer tries to convince him to work with them to finish the game and Bethany realizes that Alex was the missing piece they were supposed to find, as they now have a complete team. Alex takes them to the transportation shed and as they try to figure out how to distract the guards, Bethany suggests having Martha flirt with them and after they convince her to try, Bethany works on teacher her how to flirt. Alex finds a side door and as Martha goes to flirt, Bethany joins the others to sneak inside when they learn that Alex thinks it is 1996. Realizing that Alex is Alex Vreeke, they tell him that he has been in the game for 20 years. Martha manages to distract the guards long enough for the others to sneak inside but when Fridge knocks over some motorcycles, she is forced to beat the guards unconscious before they can investigate. As Van Pelt’s men return to the shed, Alex gets scared about flying, as his previous attempts didn’t work out well but Martha and the others convince him to fly the helicopter. They manage to escape from the shed but some debris from a missile damages the rotors and they find themselves falling down into a canyon. As a stampede of albino rhinos starts chasing after them, Alex says they can’t fly up until the piece is repaired. Spencer climbs out and fixes the rotor but as they are flying out of the canyon, Fridge accidentally drops the gem. Circling back around, they find the rhinos forming a protective ring around the gem and Spencer shoves Fridge out of the helicopter to act as a distraction for the rhinos while he grabs the gem, then saves Fridge when he dies and respawns. As they land the helicopter, Alex is stung by a mosquito, which is his weakness, and starts to die but Bethany does CPR and sacrifices one of her lives to give to Alex. As they rest for a bit, Spencer and Martha admit that they have feelings for each other and start to kiss when Fridge interrupts them to tell them that he found the jaguar statue. As it starts getting dark, they reach the path for the jaguar statue and realize it is most likely a trap. Seeing the elephant statue nearby, Spencer thinks it means he should climb the trees to get to the statue but he is scared by a squirrel and falls to the ground, where a jaguar kills him. After he respawns, he talks with Fridge and tells him that he can’t do this but Fridge convinces him that he can and as Van Pelts men get closer, he comes up with a plan. While Martha works on slowing the men down, Bethany, Fridge, and Alex work on distracting the jaguars so Spencer can reach the statue. Martha ends up being snagged by a rope dragged behind a motorcycle but Spencer saves her, then he uses the motorcycle to continue towards the statue but when he reaches it, he finds Van Pelt there holding Bethany hostage. As Alex and Martha join Spencer, Van Pelt demands that he hand over the gem but Spencer says that he doesn’t have it, just as Fridge appears atop an elephant, holding the gem. Van Pelt has the jaguars attack Fridge but the elephant bats them away. Van Pelt then fires at Fridge but Bethany disrupts his aim, causing the bullet to miss but the elephant gets scared and causes Fridge to toss the gem up the hill. As Bethany and Alex struggle with Van Pelt, Martha tells Spencer to head for the statue and she will get the gem to him. Spencer rides up the hill and Martha looks for the gem and finds it in the middle of a field full of black mambas. Martha manages to get the gem just as Van Pelt appears and demands she hand it over but Martha allows a mamba to bite her while she is holding the gem, killing her, and she then respawns and falls to the ground, passing the gem to Spencer as she does. Spencer places the gem in the jaguar’s eye but nothing happens until Bethany remembers that you have to call out Jumanji, and they all scream it out, causing Van Pelt to fall apart into a mass of rats and insects. As the group celebrates lifting the curse, Nigel shows up and says their time is done in Jumanji. Nigel then says goodbye to everyone and shakes their hand, causing them all to fade away into the gem. When he gets to Martha and Spencer, Spencer asks her if they could stay there, as he likes the person he is in the game, but MArtha tells him to be the person in the real world and come home, and Spencer reluctantly follows her. The kids all find themselves back in the school’s basement but there is no sign of Alex. As they head to the Vreeke house, they find it is no longer rundown but in good condition and decorated for Christmas. Just then, a car pulls up and a family emerges to visit Old Man Vreeke but as the man goes to get the Christmas tree off his van, he sees the kids and approaches them. As He names them all, they realize that it is Alex and he says that he is happy to see them again and says that the game sent him back to 1996, allowing him to live his life. He then introduces them to his baby, Andy, and tells them his older daughter is named Bethany after the girl that saved his life. The next day, Spencer and Fridge show up at school, their friendship restored, and see Bethany trying to convince her friend to go backpacking with her. As Bethany joins them, they see Martha approaching and Spencer approaches her and kisses her. Suddenly, they all hear the sound of drums beating and they take the game out back and Fridge smashes it with a bowling ball.

Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle fared much better with the critics than it’s predecessor, holding a certified fresh rating of 76% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle uses a charming cast and a humorous twist to offer an undemanding yet solidly entertaining update on its source material.” In a bizarre coincidence, both Jumanji films have a connection to Raiders Of The Lost Ark. Director Jake Kasdan, who directed Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle, is the son of Lawrence Kasdan, who was the writer for Raiders, while Joe Johnston, who directed the original Jumanji, worked on the visual effects. The movie was a box office hit, earning $962.1 million off of a $90 million budget with a sequel scheduled to be released in 2019 with the 4 stars all returning for the sequel.

This was such a funny movie to watch and definitely a great sequel to the original. The acting was good, with all 4 of the main characters doing great jobs in their roles, but Jack Black honestly stole the show with his portrayal of Bethany. The story was pretty good, doing a great job of revamping the game to a more modern age, by turning it into a video game instead of a board game. I really liked how they acknowledged the original movie, by showing the house that Alan lived in during his 26 years and making it a new safehouse for Alex while he was trapped there. I also liked how the different characters showed a lot of character growth throughout their adventure, taking some of the aspects of their avatars with them when they returned to the real world. The one thing I didn’t really like was how they had Van Pelt portrayed. In the original movie, he was the quintessential “great white hunter”, but in this one he was more of a mercenary that was essentially nothing more than a collection of rodents and insects. That was honestly disappointing. The special effects were really good and while I liked the fact that they showed Jumaji as it’s own world, I wish they had more animals in it more consistently, instead of just a scene or two every now and then. A great movie that did a fantastic job of expanding upon the world that was created back in 1995 and is well worth watching.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

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adventure, fantasy, movie, movie review

October 22nd, 2018 Movie – Jumanji

jumanji

1995 was a pretty eventful year for me. I graduated high school, started college, worked insane hours, had lots of fun, and went to tons of movies. Today’s movie happens to be one of the last movies I saw that year, as it came out right in the middle of December. Now I never read the book as a kid, (or now to be honest….I should fix that) but I had heard of the book and was curious about this movie. Having seen a special about the special effects on HBO (I think it was HBO, might have been another premium channel), and the fact that Robin Williams was starring in it only made me more keen on watching Jumanji. When the sequel came out last year, I decided to pick it up when it came out on video and figured I might as well get the original while I was at it. So let’s dive right into the things.

The plot: In 1869 Brantford, New Hampshire, two brothers, Caleb and Benjamin, are burying a chest in the middle of the woods. When the sound of drums suddenly start coming from the chest, Benjamin wants to run but Caleb says that they need to bury it and afterwards, they race back home. 100 years later, Alan Parish is riding his bike home from school when a group of bullies, led by Billy Jessup, chase after him and Alan heads to his father’s shoe company to get away from them. Heading up to the floor, Alan runs into Carl Bentley, who greets Alan and shows him a new shoe he has designed and plans to show to Alan’s father. Just then, Alan’s father Sam shows up and when Alan asks him for a ride home, Sam tells him that he is going to have to face his fears over Billy. Alan reluctantly leaves and Sam asks Carl about what he wanted to show him but Alan had accidentally placed the shoe on a conveyor belt and when it ends up breaking a machine, Carl takes the blame for the accident. Billy and his gang are waiting for Alan when he leaves and they beat him up and steal his bike. As Alan goes to leave, he hears drums coming from the nearby construction site next to his dad’s company and after digging in the ground, discovers the chest. When Alan opens it, he finds a board game called Jumanji and he quickly grabs it and takes it home. When he gets there, he starts looking at the game pieces when his mother startles him and as he drops them, the two game pieces immediately roll onto the starting positions. That night, Alan’s parents talk to Alan about sending him to a boarding school, which all of the Parish men have gone to, but Alan doesn’t want to go and ends up arguing with Sam about the issue. After his parents leave, Alan packs a suitcase to run away and then goes to grab the game when he hears someone knocking on the door. Opening it, he find Billy’s girlfriend Sarah Whittle returning his bike and apologizing for Billy. The two talk briefly when Sarah hears the drums from the game and Alan invites her in to show her. As Sarah holds the dice, Alan reads the game description and asks her if she wants to play. Sarah says no, tossing the dice on the board, and goes to leave when Alan alerts her to the fact that one of the tokens is moving on it’s own. A message appears in the middle of the board and they hear a sound coming from the fireplace so Sarah asks Alan to put the game up but he accidentally drops the dice on the board when the clock chime startles him. Alan’s token starts moving and a message appears saying that he must wait in the jungle until the dice read 5 or 8. Sarah screams as Alan is suddenly sucked into the game and he yells at Sarah to roll the dice before he disappears, but a flock of bats erupt from the fireplace and chase Sarah out of the house. 26 years later, Nora Shepherd has bought the old Parish home, with plans of turning it into a bed and breakfast. Nora is accompanied by her niece and nephew Judy and Peter, whose parents died last winter. As they are getting settled in, Peter takes a suitcase to the attic and is frightened by a bat that is up there. Nora calls an exterminator and he doesn’t find the bat but tells the kids about Alan Parish and how people believe his father killed him. The next night, Judy and Peter are talking about their parents when they hear the sounds of drums. As the drums persist the next day, the two kids skip school and head up into the attic to try and find where the drums are coming from, eventually finding Jumanji. Deciding to play it, Peter tries to move the two tokens that are on the board but can’t. He then grabs the two remaining tokens and the suddenly move onto the starting positions. Judy goes first and when the rhyme appears on the board, a swarm of giant mosquitoes flies down towards them. Judy and Peter avoid them, and after Judy hits one out a window with a tennis racket, the rest of the swarm flies out as well. Peter rolls the dice and they discover a horde of monkeys making a mess in the kitchen. Returning to the game, Judy sees more instructions stating that the only way for the game’s effects to end is for a player to reach the center and call out “Jumanji”. Since Peter rolled doubles, he rolls again and gets a 5, causing a lion to appear in the attic. The lion chases after the kids when suddenly, an adult Alan Parish appears and lures the lion into a bedroom, which he locks inside. The kids hide in the linen closet as Alan looks around and realizes that he is back home. When Judy and Peter approach him, Alan asks which of them rolled a 5 or 8, thanking Peter when he learns that he did. Alan then goes yelling out for his mom and dad and Judy tells him she doesn’t know where his parents are, as everyone believed that he was dead. Alan heads outside and is almost hit by Carl, who became a police officer after losing his job at the shoe factory. As Judy tries to explain away Alan’s behavior and appearance, Alan sees some monkey get into Carl’s squad car and tries to scare them out but they end up stealing the car and Carl chases after it. Alan rushes off to the shoe factory, only to find it closed down and a bum that is living there tells him what happened with his father, loaning Alan some clothes so he doesn’t freeze. Alan goes to the graveyard to see his parents’ graves, then starts heading back to his home, with Judy trying to convince him to help them finish the game. Suddenly, a car crashes into an ambulance and as the paramedics check on the driver, Alan hears something, then tells Judy and Peter to get in the car. Alan asks them what else came out of the game and Judy mentions the lions and monkeys, just as Peter points out the mosquito trying to get at them. Alan manages to drive the car back to his home, escaping from the mosquito in the process, and takes a shower and shaves. As Judy continues trying to get Alan to help them, Peter says Alan is afraid and Alan warns them of the dangers in the game, but agrees to watch. Judy rolls the dice nut nothing happens and when she goes to roll again, Alan realizes that they are still playing the game that he and Sarah started years ago. Judy hands him the dice but Alan says that it isn’t his turn either, and they go to track down Sarah. They head to where Sarah used to live and find that she had changed her name and is pretending to be a psychic but when Alan confronts her, she faints when she realizes who he is. Alan carries her back to his house, where she freaks out upon seeing the game and as Alan tries to calm her down and convince her to play, he ends up having to trick her into continuing. Sarah’s roll causes vines to start spreading in the dining room, and Alan uses his ancestor’s sabre to save Peter from being eaten by a giant pod. Sarah tries to leave, telling Alan that the game ruined her life and when he reminds her that he was trapped in the game, Sarah reluctantly agrees to play as they all agree to keep playing until it’s done. Alan rolls the dice and when the rhyme appears, he leaps up in terror as the hunter Van Pelt appears and begins hunting him. Alan leads Van Pelt out of the house, just as Carl shows up, and while Van Pelt is distracted by Carl, Alan is able to get away and return to the house. Sarah and Alan start arguing about his actions while Judy goes ahead and rolls the dice, only to cause a stampede to appear. As Alan and the others duck out of the way, a pelican manages to grab the game and Alan chastise Peter for not stopping it. Alan chases after the bird and catches up to it by the river but as he distracts it with some fish, the game drops into the water and floats downstream until Peter catches it. Meanwhile, Van Pelt heads to the local gun shop to get some more ammo and when they don’t have the caliber he uses, he bribes the clerk into giving him a new gun, then continues hunting Alan. As Alan and the others head back to Alan’s house, Carl pulls up and arrests Alan, who resists at first until he hears a bullet whiz by him and realizes Van Pelt is there. Alan tries to let the others know about Van Pelt as Carl drives off with him but while everyone was distracted, Peter tried to cheat to finish the game and ends up being punished by the game as he starts turning into a monkey. Sarah, Judy, and Peter reach town, where the people are starting to riot after all the craziness that is going on, and Van Pelt grabs the game from Sarah in order to set a trap for Alan. Peter tries to take the game back but when the stampede approaches, Peter ends up trapped in a car that is crushed by an elephant and Van Pelt is able to take the game back, then head to a nearby store. Sarah, Judy, and Peter go to get the game back, doing their best to avoid being shot by Van Pelt, but when he gets the game back from them, he tells them he could have shot them at any time but they didn’t roll the dice. Meanwhile, Alan tells Carl who he is and Carl reluctantly lets him go only to have Alan handcuff him to his police car. Alan goes to leave but when he hears a police report about a hostage situation with Sarah, Judy, and Peter, Alan gets in the car with Carl and drives to the store, crashing through the door and burying Van Pelt underneath cans of paint. Meanwhile, Nora is returning home when she sees the stampede moving down the road and as she stops to watch it, a monkey sneaks into her car and causes her to crash when she continues driving. Alan and the others return to the house to find it completely overrun by wines and jungle growth. Sarah rolls the dice and causes a monsoon to form inside the house and as they try to get to the upper floors, a massive wave of water knocks them back down. Two crocodiles appear and attempt to eat them but Alan gets Judy and Peter on a chandelier and then wrestles one of the crocodiles to keep it from eating Sarah. Carl heads back to the house when he sees Nora walking on the side of the road and as he questions her, a giant vine comes out from the woods and grabs his car, dragging it into the forest. Carl and Nora arrive at the house and, hearing the screams coming from inside, Carl attempts to kick the door in but the kick only causes the water inside to burst out, with the crocodiles being swept out of the house in the deluge while Carl and Nora float along on the doors. Alan helps everyone down and Sarah thanks him for saving her life and goes to kiss him but Alan, not understanding the situation, tells her they should keep going. Heading up to the attic, Alan’s roll causes the floor to turn into quicksand and he starts sinking into it. As Sarah tries to save him, Judy rolls the dice and causes the last event to be taken back, leaving Alan and Sarah trapped in the floor. Peter rolls the dice and causes spiders to appear in the attic and as Judy tries to fend them off, Alan tells Peter to get the axe his father had and use it to free him and Sarah. As Peter gets the axe, Nora returns to the house and is shocked to see Alan’s legs hanging from the ceiling and the lion in the bedroom. When she sees Peter, she screams out and falls into the closet and Peter locks her in there to keep her safe. In the attic, Alan tells Sarah to take her turn and Judy goes to get the game for them when she is shot by the poisonous barb from a purple vine flower. Peter returns and chops the flower, then works on keeping the spiders at bay while Judy places the game on Alan’s face, then puts the dice in Sarah’s mouth but then falls to the floor as the poison takes effect on her. As Peter rushes to his sister, Sarah spits out the dice and causes an earthquake to occur, splitting the house in two. Alan is freed from the floor and manages to grab the game before he crashes to the floor below. Picking up the dice, Alan goes to roll them when Van Pelt confronts him and orders him to drop them, one of which rolls down a crack in the floor. As Van Pelt prepares to shoot Alan, the dice completes it’s roll and Alan notices he has reached the center of the board. Alan calls out “Jumanji” just as Van Pelt fires at him and Sarah jumps in front of the bullet but the bullet disappears into the game, as does Van Pelt and all of the animals that had been released. Alan and Sarah find themselves back in 1969 and as Sam returns to the house, having forgotten something, Alan hugs him and apologizes for the fight, then tells Sam that he had placed the shoe on the conveyor belt, not Carl. After Sam leaves, Alan remembers Judy and Peter but Sarah tells him that they don’t exist yet. Alan and Sarah take the game and throw it into the river, weighing it down with brick so it will sink, and Sarah kisses Alan before they head home. Years later, Alan and Sarah, now married and expecting a kid, are throwing a company Christmas party at their house when Sarah tells Alan that “they” are here. Sarah and Alan introduce themselves to Jim and Martha Shepherd, and are delighted to see that Judy and Peter are just as they remember them. Alan is in the process of hiring Jim and when Jim mentions going on a ski trip, Alan and Sarah both say no, as they know that they die in that ski trip, and convince him to start the next week and Jim agrees, then Alan introduces Jim to his new coworkers while telling Judy and Peter that his house is their house if they want.

Jumanji met with mixed reviews from the critics, holding a 55% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, many critics praised the special effects in the movie while others criticized the thin and dark plot. Though the movie’s plot differs greatly from that of the book on which it is based, the ending of the film is very similar, in which the game is found by two other young children. In the book, the two children who find the game at the end are named Walter and Danny, the main characters from Zathura: A Space AdventureThe movie was a box office success, earning $262.8 million off of a $65 million budget and would spawn an animated series from 96-99 and a sequel in 2017.

Definitely a bit dark for a kids movie but this is still a good movie to watch. The acting was good, with Robin Williams doing a great job as Alan Parish, while Jonathan Hyde did an equally good job as Sam Parish and Van Pelt. Bonnie Hunt (Sarah), Kirsten Dunst (Judy), and Bradley Pierce (Peter) were also good, while David Alan Grier provided some good comedy in his own right as Carl. I know that the plot differed from the book but since I haven’t read it, I don’t know by how much. I will say that this is pretty dark for a kids movie and even though there is a happy ending to it, I would be hesitant to let any kid under 13 watch it, definitely not any 8 or younger. The special effects were pretty good in some regards but when it came to some of the animals, they didn’t look as good. I think it was mainly the monkeys and the lion, as they looked even more fake than the should have. It’s still a good movie but definitely one where the younger kids should not watch.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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

October 20th, 2018 Movie – Gingerdead Man 3: Saturday Night Cleaver

gingerdead man 3

Oh God no. Not a disco pun. Please don’t let this movie involve disco. The last movie in the trilogy and I have a feeling I am not going to like it. Actually, I am merely projecting that disco is involved with the movie and don’t really know that for sure. So lets just have a look and see what exactly I am in for with today’s movie, Gingerdead Man 3: Saturday Night Cleaver.

The plot: FBI Agent Clarissa Darling heads to the Scientific Research Institute for the study of Homicidal Baked Goods and is escorted to the cell of the Gingerdead Man. AS Clarissa talks to the Gingerdead Man, a group of animal rights activists break into the center and begin freeing the baked goods from their cages. Clarissa attempts to kill the Gingerdead Man, telling him that the homeless man he possessed and drove to suicide was her brother, but one of the activists knocks her down and frees the Gingerdead Man, who bites off her nose before escaping. The Gingerdead Man runs from security and enters the Time Travel Studies lab, where two scientist have been working on a time travel remote. The Gingerdead Man kills the two scientists and uses the remote to travel back in time but ends up in a roller disco rink in 1976. As the Gingerdead Man quickly gets out of the way of the way of the skaters, the club’s owner, Trixie, thanks the crowd for showing up to the Roller Boogie Queen competition but tells them that this will be the last night as the club is being shut down due to back taxes. The crowd offers suggestions on raising money to keep the club open but Trixie tells them not to worry and just have fun tonight, then introduces her niece Cherry, who has telekinetic powers. The Gingerdead Man tries to use the remote to leave but when it doesn’t work, he decides to start killing people. Meanwhile, Trixie asks Randy, one of her employees, to show Cherry around while she works on packing her office but forbids Cherry to roller skate. After she leaves, Cherry sees the Gingerdead Man run past and points him out to Randy but when he doesn’t see anything, she says she must have been mistaken. Randy convinces Cherry to try roller skating with him and they head out on the roller rink, just as two kids, Pickles and Tina, find the remote and end up getting  blasted through time. Outside the roller rink, three girls are doing a bikini car wash to try and raise money for the club but the Gingerdead Man attaches their hose to hydrochloric acid and they end up melting away after they spray each other with the hose. Back inside, Randy goes to get some drinks for him and Cherry and she is approached by two girls, Coco and Yoko. who compliment her skating and decide to give her a make over to boost her confidence but as they head to the restroom, Tammy, the reigning Roller Boogie Queen, recognizes Cherry as potential competition and decides to do something about it. The Gingerdead Man heads back inside and ends up in a glory hole by the women’s restroom. He sees Ingrid, Harshman, the judge for the Roller Boogie Queen, and attempts to get her to give him a blow job through the glory hole but she ends up ripping it off instead, then eating it. Back on the rink, Cherry rejoins Randy, who is amazed by her new appearance, and they begin skating but Trixie sees them and after reminding everyone to vote for Roller Boogie Queen, she calls out for Cherry to come to her office. Meanwhile, two stoned teenagers are having sex in a supply closet when the janitor walks in and joins them. As the three are having sex, the Gingerdead Man kills them with a nail gun. In her office, Trixie and Cherry are arguing over Cherry’s skating and after a brief fight, Cherry asks her why Trixie owns a skating rink when she hates skating so much. Trixie explains that she loved skating as a kid and was great at it but when she was skating for the troops at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked. Trixie had injured herself as the attack happened and blames herself for all of the sailors that died that day. Cherry tells Trixie that she is sorry that she got hurt but she intends to keep skating, using her powers to keep Trixie from arguing any further. As Cherry leaves the office, she sees some small bloody footprints and follows them to the kitchen area, where the Gingerdead Man leaps out at her and runs off. Before Cherry can follow him, Paige approaches her and tells her to head to the rink as they are announcing the contestants for the Roller Boogie Queen. Cherry ends up being on the court, as well as Tammy and two others, and as Cherry is talking with Coco and Yoko, Tammy tells her boyfriend Wheels to find out who is going to win the contest and when he tells her that Cherry is going to win, she tells him they have to do something. When Randy congratulates Cherry on being selected as a finalist, Cherry takes him to where she saw the Gingerdead Man and tries to convince Randy he is real and Randy says he believes she saw something and tells her he will keep an eye out. Meanwhile, the Gingerdead Man proceeds to lock the rink’s doors and then kills another employee and the DJ. Tammy then approaches Cherry and talks to her, making Cherry start doubting herself and wanting quit. Randy tries to convince her to stay and Trixie does as well, apologizing to Cherry and telling her she put her frustrations of not being able to skate onto her and tells her to go skate and have fun, just as Ingrid tells her about the deaths in the janitor’s closet. The announcement is made that Cherry wins and as Randy cheers for her, he notices a bucket on a beam over her head and sees Wheels and Paige arguing over pulling it. Randy goes to stop them but Trixie stops him, thinking he is going to cause problems. Meanwhile, the Gingerdead Man had seen the bucket and moves it over so that it lands on Tammy, then jumps down and kills her. As the Gingerdead Man proceeds to kill Wheels, Coco, and Yoko, then shoots Trixie in the shoulder. Trixie tells Cherry to use her powers and Cherry attempts to stop the Gingerdead Man but ends up electrocuting everyone but herself, Randy, Trixie, and Ingrid. The Gingerdead Man holds a gun on Cherry and threatens to kill her when Tina and Pickles return and manage to tie up the Gingerdead Man. They then summon Hitler, Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dhamer, and Lizzie Borden, as well as Clarissa and the security guard from the institute, and they proceed to stuff the Gingerdead Man into a cookie jar. Tina then tells Trixie that they had gone back and stopped the Gingerdead Man from escaping, so he never came back in time to kill anyone. All of the people that died are returned to life and as they celebrate, Tina hands Trixie a lottery ticket, saying she checked the numbers for the next day and Trixie will be a millionaire and be able to keep the rink open. Everyone starts celebrating and as Tina goes to take everyone back home, Trixie gives Cherry the club, then heads back to 1941 to try and stop the attack on Pearl Harbor from occurring.

Ok, this was utterly ridiculous but actually pretty funny at times. The acting was ok for the most part but there wasn’t anybody that really stood out. The story was actually pretty entertaining, especially since it parodied so many movies. I mean, you have Silence Of The Lambs, Carrie, Porky’s and of course Saturday Night Fever all parodied in this movie, though I will admit that it has been a long time since I watched Saturday Night Fever so I can’t really say for sure how much of that was involved outside of the title’s pun. The special effects were honestly pretty laughable but that actually made the movie funnier, and definitely better to watch. You could say that the series went out with a joke but it did end on a better note than the previous movie.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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comedy, fantasy, horror, movie, movie review

October 19th, 2018 Movie – Gingerdead Man 2: The Passion Of The Crust

gingerdead man 2

Right now I am really having a sweet tooth craving and today’s movie doesn’t help matters any. Unlike the first movie, I never saw this particular movie so I have no idea what I am getting into. I mean, based on the subtitle, I don’t know if this is going to be some sort of religious parody, or it’s simply a fancy title to get people’s attention. Well, only way to find out is to get to watching it so let’s dig right in to today’s movie, Gingerdead Man 2: The Passion Of The Crust.

The plot: Following the events of the first movie, the box of gingerbread men that was left at the hospital for the bake sale is bought and shipped off to California. Meanwhile, the latest film in the Tiny Terrors franchise from Cheatum Studios is being filmed when one of the puppets malfunctions, covering one of the actors in brown sludge. As the director yells cut and tries to get the cast to keep working, despite the fact that they had been there for over 12 hours already, some of the other crew are getting fed up, as the only reason they agreed to make the picture was because Rupert Cheatum was the man that gave them their first jobs. As Kelvin Cheatum, the son of the studio’s owner, tries to keep things together, Polly Bunderhoof brings the box of cookies she received from her sister, which contains the Gingerdead Man, into the studio to try and cheer people up. When a fight breaks out among all of the crew members, the Gingerdead Man comes out of the box and prepares to cause even more chaos. Kelvin manages to get away from the fight, and works on keeping his assistant from leaving the studio after she received a broken nose, when he is approached by Heather Crocker and Thomas Hines. Heather works with The Rainbow’s End Foundation and Thomas, who is terminally ill, said his last wish is to tour Cheatum Studios, as he is a huge fan of the movies. Kelvin agrees to give him a tour but during the tour, Kelvin’s banker warns him that they didn’t get the wire transfer they were expecting and says they should scale back and just do one movie instead of the three that they are currently filming. Kelvin says they should keep going, as people love their movies, but the banker tells him that the script for Tiny Terrors 9 was leaked on the internet and a petition led by a blogger called Demon Warrior 19, is calling for a boycott of their movies, with several rental stores already cancelling their orders. As Kelvin continues showing Thomas and Heather around, and Kelving getting yelled at and accosted by several employees and actors, the Gingerdead Man decides that he needs to get a new body and, after hearing some stage hands talk about some satanic spell books that are being used as props, he finds a spell that will give him a new body. The Gingerdead Man begins killing people, as he needs the blood from 5 different people at the points of a pentagram, then sacrifice a virgin in the middle as he chants the incantation. Elsewhere, Kelvin is continuing with the tour and as he talks with Heather, the two start getting closer and end up kissing and fooling around but are forced to stop when Kelvin has to deal with more problems on the set. Meanwhile, the Gingerdead Man has killed 4 victims and is about to kill the 5th when Kelvin and Heather spot him and manage to stop him. As Heather tends to the injured man, Kelvin uses the walkie-talkie to tell everyone to evacuate the set, then he and Heather go looking for Thomas, who has disappeared. AS they look for him, the run into the Gingerdead Man, who has taken control of a robot prop that has been repaired, and it uses the robot’s functioning lasers to disintegrate a crew member. As the Gingerdead Man attempts to kill them, they are saved by Thomas, who is actually Demon Warrior 13, when he cuts the robot’s power supply with an axe. Thomas explains that he had pretended to be terminally ill in order to get into Cheatum Studios and blow it up as revenge for their constantly rejecting his movie scripts. Kelvin tells Thomas that he is right and offers him a 3 movie deal and as he distracts him, Heather attempts to knock Thomas out but the prop she uses breaks harmlessly on his head. When Thomas turns to face her, Kelvin is able to defuse the bomb but Thomas knocks him out. When Kelvin comes too, he finds himself chained to the altar on the set of Tiny Terrors. Thomas is preparing to use the spell book to summon demonic torture on Kelvin and Heather but the Gingerdead Man stabs him, as Thomas is the virgin that he needs to complete his spell. As the Gingerdead Man taunts Kelvin and Heather, Thomas’s blood drips into the pentagram and ends up bringing the Tiny Terrors puppets to life. The puppets grab the Gingerdead Man and crucify him, then set him on fire, burning him to a crisp. As the puppets turn their attentions towards Kelvin and Heather, Sir Ian Cavanaugh, the star of the movie, bursts in and proceeds to kill all of the puppets with an AK-47. Kelvin and Heather kiss, with Heather asking Kelvin to forgive her for trying to bargain with Thomas into killing Kelvin and sparing her. Some time later, Tiny Terrors 9 ends up winning an award for Best Horror Hand Puppet Motion Picture. Meanwhile, a homeless man digs through the trash by the studio and finds the burn remains of the Gingerdead Man and when he takes a bite of it, he ends up being possessed by it.

Well, this is a sequel and unfortunately, it has fallen prey to the sequel curse. This movie is a decent B-movie but is kind of a disappointment to be honest. The acting was ok at best but most of the actors felt like they were just going through the motions of their characters. Granted. the story did feature a bunch of people that were dissatisfied with their work on a movie but they could have put a bit more effort into their roles. The story was pretty weak and while they did try and keep it tied into the original, by having the box of cookies being shipped from Texas to California, even that changed somewhat as there were 5 little gingerbread men in the box at the end of the original movie and at the beginning of this one, there was just the one big one. I mean, did the cookies somehow merge into the giant cookie while shipping? The special effects were about the same as the original movie, but while they were pretty disgusting, the “Tiny Terrors” were pretty decent. So it’s an ok movie if you like B-movies but it is not something you will want to hunt down and watch.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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