comedy, fantasy, movie, movie review, romance

January 18th, 2018 Movie – Splash

splash

So we come to an end to the movies that were purchased/gifted over the holidays and I am sure you are thinking this is an interesting movie for me to own. Well, this movie was bought as a gift due to an inside joke/nickname I was given. Years ago, when I was roommates with my friend Emily, a commercial for the TV show Charmed came on, showing Alyssa Milano’s character becoming a mermaid. Emily asked how one’s become a mermaid and my wife at the time responded that one becomes a werewolf when bitten by a werewolf. Without missing a beat, Emily turns to me and asks why I bit Alyssa Milano, to which my response was, “Why wouldn’t I?” Anyways, that response led to Emily calling me a mermaid, which has stuck to this day, though I did get her back with my own nickname for her. Anyways, in honor of the nickname, and because she felt I needed to own this movie, this was one of the movies she got me for Christmas. So let’s have some fun with today’s movie, Splash.

The plot: In 1964, young Allan Bauer is on the Cape Cod ferry with his family. As his family head to another part of the ship, Allan sees something in the water and jumps in. While underwater, a girl approaches him and grabs his hand and the two smile at each other, with Allan able to breath underwater, but their connection is broken when a crew member dives in to save Allan. As they take him back aboard the ship, Allan continues to stare out at the girl, who is staring back at him from the water, but no one else sees her and when Allan is led inside the ferry, she dives back underwater, revealing that she is a mermaid. 20 years later, Allan runs a fruit and vegetable warehouse in New York City with his irresponsible older brother Freddie, when his girlfriend calls and tells him that she is leaving him. After attending a coworker’s wedding, Freddie takes Allan to a bar to drink his sorrows away and as Freddie tries to arrange a double date with two women he picked up at the bar but Allan decides to head to Cape Cod, saying it relaxes him. The next morning, Allan is walking along the beach when he encounters eccentric scientist Walter Kornbluth and asks him for a ride to the island, as he was dropped off on the wrong beach, but Walter is paranoid that Allan is there to spy on him and steal his research so he refuses to help him. One of Kornbluth’s workers directs Allan to a man that will take him to the island and on the way there, Allan admits that he can’t swim, causing the man to try and scare Allan but he ends up stalling out the motor. As the man swims back to shore to get another boat, Allan attempts to fix the motor and gets it working but ends up falling overboard as the boat goes out of control and is knocked unconscious when the boat strikes his head. Allan comes too on the beach with a massive headache and as he looks around, sees a blonde, naked woman staring at him and calls out to her. The woman doesn’t answer but approaches him, then grabs him and kisses him before diving into the water. As the woman swims away, Allan calls out to her to come back but she doesn’t respond. The woman, who is a mermaid, finds Allan’s wallet on the ocean floor, where it fell when  he was knocked unconscious, and swims away with it only to encounter Kornbluth, who tries to take a picture of her but she quickly swims away. Reaching her underwater home, the mermaid finds New York City on a map and begins swimming towards it. The mermaid arrives at Liberty Island, with her fins transforming into legs when she is out of the water, and causes a commotion by walking around naked. The police arrive to take her into custody and when they discover she has Allan’s wallet, they give him a call about her. Allan quickly rushes to the police station, leaving Freddie to handle a meeting with a new client, and heads down to the police station to pick her up. Allan takes the woman back to his apartment, where she constantly tries kissing him, but he has to head back to work and turns the TV on, telling her he will be back later and take her to dinner. When Allan arrives back at work, Freddie is surprised by Allan’s new attitude and his willingness to let him have more control over the business. Back at his apartment, the woman starts learning how to speak some English by watching TV and heads out to a department store, where she ends up buying some new clothes and learning more English before Allan finally finds her. As they are walking back to his apartment, Allan tries to find out more about the woman and she decides to call herself Madison and tells him she is in town for 6 days. That night, Madison takes a bath in the middle of the night but when Allan goes to check on her, she quickly dries her tail so that he doesn’t see her as a mermaid. The next day, Kornbluth continues searching for the mermaid but when he sees one of his workers reading a tabloid with a picture of the naked Madison on it, he recognizes her as the mermaid he saw and heads to New York City. As Allan continues to fall in love with Madison, Freddie tries get Allan to admit that he is in love with her but he refuses to admit it to himself, as he has never really been in love with anyone. Meanwhile, Kornbluth heads to the National History Museum and tells them that he has proof that mermaid’s exist but his mentor says he can’t believe he is stuck on that nonsense idea. Korbluth decides to prove that the mermaid is real and goes looking for Madison to splash her with water but mistakenly splashes another woman by mistake, causing her husband to assault Kornbluth. During dinner, Allan asks Madison to marry him but she doesn’t answer. As they are ice skating afterwards, Allan asks her again and she tells him no, saying she wants to make the most of the 3 days with him but she has to leave. As Allan and Madison start to argue about the matter, she leaves and Allan tries to apologize but she runs off before he can catch her. As Alan searches the city for Madison, Madison heads to the water and prepares to head back to the ocean but thinks back as to why she came to look for Allan in the first place and heads back to him. Madison agrees to marry Allan and he wants to get married the next day and Madison agrees to it, saying she will tell Allan her secret before they get married. Remembering that they are to attend a Presidential dinner that night, the two head there, unaware that the injured Kornbluth is there trying to expose Madison. After Kornbluth is escorted outside by the secret service, Madison tells Allan she is ready to tell him her secret and they leave, but Kornbluth sees them and manages to spray Madison with the water he was carrying, exposing her as a mermaid to Allan and everyone else. Allan and Madison are quickly grabbed and taken to a government lab for testing, and when they are placed together, Allan tries to apologize for keeping it a secret but Allan doesn’t respond. When it is apparent that Allan is not a mermaid, he is dropped off back at his apartment, where reporters are waiting for him and try to get him to talk about his relationship with Madison. Freddie shows up and takes Allan out of there and as they get alone to talk, Allan starts questioning what he really felt for her and Freddie calls him out on it, reminding him how happy he was when he was with Madison. Meanwhile, Dr. Ross, Kornbluth’s rival, is heading up the research of Madison and is making plans to dissect her, which shocks Kornbluth and when he voices his objection, Ross tells him that he shouldn’t even be there as he doesn’t consider him a member of his team. Allan, realizing he does love Madison and tracks down Kornbluth to find out where she is being held. Kornbluth, who feels guilty about his role in what is happening to Madison, helps sneak Allan and Freddie into the lab by having them pose as Swedish scientists. Allan and Kornbluth then sneak Madison out of the lab, leaving Freddie there to take the heat when it is discovered she is gone. Ross has the military go recapture Madison and Kornbluth tries to delay them, saying he caused the mess, but he is unable to stop them. Allan and Madison reach the docks and Madison tells Allan that she was willing to stay with him forever. When Allan says he wishes that he could go with her, she tells him he can, telling him that she was the one who saved him as a boy, but that he would never be able to come back. When the military gets there, Allan tells Madison he loves her and she needs to leave but as she waves goodbye, he yells out to her and jumps in after her. Madison swims back to Allan and kisses him, allowing him to breathe underwater, and when some divers attempt to capture them, they quickly rip off the divers’ breathing gear then swim away. Allan takes off his jacket and kisses Madison before they swim off to an underwater kingdom.

Splash was highly praised by the critics, holding a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “A perfectly light, warmly funny romantic comedy that’s kept afloat by Ron Howard’s unobtrusive direction and charming performances from Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah.” The movie was the first to be released under Walt Disney’s Touchstone Pictures label, which was created in order to release movies with more mature content that were deemed not appropriate for the flagship banner. The movie was a box office success, earning $69 million off of an $8 million budget.

This is a pretty decent movie but not one I would watch every day. The acting was good, with Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah doing a good job in their roles of Allan and Madison respectively. I also liked John Candy (Freddie) and Eugene Levy (Kornbluth), who added some pretty good comedic and serious scenes to the movie. The story was essentially a take off of “The Little Mermaid”, with the mermaid falling in love with a human and wanting to be with him, only not as depressing a tale as the original story. The special effects involving Daryl Hannah’s mermaid tail were pretty decent in the water scenes, but not as much when she was on land. It’s a decent 80’s rom-com but not my normal cup of tea.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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

January 17th, 2018 Movie – Sharknado 5: Global Swarming

sharknado 5

For me, one of the highlights of the summer is always Sharknado week on Syfy. This past year had several really fun movies, some of which have yet to be released on DVD, aside form today’s movie. Every year they seem to be going bigger and bigger with these movies and I enjoy every one of them but I know that the train will end up going off the rails soon. So let’s enjoy this while it lasts and have some fun with today’s movie, Sharknado 5: Global Swarming.

The plot: In a cave close by Stonehenge, Nova discovers a mural depicting a history of sharknados and contacts her team waiting above and tells them to contact Fin Shepard. Fin, along with April ad their son Gil, are in London for a meeting with NATO about the sharknado threat when Fin gets Nova’s call and goes to meet her. April and Gil are shown the secret lab where British scientist are working on anti-sharknado weapons and Gil is given a helmet that will allow him to survive inside a sharknado. Back at Stonehenge, Fin descends into the cavern and Nova shows him the mural and tells him that sharknados have appeared in the past but humanity fought back and won. An artifact called the Harness of Dakuwaqa is in the cavern and she had Fin brought there to help her get it. Making their way through the booby traps, the find the artifact and grab it but set off a chain reaction leading to the formation of a sharknado. Fin and Nova head back to London, with April saving them when their helicopter is attacked by sharks. Nova commandeers a bus and heads towards Buckingham Palace and when they get there, April flies off to try and stop Big Ben from being destroyed. Fin has Nova look after Gil while he leads the palace guards in a charge to rescue the Queen, who is trapped inside the palace, but despite Nova’s best efforts, Gil ends up being sucked up into the sharknado and disappears. When they regroup, Nova apologizes for what happened and both Fin and April are upset that she lost their son. Nova is upset with herself but receives a signal from Gil’s helmet showing he is alive and currently in Holland. Nova convinces Fin to head to the NATO meeting, as the best minds on the planet are there to discuss the sharknado problem. When another sharknado forms and attacks the meeting, Fin, April, and Nova are directed towards a specialized blimp piloted by Dr. Angel and they had out after the sharknado with Gil in it but Dr. Angel is killed and the Blimp catches fire and crashes over Switzerland. Fin, April, and Nova manage to get out before the crash and seeing some ski equipment, he hands April a ski and tells her to spin and form a vortex that will attract the sharknado that Gil is in towards them. The idea works but it also causes an avalanche and Fin, April, and Nova are forced to ski/snowboard to safety. With the sharknado moving away from them, Fin, April, and Nova get on a dog sled and use it to get close to the vortex before cutting the dogs free, allowing the sled to get sucked into the vortex. Inside, Fin and the others see Gil and try to grab him but are unable to and as Gil disappears again, Fin, April, and Nova find themselves somehow transported to Australia and surrounded by sharks. A helicopter shows up and throws a ladder down for them to climb to safety but as April tries to protect Fin, she is bitten in half by a shark. When they reach shore, Nova leads Fin towards the Sydney Opera House, which serves as the headquarters for her sharknado Sisterhood, telling him that they will be able to repair April. Nova then goes to contact her Sister in the China area overseeing the removal of the Nuclear waste from the last sharknado attack in America, as China had overtaken the project, and Fin is shocked to discover that it is his cousin Gemini, causing him and Nova to get into an argument. In the China Sea, a sharknado attacks the ship, absorbing the nuclear waste material into it. Back in Australia, the rebuilt April reunites with Fin and is told her flight systems no longer work and that if she receives to much of a charge, her circuits could overload. When they get a signal that the sharknado Gil is in is heading towards them, Nova has the Opera House transform into a battle station to defend Australia from it. Fin and April head to the bridge to try and bungee jump into the vortex to save Gil, with April secretly stealing the artifact from Nova before they leave. Fin and April manage to jump inside but are unable to grab Gil, who disappears into the vortex, and Fin and April end up transported to Brazil. They are picked up by a man named Rodolfo, who works for Nova, and he takes them to a woman named Vega so she can explain about the artifact, unaware that they are being followed by a mysterious man named Zico. At Vega’s place, she explains that the artifact could be used to summon a sharknado but that it should be returned to Stonehenge. While they are talking, Vega’s assistant grabs the artifact and hands it to Zico and when they discover it is missing, Fin and April chase after him. As the sharknado hits the city, Fin and April follow after Zico and they end up driving through the vortex and arrive in Rome. Fin and Zico start to fight but Zico ends up being killed by some sharks and the artifact is swallowed. Fin kills the shark and takes the artifact back but the sharknado disappears, leaving them with no idea what to do. April throws some coins into the Trevi Fountain and they are approached by an emissary of the Pope, who gives Fin a special chainsaw to help him save the world. Fin and April decide to try and summon the Sharknado to them so they can save Gil and they manage to grab him but a shark slams into them and they lose their grip on Gil and end up landing in Japan. As they check the montier to make sure Gil is alive, they see that the sharknado that had absorbed the nuclear material had mutated into a giant blob of sharks which the media dubs Sharkzilla. Nova and her Sisters fly over Sharkzilla and jump into it in an effort to rescue Gil, while the military fire missiles at Shakzilla to try and destroy it. The explosions disperse the blob but Gil is sucked into the vortex again while Nova falls to the street, where she ends up dying in Fin’s arms, apologizing for failing to save Gil. As more sharknados attack the world, Fin calls his son Matt, who tells him that Claudia, The Colonel, and Grandma are all dead just before he is killed as well. Fin and April end up in another sharknado and are transported to Egypt, where they discover hieroglyphics showing how the ancient Egyptians fought against sharknados. Realizing that the artifact is a key to a hidden chamber, they find the machine the Egyptians used and activate it, stopping the sharknados across the world but the machine doesn’t shut down and begins making even stronger sharknados. April notices a staff which serves as a key for the machine and tells Fin to grab it, then decides to try and absorb the excess energy from the machine in order to shut it down, sacrificing herself in order to do so. Carrying April’s head around in the hopes of being able to restore her, Fin searches for any survivors among the wreckage of the city and is approached by a man in a Humvee, who turns out to be an adult Gil. Gil explains that the sharknados had sent him back in time and he had been working on a way to get back to him, able to figure out how to use them as a time machine. Gil then says that they have to go back to the beginning in order to save April and the rest of their family so Fin gets in the Humvee and they head off.

This was another fun installment in the series but watching it now, I can admit that it felt a little weak. The acting was decent for the most part, though Tara Reid still seems bad (especially when she is screaming). I loved the cameos, with several of them being very funny (like Geraldo Rivera opening a tiny safe and finding it empty). The story honestly felt a little weak, as it felt like they were struggling to come up with a way to make the sharknados bigger and badder. I did like the nod to Indiana Jones that they had in the beginning of the movie and the obvious Back To The Future nod at the end but I felt like they could have done more with the movie then use it as a time travel gimmick. The special effects were good, and I did like the “Sharkzilla” aspect, which really made me laugh. A fun movie to watch but it does make me a little worried for how they will handle the next one.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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action, adventure, movie, movie review, sci-fi

January 16th, 2018 Movie – Roller Blade Warriors: Taken By Force

roller blade warriors - taken by force

Ok, I know what you are thinking. I said I was done with the Roller Blade Seven movies yesterday, and technically that is true. However, if you have ever bought a movie on Amazon, you know that sometimes they will recommend another movie to go with it. That was the case with this movie, which I decided to buy along with the Roller Blade Seven Trilogy during a drunken Amazon night. Funny thing is that this movie was actually directed by the same man that directed the Roller Blade Seven trilogy. So let’s see what this earlier work looks like with today’s movie, Roller Blade Warriors: Taken By Force.

The plot: In an apocalyptic future, Karin Crosse, a warrior nun, is escorting a young psychic named Gretchen Hope to a monastery, killing off the occasional mutant that attacks them. Meanwhile, Streak and Karp are preparing a sacrifice for the psychic creature that there boss uses but when the creature discovers that the woman they brought it was actually a man, it eviscerates him and throws his body outside the building. Rinaldi tells them to find a virgin for the sacrifice and they grab Marachek and Kosai and head out into Hell’s Anvil to find one. When Karin’s horse dies, they find an old bicycle and use their robes to fashion a sail so they can continue to their destination. After stopping to get some water at a small oasis, Karin wants to keep moving but Gretchen convinces her to let her rest for a while. Elsewhere, a trio of rollerblade warriors, led by Karin’s sister Sharon, reach a crossroads in the desert and the rookie, Miko, asks to explore on her own. At the same time, Streak and the others meet up with Johnny Topp, who leads Streak and Marachek to a slave trader that has some women fr sell. While they are gone, Kosai smells a woman nearby so he and Karp go look for her. They find Miko and attempt to capture her but when Miko resists, Kosai ends up killing her. Sharon and Valijean go looking for Miko and after finding her body, go seeking vengeance on her killers. They find Streak, Marachek, and Johnny returning with some slaves and attack them, killing Johnny and chasing off Streak and Marachek, then free the slaves and take them to their mission. Karin and Gretchen make camp for the night but Gretchen wakes up screaming that there is evil around them. Streak and the others have found Karin and Gretchen’s bike and begin hunting for them. Karin attacks and kills a miner that was nearby but Karp throws a rock at her head and sends her falling off the cliff. Rinaldi and the others grab Gretchen and take her back to Abadon. Gretchen, who wasn’t dead, begins receiving psychic contacts from Gretchen and heads out to rescue her. At the same time, Mother Speed senses that Gretchen is in danger and sends Sharon and Valijean out to rescue her. Karin reaches Abadon and is stopped by the gate keeper, Old Turkel, and is forced to kill him when he refuses to let her enter. Taking Turkel’s sword to replace her broken one, Karin heads inside to find Gretchen and is pointed towards the saloon, where Streak is known to hang out. After Karin gets in a fight with a miner named Lyle, the leader of Abadon, Rinaldi, shows up and offers to help her find Gretchen. As they walk around the palce, Rinaldi explains that Abadon is an abandoned uranium mining facility but it has been shut down long ago. When Karin gets images of Gretchen being raped, Rinaldi grows angry and says they should split up to find her. Rinaldi heads to a room where Gretchen is being molested by Karp, Kosai, and Marachek and proceeds to beat them, then asks where Streak is. Streak is back at the saloon talking with Tawny and trying to convince her to side with him when he kills Rinaldi and takes over. When Rinaldi enters the saloon, Streak tries to pull a knife on him but Karin enters and cuts his hand, allowing Rinaldi to shoot Streak. Karin says she came back because the feelings from Gretchen were strongest here and Rinaldi says that Streak killed her and dumped her in the well full of nuclear waste. Rinaldi takes Karin to a room in the saloon so she can rest and Tawny asks him why he doesn’t kill her but Rinaldi says that he likes her and plans on using her. Rinaldi then dons his protective radiation suit and grabs Gretchen from the back room and takes her into the stacks, where he chains her to a frame as the sacrifice. Receiving more psychic visions, Karin yells to be let out of the room and Tawny opens the door and leads Karin to the stacks, explaining about the creature and why women are sacrificed to it. When they reach the stacks, Tawny asks Karin to spare Rinaldi, as she loves him and is pregnant with his child, and Karin assures her that her mission is to rescue Gretchen. Heading inside the stacks, Karin locates Gretchen and sets her free but as they try to escape, Rinaldi locks the door. He then hears Tawny calling out for Karin and after accusing her of betraying him, shoots her. Back in the stacks, Karin and Gretchen are chased by the creature and Karin begins fighting with it, seemingly killing it. After Karin and Gretchen make their way out of the stacks, the creature follows them but and jumps at them but they dodge it’s attack and it ends up falling to it’s death. As Karin and Gretchen try to figure out a way out, they are confronted by Karp, Kosai, and Marachek. Karin and Gretchen are joined by Sharon and Valijean and the three warriors split up and deal with the three men. When Rinaldi shows up to confront Karin, she skates after him and Rinaldi tries to shoot her with his robotic arm but misses and Karin is able to grab it and kill him with his own weapon. The four women then leave Abadon and head to the mission, where Mother Speed welcomes Gretchen to the sisterhood and tells her to prepare for her role as a roller blade warrior.

Well, I will say this, at least this movie had a straight forward plot. That being said, this is honestly nothing better than some cheap sexploitation movie. The acting was bad, with several of the characters coming off as robotic sounding. The story kind of made sense but really felt weak and seemed to leave some plot holes that never get explained. The special effects were pretty weak while the fight scenes were so slow paced that they just felt boring. Well. hopefully I learned my lesson after this series of movies and will refrain from buying some that are this bad to watch.

Rating: 1 out of 5

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action, movie, movie review, sci-fi

January 15th, 2018 Movie – Hawk: Warrior Of The Wheelzone

the legend of the roller blade seven

There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it is in a few hours when I finish watching today’s movie. I don’t often say I am disappointed with my movie purchases but this series is definitely one I don’t think I would have bought. It’s a bit presumptuous, but this might just cure me of my drunken Amazon spending. Now this was an interesting movie to try and find information about online because there seems to be a slight problem with what this movie is titled. Oh well, might as well get this train wreck over with and watch today’s movie, Hawk: Warrior Of The Wheelzone.

The plot: Well this is going to be an easy enough plot synopsis because THIS MOVIE IS JUST THE ROLLER BLADE SEVEN WITH THE SCENES REEDITED IN A DIFFERENT SEQUENCE.

Ok, so this series kind of ended on a high note but there is really nothing redeeming about this movie. There was nothing different about the acting, as it was just as bad as the original movie. The story in this was a little better because instead of jumping around all over the place, it actually had a more linear flow, which made everything easier to follow. Even though they reedited the scenes, they did nothing to improve the sound quality or the fact that they voices didn’t match the mouth movements. So lesson learned, some movies should be avoided at all costs.

Rating: 1/2 out of 5

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action, adventure, movie, movie review, sci-fi, superhero

January 10th, 2018 Movie – Spider-Man: Homecoming

spider-man homecoming

In 2016, fans eagerly awaited the first installment of the 3rd phase of the MCU; Captain America: Civil War. However, when the second trailer for the movie was released, fans got a thrill when it was shown that Spider-Man had been added to the line up. This was a major deal as even though Disney owns the rights to Marvel Comics, the film rights to several franchises still belonged to other companies; with Fox owning the rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four and Sony Pictures owning the rights to Spider-Man. The fact that Disney and Sony worked out a deal for Spider-Man to be a part of the MCU was huge and taken as a sign that other deals could possibly occur. Anyways, since a new actor was cast as Spider-Man, Sony scrapped it’s idea for a third installment in the series starring Andrew Garfield and came up with a new movie, one that continued the adventures of the Spider-Man introduced in Civil War. I will admit that I wasa little bit hesitant to get my hopes up over a new Spider-Man movie but having enjoyed the brief glimpse of him in Civil War, I was actually looking forward to seeing what they would do. So let’s have some fun with today’s movie, Spider-Man: Homecoming.

The plot: After the Battle of New York, a salvage crew run by Adrian Toomes is working on cleaning up the debris left from the Chitauri invasion when there work is taken over by the Department of Damage Control, a joint effort spearheaded by Tony Stark and the U.S. Government to keep the alien technology out of the wrong hands. Later that night, as Toomes and his crew watch a news report and lament the death of their business, one of Toomes workers points out that they have a truck full of Chitauri technology that they had already salvaged and Toomes says to keep it instead of turning it over. 8 years later, Toomes and his men have used the stolen technology to manufacture weapons to sell, along with creating a set of flight wings that Toomes uses. Meanwhile, Peter Parker is escorted to Berlin by Happy Hogan and given a new suit by Tony Stark for when he helps in the fight with Captain America and his group of heroes that refuse to register under the Sokovia Accords. Peter makes a video diary of his trip, including some portions of the fight, and afterwards, Tony helps him make an alibi for his Aunt May before dropping off Peter at his apartment and telling him he will call when he has a new mission for him, telling him Happy will be his handler. Peter returns to going to school at Midtown School of Science and Technology but his mind is constantly wondering when he will get a new mission, which is interfering with his school life. After school, Peter changes into his Spider-Man costume and leaves a message for Happy asking for his next mission before he goes out to stop any crimes he can see. Later that night, Spider-Man sees some men using high tech weaponry to rob a bank ATM and tries to stop it but when an errant blast destroys a nearby corner bodega, Spider-Man goes to rescue the shop’s owner, allowing the robbers to escape. When Peter tries calling Happy about what happened, Happy tells him he can’t talk, as he is busy moving all of Stark’s things to his new place in upstate New York. Peter sneaks back into his apartment and is surprised to find his best friend Ned waiting for him in his room. Ned is shocked in discovering that Peter is Spider-Man and wants to know all about it and Peter tells him they will talk tomorrow at school. At school, Ned constantly asks Peter questions about how he became Spider-Man and the other Avengers and Peter tells him to keep quiet. When they overhear a classmate Liz, whom Peter has a crush on, mention that she thinks Spider-Man is cute, Ned blurts out that Peter knows Spider-Man. Peter tries to play it off as a joke but another classmate, Flash, taunts them into inviting Spider-Man to Liz’s party that night. Peter and Ned show up at the party, but Peter feels like it is a mistake to go there. When Flash proceeds to mock them for not producing Spider-Man, Peter heads outside to change into Spider-Man but notices a glowing light in the distance and heads out to investigate. He sees two men, Herman Schultz and Brice, attempting to sell some alien weapons and tries to stop them but Brice, who calls himself The Shocker, punches him with his sonic gauntlet and they drive off, with Schultz calling Toomes to explain what happened. Spider-Man chases after them but is grabbed by Toomes, in his Vulture gear, and flown up into the air before being dropped into a lake. A parachute deploys from Spider-Man’s suit but he becomes tangled up in it and almost drowns when he hits the lake but he is saved by a remote piloted Iron-Man suit. Tony chastises Peter via the suit and tells him that he isn’t ready to be an Avenger and he should continue helping the little guys before flying off and as Peter heads home, he discovers a piece of alien technology that Brice and Schultz left behind. Meanwhile, back at their lair, Toomes chastises Brice for being too flashy in selling the weapons and kicks him off the team and when Brice threatens to tell Toomes’ wife about what he is doing, Toomes grabs a weapon and accidentally kills him, then hands the gauntlet to Schultz and says he is the new Shocker. The next day, Peter and Ned are examining the alien device at school and later, Peter sees Schultz and another guy at the school looking for it. Peter manages to tag them with a tracer and when he and Ned discover that they have headed to Maryland, he rejoins the school’s Academic Decathlon which is heading to compete in Washington D.C., which pisses of Flash as Peter is given his spot on the team. As they head to D.C., Peter is contacted by Happy, who had noticed Peter leaving New York due to his suit’s tracking chip but when Peter tells him it is a school trip, Happy says it is fine. When they get to their hotel, Peter has Ned help him disable the tracking chip and Ned learns that Peter’s suit had been placed in training mode so Peter has him disable it. After donning his suit, Peter is contacted by the suit’s computer, Karen, who helps him locate the tracker and he finds them planning to hijack a S.H.I.E.L.D. shipment of items from the Triskelion wreckage. Peter sees the Vulture fly down and make his way inside one of the trucks and when he tries to stop him, Spider-Man ends up getting trapped in the truck and knocked unconscious. When he comes too, he finds himself trapped inside Damage Control’s storage vault. Spending some time learning his new suit’s capabilities with Karen’s help, Spider-Man learns that the Chitauri artifact that he had could be explosive due to exposure to his own radioactive blood. Spider-Man managed to get out of the vault and makes his way to D.C., trying to contact Ned and warn him but their call is disrupted when Ned’s cellphone goes through the x-ray machine. Ned and the rest of Peter’s class, except for MJ, are in the elevator going to the top of the Washington Monument when the device explodes, damaging the elevator and part of the monument. When Spider-Man there, Karen helps guide him to the quickest way inside and he manages to rescue all of his classmates. Back in their hideout, Toomes is upset at Spider-Man’s interference in his plans and he decides to kill him and Schultz points out how Spider-Man rescued the kids from Midtown. Back in New York, Peter is in detention for skipping out on the decathlon event but decides to leave and head back home. Once there, he has Karen replay the footage from the arms deal he broke up and while there is no criminal background on Brice and Schultz, she does find one for Aaron Davis, the man who was there to buy the weapons. Spider-Man goes to question Davis about the crooks and, since Spider-Man saved his life, he tells them that they are meeting on the Staten Island Ferry. Spider-Man heads out there and using his reconnaissance drone, spots Schultz speaking with Toomes before heading out to speak with Mac Gargan As Spider-Man is recording the arms deal going on, he is contacted by Stark, who congratulates him on his rescue in D.C. but Spider-Man cuts him off to try and stop the arms deal. As he deals with Schultz and Gargan’s men, the FBI show up and tell Spider-Man to stand down. Toomes, alerted to Spider-Man’s presence, quickly dons his gear and begins to attack Spider-Man. Spider-Man fights back and attempts to disarm him but the weapon suddenly discharges randomly and ends up cutting the ferry in half. Spider-Man attempts to save the ferry but his webbing breaks and the ferry starts to sink until Iron Man arrives and saves it. Afterwards, Tony meets with Peter and admonishes him for his actions, and when Peter argues that Tony didn’t listen to him, Tony reveals that he did listen and trusted him, which is why he contacted the FBI so they could handle it. Tony then confiscates the suit from him and when Peter argues that he is nothing without the suit, Tony tells him that if he feels like he isn nothing without the suit, then maybe he isn’t meant to be a hero. When Peter returns home, Aunt May yells at him for worrying her and sneaking out and Peter tells her that he lost the Stark Internship. Peter goes back to being a high school student, trying to get his life back on track, and ends up asking Liz to Homecoming and she accepts. When Peter goes to pick up Liz for Homecoming, he is shocked to discover  that Liz’s father is Toomes. Toomes offers to drive Liz and Peter to the dance and during the drive, he talks with Peter and as Liz comments about how Peter mysteriously vanished at times, he figures out that Peter is actually Spider-Man. When they arrive at the school, Toomes speaks with Peter alone and thanks him for saving Liz’s life, then warns him to stay away from him and don’t interfere or else he will kill everyone he loves. Peter heads inside the school but as he approaches Liz, he realizes he can’t let Toomes get away with what he has planned and apologizes to Liz before leaving the gym. Peter grabs his old Spider-Man suit from it’s hiding space and heads outside only to be confronted by Schultz, who Toomes had sent there in case Peter decided to try and stop him. Losing his web shooters, Spider-Man is knocked into a school bus and sent tumbling over but when Schultz goes to finish him off, he is distracted by Ned, who had grabbed one of Spider-Man’s web shooters and fired it at Schultz. Spider-Man knocks out Schultz, then explains what is going on to Ned and asks him to trace his phone, which he had left in Toomes’ car, and to contact Happy. Ned manages to contact Happy, who quickly hangs up on him, and when he tells Spider-Man where his phone is, Peter figures out that Toomes is planning on hijacking the plane that is transferring materials from Stark Tower to the Avenger’s new facility. Spider-Man heads into the warehouse to confront Toomes, who tries to reason with him but was merely distracting him to allow time for his flight suit to enter the bulding and destroy the support columns, causing the roof to collapse onto Spider-Man. As Toomes leaves and prepares to fly off after the plane, Peter panics and calls out for someone to help him until he sees his reflection in a pool of water and hear’s Tony’s words coming back to haunt him. Proving he has what it takes, Spider-Man frees himself from the debris and manages to snag Toomes with a webline, being yanked behind him as he flies into the air. Toomes reaches the plane, which is being computer piloted, and makes his way inside, copying the transponder to a drone which he sends flying to where the plane was supposed to go while he steers it on a different flight path.  When Spider-Man attempts to enter the plane, Toomes sees him and heads outside to fight him, battling him along the surface of the plane. The plane loses control and Spider-Man attempts to steer it away from the buildings while ToomesToomes breaks inside and attempts to grab something so the heist was not a complete waste. The plane eventually crashes on the beach outside Coney Island and as Spider-Man picks himself up, Toomes renews his attack on him. Toomes gets the upper hand and after knocking Spider-Man down, attempts to grab a crate with his damaged wingsuit. Spider-Man notices the wingsuit is about to explode and tries to stop him but fails, and as Toomes takes off, the suit explodes and he goes crashing to the ground. Spider-Man pulls Toomes from the wreckage and leaves him webbed up to the crates for Happy and the authorities to find. The next day at school, Peter thanks Ned for helping save his life then goes to talk with Liz only to find that she is moving with her mom, as her dad doesn’t want her in town during the trial. Happy meets Peter at his school and takes him to the Avenger’s facility, where Tony offers him a new suit and a spot on the team, saying he earned it and has a room full of reporters ready to greet the new member. Peter thanks Tony but turns him down, choosing to help the little guys for the time being. As he goes to leave, Peter asks if this was a test and Tony says it was but after Peter walks away, Pepper Potts exits the room and asks where Peter is. Tony tells her that he made a mature decision, which surprised him, and when Pepper asks what she should tells the reporters, as they are expecting a story, Tony asks Happy if he still has the ring and Happy says he had been holding onto it for years, then tosses it to Tony as he and Pepper go to announce their engagement. Peter returns home and finds that Tony had left the Spider-Man suit for him in his room and as he tries it on, Aunt May sees him from the doorway and yells. Meanwhile, in prison, Toomes is approached by Mac Gargan, who says he heard a rumor that Toomes knew Spider-Man’s identity but Toomes lies to Gargan, saying if he knew who Spider-Man was, he would be dead.

Spider-Man: Homecoming was highly praised by the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 92% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Spider-Man: Homecoming does whatever a second reboot can, delivering a colorful, fun adventure that fits snugly in the sprawling MCU without getting bogged down in franchise-building.” Originally, Nick Fury was going to play the role of Peter’s mentor, mirroring the dynamic in The Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon, but the change was made to have Tony Stark fill the role instead. J.K. Simmons had expressed an interest in reprising his role of J. Jonah Jameson from the Sam Raimi trilogy but it was scrapped when he took the role of Commissioner Gordon in Justice League. The movie was a box office success, earning $880.2 million off of a $175 million budget, with Sony and Marvel both agreeing to make a sequel, which is slated for a 2019 release.

My faith in movies was restored as this was a great movie to watch. While I think Spider-Man 2 is probably the best overall movie in the franchise, this is definitely a close second and might end up topping it down the road. The acting was great, with Tom Holland doing a great job as Peter Parker, while Michael Keaton was equally good as Adrian Toomes. I loved Jacob Batalon as Ned, who made for some great comedic sidekick material, and I honestly didn’t get the hate directed towards Zendaya, who was really good as Michelle (though I guess the hate was directed to her wanting to be called MJ at the end of the movie). The story was really good and did a good job showing the emotional growth Peter went through; from being the impulsive teenager that wanted nothing more to be an Avenger and felt like everything else was beneath him to realizing that if he wanted to become an Avenger, he would have to do some growing up first. The one thing I was glad that didn’t occur in the movie was the origin/killing of Uncle Ben. At this point, everyone knows how Spider-Man got his powers and he was spurred to becoming a hero by the death of his Uncle Ben. Since the series was rebooted less than 10 years ago, there was really no need to have that rehashed. Besides, since we were introduced to an already powered up Spider-Man, it made no sense to try and rehash it. I also liked the interaction between Spider-Man and Karen, his suit’s on-board computer system, and the chemistry they developed in the short time Peter had the suit. The one thing that I thought was interesting was how the director decided to make this something of a tribute to John Hughes as far as the high school aspects of the movie went. The funniest part was the deliberate nod to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off during the scene where Spider-Man was chasing after Schultz and Brice through the neighborhood. The special effects were great and while the Vulture suit wasn’t quite like the comics, which honestly is kind of a good thing, it was unique enough to look good on camera. A great movie that is well worth it’s spot in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

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January 14th, 2018 Movie – Return Of The Roller Blade Seven

return of the roller blade seven

Why, dear God why, did I think it would be a good idea to buy the trilogy on DVD. I must be an absolute glutton for punishment. Well, yesterday’s movie was about as terrible of a film as I have seen in my entire life. In regards to a sequel, there really is only one question; can it be any worse. Well, I just jinxed myself by saying that because not this will probably be even worse. Oh well, might as well get this headache out of the way and watch today’s movie, Return Of The Roller Blade Seven.

The plot: Father Donaldo is summoned to meet with Saint O’ffender, who proceeds to talk with Donaldo about the difference between following the light and the dark before Donaldo decides to walk away. Donaldo then heads out and ends up meeting with the Desert Marauder, who asks Donaldo to hear his confession as he feels responsible for how the world has turned out. Meanwhile, Hawk is summoned to the Wheelzone by an astral projection of Saint O’ffender, who tries tempting him to the dark side. As Hawk is camping out, he is attacked and seduced by a naked woman, under orders from O’ffender, but he is saved by Stella Speed, who quickly disappears. Elsewhere, Donaldo meets up with the Spirit Guide, while Hawk and Stella find themselves caught up in a brawl between a large group of Wheelzone marauders and ninjas. As O’ffender continues to try and seduce Hawk to turn to the dark side, Hawk goes to see Tarot and get her advise on what to do. O’ffender continues his attempts to seduce Hawk, bringing out several women to try and seduce Hawk into joining him. At one point, O’ffender has the girls start dancing, with Hawk and himself joining in. While they are dancing, Donaldo suddenly appears and joins in on the fun. Donaldo and O’ffender then continue to debate the issue on the issues of the light and the dark. After reminiscing about the times they were both on the dark side, Donaldo says that the world is changing and he decided to change with it, making it his mission to remove evil from the world. When Donaldo says that he wants to try and turn O’ffender from the dark and asks him for a donation to the building of a new institute, O’ffender says he can’t help. When he offers one of his girls as his donation, Donaldo says that he will turn her to a disciple of light, then says that O’ffender should be punished for what he, as well as the Black Knight and Pharoh, have done to Hawk. Hawk eventually shakes off O’ffender’s attempts to get him to join him and goes to find Donaldo, who is being confronted by a strange costumed figure out on the Wheelzone. O’ffender decides to get revenge by killing Stella but Hawk shows up and stops him, then takes O’ffender to the Master of Light Institute. O’ffender says that he has repented and prepares to join the light as Hawk and Stella embrace and kiss.

As completely off the wall and messed up as the original movie was, this movie is almost as bad. However, the only thing this movie did have going for it was that it did kind of follow a somewhat linear plot line; albeit very, VERY loosely. The acting was as bad as the first movie, with most of the same people returning in the same roles. The story was about as basic as you could get; with O’ffender trying to tempt Hawk to join the dark side. I will say that the random, and bizarre, scene break featuring some guy out in the middle of the desert playing a pair of bongos while girls would sometimes dance near him, including, Stella at one point, was exactly that; bizarre. I also thought it was funny that they had kept the running gag of Madison Monk going around looking for Buddy Holly. The editing was almost as bad as the first movie, but luckily, there was not as many fight scenes so it wasn’t necessary to have them show Hawk kicking the same guy 10 times in a row. This is still not a good movie by any stretch of the imagination, but it is SLIGHTLY better than the original, if only by a millimeter.

Rating: 1/2 out of 5

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January 13th, 2018 Movie – The Roller Blade Seven

roller blade seven

Folks, I can honestly say that I honestly don’t know what I am getting into with today’s movie but from everything I have read, I am in for one incredibly messed up ride. See, with all the random movies that I have bought over the years, Amazon tends to recommend all sorts of odd, low budget B-movies for me to buy. Today’s movie is one such movie and when I first saw it recommended, I thought it looked absolutely ridiculous. Of course, for some bizarre reason, this managed to pique my interest and I decided to buy it. Of course, I couldn’t just buy this movie on it’s own, but wound up buying the trilogy pack of all three movies in the series. Was this a good idea? I can’t say but we will soon find out as I watch today’s movie, The Roller Blade Seven.

The plot: In an apocalyptic future, Sister Sparrow Goodman is heading out into the Wheelzone and her mentor, Father Donaldo, hands her a sword to use when she confronts evil. Meanwhile, Saint O’ffender approaches Pharoh, the evil overlord that rules the Wheelzone, and is told to bring him Sparrow, as he needs a new psychic to replace his banished sister Tarot. In the Wheelzone, Sparrow returns to Father Donaldo and tells her of the bad feeling that she has, and her visions of her own death. Donaldo has her meditate in the garden on her visions but as she heads outside, she is abducted by Saint O’ffender and his ninjas. Donaldo contacts Hawk, his most accomplished disciple and Sparrow’s brother, and tells him what happened. Hawk is reluctant to head out to the Wheelzone but Donaldo says when he returns, he will have a new bride but warns him that he will find demons and angels in the Wheelzone that will guide him. As Hawk enters the Wheelzone, he is sees Officer Daryl Skates arresting a man named Madison Monk for traveling without wheels (skates or skateboard) and when she sees Hawk walking through, she stops him briefly before allowing him to continue. Hawk is confronted by a trio of ninjas on roller skates but he quickly dispatches them, then catches up to Saint O’ffender and his crew. Hawk tosses a knife to Sparrow, who catches it in her mouth and uses it to kill one of her captors. Hawk then knocks out another kidnapper and, after cutting the ropes around Sparrow’s hands, hands it to her and they prepare to face off against Saint O’ffender and his men but a man in bull armor skates up behind Hawk and knocks him out, allowing Sparrow to be recaptured and taken away. When Hawk regains consciousness, he seeks out Tarot, who gives him some psychedelic mushrooms and leads him on a drug fueled tour of her place. Meanwhile, Sparrow is taken to see the Black Knight, Pharoh’s top enforcer, who begins the process of turning Sparrow into one of Pharoh’s slaves. Hawk is met by a spirit guide, who begins teaching him how to skate on rollerblades and along the way, he encounters a female kabuki mime armed with wiffleball bats, who helps him learn how to fight while on skates. The pair soon find themselves surrounded by a group of bandits, who begin fighting the two, as well as themselves, and Hawk and the mime manage to get away as the fight continues, while a man wrapped entirely in bandages plays a banjo. Meanwhile, the Pharoh, who is confined to a wheelchair due to a skateboarding accident, is discussing why he created the Wheelzone with his aide. Hawk and Kabuki encounter Stella Speed, a pacifist who has a sword but refuses to use it, and she agrees to join them in heading to rescue Sparrow. After a while, the trio encounter some of Pharoh’s men trying to abduct another slave. As they face off with Pharoh’s men, Fuzaki Ninja, the man in the bull armor, arrives and challenges them but Hawk is able to knock him out. As Hawk and the other’s leave, the Pharoh’s aide shows up and helps Fuzaki Ninja up before guiding him away. As Hawk and his friends continue on their journey, they encounter the bandaged banjo player, who circles around them while playing his banjo. Suddenly, a ninja skates up and kills the banjo player and knocks out Kabuki before skating away. Hawk chases after him, and eventually kills him while Stella skates off in the other direction. She is soon chased by a ninja, who corners her but when she refuses to draw her sword at the cost of her own life, he decides to spare her. Later, Hawk tries teaching Stella how to fight with a sword and the are soon joined by Kabuki, who is excited to see her friends again. The Spirit Guide takes them to where Pharoh is and the start to confront him but they find themselves caught in an ambush. Kabuki is killed by one of Pharoh’s men and as the Spirit Guide prays over her body, she is magically captured by the Black Knight, who attempts to force her to join him and the Pharoh, while, Stella is captured and tortured in one of the Pharoh’s prison cells Pharoh, who plans on marrying Sparrow, has Hawk brought before him so he can gloat before having Hawk join Stella and sending Fuzaki and his men to kill them. As they prepare to meet their end, Donaldo, along with the Spirit Guide, are able to cast a spell and knock Fuzaki and his men unconsciousness, allowing them to escape. Later, Donaldo oversees the marriage of Hawk and Stella and then gives them the sacred samurai sword of the Master of Light Institiute before Hawk and Stella hop onto Hawk’s Harley and ride off. Unknown to them, a brainwashed Sparrow and the Desert Marauder are hiding in a car and after Hawk and Stella speed away, they follow them and Sparrow shoots the bike, causing them to wreck, then kills Stella, leaving Hawk alive to chase after them.

There are absolutely no words to describe what I just watched. I’m serious. This was the most convoluted mess of a nonsensical movie I have watched in years. The acting wasn’t the worst I have ever seen but it was definitely bad. The thing that made it worse, and I honestly don’t know if it is just my copy or if this is how the movie really is, but the dialogue was completely out of sync with the actors’ mouths, and I mean worse than old school Japanese dubbing (and in case you didn’t know, that is really bad). The plot was nothing more than a series of ideas that seemed to be held together by silly string, meaning it easily fell apart at the merest touch. The worst part about it was you really had no clue who some of the people are, mainly Stella and Sparrow. For instance, at the end of the movie it seemed like Hawk married Stella but the person pointing the gun to attack them looked just like Stella, making you wonder who he actually married. Another thing that will drive you absolutely mad is the fact that they repeatedly reuse scenes throughout the movie. For a 90 minute movie, It felt like over half of it was simply the same scenes being replayed repeatedly, at times several times in a row at times. Realistically, it was probably less than 30 minutes of reuses footage but that is still way to much. This isn’t one of those “so bad, it’s good” movies, this is one of those movies you watch in order to prove that no matter how bad you feel a movie might be, there is always something worse out there.

Rating: 0 out of 5

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